Staff news

Magda Midgley (1952–2014)

Colleagues in the School of History, Classics & Archaeology remember Magda Midgley, Professor of the European Neolithic.

Magda Midgley

Professor Magdalena Midgley was born in 1952 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and first came to Scotland in the early 1970s.

She enrolled at the University in 1974, studying as an undergraduate with Professor Stuart Piggott.

In 1985 she completed her doctoral thesis on the earthen long barrows of northern Europe, supervised by Professor Roger Mercer.

Magda was appointed lecturer, in what was then the Department of Prehistoric Archaeology, in 1989 and spent her entire career at the University until her retirement earlier this year.

She principally taught and researched on the early farming cultures of Europe and was published widely, particularly on funerary monuments, such as the earthen long barrows of the north European plain.

Magda took part in excavations from the Czech Republic to Burgundy and 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 skillfully carried out key administrative tasks, including acting as quality assurance adviser to the then Arts Faculty Group for several years.

At the time of her death, Magda was still actively researching the early history of archaeology and its relation to romanticism. She completed the groundwork to set up 'Neolithic Scotland: making monuments, creating communities', a major collaborative project in which she would undoubtedly have played a leading role.

Magda is survived by her husband, Stephen.