All history is biased. The best way to present an unbiased history is for the author to confess at the outset where he comes from, what ideas and influences he has enjoyed, and where therefore any bias may lie.
My name is Andrew Selkirk, and I am Editor-in-Chief of Current Archaeology and also Current World Archaeology, Britain’s two leading archaeological magazines. I launched Current Archaeology in 1967 and edited it alone for 40 years. We also launched Current World Archaeology, of which again I am Editor-in-chief, though both magazines now have their own Editors together with our third magazine, Military History. I am thus semi-retired, and can concentrate on writing these pages.
For 40 years or more, therefore, I have been observing and writing about the British archaeological scene, and more recently I have been covering the whole world too. I tried to have no specialism – I cover the history of the whole world from the first emergence of man, down to yesterday. In these pages however I tend to concentrate on Europe and the Near East, and in particular on Greece and Rome, for it is here I believe that some of the more interesting episodes of world history have taken place.
I studied the classics at school, I then did National Service in the Intelligence Corps, learning Russian, and I then went to Oxford, where I read Greats, and became chairman of the Oxford University Archaeological Society. For 30 years, digging was my passion till eventually I realised I was better at writing about history than actually digging it up.
After Oxford I became a Chartered Accountant, believing that in order to study the past, one should first study the present; however , fate beckoned, and while serving my articles with Smith and Williamson, I also became editor of Contra, the magazine of the Chartered Accountants Student Society of London. From here I was able to make the leap to launching Current Archaeology, helped by my wife, Wendy.
But as editor of Current Archaeology, I have found myself straddling two worlds. For half of my life, I have been living in the academic world, writing about excavations and learning to make that leap from holes in the ground to history, and following the theories and controversies of the academic archaeological world.
But the same time, I have also been a businessman, the publisher of Current Archaeology, dealing with printers, advertisers, and mastering the mysteries of postcodes and direct debits. And though I have given up accountancy completely, I have nevertheless kept a foothold in the world of chartered accountants.
These webpages, which I hope ultimately will become a book, form an attempt to marry together the two very different worlds, the academic world, which is still far too much influenced by Marx and has too little practical experience of how the outside world works, and that outside world which is all too often ignorant of what is going on in the world of academia. I am in a position to link the two, and these web pages are the result of my endeavours.
If you still want to hear more about me and my philosophy, click here to for an account of How I was converted to monetarism
Otherwise, on to the Trobriand islands!