Flinders Petrie from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0709/07091101

William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) was an English Egyptologist who first travelled to Egypt in 1880, surveying the pyramids. Later in life he also carried out excavations in Palestine.

Pitt-Rivers had a short-lived but intense interest in Egyptian archaeology, coinciding with his 1881 Cook's tour to Egypt. He collected Ancient Egyptian artefacts before and after this period. He met Flinders Petrie during his Cook's tour, fairly soon after Petrie had first started work in Egypt. On 22 February 1881, Petrie recorded in his diary:

I heard a traveller say to his dragoman, 'Wait, I want to take an angle here'. So I looked up, & after observing ... the traveller said 'We seem to be working in the same line' & began chatting. Finding I was doing it [a survey of the Great Pyramid] on such a scale, he asked if I was fixed to read an account to any Society, as he should like me to do so to the Anthropl., for 'I am President this year, for the second time.' Still I did not recognize the same man that I have seen in London, but differences in dress & whiskers would account for my failure. He said 'Do you know anything of Mr Petrie, he's done a good deal in this line', or some such phrase; so I handed out my card at which we both laughed. He became more chatty & said he was very glad I was out here doing this thoroughly, & at last went off to Sphinx &c, while I went on with survey. [Bowden, 1991: 93]

These links show the full account of this meeting, from the Petrie diaries held at the Griffiths Institute, University of Oxford. We are very grateful to Alice Stevenson for drawing them to our attention.




A visit by Petrie and his wife Hilda in 1898 is discussed here.

AP, March / April 2011

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