British archaeologist well known for his work in the Middle East and one of the last of the ‘old-school’ archaeologists. A graduate of New College, Oxford, his archaeological career began as an assistant to C. L. Woolley at Ur in 1925. Following this his career focused on the investigation of sites in northern Mesopotamia, including Nineveh, Arpachiyah, Chagar, Bazar, Tell Brak, and Nimrud through the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1933. After wartime service with the RAF he became Director of the British School of Archaeology in Baghdad and also presided over the British Institute of Persian Studies. In 1947 he was appointed to the Chair of Western Asiatic Archaeology in the University of London, a position he held until his death. Knighted in 1968, Mallowan was a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford, from 1962 until 1971 and Emeritus Fellow in 1976. In 1930 he married the writer Agatha Christie, who thereafter used the experience of being involved with archaeological fieldwork in her detective stories, as for example in Murder in Mesopotamia (1936, London: Fontana), where the victim is modelled on Lady Woolley.
From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology in Oxford Reference.