Celebrating Olwen Tudor Jones on International Women’s Day

This year on International Women’s Day we have delved into the AAIA Archives and unearthed a rare film interview with Olwen Tudor Jones.

Olwen Tudor Jones (1916-2001), was an archaeologist, finds manager, archivist, teacher and mentor. She was Research Assistant to the AAIA’s founding director, the late Professor Alexander Cambitolgou. She was an amazing woman who mentored many budding archaeologists over the course of her career.

Olwen was one of the main editors on the AAIA publications Zagora 2 and Torone 1. The interview you see here was recorded during the 1984 field season at Torone, near the southern end of the Sithonia peninsula of the Chalkidike.

In the background of the video, the young man you can see working so diligently is now the AAIA’s Acting Director, Dr Stavros Paspalas. On watching the archival footage this week Dr Paspalas commented:

“Olwen Tudor Jones was an inspiration; a warm and indomitable person who was always as eager to impart her experiences and knowledge to others as she was to learn from them. And, indeed, she had a wealth of experiences to share. Olwen played a major role in the process by which I was fortunate enough to become an archaeologist. The months I spent with her in the “pot shed” at Torone expanded my interest in how ceramics can be studied so that we may learn about past societies and confirmed my desire to pursue archaeology seriously. More importantly, though, I learnt from Olwen the value of following one’s interests wherever they may take you. I owe a great deal to Olwen.”

– Dr Stavros Paspalas

Her legacy continues to provide opportunities for archaeology students at the University of Sydney. A scholarship in her name is funded by her family, friends and former mentees, who wished to continue her commitment to supporting  young students, intellectually, emotionally and financially.

The Olwen Tudor Jones Scholarship is administered by the Society of Mediterranean Archaeology. The scholarship is offered on an annual basis, and the 2020 application round will open soon. For more details, please visit the OTJ Scholarship page.

Her legacy indeed continues and we are proud to remember her on International Women’s Day, 2020.


Dr Stavros Paspalas – Director
Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, Room 480, Madsen Building (F09), University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
+61 2 9351 4759 +61 (0)2 9351 7693 arts.aaia@sydney.edu.au