Timothy Darvill

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Timothy Darvill OBE is an English archaeologist and author, best known for his publications on prehistoric Britain and his excavations in England, Wales, and the Isle of Man. He is Professor of Archaeology in the Faculty of Science and Technology Bournemouth University in England. [1] In April 2008 he co-directed excavations within Stonehenge, together with Professor Geoffrey Wainwright and Dr Miles Russell, to examine the early stone structures on the site. The work featured heavily in a BBC Timewatch programme which examined the theory that Stonehenge was a prehistoric centre of healing. [2] He was appointed OBE in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours.



Darvill is Professor of Archaeology in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University. After completing a PhD at Southampton University on the Neolithic of Wales and the west of England, he worked for the Western Archaeological Trust and the Council for British Archaeology before establishing a private practice offering consultancy services in the field of archaeological resource management. He was appointed to the Chair of Archaeology in the newly established archaeology group at Bournemouth Polytechnic (now Bournemouth University) in October 1991 and between 2007 and 2010 was Director of the Centre for Archaeology, Anthropology and Heritage. The author of over twenty books and more than 200 papers and articles, he has served as Chairman of the Institute of Field Archaeologists, Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and was a Member of the Council of the National Trust. He is currently chairman of the board of directors of Cotswold Archaeology and a Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute. His research interests focus on archaeological resource management and the Neolithic of northwest Europe.

Personal life

Darvill was born and raised in the Cotswolds and has continued to contribute to the local archaeology scene including being chairman of Cotswold Archaeology. He is a keen guitarist and plays lead guitar in a band known as the Standing Stones, [3] with several other archaeologists including Paul Cheetham, Bronwen Russell and Kevin Andrews of Bournemouth University. Recently space scientist Chris Scott has been performing with the band.


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stonehenge</span> Ancient monument in England

Stonehenge is a prehistoric megalithic structure on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. It consists of an outer ring of vertical sarsen standing stones, each around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide, and weighing around 25 tons, topped by connecting horizontal lintel stones. Inside is a ring of smaller bluestones. Inside these are free-standing trilithons, two bulkier vertical sarsens joined by one lintel. The whole monument, now ruinous, is aligned towards the sunrise on the summer solstice and sunset on the winter solstice. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the densest complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred tumuli.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barry Cunliffe</span> English archaeologist

Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe,, known as Barry Cunliffe, is a British archaeologist and academic. He was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to 2007. Since 2007, he has been an emeritus professor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henge</span> Type of Neolithic earthwork

There are three related types of Neolithic earthwork that are all sometimes loosely called henges. The essential characteristic of all three is that they feature a ring-shaped bank and ditch, with the ditch inside the bank. Because the internal ditches would have served defensive purposes poorly, henges are not considered to have been defensive constructions. The three henge types are as follows, with the figure in brackets being the approximate diameter of the central flat area:

  1. Henge. The word henge refers to a particular type of earthwork of the Neolithic period, typically consisting of a roughly circular or oval-shaped bank with an internal ditch surrounding a central flat area of more than 20 m (66 ft) in diameter. There is typically little if any evidence of occupation in a henge, although they may contain ritual structures such as stone circles, timber circles and coves. Henge monument is sometimes used as a synonym for henge. Henges sometimes, but by no means always, featured stone or timber circles, and circle henge is sometimes used to describe these structures. The three largest stone circles in Britain are each within a henge. Examples of henges without significant internal monuments are the three henges of Thornborough Henges. Although having given its name to the word henge, Stonehenge is atypical in that the ditch is outside the main earthwork bank.
  2. Hengiform monument. Like an ordinary henge, except the central flat area is between 5 and 20 m (16–66 ft) in diameter, they comprise a modest earthwork with a fairly wide outer bank. The terms mini-henge or Dorchester henge are sometimes used as synonyms for hengiform monument. An example is the Neolithic site at Wormy Hillock Henge.
  3. Henge enclosure. A Neolithic ring earthwork with the ditch inside the bank, with the central flat area having abundant evidence of occupation and usually being more than 300 m (980 ft) in diameter. Some true henges are as large as this, but lack evidence of domestic occupation. Super-henge or superhenge is sometimes used as a synonym for a henge enclosure. However, sometimes the term is used to indicate size alone rather than use, e.g. "Marden henge ... is the least understood of the four British 'superhenges' ".
<span class="mw-page-title-main">Avebury</span> Neolithic henge monument in Wiltshire, England

Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, in southwest England. One of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain, it contains the largest megalithic stone circle in the world. It is both a tourist attraction and a place of religious importance to contemporary pagans.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">West Kennet Long Barrow</span> Neolithic tomb or barrow in Wiltshire, England

