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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

In Memoriam: Don Brothwell

The Department of Archaeology at Durham University was extremely saddened to learn of the recent death of Don Brothwell. Since 2006 Don had been associated with the Department as an Honorary Research Fellow.

A leading light for so many years in so much in archaeological science, he was such a modest man. His immense intellect constantly shone through; he indeed was a polymath, something that many of us will never be, and he had interests in so much.

His association with our department was mainly through teaching students on the MSc Palaeopathology, and through examinations of PhD students in bioarchaeology. We invited him to talk to the MSc students about some of his “favourite” subjects but also ones that were best delivered by him, due to the amount of work he had expended on them and his extensive knowledge (animal palaeopathology and syphilis). Until a couple of years ago he came to Durham every year and provided wonderful informative lectures to the students, which they really valued.

Don was an inspiration to us all, beyond Durham. Established scholars and students alike loved him. A genuinely lovely man, he constantly had new research ideas, was open to discussions and debates, and gave people time – something we are all very short of. He also hand wrote personalized letters!

Here’s to Don – he will be terribly missed by us all but he has left a huge legacy to archaeological science.

Charlotte Roberts

October 4th 2016