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Colin Renfrew, Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn
Andrew Colin Renfrew, Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn (born 25 July 1937), English archaeologist, notable for his work on the radiocarbon revolution, the prehistory of languages, archaeogenetics, and the prevention of looting of archaeological sites.
Renfrew was educated at St Albans School, Hertfordshire and from 1956 to 1958 did National Service in the Royal Air Force. He then went up to St John's College, Cambridge where he read Archaeology and Anthropology, graduating in 1962. In 1965 he completed his PhD thesis Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures of the Cyclades and their external relations and in the same year married Jane M. Ewbank.
In 1965 he was appointed to the post of lecturer in the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. Between 1968 and 1970, Renfrew directed excavations at Sitagroi , Greece. In 1968 he unsuccessfully contested the Sheffield Brightside parliamentary constituency on behalf of the Conservative Party. In that year he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and in 1970 was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
In 1972 Renfrew became Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton. During his time at Southampton he directed excavations at Quanterness in Orkney and Phylakopi in Greece. In 1973 Renfrew published Before Civilisation: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe in which he challenged the assumption that prehistoric cultural innovation originated in the Near East and then spread to Europe.
In 1981 he was elected to the Disney Professorship of Archaeology in the University of Cambridge, a post he held until he retired in 2004. In 1990 Renfrew was appointed as Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research . He published Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of the Indo-European Origins in 1987. He served as Master of Jesus College from 1986 till 1997, and was awarded the prestigious Balzan Prize in Prehistoric Archaeology in the year of his retirement from the University.
- Renfrew, A.C., 1972, The Emergence of Civilisation: The Cyclades and the Aegean in The Third Millennium BC, London.
- Renfrew, A.C., 1973, Before Civilisation, the Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe, London: Pimlico. ISBN 0712665935
- Renfrew, A.C., 1987, Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins, London: Pimlico. ISBN 0712666125
- Renfrew, A.C. and Bahn, P., 1991, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0500281475
- Renfrew, A.C., 2000, Loot, Legitimacy and Ownership: The Ethical Crisis in Archaeology, London: Duckworth. ISBN 0715630342
- Renfrew, A.C., 2003, Figuring It Out: The Parallel Visions of Artists and Archaeologists, London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0500051143
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