Bate in Valletta, Malta on 5 April 1934.
|Born||8 November 1878 |
|Died||13 January 1951 72) (aged|
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England
|Education||at home & Natural History Museum, London|
|Occupation||Palaeontologist and archaeozoologist|
Dorothea Minola Alice Bate FGS (8 November 1878 – 13 January 1951), also known as Dorothy Bate, was a British palaeontologist, a pioneer of archaeozoology. Her life's work was to find fossils of recently extinct mammals with a view to understanding how and why giant and dwarf forms evolved.
The Geological Society of London, known commonly as the Geological Society, is a learned society based in the United Kingdom. It is the oldest national geological society in the world and the largest in Europe with more than 12,000 Fellows.
Born at Napier House,Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Bate was the daughter of Police Superintendent Henry Reginald Bate (born in Co. Wexford, Ireland) and his wife Elizabeth Fraser Whitehill. She had an older sister and a younger brother. She had little formal education and once commented that her education "was only briefly interrupted by school".
Carmarthen is the county town of Carmarthenshire in Wales and a community. It lies on the River Towy 8 miles (13 km) north of its estuary in Carmarthen Bay. Carmarthen has a claim to be the oldest town in Wales – Old Carmarthen and New Carmarthen became one borough in 1546. Carmarthen was the most populous borough in Wales in the 16th–18th centuries, described by William Camden as "the chief citie of the country". Growth was stagnating by the mid-19th century, as new economic centres developed in the South Wales coalfield. The population in 2011 was 14,185, down from 15,854 in 2001. Dyfed–Powys Police headquarters, Glangwili General Hospital and a campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David are located in Carmarthen.
Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in southwest Wales, and one of the historic counties of Wales. The three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford. Carmarthen is the county town and administrative centre.
In 1898, at the age of nineteen, Bate got a job at the Natural History Museum in London, sorting bird skins in the Department of Zoology's Bird Room and later preparing fossils.She was probably the first woman to be employed as a scientist by the museum. There she remained for fifty years and learned ornithology, palaeontology, geology and anatomy. She was a piece-worker, paid by the number of fossils she prepared.
The Natural History Museum in London is a natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Natural History Museum's main frontage, however, is on Cromwell Road.
Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds.
Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can also include the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences, and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science.
In 1901 Bate published her first scientific paper, "A short account of a bone cave in the Carboniferous limestone of the Wye valley", which appeared in the Geological Magazine , about bones of small Pleistocene mammals.
The Geological Magazine is a peer-reviewed scientific journal established in 1864, covering the earth sciences. It publishes original scientific research papers on geological topics. The journal is published bimonthly by Cambridge University Press.
The Pleistocene is the geological epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's most recent period of repeated glaciations. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period and also with the end of the Paleolithic age used in archaeology.
The same year, she visited Cyprus, staying for 18 months at her own expense, to search for bones there, finding twelve new deposits in ossiferous caves, among them bones of Hippopotamus minor .In 1902, with the benefit of a hard-won grant from the Royal Society, she discovered in a cave in the Kyrenia hills a new species of dwarf elephant, which she named Elephas cypriotes , later described in a paper for the Royal Society. While in Cyprus she also observed (and trapped, shot and skinned ) living mammals and birds and prepared a number of other papers, including descriptions of the Cyprus Spiny Mouse (Acomys nesiotes) and a subspecies of the Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes cypriotes).
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.
The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement. It also performs these roles for the smaller countries of the Commonwealth.
Kyrenia is a city on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. It is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus.
She later undertook expeditions to many other Mediterranean islands, including Crete, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta, and the Balearic Islands, publishing work on their prehistoric fauna.In the Balearics in 1909, she discovered Myotragus balearicus, a previously unknown species of the subfamily Caprinae. On the plateau of Kat, in eastern Crete, she found remains of the Cretan dwarf hippopotamus. In Crete, she got to know the archaeologists then excavating Knossos and other sites on the island, who were throwing light on the Minoan civilisation, such as Arthur Evans.
