Ernest John Henry Mackay

Dates: 
1880 - 1943

British archaeologist; he was born Bristol, 5 July 1880, son of Richard Cockrill M. and Mary Dermott Thomas; he was educated at Bristol Grammar School and the University of Bristol; MA; D.Litt.; FSA; he married Dorothy Mary Simmons, 1912; he assisted in excavations in Egypt, 1907-12, receiving training in field work under Petrie (q.v.) and contributing to the publications of the British School; he was engaged on excavations and the photographic survey of the Theban Tombs, 1913-16; in 1913 he loaned his collection of Egyptian antiquities to the Bristol City Museum, selling it to the museum in 1919; he served during the First World War as a Capt. in the RASC, 1916-19, in Egypt and Palestine; Member of the Army Commission for the Survey of Ancient Monuments in Palestine and Syria, 1919-20; he was then appointed Custodian of Antiquities by the Palestine Govt., 1919-22; he was Field Director of the Oxford University and Field Museum, Chicago, Archaeological Expedition to Mesopotamia, 1922-6; at this time he also directed the excavations at Bahrain on the Persian Gulf for the BSAE, 1925; he became Special Officer for Exploration for the Archaeological Survey of India, 1926-31; he then was appointed Director of the Expedition of the American School of Indic and Iranian Studies and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to Chandhu-daro, India, 1935-6; Mackay began his archaeological work in Egypt, but he later moved into Palestine and Iraq where he made important discoveries on early Sumerian sites; it is, however, his work in India for which he is best known, for with Sir John Marshall he was one of the founders and initiators of work on the Indus valley civilization; in Egyptology he was part author of Heliopolis, Kafr Ammar and Shurafa, with W. M. F. Petrie, 1915; City of Shepherd Kings and Ancient Gaza V, with M. A. Murray, Petrie, and others, 1952; he also wrote, The ‘A ’Cemetery at Kish, 1925; A Sumerian palace and the ‘A’ Cemetery at Kish, 1926; Excavations at Jemdet Nasr, Iraq, 1930; Mohenjodaro, and the Indus Civilization, with Sir J. Marshall and others, 1931; The Indus Civilization, 1935; Further Excavations at Mohenjodaro (1927-31), 1938; Chandu-daro Excavations, 1941; in addition he published numerous articles in journals, such as AE to which he contributed reviews; he died in London, 2 Oct. 1943.

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