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Book Review: A History of Archaeological Tourism: Pursuing Leisure and Knowledge From the Eighteenth Century to World War II

September 3, 2020

Review of: Margarita Díaz-Andreu. A History of Archaeological Tourism: Pursuing Leisure and Knowledge From the Eighteenth Century to World War II. Springer, 2019.

by Kathleen Sheppard (Missouri S&T)

Díaz-Andreu’s newest book is part of the Springer Briefs in Archaeology, Archaeological Heritage Management series. It is a wide-ranging investigation into archaeology, travel, tourism, and leisure. It is well-researched and useful for a number of audiences. Díaz-Andreu’s main goal is clear and two-fold: first, “to explain how tourism for curiosity and tourism for leisure played out around ruins;” and second, to investigate the development of archaeological tourism and understand its separation from archaeology as a profession (1). Through time—the book begins in antiquity—and space—from Europe and the Mediterannean and beyond—Díaz-Andreu does just that.

The first chapter is a well-researched historiography of the history of archaeology, the history of tourism, the history of archaeology and nationalism, and tourism studies. All of these fields come together in the history of archaeological tourism. The second chapter begins in antiquity, and takes the reader from travel to tourism, both philosophically and chronologically. In antiquity, travellers explored the world for both political and educational purposes. As Díaz-Andreu moves the reader into the early modern period, more people are able to travel for curiosity and leisure, which is beneficial for education, too. The Grand Tour becomes a fashionable and more wide-spread activity. Chapter three really dives into archaeological tourism in England, Italy, and France—the closest destinations for the population the author is focused on. Guidebooks proliferated because more and more people were venturing out of their home countries. They also focused on archaeological monuments and remains as draws for visitors. This chapter introduces and goes into depth about nationalism and travel. However, the fourth and fifth chapters move into the 20th century and focus on archaeology and nationalism, and how that impacted travel in the early part of the 20th century, through two world wars. This is one main area of the author’s expertise, and it really shows. Through both the development of tours in other countries and the visiting archaeological remains in their home countries, nationalism became synonmous with travel. An important section within the fifth chapter, “The Promotion of Archaeological Tourism in Right-Wing Dictatorships,” is a salient argument about leisure, the national past, and propaganda. Chapter 6 concludes the whole book, arguing that archaeology plays an important political role in the state, making it essential to support archaeological research and allowing leisure time for its people to enjoy it and learn from it.

A History of Archaeological Tourism is interesting to read, for scholars in tourism studies and the history of archaeology. It is also important for a general interested reader who may be going to see Rome’s material remains for the first, or tenth, time. For scholars, it is easy to see what a broad range of expertise Díaz-Andreu has. Her readers should be familiar with this by now, anyway. As a historian of archaeology and tourism scholar myself, I see so much potential for further study throughout the book. She provides long lists of sources for each chapter, which anyone could use for further reading. Díaz-Andreu recognizes and depends on all the previous work that has been done in these areas. This is not a criticism, per se, but it seems that each chapter could be its own full-length monograph, and even some of the chapter sections could be (and have been!). There is so much detail that could be added, but it is a Springer Brief. Nonetheless, it is useful to have a full synopsis of this work, grounded in original research and a unique theoretical framework, in one full-length book. A note on the publication formatting—if possible, choose the eBook format. It is searchable, sources are linked to the bibliography, and it is very easy to navigate. You can get this on your kindle and notate it as well. 

Robert Leonard Carneiro (4 June 1927–24 June 2020)

August 19, 2020

This post comes to us from Monica Barnes, a HARN administrator and the lead editor of Andean Past.

Robert L. Carneiro in the Field. Photo courtesy of Brett Carneiro.

When Robert Leonard Carneiro died in New Hampshire last month, listening to Beethoven, with his son Brett at his side, one of the longest, and most distinguished careers in anthropology came to an end. While this was not an unexpected shock, the news is melancholy. In this tribute I emphasize Bob’s role in the history and development of archaeology.

Robert Carneiro grew up in the Riverdale neighborhood of New York City’s Bronx borough and lived there for many years as an adult. He attended Riverdale’s prestigious Horace Mann private school. However, instead of going to university in New York, he obtained all of his degrees from the University of Michigan: his B.A. in 1949 with a major in political science, his M.A. in anthropology in 1952, and his doctorate in anthropology in 1957. His mentor was cultural evolutionist Leslie Alvin White (Carneiro et al. 2008; Dillingham and Carneiro 1987; Dole and Carneiro 1960).

Like White, Bob remained a staunch cultural evolutionist throughout his life (Carneiro 1960c, 1964b, 1967, 1968a, 1969a, 1969b, 1970a, 1970c, 1970d, 1972b, 1972c, 1973a, 1973b, 1974a, 1974d, 1979b, 1979d, 1981a, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986b, 1987a, 1987b, 1988a, 1988b, 1988c, 1988d, 1990a, 1990b,1992a, 1992b, 1995, 1996a, 2000b, 2000c, 2002, 2003, 2004a, 2005a, 2005c, 2007a, 2010b, 2012a, 2012b, 2018; Carneiro [editor] 1967; Carneiro and Brown 2007; Carneiro and Tobias 1963), arguing that, over time, most cultures follow a trajectory from simple to more complex, and passing through similar stages. For almost his entire career, he was a curator in the Division of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, being hired in 1957 after the premature death of Harry Tschopik (1915–1956; Freed 2012:903–906). In 2010 Carneiro retired as Curator Emeritus and Professor Emeritus at the museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School. However, he continued to be a regular presence in his office until shortly before his death.

Although primarily a South American ethnologist and theorist, as a cultural evolutionist, Bob was archaeology-friendly (Carneiro 2009b, 2013:3) and made real contributions to our field. His work appeared in American Antiquity (Carneiro 1958, 1970e, 1972a, 1974b) and Latin American Antiquity (Carneiro 2000a), arguably the US’s primer archaeology journals. In 1952, on his honeymoon in Cuba with his first wife, Gertrude Evelyn Dole, the couple excavated a cave in Matanzas Province, that contained evidence of the nonagricultural, pre-Taino culture of western Cuba, often called Siboney or Guanahatabey (Barnes 2003; Carneiro 2008).

Carneiro remained alert to archaeology throughout his career. In an early article “An Instance of the Transport of Artifacts by Migratory Animals in South America” (Carneiro 1958), that followed upon an article by Frank Heizer (1944), Carneiro points out that naturalist John Graham Kerr (1950) documented the transport of stone artifacts in the Gran Chaco by rheas, who sometimes swallowed exotic axe heads and hammer stones, probably as large as five centimeters, to serve as gizzard stones. In a thought experiment with Daisy F. Hilse, he applied statistics to an estimate of population growth during the Neolithic in what is known as the “Near East” (Carneiro and Hilse 1966). He attempted to quantify the “cultural development” of the ancient Near East and of Anglo-Saxon Britain (Carneiro 1969b), and he applied his theoretical perspective to predynastic Egypt (Carneiro and Bard 1989). He suggested a method for archaeological seriation (Carneiro 1997c). Bob didn’t hesitate to comment upon archaeology and review the work of archaeologists (Carneiro 1971a, 1971b, 1974b, 1975b, 1984, 1993, 2000a, 2004a, 2009d, 2010a). For example, he reviewed a book on Mississippian political economy (Carneiro 1998a) before he had been to Cahokia and other important Mississippian sites. In 2001 he became an academic advisor to the Research Center for Ancient Civilizations and the Institute of World Prehistory of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In 2006 he was the co-organizer of a symposium on Olmec archaeology at the 52nd meeting of the International Congress of Americanists held in Seville.

Carneiro made substantial contributions to both archaeological and political theory. In an early article entitled “The Culture Process” (Carneiro 1960a) he sets out the general principles and methodology of a processual anthropology as it developed in the 1940s and 1950s. Although, at the time of writing, Carneiro could not have foreseen the development of processural (or “New”) archeology in the 1960s, upon reading his essay, it is easy to draw the conclusion that this theoretical orientation is a direct development from anthropologists’ attempts to discern regularities in culture change through time by defining systems and their components, by searching for laws, and by applying statistical techniques and other explicitly scientific methods. One of Carneiro’s fellow students at Michigan was Louis Binford (1931–2011), a leading developer of New Archaeology (Kuhn and Stiner 2011). The influence of White on both is apparent. As a mature scholar, Carneiro continued to apply processual methodology in his own work (Carneiro 1962, 1968a, 1969b, 1969c, 1970c, 1972a, 1972c, 1988c).

In 1970 Carneiro published his seminal contribution to theories of early state formation. This is the first version of his “Circumscription Theory”, an explanation of how warfare contributed to the development of the state. According to this, civilizations first occurred in six areas–in the Nile Valley, in what is now Peru, in Mesoamerica, in China’s Yellow River Valley, in the Indus River Valley, and in Mesopotamia. Later civilizations ultimately developed from these. In these places, highly concentrated agricultural populations were under ecological constraints. They could not expand their territories because they were “circumscribed” by deserts or other areas of low potential for human settlement. Warfare developed with the aim of gaining control of the resources of neighbors through force. Defeated groups could not flee, because there was nowhere for them to go. They had no choice but to accept the governance of outsiders, and the early state was born.

Carneiro, therefore, postulated that societies evolved from simple, autonomous Neolithic villages into ever-larger and more complex polities, as they passed through various stages of development, including the chiefdom. The culmination of this process was the formation of pre-industrial states and empires. Thus Carneiro saw the development of the chiefdom as a prelude to the formation of the state (Carneiro 1981a, 1991a, 1993, 1998b, 2002, 2004a, 2004c).

According to Carneiro, in areas which were not densely populated, and where resources were evenly distributed, such as the Amazon rainforest, people could flee marauders and the state never developed. 

Published prominently in Science (Carneiro 1970a), the Circumscription Theory has been much debated (Navarra 1997; Rozov 2012; Tenorio 2002) and Carneiro’s 1970 article appeared in many anthologies. An issue of the American Behavioral Scientist (1988) and one of Social Evolution and History (2012) were devoted to a consideration of circumscription and the evolution of society. Carneiro continued to develop his ideas on the subject throughout the rest of his long life (Carneiro 1979b, 1987a, 1988a, 1988b, 1988c, 1988d, 2000c, 2012a, 2012b, 2018).

