Link

TrowelBlazers: In search of the female Indiana Jones

23 Jun

TrowelBlazers: In search of the female Indiana Jones

Between 1901 and 1905, totally unchaperoned, the twenty-something year-old Dorothea Bate explored the cliffs, caves and mountains of Cyprus and Crete in search of fossils. She was phenomenally successful, with her fossil finds becoming an important part of the collection at London’s Natural History Museum that I now work on. To do all of this as a woman in the early 1900s, I thought, she must have been truly extraordinary.

Except I was wrong. Daring, clever, courageous and pioneering, yes — but extraordinary? It seems not.

At the same time as Dorothea Bate was exploring Crete, an archaeologist named Harriet Boyd was directing the excavations of the Minoan town of Gournia. With her were two more women, Edith Hall and Blanche Wheeler. This image of not one, but four Edwardian women, digging for fossils and Minoan potsherds during the turbulent early days of post-Ottoman Crete surprised and captivated me. So I did the obvious thing and tweeted about it. I was totally unprepared for what followed.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: