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Networking : Obituaries (obituaries are copied from various web pages; the relevant page from which it is copied is fully referenced)
=== > Peter Garlake (1934-2011)
copied from the Wikipedia, 6 December 2011
Garlake began his career in African art and archaeology as a Nuffield Research Student, British Institute in Eastern Africa from 1962 to 1964, carrying out excavations at Manekweni in Mozambique.
From 1964 to 1970, Garlake served as Inspector of Monuments, Rhodesia, and was on faculty at the University of Zimbabwe. During this time his research focused on the early history of Great Zimbabwe. His research was the first to prove, incontrovertibly, that Great Zimbabwe was constructed by the ancestors of the current inhabitants of the area, as opposed to being constructed by a non-African or outsider civilization. This research was opposed by the government of the Rhodesian government prime minister, Ian Smith, and Garlake was forced to leave the country in 1970.
Garlake relocated to Ife, Nigeria, and between 1971 and 1973 was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Ife, where he researched the early art and archaeology of Ile-Ife. From 1976 to 1981, Garlake held an appointment as Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at University College London. Following Zimbabwean Independence, Garlake returned to Zimbabwe and spent the next ten years conducting his research on early Zimbabwean rock art, continuing to divide his time between family homes in Harare and London.
Peter Garlake was a truly gifted, thorough and painstaking yet self-critical scholar, fully at home in all aspects of the study of African art, generous in sharing his knowledge and insight, and never afraid to ask advice in areas remote from his first-hand experience; and he was a good friend.
Major works :
The Early Islamic Architecture of the East African Coast (1966)
Great Zimbabwe (1973)
The Kingdoms of Africa (1978)
The Hunter's Vision (1995)
Early Art and Architecture of Africa (2002)
Written by Akinwumi Ogundiran : (copied from Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAFA) mailing list, 6 December 2011)
Peter Garlake was indeed a thorough archaeologist with a very strong attention to details. During his brief stint in Nigeria, he lived and worked in the ancient city of Ile-Ife where he carried out two major excavations at Woye Asiri and Obalara sites. Not only did he promptly publish his findings in the West African Journal of Archaeology, WAJA (1974, 1977) but he also provided the most elaborate descriptive analysis of the Classical Ife ceramics. He even gallantly attempted to develop a typological-chronological sequencing of the Ife ceramic decorative motifs. His two papers in WAJA are important reference works for anyone seeking to understand the material life of Classical Ife and Central Yoruba region in general. My own ceramic study and archaeological history of Central Yorubaland has benefitted tremendously from the analytical framework that he developed. May his soul rest in peace.
=== > Peter Lewis Shinnie (1915-2007)
see also paper in the African Archaeological Review
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Peter Lewis Shinnie (1915-2007). Peter was a founding member of SAfA, one of the first co-presidents of the society, and founder and editor of SAfA’s news bulletin Nyame Akuma, the first 19 numbers of which were produced with his wife Ama Shinnie from the office in their basement. Peter Shinnie’s archaeological career spanned six decades of research in Africa. During his career he was Head of the Departments of Archaeology at the University of Ghana (1958-1966), the University of Khartoum (1966-1970), and the University of Calgary (1970-1975). Peter was also a talented linguist who spoke and/or read Arabic, ancient and modern Greek, French, German, Egyptian hieroglyphics, as well as ancient and modern Nubian for which he was preparing a lexicon. Many of his undergraduate and graduate students from Africa, Canada, the United States and Europe have gone on to establish professional careers in archaeology. Peter was an active Professor Emeritus in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Calgary. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues not only for his knowledge but for his great wit, generosity, and friendship.
Peter was born in London, England in 1915. He studied history and Egyptology at Oxford University graduating in 1938. He obtained practical, if informal, field training from Mortimer Wheeler at Maiden Castle and at other Roman and Iron Age sites in England. During World War II he served in the RAF first as a bomber pilot and later in intelligence interpreting aerial photographs and identifying and marking Italian archaeological sites as non-targets. After the war, Peter excavated sites in Turkey before taking up the post of Assistant Commissioner (and eventually Commissioner) of Archaeology in the Sudan. Between 1946 and 1958 Peter conducted field research in Sudan developing his lifelong interest in the archaeology of Africa’s more recent past and its contemporary people. In particular Peter saw the need to investigate the development of Sudan’s unique culture apart from Ancient Egypt’s role in Nubia. He began with the excavation of the medieval site of Soba with his first wife Margaret Shinnie, combining archaeological field techniques with historic information and observation of contemporary Nubian practices. He further contributed to the development of archaeology in the Sudan by founding the journal Kush, and by providing collections for the antiquities service which helped to establish Sudan’s National Museum.
