John Desmond Clark 1916–2002

David W. Phillipson

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 120, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, II

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780197263020
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734199 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

John Desmond Clark 1916–2002

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Professor John Desmond Clark played a leading role in archaeological research in sub-Saharan Africa for six decades. In the words of his former teacher, Grahame Clark, he did ‘more than any other man to pull together the prehistory of the continent of Africa from the beginnings of human culture up to…recent times’. Desmond Clark displayed great learning, prodigious energy and productivity, wide friendships, and warm hospitality. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1952 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 1961. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the National Academy of Science (USA). His Cambridge Sc.D. was awarded in 1975 and he held honorary doctorates at Witwatersrand and Cape Town Universities (1985), along with the Gold Medals of the Society of Antiquaries of London (1985) and the Archaeological Institute of America (1989). The British Academy awarded him the Grahame Clark Medal for Prehistory in 1997.

Keywords: archaeologists; archaeological research; sub-Saharan Africa; British Academy; Grahame Clark Medal

Chapter.  5800 words. 

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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