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Max Mallowan
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    (May 6, 1904-August 19, 1978)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Assistant to Leonard Woolley at Ur (1925-30)
    Directed excavations at Arpachiyah, Iraq (1933), Tell Brak, Syria (1937-39), and Nimrud (aka Calah), Iraq (1949-58)
    Director of the British School of Archeology in Baghdad (1947-61)
    Knighted for services to archeology (1968)
    Second husband of Agatha Christie (1930-76)
    Press coverage of his excavations (especially the earliest ones) focused more on the novelty of the world’s most famous detective author accompanying him to the dig than on his discoveries.
    He conducted a decades-long affair with Barbara Parker, a fellow archaeologist who he married a year after Christie’s death.
    He allegedly inspired Christie to declare, ‘An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.’ Not only did she deny saying it, she said she did not find the remark ‘particularly complimentary or amusing.’
    During his first year at Ur, in addition to working at the excavation from sunrise to sunset, he learned Arabic in order to communicate with the native workers, kept the pay books, served as an untrained medical assistant, and supervised the addition of a wing to the expedition house (which became the home of Woolley’s future wife).
    He was sent to North Africa by military intelligence during World War II.
    Christie wrote, ‘I am a lowbrow and he is a highbrow, yet we complement each other, I think, and have both helped each other.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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