Virginia Grace in Turkey during World War II. Courtesy American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
Virginia Grace in her Agora office. Courtesy American School at Athens.
Virginia Grace at Rhodes. Courtesy the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Virginia Grace

Virginia Randolph Grace was born in New York City in 1901. Graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 1922, she attended the American School of Classical Studies in Athens in 1927 and returned to Bryn Mawr to pursue her M.A. in Classical Archaeology. In 1930 she returned to Asia Minor to excavate Pergamon and Halai as well as tombs at Lapithos in Cyprus, and became a fellow of the Agora Excavations in 1932, an affiliation that was to last her lifetime. She completed her Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr in 1934 publishing the stamped amphora handles at the Athenian Agora. In 1935 she worked on the Bryn Mawr Tarsus excavations. During World War II she was appointed a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and in 1938 she won a Guggenheim that allowed her to travel and study other stamped amphora collections. She received a second Guggenheim and again worked on the Kourion excavations in Cyprus. During the war she took on many roles with the U.S. State Department and worked with the O.S.S. Greek Affairs offices in Istanbul, Izmir and Cairo. From 1945 to 1948 she again was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study continuously working on the stamped jar handles, and she then returned to Greece to classify the stamped handles in the Athens National Museum and worked on Rhodian material under the French at Delos. With the aid of the American Research Center in Egypt and the American Philosophical Society she published the Benaki collection of Alexandria. A return to Athens where in the 50s and 60s the Stoa of Attalos was opened for a museum for the Agora excavations, Grace presided over her vast stamped jar handle collections and became in great demand as a consultant for many excavators. In 1989 she was recognized by the Archaeological Institute of America that awarded her the Gold Medal for Archaeological Achievement, and in May 22, 1994 she died in her home in Athens.

Author of biography: Sara A. Immerwahr
Includes bibliography? Yes

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Keywords: Acanthus scroll, Aegina, Agora, Agora Excavations, Alan and Helen Wace, Albania, Alexandria, Alexandretta, American Excavations at the Athenian Agora, American Philosophical Society, American Research Center in Egypt, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Amphora Project, amphora stamps, “Amphoras and the Ancient Wine Trade”, Andreas Dimoulinis, Antikythera shipwreck, Antioch, Archaeological Institute of America, Asia Minor, Asmara, Athenian Agora, Athens, Athens National Museum, Aunt Martha, Benaki, Benjamin Dean Meritt, B.H. Hill, Beirut, Black Sea, Brearley School, British, Bronze Age, Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr Excavations at Tarsus, Cairo, Campbell Bonner, Canaanite amphora, Carolyn Koehler, Cemal Pulak, Chian, Chremonidean War, chronology, Cold Spring Harbor New York, Corinth, Crete, cross dating, Cypriote Bronze Age, Cyprus, Delos, dies, Dead Sea, Delos, Dorothy Burr Thompson, Edith Hall Dohan, Egypt, Elizabeth Lyding Will, epigraphy, Episkopi, “eponym”, Eritrea, Europe, “Excalibur”, French School in Thasos, Fulbright, George Bass, George McFadden, George Mylonas, Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement, Greek, Greek religion, Guggenheim fellowship, Haifa, Halai, Hellenistic period, Hellenistic tombs, Hetty Goldman, H. N. Sanders, Holy Land, Homer Thompson, Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, Iron Age, Italy, Istanbul, Izmir, Jack Caskey, Jaffa, Jerome Sperling, Jerusalem, Judy Grace Stetson, Karoni, Khartoum, “Kouriaka”, Lapithos, Latin, Lebanon, Lee Ashley, Lisa Wace, Lucas Benaki, Lucy Shoe Meritt, Lucy Talcott, Lykabettus, Maison des Comèdians at Delos, Maria Savvatianou Petropoulakou, “Mart”, M. and Mme. Bon, Mary Hamilton Swindler, Knidian, Martin Nilsson, Mediterranean, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Michael Katzev, Middle Minoan I, Middle Stoa, Mithradates of Pontus, Morse Code, Mount Olympos, Mount Parnes, Mycenaean, Neolithic, New Jersey, New York City, oil amphora, O.S.S., Palestine, Pennsylvania Expedition to Cyprus, Pergamon, “Pergamene deposit”, Peter Throckmorton, Ph.D., Pharnakes I, Philippa Wallace, photography, polio, Princeton, Rhodes, Rhodian, Rhys Carpenter, Russians, “Samian Amphoras”, Samos, “Samothraki”, Serçe Liman, stamped amphora handles, Samuel Chew, Saronic Gulf, “Scopas in Chryse”, sculpture, Sicily, “Stamped Amphora Handles found in 1931-32”, “Stamped Amphora Handles – the Benachi Collection”, “Standard Pottery Containers of the Ancient Greek World”, Shop IV, Spilianoi, Stoa of Attalos, Syria, Tarsus, Thasian, Thasos, “The Die used for Amphora Stamps”, Tigani, tombs, Topography of Athens, Turkey, Uluburun, United States, University of Athens, University of Pennsylvania Excavations at Kourion, Virginia Fitz-Randolph Grace, Washington D.C., wildflowers, William Dörpfeld, World War II, Zenon Group.

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