was a British
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
archaeologist of the ancient Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...
, especially Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...
and the southern Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...
John Garstang was born to Dr. Walter Garstang of Blackburn
and was the younger brother of Walter Garstang
Walter Garstang , a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, was a marine biologist and zoologist who was one of the first to study the functional biology of marine invertebrate larvae...
, a marine biologist and zoologist. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth's, Blackburn; and Jesus College, Oxford
Jesus College is one of the colleges of the University of Oxford in England. It is in the centre of the city, on a site between Turl Street, Ship Street, Cornmarket Street and Market Street...
. Following undergraduate studies in mathematics at Oxford, his attentions turned to archaeology.
From 1897 to 1908 he conducted excavations at Roman sites in Britain, Egypt, Nubia
Nubia is a region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt.There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, the last of which collapsed in 1504, when Nubia became divided between Egypt and the Sennar sultanate resulting in the Arabization...
, Asia Minor and North Syria; in the Sudan and Meroe
Meroë Meroitic: Medewi or Bedewi; Arabic: and Meruwi) is an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, approximately 200 km north-east of Khartoum. Near the site are a group of villages called Bagrawiyah...
between 1909 and 1914, then in Palestine at Ashkelon (1920–1921) and in Trans-Jordan at Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...
(Tell es-Sultan) in 1930–1936.
He was professor of archaeology at the University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool is a teaching and research university in the city of Liverpool, England. It is a member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities and the N8 Group for research collaboration. Founded in 1881 , it is also one of the six original "red brick" civic...
from 1907 to 1941.
He served as the Director of the Department of Antiquities in the British Mandate of Palestine between 1920 and 1926, as well as filling the position of Head of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem
The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem was established in 1919. The London-based Palestine Exploration Fund was instrumental in its foundation. The first Director was British archaeologist John Garstang, and among its earliest students was architect-archaeologist George Horsfield, later...
(1919–1926). He taught at the Egyptology section of the Faculty of Arts when this was established in the 1920s. One of his students was Dr Pahor Labib
Pahor Labib wasDirector of the Coptic Museum, Cairo, Egypt, from 1951 to 1965 and one of the world leaders in Egyptology and Coptology....
, late Director of the Coptic Museum, Cairo.
Later, in 1947, Garstang founded the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, acting as its first director (he was succeeded by Seton Lloyd
Seton Howard Frederick Lloyd, CBE , was an English archaeologist. He was President of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, Director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara , Professor of Western Asiatic Archaeology in the Institute of Archaeology, University of London...
The methods and publication of his excavations are very selective. Many finds were not published; maps and plans are often much too small and important details are missing. Modern researchers have criticised him for this lack of care.
- Albright, William Foxwell. "John Garstang in Memoriam", Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 144. (Dec., 1956), pp. 7–8.
- Garstang, John. "El Arabah: A Cemetery of the Middle Kingdom...", London, Bernard Quaritch, 1901.
- Garstang, John. "Mahasna and Bet Khallaf", London, Bernard Quaritch, 1902.
- Newberry, Percy E., Garstang, John. "A Short History of Ancient Egypt", London, Archibald Constable & Co. 1904.
- Garstang, John. "The Burial Customs of Ancient Egypt as illustrated by the Tombs of the Middle Kingdom..." London, John Constable, 1907.
- Garstang, John. "The Land of the Hittites..." London, Constable and Company, Ltd., 1910.
- Garstang, John. "The Hittite Empire..." London, Constable and Company, Ltd., 1929.
- Garstang, John. "The Foundations of Bible History. Joshua: Judges" London, Constable & Co., 1931.
- Garstang, John. "The Heritage of Solomon, Williams and Nortgate, 1934.
- Garstang, John and Garstang, J.B.E. "The Story of Jericho", Hodder & Stoughton, 1940.