Every archaeologist when he retires should write a history of the world. I have spent most of my career as Editor of the magazine Current Archaeology writing mostly about archaeology in Britain, though recently I expanded my brief to world archaeology with the foundation of a second magazine on world archaeology. But my writing has all been in small gobbets, in little bits and pieces. Now in my retirement, or semi-retirement, it is time to put it all together.
My name is Andrew Selkirk. I was born in 1937 and began digging at school. I did my National Service and learnt Russian, and then I went up to Oxford where I read Greats (Latin and Greek) and became President of Oxford University Archaeology Society. Then realising that good jobs were scarce in archaeology I decided to become a Chartered Accountant which gave me a good opportunity to get away from academia and learn how the real world works. However while serving my articles I began editing an accountancy magazine called “Contra”, and finding that editing was more my metier than accountancy, I resolved in 1967 to launch a new archaeological magazine called Current Archaeology with the help of my wife Wendy.
The magazine flourished and every year I would go round the country visiting excavations and reporting on them to our readers. Family life flourished too and we acquired three children – a girl and two boys. The magazine increased in size and went to a new A4 format. Colour was added and in the early 1990s circulation increased rapidly to over 15,000 subscribers. But then problems of succession began to loom large, but my son Robert decided to come in with me. Together we launched a second magazine on World archaeology Current World Archaeology, and more recently a third magazine Military History Monthly. Each magazine now has its own editor, so I am able to take a back seat as Editor-in-Chief and devote myself to this latest concept of writing the history of the world.
This is what you see before you in these web pages. It is only a preliminary draft but the preliminary draft is now nearly complete and the task ahead is to rewrite, fill in the gaps and make it more coherent (I am currently filling in the big gap formed by China). I hope that one day before long it will appear in book form.
On to my Confessions
28th January 2015