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Archaeologist

TaiwanUnited StatesArchaeologist

Agnes Hsu-Tang

Agnes Hsin Mei Hsu-Tang, an archaeologist and art historian, was born in Taiwan and later became an American citizen. She has made significant contributions to the field of cultural heritage protection and rescue, advocating for the preservation of precious artifacts and historical sites.

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TurkeyArchaeologistJewish

Muazzez İlmiye Çığ

Muazzez İlmiye Çığ (born 20 June 1914) is a Turkish archaeologist and Assyriologist who specializes in the study of Sumerian civilization. Born in Bursa, Turkey, Çığ has dedicated her life to unraveling the mysteries of ancient Mesopotamia and shedding light on the fascinating world of Sumer. Her groundbreaking research and unyielding passion for her field have made her one of the most influential female historians of our time.

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IraqArchaeologist

Layla Salih

Layla Salih (born 1975) is an Iraqi archaeologist who has made significant contributions to the field of ancient Near Eastern art and architecture. As the Head of the Nineveh Antiquities section in the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, she has played a crucial role in monitoring, rescuing, and documenting the remnants of ancient civilizations that were destroyed by ISIS. Salih’s dedication to her work and her significant contributions to the field of archaeology have not gone unnoticed. She has received recognition and praise for her efforts in preserving the ancient heritage of Iraq.

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United KingdomArchaeologist

Gertrude Caton Thompson

Gertrude Caton Thompson, FBA (1888-1985), was an English archaeologist who played a critical role in the field at a time when women were underrepresented. She conducted archaeological work in various regions and made significant contributions, including developing an excavation technique and providing valuable insights into ancient civilizations in Egypt and Zimbabwe. Caton Thompson’s dedication to archaeology and her influential positions in organizations have had a lasting impact on the field.

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CanadaArchaeologist

Mary Ross Ellingson

Mary Ross Ellingson (1906–1993) was a Classical archaeologist who revolutionized the field with her groundbreaking research on terracotta figurines in ancient Greece. Despite facing obstacles and having her work plagiarized, Ellingson’s dedication and passion have solidified her legacy. Her contributions continue to inspire and inform researchers today, making her a significant figure in women’s history and the field of archaeology.

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GreenlandUnited StatesAnthropologist

Frederica de Laguna

Frederica Annis Lopez de Leo de Laguna, known as “Freddy,” was a prominent American anthropologist and archaeologist. Her passion for anthropology was solidified during her time studying with renowned anthropologists Franz Boas, Gladys Reichard, and Ruth Benedict at Columbia University. Through her groundbreaking research in Alaska and the American northwest, de Laguna shed light on the cultural practices of indigenous communities and the development of artistic expression in the region. Her contributions to the field of anthropology and her dedication to teaching continue to inspire future generations of scholars.

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Great BritainArchaeologist

Nina Frances Layard

Nina Frances Layard FSA FLS was an English poet, prehistorian, archaeologist, and antiquarian who conducted important excavations, and by winning the respect of contemporary academics helped to establish a role for women in her field of expertise. Her groundbreaking accomplishments not only established a role for women in her field but also paved the way for future generations of female archaeologists and prehistorians.

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United KingdomArchaeologist

Dorothy Garrod

Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod, CBE, FBA (5 May 1892 – 18 December 1968) was an English archaeologist who specialized in the Palaeolithic period. She held the position of Disney Professor of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge from 1939 to 1952 and was the first woman to hold a chair at either Oxford or Cambridge. Garrod’s work has had a lasting impact on archaeology and her contributions continue to inspire scholars today.

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IndonesiaArchaeologist

Satyawati Suleiman

Satyawati Suleiman, a pioneering Indonesian historian and archaeologist, made significant contributions to the field of Indonesian archaeology. She was one of the first women to pursue a career in archaeology in Indonesia, and the first female archaeology graduate from the University of Indonesia. Her dedication and expertise in the study of iconography and archaeological artifacts continue to inspire archaeological studies in Southeast Asia.

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SpainArchaeologist

Encarnación Cabré

Encarnación Cabré Herreros, a Spanish archaeologist, was a trailblazer in her field, becoming the first professional female archaeologist in Spain. Despite facing obstacles during the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist dictatorship, Encarnación’s passion for archaeology remained unwavering. Her perseverance and dedication made her an icon in the male-dominated profession, and she paved the way for future generations of women in archaeology. In recognition of her exceptional achievements, Encarnación was officially acknowledged by the Spanish parliament in 2019 for her contributions to women’s professional advancement.

