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HARN International Conference 2017 – Programme

October 5, 2017

Drum roll, fanfare, cheering:

‘Not within the scope of this argument’: Archives and Rabbit Holes

HARN 2017

3 November 2017

Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema

Main Campus


Note – There is no charge for conference attendance 

9:30-10:00am—coffee and registration 


Issues of Archives

10:00am: Kate Hill, University of Lincoln, UK: Museum archives: undisciplined and undisciplinary?

10:30 am: Jason Bate University of Exeter: Archives that Push Interpreters to the Limits of Historical Analysis


11:00 am: Beth Hodgett, University of Oxford: Disciplining Images: The Photographs and Archives of OGS Crawford

11:30 am: Raffaella Bucolo – University of Rome “Sapienza”: From the History of Archaeology to the History of Photography: Archival Investigation on Cesare Faraglia

11:30-12pm: Coffee Break

When Archives Get Political

12:00pm: Ulf Hansson, University of Texas, Austin: Diplomatic Correspondence, Proto-Archaeology and the Early Modern Antiquities Market

12:30pm: Monica Barnes, AMNH and Andean Past: Civil War! Espionage! Communism! World War Two! Afro-American civil rights! Anti-Semitism! Psychoanalysis! Feminism! Sexual Liberation! Anthropology! Archaeology! Higher Education! Gypsy Band! Europe! North America! Africa! South America! Incas! John Victor Murra and the Twentieth Century

1:00-2:30 pm Lunch (not provided)

Local Archives

2:30 pm: Rick Peterson, University of Central Lancashire: The Children of the Stones: contesting land, religion and standing stones in early 18th century Avebury

3:00 pm: Mustafa Kemal Baran, Koç University, Instanbul: Letters, Holiday Greetings, and a few Passport Photos: The Voice and Image of Local Communities in Archaeological Archives

3:30pm: David Fleming, Independent Scholar: Cultural Imperialism on £10 a Day: The Short, Tumultuous history of the British Institute of Afghan Studies 1972—1982 and the Excavations at Old Kandahar

4:00-4:30 pm Coffee Break

Problems and Challenges

4:30pm James Snead, California State University, Northridge: Elizabeth Deuel’s Letter: Confronting Sexual Politics in the Archives of Archaeology

5:00 pm Martyn Barber, Historic England: Some Tales from an Empty Envelope

5:30pm Final discussions, drinks and party time


I’ll post abstracts, maps, hotel and eating suggestions soon, but just for now tumultuous applause is in order.






HARN 2017 – Abstracts, Part 1.

October 20, 2017

Just 14 days to go!

I have put together a handbook thing and as soon as I remember how to put it up on the blog I’ll post it with the previous conferences. Bear with me, I am technologically challenged. However, I can give you a taste of HARN 2017, the lovely delegates have agreed to let me share their abstracts with you so here goes with Part 1, Kate and Jason will be talking about some of the issues arising from archive investigation:

Kate Hill, University of Lincoln,

Museum Archives: Undisciplined and Undisciplinary?

This paper engages with the nature of museum archives specifically, as a kind of undisciplined ‘other’ to the disciplinary archive of Derrida and Foucault. Museum archives are, in some senses and as asserted by some scholars, designed to discipline museum objects, and by producing orderly objects, to discipline museum visitors and indeed knowledge itself. Yet we can find uncontrollable objects, buildings, visitors and staff in the records of museum archives. The paper will look at some historical examples of these; objects whose meaning can’t be pinned down, visitors who refuse to pay attention, staff who squabble and drink; and ask why museum archives seemed to be unable to consistently impose disciplined categories and concepts. It will suggest that it is the nature of museum archives to be working archives which are both at the heart of what a museum is, but also secondary to the objects. This means they are unlikely to have or to always spend time in their own space, and the haphazardness and busyness of their existence allows space for juxtapositions which as well as allowing ‘rabbit holes’ to appear can also allow unheard voices to emerge. The paper will also interrogate the developing forms of museum documentation which can be found in museum archives to show how these too, being driven by improvisation and necessity, also open up channels to hear unexpected tales from the archives.

