HUNDREDS of people gathered in York Minster today to pay their final respects to world-renowned archaeologist Dr Richard Hall, who died earlier this month at the age of 62.

Reverend Canon Glyn Webster conducted the public service, which was held in the Quire of the Minster this afternoon, ahead of a private family burial.

Dr Peter Addyman, who worked with Dr Hall to raise the profile of the York Archaeological Trust, told the congregation Dr Hall was “as relaxed and assured when he briefed Magnus Magnusson as when giving unforgettable site inductions to new site diggers and recruits”, and had done a great deal to bring York’s Viking history to the public.

“Richard had 37 years service to archaelogy in York, in which he was responsible for over 1,000 excavations, through nersonal supervision or through work and devoted team of assistants he built up.”

Brian Ayers, paid tribute to his friend, who he had met in the early 1970s at Ripon Cathederal, and recalled Dr Hall’s “great sense of fun”, and also said his marriage to Ailsa had been very important.

Mr Ayers said: “Marrying her was clearly the best thing that he ever did. He had made himself as an archaeologist, but she made him as a man.

“He did give great battle, not just against the dreadful disease that has robbed us of him, but also on behalf of family and friends, and on behalf of his profession. None of it was in vain because we will cherish his memory and legacy.”

Rev Webster also said Dr Hall had told his wife, Ailsa, and two teenage sons to be “sad for only a little while then just get on with it”, and said his sons would carry their fathers’ qualifications of hard work and honesty with them, leaving them “well equipped to take on the future and run with it”.

The family also expressed their thanks for the numerous kind words and condolences they had received since Dr Hall’s death.