Authors: Judy Powell
Tags: #book, #BGT, #HIS004000
Judy Powell is an archaeologist and historian with a PhD in classical archaeology. Judy has worked on excavations in Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, and was a Fellow at the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens. She has undertaken a range of Indigenous and historical archaeology projects in the course of over fifteen years in the cultural heritage and museum sector in Queensland. She is an adjunct lecturer in the Archaeology program at The University of Queensland.
Judy lives in the Sunshine Coast hinterland with a placid and ever-expanding family of kangaroos.
Jim and Eve Stewart, Singapore, 1955
1 The Parade West
South Australia 5067
First published 2013
This edition published 2013
Copyright Â© Judy Powell 2013
All rights reserved. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publisher.
Cover designed by Stacey Zass
Front cover illustration: Early Cypriot IIIâMiddle Cypriot I pottery sherds, excavated by J.R. Stewart at Palealona Tomb 3A in 1961 Courtesy Nicholson Museum catalogue number NM 2009.120.1â4 and NM 2009.114
Edited by Penelope Curtin
National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry
Author:Â Â Â Powell, Judith, author.
Title:Â Â Â Love's obsession: the lives and archaeology of Jim and Eve Stewart / Judy Powell.
ISBN:Â Â Â 978 1 74305 274 7 (ebook: epub).
Notes:Â Â Â Includes bibliographical references and index.
Stewart, James Rivers Barrington 1914â1962.
Dewey Number:Â Â Â 930.1092
For my father, Owen Powell (1921â2013)
I believe that Archaeology is so unimportant, so divorced from modern life, that it is worth taking seriously.
J.R.B. Stewart, 28 December 1943
Some stories you seek, while others come knocking at your door. That's how it was at the Australian Archaeological Association conference at Noosa in 2008. A combination of events conspired and I was soon to discover the joys and frustrations of serendipity, which plays a crucial role in the decision to embark upon a biography, as it does in the survival of the sources with which a biographer has to work.
On the night of the conference dinner, there was a crush in the dining room. A line of people snaked out the door, moving slowly into the dining area, where clusters of tables made movement difficult. Professor David Frankel stood behind me and, although I didn't know him very well, the few glasses of champagne I'd had encouraged me to congratulate him on the paper he had given earlier in the day. He had spoken about his recent work on Bronze Age Cyprus and it was, for me, nostalgic. I hadn't worked on anything Mediterranean for over a decade, but I love Cypriot pottery and the landscapes of his talk were those I was once familiar with, and still love. I told him this.
A group of people were standing nearby and I was introduced to Dr Laila Haglund, who of course I knew by name but had never met. âHave you been to Cyprus?' she asked. âI have a lot of papers about Cyprus that I really must get around to sorting through. It's been a few yearsÂ â¦' And so the journey began.
Jim Stewart was a name I knew, but only vaguely. Eve Stewart was completely unknown to me. In the 1980s, as a student of archaeology, I had frequently seen reference to Jim Stewart's excavations on Cyprus but, apart from a short article with the delightful title âThe tomb of the seafarer', I had seen little written by him and idly wondered why. As an archaeologist I knew that âit all began at Sydney
but I was then a student at the University of Queensland and had not heard all the stories.
I arranged to visit Laila at her home in country Queensland, with its views of Mount Barney and kangaroos in the front yard. The papers she had mentioned at the conference were in large plastic archive boxes that lined the back verandah, among pot plants and the ephemera of daily life. Inside each, buff-coloured manila folders were concertinaed row upon row. Each folder was labelled, and familiar names leapt out: Alan Wace, Winifred Lamb, Hector Catling, Vassos Karageorghis. I couldn't resist riffling through them. In one folderâmarked simply âbibliographies'âwas an envelope addressed to Lieut J. Stewart, Oflag VIIB. Slips of paper and flattened out cigarette packets spilled out, each covered with tiny neat writing in pencil. I felt the same excitement holding these letters and files that I had the first time I dug up an artefact. These papers were real. Many of them had not been read for decades but, like the bone fishhook and the obsidian blade I had excavated so long ago, they belonged to real people and were touched by their humanity.
