Thursday, August 09, 2012

More on the Petrie memorial

Paying homage to pioneering archaeologist who lost his head

Scholars and curiosity seekers marked the 70th anniversary of the death of Flinders Petrie, the father of modern archaeology, whose headless body is buried in Jerusalem.

By Nir Hasson | Aug.08, 2012 | 1:26 AM (Haaretz)

On Monday of last week the Israeli Antiquities Authority conducted an unusual memorial service, to mark the 70th anniversary of the death of the British archaeologist and Egyptologist Flinders Petrie. Only one of the people who attended the ceremony at the Protestant Cemetery on Jerusalem's Mount Zion, Israeli archaeologist Shimon Gibson, had ever met the deceased - or at least his head. In 1989, while Gibson was working at the Palestine Exploration Fund in London, he was contacted by the Royal College of Surgeons. "They asked me," Gibson said at the ceremony, "to help identify a head preserved in a jar. They weren't sure it belonged to Petrie," Gibson related.

Just to be clear, Petrie kept track of his own head as long as he needed it. It was later misplaced by others.

Background here.