Nicholas David obituary

My brother Nicholas David, who has died aged 85, was a primary figure in the area of ethnoarchaeology who undertook crucial research in west Africa and grew to become professor of anthropology and archaeology at the University of Calgary.

Long right after he retired in 2002 Nic continued to get funding to carry out his investigation. He developed and preserved a web-site about the people of the Sukur in the Mandara mountains of Cameroon, and he contributed to adding the Sukur cultural landscape to the Unesco World Heritage record. In 2014, when Sukur was attacked by Boko Haram, Nic established up the Boko Haram Victims fund and website.

Born in Cambridge, to Nora (nee Blakesley), a town councillor and from 1978 a Labour existence peeress, as Lady David of Romsey, and Richard David, publisher and head of the Cambridge College Press, Nic was the eldest of four youngsters. He was despatched to Horris Hill preparatory college aged eight, and, as I was seven decades youthful, we only ever spent the school vacations together. Summers were put in in Polzeath, north Cornwall, exactly where our grandparents had a vacation property, and I generally try to remember the chocolate cake baked for him by our grandmother on his birthday.

Immediately after leaving Winchester school (exactly where his grandfather was a housemaster), he put in two years in national assistance, which bundled a spell as a junior officer in the Nigeria Regiment, ahead of returning household to Cambridge College to read through archaeology and anthropology at Trinity University.

I was 13 when Nic went to Trinity, and, as the only boy or girl not sent to boarding university, it was great to have an more mature brother living so close. My reminiscences are of him teaching me to hear to jazz, enjoying the LP of Carmen Jones with the amazing photo of Dorothy Dandridge on the go over, and instructing me how to jive.

From there he moved to Harvard for a doctorate in the palaeoanthropology of south-western France, adopted by a educating job at the University of Pennsylvania (1967-71), through which he returned to west Africa to pursue the groundbreaking study on the materials culture, ancient and contemporary, of Cameroonian communities that remained a central passion for the relaxation of his daily life.

Just after short spells at College College London (1971-74) and the College of Ibadan in Nigeria (1974-78), he moved to the chair at Calgary that he occupied for the relaxation of his doing the job existence (1980-2002).

He experienced 3 kids with his to start with spouse, Hilke Hennig. The marriage finished in divorce, as did his subsequent marriage to Iva Hynes. His third wife, Judy Sterner, an anthropologist he met at the University of Calgary in 1980 and married five decades later on, became his partner and colleague in the west African job.

Nic is survived by Judy, his kids, Ivo, Branwen and Til, three grandchildren, and his siblings, Sebastian, Eliza and me.

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