Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Elizabeth Jane "Betchen" Wayland Barber (also E. J. W. Barber) is an American scholar and expert on archaeology, linguistics, textiles, and folk dance as well as Professor emerita of archaeology and linguistics at Occidental College.
Wayland Barber was born in 1940, in Pasadena. She became interested in archaeology at a young age because of her love of interdisciplinary sciences. Her family moved to France during her childhood, where she learned French, beginning her interest in linguistics. She first developed expert sewing and weaving skills under her mother's tutelage.
She earned a bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College in archaeology in 1963. Her chief mentor was Mabel Lang from whom she learned Linear B and who advised her honors thesis on Linear A. In addition to Lang, she wrote her thesis under Emmett L. Bennett Jr. Her thesis used computer indices of the Hagia Triada Linear A texts in an attempt to decipher its signs and symbols. The computer indices were made via punched cards, a method which was preceded by the work of Alice E. Kober on Linear B. She earned her PhD from Yale University in linguistics in 1968. Her doctoral study at Yale University was supervised by Sydney Lamb, under whom she wrote her dissertation, "The Computer Aided Analysis of Undeciphered Ancient Texts."
Her books include Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean (1992), Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years; Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times (1995), The Mummies of Ürümchi (1999), When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth (2004, coauthor with Paul T. Barber) and The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance (2013).
Among other things, she has proposed that if 19th-century scientists had thought to name prehistorical periods with an eye on women's work and the things they invented, instead of focusing their naming only on men's more durable inventions (Iron Age, Bronze Age, etc.), that they might have acknowledged women's invention of string as what she has named “The String Revolution.”
In addition to her academic work, as of 2009 she has directed and choreographed for her own folk and historical dance troupe for 38 years.
In 2016 and 2017 Dr. Barber's dance troupe performed at UCLA (See Video), Occidental College, and 2017 Sunshine Statewide Folk Dance Festival.
- "Elizabeth Wayland Barber | W. W. Norton & Company". Books.wwnorton.com. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- "Elizabeth Wayland Barber | TrowelBlazers". Trowel Blazers.
- Barber, Elizabeth J. Wayland (1940--) (2014). "Elizabeth J. "Betchen" Wayland Barber Papers Finding Aid". Texas ScholarWorks. Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP).
- "Bryn Mawr College: Greek, Latin & Classical Studies". Brynmawr.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- Barber, Elizabeth J. Wayland (1940--) (2014). "Elizabeth J. "Betchen" Wayland Barber Papers Finding Aid". Texas ScholarWorks. Program for Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP).
- Barber, Elizabeth J. Wayland (1940--) (2014). "Elizabeth J. "Betchen" Wayland Barber Papers Finding Aid". Texas ScholarWorks. Program for Aegean Scripts and Prehistory.
- "The Computer Aided Analysis of Undeciphered Ancient Texts".
- "Elizabeth Wayland Barber: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- "The Dancing Goddesses | W. W. Norton & Company". Books.wwnorton.com. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- Barber, Elizabeth Wayland; Barber, Paul T. (25 September 2006). When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth (9780691127743): Elizabeth Wayland Barber, Paul T. Barber: Books. ISBN 0691127743.
- "Clio Talks Back – International Museum of Women". Imow.org. 2009-11-08. Archived from the original on 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- "Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies: St. Mary's College of Maryland". Smcm.edu. 2012-03-23. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-08-31.