Category Archives: Jacquetta’s archaeology

‘Jacquetta Hawkes? Portugal?’

One of the joys of archive work is that new objects are always coming to light!  Witness a recent discovery by the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Clearing the basement for building work, staff found a mysterious box containing flint arrowheads and other archaeological finds.  It was tantalisingly labelled ‘Jacquetta Hawkes?  Portugal?‘.

To cut the story short, the puzzled labeller was right.  Investigation, including a look at our Jacquetta Hawkes archive, reveals that the objects were presented to Jacquetta during her 1949 lecture tour of Portugal.  I’ve been meaning to write about this trip for a while.  We have a candid report by Jacquetta on her experiences plus letters from the new colleagues she met there.  So look out for that piece!  Meanwhile, you can learn more about the contents of the mystery box in ‘The Jacquetta Hawkes Collection, Portugal, 1949’, a blog post by undergraduate Dalva Gerberon, who studied them as part of her fieldwork.

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Beautiful, Inspiring, Moving: responses to Woman in Time

“Woman in Time”, our spoken word event based on the diaries and poems of Jacquetta Hawkes, went down ever so well.  Waterstones Bradford cafe was the perfect location, with a view of beautiful books and plenty of delicious cakes and coffee.  We got some lovely feedback – this cloud shows the words our audience used to describe the event.

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Huge thank you to the British Science Association for funding this project and to Waterstones Bradford for being such lovely hosts.  And of course Tori Herridge for having the idea for this event and making it happen.  We are investigating possible venues for a repeat performance in London sometime soon … cake is a must of course.

Jacquetta updates!

Coming along to our fantastic free event exploring Jacquetta’s Mount Carmel experience on 18 March?  All welcome and there is still room!  Register and find out more here.

Yesterday Dr Christine Finn was interviewed on BBC Radio Jersey: she discussed Jacquetta’s Jersey archae0logy and some exciting news about her authorised biography – you can listen to the interview on the iplayer (up till 10 April).  Christine’s piece is about an hour into the broadcast.

Woman in Time

Woman in Time

Waterstones Bradford, 18 March 2015, 7-8 pm

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Join Tori Herridge and me (Alison Cullingford) for Woman in Time, an exploration of humanity from its earliest days through to the turbulent middle years of the 20th Century.  We use poetry and spoken word performance to tell stories of three women. One of these women died, one went on to great things, and one disappeared.  Their lives intersected on one day 80 years ago …

Part of British Science Week.  Find out more on their website and register via eventbrite here.

Three Women in Time: poetry and science in March 2015

In March 2015, an event in Bradford will explore the stories of humanity from its earliest days through to the turbulent middle years of the 20th Century, using poetry and spoken word performance to tell stories of three women whose paths met on Mount Carmel in 1932. One of these women died, one went on to great things, and one disappeared.   Jacquetta Hawkes was the second of the three … here’s a glimpse of her take on the experience.

HAW18_3_26_44 Jacquetta Hawkes and Dorothy Garrod with donkeys

Jacquetta Hawkes and Dorothy Garrod with donkeys

We’re thrilled to share the news that Special Collections at the University of Bradford and Trowelblazers have been awarded a grant by the British Science Association for this event, Woman in Time.  Watch this space for more details!

96. A Pattern of Invasions and Occupations: Jacquetta Hawkes and the Archaeology of Jersey

100 Objects

The Channel Island of Jersey is extraordinarily rich in archaeological remains.  Key sites include La Cotte de St Brelade (a cave filled with Neanderthal stone tools and the bones of mammoths and rhinos) and La Hougue Bie, a prehistoric grave mound topped by a medieval chapel.  Jacquetta Hawkes explored this heritage in her first book: The Archaeology of the Channel Islands: Volume II The Bailiwick of Jersey.

Volume I, covering the archaeology of Guernsey, had been published by Methuen in 1928.  Its author, Thomas Kendrick, worked at the British Museum, as did Jacquetta’s husband Christopher.  Kendrick had done much of the research for a second volume, on Jersey, by 1934, but “an increase in other work, and a growing distaste for the stones and bones of prehistory” meant that he was glad to put the task into Jacquetta’s “capable hands”.

Jacquetta had recently married Christopher; both were becoming known…

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90. Whither Archaeology? Jacquetta Hawkes versus the statniks

100 Objects

In 1968, Jacquetta Hawkes considered the future of archaeology in one of her most famous and controversial pieces of writing: “The Proper Study of Mankind”, published in the journal Antiquity.

In this article, Jacquetta warned against the dangers of scientific reductionism in archaeology.  She certainly was not against the use of technological aids, but she felt that these had taken over along with pseudo-scientific aims and methods:   archaeologists had become “statniks”, looking only at what could be quantified.

Too much archaeological writing was “swamped by a vast accumulation of insignificant facts, like a terrible tide of mud”.  In another geological simile, the “extreme precision of detail” combined with “endless uncertainty of interpretation” in archaeological reports was like “walking across coarse scree”.  Instead, archaeologists should be economical in presenting their data and “extract the essential historical meaning … set this out in clear, firm and humane language”.

Archaeologists…

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