In 1956 Peter became Director of Antiquities in Uganda until he was offered the position as Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Ghana in 1958. While building up the department’s facilities, Peter conducted field studies of the ruins of several of West Africa’s medieval and historic states in Nigeria, southern Mauritania, and Ghana. In 1962 Shinnie led the only black African archaeological team that contributed to UNESCO’s rescue programme of sites on the Nile at Aswan during the construction of the High Dam. In 1966 Peter was offered the Chair of Archaeology at the University of Khartoum. Peter took this opportunity to establish excavations at Meroe, the research for which he is perhaps best known.
In 1970 Peter became the head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Calgary but maintained his project at Meroe until 1976 (with a final season in 1983-84). In 1977 he established a new field program in Ghana. Although nominally retired in 1980, Peter continued active field research in Ghana supported by, amongst other institutions, the Asantahene. While investigating the origins of the Gonja and the Asante states and their traditions, always in collaboration with his wife Ama, he continued to write on the Sudan. Peter officially retired from active field work in 1991, but continued to publish on his research until the end of his life. In March 2007 he participated in a celebration of 50 years of Ghanaian independence at the University of Calgary.
Peter was the recipient of many honours for his contribution to Africanist archaeology including honorary life member of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Calgary in 1983, and a Festschrift, An African Commitment, in 1992. In 2004 Peter was awarded Sudan’s prestigious Order of the Two Niles for his contribution to that country’s archaeology. During the conference of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists held in Calgary in June 2006, he was formally presented with the award by the Sudanese Ambassador in a session dedicated to his work. We will remember Peter for a life well lived and look forward to the publication of his memoirs. His was a life of exemplary, passionate and humane commitment to Africa and Africans, and to his relatives and friends.
Predeceased by his son Nicholas, he is survived by his wife Ama, his children Caroline and Paul, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A memorial service will be held at the Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary on Monday 16th July at 10:30 am. If anyone wishes to contribute a brief tribute, memory or story, would they please send it to Nic David (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will see it is transmitted to the family.
==== > Richard B. Nunoo (-2007)
The first African archaeologist of Africa. He worked with Thurstan Shaw at Achimota Museum (the forerunner of the Ghana Museum) and dug at places like Dawu for which he did some of the art work. Independently he excavated sites inland from the coast that were published in Man. He became the director of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board in the late 1950's and thus was the first African director of a major African museum. In 1971 he was the first African executive council member of the Pan African Prehistory Congress. He received many UNESCO and individual African country honors in his time. He taught on retirement in one of the City of new York colleges and gained a following among many young African-American scholars and advanced a knowledge of Africa among a broad community. He guest lectured at many universities in the States in the 1970's including UCLA where he opened a special exhibition on Fante flags. He was always a great supporter of archaeology in Ghana and helped M.Posnansky at Begho considerably. He was a welcoming host and accomplished a great deal for our discipline.
=== > F. Clark Howell (1925-2007)
see also Wikipedia
F. Clark Howell was born in Kansas in 1925. He was raised on a farm where he became interested in natural history. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. Following the war he studied anthropology and various related biological and geological sciences at the University of Chicago. Professor Howell’s interest in human evolution began with his studies of Neanderthal man. Following his course work Professor Howell taught at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis before moving back to the University of Chicago in 1955. He stayed in Chicago as a Professor and Chairman of the Anthropology Department until 1970.
In 1970 Professor Howell moved to the University of California at Berkeley as a Professor in Paleoanthropology. Today Professor Howell remains at the University of California at Berkeley as a Professor Emeritus where he co-directs the Laboratory for Human Studies.
Professor Howell’s knowledge of the fossil record has been gained firsthand with work in Africa, Asia, and Europe. It is in the field that Professor Howell has gained some of his greatest notoriety. In 1966 he organized and lead the Omo Research Expedition to the Omo Basin of southern Ethiopia to study Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil deposits. Results of these digs revealed teeth and jaw fragments proving that australopithecoid ancestors lived four million years ago, doubling the age of previous estimates of two million years. Professor Howell has also done field work in such areas as Ambrona and Torralba in Spain, and the Acheulian sites of Isimila in Tanzania.
Professor Howell has written countless papers and several books over his career. Among his publications are Early Man of the Time-Life series and African Ecology and Human Evolution. He also holds memberships in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Trustee of the California Academy of Sciences.
