Eric Higgs

(1908—1976) sheep farmer and archaeologist

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Distinguished British prehistorian, well known for his work on early farming and as the founder of the palaeoeconomic school of archaeology. Born in Shropshire, he did not take up archaeology until he was 47. Before that he took a degree in agricultural economics at London University and then lived for a while as a professional card player, construction worker, and hill farmer. In 1954 he entered the two-year postgraduate programme in archaeology at Cambridge and the combined influences of Charles McBurney and Grahame Clark got him hooked on archaeology. In 1956 he was appointed a research assistant in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, becoming senior assistant in 1963 and assistant director of research in 1968. He remained in post until his death. Amongst his many field programmes was his work on Palaeolithic sites in the Epirus region of Greece between 1962 and 1967. Higgs wrote and edited many books, notably Science in archaeology, edited with Don Brothwell (1963; revised 1969, London: Thames & Hudson), and The archaeology of early man, with John Coles (1969, London: Faber & Faber).

From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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