Anthony John Arkell (1898 – 1979) was a pioneer of Sudanese archaeology, a precise and conscientious surveyor and excavator whose publications are still invaluable today. His work provided the framework within which conversations about the prehistory of the Sudan are discussed. When he returned to live and work in England Arkell was responsible for restoring the collections of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, its contents having been packed into 800 boxes during the Second World War. He went on to research and write about the Egyptian Predynastic, helping to revive interest in the pre-Pharaonic period. Anthony Arkell’s contribution to the archaeology of the Eastern Sahara is explored with reference to both his own publications and to comments made by other researchers about the range and value of his work.