Lewis Binford dies at 80

Lewis Binford died last Monday. I have been waiting for a good obituary to be published. The Wall Street Journal’s effort (“Archaeologist Binford Dug Beyond Artifacts”) isn’t that great, but with a week passed, it may be the best we’ll see for awhile. The following quote appears in the SMU obituary.

"Lewis Binford led the charge that pushed, pulled and otherwise cajoled archaeology into becoming a more scientific enterprise," said David Meltzer, professor of prehistory at Southern Methodist University. "Much of how we conceptualize and carry out archaeology in the 21st century is owed to Lew's substantial legacy."

No living scientist has had as great an effect on the study of Paleolithic archaeology.

UPDATE (2011-04-19): Lawrence Straus has penned a PDF obituary of Binford that comes close to the full scope.