The real exploration of Egypt came with the French invasion under Napoleon. Along with his army, he bought along a number of scholars, who conducted surveys throughout Egypt. These men were not only Egypt’s earliest modern explorers, but were probably more interested in documenting their findings then the next generation of explorers and adventurers, who seem to have put their greatest efforts into the collection, and sell, of Egyptian antiquities. It was these predecessors of modern Egyptology that stripped many of Egypt’s fine antiquities, carrying them off to European as well as American Museums. In fact, the real age of Egyptology did not begin until the key to Egypt’s written language was deciphered by Champollion, and not until Maspero and his contemporaries did Egyptology begin to settle into the realm of scholarly work. Real Egyptology probably began with Petrie, who’s excavation methods were closer to modern methods then any of his predecessors (or contemporaries).
Of course, the following list is by no means complete. Obviously there are thousands of working Egyptologists today, not to mention those of the past. However, we will continue to update this list as more information becomes available. Yet this is a fairly complete list from the standpoint of past and present important figures in Egyptology.
Boutros Andraos was a Luxor resident who, with his neighbor Shenouda Macarios, received permission in 1900 from Howard Carter to excavate KV 42 (the tomb of Hatshepsut Meryet-Ra). They had been promised a share of the contents, but little was found.
Dieter Arnold is a modern Egyptologist and architect, still living, who carried out excavations at Tarif, Deir el-Bahari and Dahshur for the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo. Most of his research has focused on Egypt’s Middle Kingdom pyramids, and on pyramid construction. Currently he is directing the excavations in Lisht and Dahshur under the sponsorship of the American Archeological expedition from New York’s Metropolitan Museum.
Ayrton, Edward Russell
Edward Russell Ayrton was an English archaeologist funded by Theodore Davis from 1905-1908 while he worked in the Valley of the Kings.
Belzoni, an Italian, was the strong man of Egyptology, who worked in as a circus strongman in London prior to his explorations in Egypt. He was an imposing man with a height of about two meters (6ft, 6in). He was an adventurer and self taught archaeologist who possibly studied hydraulics, and who ended up working for the Egyptian vice regent, Muhammad Ali. He directed excavations, often using crude methods. However, he is credited with discovering the previously unknown upper entrance of Khafre‘s pyramid at Giza. He also documented and collected antiquities.
Borchardt, Ludwig (1863 – 1938)
A German Egyptologist and architect, Borchardt became famous for his excavations in Abusir, Abu Ghurab and Amarna (where he discovered the famous bust of Nefertiti). He made an outstanding contribution to the understanding of the architecture of the pyramid complex and founded the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, as well as the Swiss Institute for Egyptian Archaeology and Architecture in Cairo.
Brugsch, Emile Charles Adalbert (1842 – 1930)
A German Egyptologist, he became an assistant in the Khedive’s School of Egyptology in Cairo where he worked between 1870 and 1879. Later, he became an assistant to Mariette, and an assistant conservator at the Bulaq Museum in Cairo. He later was promoted to Keeper. He worked on Mariettee’s behalf at Saqqara, where he discovered the pyramid Texts in 1881, and was also responsible for clearing the Deir el-Bahari cache in the same year. With two other Boulak Museum assistants, Brugsch went straightaway to the site, claimed it for the Antiquities Service and proceeded to have the cache-tomb hurriedly cleared of its some forty royal and anonymous coffined mummies, during forty-eight hours over a six-day period He was a skilled lithographer and photographer. Unfortunately, he may also have surreptitiously sold museum objects, but to his credit, this may have been done to keep the museum afloat. Before his death, he was made a Bey and Pasha by the Egyptian government.
Budge, Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis (1857 – 1934)
An Englishman, Budge studied Egyptology under Samuel Birch at the British Museum between 1870 and 1878. He later studied at Christ’s College at Cambridge. He went to work for the British Museum after graduation in 1883, and between 1894 and 1924, was a Keeper in the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities. He excavated at Aswan, Gebel Barkal, Meroe, Semna and other Nubian sites. Budge was known as a prolific author with over 140 titles to his credit, some of which continue to be printed.
