About Dr. Harris

Edward Cecil Harris, MBE JP PhD FSA
Director Emeritus
National Museum of Bermuda (1980–2017)

Education and Directorship

Dr. Edward Harris is a Bermudian of British and American ancestry who was educated at Columbia University, New York (BA Anthropology 1971) and University College London (PhD Archaeology 1979). He returned to Bermuda in 1980 and became the first director of the Bermuda Maritime Museum, now the National Museum of Bermuda, in the 16 acres of the fortifications of the old Royal Naval Dockyard.

Excavations and the Harris Matrix

Archaeological excavations have taken Dr. Harris to Britain, Iran, Norway, Papua New Guinea and Bermuda. In 1973, he invented the Harris Matrix, which allowed archaeologists the ability to see stratigraphic sequences from complex sites in a diagrammatic form, thus changing the archaeological paradigm from the single dimension of the section, or profile, through a site, to the four dimensions of area (surfaces), depth (of stratigraphic unites) and, of course, time – the essential ingredient of all archaeological sites.

Additional Successes

Aside from his seminal contribution to archaeological science worldwide, Dr. Harris has published several major books and 450 articles in a weekly newspaper column entitled “Heritage Matters,” over the past 10 years. His book on the Harris Matrix, Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy, has been published in a number of languages and is offered for free on this website as a service to the profession of archaeology.