A pioneer in landscape archaeology, Professor Tony J. Wilkinson of the University of Durham died last December. With degrees in geography, Wilkinson brought a unique outlook to the field of archaeology and created new models for reconstructing ancient landscapes. His innovative approach, which took into consideration how both environment and human activity impacted the development of ancient civilizations, is explained in his book Archaeological Landscapes of the Near East (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003).
Wilkinson undertook archaeological fieldwork in Oman, Yemen,a Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Morocco and Britain. These diverse excavation experiences exposed him to a wide range of settlement patterns and environmental systems in the ancient Near East and were instrumental in his study of ancient landscapes. His approach attempted to synthesize all of the available data about landscapes, which included an analysis of satellite images, archaeological surveys and computer simulations.
After living with cancer for many years, he passed away on Christmas Day, 2014, at the age of 66. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor Barbanes Wilkinson, a fellow archaeologist at the University of Durham.