16 November 2011

Research Project: Artefacts of Encounter

Artefacts of Encounter, a UK-based research project sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), is now half-way through its 3-year duration.

The project, led by Nicholas Thomas and Amiria Salmond and hosted by the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, examines the legacy of early European voyages into Polynesia (1765-1840), focusing on collections of Pacific artefacts as primary evidence of these cross-cultural encounters and ensuing transformations.

Study visits have already been carried out to document and study relevant material in UK, French, German, Estonian, Russian and other European collections, and more trips are planned for 2012, to Norway, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, the US and New Zealand. 

Research findings are being incorporated into KIWA, a closed-access internet-based platform for collaborative collections-based research. We would be delighted to hear from researchers with a specialist interest in Polynesian material culture who would be interested in joining us as Affiliated Researchers (our current expanded team includes Anne Salmond, Jenny Newell, Patricia Wallace, Deidre Brown and Wonu Veys).

We would also be pleased to hear from museum curators responsible for Polynesian material and whose institution wishes to collaborate with project research.

A workshop will be held next year to present preliminary findings and to showcase the digital aspect of our work.

Please visit our website http://maa.cam.ac.uk/aofe/ for more information about the project, including news of our latest discoveries!

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