Childe among the penguins

22nd November 2013

Peter Gathercole


Gordon Childe (1892–1957), often considered the most distinguished European prehistorian of his time, had a previous career as political activist and New South Wales civil servant. As recent work has demonstrated (Gathercole et al. 1995), this career provided some richly varied experiences of the vagaries of politics, including the knife-thrusts that can enliven those of the university world. In 1927, however, as he told his friend, Palme Duff, founder member of the CPGB (Dutt 1956), Childe abandoned involvement in revolutionary politics in favour of the academic life, when he was appointed the first holder of the Abercromby Chair of Prehistoric Archaeology at Edinburgh University.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Gathercole, P.
Childe among the penguins
June 2000
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