Paul Bucher was a French Egyptologist who copied and published texts from the walls of KV 34 (Thutmes III) and KV 35 (Amenhetep II).
A British photographer born in Lincolnshire, though a resident of Florence, Harry Burton worked from 1914 onward for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Egyptian Expedition and for Howard Carter in 1922 as the photographer in KV 62. Prior to that he worked for Theodore Davis in the Valley of the Kings. The hundreds of glass negatives he took during he course of the Tutankhamun clearance provide an unparalleled body of reference and are among the finest archaeological photographs ever made.
Born in London in 1788 to James Haliburton (who changed his name to Burton) and Elizabeth Westly, James Burton was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he received his B.A. in 1810 and M.A. in 1815. Between 1815 and 1822 Burton worked for the architect Sir John Soane and traveled in Italy with his secretary, Charles Humphreys, where he met Egyptologists Sir John Gardner Wilkinson, Edward William Lane, and Sir William Gell.
In 1822 Burton accepted an invitation from Pasha Mohammed Ali to work as a mineralogist in a search for coal with the Geological Survey of Egypt. Burton had absolutely no mineralogical knowledge, however, and left the Geological Survey in 1824. He turned his attention to the ancient monuments of Egypt. In 1825, he traveled south on the Nile making his way from Cairo to Abu Simbel. En route, Burton spent several months in ancient Thebes. He excavated at Madinat Habu and Karnak and in several of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It was during these months that he first entered KV 5 and sketched a plan of its initial chambers.
Between 1825 and 1828, Burton published a volume of hieroglyphic inscriptions. Little is known of Burton’s whereabouts between 1825 and 1834, but on Christmas Day in 1835 he returned home to England with animals, servants and slaves, including his wife, Andreana, a Greek slave girl who had been purchased for him in his earlier years in Egypt. Shortly thereafter, his family disowned him.
Burton is perhaps best known for his drawings and plans of ancient Egyptian monuments, which are valuable because they can be used to compare the condition of the archaeological sites in the early nineteenth century and today. In addition, throughout his years in Egypt, Burton collected Egyptian antiquities, most of which were auctioned off at Sotheby’s in 1836 to repay his debts. The only item of his collection which was not auctioned was a mummy and coffin, now in the Liverpool Museum. James Burton died in Edinburgh in 1862, and was buried with the epitaph “a zealous investigator in Egypt of its language and antiquities.”
A British traveler who arrived in Egypt in 1768, James Bruce visited the Valley of the Kings and partly cleared KV 11, which is still sometimes known as “Bruce’s Tomb
Howard Carter is probably the most famous Egyptologist we know of because of his discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, and the resulting media frenzy. However, he worked on many other excavations. He was a British Egyptologist, who began his career as a draftsman and artist, documenting work and excavations at a number of locations in Egypt, including of course, the Valley of the Kings.
Caviglia, Giovanni Battista (1770 – 1845)
An early explorer in Egypt, Caviglia was a temperamental, uneducated Italian who spent his early life as a sea captain. Nevertheless, he found his true calling in Egyptology, at a time when perhaps adventurous men were more suited to the profession than today’s scholars. He was employed by various European collectors and work with a number of early explorers, including personalities such as Henry Salt. Salt paid Caviglia to excavate the Sphinx, but apparently the two men had a falling out after Caviglia spent most of his time looking for mummy pits. He is noted at the first explorer to carry out major excavations at Giza, and specifically investigated the Davison Chamber in the Great Pyramid, hoping to find a secret room. Apparently Caviglia was a very religious man who felt the Pyramid’s held mystic secrets.
