University of Leicester eBulletin

Highest Accolade for University of Leicester Professor

July 2003

Distinguished academic achieves one of the country’s greatest academic honours

JPEG IMAGE OF PROFESSOR MATTINGLY AVAILABLE ON REQUEST: hr15@le.ac.uk

A Professor from the University of Leicester has been selected for one of the country's greatest academic honours.

David Mattingly, Professor of Roman Archaeology in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, joins a distinguished group to be elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.

He is the third academic currently at the University of Leicester to have achieved this accolade.

The British Academy, established by Royal Charter in 1902, is the national academy for the humanities and the social sciences - the counterpart of the Royal Society which covers the natural sciences. The Academy is an independent and self-governing fellowship of scholars, elected for distinction and achievement in their respective fields.

Professor Mattingly is among a select group of leading academics associated with the University of Leicester to have received this honour. He joins Professor Chris Dyer of English Local History and Professor Graeme Barker, also a Professor of Archaeology and Graduate Dean of the University of Leicester, in holding this distinction.

Professor Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: "This is excellent news. The entire University joins with me in congratulating Professor Mattingly on this well deserved honour. Professor Mattingly’s election to the British Academy brings great distinction to the University as a whole and to the School of Archaeology and Ancient History in particular."

Professor Mattingly said: "I am delighted to be elected as a Fellow of the British Academy. It means that my research in Roman archaeology has been recognised by Britain's premier academy of humanities researchers.

"Archaeology is enormously popular today, in part because it puts us in contact with past societies in a very vivid way. But it also can play an important role in understanding current problems - as some of my research on human adaptation to deserts has shown.

"I am enormously honoured at becoming a Fellow of the British Academy, and of course delighted for myself, but I know my research draws inspiration and strength from the enthusiasm and talent of my colleagues at the University of Leicester.

"The University is rightly proud of the School's international reputation - it received a maximum score in its teaching quality and a Grade 5 international rating for its research."

Professor Mattingly was elected Fellow of the British Academy at the 101st annual general meeting on July 3. Other Fellows associated with the University include Professor AM Everitt, Hatton Professor Emeritus of English Local History, who was elected in 1989; Dr Joan Thirsk, elected in 1974, was a senior research fellow in Agrarian History in the Department of English Local History from 1951-65; the late Professor Ralph Davis, elected 1973, Professor of Economic History from 1964; and the late Professor W G Hoskins, elected 1969, the founding father of the English Local History Department at the University of Leicester.

Note to Newsdesk: Professor Mattingly can be contacted on 0116 252 2610.


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Professor Mattingly was a British Academy Post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, then Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan before coming to Leicester in December 1991. He was promoted to Reader (1995) and Professor (1998).

He teaches Roman archaeology and history, landscape archaeology and practical archaeology and has published extensively on olive cultivation in the ancient world, the olive oil trade, Roman Africa, the Roman economy, the Roman army and Roman Britain. He has most recently been involved in two landscape archaeology projects in the Libyan Sahara and the Jordanian desert.

He has recently held a British Academy Research Readership award to complete publication work on the Garamantes of Fezzan, an ancient Saharan kingdom.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ANCIENT HISTORY

The School of Archaeology and Ancient History (founded as the School of Archaeological Studies in 1990, and renamed in 2001), builds on the University's long-established strengths in both disciplines. Its staff in both its subjects, Archaeology and Ancient History, have quickly established an international reputation for high-quality research, teaching and training.

The diverse research activities in Britain and overseas, focusing on approaches widely applicable across regions and periods, resulted in an excellent grade 5 in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise.

The School offers some of the most 'hands-on' archaeology courses in Britain, and enjoys close links with other Arts, Social Science and Science departments through joint degree courses and research projects. All academic staff engage in professional training, supervision of research postgraduates and teaching at all levels, offering specialist modules and contributing to team-taught courses, a strength of the School's innovative teaching and learning portfolio. ULAS, the School’s in-house archaeological contractor service, contributes quality professional training to degree programmes. All this formed the basis for the School’s 24/24 Quality Assessment rating for Learning and Teaching provision in 2001, and makes the School a stimulating yet informal environment for staff and students alike.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY

The British Academy was established by Royal Charter in 1902, under the full title of 'The British Academy for the Promotion of Historical, Philosophical and Philological Studies'. It is an independent and self-governing fellowship of scholars, elected for distinction and achievement in one or more branches of the academic disciplines that make up the humanities and social sciences, and is now organised in sixteen Sections by academic discipline. There are Ordinary Fellows, Senior Fellows (over the age of 70), overseas Corresponding Fellows, and Honorary Fellows (whose numbers are limited to twenty). Up to thirty-five new Ordinary Fellows may be elected in any one year.

The British Academy is the national academy for the humanities and the social sciences, the counterpart to the Royal Society which exists to serve the natural sciences. The Academy aims to represent the interests of scholarship nationally and internationally; to give recognition to excellence; to promote and support advanced research; to further international collaboration and exchange; to promote public understanding of research and scholarship; to publish the results of research.

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