Skip to main content

Cambridge University Libraries are providing a blend of online and controlled in-person services. Please see our website for more details.

Wace, Alan John Bayard, 1879-1957 (archaeologist)



  • Existence: 1879-07-13 - 1957-11-09


Alan John Bayard Wace (1879-1957) was born at 4 Camden Place, Cambridge, on 13 July 1879. Wace read for the Classical tripos at Pembroke College, Cambridge, (Matric. 1898) where he held a scholarship. He was awarded a Prendergast studentship and admitted as a student at the British School at Athens during1902-3. In 1904, Wace was elected a fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and was appointed Librarian at the British School in Rome, specifically to work on the catalogue of the sculpture collections during 1905-6. In 1912 Wace was appointed as Lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of St Andrews. In 1914 he was appointed Director of the British School in Athens, a post he held until 1923. He became Deputy Keeper in the Department of Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1924. He was elected to the Laurence chair in Cambridge (1934), was made the Armstrong Lecturer in Toronto (1939), and accepted the chair of Classics and Archaeology at the Farouk I University at Alexandria (1944). He died in Athens on 9 November 1957.

Found in 17 Collections and/or Records:


AJBW drafts for pro forma fund raising letter for excavation at Mycenae, 1939

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/21/2
Scope and Contents

AJBW writes about his plans for excavation at Mycenae: he describes his previous work and its reception by leading scholars, then lists the areas yet to be excavated. He plans to explore the South House, the Prehistoric Cemetery, and the Aegisthus and Atreus tombs. He details the costs of the excavation and emphasises the importance of the potential finds.

Dates: 1939

Archaeology Correspondence (misc.) 1953 - 1958 , 1953-01-21 - 1958-12-11

Reference Code: GBR/3437/WDTR/4/1/1
Scope and Contents This file pertains to correspondence between Lord Taylour and scholars concerning such topics as the publication of books and articles (specifically Taylour's 'Mycenaean Pottery in Italy and Adjacent Areas' (1958)), discussion of academic (chiefly archaeological) theories and works, Lord Taylour's slide collection, including the numerous hours spent putting them together (12 hours in one day, in one letter!), as well as family life, schedules and personal health. Lord Taylour, for instance,...
Dates: 1953-01-21 - 1958-12-11

Leaf of a letter by AJBW to an anonymous recipient re excavations on Cyprus and recent publications on pottery

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/21/12
Scope and Contents

AJBW writes about current excavations at Cyprus. He discusses the debate between Dikaios and Schaeffer: he supports Dikaios and hopes that Schaeffer will not be allowed to dig at Knossos. He responds to a query about saponlac and criticises Furumark's use of saponlac on his pots. He then discusses Nilsson's and Holmberg's papers in the Opuscula Archaeologica, adding his own observations on the pottery. He mentions Iliffe's finds at Paphos, including some painted archaic sculpture.


Leaf of jottings by AJBW on Mycenae

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/21/10
Scope and Contents

AJBW jots down several notes, under four headings: Mycenae, Lion Hunt, Funeral, S(?). The notes comprise single words or phrases, for example, 'road' and 'colour of stone in walls'. The paper header is from the Nassau Tavern Hotel in Princeton.


Letter from AJBW to Carl Schuster re the origin of an embroidery sample from Fez, 1949-07-10

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/19/13
Scope and Contents

AJBW replies to Schuster's letter about the embroidery sample from Fez. He says that the sample seems to be Greek and that similar embroidery does not exist in Morocco. He suggests that Greek textiles have simply ended up in Morocco, and so acquired another provenance. He ends with a brief discussion on Greek and Balkan textiles.

Dates: 1949-07-10

Letter from AJBW to Frank Stubbings re Daniel's arguments about dating at Mycenae and slides for a lecture on Mycenae, 1948-05-20

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/19/41
Scope and Contents

AJBW thanks Stubbings for his critique of Daniel's arguments about Mycenae dating. He writes that he is sending Stubbings the proofs of Daniel's article and his own note, as well as several chapters on Mycenae. He then discusses the dating of the threshold sherd from Atreus. He tells Stubbings about an upcoming lecture he is giving on Mycenae and asks for his help in procuring slides. He lists the slides that he wants to show.

Dates: 1948-05-20

Letter from AJBW to George Mylonas re Mylonas's work at Mycenae, 1955-02-08

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/14/21
Scope and Contents

AJBW writes that he is glad Mylonas agrees with his interpretation of the MH fortified citadel at Mycenae. He responds to Mylonas's accusation of exclusion, saying that he has referred to Papademetriou only because he is the official head of the excavation. Wace says that he has sent two offprints to Mylonas and hopes to see him soon in Princeton.

