Charles Leonard Woolley

Woolley, Charles Leonard


Born Apr. 17, 1880, in London; died there Feb. 20, 1960. English archaeologist.

From 1907 to 1912 Woolley took part in excavations in Nubia, and from 1912 to 1914 and in 1919 he participated in the excavations at Carchemish on the Euphrates. In 1921 and 1922 he directed the excavations at Tell el-Amarna. Between 1922 and 1934 he directed the work of the Anglo-American archaeological expedition at Ur, which discovered the temple household archives (28th century B.C.), royal tombs of the first dynasty of Ur, a number of temples, the royal household archives of the third dynasty of Ur, and numerous inscriptions. The excavations at Ur made it possible to establish the general outlines of the history of this city-state. From 1936 to 1939 and from 1946 to 1949, Woolley conducted excavations of Alalakh in Turkey. In his historical reconstructions Woolley idealized the social system and culture of the ancient states of Mesopotamia.


The Sumerians. Oxford, 1928.
A Forgotten Kingdom. London-Melbourne-Baltimore, 1953.
Ur khaldeev. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from English.)


Iraq, 1960, vol. 22.
References in periodicals archive ?
The lyre would have been lost to culture had it not been for the ingenuity of British archaeologist Charles Leonard Woolley, who upon its discovery took careful measures to preserve the measurements of the sound box, which had disintegrated over time, so that we can see the fully restored lyre today.
British archaeologist Charles Leonard Woolley found some of the greatest treasures of antiquity at Ur, including a golden dagger encrusted with lapis lazuli, an intricately carved golden statue of a ram caught in a thicket, a lyre decorated with a bull's head and the gold headdress of a Sumerian queen.
The excavations at Tell al-Muqayyar, ancient Ur (the biblical Ur of the Chaldees), sponsored by the British Museum and Penn Museum and directed by Charles Leonard Woolley, attracted enormous public attention.