Between 1929 and 1934, British archaeologist Dorothy Garrod was leading excavations at a number of cave sites around Mount Carmel, in what was then Palestine. An investigation into museum storage facilities led me to a collection of Paleolithic stone tools which were excavated at these sites. Once useful everyday items for the people who lived there, they are now preserved in museums as relics of human history and archaeological discovery. These stone tools have been functional objects, discarded or lost, rediscovered and protected items. How will their meaning and value be perceived in the future? Can their place in these museum drawers be seen as another temporary phase in an ongoing process of re-definition and interpretation?
Excavations was exhibited at the University of Westminster on the 4th December 2017. My images were shown alongside a selection of photographs made by Dorothy Garrod around the excavation sites where these objects were unearthed. Her photographs were reproduced for the exhibition with the kind permission of the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. My project would also not have been possible without the assistance and support of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, where I produced these photographs.