John de Monins Johnson (1882-1956) was educated at Magdalen Colege School and Exeter College, Oxford. He was trained as a papyrologist and before his work at Antinoë he had excavated at Atfî. Most of Johnson's career was connected with Oxford University Press where he became Printer to the University in 1925. His excavations at Antinoë have never been published.
Although there are earlier pharaonic monuments in the area, especially a temple of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC), the city of Antinoë was founded in AD 130 by Emperor Hadrian in memory of the death by drowning of his lover Antinous. The settlers, of Greek descent, were given special privileges in order to encourage the growth of the city.
The aim of the excavation was to look for papyri and the work concentrated on a number of mounds within the city walls. Many objects of daily life, such as shoes, sandals, baskets and textiles, were also found during the excavation.
The John de Monins Johnson material in the Archive of the Griffith Institute consists of 313 black-and-white glass negatives, without any supporting written records and with no descriptions of the photographed objects.
(April 24, 1998)
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