On 12th November Margaret S. Drower MBE died, just one month short of her 101st birthday. She studied Egyptology at UCL (diploma and BA) between 1932 and 1935 with Sir Flinders Petrie, the founder of Egyptian archaeology, and Margaret Murray (whose autobiography was entitled My First Hundred Years). She was appointed Assistant Lecturer in the History Department in 1937 by Professor Norman Baynes, who asked her to develop a course on the history of the pre-hellenistic Near East. This established the subject, unique to UCL, as an essential part of historical study; the success of this is shown by the subsequent appointments of Professor Amélie Kuhrt (1979-2009), Professor Karen Radner (2005-) and Dr. Eleanor Robson (2013-). Peggy (as she was known) was Reader in the Department until her retirement in 1979. She then published the still definitive biography of Petrie (1985), combining work on it with presidency of the Egypt Exploration Society. In 1986 she became a Fellow of UCL and was appointed a Visiting Professor in the Institute of Archaeology in 1997, whose students (including its former director, Professor Peter Ucko), she had taught for many years. In 2004 (aged 93), she published a selection of the correspondence between Hilda and Flinders Petrie, Letters from the Desert: the correspondence of Flinders and Hilda Petrie (Oxford: Aris & Phillips). Her family expect to organise a Memorial Ceremony around the end of February 2013.
There will be a private funeral on Tuesday, 21st November, at St. Marylebone Crematorium. No flowers, please. Any donations to go either to The Petrie Museum, UCL or The Egypt Exploration Society.