NEAF Saturday Seminar series: Great Archaeologists 4
Great Archaeologists | Saturday Seminar Series
Professor Roland Fletcher | Vere Gordon Childe and the University of Sydney
Gordon Childe is the most famous, eminent and highly regarded archaeologist of the 20th century. In the 21st century he continues to be the respected world-wide. Childe’s work had a profound impact on archaeology, which extended far beyond Europe where he did his research and beyond his use of the concept of cultural diffusion. Childe was a student at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1913 when he won the Francis Anderson prize for philosophy, He inclined towards a Marxist view of history and was strongly and vocally opposed to conscription in World War One. He was appointed to the Abercrombie Chair in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and in 1925 he published his most famous work, The Dawn of European Civilisation. His research integrated European archaeology, offered an explanation for the development of the cultural identity of Europe, and affirmed the self-creating capacity of humankind. In 1946 he became Director of the Institute of Archaeology now in University College, London. On his retirement and return to Australia in 1957 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Sydney. In the same year he fell to his death at Govett’s Leap in the Blue Mountains, near where he grew up. (Image courtesy of the National Archives).
11.00 am Associate Professor Phillip Edwards | One Upon a Time in Anatolia: the extraordinary career of James Mellaart
As the 1960s dawned the young archaeologist James Mellaart had already won acclaim as the doyen of prehistoric archaeologists in Turkey. Then came the Dorak Affair, followed by a series of baffling publications on apparently non-existent sites and finds.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, the British archaeologist James Mellaart garnered an unrivalled status as the leading practitioner of prehistoric Anatolian archaeology. He had discovered and excavated Bronze Age Beycesultan, Chalcolithic Hacilar and the sensational Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük. But there was also his claimed encounter with a mysterious young Turkish woman on a train, leading to his announcement of the fabulous Dorak Treasure. The treasure never surfaced and subsequently Mellaart’s reputation became gravely tarnished.
This talk reveals the extent of Mellaart’s preoccupation with unverifiable archaeological claims. From 1954 until (posthumously) 2018, he published a remarkable range of non-existent archaeological materials and data. radiocarbon Whereas Mellaart’s earlier inventions involved non-existent places and objects, those of his later career were more damaging because he developed fabricated claims about his genuine, early discoveries at the important
About the series
The history of archaeology is marked by significant figures, some for their discoveries that changed the discipline forever, others for the new perspectives gained from their seminal writings, and still others through the sheer force of their personalities.
This Series will examine the lives and times of nine major figures in archaeology, some famous for discovery (Woolley, Petrie, Caton-Thompson, Bass, Mellaart), some for new perspectives on the field (Childe, Brothwell) and some for intrepid early explorations (Stark, Bell). All, through their research, writings and discovery changed the field of archaeology forever.
This fully illustrated lecture series will explore the life and works of a selection of great archaeologists and explorers, discuss their significance to their contemporaries, and how their work is considered today.
You can register for the whole series at a discount, or book for specific Saturdays.
- The lectures will be held remotely via Zoom.
- The lecture will start at 10am with a break at 10.45, then the second lecture will begin at 11 am and finish at 11.45.
- The lecturer will be available to answer questions at the end of each session.
- The cost of the series is:
- NEAF Members: $20 per session All 4 sessions: $60
- Non-Members $30 per session All 4 sessions: $90
- All students are free
- A minimum of 20 is required for each lecture for this series to run – our upper limit is 300 per lecture.
- Once payment is received a receipt and Meeting ID and password will be sent to you.
- To avoid this being passed onto anyone who has not paid, participants will be matched against a list by their screen name to ensure they are a financial participant. Please ensure your zoom screen name correctly identifies you or telephone number if you are connecting via telephone and add this in the area provided when you book.
Hosted by the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)