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Database Kirkbride Archive – University of Copenhagen

Shkarat Msaied Neolithic Project > Database Kirkbride Arc...


The database of the Diana Kirkbride-Helbæk Archive contains a variety of documentation and  data (i.e. photos, diaries, drawings etc.) related to Diana Kirkbride-Helbæk's fieldwork mainly in Jordan and Iraq. Thanks to the generous donation of the Ashby-family the archive holds now also most of her private correspondence and photos. The Diana Kirkbride-Helbæk Archive database is part of our initiative to make archive material located at ToRS/KU available to researchers and the public. 

Diana Victoria Warcup Kirkbride-Helbæk, FSA (22 October 1915 – 13 August 1997) was a British archaeologist (and conservator)  specialised in the prehistory of the Near East. She attended Wycombe Abbey School in High Wycombe and served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during the Second World War. In August 1945, she was introduced to Max Mallowan who became her mentor and helped her to start her archaeological career. In 1950, she completed a postgraduate diploma at University College London in Egyptology under Professor Jaroslav Černý.

Kirkbride joint the excavations at Jericho under the directorship of Kathleen Kenyon from 1952 to 1955. Here she was responsible for the excavation of the burials and some of the PPNA architecture. 

In 1953, she began her to work for the Department of Antiquities of Jordan under Gerald Lankester Harding; including the restoration of the Roman theatre in Jerash together with the late Theo Canaan. She conducted as well excavations at Petra in 1956. During her studies of the Paleolithic and Neolithic of the Petra area, she excavated a small rock shelter called Wadi Madamagh and the Neolithic village in Sayl Aqlat, better known as Beidha. She may be best known for her work at Neolithic Beidha where she led the excavations for the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem from 1958 until 1967 respectively 1983. It was during this work that she met her later husband the Danish paleobotanist Hans Helbæk.  

In addition she conducted surveys and excavations in Lebanon in the Mid-1960s; e.g. at Ard Tlaili and the Beqaa plain. In the 1970s, she surveyed and excavated in Iraq at the Late-Neolithic site of Umm Dabaghiyah. She briefly worked as well in Sri Lanka and returned to work at Beidha/Jordan in 1983.

The Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS) at the University of Copenhagen keeps her archive. Digitising of the material is ongoing and will be made available accordingly. However, we plan to re-organise the archiv's structure in near future to increase the usability of the data.

If you wish to get access to the database, please contact Charlott Hoffmann Jensen on  charlott@hum.ku.dk or Moritz Kinzel on zdr147@hum.ku.dk for login and password.

Please click here to go to the Diana Kirkbride excavations and projects Dataverse database.

The Dataverse Network is an open-source repository for publishing, referencing, extracting and analyzing research data which has been developed at Harvard University.

This Dataverse database has been developed with the assistance of KUBIS, Copenhagen University Library and Information Service, and The Royal Library IT Service. It is hosted by the Royal Library.

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Diana Kirkbride excavations and projects Dataverse by Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.