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Waterhouse, Lady, Helen, née Thomas, 1913-1999 (classicist and archaeologist)



Helen Thomas was educated by her father, F. W. Thomas (Professor of Sanskrit and Oriental Languages at Oxford), Roedean and Girton College, Cambridge, where she took a First in Classics and a starred First in archaeology. She then took up a studentship at the British School at Athens (BSA) 1935-1938 and excavated at Mycenae in 1939. During World War II she worked in the cipher officer at the British legation in Athens and then at the Political Intelligence Office in Cairo. In 1941 she returned to London to the War Office, then the Research Department at the Foreign Office, dealing with Greece and encrypting/decoding government communications. She was appointed Librarian of the BSA in 1946. Subsequently, she held a lectureship in Classics at Manchester University (1948-1949) and was honorary Lecturer and Research Fellow at Birmingham University (1966-1971) She married art historian Ellis Waterhouse (Kt 1975) in 1949 and they had two daughters.

Found in 10 Collections and/or Records:


H. Thomas 1939 Atreus, 1939

Reference Code: GBR/3437/MCNE/1/1/25
Scope and Contents

Excavation notebook for the Tomb of Atreus compiled by Helen Thomas. Daily account of excavation with sketch plans, measurements and a daily record of number of workmen and woman employed. At the end, with the book turned upside down, further sketch plans, section drawings, block measurements and papse notes for sherds were recorded.

Dates: 1939

Letter from Helen Thomas re recent travels and research in Laconia, 1936-04-26

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/20/6
Scope and Contents Helen Thomas tells AJBW about her recent travels in East Crete. She then updates Wace on her work in Laconia: she has little to report, but she has visited a variety of sites, including the Menelaion, Amyklaion, and Vapheio. She asks Wace about Early Helladic pottery found at Skala, then describes her own finds at a site near Molaoi (including EH-LH sherds and some obsidian). Thomas then describes her trips to Kalyvia and Elaphonisi. She discusses the difficulties of travelling as a...
Dates: 1936-04-26

Letter from Helen Thomas re research papers and recent travels, 1938-03-27

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/20/8
Scope and Contents From the Series:

This series comprises letters sent to Alan Wace, with a few copies of his letters sent in reply, by archaeologists and scholars. Notable correspondents include Sophia Schliemann, Sir Arthur Evans and Carl Blegen. There are over ninety individual correspondents. Most letters pertain to archaeological research, discoveries and enquiries. Some correspondence after Alan Wace's death, undertaken by his wife Helen and daughter Lisa, is also included as it relates to posthumous publications.

Dates: 1938-03-27

Letter from Helen Thomas re work in Laconia and future research, 1937-04-22

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/20/7
Scope and Contents

Helen Thomas thanks AJBW for his comments on her paper. She says that she has been unable to work on it, but has received additional comments from Myres. She describes her recent work, saying that she has found an LH III tomb near Leonidi and an EH site near Elaphonisi. She discusses her applications for fellowships in Cambridge and asks for Wace's advice on her future research goals. She wants to move on from Laconia and look at literary sources on migration.

Dates: 1937-04-22

Letter from Helen Waterhouse re her review of AJBW's Mycenae and AJBW's response, May 1950

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/21/15
Scope and Contents Helen Waterhouse writes that she has been asked to review the new Mycenae for JHS: she encloses a copy for AJBW to read. She briefly discusses recent publications on Homer, then shares general news and updates. AJBW replies with comments on the review. He corrects Waterhouse's ideas about chronology at Mycenae, explaining the difference between his own ideas and Furumark's. AJBW argues for more gradual changes between pottery styles, refuting Furumark's work. He ends general news and his...
Dates: May 1950

Letter from Helen Waterhouse to Lisa French, returning a bundle of letters written by Lorimer to the Waces, 1995-04-03

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/13/7
Scope and Contents

Helen Waterhouse writes that the letters from the Lorimers to the Waces are enclosed. She briefly discusses recent work at Miletus and the funding of a new Oxford laboratory. She ends with her upcoming trip to Ithaca, where she has a meeting about the local museum.

Dates: 1995-04-03

Letter from James Stewart in Istanbul re personal contacts and Near Eastern prehistoric chronology, 1936-01-20

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/13
Scope and Contents Addressed "Istanbul', dated 20 January 1936. Stewart writes with enthusiasm about his application for the Jerusalem job and also about the Benaki gold bowl and whether it is genuine or not. Athens has grown on him and he has enjoyed the company of Peter Megaw and Walton and praises Helen Thomas's expertise in Bronze Age pottery. He also writes warmly of Hamid Zubain but lists all the fTurkish frontier areas for which one cannot gain an excavation permit; even for Anatolia the process is time...
Dates: 1936-01-20

Letter from James Stewart re planning an excavation in Cyprus, 1936-05-21

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/23
Scope and Contents

Dated 21 May 1936. Probably written in Istanbul. Stewart has some Australian funding for his Cyprus excavation next year. He seeks AJBW's ideas on how best to proceed with planning such an excavation. 'Miss Webb', whom AJBW knows, seeks their help to work in Asia Minor, having been in Greece.

Dates: 1936-05-21

West terrace wall, Panagia ridge, 1939

Reference Code: GBR/3437/MCNE/3/1/5/6
Scope and Contents From the File:

The Panagia tomb belongs to the second group of tholoi at Mycenae, as categorised by A. J. B. Wace, dating to 1500-1400 BC. It takes its name from its location on the Panagia ridge. A. J. B. Wace and his team cleared the dromos and tholos in 1922.

Dates: 1939

Additional filters:

Cyprus (island) 1
Istanbul (inhabited place) 1