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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
British banker John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, better known as Sir John Lubbock, had also been an MP. However, he is best known for his contribution to ethnography and archaeology. He is also credited with coining the terms Paleolithic and Neolithic, and is known for his books on animal behavior.
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.
British paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey discovered a new branch of the human species, the Kenyanthropus platyops, or the flat-faced man of Kenya. Initially a zoologist in Nairobi, she studied modern monkeys as part of her doctoral research. She is the first Kenyan to be a National Academy of Sciences member.
While she initially studied engineering, Claire Barratt later gained fame as an industrial archaeologist. She has a degree in conservation of industrial heritage. She also has a parallel career as a TV presenter and has been part of shows such as Salvage Squad and Britain's Secret Treasures.
British geologist and archaeologist Robert Bruce Foote is remembered for his pioneering contribution to the study of the prehistory of India. He was in his early 20s when he joined the Geological Survey of India and soon made many discoveries, including that of the first Paleolithic hand axe in India.
John Evans was an English geologist and archaeologist. He is best remembered for his service as the president of several prestigious institutions and societies, including the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Numismatic Society, the Geological Society of London, and the British Association for the Advancement of Science. John Evans also wrote papers on geological and archaeological subjects.