It is with deep and sincere sadness that the EAA has heard about the recent passing of Henry Cleere, one of the instrumental founding fathers of the Association, our first Secretary and thereafter for many years the Editor of The European Archaeologist. In 2002 Henry was the recipient of our European Archaeological Heritage Prize, in recognition of his contribution to the internationalisation and modernisation of archaeological heritage management in Europe over the previous 25 years. Until very recently, Henry continued to support and contribute to our Annual Meetings and play an important advisory role in the governance of the Association.
Henry’s diverse and inspirational career in heritage management included being Director of the Council for British Archaeology (1974-1991) and World Heritage Coordinator for the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS, 1992-2002). He was awarded an Honorary Professorship in Archaeological Cultural Management by University College London in 1998.
by Kristian Kristiansen (email@example.com)
I first met Henry when he paid me a visit in Copenhagen around 1980 when I was a new and very young head of the Archaeological Heritage in Denmark. He was visiting people and heritage institutions around Europe in order to collect material for his planned book ‘Approaches to the Archaeological Heritage’, which came out in 1984. We immediately found each other, irrespective of the age difference, and Henry also brought his wife and small daughters if I remember correctly. From then on we would meet at regular intervals in various European initiatives, not least in the formation in the ICAHM, which was Henry’s idea, and where he was also a driving force behind the ICAHM charter on archaeological heritage. He graciously suggested that the Swedish State Antiquarian, Margaretha Biörnstadt should be first president of ICAHM, also active in the initiating group. These were days of new ideas about a new kind of heritage, cross-cutting borders and nationalities.
Later when I started mobilizing people to help create first a Journal of European Archaeology, and then the European Association of Archaeologists, Henry of course became member of the founding group, where we used his extensive experience in formulating the statutes, and he was a natural choice for EAA secretary, when we got started with me as first president. He was also the driving force behind the EAA Code of Conduct, which is still in force.
You were never in doubt about Henry’s priorities, politically and archaeologically, but always forwarded them with humour and preferably over a good beer. A few times, he could explode when members of the founding group kept repeating arguments he considered ridiculous, but I dare say without his abilities as unofficial secretary during the founding phase, we would not have been able to get the EAA off the ground so efficiently. He was a great negotiator as well, and I always felt safe with Henry at my side. A man of many talents, we were fortunate that he devoted his skills to archaeology in the second career of this life. I feel privileged to have worked so closely together with him in the formative years of the EAA. His life spanned much of what shaped Europe, and he contributed in his various life phases to this new Europe. When we were on excursion in the Slovenian mountains during the inaugural meeting of the EAA in Ljubljana he crossed his own paths from the Second World War, when he spent time in the same region as member of the allied troops. What a life! I shall never forget Henry and the good times we had together.
Participants of the meeting when the first EAA statutes were drafted, Bechyně, South Bohemia, June 1992. From left to right: Evžen Neustupný, Arek Marciniak, Ilse Biruta Loze, Mike Rowlands, Anna Maria Bietti Sestieri, Henry Cleere, María Isabel Martínez Navarrete, Bogdan Bruckner (Photo: Kristian Kristiansen)