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MexicoAnthropologistArchaeologist

Eulalia Guzmán

Eulalia Guzmán Barrón (1890–1985) was a pioneering feminist, educator, and nationalist thinker in post-revolutionary Mexico. From an early age, she rejected the idea that women were destined for domesticity and aspired to become a teacher. Guzmán’s journey towards becoming an influential figure began when she was awarded a grant to study at the Normal School for Teachers, from where she graduated in 1910. Her activism and contributions continue to inspire generations of women, scholars, and social reformers.

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NetherlandsArchaeologistAstronomer

Amina Helmi

Amina Helmi, an Argentine astronomer and professor at the University of Groningen, is a leading figure in the field of galactic archaeology. With a focus on the Milky Way, she combines computer simulations and observational data to uncover the mysteries of galaxy formation. Her dedication and contributions have earned her numerous awards and recognition, solidifying her status as a prominent figure in the scientific community.

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SomalilandSwedenArchaeologist

Sada Mire

Sada Mire is a Swedish-Somali archaeologist, art historian, and presenter who has dedicated her career to uncovering and preserving the cultural heritage of Somaliland. Through her research and advocacy, she has made significant contributions to our understanding of the region’s past. Her work serves as a testament to the importance of cultural heritage and its role in shaping our collective identities.

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PolandActivistArchaeologist

Irena Sawicka

Irena Scheur-Sawicka, born on August 18, 1890, was a remarkable Polish archaeologist, ethnographer, educational activist, and communist. Her brave actions during World War II, including assisting Jewish refugees from the Warsaw Ghetto, exemplify her unwavering dedication to justice. Despite meeting an untimely demise during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, Irena Sawicka’s legacy of courage and sacrifice continues to inspire in Polish history.

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TurkeyArchaeologistFencer

Halet Çambel

Halet Çambel was a Turkish archaeologist and Olympic fencer. She was the first woman with a Muslim background to compete in the Olympic Games. Çambel’s life was marked by her passion for archaeology, her groundbreaking achievements in fencing, and her dedication to preserving Turkey’s cultural heritage.

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IrelandUnited KingdomArchaeologist

Hilda Petrie

Hilda Mary Isabel, Lady Petrie was a British Egyptologist whose contributions to Egyptology as an artist and archaeologist were significant and enduring. She worked closely with her husband, Flinders Petrie, on numerous excavations in Egypt and Palestine, using her artistic skills to record hieroglyphs and create plans of the sites. Hilda also played a crucial role in advocating for women in the field of archaeology, defying societal expectations and challenging the notion that women were mere onlookers.

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United StatesArchaeologist

Sarah Parcak

Sarah Helen Parcak is an American archaeologist and Egyptologist known for her groundbreaking work in using satellite imagery to identify potential archaeological sites. She has revolutionized the field of archaeology through her research and excavations in Egypt, Rome, and other parts of the former Roman Empire. Parcak’s dedication and innovation have earned her numerous accolades and recognition in the field, including the prestigious $1 million TED Prize in 2016.

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FranceArchaeologistWriter

Christiane Desroches Noblecourt

Christiane Desroches Noblecourt was a prominent figure in the field of Egyptology. She became captivated by the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, which led to her joining the Egyptian Antiquities department at the Louvre. She became the first woman to lead archaeological excavations, played a vital role in saving the treasures of the Louvre during World War II, and advocated for the preservation of ancient Nubian temples. Her contributions and dedication to the field continue to inspire future generations.

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IndiaUnited KingdomAnthropologist

Margaret Murray

Margaret Alice Murray (1863-1963) was an Anglo-Indian Egyptologist, archaeologist, anthropologist, historian, and folklorist who left an indelible mark on her field through groundbreaking contributions. Her achievements include being the first woman appointed as a lecturer in archaeology in the United Kingdom and her significant discoveries in Egyptology. Murray’s passion for understanding ancient civilizations and advancing the status of women in academia made her a trailblazer and a pioneer in her field.

