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Discourses on the History of Archaeology

The Kansas Anthropologist Reminlscence Project for Senior Plains Anthropologists


Marlin F. Hawley

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Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations, ask thy father and he will show thee, thy elders, and they will tell thee. Deuteronomy 32: 7

For the past six years, The Kansas Anthropologist has published an ongoing series of reminiscences or retrospective articles by senior Great Plains archaeologists. The aim of the project is to collect reminiscences from senior anthro­pologists regarding their experiences in pre-and post-World War II Plains archaeology, biological anthropology, and ethnology. The historian John Lukacs (1966:x) once offered an elegant and concise comment on the value of history, one that I offer here:

"I believe that history, as a form of thought, is one of the most precious and perhaps unique rational posssessions of Western civilizations. The character of a person may appear best from the reconstruc­tion of the history of his life; the same is true of the character of nations. The very history of a prob­lem may reveal its essential diagnosis. There is no human endeavor that may not be approached and studied profitably through its history."

Fortunately, there hardly needs to be a justification anymore for such a project, as is attested by the recent prolifera­tion of research into the history of archaeology and anthropology on virtually a global scale.

The intention of these retrospective articles is not to explore or diagnose any particular problem but rather to create a mosaic of first person narrratives informed by personal experience and illustrated with photos and anecdotes to illuminate the development of Plains anthropology in the 20th Century.
How to Cite: Hawley, M.F., 1998. The Kansas Anthropologist Reminlscence Project for Senior Plains Anthropologists. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 8(2), pp.19–21. DOI:
Published on 20 Nov 1998.
Peer Reviewed


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