Paul Mellars

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Sir Paul Anthony Mellars, FBA (born 29 October 1939) is a British academic, archaeologist and pre-historian. He is Professor Emeritus of Prehistory and Human Evolution in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge.

Academic career[edit]

Mellars obtained his MA, PhD and ScD degrees at the University of Cambridge, where he was a student of Fitzwilliam College, then taught for ten years in the Archaeology Department at Sheffield University before returning to Cambridge in 1980, where he became a fellow of Corpus Christi College. He briefly served as acting master of the college in 2007, following the resignation of Sir Alan Wilson, but six months later lost the election to become the formal successor to Wilson to Oliver Rackham.[1] He has held visiting positions at the Binghamton University and the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, member of the Academia Europaea and served as president of the Prehistoric Society. He is also a trustee of the ACE Foundation.

Mellars was knighted in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to scholarship.[2]


His recent research has concentrated on the behaviour and archaeology of Neanderthal populations in Europe, and their replacement by Homo sapiens 40,000 years ago. Mellars contributed to the three part BBC mini-series "Dawn of Man — The Story of Human Evolution" (2000).

He has also studied the way in which mesolithic hunter-gatherer populations in Britain adapted to climate changes following the last ice age. He has carried out excavations on early Mesolithic sites at Oronsay in the Inner Hebrides in Scotland and published the results from work at Star Carr in North Yorkshire.

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Varsity report on Corpus Christi College
  2. ^ "No. 59282". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2009. p. 1. 

External links[edit]