NOTABLE ARCHAEOLOGISTS Walter Bryan Emery (1903–1971)

May 11, 2011

NOTABLE ARCHAEOLOGISTS Walter Bryan Emery (1903–1971)

Inspired as a youngster by public lectures given in Liverpool, England, by the Egyptologist John Garstang (1876–1956), Emery first went to Egypt in 1923. He became the director of excavation at North Saqqara in 1935 and there under- took one of his major projects, the almost complete excavation of the site’s Dynasty 1 cemetery.


This was of great significance because until then, only William M. Flinders Petrie and Emile Amélineau (1850–1916) had carried out any major studies of this important period. Emery’s work revealed new information about the art, architecture, and technology of these early times.
He was appointed to the Edwards Professor-ship at University College London in 1951. As field director of the Egypt Exploration Society, he resumed excavations in the Archaic necropolis at Saqqara in 1952. In 1964, he began an unsuccessful search for the tomb of Imhotep, architect of the Step Pyramid, but discovered a series of vast catacombs that contained the burials of thousands of mummified animals.

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