The Tenacity of Zella Nuttall.

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“She was drawn to a good fight like a moth to light.” Amanda Adams – Ladies of the Field

Something I find a little curious is the lack of actual quotes *from* early female archaeologists, but there’s a plethora of quotes *about* them. I can imagine this is probably true about any early minority group in a field.

I’ll do more digging as the year goes on to find quotes by female archaeologists about archaeology itself, but for now, let’s enjoy this quote about Zella Nuttall and her tenacious personality.

Advocate for Native Hispanic culture and archaeology, she was known for her ability to tear a man down verbally if he dared cross her, and is still considered one of the greatest pioneers in Mexican archaeology.

Just from the brief description in Amanda Adam’s excellent book Ladies of the Field, I get the feeling Nuttall would be right at home in today’s world of the internet. She didn’t suffer fools, and had no fear about being vocal.

Maybe we can use that description as a bit of inspiration in our professional and daily lives. It’s documented that even Nuttall suffered from what we now call imposter syndrome, but when push came to shove, she had conviction in herself. She didn’t back down from what she saw as a just cause and had enough faith in herself to carry her through.

If you find any quotes from Zella Nuttall you’d like to share, post them below!


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