Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sad News: Ian Mathieson

The Telegraph, UK

Ian Mathieson, who died on June 24 aged 83, was a land surveyor by profession and an archaeologist by inclination; he spent much of the latter part of his life investigating the ancient Egyptian site at Saqqara.

Mathieson pioneered methods of surveying and mapping large archaeological sites without the expense or intrusion of excavation, particularly through the use of sound waves and radar to reveal any structures beneath the surface. Initially he worked with parties from the Egypt Exploration Society and Cambridge University before the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt granted him his own site at Saqqara – the vast complex near Cairo which served as the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis.

From 1990 Mathieson led the Saqqara Geophysical Survey Project, producing archaeological and geophysical maps of a little-explored area of the site; and in 2001 his survey turned up several large, previously unknown temples, as well as a number of tombs and dwellings.

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