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FranceUnited StatesActivist

Sara Yorke Stevenson

Sara Yorke Stevenson was an American archaeologist, suffragist, and women’s rights activist. She played a vital role in the establishment of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and was the first curator of the Egyptian Collection. Stevenson’s remarkable contributions to the field of archaeology, as well as her activism for women’s rights, continue to inspire and empower women today.

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Great BritainArchaeologist

Mary Brodrick

Mary (May) Brodrick was a British archaeologist and Egyptologist, known for being one of the first female excavators in Egypt. Despite facing opposition, she persisted in her studies and achieved distinction in her field. In 1906, The Daily Mail recognized her as “perhaps the greatest lady Egyptologist of the day”.

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Great BritainArchaeologistWriter

Margaret Benson

Margaret Benson (1865-1916) was an English author and Egyptologist who made significant contributions to archaeology. She excavated the Precinct of Mut at the Temple of Karnak in Egypt, uncovering statues, artifacts, and gaining insights into the temple’s history. Benson’s pioneering work as a female archaeologist opened doors for future generations of women in the field. Her writings also contributed to the understanding of ancient Egyptian history and culture, leaving behind a lasting legacy.

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GermanyArchaeologistEducator

Johanna Mestorf

Johanna Mestorf was a pioneering figure in prehistoric archaeology, serving as the first female museum director in the Kingdom of Prussia and often referred to as the first female professor in Germany. Her extensive travels, translations, and writings on archaeology and ethnography solidified her reputation as a notable figure within the archaeological community. Her remarkable contributions to the field and commitment to advancing knowledge continue to inspire future generations of female scholars.

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GreeceArchaeologist

Semni Karouzou

Semni Papaspyridi-Karouzou was a Greek classical archaeologist who paved the way for women in the field. She broke barriers as the first woman to join the Greek Archaeological Service and made significant contributions to the study of pottery from ancient Greece. Despite political persecution during the Greek military junta, Karouzou remained resilient and left an indelible mark on Greek archaeology.

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ItalyArchaeologistScholar

Bruna Forlati Tamaro

Bruna Forlati Tamaro (1894–1990) was an Italian archaeologist, classical scholar, and museum curator who made significant contributions to the field of archaeology. She played a crucial role in safeguarding Italy’s archaeological heritage and was a pioneer for women in the field. Her dedication, passion, and accomplishments will forever be remembered and celebrated.

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United StatesArchaeologist

Nancy Wilkie

Nancy Clausen Wilkie (1942-2021) was an American archaeologist who made significant contributions to the field. Her expertise and dedication helped shape our understanding of ancient civilizations in Greece, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Wilkie’s notable achievements include her work on the excavation of the Mycenaean site of Nichoria and her extensive involvement with the publication of the results. Her leadership and commitment to cultural heritage preservation have left an indelible mark on the field of archaeology.

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IraqArchaeologist

Selma Al-Radi

Selma Al-Radi was a renowned Iraqi archaeologist who left an indelible mark on the field of archaeology in her home country as well as in other parts of the Middle East. Her dedication to preserving cultural heritage, her groundbreaking research, and her pivotal role in the restoration of historical sites have reshaped the field and inspired future generations to follow in her footsteps.

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United StatesActivistArchaeologist

Ruthann Knudson

Ruthann Knudson (1941-2018) was an American archaeologist known for her significant contributions to the study of North American Paleoindian (Plainview) lithics. As a woman navigating the field of cultural resource management during its early stages, Knudson played an active role in advocating for the inclusion and representation of women in reservoir salvage archaeology. Furthermore, she made substantial contributions to the drafting and promotion of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980. Ruthann Knudson’s notable achievements, determination, and passion for archaeology continue to inspire and influence the field to this day.

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Great BritainScotlandArchaeologist

Joan du Plat Taylor

Joan Mabel Frederica du Plat Taylor, born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1906, was a trailblazing British archaeologist who revolutionized underwater nautical archaeology. Despite lacking formal training, she made significant archaeological discoveries during her time as Assistant Curator at the Cyprus Museum. She co-directed an excavation at Cape Gelidonya in 1960, which marked a turning point in nautical archaeology. Joan also founded the Nautical Archaeology Society and played a pivotal role in founding the Council for Nautical Archaeology, leaving a lasting impact on the field.

