Late anthropology professor honored in KUAT documentary

By Heather Hiscox

Arizona Daily Wildcat

He was a quiet, unpretentious man who knew all there was to know about Southwestern archaeology, say friends and colleagues of late UA archaeology Professor Emil Haury.

Peers of Haury, who spent 66 years exploring Southwestern archaeology, say he is considered one of the pre-eminent archaeologists of the 20th century.

Haury died in 1992 at age 88.

The University of Arizona's KUAT-TV documented Haury's life through the people he worked with most.

Leslie Epperson, the documentary's director, producer and writer said, "He passed on what he learned. He was one of the first in the Southwest to uncover major archaeological sites."

Haury's life, lessons and legacy were presented in the documentary, In the Field of Time Nov. 2 by KUAT-TV. The documentary highlighted his contributions to archaeology and to the UA by tracing his life from student to professor.

The documentary contains film footage, narration and interviews with Haury's peers, students and his widow, Agnese Haury.

J. Jefferson Reid, UA anthropology professor and close friend and colleague of Haury said, "Not only was he an honored scholar, but he was a renowned teacher, builder and administrator."

Reid, who narrated the documentary, said students should know more about Haury's contributions to the UA. Haury established and built the Department of Anthropology and the building itself which was dedicated in his name in 1991.

Reid said he considers Haury responsible for recent achievements in the Anthropology Department. In 1993, the doctorate program was ranked fifth in the United States by the National Research Council.

According to Haury's biography (compiled by Reid), he was the first UA faculty member elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the first endowed chair of the UA to receive the Fred A. Riecker Distinguished Professor of Anthropology award. Haury also served as head of the Anthropology Department and director of the Arizona State Museum from 1937 to 1964.

Haury helped define the Hohokam, Mogollon, Cochise and Clovis cultures, he discovered tree ring dating and developed the science of dendrochronology and dendroclimatology.

In a KUAT interview filmed in the late 1980s, Haury said he regarded the discovery of tree ring dating as ". the most momentous of my experiences with Southwestern archaeology."

In 1946, Haury established the university's first archaeological field school, Point of Pines, on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in east-central Arizona.

Epperson said, "The field school has trained many great archaeologists. It shaped the way that archaeology and anthropology are taught in the United States."

Agnese Haury said her husband was lucky to be in the Southwest when he was and said, "He left behind what he called his heritage . the number of students who have gleaned so much from what he taught."

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