AYRTON, Edward Russell. Wuhu, China 17.12.1882 — Tissamaharama 18.5.1914. British Archaeologist in Sri Lanka. Son of William Scrope A., of China Consular Service, and Louisa McClatchie. Educated at St.Paul’s School in London. Archaeological training in Europe and Egypt (as Flinders Petrie’s Assistant 1902-04 at Abydos). In 1905-08 excavated in the Valley of the Kings. He came to Ceylon in March 1912 as Assistant to Archaeological Commissioner, H. C. P. Bell, in September became acting Arch. Commissioner and on 8th December Bell’s successor. He started exploration in the South of the island, but died (drowned while on a shooting expedition) after less than two years in office and was thus not capable of realising his plans. Unmarried.
Publications: A few early publications on Egyptian archaeology.
– with H. C. P. Bell: archaeological report for 1912 in JRAS-CB 23:66, 1913, 20-25; alone report for 1913, ibid. 23:67, 1914, 119-122.
– “Note on the “Mahawansa””, JRAS-CB 23:66, 1913, Notes and Queries viii-x, and a couple of further brief notes; “The Date of Buddhadasa of Ceylon from a Chinese Source”, JRAS 1911, 1142-1144.
– “Antiquities of the Southern Province”, CALR 6:1, 1920, 39-46; 6:3, 1921, 151-153; 7:1, 1921, 38-41 (field diary, edited by J.M. Senaveratne).
Sources: Godakumbura 1969, 22f.; brief note in JRAS-CB 24:68, 1915-16; Dawson & Uphill, Who Was Who in Egyptology. 2nd rev. ed. 1972; *H.R. Hall, JEgArch 2, 1915, 20-23; Wikipedia (with photo).
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