Giovanni d'Athanasi (Biographical details)

Giovanni d'Athanasi (archaeologist; collector; Greek; Male; 1798 - 1854)

Also known as

Athanasi, Giovanni d'; d'Athanasi, Giovanni; Athanasiou, Ioannes; Yanni


Born in Lemnos, he joined his father, a merchant, in Cairo where he had settled in 1809 and, while still a boy, entered the service of Colonel Ernest Missett, British Consul-General, in 1813 and, by 1815, had entered the service of Henry Salt.

He excavated on Salt's behalf at Thebes, 1817-27. and subsequently for Salt's successor John Barker and on his own behalf. He was well known to travellers in Egypt and is often mentioned in both correspondence and journals. His large collection of antiquities was sold in London at Sotheby's, 5th March 1836 and 13th - 20th March 1837. Some pieces were engraved by Visconti. The residue of his collection was sold at Sotheby's in London on 17th July 1845.

He finally settled, during the winter of 1849-50, in London and attempted to establish himself as a picture-dealer. His speculations failed and, after receiving assistance notably from both Wilkinson and Robert Hay, he died in a London boarding house.


See Dawson and Uphill (Ed. Bierbrier), 'Who Was Who is Egyptology', Third Revised Edition, EES, London, 1995.