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John Abercromby


(5th Lord Abercromby of Aboukir and Tullibody)

1841 - 1924

Archaeologist and soldier. He joined the army in 1858 becoming a Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade, but retired in 1870, to devote himself to languages, travel, archaeology and folklore. His publications included A trip through the Eastern Caucasus (1889) and Pre- and Proto-historic Finns (in two volumes, 1898). In 1904, he introduced the term 'beaker' to describe the late Neolithic / early Bronze Age drinking vessels being found all over Western Europe and later published A Study of Bronze Age Pottery in Europe (1912). He served as President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (1913-18) and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Edinburgh.

He succeeded his brother as Lord Abercromby in 1917, a title first granted to his great-grandmother. He sold the family home, Tullibody House, in 1923, preferring to live in Edinburgh.

Abercromby died in Edinburgh without male heirs and his title therefore became extinct. He lies buried in Dean Cemetery. He endowed the Abercromby Chair in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, which exists to this day, and bequeathed a substantial collection of books and papers to the University.


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