D B Doe, MBE (Biographical details)

D B Doe, MBE (archaeologist; official; British; Male; 5 May 2005)

Also known as

Doe, Donald Brian


Brian Doe served with the Royal Engineers in the Western Desert, Sicily, Italy and India during the Second World War, and later traced his interest in antiquities to a visit to the Roman city of Sabratha in Libya during that period. In 1951 he was appointed as Chief Government Architect to Aden, and was later made Director of the newly created Department of Antiquities in Aden, where he founded a local Society of Art and Archaeology and designed a museum, for which the foundation stone was laid in 1966 by the archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler (q.v.). In March-June 1967 he went to Suqutra as the archaeologist sponsored by the British Academy for the Forces and Civilian Scientific Expedition to the island; he later joined a survey by Beatrice de Cardi (q.v.) in Ras al-Khaimah and from March-May 1968 joined the Middle Eastern Forces and Civilian Expedition to Marzuq in Southern Libya for a survey of sites in that area. In 1968 he resumed studies at Cambridge before continuing fieldwork as a member of the British Expedition to Oman from 1974-75 and 1975-76 for a survey of archaeological sites in the area of Jabal al-Akhdar and the Sharqiyah in Northern Oman. Following a request from the Omani government, he carried out a survey of the military architecture in the country during 1979.

Doe was awarded an MBE; elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects [FRIBA] (1963) and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (q.v.) in 1968. He wrote a number of articles on the antiquities and pottery of the Aden region, as well as two books on the archaeology of Southern Arabia. He periodically corresponded with the Museum (e.g. in 1964, on various South Arabian inscriptions, including one found by Major van Lessen (q.v.), and another offered for sale by A. Nazar (q.v.) and due to be published by M.A. Ghul (q.v.); 1965; March 1966, on a statue; July 1967, on acquisitions, academic references and the political situation in Aden; 1969, on the formation of the Arabia Society). In 1985 he presented a large collection of South Arabian antiquities to The British Museum together with Stephen Day (q.v.). His first wife was Ann Walker. He retired to live at Beeley Old Hall, Beeley, Near Matlock, Derbyshire and died aged 84 on 5 May 2005.

Author of: "Notes on the Pottery Found in the Vicinity of Aden", 'Government of Aden, Antiquities Report' [Aden] 1960/61, pp. 3-20; "The Site of Am Adiya near Mukeiras on the Audhali Plateau, South West Arabia", 'Antiquities Report Bulletin' [Aden] 2. pp. 1-12, May 1963; "Pottery Sites near Aden", 'Aden Antiquities Bulletin' 5, pp. 29-55, March 1965; 'Socotra: an Archaeological Reconnaissance in 1967', Coral Gables, Florida, 1970; 'Southern Arabia' (London: Thames & Hudson, 1971); 'Monuments of Southern Arabia' (Naples/New York: Falcon-Oleander).


John Shipman, 'Brian Doe', obituary note in 'Bulletin of the Society for Arabian Studies' 10 (2005), p.37 [incorrect date of birth].