Cambridgeshire

Dorothy Garrod: Portrait of 'trailblazing' archaeologist unveiled

Dorothy Garrod Image copyright UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Image caption The portrait of Dorothy Garrod, one of Britain's pioneering female archaeologists

A portrait of a "trailblazing" archaeologist has been unveiled 80 years after she became the first female professor at Oxbridge.

Dorothy Garrod achieved the accolade at Cambridge in 1939 - nine years before women could be awarded degrees at the University.

The portrait, by artist Sara Lavelle, will be displayed at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Ms Lavelle said she wanted to create a painting that captured her "strength".

Image copyright PITT RIVERS MUSEUM, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Image caption Dorothy Garrod (centre) was a renowned archaeologist
Image copyright PITT RIVERS MUSEUM, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Image caption Dorothy Garrod was the first woman to become a professor at either Cambridge or Oxford

Born in 1892, Dorothy Garrod read history at Newnham College, Cambridge before training as an archaeologist in France after World War One.

She became renowned for her excavations in Gibraltar - where she famously discovered a rare skull of a Neanderthal child - and the Middle East, specialising in the Palaeolithic period.

In 1939, Garrod was selected as the Disney Professor of Archaeology - the first woman to do so at either Oxford or Cambridge.

The position, named after the academic John Disney, was remarkable given that, at the time, women could not become full members of the university.

Women were not awarded degrees at Cambridge until 1948.

Image copyright Andrea Southam/Sara Lavelle
Image caption Artist Sara Lavelle said she wanted to capture Dorothy Garrod's strength

The portrait was commissioned by the university's McDonald Institute, where it will be displayed.

Dr Tamsin O'Connell, of the Department of Archaeology, said it was important to "raise the visibility of trailblazing women such as Dorothy Garrod, especially at a time when women are still insufficiently commemorated and acknowledged in material form around the University".

Artist Sara Lavelle said she hoped the portrait "further aids the journey towards equality between men and women".

"The more I learned about Dorothy Garrod the more I felt compelled to create a painting that adequately captured her strength," she said.

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