The Parkers of Heytesbury: The First Field Archaeologists

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 19:30

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A lecture by  Dr Paul Everill. Histories of archaeology often focus on the role of wealthy, educated men and women in the development of the field techniques and the production of knowledge. While it is undeniable that these individuals were, in many senses, the instigators of archaeological endeavour and interest, traditional histories of the discipline ignore the central contribution of the ordinary excavators. Principal amongst these forgotten pioneers must be Stephen and John Parker of Heytesbury, the two labourers employed by William Cunnington on all his excavations between 1801 and his death at the end of 1810. This lecture uses evidence from the original letters and documents held at Devizes Museum to illuminate the role of the Parkers, and argues that the two men should be given greater credit for their contribution to the fledgling discipline of archaeology.

Dr Paul Everill currently teaches applied archaeological techniques at the University of Winchester. He has established research interests in contemporary commercial archaeology; the history of archaeology; the development of fieldwork techniques and contemporary practice; and archaeological pedagogy. He is co-director of an archaeological expedition to the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which has been running since 2001.

A lecture in the Salisbury Museum Archaeology Lectures (SMAL) series. SMAL lectures are held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to April.