The world might never have heard of Champollion were it not for the Rosetta Stone. He was the intellect who broke the mysterious code of hieroglyphics, and because of this, is often recognized as the founder of
Egyptology. In addition to his work with the Rosetta Stone, he visited Egypt and studied the monuments and collected a wide range of documentation. he also authored a series of scholarly works on Egyptian history, religion and language. See also Champollion’s Notes.
An American Egyptologist, Mark Ciccarello worked with John Romer on the clearing of KV 4 (Rameses XI).
D’Athanasi, Giovanni (1798 – 1854)
A Greek adventurer and collector of Egyptian artifacts, D’Athanasi originally came to Egypt in order to work for his father, a merchant. He was employed by Henry Salt and later, John Barker to collect antiquities, and managed to build up a sizable collection himself. He later disposed of this collection in three sales at Sotheby’s in London. Unfortunately, he apparently used these funds to become a picture dealer in London, at which he did poorly, and died in poverty.
A French Egyptologist, Georges Daressy cleared and published KV 6 (Rameses IX), KV 9 (Rameses V and VI), and KV 38 (Thutmes I).
A current British Egyptologist, Dodson read Egyptian archaeology at Durham, Liverpool and Cambridge Universities. he received his Ph.d. in 1995. He has lectured in England, Egypt, Canada and the United states, and is currently working on a scientific publication of the coffins and canopic equipment from the Tomb of Tutankhamun. His books include Egyptian Rock Cut Tombs, The Canopic Equipment of the Kings of Egypt and Monarchs of the Nile.
Edwards, Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen (1909 – 1996)
Edwards was one of the better known Egyptologists during his day. He was British, and in fact worked at the British Museum for many years. Considered an important authority on the Egyptian pyramid, his book, The Pyramids of Egypt, was one of the standards on the topic, and went through a number of editions and translations into other languages.
Emery, Walter Brian (1903 – 1971)
Emery, a British Egyptologist and archaeologist, is best known for his work in Nubia, where he made a name for himself. He also worked in the early dynastic period necropolis at Saqqara.
Fakhry, Ahmad (1905 – 1973)
Fakhry was an Egyptian archaeologist who worked in the Western desert of Egypt, and also in the necropolis at Dahshur.
Ferlini, Giuseppe (1800 – 1870)
Even though Ferlini was born in Bologna, he managed to become the Surgeon Major to the Egyptian army around 1830. He served in the Sudan, and upon retiring in 1834, excavated at Meroe with Antonio Stefani. His finds were later sold, and remain at the museums in Munich and Berlin.
Firth, Cecil Mallaby (1878 – 1931) A British Egyptologist, Firth played a major role in archaeological work in Nubia, and later in the early dynastic period necropolis in Saqqara, and specifically in the Djoser complex.
Goneim, Muhammad Zakaria (1905 – 1959)
An Egyptian archaeologist, Goneim is best known for his work on and discovery of Sekhemkhet’s pyramid at Saqqara. Unfortunately, after establishing his worthiness on that complex, he was falsely accused of steeling and smuggling an artifact. These accusations were proven false by his good friend, Jean-Philippe Laucer, but not in time to prevent Goneim from committing suicide over the matter.
Hassan, Selim (1886 – 1961)
Many of the younger Egyptian Archaeologist owe thanks to Hassan, because he basically developed the discipline of Egyptology at the University of Cairo. His work focused on archaeological excavations in the necropolis at Giza, though he apparently worked elsewhere, including, for example, Abu Rawash. he later published the results of his work in a ten volume study.
Hawass is currently one of the most famous Egyptologists in the world, credited with considerable work at Giza, as well as the Western Oasis. An Egyptian, he has been greatly involved in work carried out around the Great Pyramid of Giza. He also discovered and worked in the necropolis of the artists who worked on those pyramids. In 2001, he was named as the eighth National Geographic Explorer in Residence. In the first months of 2002, he was named as the chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), which oversees all artifacts and monuments in Egypt under the authority of the Ministry of Culture.
