It all started with a suggestion on Twitter by @ArchyFantasies to start a “women of archaeology support group”. The support group began on Twitter and then quickly moved to Slack to allow for more people to join, as the response to the group was overwhelmingly positive. Initial conversation turned to the inclusion of women in round-up lists (i.e. top 10 archaeological discoveries, best Twitter accounts to follow, etc.), after Dani Bradford mentioned the disproportionately small representation of women included within these lists. The lack of women representation in archaeology is not a new problem (for examples, check out “Women in Archaeology” (Claassen, 1994) and “Excavating Women: A History of Women in European Archaeology” (Diaz-Andreu and Stig Sørensen, 1998)). It’s also not a problem limited to archaeology, as Brian Switek wrote of palaeontology for Wired. Today projects like those of Trowelblazers’ Raising Horizons and the Bearded Lady Project are working hard to change the stereotypes of women within a variety of fields and bring to light their important contributions both historically and today.
Building off the idea of increasing representation and with our brains buzzing after the suggestion above from April Beisaw, the authors decided to round-up and celebrate the accomplishments of women in archaeology in 2017. We didn’t want to do a ranked round-up, we wanted to give everyone the chance to decide for themselves what they wanted to celebrate. We took to social media and asked the women of archaeology to share with us what they were proud to have worked on in 2017. From academic articles to blogs, to curating exhibits and opening dialogues on disability and accessibility, the women of archaeology were certainly busy through 2017! Join us in celebrating all of these incredible women and what they’re proud to have accomplished in thepast year!
Be sure to check out the 2017 Day of Archaeology contributions, which includes many, many wonderful woman (a project initially co-founded by @lornarichardson)