Sir John Evans Centenary Project - image background is marbled paper from one of John Evans's books John Evans Numismatic Society Medal 1899

John Evans's Archaeological Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

A total of 431 archaeological objects in the Pitt Rivers Collection are associated with John Evans. Some he donated straight to the Pitt Rivers Museum, others came to the museum via his son, Arthur John Evans, or via the founding collection of the museum donated by Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers, or via the Oxford University Museum (of Natural History).

Of the 431 archaeological objects, 359 are stone tools, the remainder are stone arrowheads and spear blades, Gallo-Roman bronze figures, bone tools, beads and pottery sherds.

230 of these objects come from Africa, 80 from North and South America, 17 from Asia, and 94 from Europe and 10 from an unknown location (probably North African or Middle Eastern).

In addition there is a third category of artefacts, which are neither archaeological nor ethnographic, which comprise forgeries, reproductions and casts, of a variety of different archaeological artefacts. There are also some geological stone specimens and fossils.

John Evans' ethnographic collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

A total of 56 artefacts classified as ethnographic are thought to have been field collected or owned by John Evans in the Pitt Rivers Museum. Most were given to the museum by his son Arthur John Evans, but some were donated, as part of the founding collection, by Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers and a few came directly from John Evans.

The objects include:

5 Arab carnelian arrowhead-shaped amulets from the Middle East or North Africa.

8 objects from North and South America, including a stone spear blade from Maryland, the haft of a leather-working tool from Dakota, a stone maul carved in the shape of an animal's head from Fort Simpson, British Columbia, a stone pestle from the Vancouver Island, an Inuit stone arrow head, an unlocated stone arrowhead from North America, and a pair of painted animal horns possibly from South America.

6 items from Asia including a Thai coin and two fragments, 3 pieces of 'fish hook money' from Sri Lanka.

1 object from Australia, a hafted stone axe from Western Australia.

12 objects from Europe: 3 gnostic gems (abraxas amulets), a gunflint maker's core from Brandon in Suffolk, a tinder box with accessories from England, a child's pottery money-box with bird-shaped whistle on the top from Stockholm, Sweden, two other pottery money boxes from Italy, and a harvest trophy from Dyfed in Wales.

Finally there are 24 artefacts from Oceania: a club-head from New Guinea, a ground stone adze blade from San Cristobal in the Solomon Islands, 3 adzes, a sling-stone pouch with 14 stones, and another sling stone all from New Caledonia. An adze from the Society Islands, a turtleshell spoon and plate from the Republic of Palau.

Further References / Links:

Pitt Rivers Museum