William Francis Grimes

(1905—1988) archaeologist

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(1905–88) [Bi]

British archaeologist and prehistorian who was the first archaeologist to be employed full-time on rescue archaeology. Peter, as he was invariably known, was born in South Wales and educated at the University of Wales, where he read classics before going on to a master's degree on the Legionary Fortress at Holt in Denbighshire. He joined the National Museum of Wales as Assistant Keeper of Archaeology in 1926, remaining there until 1938, when he left to join the Ordnance Survey Archaeology Section. This continued to be his official post until 1945, but at the outbreak of WW2 he was seconded to the Ministry of Defence to record and excavate archaeological sites threatened with destruction because of wartime defence requirements. In 1956 he became Director of the Institute of Archaeology in the University of London, and over the following decade and a half guided the Institute through many changes and developments. His many publications include The prehistory of Wales (1951, Cardiff: National Museum of Wales), Excavations on defence sites 1939–45 (1960, London: HMSO), and The excavation of Roman and medieval London (1968, London: Methuen).

From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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