Posted February 25th 2021

Dr Iain Morley, Paleoanthropologist and Fellow of St Hugh’s College, has died

It is with the deepest sorrow that the College has learnt of the death of Dr Iain Morley, our wonderful colleague and friend.

Iain was a paleoanthropologist and archaeologist, with a specialisation in the archaeology of music, ritual and religious behaviour and their evolutionary origins. He was the author of The Prehistory of Music, and regularly spoke on the radio and contributed to television programmes. During the course of his career Iain excavated in Britain, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Libya, Italy and Greece, and most recently served as the Academic Coordinator of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography.

Iain achieved his doctorate in 2004, at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, before coming to Oxford, where he held several appointments, including serving as Pro-Proctor in 2015-16 and as Director of the MSc in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology. He taught students in both Archaeology & Anthropology and — more extensively — Human Sciences and was widely appreciated for the passion that he brought to his teaching and the care that he showed those whom he taught.

The Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC FRSE, Principal of St Hugh’s, said, “I know all of us will have the fondest memories of this warm, brilliant and excellent friend and colleague and his stylish presence will be much missed in College and elsewhere in the University.”

He is survived by his wife, Laura, and their children, to whom we send our deepest sympathy.