Jason Bate, University of Exeter,

Archives that Push Interpreters to the Limits of Historical Analysis

One important area of tension or imbalance in the archive continues to be the problem of continuity and discontinuity. These terms refer to the historical distance between ‘the past’ and our engagement with it in the present. This paper explores how photographs of facial plastic surgery cases from the First World War can challenge our assumptions about certain historical artefacts and make us rethink our notion of history. The photographs in question seem in some sense to disrupt historical understanding, they unsettle the way a viewer can understand, negotiate, and articulate their perceptions and sense of the past. The archive quickly creates problems of context and viewing because one’s reading of the photographs keeps shifting between an objective medical study of the patients’ injuries and surgical reconstruction, and a more subjective human response that seeks to find out about the injured men and their experience. I shall argue that seeking out family photographs and stories help to answer the questions that cannot be resolved in the medical archives by revealing what happened to some patients once they left the military hospitals and reintegrated back into domestic life. Private family collections mark the distance between recognised and silenced medical knowledge, between written and recorded accounts and those deemed inappropriate or problematic for exchange, the ‘displaced histories’ that hover in the archive’s shadows.

I’ll post more next week, in the meantime, have a great weekend




Personal Histories – new location

October 18, 2017

HARN founder, Pamela Jane Smith, has sent the following announcement:

Following Pamela’s retirement the Personal Histories Project is now with Stephanie Moser, William Davies and Kate Rogers at the University of Southampton who will expand the format in a major new educational outreach programme.

To celebrate we’ve released Sir David Attenborough’s never-before-seen film.

The new Southampton Personal Histories website is linked to the original Cambridge site

Our collections of life-history films are still here  <> and  <>

Pamela will remain part-time in Cambridge to curate 203 oral-history interviews, archive Dorothy Garrod’s, Thurstan Shaw’s papers, conserve the Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes with Curator Julie Hudson, British Museum, HRH, Igwe, Dr. Martin N. Ezeh IDU II of Igbo-Ukwu
 and Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman
 of Nigerian Museums and also teach researchers, “Concept to Clip”, film-training for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences such as Amy Jeffs’s Medieval Badges/British Museum/University of Cambridge joint 
project. and Alessandro Ceccarelli’s University of 
Cambridge’s Two Rains Project

Best of wishes to Stephanie, William and Kate!


October 18, 2017


Sarah Ketchley, University of Washington

Sarah Ketchley trained as an Egyptologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. specializing in art history of the first millennium BC. She is based in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization at the University of Washington, where she has been a visiting scholar, lecturer and is a now Digital Humanities Project Manager for an Ottoman poetry project. She has been working at the intersection of traditional humanities and digital methodologies since 2011, encoding historical texts, and creating mapping visualizations, databases and digital exhibits.

Sarah’s current research interests centre on the Nile travel journals of Mrs. Emma B. Andrews, mistress of one of the early excavators in the Valley of the Kings, including biographical research and the development of an online archive of related historical material. 


Sharon Sultana, Heritage Malta

Sharon Sultana is the Senior Curator of the National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta, MALTA. Being responsible for the national archaeological collections and the archival material in the museum’s library, her research interests include past excavations’ field notebooks and correspondences of past archaeologists. She is currently carrying out background research for her PhD proposal and is interested in Life Writings. She has authored a number of papers and is co-editor of ‘Tesserae’, Heritage Malta’s biannual publication.

Welcome, Sarah and Sharon, and many thanks for joining our community!

HARN 2017 – your questions answered

October 13, 2017

It’s going to be HARN 2017 here full time, all the time, for the foreseeable future I suspect. I’m putting together a handout with abstracts, accommodation, maps, stuff and I’ll post it here as well as emailing it to speakers and attendees. But, first up, some questions I’ve been asked:

Is the conference on the 3rd of November?

Yes, it is. Friday 3rd of November 2017.

I understand your asking, I have been known to be a little confused over our conference dates, but this time I have not only double checked, I have asked other people to check that the date I’ve said is the date really is the date and that is also the date on the room booking.

Is it a one day conference?

Yes, it is indeed only the one day. I know we did two in Rome but this time we’re just doing a day. Next year? Who knows? But I am so up for presenting history through the medium of cake or Lego.

Do you have to be a HARN member to attend?

No, not at all. We welcome anyone, well, anyone interested in the histories of archaeology. But, if you are interested in the histories of archaeology you might want to think about joining HARN, membership is free.

I want to come to the conference, how do I register?

