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CFP: HARN 2018, Lisbon, 11-12 October

May 10, 2018

It’s here! It’s here!

Working in conjunction with the Institute of Contemporary History (CEHFCi-UÉ) – Faculty of Social and Human Sciences – New University of Lisbon, and the Section of Archaeology – Lisbon Geographical Society, HARN announces the call for papers for our 2018 conference.


Thanks so much to Ana Martins for organizing this! We are all looking forward to the abstracts and papers.  See below and share far and wide and we hope to see many of you there!HARN 2018 CFP


New Publication – Jay European Connections of a Bronze Age Scholar

May 23, 2018

HARN member, Brendan O’Connor, has been in touch to draw our attention to this new biography by H. Steegstra, published by Barkhuis.


The publishers blurb reads: The archaeologist and Bronze Age metal specialist Dr Jay J. Butler (1921-2014) was a kind, warmhearted man, averse to hype and ostentation, who was happy to share his knowledge in non-academic language both with professionals and interested amateurs. But woe betide anyone who might use the evidence to draw unwarranted conclusions… A cosmopolitan American, he  demonstrated that people in the Bronze Age maintained contacts that reached well beyond today’s national frontiers. In practicals with his students he acquainted them with, for instance, the difficulties of bronze casting: prehistoric artisans were far more sophisticated than previously thought. He started taking samples for metal analyses, initiated international collaborative projects, and widened his students’ horizons by taking them on trips abroad to visit excavations and museums. His eventful life was linked to many themes: immigration that is welcome only inasfar as it is lucrative, racism, exploitation of the poor, religious fundamentalism, a devastating world war, information being doctored or suppressed, lack of humanity and neglect of common courtesy. With Jay Butler’s demise, the world lost an enthusiastic, authoritative and accessible archaeologist.

And Brendan has added: Jay Jordan Butler (1921-2014) was an American who did his PhD thesis with Gordon Childe and spent his career in the Netherlands as a specialist in Bronze Age metalwork. Over his long life he kept many of his papers and these have now been written up into a biography, Jay: European connections of a Bronze Age scholar, by H. Steegstra 
This book should be of particular interest to HARN members for its coverage of archaeology in London in the decade after World War II, whose participants have now mostly passed away, but it ranges from New York City during the 1920s to Dutch archaeology in the 21st century and includes an Appendix on the Prehistoric Society’s conference in the Netherlands in 1960.


May 13, 2018


Alicia Colson, Goldsmiths, University of London and

Alicia J. M. Colson is an archaeologist and an ethnohistorian with a BA Hons (UCL) and PhD (McGill), Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths (London) in the Computing Department, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is engaged in series of research and publishing projects in cognate fields. Her research interests include: hunter-gatherers of the Boreal Forest, digital humanities, archaeological theory, history of archaeology, and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Welcome, Alicia, and many thanks for joining our community!

Drawing the Past

April 25, 2018

What a fascinating post

Archaeology National Trust SW

Do we still need to draw? What use is it?

Archaeologists draw. We question the detail and interpret our surroundings. Beyond scientific recording, it enables transportation to a calmer place.img448

You may feel that you cannot draw. Do it anyway and you will improve; and of course,  there’s no need  to do it for anyone’s enjoyment but your own.

In my job, I draw. I need to record the detail of what is revealed, whether it is found during an archaeological excavation or when the chronology of a historic structure is revealed during a building survey.


I have a yellow bucket.  I carry it around the archaeological sites I work on: perhaps Corfe Castle in Dorset or Chedworth Roman Villa Gloucestershire.  In my bucket is a ball of string, 6”nails, a line level, tape measures, a scale ruler, sharpener, 6H pencils and erasers (I tend to lose them around the…

View original post 410 more words

Question Time

April 16, 2018

Monika Milosavljević has been in touch with a query, she writes that she and Professor Aleksandar Palavestra have been researching

Miloje M. Vasić (1869-1956), the Serbian archaeologist. Among other documents we have researched into, we have been examining his journals from the excavation of the Vinča archaeological site (from the years 1911, 1912, 1913, 1924, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934). Due to the fact that all the documents are highly unusual from what we are aware of in current archaeological practice, I would like to inquire if any of you happen to know about any material that would be comparative to Vasić’s journals and accessible for our own research. To provide an explanation of the oddity we have found, it would seem that Vasić used a bizarre system of measuring stratigraphy of which we do not know if it exists elsewhere. Specifically, he would attribute a distance of a depth to the artifacts found, but changed randomly over time. We are not sure if he had been using some outdated system or was merely trying to find what he wanted to see. 

I am trying to find anything from field journals or diaries which would be open access to me (it would be best if they were in English or German/French/ Italian). Any assistance that could be provided would be extremely useful for me. It need not matter if Vasić is in question, rather I need contemporary material, the first half XX century (connected to prehistoric sites), that would comparable to his field diaries of that time. Or any articles on archaeological journals in the early XX century with which we could cross check his research.

If you have any suggestions then either email us here and I will send the information on to Monika, or answer in the comments.



Free Book! Recollections of a Female Archaeologist: A life of Brenda Swinbank

April 11, 2018

I have another book that’s free to anyone who’d like to review it for HARN


Written by Suzanne Heywood, Brenda Swinbank’s daughter in law and Managing Director of the investment group Exor, it is exactly what it says it is – a life of Dr Swinbank (1929-2010). Brenda Swinbank wrote her thesis on the vallum at Hadrian’s Wall, supervised by Eric Birley. It looks like an interesting read.

If you would like to review it for HARN let me know and I’ll send it on


New Publication – Hommes et patrimoines en guerre. L’heure du choix (1914-1918), sous la direction d’Annick Fenet, Michela Passini et Sara Nardi-Combescure.

April 4, 2018
download (1)
Présentation :
On connaît le rôle joué par les historiens dans la guerre de 14-18. Peut-être plus discrète mais tout aussi importante a été la mobilisation des archéologues et des historiens de l’art dans ce conflit, où la destruction de monuments et d’oeuvres d’art a été systématiquement imputée à l’Allemagne. Ces actes de « barbarie » venaient corroborer l’idéologie du combat du droit mené contre des ennemis inhumains.
Pendant la Grande Guerre, les historiens de l’art et archéologues – universitaires, directeurs de revues, théoriciens, érudits, inspecteurs du patrimoine, conservateurs, à la tête d’institutions culturelles ou responsables de fouilles – s’engagèrent sur le terrain ou à l’arrière. Les études réunies dans ce volume se proposent de contribuer à l’histoire des pratiques intellectuelles mises en oeuvre en temps de guerre, dans une perspective transnationale.
La guerre est ainsi appréhendée comme un « laboratoire », où naissent des méthodes et des savoir-faire nouveaux en matière de recherche, de restauration et de conservation.

More information and details for ordering can be found here