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Max Mallowan (1904-78)
Mallowan was born in 1904. After gaining his BA in Classics at Oxford, he joined Leonard Woolley as general field assistant at Ur from 1925 to 1930. Here he met his first wife, the mystery writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976). In 1931 he joined R. Campbell-Thompson's excavations at Nineveh. Mallowan's supervision of a deep excavation here provided the foundations for understanding the prehistory of north Mesopotamia. In 1932 he conducted his first independent dig at a Halaf period site, Arpachiyah. Mallowan also directed excavations at Chagar Bazar (1934-36) and Tell Brak (1937-39) in the Khabur basin.
During the Second World War Mallowan worked in Air Force intelligence. He was Professor of Western Asiatic Archaeology in London University from 1947 to 1961, and directed excavations at Nimrud from 1949 to 1958. Mallowan then took up a research fellowship at Oxford (1962-71) and was knighted in 1968. He married a fellow archaeologist, Barbara Parker in 1977, and died in 1978.