Women at Work: Acknowledging Women’s Legacy in Archaeology

2017 Midwest Archaeological Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana 

Co-Chairs: Leslie Drane and Kelsey T. Grimm (Indiana University)

Poster Symposium Abstract: The acknowledgements of women working in archaeology has notably flourished in recent memory, but who were the pioneering American women of our profession? For over a century, women have taken on many roles in archaeology with varying levels of professional education and have been successful in contributing to the field. Whether toiling over lab work or excavating great features, these archaeologists have not always been given proper recognition for their work. This session highlights the contributions of several female archaeologists from across the Midwest and brings to light the often undervalued contributions of those who helped make archaeology what it is today. By telling these stories we hope to start a conversation about the politics of recognition and inspire others to provide a more complete understanding of women’s influence in shaping archaeology and the Midwest.



Harriet M. Smith

Harriet M. Smith: The First Female Field Archaeologist in Illinois 

By Leslie E. Drane (Indiana University), Elizabeth Watts Malouchos (Indiana University), Sarah E. Baires (Eastern Connecticut State University) 


Mable N'omi Greber

Dr. N’omi Greber: A Monumental Professional of the Hopewell 

By Kelsey T. Grimm (Indiana University)


Emily J. Blasingham

Retyping the ‘Female Archaeologist’: The Career and Contributions of Dr. Emily J. Blasingham 

By Alex E. Elliott (Indiana University)


Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin

Mother of the GLOVE: Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin (1903-1988) 

By Kelsey T. Grimm, Lydia Lutz (Indiana University)


Frances Martin

Passion to Spare, Publications to Prove It: The Story of Frances Martin 

By Molly R. Mesner (Indiana University)


Mildred Mott Wedel

Mildred Mott Wedel—A Pioneering Iowan Archaeologist 

By Angela R. Collins (University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist), John F. Doershuk (University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist), David M. Gradwohl (Iowa State University)


Charlotte Day Gower Chapman

Charlotte Day Gower Chapman (1902-1982): Archaeologist, Ethnologist, or Physical Anthropologist? 

By Della Collins Cook (Indiana University)


Alice Struever

Alice Struever: Crucial Contributor to Flotation Methodology 

By Savannah Leach Newell (Indiana University) 


Elaine Bluhm Herold

Elaine Bluhm Herold: A Renaissance Woman of Illinois 

By Eve A. Hargrave (Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Prairie Research Institute)