Beatrice De Cardi at 100
6 June 2014
The 100th birthday of pioneering archaeologist Beatrice De Cardi, Honorary Visiting Professor at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, was marked by a special event at the Society of Antiquaries of London yesterday.
The event organised jointly by the Council for British Archaeology and the Society of Antiquaries, was held at Burlington House where invited guests saw Beatrice being presented with the Society’s Gold Medal for Archaeology by their President Gill Andrews. The Chair of the CBA, Jane Grenville, also made a special presentation.
Beatrice De Cardi OBE, FBA, FSA is an expert on the pre-Islamic cultures of the Arabian Gulf and Baluchistan publishing her work in the latter region as an Institute of Archaeology Occasional Paper on Archaeological Surveys in Baluchistan, 1948 & 1957, now available from Left Coast Press.
She was awarded the Al Qasimi Medal for archaeological services to Ras Al Khaimah (in 1989) and the Burton Memorial Medal by the Royal Asiatic Society (1993).
Beatrice was educated at UCL, working with Sir Mortimer Wheeler at Maiden Castle and with his wife Tessa on the classification of pottery. During WWII she visited India, and after the war worked there as well as travelling to Baluchistan (Pakistan), to look for further evidence of distinctive pottery found there by the archaeologist Stuart Piggott.
In the 1970s she launched a number of expeditions in the Gulf region that yielded the first examples of Ubaid pottery in the region, working first in Ras al-Khaimah and latterly in Qatar, Oman and the UAE.
Beatrice was Assistant Secretary (and later Secretary) of the Council for British Archaeology from 1949 to 1973, and remains one of their Honorary Vice Presidents today. The Beatrice De Cardi Lecture, an annual event in her honour, is organised by the CBA while their headquarters in York has now been renamed Beatrice De Cardi House.