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Hetty Goldman

(1881 - 1972)


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Hetty Goldman was a well know archaeologist who unearthed many new excavations that gave historians a better insight of the past in Greece. She was very active in sponsoring Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.

She was born on December 19, 1881, in New York City, to Sarah and Julius Goldman. Her parents were of German-Jewish descent and her father was an established lawyer. Her grandfather, Marcus Goldman, was a co-founder of the Goldman, Sachs and Co., a well known banking and investment firm.

When attending her Uncle Julius Sachs' School for Girls, she became interested in archaeology. Hetty graduated Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. degree in 1903. Her interest in archaeology became her major. She enrolled in Radcliffe College in 1909, where she took courses in archaeology and classical language. She earned an A.M. in 1910 which was the same year that she had her first article published, The Orestia of Aeschylus as Illustrated by Greek Vase-Painting. This article was the major reason for her being the first woman to be awarded the Charles Eliot Norton Fellowship to attend the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece. She worked and studied here from 1910 to 1912.

Goldman received her Ph.D. from Radcliffe in 1916. She pursued her interest in archaeological field work and she was interrupted twice. The first was the Balkan Wars, 1912-13, and World War I. She returned to New York City to work for the American Red Cross. She was asked by the American Joint Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to return to Greece for a report on the Jewish communities.

In 1922, she directed a project for the Fogg Museum of Harvard University in excavating at the site of Colophon in ancient Ionia. She became one of the early pioneers in the investigations of the pre-Greek and earliest Greek people. In 1924, Goldman went to central Greece as director of excavations for the Fogg Museum. She spent three years on this project and documented her findings in "Eutresis in Boetia," 1931. Goldman was sponsored jointly by Bryn Mawr College, Harvard and the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) for her 4th major excavation at Tarsus near the southeast coast of Turkey. The excavation was to search for possible links between Greece and Anatolia.

She carefully studied her historical facts and the Trojan War. She led a young team of apprentices who unearthed seals, inscribed tablets, seal impressions and other important artifacts. Her evidence indicated that there was a relationship between Tarsus and the Hittite kings.

Goldman became the first woman to be appointed professor at the Institute of Advanced Study in 1936, in Princeton, New Jersey. She spent most of her time in research and writing. Goldman was very active in sponsoring German-Jewish refugees, who had fled the Nazis. She saved many lives in her sponsoring project.

She retired in 1938 and spent the next fifteen years publishing the results of the Tarsus excavations. In conjunction with her associates, they wrote three volumes of "Excavations at Gozlu, Tarsus," 1950, 1956 and 1963.

Hetty Goldman was recognized for her outstanding contributions to archaeology when she was awarded a gold medal by the AIA in 1966. She died on May 4, 1972, in Princeton, leaving behind a legacy of information for historians and scholars.


Sources: This is one of the 150 illustrated true stories of American heroism included in Jewish Heroes & Heroines of America : 150 True Stories of American Jewish Heroism, © 1996, written by Seymour "Sy" Brody of Delray Beach, Florida, illustrated by Art Seiden of Woodmere, New York, and published by Lifetime Books, Inc., Hollywood, FL.

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