Hilda Petrie


British Egyptologist; she was born in Dublin, 8 June 1871, daughter of Richard Denny Urlin and Mary Addis; a family friendship with Professor Seeley led her to be first interested in geology; at this time she posed as one of the companions in the pre-Raphaelite painting by Henry Holland depicting the meeting of Dante and Beatrice; she became interested in Egyptology and married Flinders Petrie in 1896; she served as Hon. Secretary of the British School of Archaeology in Egypt for many years, and not only helped her husband on the actual excavations in the field, but also assisted him in much of the detailed work, measuring and drawing; she accompanied her husband to many of the sites he excavated in Egypt, and joined his expedition to Sinai as well as to Palestine; she was constantly engaged in administrative work, raising much of the funds provided for this work through the Egyptian Research Account; after Petrie’s death she prepared and published his remaining manuscripts, among them Ceremonial Slate Palettes, 1953; she helped M. Murray excavate the Osireion at Abydos, 1902-33; she was responsible for the specialized archaeological Petrie Library going to the Sudan Antiquities Service in Khartoum; her own two original works were, Egyptian hieroglyphs of the First and Second Dynasties, 1927 and Seven Memphite tomb chapels, 1952, dealing with her work at Saqqara; she also published Side Notes on the Bible from Flinders Petrie’s Discoveries, 1933; she died in London, 23 Nov. 1956.

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