thinking about archaeology

Serious archaeology

I took my first degree at UCL Institute of Archaeology (then an independent institute), and worked for a PhD there: I didn’t complete it, but did publish the results in some detail. In 1979 I moved from London to Wiltshire to be curator of the Alexander Keiller Museum in Avebury. While at the museum I directed small excavations at both Avebury and Stonehenge, and years later another dig at Avebury when I was writing Hengeworld (it was also then that I found the “lost” hoard of ancient human remains in the London Natural History Museum, including the skeleton of a beheaded Anglo-Saxon man from Stonehenge and Avebury’s “barber-surgeon” – all told in the book). Though I have worked primarily as a small publisher, restaurateur and  journalist since leaving the museum in 1984, I continue to enjoy my own original archaeological research; editing British Archaeology allows me to keep up to date with what others are doing behind the scenes in the UK. I was part of the team that re-excavated Aubrey Hole 7 at Stonehenge in 2008, fulfilling a long ambition to see the human remains from the site properly studied and appreciated. In 2012 I initiated a new study of Hoa Hakananai’a, a large Easter Island statue in the British Museum, working with colleagues at Southampton University; we expect peer-reviewed papers about this to be published in 2014.

You can view archaeology posts here.

Select archaeological bibliography

Changes in policy for excavating human remains in England and Wales (with M Parker Pearson & D Sayer), in Curating Human Remains: Caring for the Dead in the United Kingdom, ed Myra Giesen (Boydell & Brewer), 147–57 (2013)

Context & significance of the stone assemblages, in A re-examination of rhyolitic bluestone “debitage” from the Heelstone & other areas within the Stonehenge Landscape, by RA Ixer & RE Bevins, Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Magazine 106, 13–14 (2013)

“Sunday evenings won’t be the same without Time Team”. British Archaeology 128, 22–29 (2012)

Digging deeper: comment on resolving the human remains crisis in British archaeology. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 21 (2012)

Guest editorial: American Digger & archaeology. Anthropology Today 28.3, 1–2 (2012)

Going round in circles, in The New Antiquarians: 50 Years Of Archaeological Innovation in Wessex, ed R Whimster (CBA), 86–89 (2011)

The Crosby Garrett Roman helmet (with Sally Worrell, Ralph Jackson, Andrew Mackay & Roger Bland). British Archaeology 116, 20–27 (2010)

A year at Stonehenge. Antiquity 83, 184–94 (2009)

Staffordshire gold. British Archaeology 109, 14–21 (2009)

A photo by Bill Brandt, and the intimacy of perceptions of Stonehenge and landscape. Landscapes 9, 1–27 (2008)

Stonehenge: now what? British Archaeology 99, 10–15 (2008)

Stonehenge. In Gaimster, D, McCarthy, S & Nurse, B (eds) Making History: Antiquaries in Britain 1707–2007 (London: Royal Academy of Arts), 227–31 (2007)

Bling King’s last battle. British Archaeology 88, 40–3 (2006)

In marches upon the heavenly plain [Fovant war badges]. British Archaeology 85 (Nov/Dec), 36–9 (2005)

Hysteria gloom and foreboding [Allan Sorrell at Stonehenge]. British Archaeology 83 (Jul/Aug), 16-19 (2005)

Heathrow today – tomorrow the world. British Archaeology 75, 18-23 (2004)

Don’t knock the ancestors. Antiquity 77, 172–8 (2003)

Piltdown: time to stop the slurs. British Archaeology 74, 8-13 (2003)

An Anglo-Saxon decapitation and burial at Stonehenge (with Alex Bayliss, Jacqueline McKinley, Anthea Boylston, Paul Budd, Jane Evans, Carolyn Chenery, Andrew Reynolds & Sarah Semple). Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Magazine 95, 131–46 (2002)

Excavating the Sanctuary: new investigations on Overton Hill, Avebury. Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Magazine 94, 1–23 (2001)

Hengeworld (2nd ed). Arrow (2001)

Hengeworld. Century (2000)

Fairweather Eden. Life in Britain half a million years ago as revealed by the excavations at Boxgrove. Century (with M Roberts, 1997)

The vicar’s dewpond, the National Trust shop and the rise of paganism. In Evans, DM, Salway, P & Thackray, D (eds) “The Remains of Distant Times” (London: Boydell Press), 116–31 (1996)

The stone axe in neolithic Britain. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 61, 311–71 (1996)

Manifesto for a green archaeology. In All Natural Things: Archaeology & the Green Debate, ed L Macinnes & CR Wickham-Jones (Oxbow Monograph 21), 203–13 (1992)

The development and date of Avebury. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 58, 203–12 (with A Whittle, 1992)

What future for Avebury? Antiquity 64, 259–74 (1990)

An excavation at Avebury, Wiltshire, 1982. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 51, 305–10 (with JG Evans & D Williams, 1985)

Procurement and use of flint and chert [at Cherhill, Wilts]. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 49, 72–84 (1983)

On the road to Stonehenge: report on investigations beside the A344 in 1968, 1979 and 1980. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 48, 75–132 (1982)

Stones, pits and Stonehenge. Nature 290, 46-47 (1981)

Later Stone Implements. Shire Publications, Aylesbury (1980)

Some aspects of change in flaked stone industries of the mesolithic and neolithic in southern Britain. Journal of Archaeological Science 6, 163–77 (with R M Jacobi, 1979)

Hides and antlers: a new look at the gatherer-hunter site at Star Carr, North Yorkshire, England. World Archaeology 11, 32–42 (1979)

On the shape of waste flakes as an index of technological change in lithic industries. Journal of Archaeological Science 5, 17–37 (1978)

The excavation of an iron age settlement at North Bersted, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, 1975-76. Sussex Archaeological Collections 116, 293–346 (with O Bedwin, 1978)

Footprints on the sands of time. Antiquity 52, 60 (1978)

4 responses

  1. Carol Piddington

    Are there likely to be any more books? I found Fairweather Eden and Hengeworld immensly readable and informative.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:12 am

  2. mikepitts

    There are several books I would like to write. Hopefully someone will want to publish the one I’m working on now!

    September 9, 2009 at 12:09 pm

  3. Carol Piddington

    Any clues about what its about, Mike?

    Regards
    Carol

    September 9, 2009 at 6:54 pm

  4. mikepitts

    I wish I knew

    September 10, 2009 at 9:20 am

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