The Dalrymple Lectures are a series of free public lectures co-hosted by Glasgow Archaeological Society and the University of Glasgow.

Held annually, the lectures focus on European topics of historic and archaeological interest, and have been made possible thanks to a generous bequest by James Dalrymple. The first lecture series was delivered in 1907, and speakers have included Lord Colin Renfrew, Dr. Chris Stringer, Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, Professor Ian Hodder, Professor David Breeze, and Professor Andrew-Wallace Hadrill. 

For the 2018/2019 Dalrymple Lecture Series, we are pleased to welcome Professor Gavin Lucas from the University of Iceland, who will be lecturing on The Archaeology of Time. The lecture series begins on Monday, February 18th, 2019, at 6.30pm in the Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, University of Glasgow (corner of Gibson Street and University Avenue). 

The lectures included in the series are as follows: 


Lecture 1: Monday 18th 6.30pm – The Archaeological Clock

Archaeological site of Skálholt, Iceland in the winterIn this talk, he will discuss the temporal structure of the archaeological record and the question of scale. Issues such as temporal resolution, time averaging and the long-term all intersect and raise questions about the appropriate time scale of archaeological analysis.


Lecture 2: Tuesday 19th 6.30pm – Changing Times

His second lecture addresses the problem of change in archaeology. What is it and how does our view of time affect how we comprehend it? The question will be especially linked to pragmatic issues of periodization as well as more abstract concepts such as tempo, revolution and evolution.


Lecture 3: Wednesday 20th 6.30pm – Contemporary Pasts

The notion of contemporaneity will be the focus of this third talk. How do - and - could, archaeologists use this concept and what implications might it have for archaeology as
different way to engage with time and the past? The topics of memory and duration take a central place in this discussion.

Lecture 4: Thursday 21st 7.30pm – Back to the Future

In his final lecture, he will address the concept of the future in archaeology. How might/is a sense of the future written into our accounts of the past? Both as past futures (i.e. how do we conceive of the future in past) and as futures of our present (i.e. the relevance of studying the past to our own future). 



For those who regularly attend the lectures in Glasgow Archaeological Society's Annual Lecture Programme, please note the change in venue and the different start times. The lectures on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th will also begin at 6:30pm, while the final lecture on Thursday will begin at 6:30pm.

If you have any questions or queries about the Dalrymple Lecture Series or any of our other lectures, please contact our Lecture Secretary for more details.



About the Lecturer

Gavin LucasGavin Lucas been working in archaeology since he was a teenager in the early 1980s, volunteering during the summers for the Museum of London on various developer-led excavations. It was the start of a long, if discontinuous career in contract archaeology which existed parallel to most of his academic life until his first university position in 2006.

His formal education in archaeology began as an undergraduate at the Institute of Archaeology UCL in the late 1980s and continued through doctoral studies under Ian Hodder at the University of Cambridge on the topic of time. After completing his PhD in the mid-1990s he took up full-time work in contract archaeology with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit. It was also during this time he started to develop an interest in the archaeology of the modern world, leading a project in South Africa for three years.

He moved to Iceland in 2002 to work for an independent archaeological research institution and there lead a major excavation project on a Bishop’s seat for six years. Finally in 2006, he joined the University of Iceland, where he remains today as Professor of Archaeology.

Gavin has published extensively in archaeological theory as well as the archaeology of the modern world. His key theoretical texts focuses on the practices and methods of archaeology and include the books Critical Approaches to Fieldwork (2001), The Archaeology of Time (2005), Understanding the Archaeological Record (2012) and most recently, Writing the Past (2019). He has also published a book on his South African project An Archaeology of Colonial Identity (2004) and co-edited a volume on Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past (2001).

He is currently working on a manuscript on the excavations of a Bishop’s seat in Iceland as well as directing a project on the archaeology of commerce and consumption in Iceland during the 17th-18th centuries.