Aylward Manley Blackman

1883 - 1956

British Egyptologist; he was born in Dawlish, S. Devon, 30 Jan. 1883, son of the Revd James Henry Blackman and Anne Mary Jacob; he was educated at St. Paul’s School and The Queen’s College, Oxford, where he read Arabic, and Egyptian and Coptic under Griffith; he graduated in Oriental Studies, 1906; he spent the next few years working in Nubia, and acted as one of Reisner’s assistants on the Archaeological Survey of Nubia, 1907-8; he was a member of the excavation team and published the inscriptions for the University of Pennsylvania expedition at Buhen, Wadi Halfa, 1909-10; he now performed the enormous task of completely recording the temples of Biga, Dendur, and Derr, 1911-15, and also began work on a fourth, Gerf Hussein, but had to desist owing to an attack of typhoid; he was elected Oxford Nubian Research Fellow and joined Griffith’s staff at Faras; in 1912 he was elected Laycock Fellow of Egyptology at Worcester College, Oxford; MA, DLitt., FBA; after 1918 he assisted Griffith in teaching Egyptian at Oxford; he was appointed Brunner Professor of Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, 1934- 48; Emeritus Professor at Liverpool, 1948-56; he was also special Lecturer in Egyptology in the University of Manchester, 1936-48; he was a member of the EES Committee for many years, and a member of the council of the Royal Asiatic Soc., 1922-35; joint editor of the Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology; for the EES Blackman recorded the complete series of tombs at Meir in Middle Egypt, producing six vols., working at this site 1912-14, 1921, and 1949-50; in 1936 he visited Berlin in order to collate the Middle Egyptian papyri intended for his Middle Egyptian Stories; at this period he also directed the EES excavations at Sesebi, 1936-7, and was invited to act as tutor to the Crown Prince of Ethiopia, 1937-9; he combined the ability of a field worker and a great archaeological interest with a remarkable philological insight which was particularly apparent in his 63 work on Ptolemaic texts; but his speciality was Egyptian Religion, a subject on which he wrote many studies and articles; his list of works is a long one; the following may be cited, The Temple of Dendûr, 1911; The Temple of Derr, 1913; The Temple of Bigeh, 1915; The Rock Tombs of Meir, 6 vols. 1914-53; Luxor and its Temples, 1923; The Psalms in the Light of Egyptian Research, in The Psalmists, 1926; Middle-Egyptian Stories, pt. I of Bibl. Aeg. 1932; Egyptian Myth and Ritual, 1932; The Value of Egyptology in the Modern World, 1935; he also contributed important studies to Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, and articles to JEA and other journals; his letters from Egypt are preserved in the archives of the University of Liverpool; he died in Abergele, N. Wales, 9 March 1956.

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