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Kathleen Mary Kenyon was a daughter of Sir Frederic Kenyon, Biblical scholar and director of the British Museum. She was head girl at St. Paul's Girls' School and won a scholarship to read history at Oxford University. While there, she became the first female president of the Oxford University Archaeological Society. She graduated in 1929 and began her distinguished career in archaeology. She worked on several important sites in Britain and Europe, but it was her excavations in Jericho in the 1950s, showing it to be the oldest-known continuously occupied human settlement, that established her as one of the foremost archaeologists of the 20th century. She served as director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem from 1951 to 1966, and was principal of St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, from 1962 to 1973. Her writings included Digging up Jericho (1957), Amorites and Canaanites (1966), Royal Cities of the Old Testament (1970), and Digging up Jerusalem (1974). On her retirement in 1973, she was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
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