- Also known as
Mrs Sylvia A. Matheson
primary name: Matheson, Sylvia A.
other name: Schofield, Sylvia A.
- individual; archaeologist; author/poet; British; Female
- Other dates
- 1946- (active)
- Closely associated with the Institute of Archaeology (UCL), Mrs Matheson (later Schofield) is well known for her archaeological fieldwork in Baluchistan and Afghanistan and her outstanding guide to the archaeological sites of Iran. She worked with Sir Mortimer Wheeler (q.v.) at Charsadda in 1947. Both the BM and the Institute of Archaeology possess surface collections of her sherd material from sites in the Indo-Iranian borderlands. The latter are from the following sites: Bagh-i-khumb, Zin-Jik, Chimirri, Daraht, Miri Bhut, Dahlo Tul, Dhamb di Gwaram, Jodel (Judeir jo-daro), Kot Diji, Kurdan Dhamb, Kumb Serani, Luni Dhamb (LSB), Mandi-Haji/ Saiyed Maurez, Nushki, Pirak, Pir Haidar Shahr, Rais Sher Mohammed, Siah Damb, Togau, Wadh, Zergur/ Dhamb Zergi, Mahina, Ghand Philawagh (all in Baluchistan). She also presented some archaeological material to the Archaeological and Etnological Museum of Xàbia in Spain.
According to her autobiography, 'Time off to Dig', some of her material came to England in the following way: [p. 12] "[at Nushki] .. I collected as many different types of potsherds as I could find without disturbing the surface ... There were beads too, agate, cornelian and turquoise, delicately pierced and shaped... I gathered them all and took them to Delhi to show to the then Director-General of Archaeology in India, Professor Mortimer Wheeler ... It was at his suggestion that I flew back to London to show [p. 13] my treasures to officials of the Institute of Archaeology and the British Museum. I was asked to present my "collection" - such a grand title for a few potsherds and beads. That settled it for me. I spent the next year in determined full-time study of field archaeology and then, with enough knowledge to prevent me from doing too much damage, I sped back to Baluchistan to find a dozen or more unknown dhambs, collect pottery, figurines and beads".
Sylvia Matheson wrote several books: 'Persia, An Archaeological Guide' (Faber & Faber 1976); 'The Tigers of Baluchistan'; 'Rajasthan: Land of Kings' (Vendome Press, 1984); 'Time Off to Dig' (an account of Afghanistan in the sixties). Some archive relating to her survey in Baluchistan is held among the Crossfield Papers (Album 17) in the Centre of South Asian Studies in Cambridge.