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Douglas R. Givens

Department of Anthropology Saint Louis Community College - Meramec, US
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The inclusion of obituaries in anthropological journals by their parent organizations is recognition of the impor­tance of the past to the anthropological enterprise. Obituaries are an essential source of information for those who have a research or general interest in the history of the development of worldwide archaeology. Yet anthropological journals from all quarters are rethinking whether space should be provided in their pages to recount the lives of those who have contributed to the conduct of archaeology. The question to be weighed is this: Which is more important) the publication of scientific information relating to some facet of the archaeological enterprise or a brief account of the contributions of those that have passed on? Journals are coming under increasing pressure by their readers as well as the executive boards of their sponsoring academic organizations to publish obituaries in non-indexed organizational "newsletters" to free journal space for scientific papers. In doing this, journals are relegating the past of archaeological practice to the brief mention of the lives who have given their productive years to the development of the archaeological enterprise. Unless libraries and documentary repositories choose to retain such non-indexed organizational newsletters. it is quite possible that the obituaries of colleagues and a cohesive discussion of their place in archaeology will never again see the light of day.
How to Cite: Givens, D.R., 1995. Editorial. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 5(1), p.2. DOI:
Published on 01 May 1995.


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