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Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe, CBE, b. , known as Barry Cunliffe, was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxfordmarker from 1972 to 2007.


The dolphin mosaic found by Cunliffe's team at Fishbourne
Cunliffe's decision to become an archaeologist was sparked off at the age of nine by the discovery of Roman remains on his uncle’s farm in Somerset. After studying at Portsmouth Northern Grammar School (now Mayfield School marker, and reading archaeology and anthropology at the University of Cambridgemarker, he became a lecturer at the University of Bristolmarker in 1963. Fascinated by the Roman remains in nearby Bathmarker he threw himself into a programme of excavation and publication. His energy and intelligence drew attention and in 1966 he became an unusually young professor when he took the chair at the newly-founded Department of Archaeology at the University of Southamptonmarker. There he became involved in the excavation (1961-68) of the Fishbourne Roman Palace in Sussex.

Another site in southern England led him away from the Roman period. He began a long series of summer excavations (1969-88) of the Iron Age hill fort at Daneburymarker in Hampshire and was subsequently involved in the Danebury Environs Programme (1989-95). Other sites he has worked on include Hengistbury Headmarker in Dorsetmarker, Mount Battenmarker in Devonmarker, Le Câtel in Jerseymarker and Le Yaudet in Brittany, reflecting his interest in the communities of Atlantic Europe during the Iron Age. His interest in Iron Age Britain and Europe generated a number of publications and he became an acknowledged authority on the Celts.

Cunliffe lives with his wife and two cats in Oxford.

Positions and honours

Selected publications

  • Fishbourne: A Roman Palace and Its Garden (1971)
  • Iron Age Communities in Britain (1974) ISBN 0-7100-8725-X (4th edition, Jan 2005)
  • Danebury: Anatomy of an Iron Age Hillfort (1983)
  • Roman Bath Discovered (1984)
  • The Celtic World (1987)
  • Greeks, Romans and Barbarians (1988)
  • Wessex to AD 1000 (1993)
  • The Ancient Celts (1997) ISBN 0-14-025422-6
  • Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 8000 BC to AD 1500 (2001, Oxford University Press)
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe (2001)
  • The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek: The Man Who Discovered Britain (2001), Walker & Co; ISBN 0-8027-1393-9 (2002 Penguin ed. with new post-script: ISBN 0-14-200254-2)
  • England's Landscape: The West (English Heritage 2006)
  • Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000 (2008) ISBN 0300119232


  1. History Today Volume 50 Issue 9 Digging for Joy
  2. Honours: 'Jewel in the Crown' star appointed OBE. The Independent. June 17, 2006. Accessed October 2, 2008.

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