Honorary awards

Professor Vere Gordon Childe

Professor Gordon Childe, BLitt Oxford HonDLitt Harv HonDSc Pennsylvania BA Sydney, FBA FRAI FSA (Scotland) - a leading archaeologist - received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Sydney during a visit to Australia in 1957 after an absence of 36 years. The honorary degree was conferred at a ceremony in the Great Hall on 24 April 1957. He died on 19 October 1957, just 6 months later.

Professor Childe, Professor A Elkin and Dr H V Evatt

Professor Gordon Childe (left), fellow student at the University of Sydney and former Professor of Anthropology, Professor A Elkin (centre) and the Leader of the Australian Labor Party and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives, Dr H V Evatt (right) following conferral of the honorary degree upon Professor Childe, photo, National Archives of Australia: A1200, L22900.


Professor Childe, an Australian and a graduate of the University of Sydney, had a distinguished career as an archaeologist, culminating in his appointment in 1946 as Professor of Prehistoric European Archaeology and Director of the Institute of Archaeology in the University of London. He held this position until his retirement in 1956. Professor Childe studied at the University of Oxford for several years and was subsequently Private Secretary to the Premier of New South Wales from 1919 to 1921. He travelled extensively in Greece, the Balkans and Central Europe, and from 1925 to 1927 was Librarian of the Royal Anthropological Institute. From 1927 to 1946 he held the Chair of Prehistoric Archaeology in the University of Edinburgh. His contribution to the study of prehistoric archaeology, including his many published works, was outstanding.

From a Senate Report