The production of this volume has not been without its formidable challenges, but it is with pride that the PIA Committee presents to you the fruits of this year and a half’s labour. As students ourselves, the PIA Committee embraces the opportunity to help our fellow students present their research, either ongoing projects or finished results, to a wider community. Communication is the glue that binds this volume – its contributors, producers, editors and readers – together. I encourage you to continue engaging, challenging, debating and questioning; without such efforts we would have nothing to publish.
The volume opens with a topical and divisive issue: the relationship between archaeologists and the military in the case of Iraq. The Forum Editor selected correspondents on this issue carefully, and the results of their communication are electrifying. Regardless of where you stand on the military’s involvement in Iraq, this debate has far-reaching implications on how archaeological sites and heritage should be handled in situations of armed conflict.
The Interview, with Professor Stephen Shennan, is an intimate view of the background and experiences of the UCL Institute of Archaeology’s Director. Beginning with his first encounter with archaeology, Shennan discusses his time at Cambridge, the Institute itself, and his feelings about the new AHRC legislation; a decision which has an effect on many Institute students.
The three Research Papers presented in this volume represent a variety of approaches to archaeological material. Gabriel Moshenska examines how North London school students’ engagement with an excavation on their school site provides an added experiential element to the National Curriculum’s guidelines for history. Kalliopi Fouseki and Caroline Sandes explore the potential for public education in conserving archaeological remains in situ in Athens and London. Finally, Jonathan Thomas’ work on slate plaque making techniques in late Neolithic/Copper Age Iberia presents the potential for new interpretations of specialisation.
Two short reports follow the research papers. Bryan Cockrell’s study of patinas on objects from several different archaeological contexts illuminates the need for separating examination of objects from contemporary textual references to techniques. Quetta Kaye and her colleagues produce another report on their excavations at Carriacou. Their piece contains details of their findings in the 2008 season as well as an outline of their goals for increasing public awareness of Carriacou’s archaelogical heritage through work with local government officials and the island’s Historical Society and Museum among other local organisations.
Gabriel Moshenska’s review of the book Contested Spaces and Ian Richardson’s review of the “Archaeology 2008” Conference at the British Museum wind up the volume.
I would like to thank this year’s contributors for their patience and receptiveness to the Committee’s comments, and for submitting their pieces for publication; this year’s referees for their careful reading of the research papers; and last (but most emphatically not least) the members of the PIA Committee. Volume 19 would not be here but for you.
Senior Editor, Volume 19 (2009)