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12.04.2010

A visit to Emery's grave

William Carruthers is currently in Cairo to undertake research into archival sources for the history of Egyptology. Will’s trip has been made possible by a grant from the EES Centenary Fund, and he has recently visited the grave of the one of the Society’s great excavators, Walter Bryan Emery (1903-1971). Will writes:

“Much of the archival material I am interested in relates, in some way, to Emery; during an MRes in Archaeology undertaken at UCL from 2008-2009, I spent much of the year researching the material relating to him held by the EES in the Lucy Gura Archive. Emery died at Saqqara, near Cairo, whilst undertaking excavations for the Society, and I was therefore keen to visit his grave whilst I had the chance.

After a Catholic funeral mass attended by numerous dignitaries at the Church of St Joseph in ez-Zamalek, a well-heeled island in the centre of the city, Emery was buried the British cemetery in Old Cairo, near the el-Malek es-Saleh Metro station. The cemetery is under the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and as the photos here attest, Emery’s grave is still in immaculate condition, no doubt thanks to the extremely attentive caretaker, who told me that he had spent over 30 years looking after the cemetery. Those connected to Emery will doubtless be pleased.”

The British Cemetery in Cairo

Headstone marking the burial place of W. B. Emery

For further information on Will’s work, please see his article, ‘A means to an end: seeking Bryan Emery in archives’, in the most recent issue of Egyptian Archaeology (issue 36 – see here for further information).

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