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Leigh-Ann Bedal - Associate Professor of Anthropology, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

Book Title: Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists

Author: edited by Getzel M. Cohen and Martha Sharp Joukowsky

Book Description:

As a child I sought out role-models for strong, independent women.  There were not many strong female characters on television in the 70s. The few exceptions tended to carry guns (Police Woman, Charlie's Angels) and excitement came in the form of violence. In college, I was thrilled to discover the stories of female explorers and archaeologists of the 19th and early 20th century. Women like Gertrude Bell and Kathleen Kenyon combined exotic travel and adventure with pioneering research. I followed their footsteps to the Middle East, digging in Iraq, Syria, Israel and Jordan. One of the editors of this book, Martha Sharp Joukowsky, was one of the ground-breaking female archaeologists of her generation. She served as my mentor when, as a graduate student, I trained under her in the Petra Great Temple excavations. I have since made my own contribution to archaeological research with the discovery and excavation of the garden and pool complex at the amazing site of Petra in Jordan. 

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