Beatrice Laura Goff

A biblical scholar, Beatrice Goff was born in Massachusetts and graduated with a B.A. and M.A. degrees from Wellesley College, concentrating in religious and biblical studies.

She went on to Boston University where she was awarded a Ph.D. in 1933 writing on The J-Document in the Hexateuch. Post-graduate work was undertaken at Harvard University, Radcliffe College and Yale University where she continued her interests in biblical studies.

Unable to find an academic position in religious studies she enrolled at Columbia University in Library Science finally achieving a teaching position in religious studies at Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Virginia, followed by an appointment at Mount Holyoke College.

Disappointed with Mount Holyoke and interested in education she worked for the YMCA only to return to academia and to Yale University where for 20 years she assisted Professor Goodenough’s research and became interested in symbols, symbolism and semiotics of the ancient Near East.

In 1958 she traveled to Iraq and visited the excavations of Nippur, Warka and the Diyala, the result of which is encapsulated in her work, The Symbols of Prehistoric Mesopotamia. She then went on to Egypt and published Symbols of Ancient Egypt in the Late Period.

In 1965-66, Goff visited Egypt, collecting material for her Symbols of Ancient Egypt in the Late Period, published in 1979.

In 1981 she married Mr. Dowell, but soon thereafter Goff developed eye trouble and was forced to give up her research.

Author of biography: S. Cohen
Includes bibliography? Yes

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Keywords: Abbot Academy, Akkadian, Beatrice Goff, Bible, biblical studies, Boston, Boston University, Brown University, Chicago House, Columbia University, Diyala, Dowell, Egypt, Egyptian, Erwin Goodenough, eye trouble, Ferris J. Stephens, Frederick Berry, Goodenough, Harvard University, Heinrich J. Lenzen, hieroglyphs, Indiana, Iraq, Iron Age, Jewish symbolism, J. Hart, Laura Goff, Luxor, Massachusetts, Mesopotamian, Mount Holyoke College, Near East, New Haven, Nippur, Palestine, Radcliffe College, Randolph-Macon Women’s College, Ralph Barton Perry, religion, Richard C. Haines, Richard Parker, Ropes, semiotics, Sumerian, symbols, Symbols of Ancient Egypt in the Late Period, philosophy, symbolism, The J-Document in the Hexateuch, The Symbols of Prehistoric Mesopotamia, University of Chicago, Vaughn E. Crawford, Virginia, Wayne Meeks, Wellesley College, W. Kelly Simpson, Warka, Yale University, YMCA.

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