University of Cambridge > > Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science > The news from Glozel: media, scandal and the making of French archaeology, ca. 1927

The news from Glozel: media, scandal and the making of French archaeology, ca. 1927

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  • UserDaniel J. Sherman (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • ClockThursday 17 February 2022, 15:30-17:00
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Richard Staley.


Within three years of a fortuitous discovery of what appeared to be a Neolithic trove in the mountains of central France in 1924, the site, known as Glozel, had sparked controversy and headlines around the world. Beyond questions of authenticity, which mainstream archaeology has largely dismissed, Glozel offered archaeologists an opportunity to make a case for the scientificity of their work and to debate their methods and findings on a very public stage. At the same time, journalists reporting on it experimented with a variety of approaches, from investigative reporting to learned commentary to full-scale satire. At the same time, discussions of Glozel also entertained questions about the course of civilization, the nature of scientific learning, and the relationship between scientific disciplines and public discourse. After situating Glozel within my larger book project (working title Sensations: French Archaeology Between Science and Spectacle, 1890–1940), my talk will examine the controversy with a special focus on questions of truth-telling and visuality in the archaeological archive.

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