When we talk about the accomplishments of Dame Kathleen Kenyon (Legend!) , the story of one of the 20th centuries most well known and influential female archaeologists is only half-told. Dame Kathleen (or ‘K’) was part of a huge network of women —friends, mentors, students, and students’ students — who were #trowelblazing away long before the invention of the hashtag.

Mentors included:

Gertrude Caton Thompson – who took a young K along to the excavations of Great Zimbabwe as illustrator… and car mechanic!

Tessa Wheeler – who gave her her early training in stratigraphy.

The many women she worked with at the Institute of Archaeology in London, on excavations, and in academic conferences:

Joan du Plat TaylorVeronica Seton WilliamsOlga Tufnell, Jacquetta Hawkes, Margaret MurrayRachel Maxwell-HyslopDorothy Marshall and Diana Kirkbride

K also supervised the training of a new generation of PhDs, such as Claire Epstein, supported expanded educational opportunities for women, and she (and her constant canine companions!) generally made an indelible impression on generations of students.

Along with the many well known #trowelblazers Dame Kathleen worked with over the years, there were a host of tireless volunteers, administrative assistants, and helpers who enabled her to do her thing on site at Jericho and Jerusalem. In the picture above you can see Nancy Lord, the site photographer who was variously nearly electrocuted and nearly asphyxiated documenting the Tombs at Jericho (front, yellow blouse).

We wish we knew the identitites and stories of all the women in this photo — and if you can help solve the mystery, and tell us their stories, get in touch!

written by Brenna @brennawalks

with thanks to Katie Meyheux

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