Celebrity Fashions in the Field

What the celebs are wearing on site. Archaeolgical sites I mean.

Mick Aston, Time Team

Mick Aston, fan of a loud stripey knit, signature flossy hair and early Medieval landscape archaeology . He quit Time Team in a blaze of controversy over the direction the show was heading in 2012, “There is a lot less archaeological content and a lot more pratting about”. Sadly passed away in 2013 at the age of 66.

“…known for his jaunty knitwear and unruly white hair.”

-Alice Vincent, The Guardian

Phil Harding, Time Team

Archaeologists are often known for their hats and Phil Harding is no exception. In fact, his hat has its own Twitter account, why not? Rocking the same sweaty hat since before the dawn of time, Phil has accessorised with fluffy hair, perhaps inspired by fellow Time Teamer, Mick Aston. His no nonsense attitude and distinctive piratey accent complete the look. An eye patch wouldn’t go astray.

“A good friend of mine got hold of some carpet cleaner and tidied it up and the whole thing’s now refurbished. It’s as good as new, a bit worn around the edges, like me, but it’ll go on for a few more years yet.”
-Phil Harding on his hat

Giovanni Belzoni

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Circus strongman turned treasure hunter and looter of Egypt, Belzoni surely rocked a leopard print leotard at some stage in his career. A bold move! But when you can lift 11 small people, who’s to argue with your fashion choices?

“The sweating, half naked Arabs hauling on the tow-ropes, chanting a work-song as the colossal head moved forward a few inches at a time; the endless shifting of the rollers under the car; the face of Memnon smiling inscrutably into the eye of the sun; and Giovanni standing there, overburdened with clothes, his head bursting in that terrible heat, anxiously watching every movement of the stone as it strained against its palm fibre bonds…”
– Stanley Mayes describing the moving of the Memnon head (maybe if Belzoni had been wearing his leopard print leaotard, he wouldn’t have been so “overburdened”)

Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers

Innovations in archaeological methodology don’t just come out of nowhere. Pitt-Rivers here demonstrates how a dapper outfit and a mean set of mutton-chops can really set you apart in 1850s archaeology. Having six names doesn’t hurt either.

“Tedious as it may appear to some to dwell on the discovery of odds and ends that have, no doubt, been thrown away by the owner as rubbish … yet it is by the study of such trivial details that Archaeology is mainly dependent for determining the date of earthworks…”
– Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers on the importance of pottery (and the attention to detail required to put together an outfit with a cravat)

Lewis Binford

A striped blazer and a boater are a gutsy choice, but for a man like Lewis Binford, the showboatier the better! Binford is known for his passion and intensity, not to mention being the number one proponent of processual archaeology, and then sinking into the shadows when it all started to go pear shaped.

““… a charismatic southerner who had mastered the fire-and-brimstone style of a revival meeting. He opened his first class by announcing, “My name is Lewis R. Binford, and the name of this course is Revelations!” By the end of that class, half the students were speaking in tongues.”
-Kent Flannery on Lewis Binford (we can only hope he was wearing this stripey blazer at that class)

Zahi Hawass


The charismatic Egyptian ex-Minister for Antiquities who is in literally every single documentary about Egypt has made the gutsy choice to make double denim his signature style. Not to mention the hat, which he himself has described as “the most famous hat in archaeology”. Uh, Zahi, have you seen any Indiana Jones movies..? This hasn’t stopped him from selling replicas of his hats online, followed by a whole clothing line
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“I was so happy a few days ago to announce that my clothing line is going to be sold, as it will represent my adventures in archaeology. The profits from the sale will go to benefit the Children’s Cancer Hospital here in Cairo.”
– Zahi Hawass

Indiana Jones

Despite the obvious limitation of not being a real person (or is he?) Indy is responsible for many an archaeologist’s fashion choices. The hat, the whip, the satchel, need I go on? Disappointingly, it turns out that our beloved Indy stole his look from someone else.

Secret of the Incas starring Charlton Heston and directed by Jerry Hopper is almost a shot for shot Raiders of the Lost ArkRaiders stands on it’s own as a modern classic, but the fedora jacket and whip are right there on Charlton Heston in 1954.”
– Deborah Nadoolman, Indiana Jones costume designer

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4 thoughts on “Celebrity Fashions in the Field

  1. Pingback: So You Think You Can Archaeology? How to Become a Celebrity Archaeologist | Archaeology and Science

  2. Pingback: High Vis Fashions in the Field | Archaeology and Science

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