- Also known as
primary name: Gowland, William
- individual; collector; scientist/engineer; British; Male
- Life dates
- 16 December 1842-10 June 1922
- Chemist and metallurgist; born Sunderland. Initially worked as a doctor at Sheffield. Enrolled at the Royal College of Chemistry in 1868, then Associate at the Royal School of Mining and Metallurgy. 1870-1872, worked as a chemist and metallurgist at the Broughton Copper Company in Manchester. On 8 October 1872, was recruited as a technical advisor to the Japanese Ministry of Finance at the Imperial Japanese Mint in Osaka. For the first six years, held the post of chemistry and metallurgy, and for the following eleven, promoted to assayer, metallurgist and chief of foreign staff. On 16 February 1884, was bestowed the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun for contributing to the establishment of the Osaka Imperial Arsenal; in the same year, visited Korea for the Japanese Government. Investigated more than 406 mounded tombs of the Kofun period (3rd-7th centuries AD), of which over 130 in detail, such as the Shibayama kofun, which he excavated on 29-30 December 1887. A keen mountaineer, he coined the term ‘Japanese Alps’. Left Japan on 31 October 1888.
On 7 March 1895, elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. In 1900, involved with the archaeologically influential report of St. John Hope’s (Society of Antiquaries) excavation of Silchester. In 1901, charged with raising one of the leaning sarsens at Stonehenge. 1902-1909 taught Metallurgy at Imperial College London, becoming their first Professor Emeritus of Metallurgy in 1907. 1902-1906 and from 1908, Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries; 1905-1907 Chairman of the Royal Anthropological Institute; 1907-1908 President of the Institute of Mining.
The collection formed through his archaeological engagement in Japan and Korea was acquired for the British Museum on 15 April 1889 by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks (q.v.).
Publications by William Gowland include:
Gowland, William. 1894. ‘A Japanese pseudo-Speise (Shiromé), and its Relations to the Purity of Japanese Copper and the Presence of Arsenic in Japanese Bronze.’ Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry 13, pp. 463-470.
Gowland, W. 1894. ‘On the Art of Casting Bronze in Japan.’ Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, pp. 609-651.
Gowland, W. 1895. ‘Notes on the Dolmens and other Antiquities of Korea’. Journal of the Anthropological Institute Vol. 24, pp. 316-330.
Gowland, W. 1896. ‘Japanese Metallurgy, part 1 - Gold and Silver and their Alloys.’ Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry 15, pp. 404-413.
Gowland, W. 1897. ‘The dolmens and burial mounds in Japan’. Archaeologica 55, pp. 439-524.
Gowland, W. 1899. ‘The dolmens of Japan and their builders.’ Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society 4, pp.128-183.
Gowland, W. 1899. ‘The early metallurgy of copper, tin, and iron in Europe, as illustrated by ancient remains, and the primitive processes surviving in Japan.’ Archaeologica 56, pp. 267-322.
Gowland, W. 1900. ‘Vi.-Remains of Roman silver refinery at Silchester.’ Archaeologia 57, pp. 113-124.
Gowland, W. 1902. ‘Recent excavations at Stonehenge.’ Archaeologica 58, pp. 106-118.
Gowland, W. 1907. ‘The burial mounds and dolmens of the early emperors of Japan’. Journal of the Anthropological Institute Vol. 37, pp. 10-46.
Gowland, W. 1910. The art of working metals in Japan. Journal of the Institute of Metals 2, pp. 4-41.
Gowland, W. 1912. ‘The metals in antiquity.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 42, pp. 235-287.
Gowland, W. 1914. The Metallurgy of the Non-Ferrous Metals. London: J. B. Lippincott & Company.
Gowland, W. 1915. ‘Metals and metal-working in old Japan.’ Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society of London 13, pp. 19-100.
- Harris, Victor and Kazuo Goto. 2003. William Gowland: the father of Japanese archaeology. London: British Museum.
Kaner, Simon. 2007. ‘William Gowland (1842-1922), Pioneer of Japanese Archaeology.’ In: Britain and Japan Biographical Portraits 6, Hugh Cortazzi (ed.), (The Japan Society). Folkestone: Global Oriental Ltd, pp. 271-280.
Read, C. Hercules. 1922. ‘Obituary. 78. William Gowland, F.R.S., F.S.A., Born 1842, Died June 10th, 1922.’ Man 22, pp. 137-138.
Royal Society. 1923. ‘Obituary Notices of Fellows Deceased’. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A, Containing Papers of a Mathematical and Physical Character 102 (719), pp. i–xxxv.