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Pedro Bosch-Gimpera

March 21, 2016

We’ve had a request from Brendan O’Connor, he writes:

In November 1936 the Rhind Lectures of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland were delivered by Pedro Bosch Gimpera, then Rector of Barcelona University.  He had to leave Spain following the Civil War and the lectures were never published, though Bosch intended that OUP  would do so.  The only record of the lectures appears to be reports in The Scotsman, written by Bosch himself while he was staying with Gordon Childe.  Now The Scotsman has been digitised, I have transcribed the lectures and will present them in their British context at the forthcoming Anniversary Meeting of the Society.

Bosch is very well documented and his autobiography records contacts with various British archaeologists.

Brendan asks if any HARN member has come across Bosch in their own researches? If so either email me and I’ll pass it on or leave a message below and again I’ll see that Brendan receives it.

Thank you


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Marga permalink
    March 21, 2016 8:48 pm

    Brendan knows about Francisco Gracia and myself. I guess that he is searching for someone else out there…


  2. Thea permalink
    March 21, 2016 8:52 pm

    Bosch-Gimpera did some book-exchanging with Czechoslovakia’s Antonín Salač in 1938. Feel free to email if you’d like more information about their brief exchange (

  3. March 22, 2016 5:57 am

    I have encountered with some letters from Pedro Bosch Gimpera to his Finnish colleagues at my research on the international contacts of Finnish archaeologists. Bosch corresponded with Aarne Michaël Tallgren in 1920 and 1921 asking for copies of some of his publications (National Library of Finland, NLF Coll. 230, A. M. Tallgren’s collection). What might be more interesting for Brendan O’Connor are Bosch’s two letters to Carl Axel Nordman. Nordman held the Rhind lectures in 1932. Bosch Gimpera writes to him in 1939 as follows (both letters in the Archives of the Swedish Literature Society in Finland, C. A. Nordman’s collection, SLSA 652):

    London, without date 1939:
    ”Dear sir and colleague,
    As you perhaps know, I gave the Rhind lectures for 1930 on a subject which has great connexions with yours: the relations of the Iberian Peninsula with other lands of western Europe, specially Britain in the time of the megaliths. I am now preparing its publication, which has been impossible during the last years as I was in Spain and in following of the war great difficulty arose in getting foreign literature.
    I have read your book on your Rhind lectures, but I should have great interest n possessing myself a copy. I could send you in exchange some of our Barcelona publications, specially Castillon book on the Beakers, perhaps also Pericots Pyrenean Megalithculture and the Account of the meeting of Barcelona of the Commission for mediterranean [sic] Prehistory.
    I suppose the only edition of your lectures is Helsingfors 1935.
    I am staying permanently in England and shall be until the end of September in London at the address above.
    With best regards, I am yours very sincerely
    P. Bosch-Gimpera”

    London, August 21, 1939
    ”Dear Dr Nordman,
    I thank you very much for your kind letter and vol. 39 of Finska Fornminnesföreningens Tidskrift. [– –]
    I am now settled in England, as I was during the war in an official position in Catalonia as Rector of the University and member of the catalan [sic] Government and have returned to my archaeological work, fortunately. I have to lecture next term in Oxford and am also preparing the publication of the Rhind lectures of 1936, which deals just with relations of Spain and western european [sic] lands in eneolithic times. I am trying to discuss its problems on an aobjective [sic] basis and shall again discuss the beaker question with the new chronological evidence we got in the last years in Spain which I think permits to come to a better understanding of the general chronological question. For all this your book is must [sic] valuable, as I were unable till now to visit your nordic lands.
    With best regards, yours very sincerely
    P. Bosch-Gimpera
    I suppose Prof. Tallgren is in Helsingfors. Please present to him my best greetings.”


    There is also a third letter from Bosch to Nordman in 1924, but it deals only with exchange of some publications.

    I hope these letters are of some interest.

  4. harngroup permalink*
    March 24, 2016 12:23 pm

    Pere Bosch Gimpera gave lectures in Edinburgh within a tour of the UK where he also lectured at other universities. In addition to the invitation of Gordon Childe, the reason for his stay in Britain was maintaining diplomatic contacts with the Foreign Office to meet the British position regarding the development of the Spanish Civil War. Such diplomatic mission was entrusted by the President of the Republic, Manuel Azana, initiating a series of secret contacts that Bosch Gimpera repeated throughout the war using their professional and academic prestige. After the end of the war, Bosch went into exile in Britain where he remained until July 1940 when he emigrated to Colombia and then to Mexico. During his stay, he worked in the libraries of Oxford and London to prepare, among others, the text of lectures in Edinburgh. Documentation and correspondence relating to the process of preparation of these texts with other archaeologists and prehistorians, as, for example, Raymond Lantier, is preserved. The text that Bosch published a few years later qualifies as academic Testament regarding the problem of the protohistory in the Iberian peninsula.
    You can see my work on Bosch Gimpera, especially those relating to their stay in the UK, on

    Dr. Francisco Gracia Alonso
    Catedrático de Prehistoria
    Director del GRAP (Grup de Recerca en Arqueologia Protohistòrica).
    Departament de Prehistòria, Història Antiga i Arqueologia
    Facultat de Geografia i Història
    Universitat de Barcelona.


  1. Pedro Bosch Gimpera Lecture | HARN Weblog

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