Rowe, Alan Jenvey

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Rowe, Alan Jenvey

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British Egyptologist and archaeologist; he was born in Deptford, 29 Oct. 1890, son of Lewis Oxley R., accountant, and Florence Emily Jenvey; he became interested in Egyptology in early life through studying the collections in the British Museum; subsequently while working as a journalist he emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 1912 where he enlarged his experience by working voluntarily in museums in Sydney and Adelaide and lecturing in history in the University of Adelaide; after failure to obtain a museum post in Australia, he left Australia in 1922; Rowe's first archaeological field-work was as archaeological assistant to C. S. Fisher with the University Museum of Pennsylvania expedition to Palestine at the site of Beth Shan, an important Egyptian town in the New Kingdom, 1922; he also helped in the recording of objects at Memphis previously discovered by the Univ. of Pennsylvania expedition; from 1923 to 1925 he was chief archaeological assistant to Reisner with the joint Harvard-Boston expedition to Giza, where during the absence of Reisner in America he was directing work at the time of the discovery of the `tomb' of Hetepheres the mother of King Khufu; at this period he directed work on many sites in Egypt and Palestine, Girga (Upper Egypt), Semna and Kumma (Sudan), Beth Shan (Palestine); his assistant in Egypt was T. R. D. Greenlees; this work was followed by excavation at the pyramid of Maidum 1929-32, Gezer (Palestine) and Benha (Athribis), 1925-34; Benha yielded interesting discoveries, 1938, the expedition being financed by Sir Robert Mond; he was appointed Curator of the Graeco-Roman Museum in Alexandria, 1940-9; while in this post he made further discoveries in the Western Desert, notably the Ramesside fortress at Zawyet Umm el-Rakham, 1946; he also excavated the Catacombs of Kom el-Shuqafa, Alexandria, 1941-2; the Serapeum or remains of the temple of Serapis, 1943-5; in 1943 the War Office asked him to make a special report on damage to monuments in the war zone in Cyrenaica; he was appointed Special Lecturer in Near Eastern Archaeology in the University of Manchester, 1950-52, and Lecturer, 1952-8; his last four expeditions were made to the tombs and cemeteries of Roman Cyrene where he discovered remarkable statues of the goddess Persephone 1952-57; he married secondly in 1947 Mrs Olga Serafina Wilson (1905-15 Sept. 1958), daughter of Antonio Cucinotta, who helped him in his archaeological field-work until her death; he published several articles in Australia on Egyptian and other antiquities and left in manuscript a catalogue of the Egyptian antiquities in the South Australian Museum; in addition to numerous other articles in journals he wrote, A Catalogue of Egyptian Scarabs, Scaraboids, Seals and Amulets in the Palestine Archaeological Museum, 1930; The Topography and History of Beth-Shan, with details of Egyptian and other inscriptions found on the site, 1930; The Eckley B. Coxe, jr., Expedition excavations at Meydum (1929-30), 1931; a trans. of Leibovitch's Ancient Egypt, 1938; The Four Canaanite Temples of Beth-Shan, pt. i., 1940; Discovery of the Famous Temple and Enclosure of Serapis at Alexandria, see ASAE 1946; New Light on Aegypto-Cyrenaean Relations. Two Ptolemaic statues found in Tolmeita, 1948; A Contribution to the Archaeology of the Western Desert, see BulL of the John Rylands Library, vol. 36. 128, 484, 1951; vol. 38. 139, 1953; some of his papers are in the Griffith Institute, Liverpool University, and the South Australian Museum, Adelaide; he died in Manchester, 3 Jan. 1968.


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  • Who Was Who in Egyptology (4th ed. 2012), 477.

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