Ironically, another of Carneiro’s contributions to archaeology helped to debunk the idea of an empty Amazon, a “counterfeit paradise” as Betty Meggars put it (Meggers 1971). Even before he filed his 1957 dissertation, Bob questioned the apparent lack of Amazonian socio-political complexity (Carneiro 2013). He was probably only the second person to recognize the significance of Amazonian “black earth” or “terra preta” as these soils are called in Portuguese. The first was geologist Charles Frederick Hartt. In 1870 Hartt lead eleven Cornell University students to Brazil. In addition to geological sampling, Hartt conducted what were probably the first archaeological excavations in the Amazon. In the course of these he observed that certain soils were darker, and contained more organic material than others in the region. Noting that indigenous inhabitants sought out these earths for their gardens, Hartt postulated that they were anthropogenic and deliberately created. In 1874 Hartt returned to Brazil where he contracted yellow fever and died at age 38. Consequently, his insights were largely forgotten until Carneiro and his first wife, ethnologist Gertrude (Trudie) Evelyn Dole went to the Upper Xingú region of Brazil’s Mato Grosso state in 1953–1954 to work with the Kuikuru (Carneiro 1956–58, 1957a, 1957b, 1961, 1977a, 1978a, 1977b, 1983, 1989b; Dole 1956–57, 1957, 1964, 1978). There Carneiro learned that the Kuikuru maintained these soils precisely because they were more fertile. For many years Bob tried to interest archaeologists, including me, in this phenomenon, having identified these earths as both anthropogenic and ancient because of the pottery they contained. Eventually, beginning in the 1970s geographers, including William Denevan, Wim Sombroek, and William I. Woods (Glaser and 2004; Lehmann et al. 2003; Teixeira et al. 2010; Woods 2013:16; Woods and McCann 1999; Woods et al. 2009) independently discovered the importance of black earths, and more archaeologists began to work in the Amazon.

Our understanding of prehistoric Amazonian settlement patterns has been revolutionized in recent years. We now know that before the epidemics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries C.E. this region was densely populated, and its inhabitants had built extensive stable, and productive man-managed environments.

Although he usually published in top tier anthropology journals, Bob was willing to seek other audiences. His work appeared in periodicals as diverse as Gambling Times (Carneiro 1978b), The Journal of Libertarian Studies (Carneiro 1981b), and Vistas in Astronomy (Carneiro 1995). His interests were wide-ranging. His first published article, which appeared before his dissertation was filed, was on marital freedom among the Kuikuru Indians (Carneiro 1956–58), anticipating current interest in polyamory by many years.

After completing their dissertations Bob and Trudie returned to fieldwork in 1960–1961, this time among the Amahuaca living in Peru’s Upper Ucayli drainage (Carneiro 1964a, 1970b; Dole 1960–1961, 1998). In the 1970s I helped Trudie with the transcription of her (still unpublished) Amahuaca dictionary. It was then that I encountered an article in Time magazine that sensationalized the lethal violence among that group. I asked Trudie how it felt to be living where disputes sometimes turned fatal. She sighed, and said in her slow, mild voice, “You try not to offend them.” 

Carneiro returned to the Kuikuru in 1975. At that time Gertrude Dole’s health, which had suffered as a result of previous field work, prevented her from accompanying him. That year he also worked with the Yanomamö Indians of southern Venezuela (Carneiro 1979a, 1979c). In 1979 Dole and Carneiro divorced. Unlike with most breakups, their friends didn’t have to chose sides. In fact, Trudie remained at the AMNH for many years as Bob’s research associate. 

Meanwhile, Bob married Barbara Bode (13 February 1933–6 January 2020), an anthropologist in her own right. Barbara’s fieldwork had taken her to Guatemala (Bode 1961), Costa Rica (Bode 1968), and Peru. She is the author of No Bells to Toll: Destruction and Creation in the Andes (1989) a study of how the few survivors of a 1970 earthquake and landslide of the Huascaran Valley, Peru, coped with loss, faith, and survival.

Bob’s ethnographic interests went beyond warfare and state formation. Ecology and indigenous technology also interested him deeply throughout his career (Carneiro 1961, 1964a, 1970b, 1975a, 1978a, 1979c, 1983, 1986a, 1994, 2000b, 2007b, 2009c). This aspect of his work can provide archaeologists with useful interpretative frameworks. He wrote about the shifting cultivation (slash and burn) that is now common among Amazonian groups (Carneiro 1960b, 1961, 1964a) and on manioc growing and processing (Carneiro 1983). Hunting and weaponry fascinated him (Carneiro 1970b), as did myth and magic (Carneiro 1970b,1977b, 1989a, 1989b, 2009a).

In terms of museum curation, Carneiro’s most important contribution was, no doubt, his co-curation, with the late E. Craig Morris, of the AMNH’s Hall of South American Peoples, inaugurated in 1989 (Carneiro 2019). He also curated a successful temporary exhibition in 2002 on “Baseball as America”. Bob was proud of having grown up practically in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. When the museum administration wanted an exhibition on the subject, Bob was more than willing to step up to the plate.

Bob was a philosopher in the deepest part of his being. It is not surprising that as a cultural evolutionist he became fascinated by Herbert Spencer (1820–1903), whose theoretical stance was, in some ways, fundamental to his own (Carneiro 1968b, 1973a, 1974c, 1974d, 1981b, 1991b, 1996b, 2005b, Carneiro [editor] 1967, Carneiro and Perrin 2002). Over a fifty year period, Bob collected and indexed quotations by and about Spencer, accumulated articles relevant to Spencer, and helped the AMNH library accumulate monographs by and about Spencer. The quotes are obtainable online: cyclopedia and the printed materials are available in the library.

Bob thought that not just cultures, but the human mind itself was evolving, from a belief in the non-material (or supernatural) towards secularism and rationality. He set out these thought in detail in his self-published book, The Evolution of the Human Mind (Carneiro 2010b).

In addition to his curatorship, Robert Carneiro disseminated his ideas though his teaching at a number of US and Canadian universities. He also served on many editorial boards, thus extending his influence. He received many honors. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1959), a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences (1983) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1999). In 2005 the Department of Anthropology of his alma mater, the University of Michigan, established the Robert L. Carneiro Distinguished University Professorship in Cultural Evolution.

In this tribute I have said little so far about Bob’s persona. Although a New Yorker through and through, he was proud of his Cuban heritage. Slim and handsome, he somehow projected not only a sophisticated Latin vibe, but a bookish one as well. Indeed, his office at the AMNH, the home he shared with Gertrude Dole in Riverdale, the Soho loft he later occupied with Barbara Bode, and, I suppose, the Bode-Carneiro house in Rhode Island had floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in every room. In his homes and at the AMNH, he was a paragon of academic hospitality who, with his partners, created spaces that often served as salons open to both senior and junior anthropologists, especially those who were South Americanists. 

At times he could be a dreamy intellectual. In 2009 the late William Woods and I discovered that Bob, an expert on ancient chiefdoms, had never been to Cahokia where Bill Woods had worked earlier in his career. With my husband and colleague, David Fleming, Brazilian archaeologist Lilian Rebellato, Chicago anthropologists Ellen Fitzsimmons Steinberg and Jack Prost, Junie Valhund (the latter a very lively dog), and Bob, we organized an expedition to American Bottom with its abundance of Mississipian sites. Flying back to Newark Airport, our commuter plane was hit by lightning. There was a loud bang, a sudden lurch of the aircraft, and the flight attendant was propelled into the lap of a passenger. Bob and I were sitting in separate rows, so I couldn’t see his reaction. A few days later I asked him if he was scared when our plane was struck. “Our plane was struck by lightning?” he asked. “I didn’t notice.” I had a glimpse of the sang froid (or was it sheer absent-mindedness?) that allowed him to do fieldwork in the remote Amazon.

Polite, charming, interesting, generous, and an excellent correspondent, over the years he formed a large circle of friends and colleagues. We miss him very much. 

Robert Carneiro at Carneiro, Kansas, October 10, 2008. Photo by William I. Woods.


I thank Kirsten Mabel, registrar for archives and loans, American Museum of Natural History for her essential help in constructing the bibliography and the trajectory of Robert L. Carneiro’s life. Brett Carneiro supplied encouragement and the photo at the head of this obituary. David Fleming, as always, urges me to synthesize. 

Works Cited

Barnes, Monica

2003 Gertrude Evelyn Dole (1915–2001). American Anthropologist 105(2):484–486.

Bode, Barbara

1961 Dance of the Conquest of Guatemala. In: Native Theatre in Middle America. Middle American Research 27:204–296. New Orleans, Louisiana: Middle America Research Institute.

1968 Case Study in the Nature of Faith. Human Mosaic 3(1):13–39 (New Orleans, Louisiana).

1989 No Bells to Toll: Destruction and Creation in the Andes. New York: Scribner.

Carneio, Robert L.

1956-58 Extra-Marital Sex Freedom among the Kuikuru Indians of Mato Grosso. Revista do Museu Paulista (São Paulo), n. s. 10:135–142.

1957a Subsistence and Social Structure: An Ecological Study of the Kuikuru Indians. Ph.D. dissertation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.

1957b La cultura de los indios kuikuros del brasil central I. La economía de subsistencia Runa: Archivo para las Ciencias del Hombre (Buenos Aires) 8:169–186.

1958 An Instance of the Transport of Artifacts by Migratory Animals in South America. American Antiquity 24(2):192–193.

1960a The Culture Process. In: Essays in the Science of Culture in Honor of Leslie A. White, edited by Gertrude E. Dole and Robert L. Carneiro, pp. 145–161. New York: Thomas E. Crowell Company.

1960b Slash-and-Burn Agriculture: A Closer Look and Its Implications for Settlement Patterns. In: Men and Cultures: Selected Papers of the Fifth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, edited by Anthony F. C. Wallace, pp. 229–234. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 

1960c Review of The Evolution of Culture, by Leslie A. While. Natural History 69(7):5–6.

1961 Slash-and-Burn Cultivation among the Kuikuru and its Implication for Cultural Development in the Amazon Basin. In: The Evolution of Horticultural Systems in Native South America: Causes and Consequences, edited by Johannes Wilbert, pp. 47–67. Antropológica, Supplement Publication 2. Caracas, Venezuela: Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales La Salle.

1962 Scale Analysis as an Instrument for the Study of Cultural Evolution Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 18(2):149–169.

1964a Shifting Cultivation among the Amahuaca of Eastern Peru. In: Beträge zur Völkerkunde Südamerikas: Festgabe für Herbert Baldus zum 65. Geburstag, edited by Hans Becher. Vökerkundliche Abhandlungen 1:9–18. Des Niedersächsischen Landesmuseums, Abteilung für Völkerkunde, Kommissions-verlag. Hannover, Germany: Munstermann-Druck GMBH.

1964b Review of Evolution in the Arts and Other Theories of Culture History by Thomas Munro. American Anthropologist 66(6):1399–1402.

1966d Review of The Savage and the Innocent by David Maybury-Lewis. Ethnohistory 13:194–195.

1967 On the Relationship between Size of Population and Complexity of Social Organization. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 23(3):234–243. 

1968a Ascertaining, Testing, and Interpreting Sequences of Cultural Development. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 24(4):354–374.

1968b Herbert Spencer. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences Volume 15:121–128. New York: The Macmillan Company and The Free Press.

1969a The Transition from Hunting to Horticulture in the Amazon Basin. Sovetskaya Etnografiya, (no volume number), pp. 68–78 (in Russian). Republished in English in: Proceedings of the VIIIth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Tokyo and Kyoto, 1968. Volume 3, Ethnology and Archaeology, pp. 244–248. Tokyo (1970).

1969b The Measurement of Cultural Development in the Ancient Near East and in Anglo-Saxon England. Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences, Series II, 31:1013–1023.

1969c Comments on Historical Inferences from Guttman Scales: The Return of Age-Area Magic by Theodore D. Graves, Nancy B. Graves, and Michael J. Kobrin. Current Anthropology 10(4):327–328.

1970a A Theory of the Origin of the State. Science 169(3947):733–738.

1970b Hunting and Hunting Magic among the Amahuaca of the Peruvian Montaña. Ethnology 9(4): 331–341. 

1970c Scale Analysis, Evolutionary Sequences, and the Rating of Cultures. In: A Handbook of Method in Cultural Anthropology, edited by Raoul Naroll and Ronald Cohen, pp. 833–871. Garden City, New York: The Natural History Press.

1970d Foreword to The Evolution of War by Keith F. Otterbein. New Haven: HRAF Press (unpaginated).

1970e A Quantitative Law in Anthropology. American Antiquity 35(4):492–494.

1971a Review of The Upper Amazon by Donald W. Lathrap. American Journal of Archaeology 75(2): 238–239.

1971b Review of The Upper Amazon by Donald W. Lathrap. Science Books: A Quarterly Review 6:345 (unsigned).

1972a A Quantitative Law Defended. American Antiquity 37(3):449–450.

1972b The Devolution of Evolution. Social Biology 19:248–258.

1972c From Autonomous Villages to the State, a Numerical Estimation. In: Population Growth: Anthropological Implications, edited by Brian Spooner, pp. 64–77. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

1973a Structure, Function, and Equilibrium in the Evolutionism of Herbert Spencer. Journal of Anthropological Research 29(2):77–95.

1973b Classical Evolution. In: Main Currents in Cultural Anthropology, edited by Raoul Naroll and Franda Naroll, pp. 57–123. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

1974a The Four Faces of Evolution. In: Handbook of Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by John J. Honigmann, pp. 89–110. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company.

1974b A Reappraisal of the Relative Roles of Technology and Organization in the Origin of Civilization. American Antiquity 39(2):179–187.

1974c Herbert Spencer’s The Study of Sociology and the Rise of Social Science in America. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 118(6):540–554.

1974d Commentary on The Evolutionary Theories of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer by Derek Freeman. Current Anthropology 15(3):222–223.

1975a On the Use of the Stone Axe by the Amahuaca Indians of Eastern Peru. Ethnologische Zeitschrift 1:107–122 (Zurich).

1975b Cariapé’: An Instance of the Standardization of Error in Archaeology. Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society 6:71–75.

1977a The Afterworld of the Kuikuru Indians. In: Colloquia in Anthropology, edited by Ronald K. Wetherington, Volume 1:3–15. Taos, New Mexico: The Fort Burgwin Research Center.

1977b Recent Observations on Shamanism and Witchcraft among the Kuikuru Indians of Central Brazil. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 293:215–228.

1978a [1979] The Knowledge and the Use of Rain Forest Trees by the Kuikuru Indians of Central Brazil In: The Nature and Status of Ethnobotany, edited by Richard I. Ford, pp. 201–216. Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan 67.

1978b Legalized Football Wagering, An Alternative Approach. Gambling Times 2(8):66-67, 90, 93 (Los Angeles).

1979a Letter from the Field: Life with the Yanomamõ. Rotunda 3(1):4 (American Museum of Natural History).

1979b The Causal Analysis of the Rise of the State: Reply to On Price and Carneiro on Causality by Thomas Bagatzky. Current Anthropology 20(1): 156–157.

1979c Tree Felling with the Stone Ax: An Experiment Carried Out Among the Yanomamõ Indians of Southern Venezuela. In: Ethnoarchaeology: Implications of Ethnography for Archaeology, edited by Carol Kramer, pp. 21–58. New York: Columbia University Press.

1979d Julian Steward and the Evolution of Culture. Review article on Evolution and Ecology, by Julian H. Steward. Reviews in Anthropology 6:287–300.

1981a The Chiefdom: Precursor of the State. In: The Transition to Statehood in the New World, edited by Grant D. Jones and Robert R. Kautz, pp. 37–79, New York: Cambridge University Press.

1981b Herbert Spencer as an Anthropologist. Journal of Libertarian Studies 5:153–210.

1982 Successive Reequilibrations as the Mechanism of Cultural Evolution. In: Self-Organization and Dissipative Structures, Applications in the Physical and Social Sciences, edited by William C. Schieve and Peter Allen, pp. 110–115. Austin: University of Texas Press.

1983 The Cultivation of Manioc among the Kuikuru of the Upper Xingú. In: Adaptive Responses of Native Amazonians, edited by Raymond B. Hames and William T. Vickers, pp. 65–111. New York: Academic Press.

1984 Review of The Evolution of the Prehistoric State by Jonathan Haas. Ethnohistory 31(3):213–214.

1985 Comment on Darwinian Selection, Symbolic Variation, and the Evolution of Culture by David Rindos. Current Anthropology 26(1): 77–78.

1986a Uso do solo e Classificacão da Floresta (Kuikuro). In: Suma Ethnológica Brasileira, edited by Darcy Ribeiro. Volume 1: Etnobiologia, pp. 47–56. Petrópolis, Brazil: Vozes; Finep (Financiadora de Estudos e Projectos).

1986b Back to Evolution: An Interview with Anthropologist Robert Carneiro. Rotunda (11)2:(4–5) (American Museum of Natural History).

1987a Further Reflections on Resource Concentration and Its Role in the Rise of the State. In: Studies of the Neolithic and Urban Revolutions: The V. Gordon Childe Colloquium, edited by Linda Manzanilla, pp. 245–260. BAR (British Archaeological Reports) International Series 349. Oxford.

1987b Cross-Currents in the Theory of State Formation. A review of Development and Decline: The Evolution of Sociopolitical Organization by Henri J. M. Classen, Pieter Van De Velde, and M. Estellie Smith. American Ethnologist 14(4):756–770.

1988a The Circumscription Theory: Challenge and Response. American Behavioral Scientist 31:497– 511(Entire issue devoted to Circumscription and the Evolution of Society).

1988b Reflexiones sobre el origen del estado. Agora: Papeles de Filosofía 5:5–20 (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain).

1988c The Evolution of Complexity in Human Societies and Its Mathematical Expression. International Journal of Comparative Sociology 28:111–128.

1988d Reflexiones adicionales sobre la concentración de recursos y su papel en el surgimiento del estado. In: Coloquio V. Gordon Childe, edited by Linda Manzanilla, pp. 265–281. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

1989a Amazonia: Troubles and Witches Faces 6(1) pp. 34–36.

1989b [1991] To the Village of the Jaguars: The Master Myth of the Upper Xingú. Antropológica (Caracas) 72:3–39.

1990a The Evolution of Law. Faces 7(2):4–8.

1990b Review of The Evolution of Human Societies by Allen W. Johnson and Timothy Earle. Ethnohistory 37(1):105–107.

1991a The Nature of the Chiefdom as Revealed by Evidence from the Cauca Valley of Colombia. In: Profiles in Cultural Evolution, edited by A. Terry Rambo and Kathleen Gillogly, pp. 167–190. Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan 85.

1991b Herbert Spencer. In: International Dictionary of Anthropologists edited by Christopher Winters, pp. 655–656. Compiled by Library-Anthropology Reserve Group (LARG). New York and London: Garland Publishing.

1992a The Role of Warfare in Political Evolution: Past Results and Future Projections. In: Effects of War on Society, edited by Giorgio Ausenda, pp. 87–102. San Marino: Published for the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Stress, San Marino: A.I.E.P. Editore (Agenzia Internazionale Edizioni Publicita).

1992b [1993] The Role of Natural Selection in the Evolution of Culture. Cultural Dynamics 5:113– 140 (Leiden).

1993a Review of Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and Ideology, edited by Timothy Earle. Ethnohistory 40(2): 315–317.

1994b Traditional Peoples of South America; Manioc: The Reigning Crop; The Blowgun: The Silent, Deadly Tube. In: The Illustrated History of Humankind, Goran Burenhult, general editor, Volume 5, Traditional Peoples Today, pp. 192–209. Australia: Weldon Owen Pty Ltd/Bra Boker AB and San Francisco: Harper.

1995 Stellar Evolution and Social Evolution: A Study in Parallel Processes. (Abstract) Vistas in Astronomy 39:711. Full paper published in the Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society 28:1–23 (2000 [2004]).

1996a Cultural Evolution. In: Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, edited by David Levinson and Melvin Ember, pp. 271–277. Sponsored by Human Relations Area Files, Yale University. New York: Henry Holt and Co.

1996b Review of Herbert Spencer: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography, by Robert G. Perrin. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 2(3):563.

1997c A Rapid Method of Archeological Seriation. Anthropological Science 105(3):149–158 (Tokyo).

1998a Review of Mississippian Political Economy by John Muller. Southeastern Archaeology 17(2):8.

1998b What Happened at Flashpoint? Conjectures on Chiefdom Formation at the Very Moment of Conception. In: Chiefdoms and Chieftaincy in the Americas, edited by Elsa M. Redman, pp. 18–42. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

2000a The Native Cultures of the Southern Continent: An Attempted Triangulation. Review article on Indigenous South Americans of the Past and Present by David J. Wilson. Latin American Antiquity 11(1):89–92.

2000b Evolution of the Tipití: A Study in the Process of Invention. In: Cultural Evolution: Contemporary Viewpoints, edited by Gary M. Feinman and Linda Manzanilla, pp. 61–93. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.

2000c The Transition From Quantity to Quality: A Neglected Causal Mechanism in Accounting for Social Evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97(23):12926–12931.

2002 Was the Chiefdom a Congelation of Ideas? Social Evolution & History 1:80–100 (Moscow). 

2003 Evolutionism in Cultural Anthropology: A Critical History. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

2004a Review of From Leaders to Rulers, edited by Jonathan Haas. American Anthropologist 106(1):191–192.

2004b The Classical Foundations of Cultural Evolutionism. Shi Lin (Historical Review) 1 (Serial 76):1–12 (in Chinese) (Beijing).

2004c Beyond States and Empires: Chiefdoms and Informal Politics. In: The Early State: Its Alternatives and Analogues, edited by Leonid E. Grinin et al. Volgograd, Russia: Uchitel Pub. House.

2005a Review of Leslie A. White: Evolution and Revolution in Anthropology, by William J. Peace. Journal of the Anthropological Institute, n.s. 11(3): 628– 629.

2005b The Influence of Herbert Spencer on the World of Letters. History of Anthropology Annual, edited by Regna Darnell and Frederick W. Gleach, Volume 1, pp. 246–270. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

2005c From Autonomous Villages to the State: An Irresistible Trend in the Grand Sweep of Human History. General Semantics Bulletin 72:15–19.

2007a What Role Does Population Pressure Play in the Evolutionary Dynamics of Marvin Harris? In: Studying Societies and Cultures: Marvin Harris’s Cultural Materialism and Its Legacy, edited by Lawrence A. Kuznar. Boulder, Colorado: Paradigm Publishers.

2007b A base ecólogica dos cacicados amazônicos Revista de Arqueologia 20:117–154 (Brazil).

2008 Excavación de una cueva en la provincia de Matanzas. Cuba Arqueológica: Revista Digital de la Arqueologia de Cuba y del Caribe 1(1):32–34 (Havana).

