The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary British Archaeologists of all time. This list of famous British Archaeologists is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of British Archaeologists.
With an HPI of 78.51, Howard Carter is the most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 71 different languages on wikipedia.
Howard Carter (9 May 1874 – 2 March 1939) was a British archaeologist and Egyptologist who discovered the intact tomb of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Tutankhamun in November 1922, the best-preserved pharaonic tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings.
With an HPI of 76.13, Arthur Evans is the 2nd most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.
Sir Arthur John Evans (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) was a British archaeologist and pioneer in the study of Aegean civilization in the Bronze Age. He is most famous for unearthing the palace of Knossos on the Greek island of Crete. Based on the structures and artifacts found there and throughout the eastern Mediterranean, Evans found that he needed to distinguish the Minoan civilisation from Mycenaean Greece. Evans was also the first to define Cretan scripts Linear A and Linear B, as well as an earlier pictographic writing.
With an HPI of 69.89, George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon is the 3rd most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.
George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, DL (26 June 1866 – 5 April 1923), styled Lord Porchester until 1890, was an English peer and aristocrat best known as the financial backer of the search for and excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings. His country house, Highclere Castle, served as the filming location of the ITV/PBS television series Downton Abbey.
With an HPI of 68.24, Flinders Petrie is the 4th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie ((1853-06-03)3 June 1853 – (1942-07-28)28 July 1942), commonly known as simply Flinders Petrie, was a British Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and the preservation of artefacts. He held the first chair of Egyptology in the United Kingdom, and excavated many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt in conjunction with his wife, Hilda Urlin. Some consider his most famous discovery to be that of the Merneptah Stele, an opinion with which Petrie himself concurred.Petrie developed the system of dating layers based on pottery and ceramic findings. He remains controversial for his anti-democratic and pro-eugenics views; he was a dedicated believer in the superiority of the Northern peoples over the Latinate and Southern peoples.
With an HPI of 65.98, Leonard Woolley is the 5th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.
Sir Charles Leonard Woolley (17 April 1880 – 20 February 1960) was a British archaeologist best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia. He is recognized as one of the first "modern" archaeologists who excavated in a methodical way, keeping careful records, and using them to reconstruct ancient life and history. Woolley was knighted in 1935 for his contributions to the discipline of archaeology. He married the British archaeologist Katharine Woolley.
With an HPI of 65.56, Max Mallowan is the 6th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.
Sir Max Edgar Lucien Mallowan (6 May 1904 – 19 August 1978) was a prominent British archaeologist, specialising in ancient Middle Eastern history. He was the second husband of Dame Agatha Christie.
With an HPI of 65.35, John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury is the 7th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.
John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, 4th Baronet, (30 April 1834 – 28 May 1913), known as Sir John Lubbock, 4th Baronet from 1865 until 1900, was an English banker, Liberal politician, philanthropist, scientist and polymath. Lubbock worked in his family company as a banker but made significant contributions in archaeology, ethnography, and several branches of biology. He coined the terms "Paleolithic" and "Neolithic" to denote the Old and New Stone Ages, respectively. He helped establish archaeology as a scientific discipline, and was influential in debates concerning evolutionary theory. He introduced the first law for the protection of the UK's archaeological and architectural heritage. He was also a founding member of the X Club.
With an HPI of 64.63, Alan Gardiner is the 8th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.
Sir Alan Henderson Gardiner, (29 March 1879 – 19 December 1963) was an English Egyptologist, linguist, philologist, and independent scholar. He is regarded as one of the premier Egyptologists of the early and mid-20th century.
With an HPI of 63.43, Charles Dawson is the 9th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.
Charles Dawson (11 July 1864 – 10 August 1916) was a British amateur archaeologist who claimed to have made a number of archaeological and palaeonto logical discoveries that were later exposed as frauds. These forgeries included the Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus dawsoni), a unique set of bones that he found in 1912 in Sussex. Many technological methods such as fluorine testing indicate that this discovery was a hoax and Dawson, the only one with the skill and knowledge to generate this forgery, was a major suspect.The eldest of three sons, Dawson moved with his family from Preston, Lancashire, to Hastings, Sussex, when he was still very young. Charles initially studied as a lawyer following his father and then pursued a hobby of collecting and studying fossils.He made a number of seemingly important fossil finds. Amongst these were teeth from a previously unknown species of mammal, later named Plagiaulax dawsoni in his honour; three new species of dinosaur, one later named Iguanodon dawsoni; and a new form of fossil plant, Salaginella dawsoni. The British Museum awarded him the title of 'Honorary Collector.' He was then elected fellow of the Geological Society for his discoveries and a few years later, he joined the Society of Antiquaries of London. Dawson died prematurely from pernicious anaemia in 1916 at Lewes, Sussex.
With an HPI of 63.28, Robert Broom is the 10th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Robert Broom FRS FRSE (30 November 1866 – 6 April 1951) was a British- South African doctor and palaeontologist. He qualified as a medical practitioner in 1895 and received his DSc in 1905 from the University of Glasgow. From 1903 to 1910, he was professor of zoology and geology at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, South Africa, and subsequently he became keeper of vertebrate palaeontology at the South African Museum, Cape Town.
Pantheon has 26 people classified as archaeologists born between 1805 and 1948. Of these 26, 3 (11.54%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living archaeologists include Colin Renfrew, Ian Hodder, and J. P. Mallory. The most famous deceased archaeologists include Howard Carter, Arthur Evans, and George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon. As of October 2020, 3 new archaeologists have been added to Pantheon including E. A. Wallis Budge, John M. Allegro, and Grahame Clark.
1874 - 1939
1851 - 1941
1866 - 1923
1853 - 1942
1880 - 1960
1904 - 1978
1834 - 1913
1879 - 1963
1864 - 1916
1866 - 1951
1840 - 1876
1906 - 1978
Which Archaeologists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 23 most globally memorable Archaeologists since 1700.