Hetty Goldman

1881 – 1972

by Pamela Barmash

As one of the most distinguished archaeologists of this century, Hetty Goldman was the first woman appointed to direct an archaeological excavation by the Archaeological Institute of America. She was born on December 19, 1881, to a Jewish family in New York City. Her parents were Julius and Sarah (Adler). After graduating from college with a major in English, Hetty Goldman decided to forgo a career in writing because she “had nothing to say.” Instead, she had a great deal to find.

Goldman graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1903 and received her M.A. in 1910 from Columbia University and Ph.D. in 1916 from Radcliffe College. She excavated a number of sites in Greece and Turkey, including Halae, Colophon, Eutresis, and Tarsus. In her numerous publications, she illuminated the continuity of culture within the Mediterranean between the Semitic and the Greek cultures.

In 1936, Goldman became one of the first professors at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. When she retired twenty years later, her students and colleagues honored her with a festschrift, The Aegean and the Near East. She was also named professor emeritus. In 1966, the Archaeological Institute of America awarded her a gold medal for distinction. At the time of her death on May 5, 1972, she remained the only woman professor at the Institute for Advanced Study.


“The Acropolis at Halae.” Hesperia 9 (1940): 381–514; Excavations at Eutresis in Boeotia (1931); Excavations at Gozlu Kule Tarsus (1962).


EJ; NAW modern; Obituary. NYTimes, May 6, 1972, 38:4; Symposium in Memory of Hetty Goldman, Princeton University, May 4th, 1973; Weinberg, S.S., ed. The Aegean and the Near East (1956); WWWIA 5.


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Hetty Goldman at an archaeological dig.

Courtesy of Special Collections, Bryn Mawr College Library

How to cite this page

Barmash, Pamela. "Hetty Goldman." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 27 February 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 14, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/goldman-hetty>.


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