Woolley, Sir Leonard

Woolley, Sir Leonard

▪ British archaeologist
born April 17, 1880, London
died Feb. 20, 1960, London

      British archaeologist whose excavation of the ancient Sumerian city of Ur (in modern Iraq) greatly advanced knowledge of ancient Mesopotamian civilization. His discovery of geological evidence of a great flood suggested a possible correlation with the deluge described in Genesis.

      From 1907 to 1911 Woolley served with an archaeological expedition near Wadi Halfa, Sudan, an area rich in Egyptian antiquities. With T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence, T E) (“Lawrence of Arabia”), he conducted the principal excavation of the Hittite city of Carchemish in northern Syria (1912–14) and recorded his findings in Carchemish (part 2, 1921, and part 3, with R.D. Barnett, 1953). He then worked at Tell el-Amarna, capital of the Egyptian king Akhenaton.

      His excavation of Ur (1922–34), conducted for the British Museum, London, and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, enabled scholars to trace the history of the city from its final days during the 4th century BC back to its prehistoric beginnings (c. 4000 BC). Woolley's findings revealed much about everyday life, art, architecture, literature, government, and religion in what has come to be called “the cradle of civilization.”

      One of his most dramatic discoveries, royal tombs dating from about 2700 BC, disclosed the practice of the sacrificial burial of a deceased king's personal retinue. With the help of contributors, he began publishing a projected 10 volumes of Ur Excavations in 1927. His other books include The Sumerians (1928), Ur of the Chaldees (1929), and Digging up the Past (1930).

      Woolley also sought to establish a relationship between the civilizations of Mesopotamia and those of Greece and the Aegean. To this end, he excavated at Tell Atchana (ancient Alalakh) in southeastern Turkey north of Antioch (1937–39 and 1946–49). There he discovered the remains of a small kingdom of largely Hurrian population and levels of habitation dating back to the 4th millennium BC. His findings appeared in Alalakh, an Account of the Excavations at Tell Atchana in the Hatay, 1937–1949 (1955) and A Forgotten Kingdom (1953). He was knighted in 1935.

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  • WOOLLEY, SIR CHARLES LEONARD° — (1880–1960), English archaeologist. From 1905 to 1907 he was assistant keeper in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. His earliest excavation work was carried out in England (Corbridge, 1906–07), Nubia (1907–11), and at Carchemish, Turkey (1912–14). In… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sir Leonard Woolley — noun English archaeologist who supervised the excavations at Ur (1880 1960) • Syn: ↑Woolley, ↑Sir Charles Leonard Woolley • Instance Hypernyms: ↑archeologist, ↑archaeologist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Woolley, Charles Leonard — (1880 1960)    A noted British archaeologist who became one of the giants of Assyriology and Near Eastern studies and made some of the most sensational discoveries in the history of archaeology. Born in London, Woolley attended New College,… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • WOOLLEY, Sir C. Leonard — (1880–1960)    British archaeologist and writer. Educated in Oxford, where he read Theology, he became assistant keeper to the Ashmolean Museum in 1905–1907 and had his first experiences with archaeology in Italy and southern Egypt. In 1912 he… …   Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia

  • Leonard Woolley — (derecha) y T. E. Lawrence en Karkemish, Siria (1913) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sir Charles Leonard Woolley — noun English archaeologist who supervised the excavations at Ur (1880 1960) • Syn: ↑Woolley, ↑Sir Leonard Woolley • Instance Hypernyms: ↑archeologist, ↑archaeologist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Leonard Woolley — (right) and T. E …   Wikipedia

  • Woolley — noun English archaeologist who supervised the excavations at Ur (1880 1960) • Syn: ↑Sir Leonard Woolley, ↑Sir Charles Leonard Woolley • Instance Hypernyms: ↑archeologist, ↑archaeologist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Leonard Woolley — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Woolley. Charles Leonard Wooley, plus connu sous le nom de Sir Leonard Wooley, né le 17 avril 1880 à Londres, mort le 20 février 1960 (à 79 ans), était un archéologue britannique, qui consacra …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leonard Woolley — Leonard Wooley (rechts) und T. E. Lawrence in Carchemish, Frühling 1913 Sir Charles Leonard Woolley (* 17. April 1880 in London; † …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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