Bradford and Sheffield

Like the other contributors I remember Arnold as a kind and interested scholar who had a major impact of 20th century archaeology in Britain partly through his own work, but especially though the work of those many students he taught and inspired. Bradford is, I think, the only archaeology department in the world which had its origin in a department of Physics. During the late 1960s to the mid-1980s Sheffield and Bradford developed in a parallel and complementary way with Sheffield concentrating on environmental, economic and theoretical approaches, and Bradford on the pure sciences. In those days before the policies of successive governments set university against university in headlong competition for students and research funds, ours was a relationship of mutual respect and close collaboration, and honouring Arnold with an honorary degree in 1992 was the culmination of many years of collaboration with the Sheffield department. From the 1960s Colin Renfrew worked with Arnold in the analysis and characterisation of materials such as obsidian, and later he was carrying out geophysical work on Pat Phillips’ project in southern France. I had a long and happy period (1978-1985) as external examiner dealing with the archaeological aspects of the Bradford undergraduate course, and Arnold occasionally dropped in to see me on my excavations at Aulnat in central France as he travelled through. I never worked with him in the field, but it was a Bradford team which did the vital geophysics on my excavation at Wigber Low in Derbyshire, a team including Gill Bussell, one of the first of the many Sheffield graduates who moved on to Bradford for their postgraduate training and doctorates, while in return we welcomed Bradford graduates for our environmental and prehistory courses. It was a golden age for archaeology in British universities, and Arnold at Bradford played a unique and eminent role.

John Collis
(Professor emeritus, Dept of Archaeology, University of Sheffield)