Biblical Archaeology Review 45:4, July/August September/October 2019

Strata: Who Did It?

Who directed an excavation on Mt. Carmel and was the first woman to be named to an academic chair at the University of Cambridge?

Answer: Dorothy Garrod

A pioneer in Paleolithic archaeology, Dorothy Garrod was one of the first women to direct an excavation in the southern Levant.

Garrod was born in England in 1892 to renowned physician and professor Sir Archibald Garrod and Dame Laura Elizabeth Garrod and was educated by a series of governesses. She then studied history at Cambridge’s Newnham College. After graduating in 1916, she contributed to the war effort by working first in the Ministry of Munitions and then for the Catholic Women’s League. From 1919-1921, she joined her parents in Malta, where her father was serving as the head of a war hospital, and began to develop an interest in antiquities.

She returned to England and studied anthropology at the Pitt Rivers Museum of the University of Oxford and, later, at the Institut de Paléontologie Humaine in Paris. After this training, she conducted fieldwork at Gibraltar and in Kurdistan.

In 1928–1934, she led excavations to several caves on Mt. Carmel in the southern Levant, where she uncovered the remains of ancient humans and Neanderthals and established a sequence of prehistoric cultures. The Stone Age of Mount Carmel (1937) chronicles these significant discoveries. Many members of her staff and workers were women.

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