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Queen's birthday honour for BU archaeologist

10 June 2010

BU Professor Tim Darvill Leading BU archaeologist and Stonehenge expert to receive OBE from Her Majesty, The Queen.

One of the world’s leading authorities on Stonehenge and prehistoric Britain has been awarded an OBE in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Bournemouth University Professor Timothy Darvill is recognised by Her Majesty, The Queen, for services to archaeology.  He is the first serving academic at BU to receive a Queen’s Honour and is one of very few academics from ‘new’ universities to be honoured in this way.

“It is a great privilege for me to receive this honour from The Queen,” said Professor Darvill.  “I am grateful to the many colleagues, friends, and members of my family who have helped me throughout my career to date.  I have always been passionate about archaeology and feel fortunate to have contributed to so many amazing projects that have revealed such a great deal about our nation’s history and heritage.”

The author of over twenty books and 200 papers and articles, Professor Darvill is best known for his expertise on the Neolithic of Northwest Europe and for leading extensive archaeological surveys and excavations in England, Wales and the Isle of Man.

In April 2008 he famously co-directed the first excavations within the stone circle at Stonehenge for over 40 years, examining the early stone structures on the site with Professor Geoffrey Wainwright.  The work featured in a BBC Timewatch programme which examined the theory that Stonehenge was a prehistoric centre of healing.

After completing a PhD at Southampton University on the Neolithic of Wales and the west of England, Professor Darvill worked with the Western Archaeological Trust and the Council for British Archaeology before establishing a private practice offering consultancy services in the field of archaeological resource management.

In October 1991, Professor Darvill was appointed to the Chair of Archaeology in the newly-established archaeology group at BU.  Until recently he was Director of the University’s Centre for Archaeology, Anthropology and Heritage in the School of Conservation Sciences and celebrated the University’s rise in 2008 to become the top new UK University for Archaeology research following the results of the national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

In the mid-1990s, Professor Darvill led the extensive Monuments at Risk Survey commissioned by English Heritage.  The survey, one of the largest archaeological projects undertaken by BU, studied the changing state of England’s archaeological resource and provided recommendations for the monitoring of future change at hundreds of historic sites.

Internationally, Professor Darvill has worked in Russia, Malta, Greece, and Germany.  In 2006 he won the prestigious National Award for the protection of the archaeological heritage of Russia from the Russian Archaeological Heritage Foundation (Археологическое Наследие) for his high level of scientific archaeological research.

Throughout his career, Professor Darvill has been at the forefront of major organisations linked to the preservation of the nation’s heritage.  He has served as Chairman of the Institute of Field Archaeologists and was a nominated Member of the Council of the National Trust representing archaeological interests.

He is currently chairman of the board of directors of Cotswold Archaeology – one of the top archaeological companies in the UK - and Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of London.  His current research interests focus on archaeological resource management and the Neolithic of northwest Europe.

Professor Paul Curran, BU Vice-Chancellor, said “I am immensely proud of the scholarly contribution Professor Darvill has made to archaeology and to Bournemouth University.  He is the first serving member of our staff to receive such an honour from the Queen which is richly deserved and we are delighted for him.  As well as a great honour for Professor Darvill personally, it is further evidence of the quality of work produced by the University’s centres of excellence.”

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