Professor Magda Midgley

It is with great sadness that the School has to announce the death of Professor Magdalena Midgley, Professor of the European Neolithic since August 2013. (Published 23 July 2014)

Professor Midgley in the Pyrenees

4 November 1952; Bydgoszcz, Poland – 21 July 2014; Biggar, Lanarkshire

It is with regret that the School has to announce the sad death of Professor Magdalena Midgley, Professor of the European Neolithic since August 2013.

Magda first came to Scotland in the early 1970s and enrolled at this University in 1974, where she began her undergraduate curriculum as a student of Professor Stuart Piggott; she completed her doctoral thesis on the earthen long barrows of northern Europe, supervised by Hon Prof Roger Mercer, in 1985.

Magda was appointed to a Lectureship in the old Department of Prehistoric Archaeology in 1989 and spent her entire career here until her retirement last month. She principally taught and researched on the early farming cultures of Europe, and published widely in particular on the funerary monuments, especially the earthen long barrows, of the North European plain and adjacent areas. Magda took part in excavations from the Czech Republic to Burgundy to east-central Scotland, but her fieldwork extended even more widely from the Spanish Pyrenees to southern Scandinavia and the forested areas of her native Poland.

Magda was a much-appreciated colleague who also skilfully carried through key administrative tasks - she was for example the Quality Assurance Adviser to the old Arts Faculty Group for several years in the mid-1990s. At the time of her death, Magda was still actively researching the early history of archaeology and its relation to romanticism, and had done the groundwork to set up a major collaborative project on ‘Neolithic Scotland: making monuments, creating communities’, in which she would undoubtedly have played a leading role.

Magda is survived by her husband, Stephen, with whom she shared many passions - for cats, and classical music; and for very fast cars and motorcycles as well as for travel, notably to the Pyrenees, where they had a much-loved holiday home.

Funeral arrangements

The funeral service will be on Wednesday, 30th July at 1pm, at Mortonhall Crematorium (main chapel), 30B Howdenhall Road, Edinburgh EH16 6UD.

All friends and family are invited for refreshments afterwards at nearby Northfield House Hotel, 115 Lasswade Road, Edinburgh EH16 6TX. Messages of sympathy can be sent to Stephen Midgley by email.

Stephen Midgley

Contact details