Expedition News – Spring 1966

Originally Published in 1966

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On January 13, 1966, the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal was awarded to Richard Stockton MacNeish. For the past five years, Dr. MacNeish has been Field Director of the Tehuacan Archaeological-Botanical Project, carried out under the auspices of the Robert S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology, Andover, Massachusetts, for the express purpose of determining where and how the ancient civilizations of Mexico and Central America originated. For many years it has been known that people who subsisted by hunting and gathering wild plant food have lived in the area from at least 10,000 B.C., and it was also known that people had been living in villages and practicing maize agriculture from about 1500 B.C. The Tehuacan Project, therefore, was organized to attempt to fill the historical gap between the hunting people and the established agriculturists that for so long had puzzled archaeologists working in this field.

richard_macneishDr. MacNeish, after much preliminary exploration, chose the Tehuacan Valley, in the state of Puebla, about 150 miles south of Mexico City, as the most likely place in which to look for the perishable evidence of the beginnings of agriculture.

In dry caves and open sites, his excavations revealed a long sequence of cultural stages from at least 7200 B.C. to the Spanish Conquest, showing a change from hunting and gathering of wild plants to the gradual domestication of a number of species, finally culminating in fully developed agriculture. As he has emphasized in his reports, Dr. MacNeish has had the cooperation of many specialists in botany and other disciplines, but his has been the major responsibility for the coordination of one of the most important projects in the history of American archaeology. It represents a true “break through,” proving the existence of a stage of development of Indian life that had long been postulated by archaeologists, but never definitely proven.

The nominee for the Drexel Medal is chosen by the living medalists. These are now Sir Mortimer Wheeler, M.E.L. Mallowan, J. Eric S. Thompson, all Englishmen. It is, therefore, surely evidence of the major importance of Dr. MacNeish’s work that such a panel has unanimously picked him to receive the medal this year.

MIT RAHINEH 1956, by Rudolf Anthes, with contributions by Ibrahim Abdel Aziz, Hasan S.K. Bakry, Henry G. Fischer, Labib Habachi, Jean Jacquet, William K. Simpson, Jean Yoyotte.

This second Monograph dealing with the Joint Project of the University Museum and the Egyptian Department of Antiquities for work at Memphis has recently come from the press. In it, Dr. Anthes with the collaborating authors, describes the second season of his excavations at Memphis. The report of the first season was issued as a Monograph, MIT RAHINEH 1955, in 1959. The present volume gives a detailed description of the Area of the Small Temple of Ramses II, the Enclosure Wall, and Merenptah’s Wall; a report from the architect; a catalogue of finds. It is illustrated with plans, excavation photographs, and photographs of the objects found.


The American Anthropologist, official journal of the American Anthropological Association, is now housed in the University Museum. On January 1, 1966, Ward H. Goodenough, Professor of Anthropology and Curator of General Ethnology, started a five-year term as the journal’s editor. He succeeds George D. Spindler, Professor of Anthropology in Stanford University. The editorial office in the Museum basement is now in full operation with Ann Raney as Managing Editor and Dorothy Waters as Editorial Assistant. The journal comes out in six numbers, with a combined total of about 1,200 pages per year. The first number under the new editorship will be the one to appear in June, 1966. In addition to the six regular numbers, the American Anthropologist publishes special issues of symposia dealing with particular subjects within anthropology where new advances are being made or new research problems are taking shape.

Assisting Dr. Goodenough as associate editors are Anthony F.G. Wallace, Dell H. Hymes, Ruben E. Reina, Robert H. Dyson, and Francis E. Johnston, all of the Museum and Anthropology Department staffs; Robert J. Smith and Robert Ascher of Cornell University; and William C. Sturtevant of the Smithsonian Institution. Raymond D. Fogelson of the University of Chicago is the new Book Review Editor; Gordon D. Gibson, also of the Smithsonian Institution, continues as Film Review Editor.

This is not the first time the American Anthropologist has come to the University Museum. It made its home here from 1945 to 1948, under the editorship of J. Alden Mason, Curator Emeritus of the American Section.

Cite This Article

"Expedition News – Spring 1966." Expedition Magazine 8, no. 3 (May, 1966): -. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/expedition-news-spring-1966/

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