History of Archaeology
Examination and presentation of archival material and object collections
The history of archaeology is a growing
area of research not least because of the increased importance of digitising
collections and making them publicly accessible. There are a series of current developments in
this field, but the UCL Institute of Archaeology is particularly well placed to develop research because
of the depth and breadth of its archival holdings and collections.
The Institute is one of the earliest archaeology
training institutions in Britain, and a key player in the development of
archaeology as a profession. Its past has fixed its current position as the
largest and one of most well-known archaeology departments in the world. The Institute's focus on archaeology, museum
studies and cultural heritage will add multiple perspectives to research in the
history of archaeology, and facilitate contacts with many different cultural
institutions, including museums, university archives and learned societies.
The IoA History of Archaeology Research Network brings together a critical evaluation, examination and presentation of archival material and object collections, and comprises a strong inter-disciplinary element; including strong links to the history of science, art and museum collections, social and cultural history, architecture and tourism. It also provides a valuable route for public access to archaeology, enhancing the quality of archaeology’s impact on the public.
Its long-term aims are to:
- Encourage research in the history of archaeology at the Institute as part of a developing discipline
- Improve knowledge of and research into the Institute of Archaeology’s archival collections, and research into archaeologists’ collections and collecting activities that are encompassed in the Institute’s and the Petrie’s collections
- Increase public access to collections via digitisation of the Institute's archives in collaboration with UCL Special Collections and UCL Museums and Collections
- Encourage further public engagement with the history of archaeology through exhibitions and public lectures, encouraging participation from diverse communities
The potential for the
history of archaeology to contribute to public awareness of and appreciation
for archaeology is enormous. The Institute's collections are
partially the result of generations of archaeologists leaving personal and
fieldwork related material to the Institute specifically because of its place at the
forefront of archaeological research.
In order to capitalise on this, and highlight the breadth and depth of the Institute's history, its collections and archives are the foundation of this new research network. Its goal is to develop a publicly accessible database of its collections, both material and documentary, showcasing the Institute's facilities, research, staff and students while revealing archaeology's role within a wider social, economic and political historical context.
- Wednesday 12 February 2014: Sarah Longair (The British Museum) - "Tackling 'the problems of an isolated, overseas museum'': professional networks and curatorial challenges in the Zanzibar Museum, 1935-1942"
- Wednesday 22 January 2014: James Doeser (UCL Institute of Archaeology) - "Paradox and Antiquity: the history of archaeology and government"
- Wednesday 13 November 2013: Elisabeth O'Connell (Curator, Department of Egypt & Sudan, The British Museum) - "An Assyriologist in Egypt: R. Campbell Thompson at Wadi Sarga"
- Wednesday 8 May 2013: Gaigysyz Jorayev (UCL Institute of Archaeology) - "History of one Myth: 100 Years of archaeological excavations at Anau, Turkmenistan"
- Wednesday 1 May 2013: Paolo Del Vesco (UCL Institute of Archaeology) - "A Year with Flinders Petrie: Petrie’s Pocket Diaries in the Petrie Museum archives"
- Wednesday 6 March 2013: Jennfier Baird (Birkbeck) - "Exposing Archaeology: Time, Beauty, and the Role of Photographs in Archaeological Knowledge"
- Wednesday 6 February 2013: Axel Körner (UCL History) - "Etruscomania and local identity in post-Unification Italy"
- Wednesday 23 January 2013: Simon Mills (CRASSH, University of Cambridge) - "An Early History of Near Eastern Antiquarianism 1620-1760"
- Monday 19 November 2012: Manuel Fernandez-Gotz (Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg) - "From 'Pots = People' to 'Ethnicity Without Groups': Ethnic Identities in Archaeological Interpretation"
- Monday 15 October 2012: Thomas Kiely (Curator, Cyprus Collection, The British Museum) - "Poachers Turned Gamekeepers? The British Museum Archaeological Agents on Cyprus, 1893-1899"
- Thursday 21 May 2012: Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck) - "The Mummy's Curse: The True Story of an Edwardian Rumour" (jointly organised with the UCL Petrie Museum). Read a review of the event here»
- Financing Archaeology Workshop (May 2012)
Tourism as Colonial Policy Workshop (Nov 2011)
- Quirke, S. 2010. Hidden Hands: Egyptian Workforces in Petrie’s Excavation Archives, 1880-1924. London: Duckworth.
- Challis, D. 2008. From the Harpy Tomb to the Wonders of Ephesus: British Archaeologists in the Ottoman Empire 1840-1880. London: Duckworth.
- Challis, D. 2008. Charles Newton: The Keeper, The British Museum and the Ottoman Empire, in D. Shankland (ed.). Anthropology, Archaeology and Heritage in the Balkans and Anatolia (Conference Proceedings). Istanbul: Isis Press.
Funding sources are currently being investigated. Selected network events have received funding from:
- UCL Grand Challenges Collaborative Pioneer Award
- UCL Institute of Archaeology
- Neal Ascherson
- Ian Carroll
- Debbie Challis
- Paolo Del Vesco
- John J. Johnston
- Robert Kirby
- Katie Meheux
- Gabriel Moshenska
- Stephen Quirke
- Anastasia Sakellariadi
- Tim Schadla-Hall
- Ulrike Sommer
- Rachael Sparks
- Vicky Turner
- History of Archaeology
- Cultural Heritage
- Education & Engagement
- Community Archaeology
- Digital archives
- Middle East