Sir Alfred Biliotti KCMG CB (1833–1915) was a levantine Italian who joined the British Foreign Service and eventually rose to become one of its most distinguished consular officers in the late 19th century. Biliotti was also an accomplished archaeologist who conducted important excavations at sites in the Aegean, western Anatolia, and eastern Anatolia. He was made a Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George in October 1898. Biliotti's despatches, though written in slightly poor English, are recognized as being of major value for 21st century scholars in fields as different as diplomatic history, anthropology, and of course archaeology.[1]

He served as British vice-consul at Rhodes and was transferred to Trebizond in 1873; later he was consul at Chania (Crete) and consul-general at Salonica. His service in Crete covered the period of the revolutionary movements of 1889, 1895 and 1897, in all of which Britain was concerned as one of the Great Powers. His service at Salonica saw the beginnings of the guerilla warfare which would eventually lead to the Balkan Wars.

He excavated at Camirus (1858–1865), Ialysus (1868–1870), Satala (1874) and Cirisli Tepe (1883). Many of his finds are now displayed or stored at the British Museum.[2]

The Biliotti family mausoleum is in the Catholic Cemetery on Rhodes. A fitting place for Alfred Biliotti to rest finally with members of his extended family, a few 100 metres from the sea and near the busy Saturday market.


  1. ^ David Barchard, "The Fearless and Self-Reliant Servant: The Life and Career of Sir Alfred Biliotti (1833-1895)" in Studi Miceni ed Egeo-Anatolici vol. 48 (2006) pp. 5-53.
  2. ^ British Museum Collection