Honoring Flinders Petrie
Matti Friedman reports
More than a hundred people gathered in Jerusalem to remember Sir Flinders Petrie, one of the fathers of modern archaeology, in the lovely, little-known cemetery on Mt. Zion where most of him was buried 70 years ago this week.
A towering figure in the study of Egyptology and biblical history, the brilliant, driven and eccentric Briton is no longer a household name. But a memorial for Flinders organized by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Monday at the Protestant Cemetery, just outside the walled Old City, nonetheless drew a capacity crowd of local archaeologists, Bible scholars and aficionados of the ancient past.
Petrie’s modest grave — which houses all of his body except for his head — is marked simply with his name and an ankh, the Egyptian hieroglyph for “life.”
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