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Stuart Ernest Piggott

From Academic Kids

Stuart Ernest Piggott (28 May, 191023 September, 1996) CBE, was a British archaeologist most well known for his work on prehistoric Wessex.

Born in Petersfield, Hampshire, Piggott was educated at Churcher's College and on leaving school in 1927 took up a post as assistant at Reading Museum.

In the 1930s he began working for Alexander Keiller, an amateur archaeologist who funded his work from the profits of his Dundee marmalade business. The two dug numerous sites in Wessex including Avebury and Kennet Avenue

During the Second World War Piggott worked as an air photo interpreter and was posted to India where he spent time studying the archaeology of the sub-continent, eventually leading him to write the books Some Ancient Cities of India (1946) and Prehistoric India (1950).

After the war he went to Oxford studying the work of William Stukeley but was soon offered the Abercromby Chair in archaeology at Edinburgh University succeeding Vere Gordon Childe. He continued to publish widely including Neolithic Cultures of the British Isles (1954) which was briefly considered seminal until radiocarbon dating disproved its chronology. Ancient Europe (1965), however remained a reliable survey of Old World prehistory for more than twenty years. Other books included Prehistoric Societies (with Grahame Clark), The Druids (1968), The Earliest Wheeled Transport from the Atlantic to the Caspian Sea (1983) and its sequel Wagon, Chariot and Carriage (1992).

He received the CBE in 1972, and was awarded numerous academic awards from scholarly institutions in Britain and abroad.

Sites he excavated (often with Richard Atkinson) included:

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