Philip Rahtz

British archaeologist

1921   -   2011

country of citizenship: United Kingdom
language of expression: English
educated at: Bristol Grammar School
occupation: anthropologist, archaeologist, castellologist, university teacher

Philip Arthur Rahtz (11 March 1921 – 2 June 2011) was a British archaeologist. Rahtz was born in Bristol. After leaving Bristol Grammar School, he became an accountant before serving with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. During war service, Rahtz became friends with the archaeologist Ernest Greenfield (excavator of Great Witcombe Roman Villa, Gloucestershire), and Lullingstone Castle , in Kent. This friendship sparked a personal interest in archaeology and a professional career, which began with the excavations at Chew Valley Lake (north Somerset) in 1953.A wide range of excavations in the area followed including Old Sarum in 1957, Glastonbury Tor in 1964–1966 and a Romano-Celtic Temple at Pagans Hill, Chew Stoke. He has also excavated at Bordesley Abbey. Rahtz later ran summer school excavations for the University of Birmingham. He achieved his first permanent job as a lecturer at Birmingham University in 1963, and in 1978 he was appointed professor and first head of department at the University of York. In 2003 he was awarded the Frend Medal for his outstanding contribution to the archaeology of the early Christian Church. In February 2013, a one-day conference was held in Cheddar to celebrate his life and work in Somerset.
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