Institute of Archaeology


David Wengrow named Albertus Magnus Professor for 2023

21 June 2023

David Wengrow (UCL Institute of Archaeology) has been named 2023 Albertus Magnus Professor at the University of Cologne.

Prof David Wengrow, UCL Institute of Archaeology (Image credit: Tom Jamieson)

David Wengrow has been named the 2023 Albertus Magnus Professor at the University of Cologne, one of the university’s highest academic honours, for his work on comparative archaeology around the world.

To mark his receipt of the Albertus Magnus Professorship, David will deliver two public lectures this month and host a seminar about his research.

His first lecture is entitled ‘Kairos: Human Prehistory in the Eye of the Storm’ while his second lecture will be ‘On the Origins of “The Origins of Inequality” (Analysis of a Contemporary Myth)’.

According to the University of Cologne:

Professor Wengrow is one of the leading exponents of ‘World Archaeology’ and investigates the history of humanity and the understanding of human culture in innovative ways.”

The Albertus Magnus professorship was founded in 2005 and named in honour of the medieval polymath Albertus Magnus, who is considered one of the spiritual fathers of the University of Cologne, founded in 1388.

David joins illustrious previous recipients of the professorship, including renowned scientists and researchers Jean-Luc Nancy, Giorgio Agamben, Noam Chomsky, Martha Nussbaum, John Searle, Judith Butler and Eva Illouz. 

David is co-author (with the late David Graeber) of the best-selling book The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. Recently he co-curated an exhibition for the Venice Architecture Biennale about the remains of a 6,000-year-old city in Ukraine and was also invited to give the SAGE Lecture 2023 at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

David indicated:

It is a great honour for my work to be recognised in this way. Joining this prestigious list of academics means a huge amount to me, and I look forward to being able to use this position to further demonstrate the importance of archaeology for the historical and social sciences.”

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