2009a The Sons of the Moon: The Amahuaca Version of a Widespread Amazonian Myth. Amazônica 1(1):54–67 (Belém, Brazil).

2009b There is No Archaeology without Ethnology and Vice Versa. In: Desafios da arqueologia; Depoimentos, edited by Lourdes Dominguez, Pedro Paulo A. Funari, et al., pp. 72–75. Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: Habilis Editoria.

2009c Una Visión desde el Xingu. In: Los guardianes de la biodiversidad, by Diego de Azqueta Bernar, pp. 25–26. Barcelona: Lunwerg S. L. con la colaboración de Fundación Biodiversidad.

2009d ‘Cariapé’: Um caso de padronizacao de erro em arqueologia. In: Revista da Arqueologia 22:9–13 (Belém, Brazil).

2010a Pauketat’s Chiefdoms and Other Archaeological Delusions: A Challenge to Social Evolution. Social Evolution & History 9(1):139–165, plus an answer to Pauketat’s rejoinder, pp. 172–176 (Moscow).

2010b The Evolution of the Human Mind From Supernaturalism to Naturalism: An Anthropological Perspective. New York: Eliot Werner Publications, Inc.

2012a Circumscription Theory: A Clarification, Amplification, and Reformulation. Social Evolution & History 11(2): 34–35 (Moscow: ‘Uchitel’ Publishing House).

2012b Answers to critiques. Social Evolution & History 11(2):131–190.

2013 Reminiscences of a Stalwart Adversary. Andean Past 11:7–14.

2018 The Checkered History of the Circumscription Theory. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse.

2019 The Making of an Exhibit Hall: Bringing to Life Amazonian Indian Culture. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse.

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1957 The Kuikuru Indians of Central Brazil. A film. Approximately 30 minutes.

1964 Shamanism and Political Control among the Kuikuru. Volkerkundliche Abhandlugen 1:53–62.

1960-61 Amahuaca: A Tropical Forest Society in Southeastern Brazil. A film. New York: American Museum of Natural History. Available through the AMNH library.

1978 The Use of Manioc among the Kuikuru: Some Interpretations. In: The Nature and Status of Ethnobotany, edited by Richard I. Ford, pp. 217– 247. Ann Arbor: Anthropological Papers, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan 67.

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2004 Amazonian Dark Earths: Explorations in Space and Time. Berlin; Springer-Verlag.

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2013 Betty Meggers: Her Later Years. Andean Past 11:15–20. 

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2009 Amazonian Dark Earths: Wim Sombroek’s Vision. Berlin: Springer.

Monica Barnes

American Museum of Natural History

Book Review: Communities and Knowledge Production in Archaeology

August 11, 2020

This review comes to us from Monica Barnes, a HARN administrator and the lead editor of Andean Past.

Communities and knowledge production in archaeology, edited by Julia Roberts, Kathleen Sheppard, Ulf R. Hansson, and Jonathan R. Trigg. Social Archaeology and Material Worlds series edited by Joshua Pollard and Duncan Sayer. Manchester: Manchester University Press (2020). Hardcover, £80, xvii, 250 pages.

Is knowledge discovered, created, produced, or developed? Whatever the process, who is allowed to participate? Under what intellectual, social, political, historical, economic, and geographic circumstances is it built? The thirteen contributors to Communities and Knowledge Production in Archaeology grapple with these questions and offer profound insights in eleven chapters and an introduction.

The book under review is an important theoretical contribution to histories of archaeology. Most of the contributors draw upon Ludwik Fleck’s concept of the thought collective, upon Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory, and on David Livingstone’s perceptions of the geographies of knowledge. The volume is thematically coherent, with all of the authors exploring some aspect of networks. At the same time it is factually informative as it presents individual case studies.

The starting point of the book was the 2015 European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) session in Glasgow, organized by HARN in the persons of Ulf Hansson, Julia Roberts, Kate Sheppard, Pamela-Jane Smith, and Jonathan Trigg and the HARN conference held in that city immediately before. The papers by Snead, Hansson, de Tomasi, Mihajlovich, and Arwill-Nordbladh were developed from Glasgow presentations and the remainder were invited.

In their Introduction: clusters of knowledge, Roberts and Sheppard state that “this edited volume is the first to apply scientific network theories to the history of archaeology” (p. 1) rather than looking at its development in terms of individual or group biographies, or in terms of institutions alone. How are networks formed and how do they impact the generation and dissemination of knowledge? Very welcome are the book’s explorations of how those with marginal status access archaeology and manage to contribute to it. Among these are, arguably, Czech classicist Antonín Salač, nineteenth century American amateur archaeologists reporting to the Smithsonian Institution, Swedish woman archaeologist Hanna Rydh, and seventeenth century British physician Robert Toope, all discussed in this volume. The introduction is a good review of historiographic trends in the histories of archaeology, albeit a somewhat Eurocentric one. Much of the evidence supporting the analyses presented comes from archives, making the book more original than if it had relied only upon published sources. As a contributor to a volume on the history of our discipline, and the author of several articles on the subject, I could not agree more with Roberts and Sheppard that there is always more to say, and I congratulate the authors on pushing forward with “different people, different methods and different ideas” (p. 2).

The first chapter, “How archaeological communities think: re-thinking Ludwik Fleck’s concept of the thought-collective according to the case of Serbian archaeology” by Monika Milosavljević sets the tone of the book. Apart from being a physician and biologist, Fleck was an important philosopher of science. He developed the concepts of “thought collectives” and “thought style”. That is, knowledge is acquired by ever-changing circles of investigators embedded in their particular epochs and environments, and knowledge is a product of these circles. Thus, Fleck makes us aware of the sociology of knowledge production. Fleck saw changing knowledge as occurring not through eureka events, but as a continual process. Milosavljević “retools” Fleck’s theories with other supporting theoretical sources in developing “an applicable methodological strategy” for understanding knowledge production and the history of archaeology. She then uses her methodology to comprehend the culture history school of Serbian archaeology in the twentieth century. Her dense arguments require close reading and careful consideration.

In “Circular 316: archaeology, networks, and the Smithsonian Institution, 1876–79” James E. Snead  reveals a network in which professionals at the US national museum solicited contacts with people we would now consider to be vocational archaeologists. In so doing they integrated observations made throughout the country, often published in newspapers, while navigating tensions between administrators based in Washington and local savants. As Sneed puts it, “. . . such reports demonstrate that antiquities were a common element of American rural life, engaged with interest and curiosity” (p. 36). National institutions tried to gain control over chaotic practice and to coordinate finds and publication, in spite of scarce resources. In this attempt they issued Circular 316 in 1878 “In Reference to American Archaeology”, a fifteen-page document soliciting information on sites, locations, and collections. The result was 216 responses, plus other correspondence. Although neither a catalogue nor a synthesis was ever completed, Circular 316 records present a composite picture of American archaeology in the 1870s.

Francesca de Tomasi also focuses on the second half of the nineteenth century. In “‘More for beauty than for rarity’: the key role of the Italian antiquarian market in the inception of American Classical art collections during the late-nineteenth century” she focuses on the networks of two scholars who served as intermediaries between financially distressed Italian collectors, dealers, and American collectors and museums. Wolfgang Helbig (1839–1915) was the socially prominent Second Secretary of the German Archaeological Institute in Rome. He became the purchaser for wealthy Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen and American purchasers entering the antiquities market for the first time. Through him the Metropolitan Museum of Art indirectly acquired some fine Roman bronze figurines. Helbig published his own original scholarship, but remained in the background so far as purchases were concerned. By contrast, his contemporary, Rodolfo Lanciani (1845–1929) lost his Italian government positions and much of his personal prestige because he facilitated similar purchases.

The contribution by Arthur Weststeijn and Laurien de Gelder also discusses the Italian archaeological scene, but in the mid-twentieth century. “Digging dilettanti: the first Dutch excavation in Italy, 1952–58” opens with the question, “what determines the possibility of an archaeological excavation abroad and its success” (p. 66) and looks at the excavations of two Dutch classicists beneath the Santa Prisca Church on Rome’s Aventine hill. For almost a century, until the 1950s, only Italian scholars were allowed to undertake such research. However, in post-Fascist Europe, Italy opened up to foreigners, among them Carel Claudius van Essen (1899–1963) and Maarten Vermaseren (1918–1985). Although small scale, the Santa Prisca excavation was the first foreign archaeological campaign in Rome since the 1860s. This chapter contextualizes networks that impact practice in an international setting, specifically the formal ones of the foreign institutes in Rome and an informal one of Dutch Catholic “old boys”. 

Excavations were designed to reveal more of a known mithraeum (underground temple dedicated to the god Mithra) and to preserve its wall paintings. There were both successes and failures. Complex adjacent structures were revealed and enough artifacts recovered to create a small on-site museum. Results were reported in both scholarly and popular publications and a good photographic record was made. However, conservation remained problematic and the museum eventually had to close because of theft. Since 2015 the authors have been involved in the Santa Prisca Project, part of a larger effort to make public all archaeological remains on the Aventine Hill. This paper is one result.

Marginality and another foreign institute are examined in “A romance and a tragedy: Antonín Salač and the French School at Athens” by Thea De Armond. Salač (1885–1960) came from a country, Czechoslovakia, which was too small to maintain much of a classicist community. Although he may have been a genuine Francophile, he was annoyed by the use of unpublished epigraphic material by French scholars. His admission to the French School gave him access to that material. Salač’s admission was seen by both sides as advancing French-Czechoslovak relations after the First World War. His first excavations in Greece, in 1923, at the Temple of the Great Gods on Samothrace, had to be in the name of the French School, not in that of the newly-founded Czechoslovakian State Archaeological Institute. Perhaps for that reason, the next year he began work in Turkey. Unrest in Turkey brought him back to Samothrace in 1927, the last year he collaborated in the field with French scholars. Although Czechoslovakia tried to establish an institute in Greece, the Great Depression and World War II seem to have made this impossible. After Czechoslovakia became Communist in the late 1940s, French-Czech relations deteriorated rapidly and Salač’s French ties became a liability, hence the “tragedy” in the title of this chapter.

The title of Anna Gustavsson’s contribution “Geographies of networks and knowledge production: the case of Oscar Montelius and Italy” makes her orientation explicit. Montelius is known for his formulations of European archaeological phases and typology. In this chapter, Gustavsson focuses on his work in Italy, centering herself on David Livingston’s and Simon Naylor’s theories about how regionalism, nationalism, trans-nationalism and internationalism shape the production of knowledge. As a Swedish scholar working in Italy, Montelius (and his wife) had to learn to interact successfully with Italian and non-Italian networks, among them those centered on the German scholar Wolfgang Helbig, discussed by de Tomasi.

It is an unpleasant and rarely acknowledged fact that while many archaeologists build and maintain their networks with collegiality, and even charm, others manage them by instilling fear in their peers and underlings. This seems to have been the case with Adolf Furtwängler (1853–1907) as Ulf R. Hansson makes clear in “‘More feared than loved’: interactional strategies in late-nineteenth-century Classical archaeology: the case of Adolf Furtwängler”. Hansson reviews both the considerable accomplishments of this German Classical archaeologist and the conflicts engendered by his angry, resentful, arrogant, and even paranoid personality. Although dedicated to his field of study, Furtwängler strained his academic networks almost to the breaking point, while cultivating connections with museum curators, dealers, and collectors. Through them he obtained access to objects he needed for building his typologies and analyses. This chapter is important because, as Hansson states “. . . conflict and friction are constant components of knowledge production and its contexts, affecting where, why, how and by whom knowledge is produced, disseminated, accepted or rejected” (p. 146). 