Robert Hay was born in Berwickshire, Scotland in 1799. Navy service brought him to Alexandria in 1818 and this visit, coupled with reading Belzoni’s works, inspired him to return to Egypt and travel. For ten years beginning in 1824, Hay explored Egypt, making sketches and watercolors of sites. He often traveled with other artists, including Joseph Bonomi and Edward Lane. He sailed up the Nile to Abu Simbel, stopping at sites along the way to document them and make plaster casts of reliefs.
The area that impressed Hay most was ancient Thebes and he spent time in the Valley of the Kings. During his stay there he lived in the tomb of Rameses IV (KV 2) while his artist friends stayed in the tomb of Rameses VI (KV 9). During this time, he made watercolors of tomb interiors. In 1828 Hay married Kalitza Psaraki, a former slave taken from her homeland of Crete to Egypt by the Turks. She accompanied Hay during the rest of his exploration in Egypt.
The 1840 publication of his lithographs of Cairo was not popular, but the images are of great value to Egyptologists today. There is a 47-volume set of unpublished books at the British Museum Library of Hay’s notes and drawings. He gave the artifacts and plaster casts he collected to the British Museum. Robert Hay died in East Lothian in 1863.
A Swiss Egyptologist, Erik Hornung specializes in the study of royal funerary texts. He has published scenes and texts from KV 1 (Rameses VII), KV 2 (Rameses IV), and KV 17 (Sety I).
Jequier, Gustave (1868 – 1946)
Jequier was a Swiss Egyptologist who specialized in ancient Egyptian art and architecture. He participated in archaeological research at a number of locations, most notable of which was his excavations in South Saqqara.
Owen Jones was a British architect who published several accounts of his travels in Egypt.
Lane, Edward William
A British Arabist, Edward William Lane’s Description of Egypt (written between 1825 and 1828, but published in 2000) covers Theban monuments in great detail.
Lauer, Jean-Philippe (1902 – 2001)
Lauer was a French architect and archaeologists who was already working in Egypt around the age of 18. He was almost exclusively involved with research at Saqqara, particularly at the complex of Djoser, where he first went to work for Firth and Quibell. He was considered to be the the foremost expert on pyramid construction techniques and methods. Some of his work at Saqqara focused on reconstructing, theoretically, many of the buildings in the Djoser complex. He lived to be about 99 years old, and spent 70 of those years in the pyramid field at Saqqara.
Christian Leblanc is a French Egyptologist clearing and stabilizing KV 7 (Rameses II).
A modern, living French Egyptologist and professor at the Serbonne in Pairs, Leclant specializes in history, philology and archaeology. His focus is mostly on the cultural legacy of ancient Egypt through the Greco–Roman period. While much of his work is concentrated on the Sudan (Nubia), he is also very actively connected with the documentation and editing of the pyramid text.
Legrain, Georges (1865 – 1917)
A French Egyptologist, originally studied under under Paul Pierret and Eugene Revillout at the Louvre. He was a member of the French Institute in Cairo between 1892 and 1894, when he was excavating at Aswan, Kom Ombo and el- Amarna. He became the Inspecteur-dessinateur of the Service des Antiquites in 1894, and continued working at Kom Ombo and also at Gebel el-Silsila and Dahshur. In 1895, he undertook conservation work in Karnak. In fact, the first archaeological excavations really started at Karnak with the work of George Legrain in the court known as of the hiding-place, where were hidden more than 800 statues of all periods and which count among the most beautiful objects found in Egypt. These statues had been hidden in Antiquity, and are now in the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Caior. He was later appointed as the Chief Inspector of Antiquities in Luxor. Upon his death, he was replaced by Maurice Pillet in Luxor.
