Hannah Marie Wormington

wpe6.gif (26600 bytes)
H. Marie Wormington on archaeological excavation, 1938  (Parezo, 1993).

  Wormington became the first women president of the Society for American Archaeology, 1967.  She received awards from the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1970, Colorado's State Archaeologist's Award in 1977, an Honorary Doctorate from Colorado State University in 1977, and the Society of American Archaeology's  Distinguished Service Award in 1983.   Today we celebrate Hannah Marie Wormington, a scientist who was an indomitable foremother of  archaeology to  women.   Wormington has always opened her field school to women, providing them the opportunities to acquire professional skills.  Her dedication to working with amateur archaeologists, her ability to gather data on early man synthesizing the information into a readable text for laymen as well as scholars, has made her an important  contributor to the discipline of archaeology. 

Selected Works by H. M. Wormington:

1937  The Amateur Archaeologist. Minnesota Archaeologist 2(6): 1-6.

1962b  A Survey of Early American Prehistory.  American Scientist 50(1): 230-42.

1983  Early Man in the New World:  1970-1980.  In Early Man in the New World.  Richard Shutler, Jr., ed. Berkeley: Sage Publications.


Cordell, Linda S.
1993  Women Archaeology in the Southwest. In Hidden Scholars.  Ed.   Nancy J. Parezo.   Pp. 214-15. Albequerque: University of New Mexico.

Frost, Janet Owens.
1988  Hannah Marie Wormington.  In Women Anthroplogists:  A Biographical Dictionary.  Eds., Ute Gacs, Aisha Khan, Jerrie McIntyre, Ruth Weinberg.  Pp. 291-296. New York:  Greenwood Press.

Wormington, Hannah M.
1939b  Ancient Man in North America. Denver Museum of Natural History, Popular Series No.4.
1947  Prehistoric Indian of the Southwest. Denver Musuem of Natural History Series No.7.

     Hannah Marie Wormington was an American archaeologist known for her study of Paleo-Indians   in the Southwest. She contributed greatly to the body of research of   prehistoric cultures, among those were the Fremont of  Utah, and the Uncompahgre of Colorado.  She is still well regarded for her monographs that synthesize large and complex bodies of data.

  Wormington   was born in Denver, Colorado and educated at the University of  Denver, graduating with her B.A. in 1935.  There she studied with E.B. Renaud, who inspired her to pursue archaeology.   This pursuit took her to France to research French Paleolithic.  Returning to Denver from her studies abroad, she was hired by the Denver Museum of Natural History as a staff archaeologist.  In 1937, she became curator of archaeology, establishing the museum's status as an important center for Paleo-Indian research. She remained at the museum until 1968. She received her doctorate in 1954, becoming the first Harvard female Ph.D. to specialize in archaeology.

wpe5.gif (35119 bytes)
Mimbres black-on-white pottery. (Wormington, 1956).

    Her most significant publications were Ancient Man in North America (1939b) and Prehistoric Indians of the Southwest (1947). Both are considered classics for synthesizing the   incredible amount of data on the subject of Prehistoric Indians. 

Sites of Interest

Lindenmeier Site
University of Colorado
Southwest Indians

Seeing the changes in archaeology, Wormington stated, "We're becoming much more like anthropologists, with an emphasis on lifeways of people instead of just their material possession" (Frost, 1988)