This issue of Archaeology International continues the ‘new look’ given to last year’s double-issue (No. 13/14) in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of Archaeology. Not surprisingly, the events of the 75th Anniversary celebrations, held in 2012, feature here in a number of contributions, beginning with the ‘Director’s Report’, but with a more extensive record presented in that by Andrew Reynolds, as also in the ‘News’ items by Joe Flatman and Adam Koszary. The latter is an account by one of the Master’s students who helped create of the 75th Anniversary exhibition for display in the A.G. Leventis Gallery, from May 2012 to February 2013.
There is an expanded ‘News’ section reflecting not only new initiatives in the work of the Institute, but also the willingness of colleagues to share the most recent results of projects in progress – or to report on their newly completed research. The latter includes David Phillipson’s summary of his work on ‘Aksum and the northern Horn of Africa’, which is the first contribution to the ‘new’ AI from one of the Institute’s Honorary Professors (following his retirement from a Chair of African Archaeology and the Directorship of the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology at Cambridge).
All members of Institute staff are encouraged to submit articles and news items to the Editor for AI 16 (2012–13). Contributions to ‘From the Archives’ for consideration for future issues, featuring past Institute activities (in-house, in Gordon Square or in the field) would be particularly welcome.
In the main section, Stephen Shennan describes one of the Institute’s innovative current research projects, on the ‘Cultural Evolution of Neolithic Europe’. Another major international research programme, in Olduvai Gorge, is the subject of an article by Ignacio de la Torre and colleagues.
An aerial perspective on medieval Merv, by Tim Williams, reveals more of the Institute’s involvement (since 1991) with this ‘Silk Roads’ city. In addition, there are two contributions on the ‘home front’, outlining the results of recent survey and excavation on the Thames foreshore and the completion (by CAA) of the post-excavation analysis of a major prehistoric site in Kent.
The issues of AI edited by David Harris between 2000 and 2005 contained a series of recollections by former staff and alumni of the Institute, focussing on ‘the early years’ of the 1940s and 1950s, when it was located at St John’s Lodge, under Gordon Childe. We are grateful to Charles Thomas for continuing this with an account of his years as a postgraduate diploma student (1951–53). An outline of his subsequent career is contained in Gathering the Fragments (2012), a biographical collection of his writings, edited by Chris Bond.
‘A Global Perspective’, the annual round-up of the Institute’s involvement in fieldwork around the world has been co-ordinated by Brian Hole, in addition to his main role (once again) as Production Editor for AI. Andrew Reynolds, as Assistant Editor, has also continued to oversee the other regular new features: ‘Bookshelf’, ‘Alumni Reflections’ and ‘From the Archives’, the latter collection of memorable photographs contributed this year by Ian Carroll.