Mark Lehner, an American Egyptologist who continues today to work at Giza, is one of the modern living legends of Egyptology. and in the past has worked closely with Zahi Hawass. He directed the Sphinx and Isis Temple project from 1979 to 1983, and since 1984, had directed the Giza Plateau Mapping Project. He has developed computerized reconstruction’s of the sphinx and the Giza plateau, as well as doing important work on the G 1a pyramid in Khufu‘s complex. Both he, and Hawass, were highly visible in the debate that raged, and sometimes continues to raise its ugly head, over the age of the Sphinx and the construction of the pyramids. Of course, both Lehner and Hawass argued the side of traditional Egyptology, maintaining that the Sphinx dates to the 4th Dynasty and was not built thousands of years earlier, and that there was nothing supernatural or alien about the construction of the great pyramids at Giza. Perhaps Lehner’s voice is louder on the subject than many other Egyptologists, for he originally came to Egypt with the other camp, as a follower of Edgar Cayce (the Sleeping Prophet). Cayce, a psychic, maintained that the Atlantians had buried an advanced library of information between the paws of the Sphinx. After spending time examining the monuments of Egypt, he rejected Casey’s radical views and began studying traditional Egyptology. Lehner is the author of The Complete Pyramids of Egypt, as well as many other references, and is considered a leading modern authority on Egypt’s pyramid complexes.
Lepsius was a German Egyptologist who did important surveys of Egyptian monuments, including the pyramids, and is considered by many to be perhaps one of the most important Egyptologists of all times. Lepsius was born in Namburg-am-Sale in 1810 and earned his doctorate in Berlin in 1833. He founded the study of Egyptology at the University of Berlin, and was also heavily involved in the development of the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. Between 1842 and 1845, he led the famous Prussian expedition to Egypt and Nubia. This work, sponsored by King Wilhelm IV of Prussia worked as far south in the Sudan as Khartoum and Sennar, as well as visiting the Fayoum and the Sinai. He published this information in his work, published in 12 volumes called Denkmaler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien. This work perhaps constitutes the greatest Egyptological study published thus far. Collecting was also a mandate of the Expedition, and with the enthusiastic approval of Muhammed Ali, some 15,000 objects were shipped back to augment the growing Egyptian collection in Berlin.
If anyone ever looked the part of a professor, it was Loret. Born in Baris, he studied with Mapero at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and the College de France. He was a member of the French Archaeological Institute in Cairo and worked at the royal and private tombs at Thebes. He founded the school of Egyptology at the University of Lyons, where he was a Reader between 1886 and 1929. He also founded the Antiquities service Journal. In 1897, he became the Director General of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, and served in that position until 1899. While director, he apparently conducted important excavations in the Valley of the Kings. He also worked at Saqqara.
Lucas, Alfred (1867-1945)
Born in Mancheser England, Alfred Lucas was a Chemist for the Egyptian Antiquities Service between 1923 and 1932. For nine seasons he worked closely with Howard Carter in the consolidation of Tutankhamun’s burial equipment and in analyzing the various materials brought to light in the tomb. His work was instrumental in the preservation of the Tutankhamun collection. Without conservation, Carter estimated that barely 10 per cent of the tomb’s content would have reached Cairo in a state fit for exhibition. Thanks to Lucas’ work, barely .25 per cent of the objects were lost. As well as drawing upon his skills at preservation, Carter also relied heavily on Lucas for his forensic talents in his reconstruction of the ancient robberies of the Tomb.
Mace, Arthur Cruttenden (1874-1928)
Arthur Mace was a former student and distant cousin of Flinders Petrie, for whom he dug at Dendera, Hiw and Abydos. After working with George A. Reisner at Giza and Naga el-Deir, Mace joined the Metropolitan Museum in 1901 as Assistant Curator of Egyptian Art. Mace’s sound common sense and practical skills were invaluable to Howard Carter during the Tutankhamun Excavation, and he helped co-author the first volume of “The Tomb of Tut.ankh.Amen. In 1924 Mace’s health failed, and he left Egypt for good.
