Sinclair Hood

Martin Sinclair Frankland Hood (born 31 January 1917), generally known as Sinclair Hood, is an archaeologist and academic. He was Director of the British School of Archaeology at Athens from 1954 to 1962, and led the excavations at Knossos from 1957 to 1961.[1][2] He turned 100 in January 2017.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

He was born in Queenstown, Ireland, in 1917,[2] the only child of Martin Arthur Frankland Hood (1888–1919), a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, and Frances Ellis, daughter of James Miller Winants, of Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.A., and stepdaughter of Lucius F. Donohoe, Mayor of Bayonne.[2] The Hood family were landed gentry, of Nettleham Hall, Lincolnshire, female-line descendants of Francis Radclyffe, 1st Earl of Derwentwater; they had strong ecclesiastical and military traditions. His father's sister, Grace (generally known, due to her middle name, "Mary", as "Molly"), was a pioneer of archaeological textiles, and was married to the educational administrator and archaeologist John Winter Crowfoot.[4][5] Lt-Cmdr Martin Hood died at sea when his ship sank just after the First World War; Hood was subsequently raised by his mother at Cornwall, where they lived in a bungalow.[6]

After Harrow,[7][8] Hood received a Master of Arts degree from Magdalen College, Oxford in 1939.[2] During World War II he was a conscientious objector serving with the Civil Defence Service and Holborn Stretcher Party.[2] At his mother's behest, at this time he was apprenticed to a Chiswick architect for a time, which Hood considered a "great help for [his] later career" in that he learned to measure and draw.[9] After the war, in 1947, he received a Diploma in Prehistoric Archaeology from the University of London,[2] having been taught by Kathleen Kenyon and V. Gordon Childe.[10] He then attended the British School of Archaeology, Athens, and the British Institute of Archaeology, Ankara.[2]

Academic careerEdit

He was assistant director of the British School of Archaeology, Athens, from 1949 to 1951, and served as director 1954-62.[2] His work has been done mostly in Greece and Turkey, but also in then Mandatory Palestine and Crete.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

On 5 March, 1957, Hood married Girton College, Cambridge-educated (MA 1949)[11] classicist Rachel Simmons (1931-2016),[12] whom he had met conducting an excavation on Chios. She had previously been Secretary to J. B. Priestley, and would later organise Adult Literacy at Thame. They had a son, Martin, and two daughters, Mary and Dictynna.[13][14][15][16]


  • The Minoans – Ancient Peoples and Places (Thames & Hudson Ltd 1971)[2][17]
  • The Arts in Prehistoric Greece (Pelican History of Art 1992)[2][17]
  • Prehistoric Emporio and Ayio Gala: V. 1: Excavations in Chios, 1938-55 (British School of Archaeology, 1982)[2][17]
  • With Cadogan, Gerald. Knossos Excavations 1957-61: Early Minoan (BSA, 2011).[2][17]


  1. ^ Cadogan, Gerald and Hood, Sinclair. 2011 Knossos Excavations 1957-61: Early Minoan (BSA Supplementary Volume).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "(Martin) Sinclair (Frankland) Hood." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Biography in Context. Web. 3 Jan. 2014. Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000046926
  3. ^ Staff (2017-01-31). "Happy 100th Birthday to Sinclair Hood!". British School at Athens. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry, 13th edition, Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1921, p. 920, Hood of Nettlesham Hall pedigree
  6. ^
  7. ^ Knossos, a Labyrinth of History: Papers presented in honour of Sinclair Hood, ed. Don Evely, British School at Athens, 1994, p. xix
  8. ^ The Minoans: the story of Bronze Age Crete, Sinclair Hood, Praeger Publishers, 1971, p. ii
  9. ^
  10. ^ Knossos, a Labyrinth of History: Papers presented in honour of Sinclair Hood, ed. Don Evely, British School at Athens, 1994, p. xix
  11. ^ The Cambridge University List of Members up to 31 December 1991, Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 649
  12. ^
  13. ^ Contemporary Authors: ed. Ann Evory, Gale/ Cengage Learning, 1983, p. 273
  14. ^
  15. ^ The Year: The Annual Review of Girton College, Cambridge, 2015/16, ed. Dr Martin Ennis, E. Jane Dickson, Cambridge University Press, 2016, p. 94
  16. ^ Girton College, Cambridge Deaths 2015-2016, Cambridge University Press, 2016, pp. 5-6
  17. ^ a b c d World Cat Author page

External linksEdit