Peter Ucko bigraphy, stories - British archaeologist

Peter Ucko : biography

1938 - 2007

Peter John Ucko FRAI FSA (27 July 1938 – 14 June 2007) was an influential English archaeologist. He served as Director of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London (UCL), and was a Fellow of both the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Society of Antiquaries. A controversial and divisive figure within archaeology, his life's work focused on eroding western dominance by broadening archaeological participation to developing countries and indigenous communities.

Born in London to middle class German Jewish parents, Ucko attained his BA and PhD in the anthropology department of UCL, where he proceeded to work from 1962 to 1972, also publishing a number of significant books on archaeology. From 1972 to 1981 he worked as principle of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in Canberra, Australia, instituting measures to increase the participation of Indigenous Australian communities in their heritage. Returning to England in 1981 to teach archaeology at the University of Southampton, he became national secretary of the International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (IUPPS) and was responsible for organising their eleventh congress in 1986; disagreements over whether to abide by the academic boycott of South Africa resulted in Ucko denouncing the IUPPS and founding the World Archaeological Congress (WAC), which focused on recognising current socio-political dimensions to archaeology.

In 1996 he was controversially appointed director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology, overseeing largescale expansion to create the world's largest archaeology department. Also teaching there, he initiated reforms to the syllabus and forged links with the archaeological community in the People's Republic of China, co-founding the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology. Retiring in 2005, he continued developing connections between the UK and China until his death from diabetes.

The Peter Ucko Archaeological Trust

The Peter Ucko Archaeological Trust was established in 2007, and focuses particularly on providing financial assistance for indigenous and economically disadvantaged people to gain education and training in archaeology, heritage management and associated disciplines, and supports activities that address inequalities and cultural conflict in the areas of archaeological heritage and cultural property. The Trust is administered by the UCL Institute of Archaeology.No author. 2007-2008. The Peter Ucko Archaeological Trust. Archaeology International 11, p. 14. DOI:


  • Sully,D., Quirke,S., Ucko,P.J. (2006). Hathor, goddess of love and joy, a Norfolk wherry launched in 1905. Public Archaeology 5(1), 26-36. ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Ucko,P. (2006). Unprovenanced Material Culture and Freud's Collection of Antiquities. Journal of Material Culture 6, 251-268. ISSN: 1359-1835
  • Ucko,P.J. (2006). Living Symbols of Ancient Egypt. Public Archaeology, 5 (1),. ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Ucko,P.J., Price,C., Quirke,S. (2006). A recent Egyptianizing house built on the bank of the Thames. Public Archaeology 5(1), 51-57. ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Ucko,P.J., Price,C., Quirke,S. (2006). The Earl's Court Homebase car park facade. Public Archaeology 5(1), 42-50. ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S. (2006). 2004 advertisement for the TV version of Agatha Christie's 'Death on the Nile' Public Archaeology 5(1), . ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S. (2006). Living Symbols of Ancient Egypt: Introduction. Public Archaeology 5(1), 5-14. ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S. (2006). The Petrie Medal. Public Archaeology 5(1), 15-25. ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S.Q., Sully,D. (2006). The past in the present and future: concluding thoughts. Public Archaeology 5(1), 58-72. ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Ucko, P and T. Champion, (2003). The Wisdom of Egypt: changing visions through the ages. London: UCL Press. One of eight books in the Encounters with Ancient Egypt series edited by Peter Ucko
  • Ucko, P, (2000). Enlivening a 'dead' past, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 4, 67-92
  • Ucko, P, (1998). The Biography of a Collection: The Sir Flinders Petrie Palestinian Collection and the Role of University Museums, Museum Management and Curatorship, 17(4), 351-399
  • Ucko, P, (1996). Mother, are you there? Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 6, 300-4
  • Ucko, P, (1995). Introduction: archaeological interpretation in a world context, in P J Ucko (ed), Theory in Archaeology, 1-27. London: Routledge
  • Ucko, P, (1994). Museums and sites: cultures of the past within education Zimbabwe, some ten years on, in P Stone & Molyneux B (eds), The Presented Past: heritage, museums and education, 237-282. London: Routledge
  • Ucko, P, (1992). Subjectivity and the recording of Palaeolithic Cave Art, in T Shay & J Clottes (eds), The Limitations of Archaeological Knowledge, 141-180. Liege: University of Liege Press
  • Ucko, P., 1987, Academic Freedom and Apartheid: The Story of the World Archaeological Congress, London: Duckworth. ISBN 0-7156-2191-2
  • Ucko, Peter J. and Rosenfeld, Andree (1967) Palaeolithic Cave Art
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine