The Egypt Exploration Society, and many friends and colleagues around the world, mourn the death of George Arthur John Hart who suddenly and sadly passed away on Monday 15th February 2021. George had been a passionate and devoted member of the Society since 1970 and for many years served on its Board of Trustees.

His lifelong passion for visiting Egypt began with his first trip in 1971 and his degrees in Classics and Egyptology from University College London. George was a regular guest speaker on tours and cruises, both in Egypt and the wider Mediterranean area, and many members will have travelled with him and benefitted from his expert knowledge and good companionship. Back home, his more than 30-year-long career in the Education Department of the British Museum (1973-2004) led to encounters with students and interested audiences through educational courses and lectures focusing on Egypt and the Bronze-Age civilisations of the Mediterranean. It was also while at the British Museum that George became a familiar name as a prolific author of books including ‘A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses’ (1986), ‘Egyptian Myths’ (1990), ‘Pharaohs and Pyramids: A Guide Through Old Kingdom Egypt’ (1991), and his latest two volume book, ‘The Pharaohs’ for the Folio Society (2010).  

George served as a committee member of the Sudan Archaeological Research Society and was a founding member of the Friends of the Petrie Museum in 1988, serving as their first Chairman from 1988 to 2000. In 1991 George continued to pioneer access to and engagement with Egyptology by becoming a founding member of the Editorial Board of our own Egyptian Archaeology magazine. He continued to serve on the Editorial Board until 2014 and continued writing or editing most of the book reviews published there until more recent issues. From 2009 George brought his educational skills to the Society by initiating our evening Egyptian language classes which continue even today – though currently held online.

George, at the front on the right, during a meeting of the Board of Trustees in 2014.

As a valued Trustee, George was always a supportive and caring advisor to staff of the Society, and a regular attendee at Society events and receptions. He will be missed greatly and remembered very fondly by all that knew him.

A personal reflection from former EES Director, Dr Chris Naunton is available to read here: https://chrisnaunton.com/2021/02/17/george-hart-in-fond-memory/