E Stewart

Wife of the Australian archaeologist J. R. Stewart, responsible for the excavation reports and drawings of Vounous cemeteries A, B in Cyrpus

Born in Kingsdon, Somerset, England. Her father, John Franklin Neal (1878–1919), was a landowner who had been educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, and married her mother, Marian Geraldine Kate (née Stewart) (1885–1949), in 1908. Both of her grandfathers were vicars. She was educated at home until 1920, then went to Grassendale School for Girls in Southbourne, Hampshire, and subsequently attended the Gloucestershire School of Domestic Science. She also taught for a time at a school in Birmingham. It is understood that she met J. R. Stewart through her elder brother, John Stewart Neal. While at university, however, JRS was a frequent visitor to the Neal family residence in Kingsdon, and he and Eleanor became engaged in April 1934. They were married on 1 July 1935 at All Saints Parish Church in Kingsdon. Until the onset of the Second World War, when in England they stayed at the Kingsdon home of Eleanor’s mother and sisters, and used it as their base.Prior to that Eleanor and JRS had already embarkedon their numerous expeditions and trips, the first to join Professor Sir William Flinders Petrie, on what turned out to be the last of his seasons’ excavations in the winter of 1933/34 at the Bronze Age site of Tellel-‘Ajjul on the south coast of Palestine.

Shortly after their wedding, they made a visit to Australia, with the intention of returning to England via the Near East, where JR Stewart was to take up Cambridge University’s Anthony Wilkin Studentship in Ethnology and Archaeology, which he had been awarded for research in Asia Minor. After arriving in Palestine on 29 October 1935, and paying their respects to Petrie in Jerusalem, they accepted an invitation from Lieutenant-Commander Noel Frederick Wheeler to go to Cyprus, which they reached on 14 November. While in Cyprus the Stewarts made the acquaintance of the archaeological community, local and foreign alike, explored the island and collected antiquities. It was the beginning of JRS’ and Eleanor’s commitment to Cyprus. In January 1936, they finally arrived in Turkey where they spent the
next six months excavating, touring sites and recording antiquities. In this endeavour Eleanor played a key role, as she had by now become an accomplished note-taker and photographer. These skills were to stand them both in excellent stead when
they set again from England in early 1937, this time to begin the excavations in the Bronze Age cemetery at Bellapais
Vounous which were to lay the foundations of JRS’s archaeological career and reputation. It was a major undertaking, involving the careful and
thorough clearance, planning and recording of some 85 fully furnished tombs, and yielded a substantial volume of antiquities, many of which were allocated to the expedition in the division of fnds with the Cypriot Department of Antiquities. JRS and Eleanor
opened the fieldwork on 13 March 1937 and continued working in Cyprus until the last quarter of 1938 before returning once more to Kingsdon.

Taken from https://www.academia.edu/11315119/James_Stewart_and_Walter_Beasley_Australia_Cyprus_and_the_Australian_Institute_of_Archaeology
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