Mariette was a French Egyptologist who is often credited as the founder of modern archaeological excavations and preservation of Egyptian monuments. Yet he spent his early life as a teacher of French and drawing in Stratford, England. He began studying Egyptology at about the age of 21. He led several dozen archaeological excavations throughout Egypt and Nubia, paving the way for the founding of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo. Interestingly, he also participated in writing the libretto for the opera Aida, by Verdi.
A Polish Egyptologist, Marek Marciniak published scenes and texts in KV11 (Rameses III).
Martin, Geoffrey Thorndike (1934 -)
Educated at the University College of London and the Corpus Christi College and Christ’s College at Cambridge, Martin received his doctorate in 1969. At Christ’s College, he was a Lady Wallis Budge Research Fellow, and later was a lecturer in Egyptology at UCL. His excavations include Buhen, Sudan in 1963 and from 1964, in Saqqara. Since 1998, he has worked with Nicholas Reeves in the Valley of the Kings, and he worked in 1969 and 1980 doing epigraphic work and excavation in the royal wadi at el- Amarna.
Maspero, Gaston Camille Charles (1846 – 1916)
Maspero began studying Egyptology at the early age of 14. Though a French Egyptologist born in Paris, Maspero was named as the director of the first Egyptian Antiquities Museum, which was located in Bulaq (a part of Cairo). He also edited a series of standard works on Egyptology, including a four volume, comprehensive catalog of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He was a longtime director of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, the forerunner of the modern Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). Prior to this elevation in his carrier, he directed the French archaeological mission in Egypt, which later became the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo.
Montet, Pierre (1885 – 1966)
Pierre Montet was a student of Victor Loret at the University of Lyons, who apparently did as much Egyptological work outside of Egypt as within. He excavated at Byblos, Lebannon between 1921 and 1924. There, he discovered the tombs of local rulers who were contemporary with the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. Between 1929 and 1939, he excavated at Tanis, finding the royal necropolis of the 21st and 22nd Dynasties. He also excavated at Abu Rawash. He later became Professor of Egyptology at the University of Strasbourg.
Morgan, Jacques Jean Marie de (1857 – 1924)
A French archaeologist and geologist, de Morgan studied at the Pair School of Mines and in his early carrier, became a prospector in various parts of the world. He became Director General of the French Service des Antiquities in 1892, where he remained until 1897. He focused on prehistoric Egypt, though he also prepared an archaeological map of the Saqqara necropolis, and conducted excavations in Dahshur, Saqqara and also Kom Ombo.
Naville, Henri Edouard (1844 – 1926)
Few Egyptologists seem to have a religious background, but Naville was both a Swiss Egyptologist and a Bible scholar. He studied under Lepsius and was considered to be one of the leading Egyptologists around the beginning of the 1900s. He conducted excavations in the east delta, at Abydos and particularly in the area of Deir el-Bahari on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes).
Newberry, Percy Edward (1869-1949)
Newberry, a professor of Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, served on the Tutankhamun excavation team for several seasons. His specialty was actually the botanical specimens form the tomb, upon which he would briefly report in the second volume of “The Tomb of Tut.ankh.Amen”. His wife also helped by mending a number of the textiles found in the tomb.
Passalacqua, Giuseppe (1797 – 1865)
Born in Trieste, Italy, Passalacque originally came to Egypt in order to trade for horses, but ended up recognizing the potential of antiquities and turned to digging. His collection was refused by the Louvre, because of the outrageous price he was asking, and was later sold to the Berlin Museum, where he became the curator in 1827.
Perring, John Shae (1813 – 1869)
Many Egyptologists, as can be seen from these short biographies, were trained in several disciplines. Many were also architects. Perring, a British Egyptologist, was also and engineer, who mostly applied his skills to the investigation of Egyptian Pyramids.
Petrie is one of the most famous Egyptologists of all times. He is considered by many to be the founder of modern Egyptologists. Known as the “Father of Pot Shards”, because he learned to extract considerable amounts of information from what other’s might see merely as refuge. Yet, Petrie had no formal education and was self taught in the areas that he worked. He worked at dozens of sites in Egypt, devoting himself to the organization and methodology of archaeological investigation. His work at the pyramids in Giza set the standard for later research in the area, but he did a vast amount of other important work in Egypt.
