An interested group of FoA folk attended our first, and timely, entirely indoor event. On this occasion we took shelter in Salisbury Museum where, using the meeting room, the library, the finds collection and the museum exhibits Jane Ellis-Schon took us as close as we are likely to get to the thinking and archaeological practice of the General. If the section drawings, models and mini essays written on finds were not interesting enough, it was, as is so often the case, the incidental details, which have come to light in the course of closer examination of the c15,000 Pitt-Rivers artefacts in the museum, which bridged the time gap between us and Victorian archaeologists: the use of twigs and bicycle spokes in conservation, the use of pill boxes for small finds and, as a contrast, the use of concrete markers in the back-filled sites – the latter technique not catered for in today’s ICOMOS recommendations!
The Pitt-Rivers collection used to be contained in its own impressive but rather gloomy gallery. Today, the artefacts, models and descriptions are part of the main museum archaeological narrative centred on sites, chronology and themes; thus rehabilitating the general and re-integrating him with the archaeological tradition he to some extent started. Those of you who were not able to be present on Saturday might wish to attend Jane’s lecture at the museum on Thursday 14 January at 6.30 entitled ‘Finding Pitt-Rivers.’