Ivor Noël Hume
Ivor Noël Hume (born 1927, London) is a British-born archaeologist in the United States. A former director of Colonial Williamsburg’s archaeological research program and the author of more than 20 books, he has been heralded by his peers as the "father of historical archaeology".
Noël Hume studied at Framlingham College, Suffolk and St. Lawrence College, Kent, in England, spent a short stint in the British Army during World War II, and as an assistant stage manager for a London theater, before deciding to pursue archaeology as a career and joining the staff of Guildhall Museum in London where he worked from 1949 to 1957. His early speciality was 17th and 18th century wine bottles. He became chief archaeologist and director of the expanded Colonial Williamsburg archaeology program in 1957 and served in that capacity for the next three decades.
Noël Hume discovered and excavated the 17th century site of Wolstenholme Towne, at Carter's Grove Plantation just east of Williamsburg. Wolstenholme at Martin's Hundred was one of the early Virginia settlements after Jamestown and evidence of the 1622 Indian attack was found in the deaths of several of the citizens. Major excavations in Colonial Williamsburg included work at the original site of Eastern State Hospital, conducted in 1972 — which was the largest site work since the excavation of the Governor's Palace in 1930 — the James Geddy House and shop, Weatherburn's Tavern and outbuildings and the cabinetmakers shop. Noël Hume retired as Director of the Department of Archaeological Research at Colonial Williamsburg in 1988. In retirement, he directed an excavation (1991–92) at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, and discovered Thomas Harriot's 1585-86 "science center" there.
Scholarship and publicity
Noël Hume's work is noted for the effort to put the social life and economic overtones of history into the discoveries unearthed through archaeological examination — thus: historical archaeology. When he began his career, "historical archaeology did not exist as an academic discipline. It fell to Noël Hume's books, lectures, and television presentations to help bring it to the forefront of his profession, where it stands today," the University of Virginia Press said in its fall 2010 catalogue, which features his autobiography newest book, A Passion for the Past: The Odyssey of a Transatlantic Archaeologist. Carmel Schrire, Rutgers University, author of Digging through Darkness: Chronicles of an Archaeologist, said of Noël Hume's book: "Noël Hume is a household name. This book should be a professional classic, to be read alongside other memoirs like those of Grahame Clark, Glyn Daniel, Gertrude Caton-Thompson, and Mortimer Wheeler."
- Archaeology in Britain (1953)
- Treasure in the Thames (1956), Muller.
- Here Lies Virginia: An Archaeologist's View Of Colonial Life And History (1963), Knopf.
- 1775: Another Part of the Field (1966), Eyre & Spottiswoode, a month-by-month account of everyday life in Virginia
- Historical Archaeology (1968), Knopf.
- A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America (1969), Knopf.
- All the Best Rubbish: Being an Antiquary's Account of the Pleasures and Perils of Studying & Collecting Everyday Objects from the Past (1974), Harper & Row.
- Early English Delftware from London to Virginia (1977); Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
- Martin's Hundred: The Discovery of a Lost Colonial Virginia Settlement (1982), Knopf.
- The Virginia Adventure: Roanoke to James Towne, An Archaeological and Historical Odyssey (1994), Knopf.
- In Search of This & That: Tales from an Archaeologist's Quest — Selected Essays from the Colonial Williamsburg Journal (1996), Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
- If These Pots Could Talk: Collecting 2,000 years of British Household Pottery (2001)
- Something from the Cellar: More of This & That — Selected Essays from the Colonial Williamsburg Journal (2005), Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
- A Passion for the Past: The Odyssey of a Transatlantic Archaeologist (2010), University of Virginia Press.
- Belzoni -- The Giant Archaeologists Love to Hate (2011), University of Virginia Press.
- Noël Hume himself, however, attributes the sobriquet "father of historical archaeology in America" to his mentor, J.C. Harrington. See: Noël Hume, Ivor (1994), "Roanoke Island: America's First Science Center", Colonial Williamsburg: The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Spring issue).
- Noël Hume, Ivor (1982), Martin's Hundred, Alfred A. Knopf.
- See the two articles in National Geographic magazine: June 1979 and January 1982.
- Noël Hume, Ivor (1994), Op. cit..