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EAA Barcelona 2018 – Call for Sessions

November 9, 2017

HARN member, Margarita Díaz-Andreu, has been in touch with a reminder that the deadline for submitting sessions to next year’s EAA (European Association of Archaeologists) meeting is the 13th November 2018 at 23.59 CET.

The theme of the 24th meeting is Reflecting Futures and a more detailed list of specific themes can be found here:

Barcelona offers a reflection of our future pasts, much in the way that archaeology does: our profession embodies an ability to reflect on how the future comes into existence and how the past influences it. We must also have the power to prototype the future. Everyone falls in love with Barcelona. One way or another, this love affair has to do with how the future challenges our past and our present. Barcelona is a perfect location for holding the 24th Annual Meeting of the EAA, the ideal setting for an Association that seeks to continuously develop and change the direction of its ability to reflect the past, in order to be able to reflect about the future (Felipe Criado-Boado, EAA President)

Note that in order to submit a session you must be a current EAA member and details of how to join can be found here


UISPP Paris Call for Papers

November 9, 2017

HARN member, Marc-Antoine Kaeser, has been in touch to say that there are five sessions on the histories of archaeology at the 2018 UISPP – The International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques). I believe that all of these sessions are soliciting papers. The conference runs from June 4th to 9th. The sessions and organisers are as follows:

1.      Archaeology and interdisciplinarity, from the 19th century to present-day research

Laura Coltofean, Geraldine Delley, Margarita Diaz-Andreu, Marc-Antoine Kaeser

 2.      The Decolonization of Asian Archaeologies

Martijn Eickhoff

 3.       From stratigraphy to stratigraphic excavation in pre- and protohistoric archaeology
Alessandro Guidi, Massimo Tarantini

4.      Epistemology, History and Philosophy of Science: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the History of Archaeology
Sophie A. de Beaune, Marc-Antoine Kaeser, Oscar Moro Abadia

5.   Les archéologues victimes des régimes politiques, des idéologies et des religions : censure et répression

François Djindjian

Marc-Antoine notes: All the details about the registration, membership fees, deadlines, etc., are to be found on the webpage of the congress: Please bear it in mind that the proposals have to be uploaded until November 30th 2017 on the webpage of the Congress, and that you have to register first in order to be able to upload your proposals!



October 31, 2017

I know you’re all capable of looking up Preston and UCLan but just to make it even easier for you, here is a map of Preston centre


And here is a map of UCLanUCLan

The conference is in the Mitchell and Kenyon cinema which is in FB (Firth Building) and you will either see me, Jon and James, or signs pointing to the location.

Ok, I’m off to corral children – did I mention it was a school holiday this week? I really planned that one well, no? Parenting fail # 1276 – Organise a conference during half term rather than when they’re safely in school, thereby giving yourself the added stress of finding childcare solutions for an entire day – can tick that one off the list as well now.

Ah well, see you on Friday



HARN 2017 – Abstracts, Part 4.

October 30, 2017

Final installment! We’re on the final countdown now (sorry, as  the words came into my head so did Joey Tempest’s voice and then I couldn’t think of anything else) just 4 days to go. I do hope some of you are going to show up to listen to these excellent papers – yes, I am getting anxious that there’s only going to be 12 people in an ENORMOUS lecture theatre. Anyway, to encourage you to make the trip, Beth and Raffaella will be talking about photography:

Beth Hodgett, University of Oxford/Birkbeck

Disciplining Images: The Photographs and Archives of OGS Crawford

Archaeologist OGS Crawford(1886-1957) is well-known for his pioneering use of aerial photography. The bulk of Crawford’s written papers (136 boxes) are held by the Bodleian Library; the papers are catalogued and stored in neatly ordered archival boxes, which are available through the Weston Library’s main reading room. In contrast, in the basement of the Archaeological Institute, stored in the tiny personal office of the Institute’s resident photographer, Crawford’s photographic archive comprises of 49 box files, the contents of which are “scarred by history”, “disassembled” and in “disarray” (Hauser 2008:x-xiv). Nestled among reams of personal correspondence held by the Bodleian, are a small series of tightly framed photographs of carvings found on Stonehenge in the 1950’s. The nature of these photographs pose challenging questions; how should the researcher approach these photographs, which at first glance appear to reveal so little, and stray so far from Crawford’s widely known work? Does the placement of these photographs within an archive otherwise dedicated to written documents reveal anything about the social life of the objects in question? And what clues do the physical forms of the two archives offer about the place of photography in contemporary academic and archival practice? In taking the two archives as ethnographic fieldsites, the paper traces the multiple ways in which the prints are embedded within networks of archaeological knowledge production from past to present day, and argues that records of the historical circulation of these photographs provide a startling detailed insight into archaeological politics in the 1950’s.  

