Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology, 2nd edition, by Margaret S. Drower, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1995
Richard B. Woodbury
Department of Anthropology,
University of Massachusetts,
Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, K.B.E., F.R.S., F.B.A., revolutionized Egyptian archaeology in the first two decades (1880- 1900) of his long career: he set new standards by insisting on keeping a complete record of all that was found. including broken as well as whole objects; he introduced the use of pottery styles for dating rather than using only inscriptions; he substituted "a sympathetic and personal relationship" with his workman for the customary use of the lash to spur them on; he rewarded care and vigilance; he extended the list of kings of Egypt back to their beginning; and "his most triumphant and ingenious contribution to archaeological method [was] the system known as Sequence Dating," today called seriation. He also stunned classical archaeologists by dating early the Minoan civilization on the basis of sherds found in dated Egyptian contexts--a technique now familiar as cross-dating. His work was a total contrast to the carelessness and looting that passed for Egyptian archaeology in the 19th and early 20th centuries. His career is painstakingly chronicled here by one of his last students.
How to Cite:
Woodbury, R.B., 1995. Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology, 2nd edition, by Margaret S. Drower, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1995. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 5(2), pp.23–24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/bha.05205
21 Nov 1995.