Monday, 3 November 2014

INTERVIEW WITH AN EDITOR: Robin Skeates, Editor of European Journal of Archaeology

This week we are launching our new feature ‘Interview with an Editor’ and our first editor in the spotlight is the lovely Robin Skeates (Durham University, UK), editor of European Journal of Archaeology. Robin is a friend of C-U-D-I and wrote out first ever blog post!

Here's Robin in a cave in Sardinia

What are your main research interests?
My interests are broad and multi-faceted: on the one side, Central Mediterranean prehistory; on the other side, public archaeology, and museum and heritage studies. But they sometimes come together, particularly under visual and sensual culture studies.

What or who inspired you to work in this field?
I've always been close to archaeology, in one form or another. I grew up in a house next to a ruined Norman castle, where my brother and I used to play every day. We used to swing on tree creepers across the moat, like Tarzan ... until a creeper broke with me half way across.

Tell us a bit about your role as Editor and your overall goals for the publication.
My role as Editor is to keep the show on the road, and at a fast pace, since I need to bring out a new issue on time four times a year. I keep in close contact with our authors, our Editorial Board, peer reviewers, Maney - our publisher, and the European Association of Archaeologists (to whose members the journal belongs). My email account is always busy, and I have to travel regularly to international meetings and conferences, which means getting to know lots of interesting people. The main goals are to enhance the quality, breadth and reputation of the journal. It's taken a lot of hard work, but all the signs are that we really are succeeding.

How did you get involved with the journal?
Five years ago, my Durham colleagues, John Chapman and Marga Diaz-Andreu, suggested that I put my name forward to be the new Editor of the EJA. I'd already gained a fair bit of editorial experience and I am pro-European, so the decision wasn't hard. But I did ask my wife first, since I knew that it would involve a fair bit of work and time away from home.

Why is research into European archaeology so important?
In Europe, we're fortunate to have a deep and rich past all around us. Archaeological research comes with the responsibility to help people understand that past, in new, interesting, and scientifically rigorous ways.

What advice would you give to postgraduates who want to get into this field?
Come along to the annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologists. It's a great showcase for current archaeological research in Europe, and a good place to make contact with like-minded people.

Tell us a fun fact that no one else knows?
I once bit a medieval coin in half. I was working on an archaeological dig, and I found what I thought was a coin.  But I wasn't sure. So, like they used to do on Western films, I bit it to see if it was metal. It was ... but I bit too hard!

You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinSkeates
Visit the
European Association of Archaeologists website. 

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