The Life of Margaret Alice Murray: A Woman’s Work in Archaeology


The Life of Margaret Alice Murray: A Woman’s Work in Archaeology is the first book-length biography of Margaret Alice Murray (1863–1963), one of the first women to practice archeology. Despite Murray’s numerous professional successes, her career has received little attention because she has been overshadowed by her mentor, Sir Flinders Petrie. This oversight has obscured the significance of her career including her fieldwork, the students she trained, her administration of the pioneering Egyptology Department at University College London (UCL), and her published works. Rather than focusing on Murray’s involvement in Petrie’s archaeological program, Kathleen L. Sheppard treats Murray as a practicing scientist with theories, ideas, and accomplishments of her own. This book analyzes the life and career of Margaret Alice Murray as a teacher, excavator, scholar, and popularizer of Egyptology, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, and more. Sheppard also analyzes areas outside of Murray’s archaeology career, including her involvement in the suffrage movement, her work in folklore and witchcraft studies, and her life after her official retirement from UCL.


History and Political Science

Keywords and Phrases

Biography & Autobiography / Women; History / United States / General; Social Science / Archaeology; History / Women

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)

978-0-7391-7417-3; 978-1-4985-5659-0; 978-0-7391-7418-0

Document Type


Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

27 Mar 2017