Archaeologists

Archaeologists study ancient societies to explore the people and culture of those societies. They generally work for museums, universities and government agencies. They recover and examine ancient buildings, graves and other evidences that they have found during excavation. These materials testify to the existence of previous civilizations. The remnants of artefacts and buildings of ancient civilizations provide clear picture about the culture, food habit, religion and literature of ancient people. Archaeologists follow a systematic method when they are excavating an area where, they believe, an ancient civilisation may have existed. In order to determine their sites for excavation, they employ procedures like aerial photography and field walking and sometimes even information gathered from the local populous if they are well acquainted with the area and have found ancient artefacts in the past. Methods like drawings, written information, measurements and computer aided designs play significant roles in the profession of an archaeologist. The in-depth analysis of the drawings, designs and other data play vital role for the publication of archaeological findings. Preservation of archaeological sites in collaboration with museums is also considered the responsibility of archaeologists. There are many archaeologists who work as directors of excavation and historical research programmes. Some archaeologists also choose teaching as their profession. This section provides information, in the form of a biography, about the life and works of renowned archaeologists from all over the world.
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 1 
T. E. Lawrence
(Archaeologist, Army officer, Diplomat)

T. E. Lawrence
14
Birthdate: August 16, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tremadoc, Wales
Died: May 19, 1935
T. E. Lawrence was a British army officer who participated in the Arab Revolt, against the Ottoman regime, during World War I. Nicknamed Lawrence of Arabia, he inspired a movie of the same name. His treatise of his war experiences was published as Seven Pillars of Wisdom, his best-known work.

 2 
Howard Carter
(Archaeologist)

Howard Carter
6
Birthdate: May 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Died: March 2, 1939

George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1866
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hampshire, England
Died: April 5, 1923
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 4 
Zahi Hawass
(Egyptian archaeologist)

Zahi Hawass
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Damietta
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 5 
Heinrich Schliemann
(Archaeologist)

Heinrich Schliemann
4
Birthdate: January 6, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Neubukow, Germany
Died: December 26, 1890

German businessman Heinrich Schliemann didn’t let his poverty or lack of education hinder his growth and learned several languages moving from place to place for trade. A pioneer in the field of archaeology, he is now remembered as the man who discovered Troy in his bid to unearth “Priam's Treasure."

 6 
Neil Oliver
(TV Presenter)

Neil Oliver
6
Birthdate: February 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Renfrewshire, Scotland, UK

Neil Oliver is a Scottish author and television presenter best known for presenting many documentary series on history and archaeology, such as Coast, Vikings, and A History of Scotland. Oliver is also known for his association with the popular conservation organization National Trust for Scotland, where he served as the president from 2017 to 2020.

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 7 

Nicholas Roerich
4
Birthdate: October 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 13, 1947

Russian painter, writer, philosopher, theosophist and archaeologist, Nicholas Roerich, counted among the greatest Russian painters, is noted for initiating the modern movement for the defense of cultural objects. One of the greatest feats that he achieved during his lifetime was the Roerich Pact that was signed into law by the US and most nations of the Pan-American Union.

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 8 
Max Mallowan
(Archaeologist)

Max Mallowan
4
Birthdate: May 6, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wandsworth, London, England
Died: August 19, 1978
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 9 
Gustave Le Bon
(Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist)

Gustave Le Bon
4
Birthdate: May 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-le-Rotrou
Died: December 13, 1931

French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon is best remembered for his research on crowd psychology. In his iconic work La psychologie des foules, or The Crowd, he stated that people are driven by their emotions and not by their intellect when they act as part of a crowd.

 10 
Robert Adam
(Architect, Archaeologist, Politician)

Robert Adam
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1728
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kirkcaldy
Died: March 3, 1792
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 11 
Marija Gimbutas
(Archaeologist)

Marija Gimbutas
6
Birthdate: January 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: February 2, 1994

 12 
Mary Leakey
(Paleoanthropologist)

Mary Leakey
4
Birthdate: February 6, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 9, 1996

British paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey had exhibited her interest in drawing and archaeology as a kid. Most of her career was spent working alongside her husband, Louis Leakey. She was in charge of many excavation projects in Kenya. Her discoveries include the first Proconsul skull fossil and 15 new animal species.

 13 

Giovanni Battista Piranesi
6
Birthdate: October 4, 1720
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: November 9, 1778

Italian architect, artist, and archaeologist Giovanni Battista Piranesi is best known for his 16-print series name The Prisons. His remarkable etchings of the famous landmarks of Rome exhibited his unique etching technique, which involved contrasts of light and shade. He made about 2,000 plates throughout his life.

