Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Yusra (archaeologist)

Sector : Science, Scientists

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Palestine
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 0
  • Curriculum vitae :


Yousra is a Palestinian woman who worked with British archaeologist Dorothy Jarrod on the excavations of Mount Carmel. Although little is known about Yusra's life before or after the excavation campaign, or even her full name is not known, she was a prominent member of the excavation team between 1929 and 1935. It is worth mentioning that she is credited with discovering Tabun 1 It is a 120,000-year-old Neanderthal skull found in the Tabun Cave.


Mount Carmel and the discovery of Tabun 1

It is believed that Yusra was either from Ijzim or Jaba, both of which are from the villages of Haifa. In 1929 the British archaeologist Dorothy Jarrod began excavations in the area around Mount Carmel, and following the general custom of the time in these matters, Jarrod hired local workers from these surrounding villages to do the bulk of the work. Although these workers were not formally trained in archaeological methods, they were often skilled excavators with decades and sometimes generations of experience in the field. Unusually, Jarrod appointed a large number of women to work on these excavations, outnumbering the number of men at the site. When Mary Kitson Clark (English archaeologist) visited the site in the first season of the excavation, she noted the prevailing feminist work ethic there; The men did the inferior tasks, while the women did the excavation and recording work. Yusra was one of those women.


Yusra remained working with Jarrod throughout the excavations in Mount Carmel, from 1929 to 1935, working in important prehistoric sites that were named after local names such as: Tabun, Al-Wad, Skhul, Shuqba, Kabbara. Yosra became the most experienced worker on Jarrod's team, and was appointed as a worker supervisor. I worked most of the time with Jacquetta Hawkes; One of Girard's students who became a prominent archaeologist and writer.


One of Yusra's tasks was to examine the soil excavated for artifacts before sending it for sieving. In 1932, while working in the Tabun Cave, Yusra found a tooth, which turned out to be part of a fragmented human skull, but it was almost complete. when all its parts have been found and assembled; It turned out that the skull, which was called: Tabun 1, belonged to an adult female Neanderthal who lived approximately 120,000 and 50,000 years ago. It has been described as "one of the most important human fossils ever found." It has been described as one of the most important human fossils ever found.


Her later life and her lasting legacy

Yousra shared with Hawkes her ambition to study at Newnham-Cambridge University, where Jarrod studied, but this did not materialize! It is not known what happened to Yusra after the end of the excavations on Mount Carmel. As the residents of Ijzim and Jabaa villages were displaced during the war between the Arabs and Israel in 1948; Which frustrated efforts to track it! Little is known about her life from Kitson Clark's memoirs and memories from Hawkes, as well as Jarrod's papers that were rediscovered by researcher Pamela Jane Smith in 1997. Yosra's discovery of Taboon 1 has made a lasting contribution to science. Her story has been discussed as an example of a woman whose great contribution to archaeology in his early years was not recognized and has been largely forgotten ever since.




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