Collective Re-Excavation and Lost Media from the Last Century of British Prehistoric Studies


  • Jennifer Wexler MicroPasts Project, British Museum
  • Andrew Bevan University College London
  • Chiara Bonacchi University College London, UK
  • Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert University College London
  • Daniel Pett British Museum
  • Neil Wilkin British Museum



archives, Bronze Age, card indexes, digitization, media archaeology, MicroPasts Project


There are thousands of forgotten archaeological archives hidden away in repositories all over the world, lost worlds where many scholars have toiled away for years, trying to record every detail and bit of information available about rare and precious archaeological objects in an attempt to bring order and understanding to an almost incomprehensible past. This paper discusses how these archives can be approached through Huhtamo’s definition of media archaeology as a ‘historically-attuned enterprise’ that involves ‘excavating forgotten media-cultural phenomena’, focusing on the MicroPasts digitization project. It is shown that greater utilization of digital media simply changes and extends the terms of engagement, accessibility, and flow of information from antiquated archaeological archives to the community and back again.


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Author Biographies

Jennifer Wexler, MicroPasts Project, British Museum

Jennifer Wexler is Bronze Age Index Manager in the MicroPasts Project at the British Museum and an honorary research associate at the UCL Institute of Archaeology

Andrew Bevan, University College London

Andrew Bevan is Professor of Spatial and Comparative Archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

Chiara Bonacchi, University College London, UK

Chiara Bonacchi is a Research Associate on the MicroPasts and MicroPasts Knowledge Exchanges Projects at the UCL Institute of Archaeology

Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert, University College London

Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert is a digital curator at the British Library and an honorary research associate at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

Daniel Pett, British Museum

Daniel Pett is the former ICT officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme ( and is now developing of creative digital projects at the British Museum. He is an Honorary Lecturer at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

Neil Wilkin, British Museum

Neil Wilkin is Curator of the British and European Bronze Age collection at the British Museum.


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How to Cite

Wexler, J., Bevan, A., Bonacchi, C., Keinan-Schoonbaert, A., Pett, D., & Wilkin, N. (2015). Collective Re-Excavation and Lost Media from the Last Century of British Prehistoric Studies. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 2(1), 126–142.