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Mary Elizabeth Shutler in Vanuatu, in the1960s. Permitted to join the first archaeological expedition to New Caledonia in 1952 as a ‘voluntary assistant’, she was the only French speaker and chief interlocuter with the Kanak people. Family archives, reproduced with the kind authorisation of John Shutler & Susan Arter.

Friday essay: invisible no more – putting the first women archaeologists of the Pacific back on the map

‘Wives’, volunteers, assistants: the vital contribution of women archaeologists has long been underplayed, if not erased. A new project uncovers trailblazers in the Pacific.

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