School Timeline

Chronology of development of archaeology at the University of Oxford

The information below is mainly taken from The Early Years by Christopher Hawkes in the Oxford Institute of Archaeology Jubilee Reflections edited by Andrew Selkirk and Sonia Hawkes.

1907 Introduction of a Diploma in Classical Archaeology under the Committee for Classical Archaeology

1946   Christopher Hawkes appointed first Professor of European Archaeology

1955   Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art established (see below for full history)

1956  Ian Richmond appointed as first Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire

1958   Professor Hawkes establishes a Diploma of European Archaeology, and as a result, in order to manage the diploma, a Committee for Archaeology was formed out of the previous Committee for Classical Archaeology

1957-1958   Nos.  34-35 Beaumont Street allocated as a Professorial Annexe for Hawkes, Richmond, and the newly appointed Professor of Art History, Edgar Wind, with the premises initially being financed from the budget of and administered by the Secretary of the Ashmolean Museum

1961   Under the Vice-Chancellorship of Norrington, the Institute of Archaeology was formally established, to be administered through its own new post of Secretary, and reporting constitutionally to the Committee for Archaeology

1962   Institute’s premises enlarged by the acquisition of no. 36 Beaumont Street

1965   Professor Richmond dies, to be replaced as Professor by Sheppard Frere

1972   Professor Hawkes retires to be replaced as Professor by Barry Cunliffe

1989-1991 Discussions initiated for establishing an undergraduate Degree (Honour School) in Archaeology and Anthropology

1991  The new Undergraduate Degree in Archaeology and Anthropology is listed for the first time in the Examination Statues of the University. It is jointly supervised by the Committee for Archaeology and the Board of the Faculty for Anthropology and Geography

1992 Honour School fully established


Selkirk, Andrew, and Sonia Chadwick 1987. Hawkes. Oxford University Institute of Archaeology: Silver Jubilee Reflections.

Harrison, Brian 1994. The Arts and Social Sciences, 1939–1970, The History of the University of Oxford: Volume VIII: The Twentieth Century.

Chadwick Hawkes, Sonia 2007. The Oxford Institute of Archaeology 1961-86: An Informal Retrospect, in Henig, Martin and Tylor Jo Smith (eds), Collectanea Antiqua: Essays in Memory of Sonia Chadwick Hawkes.

Examination Statutes, University of Oxford