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Honeymoon in Paris and job offers


My supervisor at Cambridge and the final exams
Colin Renfrew Archaeologist
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I was pretty much left to my own devices. The - the specialist in Aegean archaeology in Cambridge at that time was Frank Stubbings and he was a lecturer in the Department of Classical Archaeology, he was really a classicist, but he had written an important study of Mycenaean pottery in the East Mediterranean and so he was the specialist in Aegean studies so when Glyn, I suppose, and Professor Clarke were looking around for a supervisor for somebody wanting to work in the Aegean, he was the natural person to choose. I'd been to his lectures on Aegean archaeology and taken all that seriously and he was a really very kindly man and he, to a large extent, let me get on with what I was doing. He wrote one or two letters, he wrote a letter to the director of the Archaeological Service, or maybe it was the director of the British School wrote that letter, but he was a very positive man and received me and gave me permits for this and that, and then Frank Stubbings also put me in touch with Christos Doumas who was at that time a junior archaeologist working in the Greek Archaeological Service in the Cyclades, and he's a great Cycladic archaeologist and was very helpful and gave me access to his finds and we got to be very good friends. Later on he became godfather to one of our children, Magnus, and we've kept in touch with him and his wife very well, and he was doing excavations in the - in the Cyclades and finding early Bronze Age cemeteries and he very generously allowed me to study his finds before he'd fully written them up. So I was able to take them into account when I was putting together my - my analysis of the cultural succession in the Cyclades, I was able to divide the culture succession up quite effectively and it was a great blessing to have - to have his finds and the context in which he found them available. So Frank Stubbings was responsible for that and he was really an ideal supervisor. He could see that I was getting on quite well so he told me I should be sure to get my bibliography straight and he of course read what I - the drafts of the chapters that I showed him and was really extremely - extremely helpful, but also he didn't interfere too much really.

Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn is a British archaeologist known for his work on the dispersal of the Proto-Indo-Europeans and the prehistory of PIE languages. He has been Disney Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge as well as Master of Jesus College and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Listeners: Paul Bahn

Paul Bahn studied archaeology at Cambridge where he did his doctoral thesis on the prehistory of the French Pyrenees. He is now Britain's foremost specialist on Ice Age art and on Easter Island, and led the team which discovered Britain's first Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags, Nottinghamshire, in 2003. He has authored and edited numerous books, including Journey Through the Ice Age, The Enigmas of Easter Island, Mammoths, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Prehistoric Art, and, with Colin Renfrew, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice which was published in its 5th edition in 2008.

Duration: 4 minutes, 8 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2008

Date story went live: 14 May 2009