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Kathleen Kenyon(1906-1978)British archaeologist
TOPIC CONCEPT: Some of the most incredible archaeological discoveries in the 20th century were made by Dame Kathleen Kenyon; she shaped archaeology with her contribution to institutions, training of future archaeologists and publications. NAME AND DEFINE: Kathleen Kenyon (5/1/1906-24/8/1978) is from London England and is the eldest daughter to Sir Frederic Kenyon, a British paleographer, biblical and classical scholar. He was a later director of the British Museum and was also president of the British academy. Kathleen is most famous for her excavations in Jericho and Bangalow in 1952-1958, the Jewry wall (a substantial ruined wall of a public building of Ratae Corieltauvorum (Roman Leicester) and the Wheeler-Kenyon method. DESCRIBE: Miss Kenyon was known to be a Christian; she studied at St Paul's Girls School and read history at Somerville College, Oxford, England. In January 1951 she traveled to Jordan and embark on excavations in the West Bank at Jericho on behalf of the BSAJ. Her work at Jericho, from 1952 until 1958 made her world famous and established a lasting legacy in the archaeological methodology of the Levant. EXPLAIN: The ‘Wheeler –Kenyon method’ is a method of archaeological excavation. The technique draws its origins from the work of Mortimer Wheeler and Tessa Wheeler and was later refined by Kathleen Kenyon during her excavations at Jericho (1952-58). The Wheeler-Kenyon system involves digging within a series of 5x5 meter squares set within a larger grid. This leaves a (1 meter wide) freestanding wall of earth known as balk, on each side of a unit. These vertical slices of earth allow archaeologists to compare the exact provenance of a found object or feature to adjacent layers of earth (strata). During Kenyon's excavations at Jericho, this technique helped separate the long and complicated occupational history of the site. It was believed that this approach allowed more accurate observations than the earlier "horizontal exposure" technique which relied on architectural and ceramic analysis. The problems associated with the Wheeler-Kenyon Method are the stratigraphic dating technique which can only be applied to a site that has formed in recognizable layers; this method excludes many sites in North America. It also cannot be used on large-scale projects, and leaves no chance for re-excavation by future archaeologists using improved techniques.

ANALYSE: in 1952 Kathleen Kenyon and her team began an excavation in Jericho. As Kenyon and her team dug down into the dune they made some discoveries that impressed archaeologists all over the world. It seemed that a productive well-built city had existed this meant that there had been people living a stable life in the Neolithic Period, 3000 years before pottery was invented, this new discovery totally denied the previously held ideas about the development of pottery. The bones found on the site, have been able to show archaeologists that the early people living in Jericho had been small-boned, 150cm tall, with long skulls and delicate features. This would not have been possible if not for Kenyon and her excavations at Jericho. The stone querns used for storage of cereals pointed to the harvesting of crops, possibly wheat and barley. It seemed that these early inhabitants also hunted gazelle, identified by animal bones found on the site. None of this would have been known if not for Kenyon's excavations at Jericho. Based on this evidence we can determine that Kenyon's excavations at Jericho have definitely revolutionized the ideas previously held by prehistorians about Neolithic society. CRITICALLY ANALYSE: some positives of Kathleen Kenyon; she became the first female president of the Oxford University Archaeological Society, During the Second World War, Kenyon served as Divisional Commander of the Red Cross in Hammersmith, London, and later as Acting Director and Secretary of the Institute of Archaeology of...
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