|Epigraphic Sources for Early Greek Writing|
LILIAN HAMILTON JEFFERY
6. Begins Studies of Local Scripts and Excavates at Bayrakli (Old Smyrna)
The period of her Research Fellowship may look strange today. Enrolled as a student for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, she was in fact preparing a work on the largest scale. She was already known, at home and abroad, as the most gifted expert on archaic local scripts. Major new texts were being entrusted to her for publication, and her advice was frequently sought. From before and after the war, she had accumulated a large number of individual things that she wished to say, and a stream of articles, with unassuming titles, started to appear; on close inspection notes which looked narrowly technical often turned out to contain observations of central importance. A good example of this is a demonstration hidden in such an article in 1954 that the use of magical defixiones could be traced back well into the fifth century, contrary to Dodds's contention in The Greeks and the Irrational that their absence from the fifth century contributed to showing it as an age of enlightenment.
She continued to travel in Greece and joined the British School's excavations at Old Smyrna in 1949. A sketch survives (H. Waterhouse, The British School at Athens: the First Hundred Years (1986), p. 93) showing her barefooted with her shoes tied round her neck, up to her ankles in the water-level of her trench, with a basket of newly found aryballoi before her (the corresponding photograph is reproduced below); she was, of course, invaluable for the scanty epigraphic finds of the excavation.