Sir Cyril Fred Fox

(1882—1967) archaeologist and museum director

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(1882–1967) [Bi]

British archaeologist and scholar specializing in the prehistory of the British Isles and the application of geographical models to archaeological data. Born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and educated at Christ's Hospital, he was destined for a career in market gardening. By a happy coincidence he was appointed superintendent of the University Field Laboratories in Cambridge. Here he became interested in archaeology and was admitted to Magdalene College to read for the tripos, but Professor H. M. Chadwick was so impressed by Fox that he arranged for him to proceed straight to a Ph.D. His thesis was on the archaeology of the Cambridge region. It was highly successful and innovatory, and was eventually published. In 1923 Fox became assistant curator of the University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, but a year later he moved to the dual post of Keeper of Archaeology in the National Museum of Wales and Lecturer in Archaeology at University College, Cardiff. In 1926 he succeeded to the directorship of the Museum, where he remained until his retirement in 1948. During his time in Wales he carried out a great deal of fieldwork, including the excavation of several Bronze Age barrows and the surveying of Offa's Dyke. In building geographical models he noted the ways in which Britain was connected to mainland Europe via a series of seaways that were used over many millennia and he also proposed a division of Britain into a Highland Zone and a Lowland Zone as a way of characterizing key differences in the nature of the archaeological evidence, but also in the kinds of society that might have existed in the regions in the past. His numerous publications include The personality of Britain (1932, Cardiff: National Museum of Wales) and Life and death in the Bronze Age (1959, London: Routledge). He was knighted in 1935.

From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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