Dates: 1955-02-08

Letter from AJBW to his daughter Lisa re comments on Lisa's work and chronology at Troy , 1956-05-09

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/21/5
Scope and Contents

AJBW writes with suggestions for one of Lisa's papers. He says that he will write to Emmett Bennett once Lisa has sent in her paper. He then discusses the chronology of Troy VI at length, questioning Blegen's pottery sequence. He asks Lisa for her opinion on distinguishing LH IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC pottery, and ends with an attempt to equate the settlement stages at Troy with the mainland pottery sequence. Helen Wace adds a sentence at the end.

Dates: 1956-05-09

Letter from AJBW to his daughter Lisa re his visit to Volos, 1956-10-08

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/21/7
Scope and Contents

AJBW writes to Lisa about his trip to Thessaly. He describes his visits to Tarsanas/Pefkakia and Iolkos, detailing the archaeological finds and the pottery at the latter. He then describes his visit to Lianokladi and the Almiro museum, including the details of three figurines from the museum. The letter begins and ends with more general news.

Dates: 1956-10-08

Letter from AJBW to Walter Leaf re corrections to Leaf's article on prehistoric Corinth

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/22/5
Scope and Contents

AJBW writes with corrections to Leaf's article about Corinth in the Classical Review. Leaf has incorrectly attributed the excavations at Corinth to Wace, rather than the American School, Blegen, and Miss Walker. AJBW then corrects Leaf's impressions about the Mycenaean evidence at Corinth.


Letter from AJBW to Walter Leaf re the American excavations at Corinth, 1922-08-16

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/22/7
Scope and Contents

AJBW writes that Blegen and Miss Walker are satisfied with Leaf's explanation about his article, so he will take the matter no further. He encloses an article by Blegen about the Corinth excavations. He emphasises that Corinth was well-inhabited in Mycenaean times.

Dates: 1922-08-16

Mycenae Excavation and Publication Archive

Reference Code: GBR/3437/MCNE
Scope and Contents The Mycenae Excavation and Publication archive comprises records created in connection with the British School at Athens (BSA) and British-Helleno excavations at the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site of Mycenae, Greece. Dig and study seasons took place in the following years:1920-1923 – BSA excavations directed by A. J. B. Wace1939 – BSA excavations directed by A. J. B. Wace1950 – 1955 BSA excavations directed by A. J. B. Wace1956-1957 – Study seasons...
Dates: 1915-2013

Mycenae Excavation1952, 1952

Reference Code: GBR/3437/WDTR/3/1/1
Scope and Contents From the Fonds: The Papers of Lord William Desmond Taylour (1904 - 1989) hold a considerable amount of photographic material - predominantly positive 35mm colour transparencies (slides) - taken during his many travels home and abroad throughout his life. The images feature not just archaeological topics but also a sweeping range of themes and locations, often with a contemporary anthropological perspective. Administrative records date mainly to Taylour's tenure as Director of the British Mycenae...
Dates: 1952

Postcard from AJBW to his daughter Lisa re his visit to Volos , 1956-10-05

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/21/6
Scope and Contents

AJBW sends Lisa a postcard from Volos, with two sites labelled on the front. The first is the village of Dimini; the second is the site where the Argo was built, a prehistoric site with pottery from the Neolithic through to the Late Helladic periods. AJBW updates Lisa on their time in Volos so far, and says that he has been mentioned in the morning's newspaper. Helen Wace adds a sentence at the end.

Dates: 1956-10-05

Wace: the papers of Alan J. B. Wace

Reference Code: GBR/1058/WAC
Scope and Contents

The papers consist of 9 small field notebooks belonging to Wace dating from the early 1900s, papers relating to his academic career, and copies of some of his publications, principally offprints from journals.

Dates: Majority of material found within 1903 - 1952

Wace: The Papers of Alan John Bayard Wace (1879-1957), archaeologist

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW
Scope and Contents These papers pertain to the work of archaeologist Professor Alan J. B. Wace which was undertaken by him in professional contexts other than Mycenae, Greece. This collection comprises archaeological notebooks dating in their majority prior to Wace's commencement of excavations at Mycenae in 1920, albums of photographs and photographic negatives of Mediterranean travels, maps of Greece, newspaper clippings pertainly to archaeological discoveries, correspondence on archaeological topics and the...
Dates: 1880-1973