Raffaella Bucolo, University of Rome “Sapienza” 

From the History of Archaeology to the History of Photography: Archival Investigation on Cesare Faraglia.

The first time I read the name of the photographer Cesare Faraglia, I was carrying out research on the “Gerhard Rodenwaldt Papers” kept at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. Faraglia was mentioned in Rodenwaldt’s correspondence, since he took some beautiful photographs of sarcophagi in Rome. Faraglia’s name “reappeared” also in a published paper written by Rodenwaldt himself, therefore I wanted to know much more about this figure, just “met” by chance.

Cesare Faraglia (ca. 1870-1950) was a photographer, who worked in Rome, especially for the Institutes of Art and the foreign Institutes of Archaeology. Thanks to the high quality of his photographs, famous Museums, such as the Vatican or the Capitolini, commissioned many works from him. Additionally, during the first decades of the 20th century, the Governatorato asked Faraglia to document the demolition of Rome’s historical centre. Although Faraglia was an appreciated photographer, very little is known about him and for this reason archival investigation is – once again – essential.

Above all, this parallel research about Faraglia has turned into an in-depth study of the history of photography, with its techniques and protagonists. The research topic moves from the history of archaeology, leading to observing monuments and artworks from a different point of view. In this case, the photographer’s role and style deserve the same attention usually reserved for the photographed objects. 

The archival research thus acts as the focus linked to other different topics enabling a useful change of perspective.

Doesn’t that sound interesting? Doesn’t it all sound fascinating? Please come to the conference, please.


HARN 2017 – Abstracts, Part 3.

October 26, 2017

No, still haven’t put the handout up on the blog.

No, not remotely contrite, when whoever stole my Wednesday owns up and gives it back I’ll use that time to put up the handout.

In the meantime have some more abstracts, Rick, Kemal and David will be talking about specific archives and discussing their contents:

Rick Peterson, University of Central Lancashire

The Children of the Stones: Contesting Land, Religion and Standing Stones in Early 18th Century Avebury

Between 1719 and 1724 the antiquary William Stukeley spent time living in and visiting the village and prehistoric monument complex of Avebury in North Wiltshire. Stukeley’s field notes and drawings have been regarded as important evidence for the form of the Neolithic monument. I restudied these archives as part of the Longstones Project, which established that Stukeley’s postulated Beckhampton Avenue was a genuine part of the Neolithic complex. During his visits Stukeley also recorded the monument’s ongoing destruction by Avebury’s residents. He presented this as an economically driven attempt to acquire building stone and to free up agricultural land. One of the research aims of this project was to investigate the history and archaeology of this stone-breaking practice. Stukeley’s records included highly detailed information about the eighteenth century agricultural landscape in and around Avebury. This detail was compared with tithe and parish records in the Wiltshire County Records Office.

Avebury was a centre of radical non-conformism in the later 17th century. The evidence of religious conflict in the WRO archives, the fact that many of the ‘stone-breakers’ named by Stukeley were non-conformists and Stukeley’s own Anglican religious convictions in later life diverted my research. Instead of the landscape based study of the stone-breaking practice I had intended I then spent several months pursuing the history of religious conflict in the region. This led to the hypothesis that most of the late 17th and early 18th century stone-breaking was a religious and political action by radical non-conformists who had come to identify the prehistoric stones with the Anglican establishment figures, such as Stukeley and John Aubrey who studied them. In retrospect, this hypothesis can be seen as almost as much of an over-simplification as the earlier ‘ecomonic’ explanation. A more balanced account of the stone-breaking and Stukeley’s response to it can now be suggested which stresses the role of personal conflicts and relationships within the village.

Mustafa Kemal Baran, Koç University, Istanbul

Letters, Holiday Greetings, and a few Passport Photos: The Voice and Image of Local Communities in Archaeological Archives

This paper is an inquiry into the voice and image of the local communities in archaeological archives based on a set of documents authored specifically by the local communities from Turkey. This set of documents, which range from personal letters and passport photos sent as souvenirs to detailed daily budgets kept by household staff, reveals different dimensions of relationships between the archaeologists and local communities and the life around the excavations in Turkey from the 1950s onwards.

In contrast to the historiography of archaeology where the local communities are contextualized often through archaeologists’ field notes and voices, this paper hopes to shift the perspective and construct a narrative based primarily on the documents that were authored by local communities. In this regard, this paper will focus on stories which, initially, seem to have little to do with archaeology and often do not fit within the scope of archaeological research, but nevertheless, have great potential in thickening the narrative of the history of archaeology by resituating important members of the archaeological community into the foreground. Additionally, this paper will further problematize the voices and personalities found in these archives within the context of historiography of archaeology in Turkey and re-examine the nature of archival work in archaeology from a critical perspective.

