Honorary doctorate for Ian Hodder

On February 8th 2011, the 436th anniversary of the foundation of Leiden University, the university conferred an honorary doctorate on archaeologist Ian Hodder from Stanford University. The day before, February 7th, Ian Hodder gave the closing speech at the 20th Archaeology and Theory symposium in the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden.

The British archaeologist Ian Hodder affiliated to the Department of Anthropology, Stanford University received an honorary doctorate from Leiden University.

Ian Hodder is an archaeologist of world renown. He gained fame as a pioneer of an innovative theoretical approach in archaeology, known as post-processual archaeology. This interpretative, non-positivist approach opened up archaeology to a broad range of new interpretative possibilities from the social and textual sciences. Hodder earned his reputation whilst working at the University of Cambridge in the 1980s and 1990s.


Hodder has headed the Çatalhöyük Archaeological Project since the beginning of the 1990s. The 9000-year-old Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Anatolia ( Turkey) is considered a showpiece of modern-day archaeology in the Near East. Not only is the site being conserved and contextualized, but the public is also closely involved in the dig and are stakeholders in the heritage recovered. Çatalhöyük is also seen as an experimental site for the post-processual archaeological method that Hodder champions: both the archaeologists and the communities involved are given the opportunity to be part of the interpretative process.

Ian Hodder (1948, Bristol, UK) studied archaeology in London and received his PhD in 1975 from Cambridge. After a short spell in Leeds he returned to Cambridge in 1977 where he worked until 1999 and since 1996 as professor. In 1999 he became a Fellow of the British Academy. In the same year he went to Stanford University in the US where he was appointed the Dunlevie Family Professor of Anthropology in 2002. Among his influential books are Symbols in Action (Cambridge 1982), Reading the Past (Cambridge 1986), The Domestication of Europe (Oxford 1990), The Archeological Process (Oxford 1999) and Çatalhöyük. The Leopard’s Tale (Thames and Hudson 2006).

The honorary doctorate was conferred on Ian Hodder on February 8th 2011 during celebrations of the 436th anniversary of Leiden University’s foundation. His honorary doctorate is an interdisciplinary occasion shared between honorary supervisor and anthropologist Prof. Dr Peter Pels, and the Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology, Prof. Dr Willem Willems. Hodder has a close working relationship with both archaeology and anthropology in Leiden. 

Honorary Doctor Ian Hodder

Text of the eulof to Ian Hodder

Facebookpage Ian Hodder

Wikipediapage Ian Hodder


Ian Hodder was  keynote speaker at the 20th Archaeology and Theory symposium, held on Monday February 7th 2011, 9.45 - 17.00 in the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden.


Last Modified: 30-09-2013