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Clark and Prehistory at Cambridge


Pamela Jane Smith

Lucy Cavendish College Cambridge University, GB
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If honours and titles give measure of a man, then Professor Sir Grahame Clark was indeed important. Faculty Assistant Lecturer in the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University from 1935-46, University Lecturer 1946-52, Disney Professor of Archaeology 1952-74, Head of the Department of Archaeol­ogy and Anthropology 1956-61 and 1968-71, Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge 1950-73, Master of Peterhouse 1973-80, he was a visiting lecturer at diverse universities; appointed CBE in 1971, he received many awards includ­ing the prestigious Erasmus Prize for 1990, presented by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, for his "long and inspiring devotion to prehistory" (Scarre 1991:10); and in June 1992, he was knighted.

Yet well before fame and position were rewards, Clark made major contributions to the establishment of prehis­tory as an academic subject at Cambridge University. Cambridge was the first and, for many years, only British university granting an undergraduate degree which offered prehistory as a specialization. "The development of postgraduate research in prehistoric archaeology at Cambridge had to wait on the provision of undergraduate teaching;' Clark (1989b: 6) recently observed. The "faculty was the only one in Britain producing a flow of graduates in prehistoric archaeology" (Clark 1989a: 53).
How to Cite: Smith, P.J., 1996. Clark and Prehistory at Cambridge. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 6(1), pp.9–14. DOI:
Published on 20 May 1996.
Peer Reviewed


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