Ed Keall was never trained as an archaeologist, but his involvement on many different sites in the Middle East has given him the ability to be professionally productive especially in areas where none have worked before. He thrives in dealing with the unknown and the unexpected.
Originally born in the UK, and trained in Greek and Latin literature, he first visited the Middle East on an adventure, in 1962. In 1970 (after learning the trade through practical experience in countries like Iran, Iraq and Turkey), he found himself a formal PhD qualification by studying Islamic art at the University of Michigan.
Keall’s dissertation focused on the excavations of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in the Parthian layers of Nippur, Iraq. After joining the Royal Ontario Museum in 1971, his experiences in Iran included directing the excavations at the Parthian site of Qal’eh-i Yazdigird, a program unexpectedly interrupted in 1979.
He directed the Canadian Archaeological Mission of the ROM (CAMROM) in Yemen from 1982 to 2016. The ROM work focused for the most part on the town of Zabid, in an attempt to define the character of a medieval university city, a subject he taught at the University of Toronto until 2016.
For a full bibliographic record concerning Keall’s work at Qal’eh-i Yazdigird, visit <https://qalehyazdigird.artsci.utoronto.ca>