Women Writing Popular Archaeology in an Age of Empire

Hosted by the LSE Library

Online public event, United Kingdom


Dr Amara Thornton

Honorary Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Archaeology

This talk will focus on a series of articles on excavations at Ur written by the archaeologist Katharine Woolley in the late 1920s.

Published in the popular women's magazine Britannia and Eve, Woolley's series "Digging Up Bible History" explained in some detail the methods of excavation, profiled some of the excavators involved, and highlighted key discoveries during the ongoing work. Katharine Woolley was not the first woman to write about archaeology for a popular audience, and this talk will set Woolley's text against other popular texts by women who were as involved in archaeological work as Katharine. It will also explore what these texts reveal about 'local' excavators, and the imperial history that lies just beneath the surface.

Dr Amara Thornton is a historian of archaeology. Her first book, Archaeologists in Print: Publishing for the People (UCL Press, 2018) is a history of popular archaeology publishing in Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Amara is an Honorary Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, where she founded and coordinates the Institute's History of Archaeology Network.

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The British Library of Political and Economic Science (@LSELibrary) was founded in 1896, a year after the London School of Economics and Political Science. It has been based in the Lionel Robbins Building since 1978 and houses many world class collections, including The Women's Library.

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