The making of a radical archaeologist: The early years of Vere Gordon Childe

16th October 2014

Derricourt AA79 wordcloudRobin Derricourt

Vere Gordon Childe is the most prominent archaeologist produced by Australia to date. His writing influenced two generations of the public’s understanding of the human past, alongside the academic interpretation and teaching of prehistory, while his work has stimulated more professional conferences and critiques than any other in the discipline. This paper explores how close Childe came to taking a different path, outlining the circumstances that led him to abandon archaeology and pursue a potentially high profile political career. This began and ended amid opposition and controversy, when external circumstances forced him out of politics and, at the age of 30, back to archaeology. This account of the details of Childe’s early life, motivation, passions and skills draws on unpublished archives held in the State Records of New South Wales, and other early sources, together with the disparate materials that have become available since the biography of Childe published in 1981.

Derricourt, R.
The making of a radical archaeologist: The early years of Vere Gordon Childe
December 2014
79
Article
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