Skip to content

Call for Papers: HARN International Conference 2017

May 24, 2017

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


  HARN (Histories of Archaeology Research Network) Conference 2017

3 November 2017

UCLan Campus

Preston, UK

 HARN 2017

As archaeologists and historians, we depend upon archives as crucial repositories of primary and secondary sources.  We visit them to dive deeper into our subjects and to learn about people and events on a personal level.  Not only are archives rich in unpublished sources that undoubtedly add new angles to our scholarship, but they also produce a number of curious topics that simply do not fit within the scope of our projects.  The goal of this conference is to highlight the utility of archives in our work as historians and archaeologists and we hope to analyse the purpose of archives in our unique investigations while at the same time answering questions about archival research. We focus specifically on the idea of research rabbit holes.  We have all fallen into these, but what subjects keep leading us astray?  Or are we led astray?  Does the seemingly unrelated material bring us back to our original research?  We have all experienced the mischief of archives and their materials but they do not always fit in the scope of our larger research.  We invite presentations that talk about and analyse the important influence archives, archival materials, and the tangents that pull us away temporarily.

Papers may focus on the study of archival research as a methodology, but we will give preference to papers that allow researchers to discuss a topic that they have found interesting but that does not fit within the scope of their usual projects.

We are seeking abstracts of 250 words for papers/presentations that will be no longer than 20 minutes.  By August 1, 17:00 GMT, send your abstracts in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format with your name, institutional affiliation, title, and contact information to  Please note that all presenters must be members of HARN, which is free, or will join automatically upon acceptance.


May 25, 2017


Brigitta Mader

Brigitta Mader, PhDr, is a freelance scientist associated to the Institute of Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. She studied slavistics and prehistoric as well as early mediaeval archaeology at the University of Vienna. After several field researches and studies on the glagolitic heritage in Istria and Italy she specialized in Archive Archaeology. Her work is focused on the history of prehistoric archaeology and heritage conservation (research institutions, museums, private collections, biographies of researchers, reconstruction of excavations, archaeospeleology, history of prehistoric discipline, methods and conservation of monuments etc. ) in Austria with special regard to the “international” Hapsburg Monarchy period (XIX cent.- 1918). Brigitta Mader headed independent research projects, worked for museums in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy, is exhibition curator and author of international publications. Actually she is researching on the Prehistoric Commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences during the years of National Socialism and preparing a project about archaeology in Bosnia Hercegovina in the Austrian period.

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


May 25, 2017


Raffaella Da Vela, Leipzig University

University of Leipzig, Department of Archaeology

I studied Etruscology, Italic Archaeology and Classics at the University of Florence (Italy) between 1996 and 2004.
In the following years (2004-2011) I worked as a field archaeologist in Central Italy.
My PhD-Thesis on the Cultural Transmission from South of Italy to Northern Etruria in Hellenistic Time has been written at the Universities of Florence and Bonn as an international agreement.
I am now substitute assistant at the University of Leipzig at the Department of Archaeology of the Ancient World.
I am interested in the History of Archaeological Research and of Archaeological Studies, in Reception of Classics as well as in Migrations, Cultural Identities and Social networks in Antiquity.

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

IoA History of Archaeology Seminar Series

May 23, 2017

Amara has been in touch to say:

Discovering archaeology sources at UCL

Colin Penman & Robert Winckworth (UCL Special Collections, Archives and Records)

6 June 2016, 6-7 pm

Room 612, UCL Institute of Archaeology

UCL Library Services holds a wealth of rare and archival material surrounding archaeology.  As well as records of the teaching of archaeology and Egyptology at UCL, we look after collections documenting some very significant excavations around the world, and the personal papers of archaeologists such as Gordon Childe and Margaret Murray.  We will discuss the nature of archives, what they have to offer, and how to negotiate your way around them.

We are also in the process of developing a new website, which is a directory of events, projects, and archives relating to the history of archaeology.  The link is here:
The Events page will have short notices of Network events, as well as any other public events we can find relating to the history of archaeology – e. g. exhibitions, films, talks.  We’ll be updating this as we can, so do check in regularly to see what events might be on near you. The events listed are keyword searchable. If you have any notices of events happening in your area to do with the history of archaeology do get in touch, but please note this is for events open to the public only, we won’t be including academic conferences.
Our Projects and Archives pages are meant to provide a keyword searchable list of history of archaeology related projects and archives in the UK (for the moment). We will be adding to these with the help of archivists and curators as we can.

Context Sheets

May 22, 2017

Alice Stevenson asked on Twitter ‘Archaeologists! When was the 1st ‘context sheet’? used them 1908, re-structured by 1910. Reisner used tombcards earlier-any photos?’

Any suggestions?

Best Laid Schemes etc

May 19, 2017

Because I am easily distracted, I’m now wondering what possible schemes mice might have and once again pondering the word ‘agley’ – has anyone ever actually said this in conversation do you suppose? Or did Burns just make it up? Which leads to memories of the The Writers Museum in Edinburgh, I’m sure it’s now a well worth a visit but back in the 80s it was the worst museum I’d ever visited and seemed to consist of items such as ‘a pen very like the one Scott used to write Waverley‘ and ‘a chair similar to the one Burns sat in to write his poetry’ – oh look, they’ve got one of Stevenson’s boots and ‘Stevenson’s wardrobe made by the infamous Deacon Brodie whose double life may have inspired the novel The strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.’ Maybe it hasn’t changed that much!

Anyway, while I’m sure we could have a fine time discussing the worst museum displays we’ve seen – do add a comment – I’ve actually called in to say I don’t have a post for you this week, the sick has revisited us so I’m trying to entertain a not well 5 year old. I had plans for posts, I might even have reviewed Men from the Ministry – no, not really, but I did have plans. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time building train tracks 20170519_084848

I suggested we replicate the light railway used at the Caerleon excavations,

but both of my children are resistant to replicating excavations in Duplo or Lego – can’t think why. Although we did have a fine tomb robbery/excavation



Note the crocodiles, snakes and other snares for the unwary tomb robber. Yes, we had spent too much time watching the Indiana Jones films.

I could have a complain about how no-one warned me that having children meant there was no point in making plans because they always come unstuck, but if you have children you know this and if you don’t you will assume that you will be different and organised and I’m happy for you to keep that delusion. I will say that in all our adoption discussions it was the big issues we focused on rather than the minutiae of parenting, we were warned about many things but no-one ever said ‘abandon any attempts to get anything done, evah’.

Anyway, I’m off to rescue a stuck train and build a station for the poor duplo passengers who are currently cowering in the railway tunnel hiding from the giant non-duplo cat who is trying to catch the train – I would show you the video but I can’t upload it, sadly, it is hilarious and, while I think this indicates I really, really need to get out more, is more than making up for all my plans going to ratshit.

Have a wonderful and productive weekend, see you next week when the sick will hopefully be but a distant memory,


João Zilhão lecture

May 15, 2017

unnamed (1)