Woolley, Sir Charles Leonard, 1880–1960, English archaeologist. His early work included excavations at Carchemish (1912–14) and the Egyptian site of Tell el Amarna (1921–22). He was then chosen to direct the joint British Museum and Univ. of Pennsylvania expedition at Ur in Mesopotamia (1922–34), where his findings did much to further the study of the Sumerian civilization in the 3d millennium B.C. Woolley oversaw the excavation of the prehistoric cemetery at Ur, which included 16 royal tombs with treasures of gold and lapis lazuli and evidence of large-scale human sacrifice. Later excavations led by him were those of the Syrian sites of Al-Mina (1936) and Tell Atchana (1937–39 and 1946–49). His writings include The Sumerians (1928), Digging Up the Past (1930), Ur of the Chaldees (1938, rev. ed. 1952), A Forgotten Kingdom (1953, rev. ed. 1959), and Excavations at Ur (1954).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.