Edward Russell Ayrton

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Dates: 
1882 - 1914

British Egyptologist and archaeologist; he was born at Wuhu, China, 17 Dec. 1882, son of William Scrope A. of the China Consular Service, and Ellen Louisa McClatchie his wife; he was educated at St. Paul’s School; he first excavated with Petrie at Abydos, 1902-4, for the EEF; his first independent work being the excavation of the Shunet ez-Zebib, see Abydos III; he also worked near Ghurab in collaboration with W. L. S. Loat; he then joined Naville and Hall at Deir el-Bahri, 1904-5, where he excavated and recorded the graves found; these are described in The XIth Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari, i, chapter 3, which gives his account of the tombs of the princesses buried in Mentuhotep’s temple; he also worked for Theodore Davis in the Biban el-Muluk, 1905-8, when the tombs of Siptah, Horemheb, and other kings were found, and he published short accounts of these discoveries in PSBA 28-30 (1906-8); with Loat he excavated the Sixth Dynasty tombs at Abydos and the predynastic cemetery at el-Mahasna, 1908-9; they published The Pre-Dynastic Cemetery at El Mahasna, 1911; he accepted an appointment in the Arch. Survey of Ceylon, where he went in 1911; he died in Ceylon, having been accidentally drowned while on a shooting expedition in the Tissa Tank, 18 May 1914.

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