Alexandre Piankoff was born in St. Petersburg in 1897. He became interested in Egyptology as a boy after seeing a museum collection from ancient Egypt. His academic work in classics, Egyptian philology, and languages was interrupted by World War I, but after the war he studied in Berlin, at the Sorbonne, and at the University of Paris. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Paris in 1930.
After World War II, Piankoff traveled to Cairo where he worked for the French Institute, the Bollingen Foundation, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, specializing in Egyptian philology and religion. He translated many religious texts. His best-known work was at Thebes. He documented the tomb of Rameses V and VI (KV 9) and studied the wall reliefs in the tomb of Tutankhamen (KV 62).
Piankoff died in Brussels in 1966.
A British traveller, Richard Pococke recorded many Egyptian sites. He produced one of the first modern (albeit highly stylized) maps of the Valley of the Kings.
Quibell, James Edward (1867 – 1935)
Quibell, a British Egyptologist, graduated from Christ Church at Oxford. He worked with Petrie in Egypt at various locations, including Koptos, Naqada and Ballas, the Ramesseum and Hierakonpolis. He also assisted Cecil Firth in his excavations in Saqqara. Between 1899 and 1904, he also served as the Chief Inspector of antiquities for the Delta and Middle Egypt (Howard Carter’s, who was Chief Inspector at Luxor was his opposite). Later, between 1904 and 1905, he was appointed as the Chief Inspector at Saqqara. Between 1914 and 1923, he was a Keeper in the Cairo Museum, and served as director of excavations at the Step Pyramid between 1931 and 1935.
A well known living Egyptologist, Reeves is a former curator in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum. He is an expert in the field of tomb robbery and the history of exploration in the Valley of the Kings. Curator of Egyptian and Classical Art, Eton College, Windsor. He is also the Egyptological adviser to the Freud Museum in London and the Myers Museum at Eton College. He was previously the curator of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities, British Museum, London until 1991. He is a prolific writer with books that include Valley of the Kings: the Decline of the Royal Necropolis, Akhenaten, Egypt’s False Prophet, the Compete Tutankhamun, Howard Carter before Tutankhamun and Ancient Egypt: The Great Discoveries. He has also written a children’s book called Into the Mummy’s Tomb. He is currently the Director of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project in the Valley of the Kings, but has done previous field work in Saqqara, Quseir el-Amarna and at Ashmunein.
Redford, Donald B. (1934 – )
Redford received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto, and seemingly is the only Canadians within our list. He was a lecturer at Brown University, an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and became a full professor at Pennsylvania State University. He functioned as the director of excavations of the University of Toronto and State University of New York, Binghampton working at the Temple of Osiris at Karnak. He was also the director for the Akhenaten Temple Project of the University of Pennsylvania, and the director of the East Karnak excavations. Finally, he was the Director of excavations at Mendes and the Epigrapher of the Theban Tomb Survey, which is apparently ongoing.
Reisner, George Andrew (1867 – 1942)
An American Egyptologist and archaeologist, Reisner worked at Harvard University and led American excavations to both Egypt and the Sudan (Nubia). His work at the pyramid necropolises in ancient Nubia are instrumental to our understanding of those structures, and he also worked in Giza.
Roeder, Gunther (1881 – 1966)
Roeder was a German Egyptologist educated at Jena and at Berlin under Adolf Erman, receiving his doctorate in 1904. He first worked as an Egyptologist at the Berlin Museum. He went to work for the Egyptian Antiquities Service in 1907 and worked in Nubia copying the inscriptions at Debod, Kalabsha and Dakka. He cataloged these at the Cairo Museum. He became the Director of the Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim in 1915, and directed work at Hermopolis for the museum between 1929 and 1939.
