HOCART, Arthur Maurice. Etterbeek, Belgium 26.4.1883 — Cairo 9.3.1939 (when 55). British scholar of Sri Lankan Archaeology and Ethnology. Son of a Pritestan missionary in Belgium, educated in Guernsey, where the family originated. Graduated from Oxford in classics, studied philosophy and psychology in Berlin. In 1908–09 participated in W. H. R. Rivers’ ethnological expedition to the Solomon Islands, in 1912–14 Graduate Research Scholar of Exeter College and Jesus College for Pacific Studies in Oxford. In 1915 Reader in Mental Philosophy at Oxford. During the war served as captain in France. Archaeological Commissioner of Ceylon from 1921, retired 1929. In 1931-34 Honorary Lecturer in Ethnology at London University College, from 1934 Professor of Sociology at Cairo. In Egypt suffered of poor health and died of an infection.
In Ceylon AH developed the connection between cultural anthropology and archaeology, founded and edited the Ceylon Journal of Science, and started the publication of the Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. As archaeologist he was much interested in architecture and concentrated on the urgent task of the conservation of ancient monument.
Publications: early writings on Pacific anthropology.
– articles in JRAS-CB, e.g. “Tantrimalai”, 29:76, 1923, 112-124.
– The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. 8+42 p. 47 ill. on pl. A.S.C. Mem. 4. L. 1931.
– “The Basis of Caste”, AO 14, 1936, 203-223.
– Caste. A comparative study. 156 p. L. 1950.
– wrote on Buddhism, also much on general anthropology.
Sources: Godakumbura 1969, 23f.; *Ceylon Journal of Science 34, 1938, 264-268; Wikipedia.