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Department of Archaeology


Congratulations to John Robb, Professor of European Prehistory in the Department of Archaeology, for the award of a Pilkington Prize, the University’s highest recognition for outstanding contribution in the field of teaching.

Head of the Department of Archaeology, Professor Cyprian Broodbank said, “John Robb is one of the most outstanding and broad-ranging teachers of Archaeology in Cambridge and nationally, hugely in demand for everything from unforgettable and ever-challenging individual supervisions, through thought-provoking lectures, to serial roles as a key-note lecturer and external examiner at universities across the country.”

“There can be few university lecturers who can match this reputation over such a timespan and have played the key role in designing from scratch a premier degree for their subject within the UK, namely Cambridge’s new Tripos in Archaeology. John demonstrably cares, immensely and effectively, about teaching at every level from the individual student to the subject as a national field.”

Professor Robb commented, “I love teaching (something I may have inherited from both my parents, who were teachers), and when I walk into a classroom here, I always think it is a privilege to teach the students we have here -- I learn a lot from them and they always keep us on our toes. I'm a bit abashed being singled out about it, because I know how much excellent teaching our colleagues in Archaeology do with talent and dedication every day -- I feel like I'm just representing all of us here.”

The Pilkington Prizes are awarded annually to members of staff in recognition of their contributions to teaching excellence. The awards were initiated by Sir Alastair Pilkington who believed that the quality of teaching was crucial to the University’s success.

John follows Dr Elizabeth DeMarrais and Professor Charly French as previous departmental recipients of this honour.

A full list of this year’s Pilkington Prize winners can be found at:

Image information

Prof John Robb lecturing on medieval Cambridge at the 2019 Peterhouse archaeology summer school
Image credit: 
L. Bonner