In memory of Professor David Hawkins FBA


18 December 2023

It is with great sadness that the BIAA announces that Professor David Hawkins FBA, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Anatolian Languages, SOAS, University of London, passed away on Sunday 17 December. David was a long term supporter of the BIAA and was President of the Institute from 2008 to 2022.  

He carried the flag for Hittite studies over half his lifetime, and in this sense continued the work of the BIAA’s founder John Garstang and Oliver Gurney (BIAA President and David’s teacher), and acquired an international reputation as probably the world’s leading Hittite philological and historical scholar, certainly for Anatolian Hieroglyphs. 

David was also a passionate enthusiast for Turkey and the Near East, a participant in BIAA excavations during the 1960s with Richard Harper, Charles Burney and others, and an inveterate traveller. The photograph shows him at work at Malkaya in 2006. Less well known, maybe, is that David also was a highly talented cartoonist.  

David Hawkins died peacefully at home after a long illness. The BIAA offers condolences to David’s partner Geoff Ryman, and to all his friends and colleagues. He held an important place in their lives and remained in contact with a close group of friends through virtual meetings till the last months of his life.

Image: Takayuki Oshima (Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology)