Betsy Whitehead with her children.

Elizabeth Augustus Whitehead

Elizabeth Grace Augustus Whitehead was born near Cleveland Ohio on June 17, 1928. Betsy, as she was known, graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1950 and married Curtis Jones in 1952; they had three children. In 1961 she traveled to Greece and thereafter enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania where she studied with Rodney Young, Roger Edwards, James Pritchard and George Bass. In 1965 she joined the University of Pennsylvania Museum's excavations at Gordion (Turkey) and in 1967 she excavated in Italy near Sybaris.

After her divorce from Jones, in 1969, she married Edwin C. (Jack) Whitehead who founded the biomedical research firm, Technicon Corporation. In 1971 she was appointed General Secretary of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) serving there for seven years. At the AIA she created a number of initiatives including the AIA Committee on American Archaeology and the AIA Committee on East Asian Archaeology. She was named an AIA 'Honorary Fellow for Life.' In 1978 she retired from the AIA to devote her time to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). She had become a trustee of the school in 1972 and President of the Board in 1976.

She was instrumental in raising the funds for the ASCSA Centennial Campaign, which solidified the endowment and put the school on a firm footing with the Gennadius Library, the installation of the Ibycus system and the ASCSA Newsletter publication. Besides being elected as a trustee for Sarah Lawrence College, she served on many boards including the Society of Professional Archaeologists, the American Institute of Nautical Archaeology and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Having fought pulmonary fibrosis for ten years she died in 1983. The ASCSA endowed two named professorships in memory of her dedication and devotion.

Author of biography: Doreen C. Spitzer
Includes bibliography? Yes

Download biography (in PDF format)

Keywords: Abercrombie and Fitch, Academy of Athens, Agamemnon, Agora, AIA, Albert, Alsop, American Council of Learned Societies, American Institute of Nautical Archaeology, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, anthropology, Antigone of Sophocles, Archaeological Institute of America, archaeology, Archaeology Magazine, Argentine, ASCSA, ASCSA Centennial Campaign, Bejing, Bikakis, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Byron, Charlotte Moore, Classical Archaeology, Athenian, Atreidae, Baedeker, Blegen, Blegen Library, Bryn Mawr, Byron, Buck's County, Canada, Cape Sounion, Clytemnestra, Common Market, Constantine Nicoloudis, Corinth, Cypriot, Bass, Berkeley, biomedical research, Boy Scouts of America, Bronx, Buck's County, Buffalo, Chang, Chang (hardy) Cleveland, clipper ship, Colburn, Colorado, Committee on American Archaeology, Committee on East Asian Archaeology, Cook, Corsica, Crawford, Culpeper Foundation, Curtis Jones, Cyclades, Daneen, Davis, Demos Foundation, de Luca, de Vries, Duke University, Ellen Kohler, Ellsworth Hunt, Edwards, Edwin C. (Jack) Whitehead, Elizabeth Good, Elizabeth A. Whitehead Visiting Professorship, Evan, Fieldwork Opportunities, Augustus, Gennadius Library, German, George Bass, Gladys Chang, Gordion (Turkey), Grandjouan, G. Roger Edwards, Greek Archaic, Greek Archaeological Service, Homer Thompson, Johnson, Immerwahr, Iron Age in Geometric Greece, Greece, Greek pottery, Greek Independence Day, Greenwich, Gümüs, Cyprus, Hathaway Brown School, Hellenic Shipyards, Hellenistic, Herculaneum, Heroon, Hill, Hitchcock, ‘Honorary Fellow of the AIA for Life', horses, Howland, Ibycus system, Jameson, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Institute of Archaeology in Bejing, Istanbul, Italy, James Pritchard, Jones, Jane Sammis Ord, “Jones New York”, Katz, Katzev, Keswick (VA), King Midas, Kress, Kyrenia, Sounion, Lahaska, Laiou, Lang, Lerna, Linear B, Lion Gate, Long Island, Loring Hall, Margaret, Markson, Matson, McCabe, McCredie, Mayer House, Mediterranean, Mellon, Mellink, M.I.T., Moore, Mycenae, Mycenaean Bronze Age, National Committee on U.S. China Relations, National Park Service, National Science Foundation, needlepoint, Newsletter, New York Times, Nicoloudis, Ohio, orchids, Ord, Orient, Pausanias, Pennsylvania, Persian, Phoebe Sheftel, Pollak, Pompeii, Poseidon, Pontine Islands, Porto Chelli, Princeton, Phrygian, Revlon, Ridgway, River House, Roger Edwards, Rodney Young, Santa Fe, Sarah Lawrence College, Lydia, Pritchard, pulmonary fibrosis, Salamis, Sardinia, School of American Research in Santa Fe, Sears, Sheftel, Sikinos, shipwrecks, Society of Professional Archaeologists, Sophocles, Sounion, Simpson, Sybaris, Sydney, Technicon Corporation, terrier, Texas A and M., Thompson, Thurii, triemes, Trescher, Toledo, Trojan war, Turkey, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, vail, Ventetento, Virginia, Washington, Whitehead, Whitehead Institute, Walton, Willey, Willoughby, Yorkshire Terrier, Young, Yugoslavia, Xerxes.

Search by name

Search by keyword:

Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists
Published by the University of Michigan Press, 2004