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Emeritus Fellow, Dr Michael Hoskin has been honoured with a bronze bust in the Andalucian town of Antequera, in recognition of his research into prehistoric Mediterranean structures that led to the nearby 5000 year old Antequera Dolmens site being added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.
Dolmens are collective tombs where Neolithic and Copper Age clans honoured their dead. After studying over 3,000 of these megalithic tombs, Hoskin’s work uncovered that unlike other megalithic structures, which are positioned in relation to the sun’s rays, the Antequera Dolmens are instead positioned in line with a huge rock — the Peña de los Enamorados.
This ground-breaking work led to the site being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In recognition of his research, the Spanish Government awarded Hoskin the Medalla de Oro de las Bellas Artes (Gold Medal of Fine Arts) in 2015.
Since being declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, the economy of the city of Antequera has been has transformed, as tourists flock to visit the site. In recognition of Hoskin’s contribution to Antequera, a new square has been created in his name looking out on the Peña de los Enamorados and the Antequera Dolmens.
In an official ceremony, the Mayor of Antequera, Manuel Barón, and the central government representative in Malaga, Miguel Briones, together with Hoskin and 25 members of his family, unveiled a bronze bust in this new square dedicated to the archaeologist and his research. The bust is accompanied by a few words on behalf of the town thanking Hoskin for his ‘crucial research work’ and his contribution to the town’s livelihood.
Currently the Emeritus Professor of the History of Science at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Churchill College since 1969, Dr Michael Hoskin was Head of the University Department of History and Philosophy of Science from 1975–1986 and founder of Journal for the History of Astronomy, with a particular interest in the history of astronomy. His work focused on measuring the guidelines of thousands of dolmens, megalithic tombs and other structures in the Mediterranean Western, from Crete to Portugal, especially stopping at the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands.