The bright archaeological light that was Angela Middleton

Stuart Bedford, James Flexner, Martin J Jones, Jessie Garland, Harry Allen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    It seems remarkable when considering Angela Middleton's contributions to archaeology, that she came relatively late to the discipline. She was 44 in 1997 when she graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA in Anthropology. She had been busily engaged in a whole series of other careers before that: photography, book publishing and retailing, silk-screen printing, and a coordinator of the Ponsonby Community Centre in Auckland and then social worker in the same city. The details of these earlier aspects of her life, which suggest an adventurous, inquisitive, and determined personality in themselves, can be found in other publications (Smith 2019a, b). Here we concentrate on her archaeological career which was truly impressive when considering its trajectory over only two decades up to her death in March 2019. She first became interested in archaeology from the 1990s completing her BA through part-time study. In 1998 she began her MA thesis, Reading Landscapes for Meaning at Tataraimaka, Taranaki, completing it with a First Class result in 1999. It was through this study that she established one of the primary themes of her research, locating physical remnants in New Zealand's landscapes of the dynamic interplay and overlay of Māori and Pākehā (European) cultures. Her PhD, completed in 20052, focused on missionisation with the site of Te Puna in southeast Bay of Islands as the field location. In 2003 she shifted to Dunedin and was a part-time Teaching Fellow (2003-2006) and Lecturer (2006-2011) in archaeology at the University of Otago. She worked briefly for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, before establishing an archaeological consultancy company, Arch Hill Heritage in 2005. She managed to balance well both a commercial and research career. Anyone who has tried this knows it is no mean feat.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    JournalJournal of Pacific Archaeology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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