List of Famous Archaeologists

Updated October 2, 2019 199.9k views 389 items


List of famous archaeologists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top archaeologists in the world? This includes the most prominent archaeologists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. These popular archaeologists are responsible for the weirdest archaeological discoveries and the most NSFW archaeological discoveries. This list of notable archaeologists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic archaeologists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned archaeologists.

Examples of important people in archaeology on this list include Thomas Jefferson, Howard Carter, Louis Leakey, and more. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known archaeologists to the lesser known archaeologists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the archaeologist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous archaeologists ever?" and "What are the names of famous archaeologists?" then you're in the right place. And if you're looking for archaeology movies, we have a list on that too.


Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy, and ...more

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Mark Lehner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Mark Lehner is an American archaeologist with more than 30 years of experience excavating in Egypt. His approach, as director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates, is to conduct ...more
Kathleen Kenyon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Dame Kathleen Mary Kenyon, (5 January 1906 – 24 August 1978) was a leading British archaeologist of Neolithic culture in the Fertile Crescent. She is best known for her excavations of Tell ...more
Howard Carter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Howard Carter (9 May 1874 – 2 March 1939) was a British archaeologist and Egyptologist who became world-famous after discovering the intact tomb (designated KV62) of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh, ...more
Stuart Struever is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Stuart McKee Struever (born 1931) is an American archaeologist and anthropologist best known for his contributions to the archaeology of the Woodland Period in the US midwest and for his ...more
Jesse Fewkes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Jesse Walter Fewkes was an American anthropologist, archaeologist, writer and naturalist.
Jerald T. Milanich is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Jerald T. Milanich is an American anthropologist and archaeologist, specializing in Native American culture in Florida. He is Curator Emeritus of Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural ...more
Arthur Evans is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Sir Arthur John Evans (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) was an English archaeologist and pioneer in the study of Aegean civilization in the Bronze Age. He is most famous for unearthing the palace of ...more
Gertrude Bell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE (14 July 1868 – 12 July 1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, and archaeologist who explored, mapped, and became highly ...more
John Lloyd Stephens is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
John Lloyd Stephens
John Lloyd Stephens (November 28, 1805 – October 13, 1852) was an American explorer, writer, and diplomat. Stephens was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization throughout Middle ...more
Louis Leakey is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey (7 August 1903 – 1 October 1972) was a Kenyan paleoanthropologist and archaeologist whose work was important in demonstrating that humans evolved in Africa, ...more
Karl Vollmöller is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Karl Gustav Vollmöller (or Vollmoeller; 7 May 1878 – 18 October 1948) was a German philologist, archaeologist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and aircraft designer. He is most famous for ...more
Leonard Woolley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Leonard Woolley
Sir Leonard Woolley was a British archaeologist best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia. He is considered to have been one of the first "modern" archaeologists, and was ...more
Alpheus Hyatt Verrill is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Alpheus Hyatt Verrill, known as Hyatt Verrill, (23 July 1871 – 14 November 1954) was an American zoologist, explorer, inventor, illustrator and author. He was the son of Addison Emery Verrill, ...more
John Garstang is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
John Garstang
John Garstang was a British archaeologist of the ancient Near East, especially Anatolia and the southern Levant. John Garstang was born to Walter Garstang of Blackburn and was the younger ...more
John Lubbock, 1st Baron ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, 4th Baronet, (30 April 1834 – 28 May 1913), known as Sir John Lubbock, 4th Baronet from 1865 until 1900, was an English banker, Liberal politician, ...more
Robert Ballard is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Robert Duane Ballard (born June 30, 1942) is a retired United States Navy officer and a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island who is most noted for his work in underwater ...more
Jan Potocki is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Count Jan Potocki (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjan pɔˈtɔt͡skʲi]; 8 March 1761 – 23 December 1815) was a Polish nobleman, Polish Army Captain of Engineers, ethnologist, Egyptologist, linguist, ...more
Ignace Gelb is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Ignace Jay Gelb was a Polish-American ancient historian and Assyriologist who pioneered the scientific study of writing systems.
Alfred L. Kroeber is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Alfred Louis Kroeber (June 11, 1876 – October 5, 1960) was an American cultural anthropologist. He received his PhD under Franz Boas at Columbia University in 1901, the first doctorate in ...more
Thor Heyerdahl is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Thor Heyerdahl (Norwegian pronunciation: [tuːr ˈhæɪəɖɑːl]; October 6, 1914 – April 18, 2002) was a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany, and ...more

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Kwang-chih Chang is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Kwang-chih Chang
Kwang-chih Chang, also known as K.C. Chang, was a Chinese/Taiwanese archaeologist and sinologist. He was a professor of archaeology at Harvard University, a Vice-President of the Academia Sinica ...more
Mary Leakey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Mary Douglas Leakey, FBA (née Nicol, 6 February 1913 – 9 December 1996) was a British paleoanthropologist who discovered the first fossilised Proconsul skull, an extinct ape which is now ...more
Prosper Mérim&eac... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Prosper Mérimée (French: [meʁime]; 28 September 1803 – 23 September 1870) was an important French writer in the school of Romanticism, and one of the pioneers of the novella, a ...more
Zahi Hawass is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Archaeologists
Zahi Hawass (Arabic: زاهي حواس‎; born May 28, 1947) is an Egyptian archaeologist, Egyptologist, and former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs. He has also worked at archaeological sites ...more