Just how lonely was it being a trowelblazer? Well, after asking this question, Team TrowelBlazer’s ownTori Herridge came up with this rather staggering answer:

Between the training, mentoring, academic supervision, and interaction at excavations and conferences, the trowelblazers of yesteryear were building the same types of networks women in academia still depend on. We even wrote about it!

After this we thought we’d have a bit of fun and see if a well-known social network scaling pattern could be proved correct. Known as “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, this pop-culture phenomenon started as a game to see how many connections it takes from any random individual to reach a particular other person. Kevin Bacon, a Hollywood actor, is the universally-used hub, and the myth goes, almost everyone on Earth can get from themselves to Kevin in 6 steps or less. So of course, we had to try this TrowelBlazers-style: could we link Dorothy Garrod, pioneering archaeologist of the mid-20th century, with Mr Bacon, celebrated actor of the late 20th and early 21st century? Yes, yes we could!

So here is that path, not only starting with a trowelblazer but running through the connections between four others:

  1. Dorothy Garrod worked with Dorothea Bate (Devils Tower & Mount Carmel)
  2. Bate met Edith Hall Dohlan on Crete in 1904 
  3. Hall Dohlan taught Dorothy Burr Thompson
  4. Burr Thompson supervised Joan Breton Connelly at the Athens Agora excavations in 1975-6 
  5. Breton Connelley directed the excavations at Geronisos, Cyprus at which the equally esteemed actor Bill Murray attended as a trainee digger 
  6. Bill Murray was in Wild Things with Kevin Bacon.

And of course our team are all connected too –  TH worked on Dorothea Bate’s research, who worked with Garrod at Mt. Carmel = 2; RWS worked on stone tool collections excavated by R. Marrett, Garrod’s tutor at Cambridge = 3; SPB’s PhD was examined by the current Disney Professor, Graeme Barker, linked through previous Disney Professors Renfrew, Daniel, and Clark = 5, and BH through a variety of UCL Institute of Archaeology to Kathleen Kenyon, then Gertrude Caton Thompson and thus to Dorothy Garrod = 4!

So now we have to ask…  what’s YOUR Garrod number?

Ref’s here.

Post written by @ToriHerridge and @brennawalks. Awesome diagram? All Tori!

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