Foundations of Archaeology Conference – Saturday 6 May Celebrating the past in the present

Almost a hundred people gathered for the first Foundations of Archaeology Project Conference, held in Dinton Village hall. The list of speakers echoed the partnerships and links the project has established in the last two years: two museums – Salisbury Museum and the Wiltshire Museum (Devizes) represented by their respective directors, Adrian Green and David Dawson; two universities – Winchester and Southampton represented by David Ashby and Mike Allen; the National Trust (Martin Papworth), and not forgetting, of course, Martin Green, a one man archaeological institution representing a museum, a farm, a landscape and an on-site educational resource.

The programme for the day replicated the organisation of the project: the morning being devoted to the ongoing work of the project and the afternoon celebrating the ‘founders’ of archaeology’ in whose footsteps the project has been walking – the “shoulders of giants” as one speaker put it.

Conference participants were surprised by an appearance, in person, of one of the ‘founders of archaeology’, in the shape of General Pitt-Rivers – who seemed neither insubstantial nor an apparition and was in characteristic attacking form, defending his contribution to scientific archaeology.

Although the FoA project is reaching its final months, Emma Rouse was able to announce the good progress of applications for further Heritage Lottery Fund funding – the Cranborne Chase and Chalke Valley Landscape Partnership.

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