Archaeology professor Mark Brisbane featured on BBC Radio 4

Mark Brisbane, Visiting Professor of Archaeology at Bournemouth University was featured on the I-PM show on BBC Radio 4.

The discussion formed around Prince William’s recent claims that all royal ivory should be destroyed and that other Heads of State should be encouraged to give up their Ivory collections to decrease interest in the trade. “What message does this send about the tens of thousands of items made of ivory in the world’s museums?  It shows a lack of understanding about ivory itself,” said Brisbane.

“There are loads of different types of ivory coming from different sources such as walrus ivory, hippo teeth and whale teeth”.

Confusion occurs because “mammoth ivory is a legal trade,” whereas other types of ivory such as elephant tusks are illegal. “People often use ivory to turn into religious objects. Digging for mammoth ivory should be illegal as people are trying to make money out it but destroying the sites where other remains will be” said Brisbane.

“I started digging in Winchester in 1971 and been digging ever since” said Brisbane. When asked what drives his love of digging he answered with “the thrill of discovery”.