Starting this summer, the National Museum of Antiquities and the University of Leiden are two professors richer. Dr. Pieter ter Keurs, head of the Collections and Research Department, and Dr. Ruurd Halbertsma, curator of the Classical World collection, are the men of the hour. Ter Keurs (1956) became special professor of "Anthropology of material culture" at the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology effective 1 May this year. Halbertsma (1958) has taken the new chair for "Museum Aspects of Archaeology" at the Faculty of Archaeology effective 1 August.
The professorship of the museum employees at the University of Leiden reinforces the existing cooperation between the museum and the university. The members of the staff and researchers from the museum, including Ter Keurs and Halbertsma, have been involved in the programmes (including educational programmes) of the university, acting as guest lecturers and researchers, since time immemorial. In addition, archaeological digs in Egypt and Syria have been conducted jointly and in the nineteenth century, the basis of the museum collection was laid when some university collections were merged. The new professors will hold their inaugural speech in the autumn of 2010.