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Dr Richard Hall FSA MIFA (1949-2011)

posted 20 Sep 2011, 05:54 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 12 Feb 2012, 09:11 ]
We are sorry to report the death, after a period of ill-health, of Dr Richard Hall Deputy Director and Director of Archaeology of York Archaeological Trust.

A funeral service will take place on Monday 26 September in the Quire of York Minster at 1:15 p.m. and will be followed by refreshments in the Chapter House. It would be helpful if anyone hoping to attend would take their seat by 1:00 p.m. The family do not wish for flowers but at a later date donations may be made to selected charities. Messages of condolences and sympathy for his wife, Dr Ailsa Mainman, and his two children may be sent to the York Archaeological Trust from where they will be forwarded to the family.

Dr Hall was one of the world’s leading experts on the Viking Age. He is best known for his pivotal role in the internationally significant “Viking Dig” at 16-22 Coppergate York. Directing the Coppergate excavations from 1976-81, he discovered the well-preserved Viking Age wooden houses, textiles, shoes and other 10th Century artefacts from industrial and domestic life preserved in the heart of York, which attracted international attention from scholars and media alike.

Through these excavations and Richard’s interpretation of findings at the JORVIK Viking Centre on the Coppergate site, he has helped millions of people to access archaeology in an up-to-date and engaging format. His knowledge and understanding of Viking Age archaeology and culture remains central to the recently revised displays at JORVIK.

Richard became a leading authority and international speaker on Viking Europe, contributing to academic conferences and advising on many prestigious excavation projects.

He was also devoted to supporting national archaeological organisations and was in his career a Council member of the Society of Antiquaries of London; a member of the Council for British Archaeology Executive and Honorary Secretary; a Council member for the Institute for Archaeologists (then Institute of Field Archaeologists) and Chairman between 1987-89; a member of the Disciplinary Appeals Committee and Higher Education Committee; and the Responsible Post-Holder for the York Archaeological Trust as Recognised Archaeological Organisation.

Richard also served as President for the Society for Medieval Archaeology and acted as advisor to the Reviewing Committee of the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest 2005-6.

Between 2005-10, Richard was President of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society and Chairman of Trustees.

Besides his specialism in Viking Age archaeology, Richard also held important positions at Ripon Cathedral, York Minster and other churches throughout the United Kingdom, active in the conservation and analysis of church fabric. Richard also worked closely with universities and held a post as lecturer in Departments of Continuing Education, most notably at the University of Leeds.