The Most Famous

ARCHAEOLOGISTS from United Kingdom

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This page contains a list of the greatest British Archaeologists. The pantheon dataset contains 104 Archaeologists, 26 of which were born in United Kingdom. This makes United Kingdom the birth place of the most number of Archaeologists.

Top 10

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.

Photo of Howard Carter

1. Howard Carter (1874 - 1939)

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. He became world-famous after discovering 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.

Photo of Arthur Evans

2. Arthur Evans (1851 - 1941)

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 artefacts 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.

Photo of George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon

3. George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon (1866 - 1923)

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.

Photo of Flinders Petrie

4. Flinders Petrie (1853 - 1942)

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, FRS, FBA (3 June 1853 – 28 July 1942), commonly known as Flinders Petrie, was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and 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 Petrie. 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.

Photo of Leonard Woolley

5. Leonard Woolley (1880 - 1960)

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.

Photo of Max Mallowan

6. Max Mallowan (1904 - 1978)

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.

Photo of John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury

7. John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (1834 - 1913)

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.

Photo of Alan Gardiner

8. Alan Gardiner (1879 - 1963)

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.

Photo of Charles Dawson

9. Charles Dawson (1864 - 1916)

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 palaeontological discoveries that were later exposed as frauds. These included the Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus dawsoni), which he presented in 1912. 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 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 conferred upon him the title of Honorary Collector. For these important finds he was elected a fellow of the Geological Society and a few years later after another find, to the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1895. Dawson died prematurely from septicaemia in 1916 at Lewes, Sussex.

Photo of Robert Broom

10. Robert Broom (1866 - 1951)

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.

Living Archaeologists

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Deceased Archaeologists

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Newly Added Archaeologists (2020)

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Which Archaeologists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 23 most globally memorable Archaeologists since 1700.