NOTABLE ARCHAEOLOGISTS François-Auguste-Ferdinand Mariette (1821–1881)

May 11, 2011

NOTABLE ARCHAEOLOGISTS François-Auguste-Ferdinand Mariette (1821–1881)

Mariette became professor of Egyptology in Boulogne, France, in 1843 and first went to Egypt in 1850 in order to obtain manuscripts for the Louvre in Paris. On this visit, he became interested in archaeology and made the spectacular discoveries at Saqqara that launched his career as an excavator. In total, he uncovered some 7,000 principal monuments.

He persuaded the Egyptian ruler, Sa‘id Pasha, to establish the world’s first National
Antiquities Service and a national museum, and became director of both institutions.
This first museum became the nucleus of the purpose-built Egyptian Museum in Cairo (opened in 1902), where in 1904, as a mark of honor, Mariette’s own sarcophagus was eventually moved to a final resting place in the forecourt. His career marked the end of indiscriminate treasure seeking, and he is credited with establishing the basis of modern archaeology in Egypt.


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