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How much was archaeology founded on prejudice? The Archaeology of Race explores the application of racial theory to interpret the past in Britain during the late Victorian and Edwardian period. It investigates how material culture from ancient Egypt and Greece was used to validate the construction of racial hierarchies. Specifically focusing on Francis Galton's ideas around inheritance and race, it explores how the Egyptologist Flinders Petrie applied these in his work in Egypt and in his political beliefs. It examines the professional networks formed by societies, such as the Anthropological Institute, and their widespread use of eugenic ideas in analysing society. Archaeology of Race draws on archives and objects from the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Galton collection at UCL. These collections are used to explore anti-Semitism, skull collecting, New Race theory and physiognomy. These collections give insight into the relationship between Galton and Petrie and place their ideas in historical context.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Natasha McEnroe, former Curator of the Galton Collection and Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum. Introduction Races and Men Before the 1860s Galton and Genius Fitting Aesthetics Photographing Races from Antiquity Greek Art, Greek Faces? Peopling the Old Testament Akhenaten's Heredity The New Ancient Race Flinders Petrie and Edwardian Politics Memphis Heads Afterword by Kathleen Sheppard, Missouri University of Science and Technology Appendices

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The Archaeology of Race considers the role of racial theory in archaeology and its contemporary political implications with specific focus on Francis Galton and Flinders Petrie.

About the Author

Debbie Challis is the Audience Development Officer at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London, UK, and the author of From the Harpy Tomb to the Wonders of Ephesus (Bloomsbury Academic, 2008).


Reveals an unexpected link between two major figures in early anthropology, and one that adds weight to my favourite Darwin quote, that: 'Ignorance more frequently breeds confidence than does knowledge'. -- Steve Jones, The Lancet The Archaeology of Race: the Eugenic Ideas of Francis Galton and Flinders Petrie tells the tale and pays particular attention to the role of attractiveness in defining ancestry. The book has a detailed, indeed exhaustive, analysis of some of the material in UCL's collections, and itself has rather a whiff of the museum (with "multiple visualities at play"). Even so, The Archaeology of Race reveals an unexpected link between two major figures in early anthropology, and one that adds weight to my favourite Darwin quote, that: "Ignorance more frequently breeds confidence than does knowledge". -- Steve Jones, The Lancet

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