John Myres


Sir John Linton Myres Kt OBE FBA FRAI (3 July 1869 in Preston – 6 March 1954 in Oxford) was a British archaeologist and academic, who conducted excavations in Cyprus in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[1]


He was the son of the Rev. William Miles Myres and his wife, Jane Linton, and was educated at Winchester College. He graduated B.A. at New College, Oxford in 1892.[2] At the same year he was a Craven Fellow at the British School at Athens with which he excavated at the Minoan sanctuary of Petsofas.[3] Myres became the first Wykeham Professor of Ancient History, at the University of Oxford, in 1910, having been Gladstone Professor of Greek and Lecturer in Ancient Geography, University of Liverpool from 1907.[4] He contributed to the British Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series that was published during the Second World War, and to the noted 11th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1910–1911).

Myers was also a member of the Folklore Society and served as its President between 1924 and 1926.[5] Later he became president of the Royal Anthropological Institute between 1928 and 1931.[6] And finally president of the Hellenic Society between 1938-1938.[7] Additionally, he was the founder of the journal Man and its first editor from 1901-1903.[7] His work in Cyprus spanned several decades, with the German archaeologist Max Ohnefalsch-Richter he published the first catalogue of the Cyprus Museum. In 1894 he participated in the excavations of the British Museum at Amathus, he also excavated for the British School at Athens, with the support of the Cyprus Exploration Fund, various sites such as the Bronze Age site of Ayia Paraskevi, Kalopsida, Laxia tou Riou and Kition. Myres gave his share of the finds to the University of Oxford where it forms the core of the Cypriot collection of the Ashmolean Museum .[8] Additionally, he conducted excavations at Lapithos in 1913 with Leonard Halford Dudley Buxton. Furthermore in 1914 he published a handbook of the Cesnola collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was an advisor during the drafting of the 1935 Antiquities Law and the setting up of the Department of Antiquities.[8]

According to Robert Ranulph Marett,[9]

Professor Myres, whilst he teaches Greek language and literature as the modern man would have them taught, and is a learned archaeologist to boot, yet can have no greater title to our respect than that, of many devoted helpers, he did the most to organize an effective school of Anthropology in the University of Oxford.

He was a major influence on the British-Australian archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe.[10]

At Oxford Myres worked for the Director of Naval Intelligence.[11]


  • Excavations in Cyprus in 1894 (1897)
  • Copper and Bronze in Cyprus and South-East Europe (1898)
  • A catalogue of the Cyprus museum, with a chronicle of excavations undertaken since the British occupation, and introductory notes on Cypriote archaeology (1899)
  • Notes on the History of the Kabyle Pottery (1902)
  • Sarcophagus from Amathus, Sarcophagus from Golgi (1909-1911)
  • The value of ancient history (1910)
  • The Dawn of History (New York/London: Holt/Williams and Norgate, 1911)
  • Herodotus : Outline Analysis of Books I-Vl (Oxford: Hart [printer], 1912).
  • Handbook of the Cesnola collection of antiquities from Cyprus (1914)
  • Notes on the ‘Prison of Saint Catharine’ at Salamis in Cyprus (1915)
  • The influence of anthropology on the course of political science (1916)
  • The Political Ideas of the Greeks (1927)
  • Who were the Greeks? (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1930), Sather Lectures ISSN 0080-6684
  • The Early Pot-Fabrics of Asia Minor (1930)
  • The Cretan Labyrinth: A Retrospect of Aegean Research (1933)
  • The Amathus Bowl: A Long-Lost Masterpiece of Oriental Engraving (1933)
  • A Modern 'Kernos' Vessel from Tiflis (1937)
  • A 'Kernos,' or Ring-Vase, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts (1939)
  • Excavations in Cyprus, 1913 (1940-1945)
  • Concentric Circle Ornament on Vessels of Wood from the Taurus (1952)
  • Herodotus, Father of History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953)


  1. ^ "MYRES, John Linton". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 1285.
  2. ^ Boardman, John. "Myres, Sir John Linton". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35180. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Dunbabin, T. J. (1954). "Obituary Sir John Myres: 1869-1954". The Annual of the British School at Athens. 49: 311–312. doi:10.1017/S0068245400012818. ISSN 0068-2454. JSTOR 30097000.
  4. ^ "MYRES, John Linton". The International Who's Who in the World. 1912. p. 801.
  5. ^ "Minutes of Meetings". Folklore. 35 (1): 1–7. March 1924. doi:10.1080/0015587X.1924.9719982. ISSN 0015-587X.
  6. ^ Braunholtz, H. J.; Firth, Raymond (1939). "88. J. L. Myres: Past President of the Royal Anthropological Institute; Editor of 'Man.'". Man. 39: 97–98. doi:10.2307/2791529. ISSN 0025-1496. JSTOR 2791529.
  7. ^ a b G., D. H. (1954). "J. L. Myres". The Journal of Hellenic Studies. 74: 181–182. doi:10.1017/S0075426900079283. ISSN 0075-4269. JSTOR 627568.
  8. ^ a b Brown, Ann (1986). "'I Propose to Begin at Gnossos': John Myres's Visit to Crete in 1893". The Annual of the British School at Athens. 81: 37–44. ISSN 0068-2454.
  9. ^ Evans, Arthur; Lang, Andrew; Murray, Gilbert; Jevons, Frank Byron; Myres, John Linton; Fowler, William Warde (1908). "Preface by R. R. Marett". In Marett, R. R. (ed.). Anthropology and the Classics: Six lectures delivered before the University of Oxford. Clarendon Press.
  10. ^ "Vere Gordon Childe |". Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  11. ^ "War Service of Students of the School, 1939-1945". The Annual of the British School at Athens. 42: ix–xv. 1947.

External links

  • Wikisource logo Works written by or about John Myres at Wikisource
  • Works by John Myres at Project Gutenberg
  • Article on Myers at the Pitt Rivers Museum