Margaret Collingridge Wheeler

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Margaret Collingridge Wheeler (1916–1990) was an Australian archaeologist who worked at Maiden Castle, Dorset with Mortimer Wheeler in the 1930s and at Jericho with Kathleen Kenyon in the 1950s.[1] She authored books about archaeology for a general audience.


Born in Sydney, Australia, Margaret "Kim" Collingridge went to England to be educated.[2] She joined the excavation team at Maiden Castle, Dorset where Mortimer Wheeler and his first wife Tessa Wheeler were directing the examination of the ancient British hill fort.[3] Several other notable women archaeologists took part in this excavation, including Veronica Seton-Williams, Joan du Plat Taylor, Rachel Maxwell-Hyslop, and Margot Eates.[4]

She joined Wheeler's excavation at Camp d'Artus in Brittany, France in 1938 and subsequent explorations in Normandy in 1939. Wheeler's biographer Jacquetta Hawkes noted that Wheeler had developed romantic feelings for Collingridge by this stage, although he married Mavis de Vere Cole in 1939, three years after the death of his first wife Tessa.[5]

Collingridge joined the ATS during the Second World War and learned range-finding. She met a childhood friend, Robert Norfolk, a submarine commander, whom she married. In 1941, Norfolk's submarine HMS Thorn went down in the Eastern Mediterranean.[6][7] Margaret Norfolk married Mortimer Wheeler in 1945, when Wheeler was Director General of Archaeology in India. She travelled extensively with Wheeler to sites in India, Iran and Afghanistan.[8][9]

In 1954, Margaret Wheeler joined Kathleen Kenyon's excavations at Jericho. Her book Walls of Jericho (1956) describes the excavation and personnel.[10][11][12][13] She followed its publication with A Book of Archaeology and A Second Book of Archaeology. Her obituary in The Times noted her reputation for producing popular books on the discipline.[14]


  1. ^ The Times 1990
  2. ^ The Times 1990
  3. ^ Wheeler, R. E. M. 1943
  4. ^ Wheeler, R. E. M. 1943
  5. ^ Hawkes, J. 1982., pp. 185, 190, 228
  6. ^ Hawkes, J. 1982., pp. 227-228
  7. ^ The Times 1990
  8. ^ Hawkes, J. 1982., pp. 247-256
  9. ^ Carr, L 2012, pp. 234
  10. ^ Davis, M. 2008 p 243
  11. ^ Kenyon, K. 1957
  12. ^ Matthews, R. 2003, p. 192
  13. ^ Cornwall, T. 1956
  14. ^ The Times 1990


  • Carr, L. 2012. Tessa Verney Wheeler: Women and Archaeology Before World War Two. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cornwall, T. 1958. Digging Without Malice. The New Scientist. 6 December, pp. 50–51.
  • Davis, M. 2008. Dame Kathleen Kenyon: Digging Up the Holy Land. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
  • Hawkes, J. 1982. Mortimer Wheeler: Adventurer in Archaeology. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  • Kenyon, K. 1957. Digging Up Jericho. London: Ernest Benn.
  • Matthews, R. 2003. The Archaeology of Mesopotamia: theories and approaches. London: Routledge.
  • The Times. 1990. Lady Wheeler. The Times, 26 December, p. 10.
  • Wheeler, M. 1956. Walls of Jericho. London: Chatto and Windus.
  • Wheeler, M. 1957. A Book of Archaeology. London: Cassell & Co.
  • Wheeler M. 1959. A Second Book of Archaeology. London: Cassell & Co.
  • Wheeler, R. E. M. 1943. Maiden Castle, Dorset. Oxford: Oxford University Press for the Society of Antiquaries.