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. It bounds the southern border of the Aegean sea. Crete lies approximately 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainland. It has an area of 8,336 km2 (3,219 sq mi) and a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi).
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula, north of Tunisia, and to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica.
Finding herself sexually harassed by the British Vice-Consul in Majorca, Bate commented: "I do hate old men who try to make love to one and ought not to in their official positions."
According to The Daily Telegraph–
|“||Her days were spent on foot or mule, traversing barren and bandit-infested terrains and sleeping in flea-ridden hovels and shacks. She would wade through turbulent swells to reach isolated cliff caves where she scuffled about, covered in mud and clay, never without her collecting bag, nets, insect boxes, hammer and – later – dynamite.||”|
In the late 1920s Bate travelled to the British ruled Palestine. She was in her late 40s and well respected. Bates had been invited by Dorothy Garrod, who later became Cambridge University's first female professor and who had been put in charge of an excavation in Haifa by the British military governor. In Bethlehem Bates and Elinor Wight Gardner discovered an extinct elephant species, an early horse and a prehistoric giant tortoise. They also discovered evidence that animals had been hunted by Bethlehem's first human inhabitants.In the 1930s Bate studied the animal bones Garrod had excavated in the Mount Carmel caves, which contained a succession of Upper Pleistocene levels. Instead of just inferring climatic conditions from the presence or absence of cold- or -warm loving animals, she was an early pioneer of the approach to take large samples of fauna of a succession of archaeological strata. These provided a series of plots. Bate worked on the basis that alterations in the frequency of species of animal hunted by early man reflected naturally occurring changes. This work made her an early pioneer of archaeozoology, especially in the field of climatic interpretation.
Bate also worked alongside the archaeologist Professor Dorothy Garrod in the Caves of Nahal Me’arot, where excavations had commenced in 1928. She was the first to study the faunas of the area, her stated research aim being the reconstruction of the natural history of the Pleistocene (Ice Age) fauna of the Levant region. Being aware of the fossils and the numerous human occupations her study of the Carmel Caves was pioneering. She described several new species, and identified several species that had previously not been known to have existed in this area in the Pleistocene. She constructed one of the first quantitative curves of faunal succession, and in reference to ancient climate she identified a faunal break between primitive and modern mammal communities during the Middle of the Ice Age. Bate identified the shifts from deer to gazelle dominance as rooted in changes of regional vegetation and paleoclimates. She was also the first to identify a Canis familiaris to have lived in the Ice Age, based on a skull that had been found. Decades later more remains of Natufian dogs were found. Her pioneering research was published in 1937,when Bate and Garrod published The Stone Age of Mount Carmel volume 1, part 2: Palaeontology, the Fossil Fauna of the Wady el-Mughara Caves, interpreting the Mount Carmel excavations. Among other finds, they reported remains of the hippopotamus.
Bate also worked with Percy R. Lowe on fossil ostriches in China.She compared the relative proportions of Gazella and Dama remains.
Many archaeologists and anthropologists relied on her expertise in identifying fossil bones, including Louis Leakey, Charles McBurney, and John Desmond Clark.
During the Second World War, Bate transferred from the Natural History Museum's department of geology in London to its zoological branch at Tring, and in 1948, a few months short of her seventieth birthday, she was appointed officer-in-charge there.Although suffering from cancer, she died of a heart attack on 13 January 1951, and as a Christian Scientist was cremated. Her personal papers were destroyed in a house fire shortly after her death. On her desk at Tring was a list of 'Papers to write'. By the last in the list she had written Swan Song.
Her estate at death amounted to £15,369.
In 2005, a 'Dorothea Bate facsimile' was created at the Natural History Museum as part of a project to develop notable gallery characters to patrol its display cases. She is thus among other luminaries including Carl Linnaeus, Mary Anning, and William Smith. They tell stories and anecdotes of their lives and discoveries.
