Christopher Evans
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Soldiering archaeology
Pitt Rivers and collecting ‘Primitive Warfare’
in Dividing the spoils
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The chapter considers the archaeological activities of soldiers during the nineteenth century, both in Britain and abroad as an adjunct of empire (e.g. India and Palestine). This is not just a matter of skill-set transfer (e.g. surveying) and landscape appraisal, but also the very idea of ‘discipline’ and the organisation of labour. In this, the career of Lieutenant-General Pitt Rivers looms large, particularly for his conceptualization of formal proofs based on his experience in military ordnance and legal proceedings. The contribution also extends to service-based collection activities, such as the Navy’s transportation of antiquities destined for the British Museum and the establishment of the United Service Institute’s museum. The latter underpinned Pitt Rivers’ Primitive Warfare studies and directly influenced his own museum collections.

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Dividing the spoils

Perspectives on military collections and the British empire


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