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United StatesArchaeologistEducator

Hetty Goldman

Hetty Goldman, born in 1881, was a pioneering American archaeologist who made significant contributions to the field. As one of the first female archaeologists to excavate in Greece and the Middle East, Goldman broke barriers and paved the way for future generations. Her dedication to scholarly excellence and her pioneering role as one of the first female archaeologists have secured her a place in history as a true trailblazer in women’s history.

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United StatesArchaeologistEducator

Harriet Boyd Hawes

Harriet Ann Boyd Hawes was a pioneering American archaeologist, nurse, relief worker, and professor. She made significant contributions to archaeology, particularly in gender equality and women’s involvement in the field. Harriet Boyd Hawes was the discoverer and first director of Gournia, one of the first archaeological excavations to uncover a Minoan settlement and palace on the Aegean island of Crete.

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MexicoUnited StatesAnthropologist

Florence M. Hawley

Florence May Hawley Ellis, a pioneer in dendrochronology, made significant contributions to the field in the mid-20th century. Despite facing challenges as a woman in a male-dominated field, she became a role model for anthropologists, inspiring her students and women in academia to strive for excellence. Hawley’s dedication to her work extended beyond her retirement in 1971, as she continued to actively contribute to anthropology until her death in 1991. Her innovative techniques and groundbreaking research in dendrochronology have left a lasting impact on the field.

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United StatesArchaeologist

Kathleen K. Gilmore

Kathleen K. Gilmore (1914-2010) was a pioneering American archaeologist known for her groundbreaking work in Spanish colonial archaeology. She famously proved the location of Fort St. Louis, established by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. Gilmore’s contributions to historical archaeology have had a lasting impact on the field and continue to inspire future generations.

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United StatesArchaeologistEducator

Frances Eliza Babbitt

Frances “Franc” Eliza Babbitt (1824–1891) was a schoolteacher in Minnesota and an archaeologist who significantly influenced early debates about the Paleolithic Era in North America, also known as the “American Paleolithic”. Babbitt’s pioneering work in archaeology, particularly her collection and analysis of quartz tools and other artifacts from the Little Falls, Minnesota area, earned her recognition as one of the few women actively participating in this scientific discipline at the time. She made history as one of the first women to join the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1883, thanks to the support and recognition from Frederic W. Putnam. Her work and perseverance as an archaeologist challenged gender norms in the field, highlighting her enduring influence on women’s history.

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AustraliaArchaeologist

Alice Gorman

Alice Gorman is an Australian archaeologist, heritage consultant, and lecturer, widely recognized for her pioneering work in the field of space archaeology. She has made significant contributions to the study of Indigenous stone tools, the archaeology of orbital debris, terrestrial launch sites, and satellite tracking stations. Gorman’s passion lies in the intersection of archaeology and space exploration, and she has become a leading figure in the study of space archaeology, publishing numerous influential works in the field.

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AustraliaSwedenArchaeologist

Laila Haglund

Laila Haglund, a Swedish archaeologist, made significant contributions to Australian archaeology and the preservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage. Her expertise and research in classical archaeology led her to explore prehistory and conservation, ultimately resulting in her pioneering work in Australia. Haglund conducted extensive salvage excavations, published a groundbreaking report, and played a key role in drafting legislation to protect Aboriginal heritage. Her dedication to cultural preservation continues to inspire and shape the field of archaeology today.

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Great BritainArchaeologistOrnithologist

Mary Cecil, 2nd Baroness Amherst of Hackney

Mary Rothes Margaret Cecil, 2nd Baroness Amherst of Hackney, OBE (née Mary Rothes Margaret Tyssen-Amherst; 25 April 1857 – 21 December 1919) was a British hereditary peer, charity worker, amateur archaeologist, and ornithologist. She was one of the few English women to have held a peerage in her own right and made significant contributions to archaeology and ornithology.

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GermanyArchaeologistJewish

Hermine Speier

Hermine “Erminia” Speier, born in 1898 in Frankfurt am Main, was a German archaeologist who made significant contributions to her field. She overcame societal barriers as a female professional in a male-dominated industry and became the first female employee of the Vatican Museums. Speier’s expertise in archaeological photo-archiving and her dedication to preserving historical artifacts have left a lasting impact on the discipline of archaeology. Her achievements continue to inspire future generations of female archaeologists.

