Thursday, 12 November 2015
Trowelblazer and Woman Warrior - Dorothy Garrod
Here's Dorothy Garrod in Palestine in 1931, with Theodore McCown and Francis Turville-Petre.
She studied anthropology at the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford, where her father was Regius Professor of Medicine, though she got her first degree in Cambridge. There she was inspired to become an archaeologist, and studied with Abbe Breuil, which led to her excavating on Gibraltar in the 1920s, where she found a Neanderthal skull.
She was in Palestine, though, to excavate at Mount Carmel, where she worked closely with another woman archaeologist, Dorothea Bate. Her work on the site convinced the authorities not to use it as a quarry, and she continued to investigate three caves there. Her work was a major contribution to the understanding of the prehistoric sequence in the region. In those days, the bulk of the labour was usually done by local people, with the archaeologists supervising, and Dorothy Garrod hired mostly women from the surrounding villages.
From 1939 to 1952 she was Disney Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge, though during the Second World War she served in the Women's Auxilary Air Force, at RAF Medmenham, where she was a section officer in a photographic interpretation unit - which makes her a Woman Warrior as well as a Trowelblazer. She was, in fact, the first female professor at Cambridge. It was not until 1947 that women students gained the same rights as male students at Cambridge.