V. Gordon Childe

Vere Gordon Childe ( born April 14, 1892 in North Sydney, Australia, † October 19, 1957 in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales ) was an Australian- British Marxist archaeologist and archeology theorists.


Until his degree in his native town, he studied from 1911 to 1914 mainly ancient languages ​​and philosophy and turned then at the University of Oxford from the classics more and more of archeology, which he represented in terms of the culture and civilization of human history diffusionist positions. In addition, he had joined the labor movement and was temporarily a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. In 1919 he returned to Australia, and was three years private secretary to the Labour Prime Minister of New South Wales, which he recognized in his parliamentarism criticizing Study How Labour Governs 1923. In 1925 he was appointed because of his prehistoric studies as a librarian at the Royal Archaeological Institute in London. Politically, he was very active against Nazism. He criticized after a visit in 1935 to the Soviet Union as a totalitarian state and the local scientific community as a " perversion of Marxism ". In 1946 he was appointed professor at the Institute of Archaeology in London (now University College London). In 1957 he came with research in the Blue Mountains (Australia) died, probably by suicide.


Gordon Childe can be viewed as a moderate representative and one of the innovators of the diffusionism. In contrast to the extreme of what many diffusionists the late 19th and early 20th century, he also endorsed the internal development of early societies have an important role in the process of civilization. Stages of development of human culture were no physical realities, but spiritual contexts or organizational structures, which Essentials you need to collect for him. Gordon Childe coined in 1936 as part of its Marxist interpretation of history the concept of neolithic revolution for the peasant civilization at the beginning of the Neolithic period, following the example of the term Industrial Revolution and the Urban Revolution term for the emergence of the urban class societies of the Bronze Age. With this choice of words, he distanced himself from the latent racist diffusion and evolution Gustaf Kossinnas whose followers he was still years in the 1920s.


  • How Governs labor; a study of workers ' representation in Australia, 1923, London: The Labour publishing company limited.
  • The dawn of European civilization, 1925, London: K. Paul.
  • The Aryans; a study of Indo-European origins, 1926, London: K. Paul.
  • The most ancient East; the oriental prelude to European prehistory ..., 1928, London.
  • The Danube in prehistory, 1929, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • The bronze age, 1930, New York: The Macmillan company.
  • Skara Brae, a Pictish village in Orkney, 1931, London: Kegan Paul & Co.
  • The prehistory of Scotland, 1935, London: K. Paul.
  • Prehistoric communities of the British Isles, 1940, London, Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers.
  • Man makes himself, in 1941, London: . Watts.
  • German translation. Driving forces of the action: the people make their own history, 1949, Vienna: globe -Verl.
  • German: Man creates himself, translated by Wolfgang Martini, Publishing House of Art, Dresden 1959.
  • What happened in history, 1942, Harmondsworth: Penguin books.
  • German: Stages of Culture: From d prehistoric times to antiquity, translated by FW Gutbrod, carbon hammer, Stuttgart 1952.
  • The story of tools, 1942, Harmondsworth: Penguin books.
  • German translation: A History of the tools, 1948, Vienna: globe -Verl.
  • Progress and Archaeology, 1944, London: Watts & co.
  • Scotland before the Scots, being the Rhind Lectures for 1944, 1946, London: Methuen & Co.
  • History, 1947, London: Cobbett Press.
  • Social worlds of knowledge, 1949, London: Oxford University Press.
  • Prehistoric migration in Europe, 1950 Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co.
  • Magic craftsmanship and science, 1950, Liverpool University Press.
  • Social evolution, 1951, London: Watts.
  • German: Social Evolution, translated by Hans -Werner Sass, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt aM 1968.
  • Scotland, 1952, Edinburgh.
  • What is history, circa 1953, New York: Henry Schuman.
  • . Society and knowledge, 1956, New York: Harper.
  • German translation: Society and knowledge: World Perspectives, 1974, Frankfurt ( Main), Berlin, Vienna: Ullsteinhaus. ISBN 3-548-03023-8.
  • Piecing together the past; the interpretation of archaeological data, 1956, New York: Praeger.
  • The prehistory of European society, 1958, Harmondsworth: Penguin books.
  • History of European Culture, 1960, Hamburg: Rowohlt.
  • Skara Brae, 1983, Edinburgh: H.M.S.O. ISBN 0-11-491755-8.
  • Craft specialization and social evolution: in memory of V. Gordon Childe, 1996, Philadelphia: University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.

As a translator

  • Delaporte, Louis Joseph, Mesopotamia, etc., 1925, London: Kegan Paul & Co.
  • Moret, Alexandre; Davy, Georges: From Tribe to Empire, etc., 1926, London: Kegan Paul & Co.
  • Borovka, Grigory Iosifovich: Scythian Art, 1928, London: Ernest Benn.


  • Skara Brae on Orkney