I was hooked. From that day, I wanted to find out about these people, to understand their obsessions. In time, the quest became my own obsession and has led me to follow them around the world. To England, where much of the story began, to Cyprus, and around Australia. I met people who knew them, who adored them or hated them, who trusted them or were wary. It has been a different sort of travelling, and has taken me to places I would never otherwise have visitedâthe wild Karpas in northeastern Cyprus, museum storerooms in Stockholm, a Scottish baronial folly in Bathurst. Along the way I have met people I never thought to encounterâa numismatist specialising in the coins of Medieval Cyprus, a retired major general from the Tower of London, a Maronite lawyer from Kyrenia, a Turkish Cypriot artist.
Jim Stewart was the first Australian to direct an archaeological excavation outside Australia and the first field archaeologist to teach archaeology in Australia. Together with Dale Trendall, he ran what constituted the first department of archaeology in an Australian university and taught the first generation of classical and Near Eastern archaeologists in Australia. Jim Stewart had worked with some of the early pioneers of archaeology in Europe and the Near East, and his excavations on Cyprus between the 1930s and 1960s enriched the collections of museums across Australia, and overseas.
But these were Eve Stewart's files and it was her diligence that was so evident in the carefully curated archive. It was she who intrigued me. What was her legacy, I wondered.
I am deeply indebted to many people, all of whom gave freely of their time. Indeed one of the most enjoyable aspects of the research for this book has been the opportunity to meet so many interesting characters and work with such engaging colleagues.
Although the internet has made life more complex, it has also made many things more accessible. I am humbled by the generosity of people and institutions who happily shared material across continents.
For their continued support for this project I owe a particular debt of thanks to Peter Stewart, Dr Laila Haglund and Professor Basil Hennessy.
Other individuals who have, in various ways, helped me to complete this work include, in alphabetical order:
Yiannis and Dora Cleanthous, Petro Colocassides, Professor Tom Davis, Dr Vassos Karageorghis, Ruth Keshishian, Elicos Liatsos, Professor Dimitri Michaelides, Andreas Pitsillides, Dr Rita Severis, Alison South.
In the United Kingdom:
Edward Baldwin, Dr Hector Catling, Dr Lisa French, Mary Ann Fishbourne (nÃ©e Meagher), DrÂ David Gill, Derek and Sonja Howlett, Professor Michael Metcalf, Major-General Giles Mills, Hallam Mills, DrÂ Eddie Peltenburg, Dr Rachel Sparks, Sarah Vale.
Elisabet Ã strÃ¶m, the Lorimer-Olsson family, DrÂ Kristian GÃ¶ransson.
In the United States of America:
Dr Paul Hockings, Dr Stuart Swiny, Dr Joanne van Tilburg.
Dr Robert Merrillees.
Professor Jim Allen, Dr Craig Baker, Dr Judy Birmingham, Dr Stephen Bourke, the Butcher family, Karin Calley, Professor Alexander Cambitoglou, Dr Chris Davey, Professor Iain Davidson, Robert Deane, Alex Diamantis, Dr Kathryn Eriksson, Professor David Frankel, Linda Hennessy, Ruth Hennessy, Professor Greg Horsley, Suzanne Kelly (nÃ©e Sneeling), Professor Vincent Megaw, Christopher Morgan, Professor John Mulvaney, Michael Quinnell, Sally Salter, Dr Andrew Sneddon, Dr Jenny Webb.
The staff of the following institutions:
The archives of the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm
Lund University archives, Sweden
In the United Kingdom
Imperial War Museum, London
National Archives (UK)
The Leys School, Cambridge
Trinity Hall archives, Cambridge
British Ministry of Defence
University College, London, Special Collections
State Archives, Nicosia
Cyprus American Archaeological Institute (CAARI), Nicosia
Cyprus Veterans Group
University of Sydney Archives
Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney
The Kings School, Parramatta, NSW
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Archives
University of New England archives, Armidale
Blue Mountains Historical Society, Wentworth Falls, NSW
Australian Institute of Archaeology, Melbourne
The Archive of the British School at Athens
Archives of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Manuscript advice was provided by Annette Hughes.
Other readers include Dr Marion Diamond, Margot Duncan, Barbara Heath, Ross Johnston, Catherine Quinn, Michelle Riedlinger and Peter Riedlinger. I want to thank Trish Rea in particular for providing meticulous commentary.
I would like to acknowledge Wakefield Press, who have been supportive throughout the publication process, and my editor Penelope Curtin, who was unfailingly helpful.
Financial assistance for aspects of this work was provided by the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI), the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and the Australian Academy of the Humanities.