Hetty Goldman

Working in Greece and Turkey despite the chaos of war, Hetty Goldman patiently uncovered subtle clues to daily life in ancient villages. Goldman originally planned to become a writer after graduating Bryn Mawr, but abandoned that profession because “I had nothing to say.” Instead, she became intrigued with archaeology on a trip to Greece, discovering villages long buried. Her work was interrupted by the Balkan Wars and WWI, and each time, she would return after the violence to discover grave robbers had stolen or wrecked everything of value. Undeterred, she used these interruptions to earn her PhD from Radcliffe in 1916 and returned again and again to the field. Rather than treasure hunting at temples, Goldman focused on small villages where she could examine plumbing systems and trading influences, becoming one of the most preeminent archaeologists of her day. She always left some portions of each site untouched so they could be checked later. In 1936 she became the first woman professor hired to Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study. She became emerita in 1957 but continued to publish widely on her work at Tarsus, near Syria, and its implications for the cross-pollination of Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cultures.

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Hetty Goldman discovered in Gözlü Kule (Tarsos) one of the largest and oldest Kilikian towns. This town at the Bay of Rhegma seems to have been very important for the tin trade during the time of the Hittite empire.

Hetty Goldman at an archaeological dig.

Courtesy of Special Collections, Bryn Mawr College Library

Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death
Archaeologist, Nurse, Professor

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Hetty Goldman." (Viewed on May 14, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/goldman-hetty>.


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