I. E. S. Edwards

1909 - 1996

British Egyptologist; he was born in London, 21 July 1909, son of Edward E., a Persian scholar in the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books, British Museum, and Ellen Jane Higgs; he was educated at Merchant Taylors’ school and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge from 1928 when he studied oriental languages notably Hebrew and Arabic; BA, 1931; MA, 1935; he did postgraduate study in Semitic grammar and Arabic, 1931-3; he then joined the Inner Temple, 1933; he became Assistant Keeper in the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum, 6 Feb. 1934; he then studied ancient Egyptian under Glanville at University College 174 London and taught there in 1936; he was seconded to the Foreign Office during World War II and served at the British embassies in Cairo and Baghdad and the Secretariat in Jerusalem, 1942-5; Deputy Keeper, 1950; he became Keeper of the new Department of Egyptian Antiquities, 1955-74; visiting professor at Brown University, 1953-4; he was the Egyptological organizer of the exhibition ‘5000 Years of Egyptian Art’ at the Royal Academy, 1962; he organized the successful Tutankhamun exhibition at the British Museum, 1972; honorary treasurer of the Egypt Exploration Society, 1949-62; Vice-President, 1962-88; Chairman of the IAE Committee for the Annual Egyptological Bibliography; Glanville Memorial Lecturer, 1980; member of the Unesco-Egyptian committee for saving the monuments of Philae, 1973-80 and on other UNESCO committees dealing with the Cairo Museum and the Giza plateau, 1981, 1985, 1990; FSA, 1942; FBA, 1962; LittD, 1963; he was awarded the CBE, 1968 and the CMG, 1973; he was a member of the German and Austrian Institutes and the Committee of Visitors of the Metropolitan Museum, New York; he published, with S. Smith, Ancient Egyptian Sculpture lent by C. S. Gulbenkian, Esq., 1937; with A. Shorter, A Handbook to the Egyptian Mummies and Coffins exhibited in the British Museum, 1938; Hieroglyphic Texts in the British Museum 8,1939; The Pyramids of Egypt, 1947; revised, 1961, 1985, 1991, and 1993, which became the standard account of this subject for many years; Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum, 4th series. Oracular Amuletic Decrees of the Late New Kingdom, 1960; with A. F. Shore and R. Pinder-Wilson, 5000 Years of Egyptian Art, 1962; with T. G. H. James and A. F. Shore, A General Introductory Guide to the Egyptian Collections in the British Museum, 1964; Treasures of Tutankhamun, 1972 for the British exhibition; Treasures of Tutankhamun, 1976 for the American exhibition; Tutankhamun’s Jewellery, 1976; Tutankhamun: his tomb and its treasures, 1976; he was joint editor of vols I-III of the third edition of the Cambridge Ancient History and wrote the chapter on The Early Dynastic Period in Egypt, 1964; a volume of 36 papers in his honour entitled Pyramid Studies and Other Essays was published in 1988; his memoirs From the Pyramids to Tutankhamun were published posthumously in 2000; he died in London, 24 Sept. 1996.

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