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|Charles Leonard Woolley||Prominent British archaeologist whose excavation work includes digs at Roman Corbridge, Carchemish for the British Museum, Ur, and Al Mina and Tell Atchana in Syria. Knighted in 1935 for his contributions to the discipline of archaeology. , Trained as an archaeologist at Oxford University and excavated in Roman Britain (Corbridge) briefly, then in the Sudan under British-born American archaeologist David Randall-MacIver, who was a curator at the Penn Museum. Woolley then conducted excavations at Carchemish near the current Syrian/Turkish border from 1911-1914. In World War I, Woolley's knowledge of the Middle East was extremely valuable and he worked for British Intelligence. Even before the War he was essentially spying on the German railroad that was under construction near Carchemish (the Berlin-Baghdad Railway). Relatively early in the war, however, Woolley was captured and spent two years in a Turkish POW camp. Woolley was chosen to lead the expedition to Ur as early as 1920 when the two museums began to discuss the details of a joint excavation. He began work at the site late in 1922 and completed excavations in 1934, working long hours and accomplishing a great deal. He was knighted in 1935 for his work at Ur. He went on to run excavations at Al Mina and Alalakh in Syria. In his lifetime he gave many lectures and wrote many articles and books but never held an academic position. He died in 1960 and was lauded by generations of scholars around the world for his contributions to the field of archaeology., Leonard Woolley was the third of eleven children of a Church of England clergyman, George Herbert Woolley, and his wife Sarah. He attended St Johns, Leatherhead, and New College, Oxford where he studied Classics and theology. It was the warden of New College, W.A. Spooner, who advised him to take up archaeology after graduation. In 1905 Woolley was appointed assistant to Arthur Evans, Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford. Woolleys early career took him to Nubia in 190711, and after that he went as director of the Carchemish expedition sponsored by the British Museum. One of his assistants was T.E. Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia). Woolley and Lawrence collaborated in assisting the Palestine Exploration Fund in its programme of making a definitive map of the Holy Land. This work was published in 1915 as The Wilderness of Zin. After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Woolley was posted to Cairo where he acted as an intelligence officer. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1916 before being captured by the Turks and imprisoned at Kastamonu. He tried to return to Carchemish after the War but the political situation was too unsettled. In 1921, he excavated at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt with T.E. Peet, sponsored by the Egypt Exploration Society. In 1922, Woolley was made director of a joint expedition at Ur funded by the British Museum and The University of Pennsylvania Museum. It is with this site that his name will always be associated. He spent twelve years there, until 1934. Within two years of his arrival, Gertrude Bell had established the Iraq Museum in Baghdad which had a statutory right to first choice of all objects excavated. So rich were the finds from the site, however, especially from the Royal Cemetery, that both the British Museum and Penn Museum also contain fabulous objects from Ur in their collections. Woolleys strengths were his painstaking approach to excavation; for example, excavation of the Royal Cemetery was delayed until he believed his local workforce was sufficiently well-trained to tackle the intricate disclosure of these opulent tombs. He also monitored and instructed his own staff, in particular Max Mallowan who early on acquired the habit of keeping careful field notes, making drawings, preparing monthly reports for sponsors, and most important, publishing in full each seasons work and finds as soon as possible after the seasons end. Woolley had a way with words and both his non-specialist books and lantern slide lectures were very popular with the public. His weakness was a familiarity with the Old Testament which led to unfounded connections between it and the work in hand, as for example, his belief that Ur was the birthplace of Abraham. Woolley also believed he had found evidence of The Flood. After Ur, Woolley moved to Tell Atchana in northern Syria, digging there before the War in 193739, and after it, from 1946¬49. He was knighted for his services to archaeology in 1935. During the Second World War, Woolley worked for the Military Intelligence Directorate to assess and protect art and museum collections throughout Europe. He reported to Winston Churchill personally. In this work he was most ably assisted by his wife Katharine. After Katharines death and the end of his active archaeological career at Atchana, Woolley retired to Ashford in Kent. After an unsuccessful relationship, he retired to Dorset where he was looked after by a devoted housekeeper and her husband, thus enabling him to write up his archaeological work.|
|Katharine Elizabeth (Menke) (Keeling) Woolley||Born to German parents in England, Katharine Menke studied history at Somerville College. She did not complete a degree due to health problems, and her health continued to give her trouble throughout her life. In fact, there are many indications that she suffered from a condition known as complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, though her life is somewhat mysterious as she had all of her papers burned on her death. She married Colonel Bertram Keeling in 1919, but he died later that same year. The widowed Mrs. Keeling joined Woolley's excavation at Ur as an artist in 1925. A young single woman on the dig stirred controversy; particularly among the Trustees at Penn. Woolley solved the problem by marrying her in 1927. Most descriptions of her say she was charming but also rather cold and manipulative. Nevertheless, she was a talented artist and very capable as an archaeologist. She came to be the primary assistant to Woolley's excavations in the final Ur excavation years, after Mallowan left in 1931. Agatha Christie is said to have styled the murder victim in her book Murder in Mesopotamia after Katharine Woolley., Katharine Menke was born in Birmingham to German parents. Her father, Carl Menke, was a well-to-do general merchant who later became the German and Swiss Consul in Birmingham. Katharine attended a grammar school in Birmingham and then went up to Somerville College, Oxford, to read Modern History, but ill health forced her to leave before she had taken her degree. Despite difficulties with her German parentage, she joined the Red Cross in 1915 and was shortly posted to Alexandria where she worked in one of the large field hospitals. At the end of the First World War, she went to Poland to a former concentration camp housing some 7000 Bolshevik troops being detained in terrible conditions. Menke returned to London in 1919 when she met her first husband, Bertram Francis Eardley Keeling OBE, MC, RE. They married in March 1919. In September 1919, shortly after their arrival in Cairo where Keeling was Director-General of the Survey of Egypt and President of the Cotton Research Board, her husband committed suicide. Katharine Keeling travelled to Baghdad in 1924 with a letter of introduction to Gertrude Bell. She was staying with Lt.Col. J.R. Tainsh, Director of the Iraq State Railways, and his wife. They had taken Katharine to see the excavations at Ur, where she impressed Leonard Woolley with her ability to draw accurately some of the objects emerging from the excavations. Mainly because of this, but also because Woolley had succumbed to her undoubted charm of manner and appearance, he invited her to make a long stay during 1925, and then offered her a post as volunteer at Ur. Her official period as artist to the expedition began in the spring of 1926 when Mallowan helped extend the expedition house at Ur to include a bathroom for her use. The first mention of a payment to K.K. for £51.172.3d appears on the accounts at the end of the 1925/1926 season. She continued until the excavations closed in 1934. Katharine married Woolley in April 1927, mainly because George Gordon, the Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum at Philadelphia, insisted that a situation in which a single woman was living in the expedition house with single men was untenable. A letter from Woolley to a legal representative in 1928 makes it clear that the marriage remained unconsummated but its threat to seek an annulment was never implemented. The Woolleys remained married and there is no doubt that Katharines contributions to Woolleys excavations greatly enhanced his career. During the Second World War, Woolley worked closely with Winston Churchill and the Military Intelligence Directorate to monitor Nazi looting of European museums, art collections and royal archives. In this work, Katharine supplied invaluable assistance. Churchill had the Woolleys moved to the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane in October 1943, and it was there, in November 1945 that Katharine died. Her death certificate put multiple sclerosis (from which she had suffered for over a decade) as the cause of her death.|
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