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Honor Frost (1917–2010)

Author of Under the Mediterranean; marine antiquities

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Honor Frost was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. After being orphaned at an early age, she became the ward of a London solicitor. She attended the Central School of Art and Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, and became director of publications at the Tate Gallery and a designer for the Ballet Rambert. In the mid-1940s, she designed a ballet, Khadra, choreographed by Celia Franca for the Sadler’s Wells Theatre Ballet to music by Sibelius. She discovered her love of diving at a friend's house party in Wimbledon, when she submerged herself with a garden hose in a 17th-century well. She became a professional diver soon after Jacques Cousteaus's invention of SCUBA, training with the Club Alpin Sous-Marin in Cannes, France. Her first experience with underwater excavation was with archeologist Frédéric Dumas, who took her to explore the wreck of a Roman ship at Antheor on the south coast of France. She developed a special interest in ports, harbors, and anchors under the auspices of the Institut Français d’Archéologie in Beirut. In 1959, she worked with Dumas, Joan Du Plat Taylor, and Peter Throckmorton in southern Turkey on an expedition that resulted in the discovery of an early Phoenician shipwreck at Gelidonya. It dated to the Late Bronze Age of the 12th-century BC, and was the oldest known shipwreck in the world at that time. In 1968, she led a UNESCO expedition to survey the submerged Pharos lighthouse site in the Port of Alexandria, Egypt, revealing a lost palace of Alexander the Great. From 1971, she led the investigation of a Punic (Carthaginian) warship in Marsala harbor in Sicily, Italy, the first of its kind to be found. She helped establish the Council for Nautical Archaeology and played a part in creating the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology in 1972. She was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1969. Among her published works was Under the Mediterranean (1963).
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