Women have been, and by some measures still are, marginalized in archaeology. This is apparent from the fact that, among the individuals discussed in the book under review, only Hanna Rydh is female. In “When the modern was too new: the permeable clusters of Hanna Rydh”, Elizabeth Arwill-Nordbladh acquaints us with the personal situation, career trajectory, and thought of Swedish archaeologist, folklorist, and feminist Hanna Rydh (1891–1964). Latour’s actor-network theory is useful here. Arwill-Nordbladh highlights not just actors and networks, but non-human phenomena such as physical objects and perceived realities which Latour calls “actants”. Also relevant to Arwill-Nordbladh’s analysis are post-processual concepts such as the mutual relationship between subject and object as formulated by Ian Hodder, Arjun Appadurai’s social life of things, Alfred Gell’s secondary agency, the agential realism of Karen Barad, and Bjørnar Olsen’s material symmetry. The geography of knowledge is important here, too. Rydh herself was influenced by Émile Durkheim through Marcel Mauss and Henri Hubert. As Awill-Nordbladh points out, “. . . specific formal and informal networks were crucial in the process of producing the knowledge” [expressed in Rydh’s articles] (p. 196). These networks were sometimes male-dominated and, for Rydh, included those of Oscar Montelius, discussed in Gustavsson’s chapter. Also important to her was an academic female network and a strong family support network.

That family was a prosperous one. Rydh’s parents saw that she was well educated, and she became one of the first women in Sweden to obtain a doctorate. She was both fortunate and unfortunate in her first marriage. She was fortunate because in her husband, Bror Schittger, she found both a domestic partner and an intellectual companion. She was unfortunate because of his early death in 1924 at age 40. In 1922 Hanna was awarded an important scholarship that she used to study the Palaeolithic in France. After Schittger’s death Rydh finished his archaeological work, produced a book on the Upper Palaeolithic with popular appeal, and developed heritage tours and books, as well as books for children. In this, her work paralleled the publications of Rydh’s British contemporaries as described in Amara Thornton’s Archaeologists in Print: Publishing for the People, reviewed earlier on this HARN blog. However, in the late 1920s, Rydh’s work took a turn towards discussion of the symbolic meaning of motifs in Chinese and Scandinavian Neolithic pottery and the mythical meaning of seasonal rituals. This did not make much impact on later research, possibly because her gender. However, she seems to have anticipated the concerns of Ian Hodder and other post-processual archaeologists by some fifty years.

Prior to the autumn of 1894, James Henry Breasted (1865–1935) found himself with a new Ph.D. in Egyptology, but no field experience in Egypt. He understood that this was necessary for him to be taken seriously as a professional, and he certainly welcomed the opportunity to become familiar with the place that was the focus of his advanced studies. In “‘Trying desperately to make myself an Egyptologist’: James Breasted’s early scientific network”, Kathleen Sheppard reveals the ways that Breasted built his networks, incorporating two senior Egyptologists as nodes. The first was Flinders Petrie (1853–1942), a self-taught British archaeologist known to be an innovative excavator. Breasted worked for Petrie briefly, and they became friends and long-term correspondents. The second was Gaston Maspero (1846–1916). Maspero was, for a while, the director of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities and, as such, a very influential person. Most Egyptologists seemed to have had good relationships with Maspero, and Breasted was no exception. However, he was never as intellectually and emotional close to Maspero as he was to Petrie. Also drawing on the insights of David Livingstone, Sheppard argues that while “scientific knowledge bears the imprint of its location” (p. 175 quoting Livingstone), collegial relationships also bear the imprint of location. “Where science is done depends on who is able to, or allowed to, participate in the creation of knowledge” and “the reverse is also true, that is, who is allowed to create knowledge depends on where science is done” (ibid.). 

In “Frontier gentlemen’s club: Felix Kanitz and Balkan archaeology”, Vladimir V. Mihajlović outlines  Kanitz’s (1829–1904) contributions to nineteenth century understanding of the geography and ancient cultures of Serbia and Bulgaria. Kanitz was born in what is now Budapest and trained as an artist. Both Kanitz and his teacher, Vincenz Grimm, were well-connected. Kanitz established a base in Vienna where he became a newspaper correspondent. In 1858, he visited southeastern Europe for the first time to report on political upheavals. After that trip he became more and more interested in the study of that part of the world, a region that was not then well known outside its own borders. As his interests broadened, he laid the foundation of Serbian archaeology, publishing scientific works on Roman and Byzantine finds. Kanitz spent a decade and a half studying Bulgarian lands and population and continued studying Serbia. In these projects his networks provided great support.

Jonathan R. Trigg sets himself the difficult task of accessing the contributions of someone who left no first person accounts of his work, and about whom there is little contemporary documentation. “Re-examining the contribution of Dr Robert Toope to knowledge in later seventeenth-century Britain: was he more than just ‘Dr Took’?” reconstructs the duel careers of Toope (ca. 1650?–1693?) as physician and as antiquarian. Toope recovered bones from a cemetery of unknown age at the Sanctuary at Avebury and from him comes our only knowledge of that burial ground. He used the bones in compounding medicines, a common practice in his day. Evidently Toope communicated his observations to John Aubrey, who did record some of them. Toope also seems to have excavated the West Kennet Long Barrow. Robert Toope influenced his contemporaneous and near-contemporaneous antiquarians, and, through Aubrey and William Stukeley, had impact on later ones, including Sir Richard Colt-Hoare. As Trigg demonstrates, present day archaeologists also need to take him seriously. 

All of the papers in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology discuss the broad political milieus in which archaeologists had to operate. Shifts over time required constant readjustment as De Armond stresses. We have every reason to believe that this is still the case. For the past several decades in North America and Europe, it has been necessary to adopt what Americans call a Progressive political orientation in order to do academic archaeology. Nowhere is this explicitly stated, but it is made clear to students. Recently sexual harassment, even sexual exploitation, has emerged as an issue determining who gets to be an archaeologist, as has the ability to participate in heavy drinking bouts and/or recreational drug use. We have much to learn from the past, and I hope we can apply our lessons to the present and future.

A unified bibliography not only supports the analyses presented in this book, it provides many leads for further investigations, although it is, of course, not a complete guide. With two exceptions, the book under review does not go beyond European archaeology. Although this slim volume is expensive at £80, it is beautifully produced on good quality semi-gloss paper, but with a perfect, not sewn, binding. My copy is beginning to split after two readings. The price of this book may limit its readership, but if you can get your hands on it, do so. You will be both entertained and informed.

Sexual harassment, COVID-19, new publications, and me

July 15, 2020

This post comes to us from Monica Barnes, a HARN administrator and the lead editor of Andean Past.

In recent weeks, my field, Andean archaeology, has been rocked by multiple, credible accusations of quid pro quo sexual abuse committed by some of the most powerful and renowned figures in our subdiscipline.

Those of us who are neither perpetrators of abuse, nor its direct victims, have been propelled into a lot of soul-searching, and we have been experiencing many disturbing emotions. Some of us have been complicit, but most of us have been clueless. We have come to understand that it is not just the direct victims, disproportionately women, who have suffered. Those who refused to acquiesce have also been harmed, because we have been frozen out of many professional possibilities that would otherwise have been accessible to us. Likewise, men who do not participate in abuse have sometimes been pushed to the margins. Although we are now supportive of the victims in general, women whose careers were perhaps advanced because of their sexual relationships with power brokers have seen their academic reputations diminished. Did they come to prominence on their own merits, or were they helped as a reward for their acquiescence? No one should be the subject of ‘blame the victim’ gossip, but they are. The reputations of institutions, built through the efforts of many people over decades, have been badly damaged. Students, especially female students, many with real talent and a sense of vocation, have left the field because of the exploitative power structure that has developed. The public esteem in which Andean archaeology was held has crumbled. This will affect future funding, already seriously menaced by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the alleged abuses occurred in the United States or in Peru. While archaeology, especially archaeology carried out abroad, is not especially important to the US as a whole, in Peru it is a core aspect of national identity. Thus a small number of Peruvians and foreigners have dishonored that country.

Where was I in all this? Basically, among the clueless, not being privy to whisper networks. However, three times in my long career I have sensed that I was frozen out because of my unwillingness to participate in sexual exploitation. Ironically, the last time it was because I refused to formally denounce someone who had not, in fact, harassed me. The men involved are two unrelated Andean archaeologists and one Egyptologist, the latter now deceased. None have been mentioned in recent blogs or press articles. 

So why did I not protest at the time? I think it was because of a cynicism I began to develop in childhood. I grew up in a very corrupt small city. The mayor used his office for personal profit, the town’s main employer devised dirty tricks to control union workers, and a specialized brothel was regionally (in)famous. Many clergymen, small business owners, and teachers were woke, but too intimidated to protest. All of this has been exhaustively documented by historian John Hoerr in And the Wolf Finally Came.

When I encountered various forms of corruption, including sexual exploitation, as an adult, I thought they were morally wrong, but that of the one thousand and one ways of dealing with the tiger, the first and best is to walk around him. Certainly that was the safest. Evidently, a lot of people made the same decision. I applaud the women who did not, those who found the courage to tell their stories, often after long silences, and who are sometimes able to present documentary proof and/or the corroborating testimony of others. 

As always in difficult times, I take comfort in my work editing academic volumes on the archaeology and ethnohistory of western South America. Through it I can make lasting, positive contributions to my field that transcend the evil that men do. I have renewed my resolve not to solicit peer reviews from people known to use the process to promote their favorites and inhibit the advancement of others. The semi-isolation that COVID-19 has imposed upon me (and almost everyone else on the planet) has liberated much time for intense concentration. With all my in-person meetings cancelled from last March until at least the beginning of next year, with travel and social life impossible, and without physical access to the American Museum of Natural History where I conduct research, I have been able to complete complex projects that have literally taken decades to come to fruition. These include two volumes in our Andean Past Monographs series. Like all Andean Past publications, they are green route, open-access works. 

The first, Life, Death, and Burial Practices during the Inca Occupation of Farfán on Peru’s North Coast by Carol J. Mackey and Andrew J. Nelson. Andean Past Monograph 2 (2020) had its gestation more than twenty years ago, when Mackey began excavations at Farfán. Work at the site continued until 2004, and was followed by several years of lab analysis. As the title suggests, this volume reports on Inca burials. Bioarchaeologist Andrew J. Nelson analyzed the human remains recovered. An important provincial center, Farfán was occupied successively by the Lambayeque, Chimu, and Inca cultures. This monograph postulates that female Inca burials at Farfán were those of aqlla, the “chosen women”, virgins who played important roles variously as weavers of fine cloth and brewers of chicha, as high status brides of important men, as religious officiants, and as the victims of human sacrifices. Farfán is one of only three sites where aqlla burials have been scientifically excavated. Tomb architecture is revealed, and grave goods are illustrated and analyzed. Included is a complete illustrated inventory of ceramics recovered and analyses of textiles and camelid bones, as well as isotopic studies.