The West Kennet Long Barrow, also known as South Long Barrow, is a chambered long barrow near the village of Avebury in the south-western English county of Wiltshire. Probably constructed in the thirty-seventh century BC, during Britain's Early Neolithic period, today it survives in a partially reconstructed state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Durrington Walls</span> Late Neolithic palisaded enclosure

Durrington Walls is the site of a large Neolithic settlement and later henge enclosure located in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site in England. It lies 2 miles (3.2 km) north-east of Stonehenge in the parish of Durrington, just north of Amesbury in Wiltshire. The henge is the second-largest Late Neolithic palisaded enclosure known in the United Kingdom, after Hindwell in Wales.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cotswold-Severn Group</span> Series of long barrows in western Britain

The Cotswold-Severn Group are a series of long barrows erected in an area of western Britain during the Early Neolithic. Around 200 known examples of long barrows are known from the Cotswold-Severn region, although an unknown number of others were likely destroyed prior to being recorded.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Sanctuary</span> Prehistoric site in Wiltshire, England

The Sanctuary was a stone and timber circle near the village of Avebury in the south-western English county of Wiltshire. Excavation has revealed the location of the 58 stone sockets and 62 post-holes. The ring was part of a tradition of stone circle construction that spread throughout much of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, over a period between 3300 and 900 BCE. The purpose of such monuments is unknown, although archaeologists speculate that the stones represented supernatural entities for the circle's builders.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kit's Coty House</span> Dolmen in England

Kit's Coty House or Kit's Coty is a chambered long barrow near the village of Aylesford in the southeastern English county of Kent. Constructed circa 4000 BCE, during the Early Neolithic period of British prehistory, today it survives in a ruined state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rollright Stones</span> Neolithic stone complex in Oxfordshire, England

The Rollright Stones are a complex of three Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments near the village of Long Compton, on the borders of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Constructed from local oolitic limestone, the three monuments, now known as the King's Men and the Whispering Knights in Oxfordshire and the King Stone in Warwickshire, are distinct in their design and purpose. They were built at different periods in late prehistory. During the period when the three monuments were erected, there was a continuous tradition of ritual behaviour on sacred ground, from the 4th to the 2nd millennium BCE.

Caroline Ann Tuke Malone is a British academic and archaeologist. She was Professor of Prehistory at Queen's University, Belfast from 2013 and is now emeritus professor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Figsbury Ring</span> Earthworks in Wiltshire, England

Figsbury Ring is an 11.2 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Wiltshire, England, notified in 1975. It is owned and managed by the National Trust.

C. Joshua Pollard is a British archaeologist who is a professor of archaeology at the University of Southampton. He gained his BA and PhD in archaeology from the Cardiff University, and is a specialist in the archaeology of the Neolithic period in the UK and north-west Europe, especially in relation to the study of depositional practices, monumentality, and landscape. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London

Julian Stewart Thomas is a British archaeologist, publishing on the Neolithic and Bronze Age prehistory of Britain and north-west Europe. Thomas has been vice president of the Royal Anthropological Institute since 2007. He has been Professor of Archaeology at the University of Manchester since 2000, and is former secretary of the World Archaeological Congress. Thomas is perhaps best known as the author of the academic publication Understanding the Neolithic in particular, and for his work with the Stonehenge Riverside Project.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nympsfield Long Barrow</span> Barrow remains in England

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Miles Russell, is a British archaeologist best known for his work and publications on the prehistoric and Roman periods and for his appearances in television programmes such as Time Team and Harry Hill's TV Burp.

Winterbourne Bassett Stone Circle is the remains of a stone circle near the village of Winterbourne Bassett in Wiltshire, South West England. Investigations in the 18th and 19th centuries found evidence of an outer and inner ring, and a single central stone; today six stones are visible although none remain upright.

Frances M. A. Healy is a British archaeologist and prehistorian, specialising in the British Neolithic and lithic technology. She has worked for Norfolk Archaeological Unit, English Heritage, Wessex Archaeology, and Oxford Archaeology. She has been a research associate at Newcastle University and Cardiff University, where she has been an honorary research fellow since 2007.

John C. Barrett, is a British archaeologist, prehistorian, and Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield. His research has primarily focussed on archaeological theory, European Prehistory from early agriculture to Romanisation, and the development of commercially funded archaeology in the UK. Barrett has been seen as an influential figure in the development of archaeological theory, critiques of archaeological practice, and British Prehistory.

David Mullin is British archaeologist specialising in the study of prehistory. He has worked at the University of Worcester, Oxford Archaeology, and the University of Oxford.


  1. Academic profile Bournemouth University
  2. "Unlocking Stonehenge's secrets". BBC News . 31 March 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  3. "Current Archaeology Live! 2012".
  4. Stonehenge book
  5. Prehistoric Britain book