Petrie sequence dating
However, when he later found that Gaston Maspero placed little value on them and left them open to the elements in a yard behind the museum to deteriorate, he angrily demanded that they all be returned, forcing Maspero to pick the 12 best examples for the museum to keep and return 48 to Petrie, who sent them to London for a special showing at the British Museum.
During this time, he also climbed rope ladders at Sehel Island near Aswan to draw and photograph thousands of early Egyptian inscriptions on a cliff face, recording embassies to Nubia, famines and wars.Petrie surveyed a group of tombs in the Wadi al-Rababah (the biblical Hinnom) of Jerusalem, largely dating to the Iron Age and early Roman periods.Here, in these ancient monuments, Petrie discovered two different metrical systems.He cut out the middle man role of foreman on this and all subsequent excavations, taking complete overall control himself and removing pressure on the workmen from the foreman to discover finds quickly but sloppily.Though he was regarded as an amateur and dilettante by more established Egyptologists, this made him popular with his workers, who found several small but significant finds that would have been lost under the old system.He continued to excavate in Egypt after taking up the professorship, training many of the best archaeologists of the day.
In 1913 Petrie sold his large collection of Egyptian antiquities to University College, London, where it is now housed in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.
In 1890, Petrie made the first of his many forays into Palestine, leading to much important archaeological work.
His six-week excavation of Tell el-Hesi (which was mistakenly identified as Lachish) that year represents the first scientific excavation of an archaeological site in the Holy Land.
His father had corresponded with Piazzi Smyth about his theories of the Great Pyramid and Petrie travelled to Egypt in early 1880 to make an accurate survey of Giza, making him the first to properly investigate how they were constructed (many theories had been advanced on this, and Petrie read them all, but none were based on first hand observation or logic).
Petrie's published reports of this triangulation survey, and his analysis of the architecture of Giza therein, was exemplary in its methodology and accuracy, disproved Smyth's theories and still provides much of the basic data regarding the pyramid plateau to this day.
Impressed by his scientific approach, they offered him work as the successor to Édouard Naville.