William Gowland

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  • Born: 1842
  • Died: 1922

William Gowland was a metallurgist, known for a number of significant Kofun period finds in the early decades of Japanese archaeology, and for his collection of Korean and Japanese ceramics.

Gowland worked for the Osaka mint for a time, from 1872 to 1888. During this time, he also led excavations of some four hundred kofun (mound tombs) and other archaeological sites, and traveled to Korea in 1884, where he obtained a number of Korean ceramics. Gowland is said to have been particularly interested in the early history of mutual cultural influences between Korea and Japan.

Gowland later donated a considerable number of objects from his collection, both archaeological finds and ceramics works, to the British Museum.


  • "Photo of William Gowland," gallery label, British Museum.[1]
  • "William Gowland, amateur archaeologist," gallery label, British Museum.[2]
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