Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Ucko, Peter (Indigenous Archaeology)

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_43

Basic Biographical Information

Peter Ucko (1938–2007) was one of the most influential archaeologists of the second half of the twentieth century. He rejected the claim that archaeology was an “objective science” and emphasized its subjective, frequently political; nature, stressing the central role of those affected by the past and in particular indigenous peoples.

A childhood fascination with Egyptology led Peter Ucko to undergraduate study in anthropology (the only way he could study Egyptology) in London followed by a Ph.D. on prehistoric figurines at the Institute of Archaeology. In 1962 he returned to the UCL anthropology department to teach material culture and later a course on “Primitive Art” that was the basis of the seminal Paleolithic Cave Art (Ucko & Rosenfeld 1967). Ucko’s move from Egyptology, to anthropology, to the Institute, and back to anthropology foreshadowed his lifelong multidisciplinary approach to the study of the past, as one inextricably mixed-up with an...

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  1. Ucko, P. & A. Rosenfeld. 1967. Palaeolithic cave art. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Ucko, P. 1987. Academic freedom and apartheid: the story of the World Archaeological Congress. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  2. - 1994. Museums and sites: cultures of the past within education – Zimbabwe some ten years on, in P. G. Stone & B. Molyneux (ed.) The presented past: heritage, museums and education: 237-82. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for Cultural and Heritage StudiesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK