Karen Rubinson honored as a Trowelblazer by the Steppe Sisters

By Hannah McDonald
10/13/2020

ISAW Research Associate, Karen Rubinson, was recently recognized as a “trowelblazer.” The home page of the website describes its mission -- to honor “women archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists who have been doing awesome work for far longer, and in far greater numbers, than most people realise” (It’s a Britain-based site!). She was nominated by Selin E. Nugent and Jennifer Swerida, members of the Steppe Sisters, a networking group of women who do archaeological work in Central Asia. Central Asia includes the South Caucasus, that is, the three modern countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In the archaeological past this region was not separate countries but rather an area that shared many archaeological cultures and served as a bridge between Europe and Asia.

She was honored and surprised to learn of the nomination. The citation notes “Archaeologists of the Near East, Caucasus, and Eurasian Steppe know Karen Rubinson as a fearless traveler, an insightful scholar, a kind mentor, and, above all, a woman who knows how to build bridges. Bridges between regions, between sites, between objects and their meanings, and between people.”

The citation continues with information about Karen’s work, much of it in recent years carried out at ISAW, including her co-curation of Nomads of the Ancient World exhibition with ISAW Professor Sören Stark and co-organization of a workshop on Borders in Pre-Classical Anatolia and the South Caucasus, with ISAW Professor Lorenzo D’Alfonso.