Personal profile

Academic Background

Professor David Gill is Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History and an Academic Associate in the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and a member of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage. 

David is a former Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome, and was a Sir James Knott Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was previously a member of the Department of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, and Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology at Swansea University. He was awarded his chair in Archaeological Heritage through UEA, and was Director of the Heritage Futures Research Unit at the University of Suffolk. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and is the regional lead for the RSA Heritage Network. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

David has conducted fieldwork in Greece and been involved with a major post-excavation project in Libya. His current research centres on the history of collecting and archaeological ethics. He has recently completed a biography of Dr John Disney, founder of the Cambridge University chair of archaeology.

David is the recipient of the 2023 IAASF Cultural Heritage Protection Initiative Award, and holder of the 2012 Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Outstanding Public Service Award, and the 2012 SAFE Beacon Award.

Key Research Interests

David has researched on the history of collecting and archaeological ethics. His books include Sifting the Soil of Greece: the Early Years of the British School at Athens (1886–1919) (London 2011), Winifred Lamb: Aegean Prehistorian and Museum Curator (Oxford 2018), and a biography of Dr John Disney, The World of Disney: from Antiquarianism to Archaeology (Oxford 2020). He contributed a number of memoirs for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford 2004-). A series of essays on cultural property has appeared in Context Matters: Collating the Past (2020).

David has prepared a study of the economic benefits of heritage, in particular looking at the impact of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Greece, as well as a regional study for East Anglia. He led the Eastern Academic Research Consortium (EARC) project on the social and economic benefits of heritage for the region.


David is a Fellow of the RSA (FRSA) and the Society of Antiquaries (FSA). He has served on the Westminster Cultural Property APPG that prepared the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017 in response to the situtation in the Middle East. He is currently a member of the Digital and Creative Industries Sector Panel of the New Anglia LEP.

David has been a member of the Suffolk Strategic Heritage Forum and contributed to the Suffolk Heritage Strategy (2013). He is a partner member of the Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership that seeks to reinterpret the ruins to mark the millennium of the abbey's foundation. He was a member of the Managing a Masterpiece project team that celebrated the heritage landscape of the Stour Valley on the Essex-Suffolk border (2011–14). He has served as one of the judges for the Suffolk Museum of the Year awards.

David has been part of two major heritage projects: the creation of the Egypt Centre at Swansea University that houses the Egyptian collection of the pharmaceutical millionaire Sir Henry Wellcome; and the formation of The Hold, the new heritage centre for Suffolk.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Visiting Professor, University of Southampton

1 Nov 2022 → …

Honorary Professor, University of Kent

Dec 2019 → …

Media Expertise

  • Archaeology