The second volume to be published by Andean Past this year is Prehistory of the Ica-Nazca Litoral, Peru by the late Patrick Henry Carmichael and the late Alana Cordy-Collins. Andean Past Monograph 3 (2020).

Maritime resources played a significant economic role in the prehistoric coastal communities of Central and Northern Peru, and, prior to the current study, based upon survey conducted by Carmichael in 1989–90, it was reasonable to assume they were equally important on the South Coast. In the 1980s, researchers postulated that the Nasca culture of the Early Intermediate Period was a state-level society based on inland agriculture, heavily augmented by aquatic foodstuffs gathered and processed at coastal settlements. Carmichael calls this the Nasca Maritime Hypothesis. It envisioned permanent, ocean front towns providing massive amounts of marine resources to inland centers, in exchange for agricultural produce. The research reported here was designed to test this hypothesis by means of a systematic ground survey covering a fifteen kilometer wide strip back from the shores, stretching from the north end of the Bahía de la Independencia to the southern boundary of the Bahía San Nicolás, a two hundred kilometer straight-line distance more than doubled by the winding coastline, and encompassing all of the coastlands opposite the inland valleys of Ica and Nazca. In the process, sites from all time periods were recorded, and all ecological zones within the study area were sampled, providing the first comprehensive overview of human exploitation of the landscape in this region through time.

Andean Past Monograph 3 also includes a report by Alana Cordy-Collins on her visit to Carhua, a site within Carmichael’s survey zone that was said to have produced Chavín style painted textiles.

To download these volumes (and several older ones) I invite you to visit:

Happy reading, and be well!

Online Seminar: “Records of Dispossession: Archival Thinking and UNESCO’s Nubian Campaign in Egypt and Sudan”

May 31, 2020

Dear HARN members, we’re pleased to announce an online seminar, organized by the African Archaeology and the Egyptian World research groups, scheduled for tomorrow — Monday, June 1st, 2020 at 4 PM BST. More information below:


The African Archaeology and the Egyptian World research groups are
delighted to invite you to attend our first online shared seminar:

Dr William Carruthers, University of East Anglia

“Records of Dispossession:  Archival Thinking and UNESCO’s Nubian
Campaign in Egypt and Sudan”

The seminar is available for viewing on YouTube and we hope to see you
all at the follow up Live Q&A session to be held on Monday, June 1st, at
4pm BST.

Link to Seminar: [1]

Please note that the seminar will be available for viewing for 60 days
from today.

Live Q&A Session, June 1st, 4pm BST

Please register your interest to join this session via email to and we will send you an

All welcome!

With best wishes,

Nicolas Nikis, Paul Lane, Federica Sulas (African Archaeology Group)

Alexandre Loktionov and Kate Spence (Egyptian World)

ARWA Initiative

May 7, 2020

Dear Members

This is a message from the founders of the new ARWA Initiative. Please direct all queries to the contact addresses given below.


Towards an International Association for Archaeological Research in Western & Central Asia

Professionals in ancient Western & Central Asian studies nowadays include a few thousand scholars, doctoral students, and post graduates specializing in archaeology from the Palaeolithic to the end of the Achaemenid dynasty. Yet there exists no international association to represent them and to forward their goals and aspirations. Created in 2020, our new International Association for Archaeological Research in Western & Central Asia comes to fill this gap. It covers a geographical scope extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Pamir, and from the Black and Caspian Seas to the Gulf of Aden. This association will be inclusive and defend the interests of the discipline in its widest sense: archaeology, history and philology, art history, bioarchaeology, geoarchaeology, heritage studies, archaeometry and technology, physics applied to archaeology, radiocarbon and other dating methods, all disciplines which should be engaged together in a renewed and fruitful dialogue. ARWA aims to establish a worldwide link between scholars and advanced students, to defend the archaeological discipline and its scientists, to propose a number of services (informing, encouraging joint projects, mentoring promising students, advising international organizations). It will be steered by a democratically elected Board, with a limited-time mandate, through a transparent process including all the regularly affiliated members, propose a limited size congress, as well as a series of convivial research workshops. Based on intergenerational discussion and using contemporary media ARWA aims to cross the borders, expand our horizons and open our mind.

Tell Beydar – 2009 Season – Area S – Storeroom – Early Jezirah 3b (c. 2350 BCE)
Copyright M. Lebeau



Contact information:

For inquiries about membership contact ARWA at:



Message to our members

March 23, 2020
Dear HARN members, colleagues and friends
The Histories of Archaeology Research Network was founded in 2008 to promote communication, support each other in our work and share ideas and knowledge. Let us stand together in these difficult times and continue to exchange resources and talk to each other.
There is already a vast number of groups, channels and initiatives out there to share online teaching resources and provide access to books and other library materials. If you have difficulty finding the right kind of group for your research or want to start your own, we are happy to share your message through our website and social media accounts. We are already retweeting links and information on Twitter, so check out our account!
We would also like to encourage all of you to share your experiences with the group through our blog. Are you conducting research from home? What are the challenges you are facing? Are you a student coping with lack of access to archives or libraries? How are you keeping up communication with your colleagues? Are you organising online conferences or have you found different ways of keeping up scholarly exchange and teaching? Or perhaps you have time to finally read that book that’s been on your desk for six months and you want to write a review for our blog?
We look forward to hearing from you!
Stay safe and be kind to one another!
Your HARN adminstrators
Mustafa Kemal Baran
Monica Barnes
Alicia Colson
Helene Maloigne
Vladimir Mihajlovic
Anna Reeve
Jonathan Trigg

Megalith Hunting in Ireland

February 25, 2020

By Monica Barnes, a HARN administrator and the lead editor of Andean Past.

I thought I had exhausted my husband’s patience several years ago during a trip to Wiltshire. Let’s just say that he doesn’t share my enthusiasm for prehistoric monuments and artifacts. So when he volunteered to go megalith hunting with me in Ireland I was surprised and pleased and immediately booked two round trip Newark to Dublin airline tickets.

When we were fledgling archaeologists, the Ordnance Survey of Britain guided our lives. In those days before GPS and Google Earth, we treasured our expensive and awkward paper maps. The large-scale editions gave us a great deal of local detail, even indicating individual buildings, fields, and tracks. Now these are available online and are still a great resource as we struggle with our awkward and even more expensive tablets, laptops, or phones.

On the Emerald Isle, the Ordnance Survey of Ireland and the Archaeological Survey of Ireland are amazing cartographic projects. Begun in 1829, by 1842 the Ordnance Survey had produced one of the first detailed maps of an entire country. This was just before the Great Famine/Hunger hit, and the year that English novelist, journalist, and illustrator William Makepeace Thackeray made his coach tour there, the basis of his Irish Sketch Book. At the time, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, so until the formation of the Republic of Ireland in 1922, the survey of Ireland was part of the survey of Britain and followed the same conventions. Since 1922, work has been carried on independently. After almost two hundred years of sustained effort and developing technology, there is both considerable historical depth and contemporary usefulness. Results are available free of charge on a platform called GeoHive. In addition, an interactive map of Archaeological Survey of Ireland data can be found at:

For even more information on specific sites, we turned to a print source, Ireland: An Oxford Archaeological Guide by Andy Halpin and Conor Newman. Divided by regions, this book lists and describes important sites, some accessible to visitors, some not. It includes many plans taken from published reports. While useful, follow-up is not made easy. Illustrations are credited as being after Leask, Bradley, Cotter, etc., but there is otherwise no indication of source (date, publication). Although there is a page and a bit of further reading suggestions, surely we could have had a full bibliography in a 556 page book not intended for package tourists.

Armed with these sources of information, plus GPS and two laptops for internet consultations, we set out confidently in September 2019. We intended to drive a circuit around Ireland over the course of two weeks, visiting as many Neolithic and Bronze Age sites as possible, noting how they were presented to the public. It was my first trip, but my husband had been to southwestern Ireland several times as a student. Decades ago I worked in British archaeology, which I knew was somewhat similar to that of Ireland (but with the addition of Roman remains). We both retain vivid memories of a course on the archaeology of Britain that we took at the Institute of Archaeology in London. Irish sites and research were often mentioned for comparative purposes. My husband went on to specialize in the archaeology of Western Asia, and I concentrated on Andean archaeology. We therefore had some preparation for our Ireland trip, but not much.

After recovering from our transatlantic flight in a Dublin airport hotel we set out for Newgrange early on a Sunday morning. Guidebooks warned that tickets should be booked at least three months in advance. Having a few years ago successfully accomplished the similar long-range planning necessary to visit Stonehenge, I would have booked New Grange early last summer–but on-line advanced bookings are temporarily unavailable. The only option at present is to turn up and hope for the best. This we decided to do. The first obstacle was to find the parking lot where admissions are sold. It is across the River Boyne from the site and not well signposted. By the time we figured this out it was obvious that hundreds of people had arrived before us and we would not be seeing Newgrange that day (Figures 1 and 2). Why the confusion? Newgrange, along with its sister sites Knowth and Dowth, is currently being incorporated into an archaeological park, the first in Ireland. During this transition period there is a certain amount of chaos. As there is no visitor center open, we would have had to supply most of our own context. At present we have the worst of mass tourism with restricted admission, but without the facilities that such tourism demands. Things have changed a lot since Michael O’Kelly was excavating Newgrange in the 1960s and he simply gave the key to Knowth to one of our colleagues, telling him to just walk over there and see the interior for himself.

Figure 1. New Grange symbol on bus

Figure 1: Newgrange Symbol on a Bus


Figure 2. New Grange symbol on bottle

Figure 2: Newgrange Symbol on a Water Bottle


The following day, sticking to our schedule, we drove west to Donegal where we consoled ourselves walking around Donegal Castle in the rain (Figure 3) and shopping for tweeds. The Castle is partly a stabilized ruin and partly reconstructed, a good compromise, I think. (Figure 4) Medieval ruins, it turns out, are a lot easier to find than prehistoric ones. From there it was Galway. Not having yet bagged any Megaliths, we thought we could at least see a few prehistoric artifacts. That brought us to the Galway City Museum where there are small displays of worked stone and local pottery. Figure 3. Donegal Castle exterior

Figure 3: Donegal Castle Exterior


Figure 4. Donegal Castle interior

Figure 4: Donegal Castle Interior


Next stop: Kenmare. Once known for its exquisite lace designed by nuns and worked by local girls and wome, Kenmare is also the site of a stone circle. This one is accessible and easy to find, being right on the edge of town. (Figure 5). It is a Bronze Age circle of 15 stones, a sort of mini-Stonehenge, one of 15 stone circles in County Kerry and 41 in County Cork, or so various tourist brochures relate. In Ireland such circles always consist of an odd number of stones, varying from 5 to 19. These reduce in height from the two portal or entrance stones to a low axial or recumbent stone opposite the portal.

