by Meenakshi Dubey-Pathak & Pilar Fatás
29 November 2022
Away from academia, George is Principal Archaeologist with SLR Consulting and is responsible for SLR’s built heritage capabilities. George has over 30 years’ experience within the commercial heritage sector. George also has an extensive publishing record with over 35 authored, edited and co-edited books and 140 academic papers in print: focusing on the European post-medieval built heritage, prehistoric mortuary architecture, and prehistoric art. He is associated with a number of British and European university institutions and is a full member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA).
George has directed and project-managed many high-profile heritage projects including Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster (London) and the Neolithic burial-ritual monuments of La Hougue Bie and Delancey Park in the Channel Islands and Arthur’s Stone (Herefordshire), Perthi Duon, Trefael and Trellyffaint in Wales. George has also undertaken many projects outside the UK including the Vâdastra Fragmentation and Experimentation Project in southern Romania (funded by the World Bank) and has recently been involved in projects in Chile, Israel, NE Brazil, central Portugal and Sardinia. In May 2018 George published through Routledge the book Archaeologies of Rock Art: South American Perspectives. In 2017-18, George undertook fieldwork in Namibia for NamPower in advance of the installation of a biomass encroacher.
Since 2014 until present George is co-director in one of Britain’s largest dendrochronology projects – The Tilley Timber Project - funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (a study of the chronological development of 35 timber-framed buildings). This is one of a number of heritage projects where George has successfully obtained external grant assistance (prepared the bid and then project managed its delivery).
Over the past 20 years George has advised, written and presented programmes for television including 'Marking Time’, 'Monsters We Met', 'Talking Landscapes' and 'The Natural History of Britain'. In 2008 he researched and presented five programmes for the BBC entitled 'The Drawings on the Wall'. Since 2010 George has provided expertise commentary on an array of subjects for radio and television.
In his native Wales, George is about to undertake a nation-wide survey of all prehistoric rock art sites. George, along with colleague Aron Mazel organise the British Rock Art Group (BRAG) annual conferences each year. As part of our publishing commitments, George and Aron will be producing our second edited book on the rock art of the Britain and Ireland (due out in late 2020).
In 2019, George, along with co-director Dr Sara Garcês, launched an international interactive website - The 1902 Committee (Go to: https://www.1902committee.com/) This new website provides up to date news and views from around the world. The name of new website derives from when scientists began to seriously take note that rock art from the northern Spanish Cave of Altamira and caves within the Dordogne of South-western France was truly ancient. The Cave of Altamira was the first cave to receive scientific and public prominence when painted images were discovered there in 1879. This outstanding polychrome rock art assemblage was researched and promoted by Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola and Juan Vilanova y Piera in 1880 at the Prehistorical Congress in Lisbon. However, the discovery was fiercely criticised by the archaeological establishment, led by French specialists Gabriel de Mortillet and Émile Cartailhac. Their vicious attacks on Sautuola and Piera claimed that the Altamira paintings were a forgery and had been produced by a local artist. Following the discovery of paintings elsewhere, the forgery claims were retracted and the Sautuola and Piera hypothesis largely accepted. Following the ridiculing of the archaeological establishment, Cartailhac published a full apology in his paper 'Mae culpa d'un sceptique' in the leading French academic journal L'Anthropologie.