A British artist and television presenter, John Romer has written extensively on the history of the Valley of the Kings and worked in KV 4 (Rameses XI).
A British Egyptologist, John Rose partially cleared KV 39.
Henry Salt is best known in the field of Egyptology for his efforts at collecting antiquities. He was born in Lichfield, England in 1780, the son of a local doctor, and trained as a painter of portraits, studying at the Royal Academy under Farington and Hoppner. A tour of the East between 1802 and 1806, accompanying the collector George Annesley, Viscount of Valentia, was his first introduction to Egypt. After a government mission to Abyssinia from 1809 to 1811, he was appointed British Consul-General to Egypt, arriving there in 1816 and serving in this post until his death from dysentery in 1827, three years after his wifes demise from cholera. Salt was buried in the garden of his residence in Alexandria, which subsequently became a European cemetery.
During his tenure as Consul-General, he sponsored many excavations in Egypt and Nubia, acquiring many valuable antiquities for the British Museum, as well as amassing his own collection. Through the services of Giovanni dAthanasi and Giovanni Belzoni, he procured several important monuments from Thebes. At the urging of the Swiss Orientalist Burckhardt, Salt hired Belzoni to remove a colossal granite bust of Rameses II known as the Young Memnon from the Ramesseum in 1816, which Salt presented to the British Museum the following year. Over the next two decades, the British Museum purchased many artifacts from Salts collections, including some of the larger works of Egyptian sculpture in their galleries. Other museums benefited from his activities, including that of Sir John Soane which purchased the alabaster sarcophagus of Sety I, discovered by Belzoni. The Louvre acquired Salts second collection in 1826, including the sarcophagus box of Rameses III.
Salt operated at a time when interest in Egypt and its antiquities was reaching a high level in Europe and when the desire to acquire objects for national collections as well as private ones was aided by a lax attitude towards antiquities on the part of Muhammad Alis government. Rivalry between the representatives of European colonial powers resulted in the unofficial division of the country into private zones for exploitation, especially so with the competition between Salts agents and those of the French consul-general Drovetti. On the heels of this wholesale frenzy of acquisition followed the efforts of scholarly expeditions such as a those of Champollion, Lepsius, Wilkinson, Hay and others in the 1820s through 1840s to record the monuments remaining in Egypt. In fairness, Salt also made use of his drafting skills to record monuments. His attempts at scholarly pursuits, however, were not taken seriously by his contemporaries. Few of his drawings have survived or have been published.
A French priest, Claude Sicard recorded many monuments in Egypt while there as a missionary, and was the first European to describe Philae, Elephantine, and Kom Ombo.
A modern, living, German Egyptologist and a former director of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, Stadelmann has conducted archaeological excavations at various sites in Egypt. He has been particularly active at the pyramid field in Dahshur, and is considered to be one of the most important contemporary experts on the Egyptian pyramids.
A modern, living Egyptologist, Verner directed the Czech Institute of Egyptology for seventeen years, and apparently continues to be an Egyptology professor at Charles University in Prague. He often serves as a guest professor at the universities of Vienna and Hamburg, and since 1976, has led the Czech excavations in the pyramid field of Abusir. He is also the author of The Pyramids, one of the leading modern references on Pyramids throughout Egypt.
Vyse, Richard William Howard (1784 – 1853)
Vyse was a British military officer and researcher who worked with Perring and made important contributions to research, though apparently his methods were sometimes crude. He used gunpowder to blast his way into Menkaure’s pyramid at Giza, and also blasted out the back end of the Great Sphinx. However, he is also noted for clearing the lower entrance to the pyramid of Khafre (but again with explosives, blasting apart the granite barrier plugs.
Kent Weeks is one of the top guns of current Egyptology, alongside names such as Lehner and Hawass, among others. He is a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo and Director of the Theban Mapping Project. He is also credited with discovering KV 5, the tomb of the sons of Ramesses II in theValley of the Kings, and is the author of numerous books, including
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