Kenmare Stone Circle center stone resized

Figure 5: Kenmare Stone Circle


The monument at Kenmare really should be known as the Kenmare Stone Oval, as it is egg-shaped, but such a designation has little resonance. Probably there was an astronomical alignment. In the center is a boulder burial, that is, a large stone resting on a few smaller ones, perhaps marking a grave (Figure 6).

Figure 6 Sign Kenmare)

Figure 6: Kenmare Sign


This monument is on private land. The family who maintain it have recently built an entrance kiosk and request 2 Euros per person to help with landscaping costs. Although some online commentators have criticized this tidiness, I find it rather sweet to have an ancient circle functioning as a sort of town park. Unfortunately, the view of the Finnihy River is obscured by trees, but two of these are hawthorns, associated with fairies and thought in Ireland to bring good luck to their owners and prosperity to the land on which they stand (Figure 7). People attach messages to them, usually wishing for good health for someone else. Thus, in a sense, veneration and invocations still occur at this magical spot. There is parking and the site is accessible to people who use wheelchairs.

Figure 7 Fairy trees Kenmare (1)

Figure 7: Kenmare Fairy Trees


Encouraged by our first success, we set off the next day for Bonane Heritage Park about ten kilometers outside Kenmare on the Beara peninsula. Somehow we missed it. I understand the park is still a work in progress. However, it was a beautiful, sunny day, so we decided to drive over the spectacular Healy’s Pass observed by sagacious sheep and avoiding the impressive participants of a bike rally.

Driving through the park, I realized that although much of the landscape looks “natural” at first glance, the entire island of Ireland is a series of (hu)man-managed environments from the moorlands and peat bogs to the fields, meadows, hedgerows, tree plantations, roads, drainages, fish farms, and canalized rivers. The construction and maintenance of all this represents a stupendous collective effort (Figure 8).

Figure 8 Countryside Ireland

Figure 8: View of the Countryside in the West of Ireland


Sticking to our goal of making a complete circuit around Ireland, we proceeded to Cork. A few times we spotted the brown and white menhir symbols that indicate proximity to a prehistoric site. Once or twice we tried to follow these signs without success. At one point we rushed past a landscape designated as the Cashel Barrow Field. I could see the mounds from our car windows.

Given that we had visited only one megalithic monument so far, I was getting a tad discouraged. I was also beginning to wonder why two people who had successfully performed archaeological survey in difficult parts of the world prior to the development of GPS and armed with guidebooks, the highly detailed information provided by the Archaeological Survey of Ireland, paper maps, and the directions of locals couldn’t find these places in a well-surveyed country where they are abundant. Later I took comfort in the advice provided by the website The Ring of Kerry. Many monuments are noted as being hard to find even for locals. Unlike most guides that tell you something is X kilometers from somewhere along a particular road, The Ring of Kerry provides directions in terms of easy-to-find places like hotels or holiday camps. I noticed that some very prominent sites like the Kenmare Stone Circle are not mentioned in specialized guidebooks such as the Ireland: An Oxford Archaeological Guide, while the interactive Archaeological Survey of Ireland map is so detailed that it is actually difficult to use. Sometimes we encountered useful information by accident, as with a spread on the Kenmare circle in the South Kerry Advertiser, a give-away publication (Coyne 2019) and a tourist map of the Bonane Heritage Park we found in our hotel. That let us know what monuments are in the park, without actually allowing us to find them. I began opportunistically to collect additional reference material like Christine Zucchelli’s Sacred Stones of Ireland.

In years past my husband had made several visits to County Cork, and from those he remembered the Drombeg Stone Circle, 15 km southwest of Clonakilty, off the R597 (Figure 9). Without his recollections I doubt we would ever have found it. Drombeg is a 17-stone circle excavated in 1957. It is similar in form to other Irish circles and is aligned to the mid-winter solstice. The interior was once covered with a layer of gravel, beneath which were five pits. One contained the cremated remains of an adolescent and a charcoal-encrusted pot that yielded a radiocarbon date somewhere between 1124 and 794 B.C. Several pieces of worked flint were also found. Nearby are the remains of two stone houses and a fulacht fiadh, a place where water was heated for cooking, bathing, and possibly ritual purposes. This part of the site dates to the first millennium B.C. and was probably used for centuries (Figure 10).Figure 9. Drombeg Stone Circle sign (2)

Figure 9: Drombeg Circle


Figure 10. Drombeg Stone Circle sign (1)

Figure 10: Drombeg Sign


From the circle there is a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. It is possible to park along the narrow road leading up to the site. Given the crowds and hassles involved in visiting the world-famous and admittedly more spectacular prehistoric sites like Stonehenge and Newgrange, it is refreshing to explore a place where one can just walk in, with or without a dog, and without an admission fee or reservation.

Confidence restored, the next day we set out to find the Island Wedge Tomb, excavated in 1957 by Michael O’Kelly, the excavator of Newgrange. This grave of an elderly woman dates to the second millennium B.C., although the monument may have been in active use for many years. We will have to content ourselves with O’Kelly’s publication, however, because the site is on private land and permission must be sought to see it.

Our Oxford guide did not mention this. The locals were all attending a funeral, so we never did see the Wedge Tomb, although we were very close. On the spur of the moment we decided to visit the nearby Bridgetown Augustinian Priory, a lovely ruin still used as the local graveyard. The recent monuments are very moving. Sometimes they commemorate family members who died almost a century ago. It is, I think, a testimony to increasing prosperity that people are now able to afford this and to the interest in genealogy that the Internet fosters. At this point we were actually staying in a medieval ruin. Well, sort of. We enjoyed a few nights of luxury in the Castlemartyr Resort, which incorporates a medieval castle. The castle has a dark history which includes the forces of Elizabeth I hanging the elderly mother of the seneschal from its walls to force his surrender, but times change. (Figure 11).

Figure 11 Castlemartyr
Figure 11: Castlemartyr


By now it was time to return to Dublin, having seen only two megalithic sites, but numerous interesting medieval buildings, imposing Georgian houses, lovely landscapes, and craft centers. Our final archaeological stop had to be the National Museum of Archaeology. It is particularly strong on Irish metalwork, much of it unfortunately decontextualized, and recently discovered bog bodies. The bodies are sensitively displayed so that those who object to viewing human remains can easily avoid them. Unfortunately, many parts of the museum are not accessible to people who use wheelchairs. There is a gift shop where I purchased several books (e.g., Brennan 1994) that may help in a future megalith hunt. For archaeologists and aficionados who want to avoid the same-old, same-old and get off the beaten path, Ireland is a wonderful place. You’ll get used to driving on narrow, one-lane roads.

I thank my husband, David Fleming, for allowing me to post his beautiful photographs and for his driving skills.

All images © David Fleming.

References cited:

Brennan, Martin. 1994. The Stones of Time: Calendars, Sundails, and Stone Chambers of Ancient Ireland. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International (first published in 1983 as The Stars and the Stones: Ancient Art and Astronomy in Ireland).

Coyne, Frank. 2019. Kenmare Stone Circle and Stone Circles Archaeology. South Kerry Advertiser, September, pp. 12–13.

Halpin, Andy and Conor Newman. 2008. Ireland: An Oxford Archaeological Guide to Sites from Earliest Times to AD 1600. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thackeray, William Makepeace. 2005 [1843]. The Irish Sketchbook of 1842. Dublin: Nonsuch Publishing Limited.

Zucchelli, Christine. 2016. Sacred Stones of Ireland. Cork City: Ireland. The Collins Press (first published in 2007 as Stones of Adoration).

Dangoor Infinity Expedition to Iceland

November 21, 2019

This post comes to us from Alicia Colson, a HARN administrator and
freelance archaeologist and ethnohistorian with a PhD from McGill and an undergraduate degree from UCL


Teaching, as we all know, comes in all forms and occurs in a wide variety of places.

I taught this past August as “knowledge leader” on the British Exploring Society’s Dangoor Infinity Expedition ( which was jointly run with the Jubilee Sailing Trust ( British Exploring Society takes young people to “extraordinary destinations, both in terms of the places they visit and in their own lives.” The charity designs some of their expeditions for those with particular abilities or challenges while others are open to all young people aged 16-25. (The pilot of Dagnoor Infinity occurred last Autumn). Both charities worked jointly to launch and run it this summer as they are determined to empower people, particularly young people. British Exploring Society’s mandate is to “provide inspirational and challenging expeditions to remote, wild environments so as to promote the development, confidence, team work, leadership and the part of adventure and exploration”. The Jubilee Sailing Trust provides “people of mixed abilities and circumstances the freedom to explore their ability, potential and place in the world through inclusive adventures at sea”. It owns and manages the two tall ships, SV Tenacious and the Lord Nelson, which are only tall ships in the world to be wheelchair accessible. The Tenacious is the largest wooden tall ship built in the UK in the last 100 years. It is 65 metres (213.25 feet) long including the bowsprit. It is rigged as a (three-masted) barque with two mizzen gaffs. It is a formidable sight with a deck measuring 49.85 metres in length, hull of 54.02 metres, and beam of 10.6 metres at its widest point.

For this expedition I was cast as a “knowledge leader” rather than the conventional title of field teacher/teacher/field scientist. This was a new role for me; I’d previously been on expeditions in the Canadian Boreal Forest, more recently Chief Scientist (for six weeks on a British Exploring Society expedition, based in the foothills of the Brandberg Mountain, in northern Namibia.) and conducted fieldwork in the US and Antigua.

The role of a knowledge leader is a new role for the British Exploring Society.

“It is an evolution of our science and media roles. It has been created to reflect our method of adventure, personal development and knowledge. Our aspiration is this role will allow greater flexibility for Leaders to play to their strengths and expertise to design and deliver engaging, relevant and meaningful projects for our Explorers. The role of a Knowledge Leader is to Lead a group (“Fire”) of approximately 12 explorers (participants) in partnership with a second, and possibly third Leader and to give direction and inspire curiosity in science, media and the environment they are in.”

This expedition had four teams called a “Fire”. The “Fire” contained approximately 10 to 12 young people per team lead (managed) by four Leaders of different types. There was always an Expedition Medic, qualified in expedition medicine, but Knowledge Leaders were either specialised in Media or Science. I worked as a Knowledge Leader with Susannah and Zoe. Zoe, as an Adventure Leader, is also a trained Mountain Leader, while Susannah, is a biologist with a PhD. All of us had acquired the skills to live, study, and move safely through the rugged landscape as we’d been on expeditions before elsewhere in the globe.

Base camp for the half of the expedition that took place on the land was in northeastern Iceland while the other part was at sea on the Tenacious. So on the Land there were two “Fires” and on the ship there were also two “Fires”. As we walked, through the various landscapes of northeastern Iceland, a distance of more than 100km, Susannah and I discussed the physical landscape, and the experience of walking through it. We “wild camped” every evening, selecting a site, setting up tents so that the students learned how to deal with the physical environment for themselves while meeting the learning objectives each of us had set for them.

My task was to deal with the geology and the geomorphology of this cold region, so I read up on the landscape so I was prepared to cover topics ranging from climate change, weather, igneous landforms, soil development, to land settlement patterns. For her part Susannah considered the plants, animals and other wildlife. For some two weeks we used features of our stark surroundings to encourage the students to connect what they could see with climate change, heritage and the future of the planet.

