O.G.S. Crawford’s Feet: Archaeological Pathways through a Photographic Archive

Link to join the seminar on Teams

The archaeologist O.G.S. Crawford (1886-1957) was a prolific photographer, taking approximately 10,000 photographs between 1931 and his death in 1957. Though Crawford is best known for his pioneering application of aerial photography to archaeology, there are surprisingly few air photographs in his photographic archive. Instead, the uncatalogued archive’s contents span an almost bewildering array of terrestrial themes; black and white photographs of cats, cattle, rainbows, and lightning strikes are mixed with record shots of excavations, wartime street scenes and surveys of Sudanese castles. In this paper I put forward an alternative legacy for Crawford, one which begins not with Crawford’s reputation for aerial work, but with the fieldwork he undertook with his feet firmly on the ground. In doing so I draw on archaeological theories of temporality and assemblage to draw connections between seemingly disparate aspects of the photographic archive and reflect on the ways in which these connections open up wider questions about the nature of archaeological photography.

Pitt Rivers Museum Research Seminar in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology, Hilary 2022

Online on Teams (the link is above)

Fridays, 12pm-1.30pm (Weeks 1-8)

Convened by Chihab El Khachab and Christopher Moreton