Dr. Peter J. Shield PhD,ARP
Dr Peter J. Shield PhD, ARP
A lifetime of Archaeological research
Like my boyhood idol Howard Carter, I entered the field of Archaeology without any University qualifications. At 17 I joined the British Air force hoping to become an Arial photographer, however the aptitude tests at that time steered me into the field of communications and I graduated three years later. My interest in photography persisted and on leaving the service after 10 years I became Associated Press's photojournalist covering the middle east and based on the island of Malta. During that time I was recruited by the then Maltese Government Department of Information from 1955 – 1960 and assigned the task of recording all the treasures left by the Knights and displayed in the museums and Churches on the Islands. My love of ancient history and the thrill of discovery was recognized by Cambridge University's Dr. David Trump, who was the head of archaeological excavations on the island and I was invited to join their team whose main focus at that time were the catacombs of St. Peter & St. Paul and St. Agatha's in Rabat. I was to spend the next 5 magical years working alongside the remarkable Doctor, and Fr. Victor Camilleri MSSP (Missionary Society of St. Paul's.) Victor was to remain a close friend until his untimely demise on Dec.15th 2011.
During those 5 years I was privileged to photograph and record all the archaeological sites on the islands of Malta and Gozo, including the amazing G’gantija (3,600 – 3,000 B.C.), the earliest freestanding stone monument built by man. It pre dates the pyramids of Egypt and are older than England’s Stonehenge. I have spent considerable time at Stonehenge in the 50’s and again in 1988. During my two-year return visit to the Island to write my most recent book “Malta ”, I designed a photo marketing program for introduction at all Malta’s most frequently visited Archaeological sites. I filmed a pilot program at “Ghar Dalam” the cave of Darkness, for my World of Unexplained Mysteries (Malta) television series. My work on the remarkable “Shroud of Turin” Mystery resulted in the re-mastering of my interviews with the Sturp group, researching the results of their investigative study conducted in 80's into the authenticity of this amazing artifact. (http://shroudresearch.com) I was also able to record details of the long forgotten “Shroud of Malta”, full details of which are recorded on my World of Unexplained Mysteries web site http://worldofunexplainedmysteries.com. The amazing Shroud of Rabat plays a major role in my new novel "In The Image Of His God - the Curse of the Shroud" available at http://pjshield.com or on Amazon.com. During the 80’s, an Exhibition of my replica artifacts from the Louve Museum in Paris, toured Australia and was also used as the basis of my presentation of the Howard Carter Story to Australian High School Students.
In my 70 odd years I have had the opportunity to work, visit and write about archaeological sites in China, Cyprus, Australia, Central and South America, Ireland, Great Briton, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia, and Malta to name but a few.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to study at England's Cambridge University, Nottingham University and Dublin's Trinity college in Ireland; and In the USA at UNLV here in Las Vegas.
Thanks to the internet, and after over 50 years of dedication to the field of art preservation and archaeology, my lifetime work was recognized and I applied for and was granted the degree in Art and Archaeology that I had so long coveted.
In my semi retirement, and at 81 years young, I have entered a new and exciting field of exploration - on the Magical Island of Gozo Malta.
Peter J. Shield