Excavating Pitt-Rivers

Pitt Rivers
image: Drawings of flint arrow-heads collected by General Pitt-Rivers, from the accession books of the Pitt Rivers Museum

This is the first post for a new blog for a new project - Excavating Pitt-Rivers, to run from November 2012 to December 2013. The project, led by Dan Hicks, will study the archaeological collections of General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers collected during fieldwork in England and Wales in the 1860s and 1870s, and which are now held by the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. It's run in partnership with a series of regional and local archaeological organisations, in those areas in which Pitt-Rivers undertook fieldwork. The project is based at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, and is funded by the Designation Development Fund of Arts Council England.

We issued the press release today - it's pasted below.  Also news coverage at BBC online
More to follow!

PRESS RELEASE: 9 October 2012

Pitt Rivers Museum wins Arts Council England funding for ‘Excavating Pitt-Rivers’ Project

The Victorian archaeologist General Pitt-Rivers is world-famous for his development of modern scientific archaeology, but the earliest archaeological collections that he made have never been studied. The Pitt Rivers Museum, where these artefacts are held, has been awarded £76,654 by Arts Council England’s Designation Development Fund to document this important early material.

The collections come from more than 50 prehistoric, Roman and medieval sites across the UK: from excavations at a medieval castle in Kent, from Bronze Age barrows in Yorkshire, from Iron Age hill-forts in Sussex, and even from early ‘rescue’ archaeology at Roman sites in central London. As well as documenting the collections, the ‘Excavating Pitt-Rivers’ project’s public archaeology programme will collaborate with local archaeologists in the regions from which the collections were excavated.

Dan Hicks, who will lead the project, said:
“General Pitt-Rivers created the first archaeological collection of national scope to be made through scientific excavation. By documenting this iconic collection, and exchanging knowledge with local archaeologists, the project explores how these artefacts connect the Pitt Rivers Museum with sites, landscapes and communities across the country.”

The project will also draw upon the recent gift from the Pitt-Rivers family to the Museum of important unpublished manuscripts. Jeremy Coote, joint head of collections at the Museum, said:
“We are immensely grateful to the Designation Development Fund, successive awards from which have transformed public engagement with the Museum’s collections over the past decade”.

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