David W. Phillipson
David Phillipson is the first Professor of African Archaeology to be appointed at any UK university, and is Director of Cambridge University's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. In the first part of this passionately argued lecture, he makes the case for the importance of 'archaeology in Africa' and 'Africa in archaeology'. Africa was almost certainly the birthplace of the first hominids and has an archaeological record longer than any other continent. Drawing on examples from the archaeology of Ethiopia, specifically the ancient civilisation of Aksum, Phillipson highlights the contribution that archaeology can make to the understanding of that continent and its people, and demonstrates the relevance of African archaeology to mankind as a whole. In the second part of this lecture, Phillipson defends the vital role of museums as custodians of a significant part of our international cultural heritage and as an essential resource for the furtherance of international scholarship.