Professor Graeme Barker has been elected as Disney Professor of Archaeology in succession to Professor Lord Renfrew at the Department of Archaeology.

The department is part of the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology and is one of the UK’s leading institutions in the subject. Professor Graeme Barker will also take up the post of Director of the McDonald Institute when he takes up his Professorship in October 2004.

Graeme Barker studied prehistoric archaeology at St John’s College, Cambridge. After graduation he completed his PhD on ‘prehistoric subsistence economies in central Italy’. He taught Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, and was then Director of the British School at Rome before moving to the University of Leicester as Professor of Archaeology and Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Between 2000 and 2003 he was the University of Leicester’s founding Graduate Dean, and was appointed one of its three Pro-Vice-Chancellors in 2003.

Professor Barker has conducted fieldwork in Britain, Italy, Libya, Jordan, Mozambique and Borneo. His research interests have focussed principally on relations between landscape and people in different environments.

He has published over 20 books and over 200 papers, principally on the themes of subsistence archaeology, forager-farmer transitions, Mediterranean landscape history, desertification, and rainforest foraging and farming.

Professor Barker is actively involved in promoting archaeology in the HE sector. He was a member of the British Academy's Review Committee of the British Schools and Institutes Abroad, and is currently a member of the British Academy’s Board for Academy-Sponsored Institutes and Societies (BASIS).

He is also President of the Prehistoric Society and a member of a number of editorial panels, including the Cambridge University Press ‘Manuals in Archaeology’, Leicester University Press, and the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology.

In his new role as Disney Professor of Archaeology Professor Barker will act as the senior academic in the Department. As the Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research he has special responsibility for the co-ordination of all research programmes, and instigating/developing new collaborative research projects both with colleagues in the University and without. He will also act as a senior level spokesperson for archaeology, in Cambridge and beyond, at a national and international level.

The Disney Professorship in Archaeology was established by Charles Disney in 1853 as an endowed chair. The position is currently held by Professor Colin Renfrew, who has been in the position since 1981. Notable previous incumbents of the office, amongst many, have been the prehistorians Dorothy Garrod, Grahame Clark and Glyn Daniel.

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