Frank Roy Hodson (Fazakerley, Liverpool 1930 - )
British archaeologist, he specialised in Prehistoric Archaeology, with particular interests in the European Iron Age and the use of quantification in Archaeology.
After an initial degree in Classical Archaeology at Cambridge Faculty of in Classics (1953), he studied for a diploma in Prehistoric Archaeology in the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology (1954). Then he carried out research on “The Celto-Ligurians in Southern France” for his Ph.D. degree (1957). In 1958 he was a site supervisor at Mortimer Wheeler’s Charsada excavations (Northwest Pakistan). From 1959 to 1993 he was first lecturer and then professor of European Prehistory at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, where he is now Professor Emeritus. Between 1966 and 1968 he also held a Senior Research Fellowship at Chruchill College Cambridge attached to the Cambridge University Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statitstics. In 1984 he was elected Fellow of the British Academy.
During the 1960s, he dedicated much effort in developing and spreading the use of computers in archaeological research and at the end of the 1960s he was one of the founders of the Journal «World Archaeology». In 1970, together with David Kendall and Petre Tautu, he organised at Mamaia in Romania the seminal Conference on Mathematics in the Archaeological and Historical Sciences and in 1975 he co-authored with James Doran the first handbook on “Mathematics and Computers in Archaeology”.
Hodson’s works predominantly focus on the grave goods coming from large Iron Age cemeteries in Central Europe (Hallstatt and La Tène cultures) as a source for the study of ancient societies as a whole. In doing so, he addressed issues that involve the use of computer programmes to perform multivariate methods of analysis (e.g. Principal Components and Cluster Analysis) putting in action meaningful strategies for data reduction and explanation. He was also a member of the Palaeolithic teaching, excavation and research team set up in his department which was active until his retirement.
In 1994 he founded the Roy Hodson Prize at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, which is awarded for the best final-year undergraduate dissertation in Prehistory.