Archaeological Inspiration

07 Jun

Harriet Boyd was the first woman to lead an archaeological excavation in Crete at a time when it was thought absurd for a woman to travel  alone.  She was small and dainty in height but with a fiery personality and loved by all in her profession of archaeology. Harriet discovered,excavated and published an account of the Minoan town of Gournia in Crete,and was the first woman to lecture to the Archaeological Institute of America-ten times in fourteen days in January 1902. She was known to have travelled many miles by mule over the extremely mountainous terrain of Crete to acheive her goals, she was a very determined young lady. Shortly after working  with Richard Seager and Edith Hall who had joined her at the excavation of the Late Minoan town of Gournia Harriett retired from fieldwork following her marriage to Charles.H.Hawes  proffessor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College . Apart from her archaeological acheivments ,lecturer and teacher,archaeology was only part of her life. In 1897 Harriet was nursing with the Red Cross in the Greco-Turkish war,in 1915 she was nursing Serbian typhoid victims on Corfu and by 1917 was in Northern France setting up a rehabilitation centre.  Although Harriett Boyd Hawes as she was now known since her marriage to Charles Hawes, never returned to the field thus depriving American archaeology of one of the most gifted and dedicated excavators of her time,she did however continue  to be active, involved in many other activities,most importent of all was her work on behalf of the publication of her excavations at Gournia.   Due to her own efforts this publication appeared in 1908 entitled  Gournia,Vasilki,and other Prehistoric sites on the Isthmus of Hierapetra, Crete and published in Philadelphia.


Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “Archaeological Inspiration

  1. Duane Warren

    March 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    You might be interested to know that Dr. Vance Watrous and his archeaological team will be back in Gournia during the summer of 2012, excavating more Middle Minoan artifacts.


    • Duane Warren

      July 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Hello Rita,

      We are back on Crete and settled into our place in Koutouloufari. I have not yet spoken to Vance Watrous, but I have corresponded with John Younger. He is excited about the work being accomplished at Gournia.

      We hope to check in at the Center next week. Look forward to seeing you there.


      • ritaroberts

        July 5, 2012 at 11:59 am

        Hello Duane, Thankyou so much for contacting me. I am at the center Tuesadays and Fridays so look forward to meeting you.



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