Miss Beatrice de Cardi (Biographical details)

Miss Beatrice de Cardi (archaeologist; British; Female; 5th June 1914)

Also known as

de Cardi, Beatrice


Archaeologist specialising in Pakistan, south-east Iran and south-east Arabia; born in London where she was educated at St Paul's Girls' School and studied Latin, History, Economic History and Economics at University College in the University of London (1933-35). In 1936 she was appointed an assistant in the London Museum, where she helped move the contents into safe storage at the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1944 she joined the Allied Supplies Executive of the War Cabinet in China, where as personal assistant to the Representative, she was based in the then-capital of Chungking, but travelled extensively in India and western China. After the War ended she became Britain's Assistant Trade Commissioner in Karachi (1946), during which time and inspired by Stuart Piggott she began surveying western Baluchistan in search of sites dating to the third millennium BC. Local tribal unrest prompted her to continue this research in south-east Iran, where she directed excavations at Bampur, the results of which provided an important early archaeological sequence for this region. During the late 1960s, inspired by the discovery of south-east Iranian pottery in south-east Arabia, de Cardi extended her surveys into Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah where she was accompanied by Brian Doe (q.v.), and the Omani Musandam peninsula, where she discovered a number of important sites. Her fieldwork was characterised by prompt publication.

Beatrice de Cardi co-founded with Mortimer Wheeler (q.v.) and Michael Rice the Committee of Arabian and Gulf Studies (later Society for Arabian Studies, of which she was made President). She was awarded an O.B.E. in 1974 "for services to British archaeology", awarded the Sir Richard Burton Memorial Medal by the Royal Asiatic Society in 1993, and the al-Qasimi Medal for archaeological services to Ras al-Khaimah, and made an Honorary Fellow of University College in 1995.


Foreword in: C.S. Phillips, D.T. Potts, and S. Searight, eds, 'Arabia and its Neighbours: Essays on prehistorical [sic] and historical developments presented in honour of Beatrice de Cardi', Turnhout (Belgium): Brepols (Abiel II), 1998; Soren Blau, "Out of anonymity - A central location for 'peripheral' places through people: the contributions made by Karen Frifelt and Beatrice de Cardi to an understanding of the archaeology of the United Arab Emirates", 'Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy' 15/1 (May 2004), pp. 11-19; interview in: 'Current World Archaeology' 10 (April/May 2005), pp. 47-54.