Queen Of The Stone Age: Dorothy Garrod And The Professionalization Of Archaeology

Professional women in fields dominated by men have struggled from the outset against many barriers–from being denied opportunities to study, to having their work trivialized, marginalized and outright forgotten. Sometimes, however, a woman successfully enters a male world and lives to tell the tale…or sing a song of woe, as the case may be!

Women were considered somewhat useful on early archaeological digs as wives and sisters who might make charming watercolors of exotic finds, or take notes, capturing the deep thoughts and speculations of their godlike, erudite males of record. But a woman in charge of the excavation site, and working with other women reporting to her? Synthesizing emerging technologies into a sweeping method that dragged archaeological writing from the world of swashbuckling adventures into the clear realm of science? Unheard of!

Garrod (2nd left) and Female Colleagues at the MT. Carmel caves excavation

But this is exactly the story of Professor Dorothy Garrod, who worked at the beginning of the 20th century, and “ascended” to the Dream of being a Departmental Chair at Cambridge University, as the first woman ever to hold that position. For Dorothy, however, the male world of querulous professors could never hold her interest as fieldwork had, and she returned to the blazing sun of the excavations the minute she retired from Cambridge, to spend her last few years with her hands happily dirty.

Her message across the years to us now: Be careful what you wish for! Prestige will never be an adequate substitute for what the heart and mind love!

Archeologist Dorothy Garrod filled in prehistoric chronology with crucial finds that represented a leap forward in how we told the story of our human past
— Read on womenyoushouldknow.net/dorothy-garrod-archaeology/

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