John Garstang began his academic career in mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford, but while still an undergraduate turned his attention to archaeology. His first fieldwork was done in Egypt, where, at the age of twenty-three, he joined Flinders Petrie.
From 1930 to 1936 he carried out a major excavation at Jericho, funded by Sir Charles Marston. Although this excavation was poorly published, and although Garstang’s views of Jericho regarding the accounts in Exodus and regarding the Israelite conquest are no longer accepted, his work there provided the first information about the existence of an aceramic Neolithic culture.
Felcity Cobbing will discuss Garstang’s excavations, his methodology, and why he came to the conclusions he did – and why he was unhappy with some of those conclusions, hence his approach to Kathleen Kenyon to look again at the site.
Felicity Cobbing, Executive Secretary and Curator, Palestine Exploration Fund, is an expert on the collections of the PEF, and the role the PEF played in the development of archaeology, historical geography, and ethnography in late 19th and early to mid- 20th century Palestine.