World Archaeological Congress


Newsletter: Volume 27 April 2009

Contributions to the next WAC Newsletter due 18th May 2009

Archaeologists Without Borders Workshop

Report on the website of the World Archaeological Congress

Archaeologies of Art Podcast Series Launched!

Call for WAC members to nominate Indigenous people

World Archaeological Congress honors Larry Zimmerman

Dr Andree Rosenfeld

Recommendation on ERA Draft Quality Ranking

WAC-6 Media Releases

WAC-6 Closing Ceremony Speech

Portuguese WAC-6 Media Releases

German WAC-6 Media Releases

Spanish WAC-6 Media Releases

Turkish WAC-6 Media Releases

Czech. WAC-6 Media Release on Iran



Vale Peter Ucko


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Dear colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I inform you that Professor Peter Ucko has passed away.

As I am sure you know, Peter was the driving force behind the founding of the World Archaeological Congress, and an inspiration to WAC Executives, both past and current, and to members, and non-members throughout the world.

Peter Ucko was awarded a BA Anthropology, from University College London in 1959, and a PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology and Egyptology, from University College London in 1962. He is a past Director of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and was Professor of Archaeology, Head of Department and then Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Southampton, UK. More recently, he was Executive Director of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, and when he retired he became Emeritus Professor.

Peter’s research interests included the analysis of art and images, the history of archaeology, and the interpretation of archaeological collections and of displays of sites. In retirement, he remained an active researcher, and was working on various publications until very recently.  His recent publications include the eight volume set Encounters With Ancient Egypt. In 2006 A Future for Archaeology, edited by Robert Layton, Stephen Shennan, and Peter Stone, was published in Peter’s honor, to mark the unparalleled role he has played in promoting a socially engaged archaeology.

Peter Ucko was a visionary, dedicated to shaping world archaeology so that it actively engages with its social and political context. In addition to his enormous influence on archaeology globally, he has had tremendous impact on the growth of archaeology in a number of regions, notably Africa, Oceania and, most recently, Eastern Asia, especially China. His graduate students can be found in countries as diverse as Kenya, Japan, Australia, Poland and Argentina.

At the time of Peter’s passing the WAC Executive and the organisers of WAC-6 were discussing the instigation of a lecture to be named after him as the inspiration behind WAC, to be given at an appropriate point at every major WAC Congress from now on.  We were also discussing the instigation of a 'Peter Ucko Medal' to be awarded at each major Congress to an individual who has made a major contribution to world archaeology.

Peter Ucko cannot be replaced, but he will be remembered.


Claire Smith


Professor Peter UCKO - B.A. Hons., Ph.D.

    * Emeritus Professor
    * Executive Director of the ICCHA (Room B10 in the Institute of Archaeology)

Research Interests:
Analysis of prehistoric art and images. Interpretation of archaeological collections and of displays of sites. History of Archaeology.

Recent Publications:

Sully,D., Quirke,S., Ucko,P.J. (2006). Hathor, goddess of love and joy, a Norfolk wherry launched in 1905. Public Archaeology 5(1), 26-36. ISSN: 1465-5187

Ucko,P. (2006). Unprovenanced Material Culture and Freud's Collection of Antiquities. Journal of Material Culture 6, 251-268. ISSN: 1359-1835

Ucko,P.J. (2006). Living Symbols of Ancient Egypt. Public Archaeology, 5 (1),. ISSN: 1465-5187

Ucko,P.J., Price,C., Quirke,S. (2006). A recent Egyptianizing house built on the bank of the Thames. Public Archaeology 5(1), 51-57. ISSN: 1465-5187

Ucko,P.J., Price,C., Quirke,S. (2006). The Earl's Court Homebase car park facade. Public Archaeology 5(1), 42-50. ISSN: 1465-5187

Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S. (2006). 2004 advertisement for the TV version of Agatha Christie's 'Death on the Nile' Public Archaeology 5(1), . ISSN: 1465-5187

Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S. (2006). Living Symbols of Ancient Egypt: Introduction. Public Archaeology 5(1), 5-14. ISSN: 1465-5187

Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S. (2006). The Petrie Medal. Public Archaeology 5(1), 15-25. ISSN: 1465-5187

Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S.Q., Sully,D. (2006). The past in the present and future: concluding thoughts. Public Archaeology 5(1), 58-72. ISSN: 1465-5187

Ucko, P and T. Champion, (2003). The Wisdom of Egypt: changing visions through the ages. London: UCL Press. One of eight books in the Encounters with Ancient Egypt series edited by Peter Ucko

Ucko, P, (2000). Enlivening a 'dead' past, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 4, 67-92

Ucko, P, (1998). The Biography of a Collection: The Sir Flinders Petrie Palestinian Collection and the Role of University Museums, Museum Management and Curatorship, 17(4), 351-399

Ucko, P, (1996). Mother, are you there? Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 6, 300-4

Ucko, P, (1995). Introduction: archaeological interpretation in a world context, in P J Ucko (ed), Theory in Archaeology, 1-27. London: Routledge

Ucko, P, (1994). Museums and sites: cultures of the past within education Zimbabwe, some ten years on, in P Stone & Molyneux B (eds), The Presented Past: heritage, museums and education, 237-282. London: Routledge

Ucko, P, (199). Subjectivity and the recording of Palaeolithic Cave Art, in T Shay & J Clottes (eds), The Limitations of Archaeological Knowledge, 141-180. Liege: University of Liege Press


    * "Faces Across the North Sea", with University of Trondheim, Norway
    * Palaeolithic painted pebbles, with Musee de St Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France

Educational Background:

    * BA Anthropology, UCL 1959
    * PhD Prehistoric Archaeology and Egyptology, UCL 1962


Funeral Service:

Peter's funeral will take place on Tuesday 26 June. The funeral service will be held at 12pm in St Michael's Church, Highgate, followed by burial in Highgate cemetery nearby.  A reception following the funeral (c. 2pm) will be at the Garden Room in UCL's Wilkins Building.

We plan to provide coach transport to and from Highgate (leaving the Institute on Tuesday morning c. 10.30am).  I will confirm details very shortly.

It would be very helpful to know whether you plan to attend the funeral and would like a place on a coach.


St Michael's Church, South Grove, Highgate

Map showing the Church in relation to Highgate cemetery

UCL maps

Reaching UCL by public transport

Jo Dullaghan
Office Manager

on behalf of
Professor Stephen Shennan FBA
Institute of Archaeology
31-34 Gordon Square

Tel: 0207 6797483
Fax: 0207 8132836


Peter Ucko's family have asked that anyone who wishes to remember Peter in a practical way should make a donation to a special fund for indigenous participation at WAC meetings.

Donation Amount: USD

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