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Lucy Shoe Meritt was born in Camden, New Jersey and became fascinated with archaeology at age nine after seeing pictures of reconstructed villas of ancient Pompeii. She attended Bryn Mawr College, where she earned her A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. From 1929 to 1934, she also studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. There she examined ancient Greek architecture, particularly the mouldings, which became her specialty. Her first book was Profiles of Greek Mouldings (1936), adapted from her doctoral dissertation. In 1936, she was one of the few women awarded a Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, an honor she would receive again in 1949. Her research in Italy showed that there were fundamental differences between the principles of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman architecture. She taught at Mount Holyoke College from 1937 to 1950, and served as editor of publications for the American School from 1950 until 1972. In 1964, she married Benjamin Dean Meritt, also a classical scholar. In 1972, the couple moved to Texas, where she was Professor of Classical Archaeology and Visiting Scholar in the Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her other books included Etruscan and Roman Republican Mouldings (1965) and History of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1939-1980 (1984)
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