Promotions for Professor Thomas and Professor Young

Congratulations to our new Professors!

Please join us in congratulating newly promoted Professor Richard Thomas and Professor Ruth Young, who have both been dedicated and much loved members of the School for many years.

Professor Thomas joined the School in 2003 and has been the director of the Bradgate Park fieldschool for the last 5 years which trains students in archaeological fieldwork and outreach activities. We talked to Richard about his promotion:

Richard Thomas
Richard with students at this year's Bradgate Park fieldschool
I feel so privileged to have been promoted to Professor. Ever since I can remember I had wanted to be an archaeologist – it was my stated ambition in the personal statement of my “record of achievement” when I left secondary school. When I got to university I got a little frustrated by the lack of practical work so I went to  the local commercial archaeology unit. There, I was offered the chance to work with a pot specialist or an animal bone specialist. I chose animal bones under the supervision of the inestimable Umberto Albarella (my friend and mentor to this day) and I haven’t looked back since.

I have had so much fun in my career so far with highlights including: filming with Sir David Attenborough on a BBC documentary on Jumbo the elephant, being (peripherally) involved in the study of Richard III and co-directing excavations at Bradgate Park, where we have discovered the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey. Throughout my 16 years at Leicester I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching students and I have been blessed to work with some amazing, supportive and inspiring colleagues. I certainly wouldn’t have achieved my promotion without the support and inspiration of my colleagues, friends and family.


Professor Ruth Young has been with us in the School since 2004 and works in heritage and post-conflict archaeology across the Middle East and South Asia:

Ruth Young
Ruth in front of the Lion of Babylon, Iraq
It is always nice to have a reason to celebrate, and being promoted to professor is no exception.  I feel very lucky to be an academic archaeologist and to have had a wide range of opportunities and experiences in many different parts of the world since being made a permanent member of staff here in the School in 2004.  Archaeology for me is very much about collaboration and working with others, whether they are colleagues and students here at Leicester or those based at international institutions, and being involved in many multi-partner research projects (as well as joint teaching and administrative developments) has taught me a great deal and been a lot of fun.

Being able to develop long term connections with countries such as Pakistan, Iran and Sri Lanka has been very rewarding personally and professionally, and having a new project in Iraq at the site of Babylon (co-directed with a colleague from the University of Babylon) promises to bring new challenges alongside a lot of archaeological and heritage potential. In terms of teaching, being able to build on the work of Alan McWhirr and Mark Pluciennik for our Distance Learning programme is something I have enjoyed a lot, and being able to translate recent post-conflict archaeology and heritage research into campus teaching has been very rewarding.


Congratulations both, we're super proud of you and are looking forward to hearing about your future projects.

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