In her biography Discovering Dorothea: the Life of the Pioneering Fossil-Hunter Dorothea Bate, Karolyn Shindler describes Bate as "witty, acerbic, clever and courageous".Shindler is also the author of the biography in the 2004 edition of the Dictionary of National Biography .
A watercolour portrait of Bate as a young woman, drawn by her sister, is at the Natural History Museum. In it she wears a black dress trimmed with white lace, and a large pink rose.
Aetokremnos is a rock shelter near Limassol on the southern coast of Cyprus. It is situated on a steep cliff site c. 40 m (131.23 ft) above the Mediterranean sea. The name means "Cliff of the eagles" in Greek. Around 40 m2 (430.56 sq ft) have been excavated and out of the four layers documented, the third is sterile.
The Creswellian is a British Upper Palaeolithic culture named after the type site of Creswell Crags in Derbyshire by Dorothy Garrod in 1926. It is also known as the British Late Magdalenian. The Creswellian is dated between 13,000–11,800 BP and was followed by the most recent ice age, the Younger Dryas, when Britain was at times unoccupied by humans.
Elephas is one of two surviving genera in the family of elephants, Elephantidae, with one surviving species, the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus.
Dwarf elephants are prehistoric members of the order Proboscidea which, through the process of allopatric speciation on islands, evolved much smaller body sizes in comparison with their immediate ancestors. Dwarf elephants are an example of insular dwarfism, the phenomenon whereby large terrestrial vertebrates that colonize islands evolve dwarf forms, a phenomenon attributed to adaptation to resource-poor environments and selection for early maturation and reproduction. Some modern populations of Asian elephants have also undergone size reduction on islands to a lesser degree, resulting in populations of pygmy elephants.
Għar Dalam is a 144 metre long phreatic tube and cave, or cul-de-sac, located in the outskirts of Birżebbuġa, Malta. The cave contains the bone remains of animals that were stranded and subsequently became extinct in Malta at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. It has lent its name to the Għar Dalam phase in Maltese prehistory, and is viewed as one of Malta's most important national monuments. Pottery similar to that found in Stentinello was found at Għar Dalam, but lacking details such as stamp decorations.
Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod, CBE, FBA was an English archaeologist who specialised in the Palaeolithic period. She held the position of Disney Professor of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge from 1938 to 1952, and was the first woman to hold an Oxbridge chair.
Kebara Cave is an Israeli limestone cave locality in the Wadi Kebara, situated at 60 to 65 m above sea level on the western escarpment of the Carmel Range, in the Ramat Hanadiv preserve of Zichron Yaakov. The cave was inhabited between 60,000 and 48,000 BP and is famous for its excavated finds of hominid remains, made under the direction of Professor Ofer Bar-Yosef.
The Tabun Cave is an excavated site located at Nahal Me'arot Nature Reserve, Israel and is one of Human Evolution sites at Mount Carmel, which were proclaimed as having universal value by UNESCO in 2012. The cave was occupied intermittently during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic. In the course of this period, deposits of sand, silt and clay of up to 25 m (82 ft) accumulated in the cave. Excavations suggest that it features one of the longest sequences of human occupation in the Levant.
Myotragus balearicus, also known as the Balearic Islands cave goat, was a species of the subfamily Caprinae which lived on the islands of Majorca and Menorca until its extinction around 5,000 years ago. This animal was previously described as an 'odd goat', but since the genetic analyses done at the University of Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona, it seems that Myotragus was more closely related to sheep than to goats.
Es-Skhul is a prehistoric cave site situated 20 km (12.4 mi) south of the city of Haifa, Israel, and around 3 km (1.9 mi) from the Mediterranean Sea. The site was first excavated by Dorothy Garrod during summer of 1928. The excavation revealed the first evidence of the late Epipaleolithic Natufian culture, characterized by the presence of numerous microlith stone tools, human burials and ground stone tools. Skhul also represents an area where Neanderthals - possibly present in the region from 200,000 to 45,000 years ago - may have lived alongside these humans dating to 100,000 years ago. The cave also has Middle Palaeolithic layers.
