PUBLICISING PETRIE: Financing Fieldwork in British Mandate Palestine (1926–1938)

Rachael Thyrza Sparks


The cost of archaeological fieldwork has always been high, even for someone as notoriously parsimonious as Flinders Petrie. Money was constantly needed to finance his excavations, bring objects back to England and organize publication of the results. Over the course of his career Petrie developed a range of fundraising strategies, including setting up the British School of Archaeology in Egypt to coordinate efforts. Moving his base of operations to British Mandate Palestine brought a whole new series of challenges, not the least being how to generate public interest in this new endeavour. This paper will explore the various methods by which funds were generated to support Petrie’s research, including use of newspaper and radio coverage, public lectures and exhibitions, merchandising and appeals to the generosity of individual patrons. It will also consider how the purposes of fundraising developed over time, and ways in which we can measure the success of the tactics used.

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How to cite: Sparks, R.T. 2013. PUBLICISING PETRIE: Financing Fieldwork in British Mandate Palestine (1926–1938). Present Pasts 5(1):2, DOI:

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Published on 1 August 2013.

ISSN: 1759-2941 | Published by Ubiquity Press | Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.