Aylward M. Blackman

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Aylward Manley Blackman
Born 1883
Dawlish, Devon, United Kingdom
Died 1956
Abergele, Conwy, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Academic background
Education St Paul's School; The Queen's College, Oxford
Academic work
Discipline Egyptologist

Aylward Manley Blackman (30 January 1883 – 9 March 1956)[1] was a British Egyptologist, who excavated various sites in Egypt and Nubian, notably Buhen and Meir.


Blackman was born in Dawlish, Devon, the eldest son of Rev. James Henry Blackman and Mary Anne Blackman (née Jacob).[2] He was educated at home and his interest in archaeology was inspired by his father, a keen amateur archaeologist who created archaeological digs by burying home made 'tablets' for his children to discover.[3] Aylward's oldest sister, Winifred Susan Blackman, (1872-1950), also became an Egyptologist.[4] He joined St Paul's School at the age of sixteen and gained a scholarship to study at Queen's College, Oxford. At Oxford, Blackman was a pupil of Francis Llewellyn Griffith, and graduated with a First Class degree in Oriental Studies in 1906.[3]

After graduation, Blackman worked in Nubia as an assistant on Reisner's Archaeological Survey of Nubia, 1907-1908, and the excavation of Buhen by the University of Pennsylvania.[3] Blackman also carried out a survey of the temples of Nubia, including the temples at Biga, Dendur, and Derr.[5] He was unable to complete the survey after he suffered a major attack of Typhoid fever at Gerf Hussein, which affected his health for the rest of his life.[3] Due to his research, Blackman was appointed the Oxford Nubian Research Fellow and assisted Griffith in his excavation of Farras.[5]

Blackman was the Laycock Fellow of Egyptology at Worcester College, Oxford from 1912-1934. During this period he became closely associated with the Egypt Exploration Society and was a member of the Society's committee for many years.[5] On behalf of the Society, he directed the excavation of Meir, (1912-1914, 1921, 1949-1950) and the excavation of Sesebi, Sudan, (1936-1937).[6]

From 1934-1948, he was the Brunner Professor of Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, and taught in the Liverpool Institute of Archaeology. His research during this period was affected by a serious accident in Germany in 1936 which left him hospitalised and a bombing raid in 1941 which destroyed his home and his work place.[3] Despite the set backs, Blackman was able to introduced important changes to the teaching of Egyptology at Liverpool and lead the conversion of the Institute of Archaeology into a properly constituted school of the University.[3] Blackman was also a special lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Manchester, (1936-1948),[5] and the tutor of the Crown Prince of Ethiopia, (1937-1939).[6]

After his retirement in 1948, Blackman returned to Meir for one final season and published his research on the site in 1953.[3] He was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1953.[3]

He died in 1956 in Abergele.[6]


  • The temple of Dendur. Cairo: l'Inst. Francais d'Archeologie Orientale. 1911. 
  • The temple of Derr. Cairo: l'Inst. Français d'Archéologie Orientale. 1913. 
  • The temple of Bigeh. Cairo: l'Inst. Francais d' Archeologie Orientale. 1915. 
  • Luxor and its temples. London: A. & C. Black. 1923. 
  • Middle-Egyptian Stories. Brussels: Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth. 1932. 
  • The Rock Tombs of Meir. London; Boston: Egypt Exploration Fund (Egypt Exploration Society). 1914–1953. 
  • Lloyd, Alan B., ed. (1998). Gods, priests, and men : studies in the religion of pharaonic Egypt. London; New York: Kegan Paul International. ISBN 978-0-7103-0412-4. 


  1. Proceedings of the British Academy. Kraus Reprint. 1958. p. 225. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  2. Blackman, David (2012). "Aylward Manley Blackman". The Blackman Family. David Blackman. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Fairman, Herbert Walter (1956). "Aylward Manley Blackman". The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. Egypt Exploration Society. 42: pp. 102–104. JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/stable/3855130. 
  4. Petch, Alison. "Winifred Susan Blackman". England: the other Within, Analysing the English Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Graves, Carl; Kalnoky, Ildiko (2015), Excavating Egypt: Directing a Dig: a guide to the EES dig directors (PDF), The Egypt Exploration Society, retrieved 2016-03-08 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "A. M. Blackman Dead". The New York Times. 1956-03-10.