=== > Michèle Delneuf (1954-2006)
written by Marie- Juliette Leka, published in Mega Tchad bulletin 2007,
Michèle Delneuf, archéologue à l'IRD, nous a prématurément quittés le 23 juin 2006, à Calgary (Canada), alors que se tenait la 18ème biennale de la SAfA (Society of Africanist Archaelogists).
Née le 5 juillet 1952 à Paris 15ème, Michèle a poursuivi l'ensemble de son cursus universitaire à l'Université Paris X (Nanterre). Dès la maîtrise, qu'elle consacre à La céramique néolithique d'Akreijit (Mauritanie), et qu'elle soutient en 1981, Michèle s'oriente vers ce qui deviendra son thème de prédilection : les productions céramiques africaines. Ses premiers terrains seront donc mauritaniens. L'année suivante, 1982, marquera les premiers travaux de Michèle au sein de l'aire méga-tchadienne, travaux qui seront menés dans le cadre de l'Orstom (ex-IRD), Institut de recherche que Michèle intègrera deux ans plus tard. Jusqu'en 1991, elle poursuivra les travaux de prospections engagés au Diamaré par A. Marliac, sondera plusieurs buttes archéologiques (Bé, Groumoui, Mowo, Louguéréo, Kayam…) et mènera des enquêtes auprès de plus de 300 potières exerçant dans la province de l'Extrême-Nord. Une approche ethnoarchéologique, intégrant ces dernières données et visant à l'étude de la Céramique néolithique du Sahara occidental, fera l'objet d'une thèse, soutenue en 1989.
Entre 1994 et 1996, Michèle participa, au côté de M. Elouga et de R. Tuéché, au volet "plaine Tikar" du programme pluridisciplinaire ECOFIT (ORSTOM). Il s'agissait d'évaluer les influences anthropiques et climatiques intervenues, durant les trois derniers millénaires, dans la dynamique des milieux d'écotone entre la forêt et la savane.
Ses dernières activités interviendront dans le cadre d'opérations de sauvetage archéologique. De 1999 à 2002, en collaboration avec C. Mbida et R. Assombang (Univ. de Yaoundé I), elle assura des prospections et des opérations de sauvetage dans la province de l’Est, dans le cadre de la mise en place d'un tracé routier entre Bertoua et Garoua Boulaï. A cette occasion, 147 sites distribués sur les lignes de crêtes et les secteurs adjacents furent mis en évidence, la plupart relatifs au 3 premiers millénaires BC. A cette première opération de protection et de sauvetage du patrimoine archéologique succéda une seconde, malheureusement inachevée, conduite dans le cadre du projet routier Ngaoundéré-Toubouro, en collaboration avec D.-B. Nizésété (Univ. de Ngaoundéré). A cette occasion, près d’une centaine de sites ont été recensés.
Après cette brève biographie, je voudrais expliquer en quelques mots ce que représente Michèle, pour moi et pour bien d'autres étudiants camerounais. J’ai rencontré Michèle, au Cameroun, dans le campus de l’université de Yaoundé I ; c’était en 2001. Pour moi, alors étudiante en Maîtrise d’Archéologie, elle était un chercheur occidental de plus, parmi ceux que l'on croise régulièrement dans le paysage universitaire du Cameroun. Cette image anonyme s’est toutefois dissipée à peine ai-je commencé à travailler à ses côtés.
Notre route commune n'aura malheureusement duré que cinq années, avant que la mort nous l'arrache. Les qualités morales de Michèle et le soutien qu'elle apportait aux étudiants ont attiré vers elle beaucoup d'entre nous. Grâce aux aides logistiques, matérielles et financières qu’elle nous obtint, plusieurs jeunes chercheurs ont pu faire avancer leurs travaux. Ses efforts sur le plan de l’assistance à la recherche des jeunes camerounais ont été couronnés de succès, et je pense en être un exemple marquant. Bénéficiant de son appui, j’ai en effet pu obtenir une bourse de thèse de doctorat à l’IRD en 2006. Il serait fastidieux de citer toutes les actions de Michèle en vue de l’émergence d’une jeune génération d’archéologues camerounais, aussi, je me contenterai de lui rendre hommage pour tout au nom de mes camarades. Cette action est d'ailleurs reconnue bien au delà du cercle des étudiants camerounais. C'est ainsi que la SAfA a décidé d’attribuer chaque année un Prix Michèle Delneuf à un(e) étudiant(e) en archéologie d’un pays du Sud.
Mais, plus qu’une consolation, c’est une conception partagée en Afrique : « les morts ne sont pas morts », ses oeuvres continuent à vivre. Michèle Delneuf restera toujours parmi nous.
Marie- Juliette LEKA
Zone géographique de compétence : Cameroun ; Mauritanie ; Mali