David Fleming, Independent Scholar

Cultural Imperialism on £10 a day: the Short, Tumultuous History of the British Institute of Afghan Studies 1972-1982 and the Excavations at Old Kandahar

In June 1972 the British Academy formally established the Society for Afghan Studies and opened the British Institute of Afghan Studies in Kabul, “to promote study and research in the history, antiquities, archaeology, ethnography, languages, literature, art, culture, customs, and natural history of Afghanistan”. This new Institute joined the noble company of its long-established siblings in Rome, Athens, Jerusalem, Ankara, and elsewhere. However, in 1982, following a coup d’êtat, a revolution, a civil war, a foreign invasion, and the rapid succession of an Acting Assistant Director, three Directors, an Excavation Director, and a temporary head who stood in while the then-Director faced execution in an Afghan jail, the Institute permanently closed its doors in Kabul. Yet during that tumultuous ten-year period the Institute assembled a remarkable body of accomplishments. And it did all this on a shoestring, with the Director earning £3,500 a year, or less than £10 a day. The brief, tempestuous life of this British cultural institution is a remarkable study in running a policy of indirect cultural imperialism on a cheese-paring budget.


HARN 2017 – Abstracts, Part 2.

October 23, 2017

Still haven’t remembered how to add the handbook – my towering intellect is failing me on this one. Let me distract you with Ulf and Monica getting political:

Ulf R. Hansson, The University of Texas at Austin

Diplomatic Correspondence, Proto-Archaeology and the Early Modern Antiquities Market

It is a well-known but little studied fact that diplomats played a significant role in the development of the early modern antiquities market. Foreign envoys were often well positioned to use their local knowledge, social and political influence, and professional networks to finance and carry out excavations, build collections, sell antiquities, and act middlemen. A well-known example from the late 19th century is the Italo-American Luigi Palma di Cesnola, who served in three major wars, was appointed American consul in Cyprus where he became interested in archaeology and carried out extensive excavations, sold much of what he found to the Metropolitan Museum, and ended up the museum’s first director. But the overlapping history of diplomatica and antiquaria goes back much further. This paper discusses proto-archaeological activity and the antiquities market in early 18th-century Rome and Florence, where the three instrumental actors Francesco Ficoroni, Philipp von Stosch and Alessandro Albani made expert use of diplomatic contacts to solicit funding for speculative excavations, target foreign markets, and export freshly excavated classical sculpture abroad. Unpublished diplomatic correspondence involving the British Foreign Secretary and Envoys in Florence and Leghorn, and the Greffier of the Dutch States General—otherwise well-known sources but completely overlooked in this respect—sheds substantial new light on this decisive but fragmentarily known moment in the history of digging and dealing.

Monica Barnes (American Museum of Natural History and Andean Past) 

Civil War! Espionage! Communism! World War Two! Afro-American civil rights! Anti-Semitism! Psychoanalysis! Feminism! Sexual Liberation! Anthropology! Archaeology! Higher Education! Gypsy Band! Europe! North America! Africa! South America! Incas! John Victor Murra and the Twentieth Century

Although I experienced its second half for myself, I resisted writing about the twentieth century. I always found the remote past more intriguing and emotionally safer. My research priorities changed on a dark winter afternoon in early 2009 when I was asked to open a box at the American Museum of Natural History. Out popped the missing (so far as I knew) fieldwork records of a very important and under-published research project. Called “A Study of Inca Provincial Life”, it was directed by John Victor Murra from 1963 until 1966 and centered on Huánuco Pampa, a large, important, and isolated highland Inca site. My realization of the value of the survey and excavation notes, grant proposals, correspondence, and photographs that I encountered changed my research direction from that day forward. Since then I have been working on a book-length biography of Murra and am disseminating results from the regional survey and limited excavations he directed. I have published twelve articles based on this material, with more in progress. Murra’s ethnohistorical, archaeological, ethnographic, and theoretical and interpretative work in Huánuco remain fundamental to our understanding of the Inca. The man himself led a life full of incident as he participated in many of the most important movements of the twentieth century.

Remember, there’s just 11 days to go! It’s like having an archaeological advent calendar, isn’t it?

Julia (who really, really needs to get out more)


October 23, 2017


Emilia Groupp, University of Oxford

I am currently a graduate student at the University of Oxford, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, and I am also a research fellow at the Organization for Identity and Cultural Development. My research interests are (broadly) the anthropology of the Middle East, anthropology of archaeology, and historical archaeology/archival ethnography. My current research focuses on Egyptian men and women who worked on excavation sites in Egypt in the last century, as well as Egyptian perspectives of Egyptology and cultural heritage. I am also interested in identity, iconoclasm, power and violence.

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