A splendid regiment of women: 20th century archaeologists and palaeontologists

By Newnham College, Cambridge

Originally published in the ebook A Passion for Science: Stories of Discovery and Invention.

by Rebecca Wragg Sykes, Victoria Herridge, Brenna Hassett and Suzanne Pilaar Birch

The familiar narrative of female scholars being sidelined by the establishment is well-entrenched, and deservedly so, given the ample examples available. But to tell heroic tales of the triumph of the lone female scholar misses a key point — networks and collaborations are vital to scientific success. It could also undermine the aggregate contribution of women, potentially allowing them to be dismissed as anomalies.

In this chapter we introduce four British women from the first half of the 20th century who worked in archaeology and palaeontology: Dorothy Garrod, Dorothea Bate, Gertrude Caton-Thompson and Kathleen Kenyon. Frequently presented as islands in an ocean of patriarchal academia, these and many other women were in fact more like a chain of sea mounts and, like th...

 

 

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Posted in STEM Stories.