 14 
Margaret Murray
(Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Egyptologist)

Margaret Murray
4
Birthdate: July 13, 1863
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolkata
Died: November 13, 1963

British Egyptologist and anthropologist Margaret Murray was also a scholar of witchcraft. Her best-known work is her 1921 book The Witch Cult in Western Europe, which inspired later witchcraft scholars such as Gerald B. Gardner. The University College London professor had worked in places such as Egypt, Malta, and Petra.

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 15 

Johann Joachim Winckelmann
4
Birthdate: December 9, 1717
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stendal, Germany
Died: June 8, 1768

German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann is often referred to as the father of modern archaeology. Born to a cobbler, he studied Greek, theology, and even medicine. He later specialized in Greek and Neoclassical art and had a prominent influence on Western painting, sculpture, and literature.

 16 
Arthur Evans
(Archaeologist)

Arthur Evans
4
Birthdate: July 8, 1851
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nash Mills, England
Died: July 11, 1941
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 17 
V. Gordon Childe
(Archaeologist)

V. Gordon Childe
4
Birthdate: April 14, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: October 19, 1957

V. Gordon Childe was an Australian archaeologist best remembered for his contribution to the study of European prehistory. One of the earliest supporters of culture-historical archaeology, Childe went on to become the first proponent of Marxist archaeology. He is regarded as one of the best-known and most revered archaeologists of the 20th century.

 18 
Edward Drinker Cope
(American paleontologist)

Edward Drinker Cope
4
Birthdate: July 28, 1840
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: April 12, 1897

 19 
Sir Mortimer Wheeler
(Archaeologist)

Sir Mortimer Wheeler
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: July 22, 1976

Sir Mortimer Wheeler was a British archaeologist who served as the director of the London Museum as well as the National Museum of Wales during his illustrious career. He is credited with developing the Wheeler–Kenyon method of archaeological excavation. Wheeler is also remembered for his association with the Archaeological Survey of India where he served as Director-General.

 20 
Giovanni Battista Belzoni
(Explorer, Antiquarian, Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Novelist, Travel writer)

Giovanni Battista Belzoni
4
Birthdate: November 5, 1778
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Padua
Died: December 3, 1823

Giovanni Battista Belzoni was an Italian explorer and archaeologist of Egyptian antiquities. A pioneer in the field of Egyptian archaeology, Belzoni was the first person to enter the famous Pyramid of Khafre. Belzoni is also credited with unblocking the entrance of the temple at Abu Simbel and discovering the tomb of Seti I, which is referred to as Belzoni's Tomb. 

 21 
R. G. Collingwood
(Philosopher)

R. G. Collingwood
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1889
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cartmel Fell, England
Died: January 9, 1943

 22 
Prosper Mérimée
(Former writer in the movement of Romanticism, and one of the pioneers of the novella, a short novel or long short story)

Prosper Mérimée
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1803
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 23, 1870

Prosper Mérimée was a French writer and one of the pioneers of narrative prose, which came to be known as a novella. A multi-talented personality, Mérimée was also a historian and archaeologist; he played a key role in the development of the process of architectural preservation. He was responsible for safeguarding several historic sites, such as the Cité de Carcassonne. 

 23 
Sir Flinders Petrie
(Egyptologist)

Sir Flinders Petrie
6
Birthdate: June 3, 1853
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 28, 1942

 24 
John Soane
(Architect, Archaeologist)

John Soane
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1753
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reading
Died: January 20, 1837

English architect John Soane contributed immensely to the Neo-Classical style of architecture. Born to a bricklayer, Soane began training as an architect at 15. He soared to fame during his 45-year stint as an architect of the Bank of England and was also knighted for his achievements.

 25 
Ron Wyatt
(Archaeologist)

Ron Wyatt
4
Birthdate: June 2, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hamilton, Ohio, United States
Died: August 4, 1999

 26 
E.F. Benson
(Novelist)

E.F. Benson
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1867
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wellington College, England
Died: February 29, 1940

Chiefly known as a novelist, biographer, and memoirist, Edward Frederic Benson began his career with the British School of Archaeology in Athens, publishing his first successful novel, Dodo: A Detail of the Day, during this period. Its popularity encouraged him to continue publishing, the most significant works among them being Mapp and Lucia series, and the biography of Queen Victoria.

 27 
Othniel Charles Marsh
(Paleontologist)

Othniel Charles Marsh
3
Birthdate: October 29, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lockport
Died: March 18, 1899

 28 
Fred Vargas
(Historian, Archaeologist and novelist)

Fred Vargas
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

Fred Vargas is a French archaeologist, historian, and novelist. She is best known for her work on the bubonic plague, the Black Death. In 2009, she became the first author to win three International Dagger Awards for three consecutive novels, having won the award in 2006 and 2008. In 2018, she was honored with the prestigious Princess of Asturias Prize.

 29 
Yosef Ben-Jochannan
(Historian, Archaeologist)

Yosef Ben-Jochannan
3
Birthdate: December 31, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gondar
Died: March 19, 2015

 30 
Maria Reiche
(Mathematician)

Maria Reiche
4
Birthdate: May 15, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: June 8, 1998

 31 
Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
(Explorer, Writer, Art historian, Archaeologist)

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1784
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lausanne
Died: October 15, 1817

 32 
John Hubert Marshall
(Archaeologist)

John Hubert Marshall
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1876
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chester, England
Died: August 17, 1958

 33 
Carleton S. Coon
(Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Prehistorian)

Carleton S. Coon
3
Birthdate: June 23, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wakefield
Died: June 3, 1981

Carleton S. Coon was an anthropologist who originated several theories on race. He had a successful academic career and served as the president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. He was awarded the Viking Medal in Physical Anthropology. Even though he was a famous anthropologist of his time, his racial theories are dismissed as pseudoscientific in modern anthropology. 

 34 
Antoine Galland
(Archaeologist)

Antoine Galland
3
Birthdate: April 4, 1646
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rollot, France
Died: February 17, 1715

 35 
Donald Johanson
(Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Prehistorian, Paleoanthropologist, University teacher)

Donald Johanson
8
Birthdate: June 28, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago

Donald Johanson is a paleoanthropologist. He collaborated with Yves Coppens and Maurice Taieb to discover the fossil of a female hominin australopithecine in the Afar Triangle region of Hadar, Ethiopia. This fossil was named “Lucy". As an academician, he established the Institute of Human Origins in Berkeley. He is the recipient of several awards and honors. 

 36 
Walter Alvarez
(Geologist widely known for the theory that dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid impact)

Walter Alvarez
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States

 37 
Raymond Dart
(Anatomist)

Raymond Dart
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia
Died: November 22, 1988

Born to a farmer in Australia, Raymond Dart initially wished to become a medical missionary to China. However, he was later pushed by his father to study science. He later grew up to be a renowned anatomist and anthropologist, best known for discovering the first fossil of the Australopithecus africanus.

 38 
Sir Aurel Stein
(Archaeologist)

Sir Aurel Stein
3
Birthdate: November 26, 1862
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: October 26, 1943

Hungarian-British archaeologist Sir Aurel Stein is best remembered for his research in Central Asia. He was also associated with institutes in British India, such as Oriental College, Lahore, and later translated Kalhana’s Rajatarangini from Sanskrit to English. He was a dog lover and remained single for life.

 39 
John Aubrey
(Antiquary)

John Aubrey
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1626
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kington St Michael, Wiltshire, England
Died: June 7, 1697

 40 
James Bruce
(Explorer, Archaeologist, Film editor, Botanist)

James Bruce
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1730
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stirling
Died: April 27, 1794

Scottish explorer James Bruce is best known for his treatises of travel and his discovery of the source of the Blue Nile. Initially a wine merchant, he later became a British consul in Algiers and decided to explore North Africa. He traveled to places such as Syria, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

 41 

Osman Hamdi Bey
3
Birthdate: December 30, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: February 24, 1910

 42 
Irving Finkel
(Philologist, Writer)

Irving Finkel
0
Birthdate: December 30, 1842, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

 43 
David Rohl
(Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Engineer, Historian, Audio engineer, Musician)

David Rohl
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manchester

 44 

Christian Jürgensen Thomsen
3
Birthdate: December 29, 1788
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: May 21, 1865

Christian Jürgensen Thomsen was a Danish antiquarian best remembered for developing early archaeological methods and techniques. In 1816, he was selected as the head of an organization, which later became the National Museum of Denmark. Christian Jürgensen Thomsen is credited with mentoring future archaeologists like Bror Emil Hildebrand and J. J. A. Worsaae.  

 45 
Austen Henry Layard
(Archaeologist)

Austen Henry Layard
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1817
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 5, 1894

British archaeologist Austen Henry Layard initially worked in a London law office but quit it suddenly to go on an impromptu trip to Syria. He was later hired as an unofficial British diplomat in Turkey. He is remembered for his excavations in Nineveh and his exploration of the Assyrian and Babylonian culture.

 46 
Augustus Pitt Rivers
(Archaeologist)

Augustus Pitt Rivers
3
Birthdate: April 14, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bramham cum Oglethorpe, England
Died: May 4, 1900

 47 
Jan Assmann
(Egyptologist)

Jan Assmann
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Langelsheim, Germany

 48 
James Henry Breasted
(Archaeologist)

James Henry Breasted
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1865
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rockford, Illinois, United States
Died: December 2, 1935

 49 
Sir Leonard Woolley
(Archaeologist)

Sir Leonard Woolley
5
Birthdate: April 17, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 20, 1960

 50 
William F. Albright
(Archaeologist)

William F. Albright
5
Birthdate: May 24, 1891
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coquimbo, Chile
Died: September 19, 1971