Everyone associated with the BSA will wish to join us in sending our warmest greetings to Sinclair Hood, who turns 100 today (31 January 2017). Τα έχει όντως εκατοστήσει!
Sinclair’s long association with the BSA started seventy years ago as a School Student in 1947. In 1949-50 he was Assistant Director and, from 1954 to 1962, Director. His name is, of course, almost synonymous with the site of Knossos, where he commenced excavating in 1949, although he also dug at Emborio on Chios (1952-55) and, with Colin Renfrew, at Phylakopi on Melos (1974-77). At Emborio Sinclair not only worked with Michael Ventris, but also with his future wife, Rachel; they married in 1957 and were together for almost sixty years until Rachel passed away in February last year. As Director, Sinclair initiated the construction of the Stratigraphical Museum at Knossos, which was completed in 1964, and formally opened by Dr Joan Evans in 1966. The Museum, further extended in 1969, is a key resource of the BSA’s Knossos Research Centre.
Sinclair’s publications are numerous and include general books, such as The Home of the Heroes: the Aegean before the Greeks (1967), The Minoans: Crete in the Bronze Age (1971) and The Arts in Prehistoric Greece (1978), as well as more specialised works like Knossos Excavations, 1957-1961: Early Minoan (2011), co-authored with Gerald Cadogan. With William Taylor he produced The Bronze Age Palace at Knossos (1981), while with David Smyth he published An Archaeological Survey of the Knossos Area (1981), an update of his original survey published in 1958. Among his numerous articles are surveys of a more conventional kind, the product of a series of ‘Pendleburyesque’ journeys over the island undertaken with Peter Warren and Gerald Cadogan and published in the Annual of the BSA from 1964 to 1967: ‘Travels in Crete, 1962’; ‘Minoan Sites in the Far West of Crete’; ‘Ancient Sites in the Province of Ayios Vasilios, Crete’; and ‘Some Ancient Sites in South-West Crete’. His long association with Knossos was marked with a Festschrift presented by the BSA in 1994: D. Evely, H. Hughes-Brock and N. Momigliano (eds), Knossos: A Labyrinth of History. Papers Presented in Honour of Sinclair Hood.
Sinclair is pictured in two photographs from the BSA Archive below.
A group of BSA members on a visit to Rafina, Attica, in January 1956: Sinclair Hood (centre) and Richard Hope Simpson (left), next to Assistant Director W. Llewellyn Brown; on the right R.A. Tomlinson behind Jane Rabnett, School Secretary (1950-1975).
Viannos, Crete, in 1958: Sinclair Hood appears in the main row fourth from the left, with Rachel to the right and John and Evelyn Evans to the left.
For further insights into Sinclair Hood’s life and work, here is a link to an interview he gave in 2009 to Nektarios Karadimas for the Aegeus Society. His work with the BSA is also frequently mentioned in Helen Waterhouse’s The British School at Athens: the First Hundred Years (1986).
We wish Sinclair and his family all the very best on this special day!