In mid-August we travelled by bus to Reykjavik to join the sailing ship, SV Tenacious, as part of its crew. Once on board the ship, the two “Fires” became part of the working crew responsible for sailing the ship from Reykjavik, Iceland to Greenock, Scotland. The Leaders who’d taught on land also had to learn how to continue teaching while part of the 57 strong crew of “Tenacious”. This meant that the Young People learn project management and team work and became voluntary crew as they worked alongside the permeant crew.

We had to learn to work and manage our time differently. Firstly, each “Fire” of Young Explorers was subdivided into four groups of five called a “Watch”. Each of the Leaders accompanied each “Watch”. Each “watch” was assigned a Watch Leader, drawn from the ship’s experienced crew. As a Leader, I was taught how to sail the ship, to navigate, to be a watch on the helm, the names and functions of the ropes (lines), masts and the sails, be on watch on Port or the Starboard and “do a Night watch”. Time was organized in four hour blocks called “watches” spanned over the 24-hour day. Teaching was tougher as it was undertaken on top of the daily activities connected to life onboard ship where each person had a defined role. So we all had talks and classes on sailing, the sails, climbing the ropes (going up the mast), the buoy system, weather (clouds), marine life, the threat of micro- plastics, the elements of water management in which we were immersed. Tenacious provided an environment that enabled that the Young Explorers continued to learn how to work as a team and to do project management both for themselves and with their “Watch”.

Now it might be asked why would I, as an archaeologist, undertake such an expedition? It is not an excavation, nor directly about obtaining information, even learning about the past, trying to understand the relationship between the evidence and the contrasted past, and definitely not the land! It was about the necessity of empowerment of other people.

Some good reasons:

  • People don’t learn in the same way: different teaching styles exist.
  • It’s imperative that people learn how to understand the world holistically.
  • On a personal note I was continuing a tradition of teaching developed by the late C. S. “Paddy” Reid, Regional Archaeologist, for Northwestern Ontario (an area the size of France and Germany). I met him as an undergraduate and undertook some of my field work training as an archaeologist under his auspices. “Paddy” believed that an education went hand in glove with empowerment, was holistic and could be undertaken anywhere. He took kids who were potential dropouts at secondary school on so they could become empowered by realizing that learning didn’t just happen in a classroom.

As a bonus I managed to give a talk at Sea on archaeology and I also climbed the mast! – Amazing views!

Indian Museums

August 26, 2019

This post comes to us from Monica Barnes, a HARN administrator and the lead editor of Andean Past.

“India is demanding”, a friend told us last February before my husband and I left for our first trip to that country. Ok. Demanding. But in what ways? People warned me that India is terribly crowded. About eighteen percent of everyone on earth lives there. That’s got to cause some serious stress. But can it be worse than Midtown Manhattan in the evening rush? (It is) Then there is the poverty, deep and wide enough to cause an existential crisis in people from prosperous parts of the world. About two thirds of the Indian population is destitute by any reasonable international standard. However, I’ve seen some profound want in Latin America without becoming an avatar of Mother Teresa. Then there is the intense air pollution. A veil of haze covers the entire country. For a long time India argued that is a necessary corollary of much needed development, but I think attitudes are changing.

Combine all this with the slight or profound sense of disorientation that develops when visiting a country utterly foreign to oneself. Yes, India is demanding, but utterly fascinating, too.

I’m fortunate to be associated with a major museum, the American Museum of Natural History. So, naturally, when I’m traveling I take a busman’s holiday and visit museums. There is always so much to enjoy and learn, not just in terms of the contents of displays, but in museology as well.

I have to confess that I hit the Indian museums cold, without knowing much about them or the art and archaeology they present. Fortunately, my husband and companion was somewhat better informed. We started with the Indian Museum in Kolkata. Founded in 1814 by the Asiatic Society, it is the oldest museum in the country. It has galleries devoted to art, anthropology, archaeology, and natural sciences. It is housed in a “legacy building”, meaning a colonial structure, in this case a large, white compound of courtyards with open arcades.

Figure 1 Indian Museum Kolkata courtyardFigure 1: Indian Museum Kolkata, courtyard

Through these arcades birds fly. Arriving early in the day, we observed a man removing spots of guano from the floor. Is someone assigned the task of cleaning droppings from the ancient statues? The birds are bad conservators, but they lend the place a peaceful, meditative air. They come and go as they wish, while numerous dogs, sacred cows, and a few monkeys wander outside.

In one important respect, many of the great European and North American museums differ from those in Latin America, Asia, and, I presume, Africa. Institutions like the Louvre, the British Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History were chartered to study and present world culture, and, in the case of the latter, the entire natural world. Outside Europe and North America, almost all museums follow nationalist principles. That is, they offer glimpses of their national, or perhaps regional or local, cultures and, with few exceptions, do not address the rest of the world. This can make for collections and related activities of great depth, but little breadth. An institutional goal is to instill proprietary and patriotic pride by presenting the glories of the nation. This is the case with the four Indian museums we visited. Nationalism is emphasized by the fact that non-Indian visitors pay much higher admission fees, except at one private museum.

India has 24 official languages, including English. Museums have artifact labels in English and at least one other tongue. However, these are minimalist. If you don’t walk in the door with good prior knowledge of Indian history, culture, and geography you won’t develop it simply by exploring the museums. You cannot depend on the bookstalls, either. A very limited number of publications are on offer, but these, at least, are inexpensive.

In general, the museology is old-fashioned. Forget about interactive displays, or multi-media presentations. We have objects lined up in vitrines. Make of them what you will and try to maintain your attention as long as you can. Fortunately, JATAN, a national digitization project, is underway and coming to the rescue. Many objects can be studied through this on-line, open-access catalogue. At the time of writing, 4144 ornaments, 4399 tools, and 6060 coins from the Indian Museum can be viewed with their catalogue information. This resource is being expanded rapidly.

Having mentioned these shortcomings, I can focus on the unique and extraordinary. Given my own interests in art, archaeology, crafts, and ethnography, I skipped the natural history displays. At the Indian Museum, as with the others we visited, the quality of the objects shown is extraordinary. Particularly strong are the Bharhut Gallery displaying early Buddhist architectural sculpture, the Bronze Gallery with lovely Buddhist and Hindu religious images, and the magnificent Gandhara Gallery housing second century C.E. Buddhist sculpture made under Hellenistic influence. The large L.Archaeology Gallery shows the evolution of sculpture in India.


Figure 2 Ganesha Indian Museum KolkataFigure 2: Ganesha, Indian Museum, Kolkata

Figure 3 contemporary miniature on a vintage postcard (2)Figure 3: Durga, Sheep-headed Goddess, Indian Museum, Kolkata

Here one must remember that what is now Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan were once in the sphere of greater “India”, so works from those countries are often found in Indian museums. Indian miniature paintings are arranged in chronological order to present the development of this art form. Such paintings are still being executed. I was able to purchase some lovely contemporary ones at the National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum (see below). Textiles, especially nineteenth century ones, are well represented and nicely conserved. Archaeologists have a rare opportunity to see a large selection of Harrapan artifacts.

Figure 4 contemporary miniature on a vintage postcard (1)Figure 4: Contemporary Miniature painted on a vintage postcard

Indian cultural sites have accessibility problems. That is, if you cannot walk up flights of stairs, often without handrails, you will be limited in what you can see. The Indian Museum has a freight lift to the upper galleries. You can use it, but you won’t find it without staff help.

The next museum we visited was the National Museum in Delhi, the Indian capital Time constraints prevented us from visiting the many museums in that city dedicated to various deceased members of the Gandhi and Nehru families. The National Museum (Delhi) has a lot in common with the Indian Museum (Kolkata). It is heavy on lovely Indian religious sculpture (Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain) and miniature paintings. The focal point of the Buddhist gallery is a shrine containing bones believed to be those of the Buddha himself. You may see pilgrims offering prayers there. Although not all the museum’s holdings are Indian, part of its stated mission is “to serve as epitome of national identity”.

There is a hall devoted to Central Asian antiquities gathered in the early twentieth century by Sir Aurel Stein during his expeditions to the “Silk Roads” and another dedicated to Indian jewelry throughout the centuries. For descriptions of other permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions see the website.

Given the general lack of facilities for people with mobility problems, it is refreshing to have a tactile gallery where individuals with low vision can feel reproductions of typical objects. The museum website promises that special needs are being addressed.

At the time of our visit we were unable to see many of the collections because of extensive reinstallations. These included several hundred pre-Columbian objects, the only such collection normally on public display in Asia. Also closed for reinstallation was the Anthropology Gallery, strong on the material culture of India’s northeastern states and traditional Indian musical instruments, and the Textile Gallery.

Figure 5 publication on Nazca pottery in the National Museum, DelhiFigure 5: Publication on Nasca pottery in the National Museum, Delhi

Two other Delhi museums, both dedicated to Indian crafts, share a very different tone. The private  Sanskriti Museums on the southern edge of the city are composed of pavilions, each dedicated to a particular topic, surrounded by gardens displaying large ceramic pieces. The museums are part of the Sanskriti Kendra, a foundation-supported institution dedicated to preserving Indian traditional arts. There are ceramics, block printing, enameling, and general studios as well as exhibit and meeting halls, and accommodation for resident artists. Admission is free.

Figure 6 ceramics in the grounds of the Sanscriti MuseumFigure 6: Ceramics in the grounds of the Sanskriti Museum

The Museum of Everyday Art highlights objects in daily use exhibiting excellent craftsmanship (many created by women). The exuberant Museum of Indian Terracotta has both indoor and outdoor displays. I was lucky enough to see all this with a man from Orissa who described his mother and grandmother’s involvement in traditional house decoration, as displayed. The Museum of Indian Textiles originated as an individual’s collection and does not attempt to be comprehensive, but it is interesting.

Figure 7 Wall painting Sanscriti MuseumFigure 7: Wall painting, Sanskriti Museum, Delhi

Closer to central Delhi is the National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum, commonly known as the Crafts Museum, and run by India’s Ministry of Textiles  (Note that the website is not kept current). Not surprisingly, it houses India’s largest collection of cloth. This, too, follows an in indoor/outdoor format, with a whole village reproduced.

Figure 8 National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum DelhiFigure 8: National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum, Delhi

The collections of folk sculpture, textiles, and decorative architectural elements are particularly strong. There is a “contemporary Indian restaurant” on-site, as well as an area for crafts demonstrations. This is a great place to shop, because the artists demonstrating their work have some to sell.

Figure 9 Doorways National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum IndiaFigure 9: Doorways, National Handcrifts and Handloom Museum, Delhi

Like much else in India, museums are “demanding”, too. While anyone probably could enjoy the displays, prior knowledge of Indian art, history, archaeology, anthropology, geography, and crafts would definitely enhance one’s experiences. The museums are demanding physically, as well as intellectually, with few seats in the galleries, or anywhere else, and only one out of the four I visited has a café. Sometimes wheelchairs are available, but check ahead of time if you need one. You can count on clean “wash rooms”, though, and some extraordinary collections.