Candiacervus is an extinct genus of deer native to Pleistocene Crete. Their most notable feature, besides their peculiar, spatula-shaped antlers, was their small stature: the smallest species, C. ropalophorus, stood about 40 cm at the shoulders when fully grown, as can be inferred from a mounted skeleton. As such, the genus is considered to be a textbook example of insular dwarfism. Other features are the relatively short limbs, the massivity of the bones and the simplified antler.
Francis Adrian Joseph Turville-Petre was a British archaeologist, famous for the discovery of the Homo heidelbergensis fossil Galilee Man in 1926, and for his work at Mount Carmel, in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine, now Israel. He was a close friend of Christopher Isherwood and W. H. Auden.
Eric Sidney Higgs (1908–1976) was the founder of the "Cambridge Palaeoeconomy School", which focused on the economic aspects of archaeology. His name is closely connected with a process known as "Site Catchment Analysis".
The Cyprus dwarf hippopotamus or Cypriot pygmy hippopotamus is an extinct species of hippopotamus that inhabited the island of Cyprus until the early Holocene.
The Cyprus dwarf elephant is an extinct species that inhabited the island of Cyprus during the Pleistocene until around 11,000 years BC. Remains comprise 44 molars, found in the north of the island, seven molars discovered in the south-east, a single measurable femur and a single tusk among very sparse additional bone and tusk fragments. The molars support derivation from the Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), that inhabited Europe since 780,000 years ago, who reached the island presumably during a Pleistocene glacial maximum when low sea levels opened terrestrial corridors between Cyprus and Asia Minor. During subsequent periods of isolation the population adapted within the evolutionary mechanisms of insular dwarfism, which the available sequence of molar fossils confirms to a certain extent. The fully developed Palaeoloxodon cypriotes weighed not more than 200 kg (440 lb) and had a maximum height of 1.40 m (4.59 ft). Whether the species extinction is to be attributed to the arrival of humans on the island remains debated. The species represented a sizable food source, but was easily overcome by contemporary hunter-gatherer populations.
Hippopotamus creutzburgi is an extinct species of hippopotamus from the island of Crete. Hippopopotamus colonized Crete probably 800,000 years ago and lived there during the Middle Pleistocene. Bones of H. creutzburgi were found by Dorothea Bate on the Katharo plateau, in eastern Crete, in the 1920s. A similar insular dwarf species, the Cyprus dwarf hippopotamus lived on the island of Cyprus until the Holocene. It was at least 20% smaller than either subspecies of Cretan hippo.
Gondolin Cave is a fossiliferous dolomitic paleocave system in the Northwest Province, South Africa. The paleocave formed in the Eccles Formation dolomites. Gondolin is currently the only described hominin-bearing fossil site in the Northwest Province-portion of the designated Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cave is located on privately owned land and is not accessible to the public. As is the case with other South African Paleo-cave systems with Pliocene and/or Pleistocene fossil deposits, the system was mined for lime during the early 20th century. As a result, the system has been heavily disturbed and consists of only a small active cave, a series of in situ remnant cave deposits, and extensive dumpsites of ex situ calcified sediments produced during mining activities.
Shuqba cave is an archaeological site near the town of Shuqba in the western Judaean Mountains in the West Bank.
Gibraltar 2, also known as Devil's Tower Child, represented five skull fragments of a female Neanderthal child discovered in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The discovery of the fossils at the Devil's Tower Mousterian rock shelter was made by archaeologist Dorothy Garrod in 1926. It represented the second excavation of a Neanderthal skull in Gibraltar, after Gibraltar 1, the second Neanderthal skull ever found. In the early twenty-first century, Gibraltar 2 underwent reconstruction.
Yusra was a Palestinian woman who worked with British archaeologist Dorothy Garrod in her excavations at Mount Carmel. Although little is known of Yusra's life before or after, or even her full name, she was as a prominent member of the excavation team between 1929 and 1935. Most notably, she is credited with the discovery of Tabun 1, a 120,000-year-old Neanderthal skull from Tabun Cave.