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Centennial of the Archaeology and Anthropology Tripos


27-28 February 2015

Celebrate the Centennial of the Archaeology and Anthropology Tripos at the University of Cambridge on 27th and 28th February 2015 on Downing Site at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and at Magdalene College, Cambridge!

You are invited to a large gathering of all Arch and Anth Alumni and guests on the 27th and 28th February 2015. The event will open on the Friday evening of the 27th February with a wine reception in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. This will be followed by the all-day celebration of the Centennial of the undergraduate degree on Saturday 28th February 2015 at Magdalene College in the Cripps Conference Centre, starting at 9.30am and closing with an evening Formal Hall in Magdalene and St John's Colleges.

All welcome, particularly Graduates of the Tripos!

In 1915, Miles Burkitt offered to lecture on prehistoric archaeology as part of the first undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Anthropology in the UK, under the Cambridge Board for Anthropological Studies. This seminal Tripos of Archaeology and Anthropology went on to become well-known and honoured worldwide for its graduates over 100 years, with an impact that makes it one of the most successful degrees of the University of Cambridge. This year, 2015, is our Centennial. From this year, all the spirit and substance of Arch and Anth will continue towards the next Centennial, as an important and distinctive pathway within a new degree called 'Human, Social and Political Science'. Further developments will also be announced on the 28th February.

The day of celebrations will consist of many Personal Histories panels arranged by theme and generation, discussing their memories, as they progressed through their lives.  Current contributors are expected to include: Ray Abrahams (Cambridge),  Peter Addyman (York), Marcus Banks (Oxford), Alan Bilsborough (Durham), Graeme Barker (Cambridge), Mary Bouquet (Utrecht), Cyprian Broodbank (Cambridge), Bernard  Campbell, Matt Candea (Cambridge), David Chivers (Cambridge), Kate Clark (CADW), Dilys Daws, Christopher Dobbs (Portsmouth),  Brian Fagan (Santa Barbara),  Robert Foley (Cambridge), Norman Hammond (Boston), Susanne Haselgrove, Max Hebditch (London),  Michael Herzfeld (Harvard),  Steve Hugh-Jones (Cambridge),  Carrie Humphrey (Cambridge), Tim Ingold (Aberdeen), Martin Jones (Cambridge), Turi King (Leicester), Tim Ingold (Aberdeen), Paul Lane (Uppsala),  Jean La Fontaine (London), Joan Oates (Cambridge), Alan MacFarlane (Cambridge), Ann MacLarnon (Roehampton), Caroline Malone (Belfast), Malcolm McLeod (Glasgow), John Mulvaney (Canberra), Kate Pretty (Scotland),  Colin Renfrew (Cambridge), Hilary Richardson, Peter Robertshaw (San Bernardino), Judith Rodden, Christopher Scarre (Durham), Alison Sheridan (Edinburgh), David Sneath (Cambridge), Edward Speed, Penny Spikins (York), Simon Stoddart (Cambridge), Marilyn Strathern (Cambridge), Allegra Stratton (BBC),  Debbie Swallow (London), Tim Taylor (Vienna),  Ian Tattersall (New York), James Woodburn, Ruth Whitehouse (London), Rowan Williams (Cambridge),  Alex Wilshaw (Cambridge), David Wilson (Isle of Man), Barbara Woroncow, Nur Yalman (Harvard).

The celebrations will include:

Friday 27th February

2.00 pm onwards

Gallery Talks in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

                    14:00 Nicholas Thomas - MAA: past, present, future (ground floor)

                    14:30 Jody Joy - Cambridge archaeology (ground floor)

                    15:00 Mark Elliott - MAA and Asia (first floor)

                    15:30 Anita Herle - Haddon, the Museum and anthropology in Cambridge (first floor)

                    16:00 Julie Adams - A World War One story (ground floor)

                    16:30 Chris Wingfield - World  archaeology at MAA (second floor)

Remembering the McDonald - seminar in the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

An afternoon in the The Duckworth collection with Dr. Marta Lahr in the Henry Wellcome Building


2.00 pm -  2.30 pm  'From the Mongolian steppes to the Himalayas: Three decades of cross-disciplinary explorations of Inner Asia'. Dr Hildegard Diemberger. At MIASU (The Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit)

5.00pm - 8.00 pm

Talks by Deborah Swallow and Sir David Wilson in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Wine Reception

Saturday 28th February

9.30am in the Cripps Auditorium of Magdalene College

Plenary session with Jean LaFontaine,  John Mulvaney, Ian Tattersall and others

Panels on subthemes: Theory, Fieldwork, Science and Deep Time, Africa, The Mediterranean and Maritime, Beyond the Academy, Collaboration and Engagement, The Life of the Tripos

Plenary concluding sessions ending by 6.30 pm

Wine reception

Dinner will take place in two colleges: Magdalene (240 places in four locations) and St. Johns (50 places in the Wordsworth Room) at 7.30pm.

The Bookings are now CLOSED.

Seating plans will be finalised today Monday 23 February

A full conference programme is here. An explanation of the organisation of the two days can be found here

Whom would you like to record and hear talk about their lives?

Please  send your thoughts to


Professor John Hutton’s retirement party
Professor John Hutton’s retirement party with members of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology dressed in museum artefacts, 1950, photograph courtesy of Mina Lethbridge.

 “The Anthropology and Archaeology Department was far more interesting than any primitive tribe,” I.M.R. Summers (m.1949), as quoted in Pamela Jane Smith's "A Splendid Idiosyncrasy: Prehistory at Cambridge, 1915–50"