We hope you’re enjoying playing the guessing game! The next two women we are excited to feature in the Raising Horizons portraits are linked through their maritime archaeological research.
Honor Frost and Dr Rachel Bynoe
We’ve written about Honor Frost before, not to mention Gabe Moshenska’s fine troweltoon, but haven’t covered the extent of her contributions to maritime archaeology. After discovering a love for the underwater world following a chance trip down a well in a diving suit, Honor followed her passion for many years, creating waves through the discipline (ok, couldn’t resist a pun).
Beginning her professional life as an artist, Honor switched to focus on diving after trying it out in the south of France in the late 1940s, and visiting a Roman wreck. By 1957 she was working with Kathleen Kenyon at the Jericho excavations, and here she realised that the same scientific rigour in archaeology could be applied underwater as on land. She took part in the Cape Gelidonya wreck excavation, a key project that broke new ground (waves?!) in where archaeology could go.
She moved to Lebanon and began a long career, including large surveys of sites, excavations, and her research focus on the interface between land and sea, via ports, harbours and anchors. Significant achievements included a UNESCO survey of the Pharos lighthouse site and other submerged ruins at Alexandria in 1968. Honor Frost published many papers on her work, and was involved with many of the founding learned societies and organisations in maritime archaeology. She remains a fundamental figure of influence in the field today, and her generosity in creating the Honor Frost Foundation through the sale of her art collection continues to support maritime archaeology, including the work of new submarine trowelblazers.
While working in seas much colder and on worlds much older than Honor Frost did, her Raising Horizons modern counterpart Dr Rachel Bynoe is also a pioneer of methodologies.
Rachel Bynoe trained in maritime archaeology as part of her doctoral research at the University of Southampton, and was a member of both the Centre for Archaeology of Human Origins and the Centre for Maritime Archaeology. She is interested in the submerged Pleistocene (ice age) archaeology of the Channel and North Sea; using data on patterning within the trawled offshore faunal record, her PhD showed that many of the submerged deposits were potentially intact. Since then, she worked with Historic England, including projects investigating near-shore deposits at Happisburgh and Clacton. Now based at the Natural History Museum, London, Rachel is working on a Calleva-funded project to ground(sea?!)-truth this data through looking at beach collections, trawled fauna, diving and coring, part of the Pathways to Ancient Britain project. She is also active in the archaeological diving community, working on other projects such as HMS Invincible.
Written by Becky