British Museum

An Oxford Don and a curate in the Church of England, Archibald Henry Sayce (1845–1933) helped prepare the Old Testament books for the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. He also excavated at Meroë, the capital of ancient Ethiopia; served as president of England’s Society of Biblical Archaeology for more than 20 years; and defended the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch in his book The “Higher Criticism” and the Verdict of the Monuments (1894).

Sayce was among the first scholars to identify the biblical king Pul, mentioned in the Book of Kings, as Tiglath-pileser III, the Assyrian king who greatly expanded his empire’s borders during his reign from 745 to 727 B.C.E. (See photo of Tiglath-pileser relief.)