Kenneth Page Oakley

(1911—1981) anthropologist

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(1911–81) [Bi]

British anthropologist and specialist in the Palaeolithic Period. Born in Amersham, he was educated at Halloner's Grammar School and University College, London, where he studied geology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In 1934 he took a post with the Geological Survey, but this was short-lived because a year later he was appointed to an assistant keepership at the British Museum (Natural History). Here he spent the rest of his working life except for a brief period back in the Geological Survey on war service. From the late 1930s he began working on Palaeolithic and Pleistocene sites in the Thames Valley. Early hominin fossils fascinated him, and soon after the war he spent much time developing ways of dating early remains. This later led to considerable involvement with radiocarbon dating. Amongst his best-known publications are Man the tool-maker (1949, London: British Museum (Natural History)) and Frameworks for dating fossil man (1964, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson). He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1953 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 1957.

From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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