Blegen, Carl W. (Carl William), 1887-1971

Alternative names
Birth 1887-01-27
Death 1971-08-24

Biographical notes:

Carl William Blegen, an archaeologist and educator, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 27, 1887. Blegen earned bachelor's degrees from three institutions: Augsburg Seminary, the University of Minnesota, and Yale University. He attended two years of graduate school at Yale before going to Greece in 1910 as a student at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. He conducted his first major excavation at Korakou during the years 1915 and 1916, and completed his doctorate from Yale in 1921. He remained in Greece until 1927, as student, secretary, assistant director, and then acting director of the American School.

In 1927, Blegen accepted a position as a professor in the Classics Department at University of Cincinnati. His next major archaeological expedition was a reinvestigation of Troy from 1932 to 1938, but he is best known for his expedition at Pylos, in southwestern Greece, where the Palace of Nestor along with clay tablets with Linear B inscriptions were found. The preliminary field work at Pylos was interrupted by World War Ii. During the war, Blegen worked with the Office of Strategic Services in Washington and then as Cultural Relations Attache at the U.S. embassy in Athens. Blegen retired from the University of Cincinnati in 1957 after serving as the head of the department. He was named Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in 1969. He died in 1971 and was buried in Athens.

From the guide to the Carl W. Blegen papers, 1920-1958, 1920-1958, (University of Cincinnati, Archives and Rare Books Library)


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  • Excavations (Archaeology)
  • Archaeologists
  • Classicist


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