Institute of Archaeology


Henry Cleere (1926-2018)

4 September 2018

UCL Institute of Archaeology staff, students, friends and colleagues will be saddened to hear of the death of Henry Cleere on 24 August.

Henry Cleere (1926-2018)

Henry had long-standing links to the UCL Institute of Archaeology. He was an alumnus, receiving his PhD in 1980 on the iron industry of Roman Britain, following an earlier career in the iron and steel industry. From 1998 he was an Honorary Visiting Professor of Archaeological Heritage Management at UCL and was also Principal Consultant in Heritage Management and World Heritage at the Institute's Centre for Applied Archaeology.

Henry was an archaeologist of international repute: he was Director of the Council for British Archaeology (1974-1991) and World Heritage Co-ordinator for ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (1992-2002) as well as being a founder member and first Secretary General of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA). From 2002 onwards he was World Heritage Advisor to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China and Senior Advisor to the Global Heritage Fund.

Henry received many honours in recognition of his integral contribution to the field, being awarded the European Heritage Award (2002), Conservation and Management Award of the Archaeological Institute of America (2010) and the International Yellow River Friendship Prize for outstanding contribution to the safeguarding of Chinese Cultural Heritage (2012). In 2015, he was awarded ICOMOS' highest honour, the Gazzola Prize, at their General Assembly in Florence.

Tim Williams, Reader in Silk Roads Archaeology at the Institute, worked with Henry on the Serial Transnational Silk Roads World Heritage nomination project and indicated that he was instrumental in developing the Concept Paper which drove the project forward:

  • "He was the one of the most encouraging people I have ever known, strongly supporting all the countries and organisations we worked with across China and Central Asia. He supported people, on the ground, developing their own approaches to archaeological site management and was always generous with his advice, and acerbic wit. Still travelling in to his late 80s, for example supporting archaeological site management initiatives in India. Henry was a willing PhD examiner, and a great lecturer on the MA Managing Archaeological Sites course, where many students will remember fondly his long anecdotal stories of the World Heritage nomination process, warts and all! I am glad he was fond of the 'Godless establishment on Gower Street'."

Our thoughts go out to Henry's family, Pam, Liz, Jo, Kat and Chris, at this difficult time.


His family will be celebrating the life of Henry Cleere at 2pm on Monday 10 September at Kent & Sussex crematorium, Benhall Mill Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 5JJ. Friends and colleagues are invited to the informal service and to share stories afterwards in a nearby venue (TBA). There is no dress code, but something cheerful or colourful, ("just like Henry"), might be appropriate. Contact Liz Cleere for more information and to RSVP.

In Memoriam