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FranceArchaeologistJournalist

Jeanne Leuba

Jeanne Leuba was a French journalist, writer, and poet known for her extensive experience in Indochina and Cambodia. Her works shed light on the cultures, histories, and arts of these regions. Despite facing numerous challenges, Leuba made significant contributions to the fields of journalism, literature, and archaeology, establishing herself as an influential figure in women’s history.

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Great BritainArchaeologistGovernment

Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell, a remarkable English writer, traveler, political officer, administrator, and archaeologist, left an indelible impact on the Middle East. She explored and extensively mapped various regions in the Middle East, became influential to British imperial policy-making, and played a pivotal role in shaping the Middle East’s future, advocating for the establishment of independent Arab states. Her legacy as an influential figure in the region continues to inspire scholars and policymakers to this day.

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DenmarkArchaeologistWriter

Margrethe II of Denmark

Margrethe II is Queen of Denmark and has reigned as the country’s monarch for over 50 years. She is known for her interest in archaeology and has actively participated in excavations in various countries. Margrethe’s dedication to preserving history has enriched Denmark’s cultural heritage. She has also been actively involved in state affairs, undertaking numerous foreign state visits, and is widely popular among the Danish people. Margrethe’s reign has left a lasting impact on the country and she is considered an inspirational figure for women worldwide.

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CyprusArchaeologistArtist

Honor Frost

Honor Frost (1917-2010) was a pioneer in underwater archaeology, known for her work in the Mediterranean, particularly in Lebanon. She developed a typology of stone anchors and was skilled in archaeological illustration. Frost’s passion for diving began when she explored a well in a friend’s backyard, and she became an avid diver and artist. Her significant discoveries include the Phoenician shipwreck at Cape Gelidonya and her survey of the Pharos site in Alexandria, Egypt. Her contributions continue to shape our understanding of maritime history and Phoenician culture.

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VietnamArchaeologistEngineer

Hoang Thi Than

Hoang Thi Than, the first female Vietnamese geological engineer and archaeologist, is a notable figure in the field of geological engineering and archaeology. Overcoming challenges and achieving significant accomplishments, she paved the way for future generations of women in these fields and served as an inspiration for women in STEM.

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United StatesArchaeologist

Alice Leslie Walker

Alice Leslie Walker was an American archaeologist and leading expert on the Neolithic Period in Southern Greece. She made significant contributions to the field of archaeology and played a key role in expanding our understanding of ancient Greek civilization. Displaying her passion for archaeology from an early age, she attended Vassar College and later earned her MA. Through her academic journey, she excavated in various locations, including Halae and Corinth, unearthing significant findings and conducting extensive research. Despite health challenges caused by malaria, Walker remained committed to her work, leaving an indelible mark on the field of archaeology.

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United StatesArchaeologist

Janet Friedman

Janet Friedman (1945-2002) was an American archaeologist who made major contributions to cultural resource management. She actively promoted gender equality in the field of cultural and environmental sciences throughout her career, mentoring and supporting women in her field. Friedman played a key role in the development of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA), shaping its policies and guidelines. Her influential contributions and commitment to gender equality have made her an important figure in women’s history.

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GermanyArchaeologistJewish

Elise Jenny Baumgartel

Elise Jenny Baumgartel was a German Egyptologist and prehistorian who pioneered the study of the archaeology of predynastic Egypt. She challenged prevailing views and contributed significantly to our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture. Despite facing adversity as a Jewish scholar during the Nazi regime, Baumgartel’s meticulous work and dedication have left a lasting legacy in the field of Egyptology and archaeology.

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ScotlandAnthropologistArchaeologist

Christian Maclagan

Christian Maclagan (1811-1901) was a Scottish antiquarian and early archaeologist known for her collection of rubbings and her pioneering work in stratigraphic excavation. Despite losing the use of her right hand, Maclagan continued to create drawings, sketches, and paintings with her left hand. She was also dedicated to helping those affected by poverty in Stirling. Maclagan’s achievements and determination make her a remarkable figure in women’s history.

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PalestineArchaeologist

Yusra

Yusra, a Palestinian woman who worked with British archaeologist Dorothy Garrod, played a pivotal role in the excavations at Mount Carmel. Her expertise and meticulous screening skills led to the discovery of Tabun 1, a significant Neanderthal skull. Despite her limited documentation, Yusra’s contributions to archaeology and paving the way for women in the field are undeniable.

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