The “small sorcerer with a musical bow” is one of several composite creatures found in Les Trois-Frères Cave in the Ariège in southern France. The figure has both human and animal characteristics.

Courtesy of Jean Clottes
Colin Renfrew, Disney Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge University and director of the university’s McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, is internationally renowned for his contributions to archaeological theory and science as well as to the understanding of European prehistory and linguistic archaeology. Beginning in the middle 1960s, his examination of the process of cultural change led him to the conclusion, later confirmed by the revolution in radiocarbon dating, that the originality and creativity of the early inhabitants of Europe had been undervalued by proponents of diffusionist ideas who saw innovations spreading exclusively outward from the Near East. Dr. Renfrew was educated at St. Albans School and St. John’s College, Cambridge. After taking first-class honors in archaeology and anthropology, he went on to study at the British School of Archaeology at Athens then returned to Cambridge where he earned a Ph.D. in archaeology in 1965. He began his teaching career at the University of Sheffield and was named professor of archaeology and head of the archaeology department at the University of Southampton in 1972. Appointed to the Disney chair in 1981, he also headed the archaeology department at Cambridge for eleven years. In 1990, he was selected as founding director of the McDonald Institute, a center for post-doctoral research with a particular interest in the archaeology of early human cognition. Formerly a fellow of St. John’s College, Dr. Renfrew is a fellow of Jesus College, where he served as master from 1986 to 1997. He is a fellow of the British Academy, the Society of Antiquaries of London, and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in addition to being an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an honorary member of the Society for Cycladic Studies, the Archaeological Society of Athens, and The Prehistoric Society, and a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. A recipient of Rivers Memorial Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Huxley Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Prix International Fyssen of the Fondation Fyssen in Paris, the Language and Culture Prize of the University of Umeå, and the Wharton Drexel Medal of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, he has been awarded the senior doctor of science degree from Cambridge University and honorary degrees from the University of Athens, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Southampton. Dr. Renfrew formerly served as a trustee of the British Museum and as vice president of the Prehistoric Society, the Council of British Archaeology, and the Royal Archaeological Institute. He currently serves as a trustee of the Antiquity Trust. He has lectured widely throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, and Australia. Dr. Renfrew serves as a member of the editorial boards of New Directions in Archaeology, Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, the Journal of Social and Biological Structures, and the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. His own archaeological excavations in Greece have led to numerous publications. In addition to journal articles, he is the editor of two series, New Aspects of Antiquity (Thames & Hudson) and New Studies in Archaeology (Cambridge University Press), the editor or co-editor of seventeen books and the co-author or author of another dozen volumes. His path breaking The Emergence of Civilization: The Cyclades and the Aegean in the Third Millennium BC and Before Civilization: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe were published in 1972 and 1973, respectively, and his influential Archaeology & Language: The Puzzle of the Indo-European Origins came out in 1987. Loot, Legitimacy and Ownership: The Ethical Crisis in Archaeology (Duckworth, 2000) and Figuring It Out (Thames & Hudson, 2003), an investigation of the convergence between modern art and archaeology, are his most recent books.

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