If the numismatic work on the Antioch excavation of 1932-1939 and ensuing coin catalogue production were a relay race, Dorothy Waagé, its anchor, would ultimately have run every leg - and crossed the finish line more than once.
Waagé joined the Antioch Expedition as her husband’s assistant in 1937, for the 6th of 9 excavation seasons, with no prior numismatic experience and feeling “almost lost”; 15 years later, she authored the then groundbreaking Excavation Catalogue: Antioch-on-the-Orontes, IV, part 2: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Crusaders' Coins. This paper explores the biographical, historical and circumstantial factors that both paved and complicated her path.
Obstacles included lack of numismatic training among expedition staff, sloppy recording, gender bias, publishing woes and the contexts of war and the Great Depression. She bested these with her forthright character, strong personal interest in classics, collaborative support of her husband, and, above all, her steely commitment to scholarship.