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Don Henson BA (Sheffield), MPhil (Sheffield), PhD (York), FSA, MCIfA began his archaeological career at Sheffield University doing a degree in prehistory and archaeology, and then going on to do research into the exploitation of different sources of flint and chert in British prehistory. His early research also looked at how flint tool manufacture and procurement changed between the different social contexts of the Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age.
He became interested in public archaeology and education while lecturing to adult evening classes, and eventually diverted his career away from his research to become a museum education officer. Working for 6 years with groups of school children as well as adults proved to be extremely rewarding. He has become a passionate advocate for a publicly engaged, outward-looking archaeology.
His PhD research was into the communication of archaeological understandings of the British Mesolithic to public audiences across traditional publishing, the Internet and digital media, museums and in schools. As part of this he created a set of downloadable schools resources for the Mesolithic site of Star Carr.
Don is also passionate about hill-walking, good food, real ale, cinema and Japanese art, language and culture. He finds it hard to move too far away from the Pennines, which he thinks is the most beautiful landscape in the world.
Don was Outreach Officer for Wakefield Museums, Galleries and Castles from 1988 to 1994, and then Head of Education at the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) from 1994 to 2011. His role at the CBA was to be the advocate for archaeology within the formal education system, from primary schooling up to higher education. He was also an advocate for the importance of education work within archaeology. Don has twice been in charge of the Young Archaeologists' Club and remains keen to promote the Club.
He has also sat on the AQA committees for AS/A level history and archaeology, the Archaeology Advisory Panel for the Higher Education Academy, the National Trust's Learning Panel and the IfA Professional Training Committee. He has led campaigns for the teaching of medieval history at 14-18, and for archaeology graduates to be admitted to teacher training degrees.
Don's interests range widely across various broad areas of research:
Don is a trustee of the Yorkshire Dales Landscape Research Trust, and spends every summer excavating or surveying multi-period landscapes in upper Wharfedale.
He is currently doing research in:
Don also acts as a freelance consultant in heritage education and lithics analysis, and is currently: