Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn)#

Colin Renfrew was educated at St Albans School, Hertfordshire and from 1956 to 1958 did National Service in the Royal Air Force. He then attended St John's College, Cambridge, where he studied Archaeology and Anthropology. He graduated in 1962. In 1965 he completed his PhD thesis Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures of the Cyclades and their external relations. The same year he married Jane M. Ewbank.

In 1965 he was appointed to the post of lecturer in the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. Between 1968 and 1970, Renfrew directed excavations at Sitagroi, Greece. In 1968 he unsuccessfully contested the Sheffield Brightside parliamentary constituency on behalf of the Conservative Party. In that year he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and in 1970 was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

In 1972 Renfrew became Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton. During his time at Southampton he directed excavations at Quanterness in Orkney and Phylakopi in Greece. In 1973 Colin Renfrew published Before Civilisation: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe in which he challenged the assumption that prehistoric cultural innovation originated in the Near East and then spread to Europe.

In 1981 he was elected to the Disney Professorship of Archaeology in the University of Cambridge, a post he held until he retired in 2004. In 1990 Renfrew was appointed as Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. He published Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of the Indo-European Origins in 1987.

He served as Master of Jesus College from 1986 till 1997, and was awarded the prestigious Balzan Prize in Prehistoric Archaeology in 2004. He was awarded a life peerage in 1991, and chose the title "Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn".

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