Preferably – send us an email at or just turn up on the day. It would be good to know in advance how many people to expect and I’ll be emailing the handout to participants, but if you want to just show up on the day that’s fine too. We’ll be doing registration from 9.30, if you can’t make that but still want to come then come when you can and make yourself known to me or Jon or James – I may even make us name tags for ease of recognition.

How much does the conference cost?

Nothing. Not a cent or even a sausage. It is absolutely free. UCLan have provided us with a room for free and I think that’s rather splendid given I don’t work for them anymore. Unfortunately, because I don’t work for them and because we don’t charge a membership fee to join HARN, there’s no money to pay for refreshments so you’ll have to buy your own lunch as well as teas and coffees.

Where is UCLan?

UCLan aka the University of Central Lancashire is in Preston.

And, where is Preston?

Good question, before I lived here I’d never visited despite being a native of the north-west. The short answer is we’re in central Lancashire, not far from Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake District. It’s a direct train line from those places and London, Edinburgh, Glasgow etc* I’ll provide more detailed information in the handout.

Are there things to do in Preston aside from listen to thrilling papers about archives in histories of archaeology?

That kind of depends on how easily amused you are. If you want more culture than the Harris and Horace then you’re going to have to go elsewhere. Many museums have closed in the last year or so, including the Museum of Lancashire – we will not talk of this but expect me to mutter about the barbarians being not so much at the gate as in the house eating all the biscuits. Preston has a long and interesting history, but successive councils have managed to eradicate most of it and all that’s really left are the cotton mills. None of them still in use now that the last working mill/museum has also recently closed – am I sounding bitter? But, on the upside, it’s the friendliest places I’ve ever lived – the first time I went to the corner shop to buy milk I was there for half an hour, it’s a very friendly place.

I can’t think of any more questions.

Good, because I can’t think of any more answers. If you have any questions then either shout out in the comments or email us at I’ll get to work on those handouts.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and plan your trip to HARN 2017


*As part of it’s advertising campaign one year UCLan basically sold itself on the ease of leaving Preston and going somewhere more interesting for a night out/weekend/holiday. Truthful, but perhaps misguided if you want to actually attract students. Although my alma mater once had an advertising campaign which suggested that no matter how badly you’d done in your exams they would give you a place – again, not selling themselves very highly we felt.

CfP – Socio-environmental dynamics along the historic Silk Road

October 12, 2017

Back in June I posted a call for papers about this workshop. Details of the day can be found here and here and the original cfp is here.

Liang has been back in touch to invite additional authors to participate in the proposed publication:

The workshop is publishing a book of the proceedings (edited volume), and Springer has agreed to publish it. We have collected 18 full papers from the workshop participants, which are currently under review. To share the information and opportunity to those interested in the topic but unable to attend the workshop, we would like to invite additional up to 5 papers. We would appreciate if you consider contributing something.

The proposed title of the book is “Socio-environmental dynamics along the historic Silk Road”. The contents are grouped into 5-6 sub-topics each including 4-5 papers.

If you are interested, please express interests with an abstract by October 31, 2017. The full paper should be submitted by the end of this year December 31, 2017. All papers will undergo a strict peer-review process and the book is planned to be published in March/April 2018.

Send your abstracts to Liang here

New Publication

October 10, 2017

HARN member, Csaba Szabó, has been in touch about his recently published book about  the role and recent developments of public archaeology in Transylvania (Romania)

erdelyi regeszet borito 3D 00

erdelyi regeszet borito 02

It’s written in Hungarian, but Csaba has kindly provided an English summary:

The volume presents 43 articles focusing on four major topics: the case study of
Roșia Montana (Verespatak, Alburnus Maior), the archaeological heritage of Alba Iulia
(Apulum), the major archaeological researches and problems of Transylvania since 2009
and finally, interviews and discussions with prominent archaeologists of the region. A
part of these essays and popularizing articles were published in the Hungarian journal of
Cluj (Szabadság), however, some of the writings are published for the first time in this
After the foreword written by István Bajusz, doyen of Hungarian archaeologists from
Transylvania and president of the Pósta Béla Archaeological Association from Cluj-
Napoca, the introduction presents some of the key notions on which the articles are
focusing later. Concepts, such as “Transylvanian archaeology”,”public archaeology”,
“urban archaeology” and popularizing archaeological heritage are explained in this
chapter. The introduction presents also the short history of archaeological research,
thought and education in Transylvania in the last three centuries and highlights the
important role of public archaeology, as a contemporary tool of the discipline to
communicate with a globalized and accelerated society.
The first chapter has three articles, focusing on the case study of Roșia Montana
(Verespatak, Alburnus Maior). These articles presenting not only the evolution of the so
called “cazul Roșia Montana”, as one of the promoters of the Romanian spring and civic
movements, but also the rich and unique archaeological heritage of the settlement.
The second chapter is focusing on the Roman heritage of Apulum. Presenting the
most important excavations since 2009, this chapter deals with the case study of the
Costuzza park from Alba Iulia, the new museum of the Principia, the possible visit of
emperor Caracalla in Apulum (and Dacia) and the importance of Béla Cserni in the local
history of archaeology and museology.
The third – and largest chapter – presents numerous topics and case studies from the
history of Transylvanian archaeology of the last decade. From the case study of Băile
Herculane, the excavations from Porolissum the chapter gives a detailed glimpse also in
contemporary problems of urban archaeology in Cluj Napoca, presented through
numerous case studies. Similarly, the chapter presents also some of the most notorious
case studies of the illegal traffic with archaeological treasures, such as the case of the so called Dacian bracelets. Beside these, the chapter focus also on the first Christian church
discovered in Alba Iulia, book reviews, conference presentations and new projects –
such as the program of the National Limes Committee.
The fourth chapter presents some of the most successful archaeologists, who’s work
was carried on especially in Transylvania or contributed to the evolution of
archaeological methods and excavations in our region. Archaeologists, museologists,
researchers, specialists in heritage diplomacy and even an amateur metal detectorist
were asked to speak about their work, the current state of research and the future of
Transylvanian archaeology and museology.
The main aim of this book is to present for the very first time the recent
archaeological results and case studies for the Hungarian greater public, to promote
public archaeology, as a new discipline and tool in communication with the local
communities and to open a direct dialogue between archaeologists and the public.

Thank you Csaba, it sounds like a useful and interesting addition to the histories of archaeology.



CfP – Making the Most of Film and Video in Archaeology

October 8, 2017
2018 Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) international conference.
The conference will be held between March 19th and 23th, 2018 at the University of Tübingen, Germany.
Making the Most of Film and Video in Archaeology
Despite the fact that archaeologists have experimented with various forms of filmmaking for a century we are still yet to develop a pragmatic approach to how best to integrate actuality film and video recording, editing, and archiving into our research project designs. As mediums merge and digital platforms multiply, as coders begin to replace film editors, as media technologies, standards, laws, and conventions shift – now is a timely moment to take stock and consider how we can make better use of actuality film and video in archaeological contexts. Key challenges include how to address the disconnected digital archives of historical archaeological film footage increasingly available online; how to better integrate drone, underwater, and site videography into archaeological research design and dissemination strategies; and how to better foster media literacy and skills among archaeologists tasked with researching, designing, recording, editing, managing, distributing, and digitally archiving film and video material.
This session seeks to cross industry and disciplinary boundaries by inviting archaeological scholars and computing specialists to problematise and bring fresh perspectives to the above issues by suggesting future directions for how we can make the most of digital actuality film and video in archaeology.
Suggested themes and topics include but are not restricted to:
o   Film and video as archaeological data.
o   Digital archiving, database management, and accessibility for archaeological films and videos.
o   Working with video files – what archaeologists need to know.
o   Using film and video in academic publishing.
o   The pros and cons of vlogging, social media, and online video platforms for archaeology.
o   Merging the mediums: approaches to combining actuality footage with animation, VR, AR and more.
o   Coding: the future of film editing? How we can futureproof digital archaeological storytelling.
Please note: the term ‘actuality’ is borrowed from the documentary industry and used here to describe non-fiction films and videos of actual people, places, and events – as distinct from animated or fiction films and videos.
The call for papers has just opened and will run until Sunday 29nd October 2017. You will need to register with the CAA conference to submit your paper to our session. Abstracts for papers should be no more 250 words excluding session title, author names, affiliations, and email addresses and 3 – 5 keywords. Please note, the official language of the conference is English and all submissions should be in English. If English is not your first language, it is strongly suggested that you have a fluent English speaker review your abstract before submission.
You can find instructions for how to submit here:
Bright thoughts and looking forward to your reply,
Kathryn Rogers, University of Southampton.
Dr James Miles, Archaeovision<>