Ask an Archaeologist: Andrew Cochrane

The art and archaeology worlds are all a-buzz with the excitement of the new Ice Age Art exhibition at the British Museum (a review from Dr A is on its way).

Prehistories has scooped an interview with the exhibition’s Project Curator, Dr Andrew Cochrane for our very first Ask an Archaeologist.

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Ask an Archaeologist: Dr Andrew Cochrane

What is your specialism? Neolithic imagery / Art and Archaeology

Why did you become an archaeologist?  I originally trained as a topographical surveyor; whilst working at a peat extraction site, I had the opportunity to meet archaeologists excavating nearby. I liked my job – but what they were doing was far more exciting!

Which archaeologist (past or present) would you invite onto an excavation? Simon Davis (Museum of London Archaeology) – he is an amazing archaeologist!

Choose one of the following: trowel; museum; archive; library; landscape; laptop. Landscape (even though I rarely use the word).

What is your dream find? An undiscovered, undisturbed, unscheduled passage tomb that is full of things and imagery.

Time travel, yes or no? (Give reasons) No – there is only the present.

If you had to relocate to the past, which era would you move to? Well, I think there is only the present… Will the relocation make me fantastically rich? If so, I pick AD 2012 as my first choice, and the nineteenth century as my second.

Is there a work of art (e.g. novel, painting, music, film, etc) that has influenced you as an archaeologist? ‘The Rings of Saturn’ by WG Sebald

What are you working on at the moment? I am the Project Curator for an exhibition at the British Museum called ‘Ice Age art: arrival of the modern mind’. Please see:

I am also editing a book for the World Archaeological Congress on ‘Art and Archaeology’ with Dr Ian Russell (Brown University).

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Check out Andrew’s profile, previous projects and publications here:

Read more Ask an Archaeologist features here: