Yesterday evening’s AGM was well supported, attended by over 50 members and their guests. The formal meeting was followed by an excellent illustrated talk by Adrian Green, director of Salisbury Museum, on the subject of Pitt Rivers. We learnt how he was so much more than the ‘Father of Modern Archaeology’. As Augustus Lane Fox he was a collector of archaeological finds which can be found in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. His collections were arranged according to his (now discredited) theories of the evolution of artefacts.
He became Pitt Rivers when he unexpectedly inherited the Rushmore Estate in Cranborne Chase. This provided him with a rich source for rural archaeology. He built a museum to house his finds at Farnham which he saw as educative in rural life over time. This also included precise models and drawings of his excavations. On its closure most of the contents were given to Salisbury Museum where they can be seen within the Wessex Gallery. He also set up the Larmer Tree Pleasure Gardens and was the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments.
Sites of his excavations can still be seen on the Rushmore Estate.
In the questions after this fascinating talk, some members were able to recount their own involvement in some of the items mentioned.