On This Day

Gertrude Bell

Archaeologist and Writer Gertrude Bell

Profession: Archaeologist and Writer

United Kingdom

Biography: Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in an area that today covers Jordan as well as parts of Iraq.

Highly influential and trusted by British imperial officials she played a major role in establishing and helping administer the modern state of Iraq.

Given an immense amount of power for a woman at the time, Bell utilised her unique perspective from her travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia and relations with tribal leaders throughout the Middle East.

She has been described as "one of the few representatives of His Majesty's Government remembered by the Arabs with anything resembling affection".

Born: July 14, 1868
Birthplace: Washington Hall, County Durham, England
Star Sign: Cancer

Died: July 12, 1926 (aged 57)
Cause of Death: Drug overdose of sleeping pills

Historical Events

  • 1921-03-12 Cairo Conference begins, British meeting to determine Middle Eastern policies, Gertrude Bell and T. E. Lawrence attend
  • 1922-10-26 Gertrude Bell appointed Honorary Director of Antiquities in new Department of Antiquities in Baghdad, Iraq (origin of the Baghdad Archaeological Museum)