A FELLOW of Oxford University’s Nuffield College who carried out pioneering work in archaeological age analysis has died aged 82.

Professor Noel Gale was a scientist who also took a great interest in the humanities.

He was a faculty fellow at Nuffield College from 1987 to 1999 and an emeritus fellow from 1999 to 2014.

At Oxford he was involved in building one of the earliest mass spectrometers to be used in isotope geochronology — the science of determining the age of rocks, fossils, and sediments.

Professor Gale went on to become a leading scientist in the field of application of lead isotope analyses determining the origins of Bronze Age metals.

Noel Harold Gale was born on December 24, 1931 in Valletta, Malta.

The son of two British parents, his father was a seaman in the Royal Navy serving in Malta.

In his youth he attended Brockenhurst Grammar School in the New Forest, Hampshire.

He graduated in Physics from Imperial College, London and started his PhD at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, working on the application of nuclear physics to medicine.

Later he changed to a pure physics degree, which he completed at the University of Manchester.

As a nuclear physicist, he worked for several years at the Harwell Laboratory of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment until the early 1960s when he was employed by Oxford University in the Department of Geology, later renamed the Department of Earth Sciences. In 1975 he met Professor Wolfgang Gentner, of Heidelberg University in Germany, who proposed they collaborate on developing lead isotope analysis to reveal the origin of ancient Greek silver coins.

Prof Gale would also go on to investigate Bronze Age sources of lead and silver in the Aegean with Professor Colin Renfrew.

Professor Gale, who lived in Cumnor Hill, died on February 3, after a two-year battle with cancer.

His funeral was held on Monday at St Michael’s Church in Cumnor.

He is survived by his former wife, Zofia Stos-Gale, his three sons, Nicholas, Patrick and Christopher, and five grandchildren and third wife Daphne Robertson-Hicks.