Francis Giesler Newton

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Dates: 
1878-1924

British architect and excavator; he was born in Ipswich, 4 April 1878, son of Francis Edward Newton, clergyman, and Ellen Giesler; educated Repton, RA Schools and as a student of Sir Aston Webb; he practised as an architect for several years then helped Ashby to plan the Roman ruins at Caerwent, 1906; he next studied monuments in Rome, 1907, and went to Sardinia with Ashby and Duncan Mackenzie to plan nuraghi, 1908; he accompanied the latter to Syria and explored Moab in search of megalithic monuments and excavated at Beth Shemesh for the PEF; at this time he also made the first complete measured drawings of some of the finer rock-tombs and seems to have become acquainted with Egypt; he served in the Hon. Artillery Company during the First World War; he was regularly with the EES expedition to El-Amarna, 1920-4, assisting in the excavation and making plans of a vast area of the city; he also accompanied the joint expedition of the British Museum and Pennsylvania University to Ur of the Chaldees under Woolley, 1922-3; in addition he spent several weeks planning and surveying for Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos, 1923-4; appointed Director of Excavations at El-Amarna just before his death; although he left no book or major work in his own name much of his results can be found in the City of Akenaten, vol. i, and similar publications by other archaeologists who used his excellent drawings and plans which were of an exceedingly high order; his remarkable coloured drawings of the mural paintings at El-Amarna were published as a memorial volume, see below, in 1929; his papers and drawings are in the Griffith Institute, Oxford; Newton was taken ill during an epidemic while directing his last expedition at El-Amarna and died in Asyut, 25 Dec. 1924.