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 71.79, Howard Carter is the most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 73 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 69.45, Arthur Evans is the 2nd most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 51 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 62.65, George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon is the 3rd most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, (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.
With an HPI of 59.40, Flinders Petrie is the 4th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 39 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 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 57.30, 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 55.55, John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury is the 6th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 26 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 55.41, Max Mallowan is the 7th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 22 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 55.12, George Smith is the 8th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.
George Smith (26 March 1840 – 19 August 1876) was a pioneering English Assyriologist who first discovered and translated the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest-known written works of literature.
With an HPI of 53.95, Alan Gardiner is the 9th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 25 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 52.06, Colin Renfrew is the 10th most famous British Archaeologist. His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.
Andrew Colin Renfrew, Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, (born 25 July 1937) is a British archaeologist, paleolinguist and Conservative peer noted for his work on radiocarbon dating, the prehistory of languages, archaeogenetics, neuroarchaeology, and the prevention of looting at archaeological sites. Renfrew was formerly the Disney Professor of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and is now a Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.
Pantheon has 30 people classified as archaeologists born between 1805 and 1948. Of these 30, 3 (10.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living archaeologists include Colin Renfrew, Meave Leakey, and Ian Hodder. The most famous deceased archaeologists include Howard Carter, Arthur Evans, and George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon. As of April 2022, 5 new archaeologists have been added to Pantheon including John Evans, Dorothea Bate, and James Quibell.
1874 - 1939
1851 - 1941
1866 - 1923
1853 - 1942
1880 - 1960
1834 - 1913
1904 - 1978
1840 - 1876
1879 - 1963
1866 - 1951
1906 - 1978
1857 - 1934
Which Archaeologists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Archaeologists since 1700.