In Memoriam

Maria Estela MANSUR | dec. February 5, 2022

Image by Ignacio Clemente Conte

Researcher at CONICET- CADIC (Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego) and Professor at the National University of Tierra del Fuego (Ushuaia), Maria Estela Mansur was part of the first generation of western traceologists to establish the fundamentals of the discipline. Working in Patagonia, she quickly called upon ethnographic and historical data to enrich her interpretations. Researcher at CONICET in Ushuaia (Argentina), she created and directed a research group on techniques and functional analysis where she trained many of the researchers of the discipline in Latin America. Her work focused on prehistoric hunter-gatherers in Southern Patagonia has led to many fruitful collaborations in Europe, particularly with France and Spain. Estella left us on February 5th, 2022, she always kept her optimism and unyielding enthusiasm. Many of us have very fond memories of her“.

Sylvie Beyries & Annelou van Gijn | feb. 2022

| Worlcat Identity 1982-20162008 | Virtual International Authority File |

Linda R. OWEN | dec. February 26, 2021

Sadly Linda Owen was taken by the Coronavirus on 26 February, 2021.  With Günther Unrath, Linda designed and organized the first multi-analyst blind test of microscopic analysis; this work was published in 1986 as Technical Aspects of Microwear Studies on Stone Tools, in a triple volume of Early Man News 9/10/11.  In 1997 she co-organized with Martin Porr the conference Ethno-Analogy and Reconstruction of Prehistoric Artefact Use and Production (publication 1999). In 2005, in her book Distorting the Past: Gender and the Division of Labor in the European Upper PaleolithicLinda rehabilitates the work and the place of women among present-day or prehistoric hunter-gatherers through a fine analysis of a very large documentation. We remember her razor-sharp mind and her ability to come to the core of an argument, as well as her happy laugh! With Linda a great pioneer of microwear analysis has passed away“.

Sylvie Beyries & Annelou van Gijn | mar. 2021

| Worlcat Identity 1983-201019841991-2017 | Virtual International Authority File |

Lawrence H. KEELEY, Professor | August 24, 1948 – October 11, 2017

“With sadness we report that another one of our colleagues, archaeologist Larry Keeley (U. Illinois, Chicago Circle), passed away this week. I overlapped with Larry at Oxford University in the 70’s and we collaborated in the 1980’s on his pioneering microwear analysis of stone tools from Koobi Fora, Kenya (1.9-1.4 million years old). He was a good friend and would visit us in Bloomington on occasion, and advised several of our Chinese and Algerian colleagues on microscopic use-wear studies at their Early Stone Age sites. He was also interested in the Neolithic of northwest Europe (especially Belgium) and defensive features at sites, and on the anthropological origins of warfare, for which he wrote a book, “War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage” (1996). He was famous for telling his students, who proposed overly ambitious research projects, “Yeah, YOU AND WHAT ARMY?” This has been a rough year- we have lost several people we have worked closely with in the past, including Duane Rumbaugh (Psychology/Primatology, Georgia State U.), Frank Brown (Geology, U. Utah), and now Larry Keeley”.

Nicholas Toth | oct. 2017

| Worlcat Identity 1970-20121979-19801977 | Virtual International Authority File | Library of Congress |

George ODELL, Professor | October 14, 2011

“[…] George was an early champion of low- power microscopy in the study of lithic use- wear (Odell 1978, 1979, 1981a; Tringham et al. 1974) and, over the years, became its most accomplished practitioner. He applied his impressive expertise to the archaeological record of the Belgian Neolithic (Odell 1978, 1980), to an Illinois Valley record that spanned millennia (Odell 1987, 1996), and to the southern Plains. Along the way, George made major substantive contributions in, for instance, the exploration of form–function correspondences (Odell 1981b), the origins of bow and arrow technology in North America (Odell 1988), and technological organization (Odell 1994). He also organized two important conferences whose resulting publications were highly influential (Henry and Odell 1989; Odell, ed. 1996). Toward the end of his career, George wrote a comprehensive synthesis of lithic analysis (Odell 2003). Yet George Odell cannot be pigeonholed as a narrow lithic analyst, and an equally important facet of his career should not be overlooked in the understandable focus on stone tools: his contribution to the broader study of prehistory. In the process, he made important contributions to survey methods (Odell and Cowan 1987) and to site testing (Odell 1992). Among other important contributions, George excavated a major protohistoric settlement in eastern Oklahoma and authored a comprehensive volume on the site (Odell 2002). Most of us can only regard this record with the mixture of awe and envy that it inspires. In the aggregate, it is more than enough to secure George Odell a prominent place in the history of archaeological lithic analysis. Yet George made an equally important contribution when, in 1993, he revived Lithic Technology, which had ceased publication several years before. Improving its layout and format, George transformed Lithic Technology into an influential forum of lithic analysis and guided it with a steady editorial hand for nearly 20 years. (The journal is now in the capable hands of Grant McCall.) Recalling (again) the superabundance of lithic evidence, it is remarkable how few journals are dedicated to its systematic study. Without George’s sustained efforts, the first among those few journals would not exist. George’s path crossed mine in the early 1990s. Thereafter, we stayed in frequent contact on matters of common interest. By circumstance, George and I were not close friends, but I like to think that we were fairly good professional colleagues. Among his manifest qualities, two stand out (besides his fondness for lame puns, as McCall and Horowitz remind us). First was George’s unfailing good nature. He was as serious about the field as any archaeologist I know, but George was rarely met without a smile on his face and a kind word on his lips. Anyone who has traveled the thickets of academe in the past 25 years knows how rare and can appreciate how refreshing such personal qualities are in a prominent researcher. Second was George’s unfailing scholarly civility. As active researchers, he and I disagreed as much as we agreed —  not least about when bow and arrow technology first reached the Americas and by what evidence that appearance was demonstrated (Odell 1988; Shott 1993) —  but always constructively. This quality too was both rare and welcome in a field where, sadly, civil discourse is not always the rule in debate. In sum, George Odell was an archaeologist of the highest personal and professional caliber, who demonstrated great expertise in important areas of analysis, notably use- wear analysis, and broad interest in the intelligent study of the cultural past. The rest of us can aspire to George’s standards of scholarship and, perhaps on our best days, approach them. This book represents some of the best days of two generations of lithic analysts. However imperfect it may be, we offer it in heartfelt tribute to a man who exemplified the highest standards of lithic analysis”.

Michael J. Shott | 2015

| Worlcat Identity | Virtual International Authority File | Library of Congress |