Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod

From: United Kingdom
Fields: Archaeology
Key Words/Phrases: pioneering study of the Palaeolithic
Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod was the first woman to do research in Paleolithic archeology and to study the early man. Born in 1892, she was a daughter of a prominent English physician. She studied Paleolithic archeology in France under Breuil, Begouen and Peyrony and did her fieldwork in such diverse locations as England, Palestine, Kurdistan, Bulgaria, Gibraltar and Lebanon.

In the 1920's, while studying the British Upper Paleolithic, she made various novel correlations between faunal remains and climactic and ecological conditions of ancient times. Similar outstanding analyses at Mugharet et Tabun in Palestine allowed her to conclude that the more "advanced" type of Neanderthal Man found in Tabun existed at the same time as the more "primitive" type found in Europe. Her findings created an upset in current theories about simple linear evolution of man. She also made significant contributions on prehistoric migrations of man, prehistoric irrigation methods, Paleolithic art, prehistoric hunting techniques, etc.

In 1939 Garrod was elected Disney Professor of Archeology at Cambridge. She was the first woman to become a professor in any field at either Oxford or Cambridge. Utilizing experience gained in World War II in photographic interpretation, she promoted the use of aerial photography in archeological excavations. Besides many honorary awards and degrees bestowed on her, Garrod was the first woman recipient of the Gold Medal of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Contributed by Danuta Bois, 1997.

Women of Science: Righting the Record, edited by G. Kass-Simon and Patricia Farnes, Indiana University Press, 1993


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