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Collections of Pitt Rivers founder to be studied
Matt Pickles | 29 Oct 12
General Pitt-Rivers is well known not only for the Oxford University museum which takes his name but for his contribution to the development of modern scientific archaeology.
But the earliest archaeological collections that he made, which are held in the Pitt Rivers Museum, have never been studied.
The collections come from more than 50 prehistoric, Roman and medieval sites across the UK, including artefacts from a medieval castle in Kent, Iron Age hill-forts in Sussex, Bronze Age barrows in Yorkshire, and Roman sites in central London.
Now, a grant from Arts Council England’s Designation Development Fund will mean that these collections can finally be documented and properly analysed.
'General Pitt-Rivers created the first archaeology collection of national scope to be made through scientific excavation,' says Oxford University archaeologist Dr Dan Hicks.
'By documenting this iconic collection, and exchanging knowledge with local archaeologists, this project explores how these artefacts connect the Pitt Rivers Museum with sites, landscapes and communities across the country.'
General Pitt-Rivers founded the Museum in 1884 and the material he donated forms an important part of the Museum’s collections to this day. His achievements are not only recognised in the Pitt Riverse Museum, but in the naming of a pub in Devon.
Top image: The Pitt Rivers Museum; Bottom image: The Museum inn in Devon - a picture of General Pitt-Rivers adorns its sign (Trish Steel)