Institute of Archaeology


Norah Moloney (1945-2018)

4 October 2018

UCL Institute of Archaeology staff, students, friends and colleagues will be saddened to hear of the death of Norah Moloney on 26 September.

Norah Moloney (1945-2018)

Norah was an esteemed colleague at the Institute of Archaeology for many years and was still significantly involved in Institute activities after her retirement in 2010. Norah undertook her Masters in Archaeology (1986) and PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology (1994) at UCL, then taking on the role of part-time College Teacher at the Institute for the next 10 years. In 2004 Norah took on this role full-time and, in 2007, she was promoted to Senior Teaching Fellow in recognition of her tireless efforts to support and nurture generations of Archaeology students. At the time of her death, she was an Honorary Senior Lecturer.

As Ignacio de la Torre has indicated:

Norah's many research interests included a passion for stone tools and archaeological fieldwork. She undertook extensive fieldwork throughout her career, including excavation and analysis of Early Stone Age sites in East Africa, Acheulean and Magdalenian sites in Europe, and Middle Palaeolithic sites in Central Asia, the Near East and Egypt.

Norah became even more active once she retired, and never missed an invitation to join an excavation, be it in Belize, Spain, Egypt, Tanzania, Italy, and many more. And such invitations to participate in fieldwork were plenty, because everyone wanted Norah on their projects. There was no better field companion than Norah, who was invariably optimistic, always the first to get ready for work, the last to go to bed after a party, and always busy looking after everyone among the field crew. One of Norah's strongest talents was making everyone feel taken care of; having her on your excavation was the best insurance you could ever get.

Norah's mark at the Institute is indelible - her office door was permanently open for students and colleagues alike. More than twenty cohorts of first-year students were lucky enough to have Norah to guide, motivate and inspire them. It didn't make any difference when she retired, she continued spending countless hours helping graduate students with their research in the most altruistic and generous manner.

Norah was also truly a beloved colleague for so many of us at the Institute, who treasured her optimism, sense of humour, generosity and collegiality. Those of us who were fortunate enough to be mentored by Norah, and able to enjoy her friendship, will never forget her as one of the kindest people you could ever meet.

Our thoughts are with Norah's friends and family at this difficult time.

Funeral arrangements

Norah's funeral will be on Tuesday 13 November at 2.30pm at Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 7SJ. There will be a reception following the funeral at Uxbridge Sports Club, Gatting Way, off Park Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1NR. Norah's family has indicated that all are welcome.


A memorial event will be held at the UCL Institute of Archaeology on Wednesday 28 November from 6pm in Room 612.