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We are grateful to Chris Evans for convening and introducing this imaginative archaeological tribute to the work of Charles Darwin, 150 years after the publication of his On the origin of species – the inspiration for an evolutionary concept of history in so many fields. June 2009 is also the 150th anniversary of a yet more momentous event in the history of archaeology, the endorsement of the antiquity of human tool-making by observations in the Somme gravels. Clive Gamble and Robert Kruszynski reconstruct the occasion and publish the famous axe for the first time. Chris Evans returns to present us with the bitter-sweet spectacle of the Darwin family as excavators and Tim Murray rediscovers a suite of pictures made for John Lubbock which show how prehistoric life was envisaged in polite society at the time. Lastly we are grateful to Colin Renfrew for his own reflections on the anniversary.
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