Social Archaeology Research Group
Professor Richard Bradley and has written a number of books on prehistoric archaeology. His fieldwork has centred on prehistoric settlements, landscapes and monuments in England, Scotland, Spain and Scandinavia. These include studies of Cranborne Chase, the Neolithic axe quarries of Great Langdale (Cumbria), the stone circles of north-east Scotland, the Clava Cairns of northern Scotland, the megalithic art of Orkney, the prehistoric land boundaries of Salisbury Plain, and the Copper Age cave sanctuary of El Pedroso (northern Spain). He has conducted other field investigations of megalithic tombs in the west of Sweden, and a study of the siting of Bronze Age metalwork hoards in southern England, and has also investigated prehistoric rock art in Britain, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Norway.
Recent projects include a book on approaches to studying prehistoric art, another on ritual and domestic life in prehistoric Europe, and accounts of both the prehistory of Britain and Ireland and the role of circular architecture in the ancient world. Field projects published in the last three years include an investigation of henge monuments in Aberdeenshire and Caithness, excavation around prehistoric rock carvings on the National Trust of Scotland's Ben Lawers estate, and a study of the Bronze Age ship settings on the Baltic island of Gotland. Together with three colleagues he is writing a new account of the Continental background to British and Irish Prehistory.. The latter project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and conducted jointly with Leicester University. His most recent fieldwork is concerned with three stone circles in Scotland: Croftmoraig, Waulkmill and Hillhead.
Richard John Bradley, FSA, FSA Scot, FBA (born 18 November 1946) is a British archaeologist and academic. He specialises in the study of European prehistory, and in particular Prehistoric Britain. From 1987 to 2013, he was Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading; he is now Emeritus Professor. He is also the author of a number of books on the subject of archaeology and prehistory.
British Archaeology magazine commented that Bradley was one of the best respected archaeologists in the field.
Early life and education
Bradley was born on 18 November 1946 in Hampshire, England.  His father was a metallurgist in the British Navy. He was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School, then an all-boys direct grantgrammar school in Portsmouth. It was at school where he first became interested in archaeology. He went on to study law at Magdalen College, Oxford, and graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree; as per tradition, his BA was later promoted to a Master of Arts (MA Oxon) degree. He did not involve himself in the counterculture of the 1960s, disliking the music associated with it and the "pretentiousness" of many of those involved who had come from private schools.
Not wishing to enter the legal profession, he focused on archaeology, working as an amateur in the field and authoring academic papers, some of which saw publication in national journals. Without a single qualification in archaeology, aged 25 he was appointed an assistant lecturer at Reading University. He was a lecturer in archaeology from 1971 to 1984, Reader in Archaeology from 1984 to 1987, and Professor of Archaeology from 1987 to 2013. He retired from full-time academia in 2013, and was appointed Emeritus Professor.
In 1976, Bradley married Katherine Bowden. She is a history teacher by profession. They do not have any children.
On 13 January 1977, Bradley was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA). In 1995, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences. In 2007, he was elected an honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (Hon. FSAScot).
In 2006, Bradley was awarded the Grahame Clark Medal by the British Academy.