Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology

Overview

Flinders Petrie has been called the “Father of Modern Egyptology”—and indeed he is one of the pioneers of modern archaeological methods. This fascinating biography of Petrie was first published to high acclaim in England in 1985. Margaret S. Drower, a student of Petrie’s in the early 1930s, traces his life from his boyhood, when he was already a budding scholar, through his stunning career in the deserts of Egypt to his death in Jerusalem at the age of eighty-nine. Drower combines her first-hand knowledge with ...

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Overview

Flinders Petrie has been called the “Father of Modern Egyptology”—and indeed he is one of the pioneers of modern archaeological methods. This fascinating biography of Petrie was first published to high acclaim in England in 1985. Margaret S. Drower, a student of Petrie’s in the early 1930s, traces his life from his boyhood, when he was already a budding scholar, through his stunning career in the deserts of Egypt to his death in Jerusalem at the age of eighty-nine. Drower combines her first-hand knowledge with Petrie’s own voluminous personal and professional diaries to forge a lively account of this influential and sometimes controversial figure.
    Drower presents Petrie as he was: an enthusiastic eccentric, diligently plunging into the uncharted past of ancient Egypt. She tells not only of his spectacular finds, including the tombs of the first Pharaohs, the earliest alphabetic script, a Homer manuscript, and a collection of painted portraits on mummy cases, but also of Petrie’s important contributions to the science of modern archaeology, such as orderly record-keeping of the progress of a dig and the use of pottery sherds in historical dating. Petrie's careful academic methods often pitted him against such rival archaeologists as Amélineau, who boasted he had smashed the stone jars he could not carry away to be sold, and Maspero and Naville, who mangled a pyramid at El Kula they had vainly tried to break into.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“[An] admirable and immensely readable biography, Margaret Drower's account of [Petrie] does full justice to a complex and multi-faceted life that brimmed over with energy and event. You don't have to be an archaeologist to enjoy this book, although I imagine that all archaeologists will welcome it without reserve.”—The Guardian

Library Journal
Written by an Egyptologist, this meticulously documented biography records the life and work of the legendary British Egyptologist (1853-1942) whose exemplary scientific fieldwork provided the foundation for modern Egyptology. Drower draws upon a wide range of sources to trace Petrie from his childhood in England through a long, magnificent career that set new standards in recording finds, establishing principles of dating pottery, treatment of workers, and standards of ethics in archaeology. A man of robust health and enormous energy, he had the great good fortune of marrying the perfect partner in Hilda Urlin, his indefatigable coworker. Excerpts from letters and diaries allow charming insights into Petrie's notoriously spartan life on the site. Long-awaited and definitive, this belongs in every biography collection. Joan W. Gartland, Detroit P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299146245
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/1995
  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Classics
  • Edition description: 2nd ed
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret S. Drower (Mrs. C. Hackforth-Jones) has retired as a lecturer in ancient history at University College, London, where she was a reader in ancient history; she is now an honorary research fellow in the Departments of History and Egyptology. A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, she has contributed to many books and BBC programs on the ancient Middle East.
 

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Table of Contents

Sources and Acknowledgements
Prologue
Preface to the Second Edition
I The Flinders and the Petries 3
II The Making of an Archaeologist (1853-80) 13
III The Pyramid Survey (1880-82) 34
IV "Father of Pots": Delta Explorations (1883-6) 65
V Up the Nile (1886-7) 105
VI Pyramids and Portraits (1887-9) 127
VII Interlude in Palestine (1889-90) 153
VIII Tussles with M. Grebaut (1890-2) 168
IX University College, London (1892-7) 199
X Hilda (1896-8) 231
XI Most Ancient Egypt (1899-1903) 249
XII Naville and Petrie: A Clash of Personalities (1903-6) 274
XIII The British School (1906-11) 295
XIV Amulets in the Soup (1911-14) 318
XV The War Years (1914-19) 330
XVI Egypt over the Border (1919-30) 348
XVII Jubilee (1930-33) 377
XVIII Lone Syrian Shore (1934-8) 398
XIX Sunset in Jerusalem (1938-42) 418
Notes and References 439
Bibliography 465
Select Bibliography 465
The Books of Flinders Petrie 466
Obituaries and Appreciations 469
Glossary of Arabic and Technical Words 470
Appendix A: The Chronology of Ancient Egyptian History 471
Appendix B: Sites of Work done by Flinders Petrie, or under his Supervision 472
Maps 473
Appendix C: U.C.L. Galton Papers 152/4 476
Index 479
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