Kenyon Institute

The Kenyon Institute, previously known as the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (BSAJ), is a British research institute in Jerusalem. No longer solely focused on archaeology, the Institute instead serves as "the home of British research and intellectual life in Israel/Palestine" in the fields of humanities, social sciences and "all the academic disciplines supported by the British Academy."[1] It is part of the Council for British Research in the Levant.


The institute was established in 1919 as the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (BSAJ). The London-based Palestine Exploration Fund was instrumental in its foundation.

The first Director was British archaeologist John Garstang, and among its earliest students was architect-archaeologist George Horsfield, later Chief Inspector of Antiquities in British Mandate Transjordan. An excavation at Tughbah Caves by BSAJ student Francis Turville-Petre in 1925 yielded an important prehistoric find, the Galilee skull.[2] Under Garstang's directorship, the BSAJ began excavations on Mount Ophel, Jerusalem, with the Palestine Exploration Fund.

Garstang resigned his post as Director of the BSAJ in 1926 and British archaeologist John Winter Crowfoot, who had trained at the British School at Athens, became the School's second Director. With his wife, Molly Crowfoot, a noted expert in textiles, crafts and botany, John Crowfoot conducted excavations at Mount Ophel, Jerusalem (1927–1929), Jerash (1928–1930) and Samaria (1930–1935).[3] Dorothy Garrod, who excavated at Mount Carmel as a BSAJ student in 1929 along with Mary Kitson-Clark and Elinor Ewbank, produced evidence of the Natufian culture.[4]

The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem had close ties to the American Schools of Oriental Research, led by archaeologist William Foxwell Albright, and the French École Biblique, through the Reverend Fathers Luis-Hughes Vincent, Antoine Raphael Savignac and Félix-Marie Abel.[5][6]

In 1998 the BSAJ merged with the British Institute at Amman for Archaeology and History to form the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) and in 2001 was renamed the Kenyon Institute, after Kathleen Kenyon, to reflect the wider range of disciplines supported by the institute as part of the CBRL.[7]

Notable people



See also

Further reading

  • Gibson, S (1999). "British Archaeological Institutions in Mandatory Palestine, 1917-1948". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 131: 115–143. doi:10.1179/peq.1999.131.2.115.
  • Thornton, A. 2009. "Archaeological Training in Mandate Palestine: The BSAJ Minute Books at the PEF," available at:
  • Thornton, A (2012). "Archaeologists-in-Training: Students of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, 1920-1936". Journal of Open Archaeology Data. 1: e1. doi:10.5334/4f293686e4d62.
  • British Academy (2018). "The origins of a British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem". British Academy Review. 33.
  • Yucel, I. "The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem in the wake of the WWI." History Studies, 9/2, 2017.


  1. "About Us". Kenyon Institute. Council for British Research in the Levant. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  2. Bar-Yosef, O.; Callander, J. A (1997). "Forgotten Archaeologist: The Life of Francis Turville-Petre". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 129 (1): 2–18. doi:10.1179/peq.1997.129.1.2.
  3. Crowfoot, E. 1990. Crowfoot, John Winter, in E. Meyers (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (Vol 2), 72-73; Crowfoot, E. 1997. Grace Mary Crowfoot 1877-1957. Breaking Ground: Women in Old World Archaeology. [Online], available at Brown University.
  4. Smith, P. 2001. Pioneers in Palestine: The Women Excavators of el-Wad Cave, in Whitehouse, R. Women in Archaeology and Antiquity. London: University College London
  5. Viviano, B. T. (1991). "Profiles of Archaeological Institutes: Ėcole Biblique et Archaeologique Française de Jerusalem". Biblical Archaeologist. 54 (3): 160–167. doi:10.2307/3210264. JSTOR 3210264.
  6. King, P. J. (1984). "ASOR at 85". Biblical Archaeologist. 47 (4): 197–205. doi:10.2307/3209902. JSTOR 3209902.
  7. "". Retrieved 2015-06-14. External link in |title= (help)
  8. "John Winter Crowfoot, 1873-1959". Profiles. The Palestine Exploration Fund. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  9. "Lt. Col. Philip Langstaffe Ord Guy, 1885-1952". Profiles. The Palestine Exploration Fund. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  10. "Crystal-M Bennett". Women in Old World Archaeology. Brown University. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  11. "Staff at the Kenyon Institute". Kenyon Institute. Council for British Research in the Levant. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
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