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In memoriam: Olivier Nieuwenhuyse (16 November 1966 - 15 January 2020)

16 January 2020

On January 15th, 2020, our close friend and dear colleague Olivier Nieuwenhuyse passed away, at the very young age of 53. We will miss Olivier greatly and our sincere thoughts go to his family, in particular to his wife Renske and his two young daughters Lotte and Lili.

Olivier has fought his illness bravely for almost a year. To the very end he was with his loved ones and remained keenly interested in his friends and colleagues.

Olivier studied social psychology and archaeology at the University of Amsterdam. He was deeply involved in the Tell Sabi Abyad project in Syria, and through his work on that site he became one of the most pre-eminent scholars on Near Eastern prehistoric pottery, with unrivalled knowledge. He defended his PhD in 2006, and subsequently he worked as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at Leiden University and the Freie Üniversität Berlin (Germany).

In his scholarly career, Olivier published a large number of outstanding articles and he produced a series of impressive books on the Neolithic of the Near East.  Olivier was an acclaimed and beloved teacher, who inspired students and initiated them into the secrets of Near Eastern prehistory. He was deeply concerned with the fate of the people from Syria during the war and he felt compelled to do what he could to combat the looting and trafficking of Syrian antiquities.

Most of all, however, Olivier was a very dear person. He was a man who cared for people, who was always kind, and who effortlessly combined his own particular humour and style.
We will miss him.

Peter Akkermans &  Bleda Düring

Mourning card and funeral

The funeral ceremony preceding the cremation will take place on Wednesday the 22nd of January at 13.45 in the Jan Steen aula of the crematorium Rhijnhof, Laan te Rhijnhof 10 (entrance from the Haagse Schouwweg) in Leiden.

Following the ceremony there is an opportunity for condolences in the reception room of the crematorium.

See also the mourning card (in Dutch).

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