David Oates 1927–2004

John Curtis

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 153 Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VII

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780197264348
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734250 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

David Oates 1927–2004

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David Oates (1927–2004), a Fellow of the British Academy, was a distinguished Mesopotamian archaeologist whose name is closely associated with three of the best-known sites in the Middle East: Nimrud, Tell al-Rimah, and Tell Brak. He was a fellow of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge and Lecturer in Archaeology from 1957 to 1965, as well as Director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq from 1965 to 1969 and Professor of Western Asiatic Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, from 1969 to 1982. In some ways, Oates was a product of the same tradition that had spawned eminent predecessors such as Sir Leonard Woolley and Sir Max Mallowan, but he brought to his task a keen appreciation of ancient languages and cultures, a sharp eye for the interpretation of ancient architecture, and a good understanding of political, social, and economic history and their relevance to archaeological enquiry. At Cambridge he had a brilliant career, reading classics and then archaeology, and graduating in 1948 with first-class honours.

Keywords: David Oates; British Academy; archaeology; Middle East; Nimrud; Tell al-Rimah; Tell Brak; University of Cambridge; Iraq; Max Mallowan

Chapter.  10506 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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