Miscellaneous Facts About Me (& My Blog)

David Platt

I am an expatriate British archaeologist with a varied archaeological past. I have:

  • tried to wrap my head around archaeological theory at Lampeter in the early ’90s.
  • counted land snails, also at Lampeter (and in a lab with a microscope, no less).
  • learned all about human skeletal remains at the Institute of Archaeology in London and University College London’s Department of Anatomy.
  • presented a paper at the Theoretical Archaeology Group‘s Liverpool meeting in 1996,
  • helped excavate a mediaeval Welsh castle (Carew), a mesolithic camp site on the Severn Estuary (Goldcliff), various rescue excavations around the south of England for three professional field units (Essex County Council Field Archaeology Group; Archaeological Solutions (formerly, Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust); Oxford Archaeological Unit), a small town on a remote hilltop in western Sicily, and the middle of the Forum in Rome.
  • taught my own class on Roman archaeology at Stanford University, in California — in addition to several TA assignments there.
  • been the primary project manager on a collaborative project between the Stanford Humanities Lab and a research group at Daimler-Chrysler, with the aim of investigating how people will use “mobile media” in cars in the year 2015 (Mobile Media 2015).
  • been collecting material on the representations of the contemporary city as ruin, since 2000 (Where London Stood).
  • completed a PhD dissertation on the Roman Empire’s public libraries.  The title was “A Cultural Studies Approach to Roman Public Libraries: Social Negotiation, Changing Spaces, and Euergetism.”
  • worked in an Art & Architecture library, from 2005-2010.  Yes, they have books on archaeology.
  • been Stanford University Libraries’ Classics Bibliographer, from June 2009 to July 2010. I was responsible for the curation of Stanford’s library materials dealing with the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean.
  • acted as one of the co-principal investigators at the Durham-Stanford Binchester Roman Town excavation, from 2009-2011.
  • posted my résumé, here.

1940s Advertising Clip Art from Dover collection.

2 Responses
  1. 2009 December 6

    Fascinating project, the ruined cities thing. I briefly flirted with a PhD researching the phenomenon whereby the geographical other to London favoured by early modern writers (Verona, Rome, Venice, Paris, etc. figure as cypher Londons in Shakespeare, Jonson, etc.) gives way to the chronological other in, roughly, the nineteenth century, perhaps in the wake of Mercier’s text, as the chosen means of portraying the city in alienated circumstances: London away from London becomes London after London. But always the two are intimately linked: for the Renaissance imagery, the wheel of fortune becomes the earth, changes in time changes in place, ascendance roaming geographically. In London after London, distant ruins are always also present – in News from Nowhere, the visit to the British Museum places London amongst the other collections; in Ballard’s extraordinary Drowned World, the tropics having come to London, the past of the city (our present) is submerged under alien climate, a swim down underwater to the Planetarium equivalent to a journey down South to seek death. Of course that’s not PhD material, and it ended up folding back into the fictional projects from which it had emerged. You site I found research a post soon to be completed on Piranesi ‘in’ London: http://londonarchaeologist.blogspot.com/

  2. 2009 December 12
    David Platt permalink

    Thanks for posting. I’ll reply to this very shortly but will move it to the Where London Stood page. Hope that that’s not too irritating. I’m new to this blogging malarkey and have to iron out a few wrinkles in how I do things/ set things up. :^)

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