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A Pioneer of Prehistory: Dorothy Garrod and the Caves of Mount Carmel

September 25, 2011

A display at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford from 26 September 2011 until 8 January 2012 presents seventeen photographs from the collection of the archaeologist Dorothy Garrod (1892–1968).

The photographs were given to the Pitt Rivers Museum by her friend and executor Suzanne Cassou de Saint Mathurin in 1986. They include portraits of Garrod’s friends and mentors, as well as the famous excavations which she directed between 1929 and 1934 at the Wadi el-Maghara (Valley of Caves), on Mount Carmel in Palestine (now in Israel). Some of the Stone Age artefacts recovered from this fieldwork are also displayed, together with signed offprints of Garrod’s writings and her administrative notebook from the 1933 excavation season. The exhibition highlights not only Garrod’s career, but also some of the influences and teamwork upon which her achievements were based.

Garrod’s publication of this site (with Dorothea Bates), entitled The Stone Age of Mount Carmel (1937), was a major landmark in its field. Two years later Garrod was appointed to the Disney Chair of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, the first time that a woman had ever held the position of professor at either Oxford or Cambridge. In this again she was a pioneer, and her successes have been a source of inspiration for other scholars ever since.

The Pitt Rivers Museum’s Dorothy Garrod Photographic Archive can be accessed online at: http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/garrod.

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