Vere Gordon Childe

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V. Gordon Childe
Vere Gordon Childe
BirthplaceSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Known for Excavating Skara Brae. Marxist archaeological theory

Childe, Vere Gordon


Born Apr. 14, 1892, in Sydney, Australia; died Oct. 19,1957. British archaeologist. Fellow of the British Academy (from 1940). Director of the Institute of Archaeology of the University of London (1946–56).

Childe conducted excavations in Scotland and Northern Ireland and on the Orkney Islands, at Skara Brae. His main works dealt with the prehistory of Europe and the East, in which, guided by the works of Soviet researchers, he proposed a materialistic basis for historical processes. He opposed the theory of migrationism, which explains changes in culture through migrations of peoples, advancing instead the theory of the independence of cultural development. Childe studied the origin and development of farming—the Neolithic revolution, the transition from the hunting and gathering economy of the Paleolithic to the producing economy of the Neolithic. Although he regarded the evolution of the economy as the primary factor in social progress, he reduced the problem of the rise of a state system to a question of the origin of cities (the urban revolution), not devoting proper attention to social relations.

Childe was accidentally killed in the mountains near Sydney.


Prehistoric Communities of the British Isles. London, 1949.
Prehistoric Migrations in Europe. Oslo, 1950.
Social Evolution. London [1951].
In Russian translation:
Progress i arkheologiia. Moscow, 1949.
Uistokov evropeiskoi tsivilizatsii. Moscow, 1952.
Drevneishii Voslok v svete novykh raskopok. Moscow, 1956.


Mongait, A. L. “G. Chaild.” Sovetskaia arkheologiia, 1958, no. 3.
References in periodicals archive ?
The papers collected in this volume were delivered at the Institute of Archaeology at University College, London, on May 8 and 9, 1992, celebrating the centennial of the birth of Vere Gordon Childe, probably the foremost archaeologist of the twentieth century.
Gordon Childe published a theory of the origins of Indo-European speakers, based on what linguists knew about their speech and available archaeological evidence.
In early 1988 my grandfather, Robert Barron Kerr Stevenson (1913-1992), former Keeper of the National Antiquities of Scotland, was asked about his recollections of his former teacher and colleague Vere Gordon Childe.
He questioned why the Senate of the University of Sydney had refused to confirm the recommendation of a selection committee to appoint Vere Gordon Childe to the position of history lecturer.
Things don't cheer up when he gets a letter from fellow curmudgeon Gordon Childe in 1943: "Let us turn our eyes from this disordered present to the past, where from our high ivory towers we may discern an order".
We are perilously close here to a 'megalithic priesthood' and a 'megalithic religion', and shades of Gordon Childe (and indeed Marija Gimbutas) flicker occasionally across the page.
The first two Abercromby professors were Gordon Childe and Stuart Piggott, who conformed to the specification in all particulars, breaking new ground and writing popular books.
Letters from Bersu (the great German fieldworker), Grahame Clark and Gordon Childe cast interesting light on contemporary opinion, which is revealed as particularly poignant through the documentation for the energetic support of Bersu during his period of internment.
Volume I (1927) Raymond Firth Maori hill forts Gordon Childe The Danube thoroughfare and the beginnings of civilisation in Europe E.
This wealth of archaeology has long been known, as the work of 20th-century scholars such as Cyril Fox, Gordon Childe and R.
The similarities between long barrows and long houses were discussed by Gordon Childe over 50 years ago (Childe 1949).
Gordon Childe in the following section); a couple on iconography (New Kingdom Egypt and the ancient Maya); and a concluding review by M.