archaeology

Jules Quicherat – the Father of French Archaeology

Jules Quicherat – the Father of French Archaeology

On October 13, 1814, French archaeologist and historian Jules Étienne Joseph Quicherat was born. Quicherat was one of the founders of archaeology in France. In 1847, he inaugurated a course of archaeological lectures at the École des Chartes. His students circulated his principles throughout France, recognizing him as the “founder of national archaeology”. He wrote on the history of medieval France, and also edited texts of the trial and rehabilitation…
Harriet Boyd Hawes and the Minoan Culture

Harriet Boyd Hawes and the Minoan Culture

On October 11, 1871, American archaeologist, nurse, and relief worker Harriet Boyd Hawes was born. Hawes is best known as the discoverer and first director of Gournia, one of the first archaeological excavations to uncover a Minoan settlement and palace on the Aegean. Harriet Ann Boyd Hawes was probably first introduced to the study of Classics by her older brother, Alex. She graduated from Smith College in Northampton in 1892 with a…
William Lassell and the Discovery of Triton

William Lassell and the Discovery of Triton

On October 10, 1846, English merchant and astronomer William Lassell discovered Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle. Besides, Lassell also discovered Ariel and Umbriel, two moons of planet Uranus [3], as well the Saturn moon Hyperion. Lassell started a brewery business about 1825, after a seven-year apprenticeship. He became interested in astronomy and, in 1844, began…
Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet and Man’s Prehistoric Cultural Development

Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet and Man’s Prehistoric Cultural Development

On August 29, 1821, French archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet was born. De Morillet was the first to organize man’s prehistoric cultural developments into a sequence of epochs. Based on the idea that older specimens of man were more primitive structurally and culturally, he created a ladder-like model of the evolution of man. This model was the basis for the idea of linear evolution of men. De…
Kathleen Kenyon’s Excavations in the Fertile Crescent

Kathleen Kenyon’s Excavations in the Fertile Crescent

On August 24, 1978, British archaeologist Kathleen Mary Kenyon passed away. Specialized on Neolithic culture in the Fertile Crescent, she is best known for her excavations of Jericho and Bangalow in 1952–1958, and has been called one of the most influential archaeologists of the 20th century. Kathleen Kenyon was the daughter of Sir Frederic Kenyon who later became director of the British Museum. She grew up in a house that…
Karl Richard Lepsius – A Pioneer in Modern Archaeology

Karl Richard Lepsius – A Pioneer in Modern Archaeology

On July 10 1884, Prussian egyptologist and linguist Karl Richard Lepsius passed away. Lepsius is regarded as one of the founding fathers of scientific methods in archaeology. His plans, maps and drawings of tomb and temple walls are of high accuracy and reliability. In 1866 he found found the Canopus decree at Tanis. Being written in two languages, it was a valuable cross-reference for the prior interpretation of the Rosetta…
Johan Gunnar Andersson and Chinese Archaeology

Johan Gunnar Andersson and Chinese Archaeology

On July 3, 1874, Swedish archaeologist, paleontologist and geologist Johan Gunnar Andersson was born. Andersson is closely associated with the beginnings of Chinese archaeology in the 1920s. He laid the foundation for the study of prehistoric China. In 1921, at a cave near there, on the basis of bits of quartz that he found in a limestone region, he predicted that a fossil man would be discovered. Six years later,…
Gaston Maspero and the Sea Peoples

Gaston Maspero and the Sea Peoples

On June 23, 1846, French egyptologist Gaston Camille Charles Maspero was born. Maspero is best known for popularizing the term “Sea Peoples“. He was director general of excavations and antiquities for the Egyptian government, who was responsible for locating a collective royal tomb of prime historic importance. Gaston Maspero studied at the École normale and met Egyptologist Auguste Mariette in 1867, back then the commissioner for the Egyptian section of the…
Giuseppe Fiorelli’s excavations in Pompeji

Giuseppe Fiorelli’s excavations in Pompeji

On June 8, 1823, Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli was born. Fiorelli’s systematic excavation at Pompeii, the ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples that was buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, helped to preserve much of the ancient city as nearly intact as possible and contributed significantly to modern archaeological methods. Giuseppe Fiorelli was born in Naples, Italy, and not much is…
Maria Reiche – Keeper of the Nazca Lines

Maria Reiche – Keeper of the Nazca Lines

On May 15, 1903, German-born Peruvian mathematician and archaeologist Maria Reiche was born. Reiche was the self-appointed keeper of the Nazca Lines, a series of desert ground drawings over 1,000 years old, near Nazcain in southern Peru. For 50 years the “Lady of the Lines” studied and protected these etchings of animals and geometric patterns in 60 km of desert. In 1995 the Nazca Lines were declared a UNESCO World…
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