James Leslie Starkey

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Dates: 
1895 - 1938

British archaeologist; he was born in London, 3 Jan. 1895, son of James S., architect and surveyor, and Louisa Pike, widow of William Brown; he lacked a formal education but showed an interest in antiquity, working for an antique dealer near the British Museum; he served in the Royal Navy Air Service in World War I; he then studied Egyptology in evening classes at University College London under Petrie and Margaret Murray; he joined Petrie’s excavation team, working at Qau under Brunton, 1922-4 and 1925 where he discovered important Coptic mansucripts; he was appointed field director at the University of Michigan’s excavation at Karanis, 1924-6; he rejoined Petrie when he moved to Palestine and took part in work at Wadi Ghazzeh, 1926, Tell Jemmeh, 1926-7, Tell el-Fara, 1928-9, and Tell el-Ajjul, 1930-2; he became director of excavations at Lachish, 1932-8; FSA; member of the executive committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund; his articles and publication dealt with his work in Palestine; he was murdered by bandits near Hebron, 10 Jan. 1938 and was buried on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.