Monday, 21 January 2008

BSA Students and the Levant

Former students of the BSA later influenced archaeological work in Egypt, the Levant, India and Britain.

One of the earliest to work in the Levant was John Garrow Duncan, an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland, who went to Athens in 1894/95. From there his interests turned to Egypt where he assisted Flinders Petrie. Duncan's focus lay in the link between Egypt and the Old Tesament.

One of the most experienced BSA excavators, Duncan Mackenzie (1861-1934), was to join the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) as 'Explorer' in December 1909. One of his first projects was at Ain Shems (Beth-shemesh). However shortage of funds led to the dismissal of Mackenzie and the cessation of the work at Ain Shems.

British work continued in the Levant with David Hogarth’s work at Carchemish which started in 1911. One of the team, T.E. Lawrence, was later recruited on the eve of the First World War, to take part in the survey of the Sinai peninsula (‘the Wilderness of Zin'), a project initiated by Hogarth through the PEF.

Other former BSA students continued to make their mark in the Levant. John Winter Crowfoot (1873-1959), who had excavated on Melos and then worked in Egypt, was elected Director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (1927-35). During Crowfoot's directorship Duncan excavated at the Ophel Quarter in Jerusalem on behalf of the PEF. Agnes Conway (1885-1950) (see her father, William Martin Conway), who had been admitted to the BSA on the eve of the First World War, later married George Wilberforce Horsfield, Director of Antiquities in Trans-Jordan (1924-36), and they participated in fieldwork together.

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