Kamila Shamsie's latest novel, A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury), has just been published in the UK. Part of it is set on an excavation in Turkey during July 1914 where Vivian Rose Spencer is excavating a temple of Zeus.
I was delighted to receive a mention in the acknowledgements and a pointer to my Sifting the Soil of Greece. [See details]
Gill, D. W. J. 2013. "Harry Pirie-Gordon and the Palestine Guide Books." Public Archaeology 11: 169-78.
Harry Pirie-Gordon (1883–1969) was responsible for the preparation of a series of guidebooks published by the Palestine News immediately after the
First World War. The information had been prepared for the British attack on Palestine. Pirie-Gordon first went to Syria in 1908 ostensibly to study
Crusader castles. He took part in the survey of the Syrian coast around Alexandretta and worked as a foreign correspondent for The Times. Pirie-Gordon was commissioned in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) and initially worked through the Arab Bureau in Cairo. After a spell in Salonica, he was commissioned in the Army, returned to Cairo, and took responsibility for the publication of the Palestine News for the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Allenby’s campaign in Palestine drew on the developing
technology of aerial photography to prepare accurate maps of troop dispositions.
My study of donations to the Fitzwilliam Museum by students of the BSA is now available online.
Gill, D. W. J. 2012. "From the Cam to the Cephissus: the Fitzwilliam Museum and students of the British School at Athens." Journal of the History of Collections: 1-10.
The Fitzwilliam Museum holds material brought back to England by some of the early nineteenth-century travellers to Greece, including Edward Daniel Clarke and William Martin Leake. However, it was not until the later nineteenth century, with the founding of such organizations as the British School at Athens and the Cyprus Exploration Fund, that the Museum's collections started to be enriched through material excavated or otherwise acquired in Greece by archaeologists and other students. This article maps the impact of the emerging discipline of archaeology on the Fitzwilliam's collections in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It also demonstrates how the Museum profited from the close connections between students, archaeologists and museum officers of the period.
Review by Sinclair Hood, in The Anglo-Hellenic Review 44 (Autumn 2011), 29
'Gill's book is a revelation of the diversity and interest of the work done by the staff and members of the BSA in the period of just over 30 years from its foundation in 1886 until 1919.'
'There are three long and useful appendices on Trustees, Managing Committee (Council) Members and Directors, and Students, followed by a very full biography, which all help to make this an invaluable work of reference.'
One of the topics will be the work of British and French archaeologists to record the archaeological remains and to preserve the finds during the campaign in Macedonia. French archaeologists formed part of the Service Archéologique de l'Armée d'Orient. They had gained expertise working on the site of Elaious at Gallipoli, a site that attracted gunfire from the Turkish forces.
The British work in Macedonia was initially led by Lt-Commander Ernest Gardner RNVR, a former director of the BSA and also Yates Professor Archaeology in the University of London. Gardner was one of several former BSA students operating with Naval Intelligence in Salonica (EMSIB).
For further details about Sifting the Soil of Greece see here.
David Gill is Professor of Archaeological Heritage and Director of Heritage Futures at University Campus Suffolk. He was a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome and a Sir James Knott Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was subsequently part of the Department of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, and Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology, Swansea University. He holds the Archaeological Institute of America's Outstanding Public Service Award (2012).
The History of the British School at Athens forms part of an on-going research project (initially on the period from 1886 until the end of the First World War).
If you wish to cite any of the material provided here please contact me at my university email address (under useful links). Citations should take the form: David W.J. Gill, Title of Posting, bsahistory.blogspot.com (date of posting).