Women Pioneers in North African Classical Archaeology and the Libyan Society

Julia Nikolaus, Nick Ray

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Women Pioneers in North African Classical Archaeology and the Libyan Society
Dr Julia Nikolaus and Dr Nick Ray

North African classical archaeology owes a great debt to several pioneering women who advanced our knowledge and paved the way for future generations through the study and documentation of archaeological sites, as well as the creation and management of institutions such as the Society for Libyan Studies. This project focuses on the important contributions of Lady Olwen Brogan OBE, while also exploring the significant work of Dr Joyce Reynolds, Mrs Dorothy Thorn, and Dr Susan Walker. All these women had a tremendous impact on shaping and influencing the way we now think about the history of the region.

Olwen Brogan spent a considerable amount of her life travelling into inhospitable regions of Libya to explore and document archaeology and challenge much of the scholarly orthodoxy relating to the ancient people of this region. Additionally, she was an unofficial cultural ambassador facilitating British-Libyan relations and after moving to Tripoli in 1974 allowed her home to serve as a base for many academics working in the area.

Brogan and Reynolds were integral to the foundation of the Society for Libyan Studies, which played a major role in supporting female scholars over the years and has continued to do so into the present day. Susan Walker has promoted this philosophy in recent years when she held the position of Society president.

The records of Brogan and Thorn are kept as part of the Society for Libyan Studies Archive at the University of Leicester. Brogan’s personal collection includes: notebooks that record archaeological sites and features, fragments of travel itineraries and anecdotes; photographs of sites and people she encountered along the way; letters written to (and by) her during the time she was not exploring in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 26 Oct 2019
Event50th Anniversary of the Society for Libyan Studies - British Academy, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Oct 201926 Oct 2019


Conference50th Anniversary of the Society for Libyan Studies
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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