Sussex Archaeological Society visits the Pitt Rivers Museum

Public engagement, as previously mentioned, is a central element of the Excavating Pitt-Rivers project. In June Carlotta went to Lewes and presented the projects initial findings on Pitt-Rivers' time in Sussex and visited Mount Caburn with the Sussex Archaeological Society. On Saturday (19th October), as a follow up to this visit, the project invited the society to the Pitt Rivers Museum.  

Dan Hicks giving an introductory lecture to members of Sussex Archaeological Society 
at the Pitt Rivers Museum
The day began with an introductory talk by Dan Hicks who updated the society on our progress over the past couple of months. After lunch, which included excellent discussion on the theme of the day, we were able to show the group a selection of the material collected in Sussex. The material we had on display was from two of the key sites in Sussex (Mount Caburn and Cissbury) and included flint implements, ceramic sherds, fragments of metal, and four examples of Pitt-Rivers' experimental work at Cissbury. We asked the group to look at the material in a different way to expected; instead of looking at the objects as examples of archaeological artefacts we wanted to look at them as a source of information about Pitt-Rivers. This demonstrated the importance of using the artefacts within the founding collection as an important source of information when studying his early archaeological work. 

Four members of Sussex Archaeological Society examining a selection of material excavated by General Pitt-Rivers from Mount Caburn and Cissbury.
An example of the documentation that is on the objects that Pitt-Rivers collected during his time in Sussex. Almost every single object from Mount Caburn has a label similar to this attached, it typically records the date and location from which it was excavated. In this case the label for 1884.137.41 .7 reads 'MOUNT CABURN SEPT 1877 Upper Rampart interior slope'.
The day was a great success and we hope that Sussex Archaeological Society found it as useful and enjoyable as the project team. We look forward to our next visit from Yorkshire Archaeological Society on the 4th November. 

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