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Saturday, 26 April 2014

On Sir Mortimer Wheeler at Maiden Castle; Forged slingshots from Chesil Beach; Fund-raising.



 "The saddleback hill now encircled by the earthworks of Maiden Castle"

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From an article on Sir Mortimer Wheeler by Oliver Moody, The Times, April 26:

"Money was short, and the archives reveal that he resorted to several 'scams' to raise funds. While the couple were working on Maiden Castle, the Iron Age hill fort in Dorset, Dr (Gabriel) Moshenska said that Sir Mortimer sold hundreds of 'slightly forged' ancient slingshots taken from nearby Chesil Beach".

See abstract from a paper from Public Archaeology on the subject

Volume 10 Issue 1 (01 February 2011), pp. 46-55

"Mortimer Wheeler's Theatre of the Past", Gabriel Moshenska, Tim Schadla-Hall

Abstract

"This paper examines the nature of Mortimer Wheeler's work as a public archaeologist, and in particular his efforts to display the archaeological process to interested members of the public. By focusing on the excavations at Maiden Castle, Dorset, from 1934 to 1937 we compare Wheeler's stated philosophy of public archaeology with his practice in the field. At Maiden Castle the theatre of excavation was the centrepiece of a carefully marketed archaeological experience including tours, souvenirs, and a well-developed media strategy. By applying the commodity model of public archaeology as an analytical framework we highlight the sophistication and success of Wheeler's 'theatre of the past'. This analysis lays a foundation for further critical historical studies of both the public understanding of the past, and of Wheeler's life and works".





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