Heizer, Robert F. (swedish)
ROBERT FLEMING HEIZER was one of the preeminent archaeologists of the twentieth century. A longtime professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, Heizer made scholarly contributions to archaeology, anthropology, ethnohistory, and history. Much of his research and the many publications that followed dealt with the prehistoric and historic Native American peoples of the western United States, particularly Nevada and California. He was a pioneer in the field of scientific applications to archaeology, principally in research dealing with radiocarbon dating in its early phases in the 1950s and then with trace element analysis of obsidian (volcanic glass) artifacts in the 1960s and 1970s. Heizer also was deeply involved in the early application of cultural ecology in North American archaeological sites. Much of this research stemmed from analyses of preserved materials from ancient Nevada caves, primarily coprolites (fossil feces) that were a direct reflection of human diet and dietary change through time. Heizer became active in fieldwork in Mesoamerica in the 1950s, continuing up to the time of his death. His excavations provided insights into cultural evolution of the Olmec civilization, and collaborative efforts with geologists and chemists provided new data on trade patterns in prehistoric Mexico and Guatemala. Heizer's prodigious publication record leaves a tremendous resource for future generations of archaeologists and anthropologists in the study of many facets of ancient and early historic human lifeways. Heizer was born on July 13, 1915, in Denver, Colorado, the son of Ott Fleming (a mining engineer) and Martha Madden Heizer (a nurse). He married Nancy Elizabeth Jenkins in 1940 (they were divorced in 1975); they had two sons, Stephen and Michael, and a daughter, Sydney. It was during Heizer's youth, much of it spent in Lovelock, Nevada, that he developed his lifelong interest in the culture of the American Indian. He was able to observe the surviving remnants of the northern Paiute peoples and to collect artifacts from prehistoric sites in the area. Curtice (1981, p. 2) reports that Heizer's uncle learned to make chipped stone projectile points from local Indians. Heizer did a lot of reading about Indians and archaeology, and he once told me that his father contacted an acquaintance (perhaps a relative) who worked in Washington, D.C., to secure copies of Smithsonian Institution publications for Bob. Shortly thereafter, a whole set of Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletins, Smithsonian Annual Reports, and related publications were dumped off, in crates, at the Lovelock train depot! At the age of fourteen Heizer worked as a volunteer at the Smithsonian Institution (Curtice, 1981, p. 2). After graduation (in a class of eleven) from Lovelock High School in 1932 Heizer had wanted to go to the University of California, Berkeley, to study archaeology; however, the Lovelock school had an enrollment of only seventy students and several subjects required for admission to the university were not taught there. Heizer later said (here and in some later passages I quote from unpublished reminiscences that he sent me in July 1973) that he "failed the College Entrance Examinations and was advised to go to a junior college" prior to entering what was then called the "State University." (http://www.nap.edu/readingroom.php?book=biomems&page=rheizer.html, 2010-11-16)
Robert F. Heizer, University of California, Berkley. Fick en uppsats tryckt i "ETHNOLOGICAL STUDIES" och som tack skänkte han en arkeologisk samling (1939.53) till Göteborgs Etnografiska Museum.