Petrie, William Matthew Flinders

  • Ella Stewart-PetersEmail author
  • Thomas H. Bowden
Living reference work entry

Basic Biographical Information

William Matthew Flinders Petrie was born on 3 June 1853 in Kent, England. The only child of a middle-class Victorian family, his father William Petrie was an inventor and surveyor, while his mother Anne was the only daughter of famed explorer and navigator, Matthew Flinders. After a severe childhood illness almost claimed his life, Petrie’s parents were advised to restrict his contact with other children to avoid any further risks to his health. As a result, Petrie never attended a formal school and was instead homeschooled by his mother; by 10, Petrie had taught himself chemistry and minerology (Drower 1985: 15–17). As a child and young teenager, his parents took him on many family holidays to measure and survey ancient British monuments, and this provided Petrie with a solid foundation in surveying and recording techniques. In 1874, Petrie and his father surveyed Stonehenge for the first time and completed the study by June 1877; after which young...

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  1. Drower, M.S. 1985. Flinders Petrie: A life in archaeology. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd.Google Scholar
  2. Drower, M.S. 1995. Flinders Petrie: A life in archaeology. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
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Further Reading

  1. Drower, M.S., ed. 2004. Letters from the desert: The correspondence of Flinders and Hilda Petrie. Oxford: Aris & Philips.Google Scholar
  2. Petrie, W.M.F. 1932. Seventy years in archaeology. New York: H. Holt and Company.Google Scholar
  3. Uphill, E.P. 1972. A bibliography of Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853–1942). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 31: 356–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Medicine and Public HealthFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Claire Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia