Monday, 18 April 2016
Trowelblazers - Honor Frost
Here's Honor Frost at Bodrum Harbour, with the Crusader castle in the background. She was born in 1917, and became a pioneer of underwater archaeology. The castle at Bodrum is also the home of the Underwater Archaeology Museum in Turkey, with some spectacular finds preserved there.
She started her career as a ballet designer with Ballet Rambert, but fell in love with diving in the 1940s, when she met the archaeologist Frederic Dumas, who became her mentor and took her on her first dive, to a Roman ship off the coast of France. She later joined Kathleen Kenyon at Jericho as a draughtsman - having studied at the Central School of Art in London and the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford. Having seen how digs on land were conducted, she considered how those techniques could be adapted for work underwater. She explored the harbours of Byblos, Sidon and Tyre for the Institut Francais Archaeologie in Beirut.
In 1960 she put her techniques to use on a Bronze Age Phoenecian ship off the coast of Turkey, with George Bass and Peter Throckmorton. She also worked in Alexandria, on the Pharos and palace of Alexander and Ptolemy, and other wrecks around the Mediterranean.
She helped found the Council for Nautical Archaeology and was on the Council for Nautical Research.
She died in 2010, leaving her art collection to be sold to fund the Honor Frost Foundation, which continues her work in the field of underwater archaeology.