The University of Oxford and St Peter's College are delighted to announce the permanent endowment of an academic post in anthropology and archaeology, thanks to generous philanthropic support from alumnus, Said Gutseriev. Mr Gutseriev's gift of £2.6 million was confirmed at a signing ceremony last week.

Professor Anne Trefethen, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Said Gutseriev at the signing ceremony at St Peter's College. Photo by John Cairns

Dr Timothy Clack, an archaeologist and anthropologist with diverse, multi-period research and teaching interests, will be appointed as the inaugural Chingiz Gutseriev Research Fellow in Archaeology and Anthropology from the start of the next academic year. As well as belonging to the School of Archaeology and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford, Dr Clack will also hold a tutorial fellowship at St Peter's College, Mr Gutseriev's alma mater.

Mr Gutseriev says: 'Having studied Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Oxford, I am delighted to be able to support the University in a way that will secure the same experience for others for at least the next 800 years. The Chingiz Gutseriev Fellowship will ensure that the interface of archaeology and anthropology remains at the forefront of global research. The post will also ensure that countless generations of Oxford students will be exposed to these important disciplines and their understandings of cultural heritage, identities, and what it is to be human.'

Once in post, Dr Clack will play a key role in coordinating Oxford's prestigious undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Anthropology. The course, which draws on over a century of experience in teaching and research, as well as outstanding museum and library resources, offers students a comprehensive guide to the richness and diversity of human cultural experience.

As well as linking the two disciplines in teaching, the endowment of the post will also enable Dr Clack to pursue his own research at Oxford. He has a specialist interest in memory, heritage and cultural mixture, principally in relation to nomadic societies, and is currently engaged in various fieldwork projects in Eastern Africa.

Dr Clack says: 'This is at once great honour, responsibility and opportunity. As per Mr Gutseriev's powerful vision, the position not only ensures an intellectual bridge between different parts of the University but also facilitates fieldwork, public outreach and academic collaboration.'

Professor Anne Trefethen, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (People and Gardens, Libraries and Museums) says: 'We are deeply appreciative to Mr Gutseriev and his family for their generous benefaction. This transformational gift will ensure that archaeology and anthropology at Oxford can continue to provide world-leading research and robust teaching deep into the future.'