J. Desmond Clark
I first met Professor Desmond Clark
at the Pan African meeting in Addis Ababa, in 1972. He came to congratulate
me. As a young scientist, giving my first talk in an international
audience, I was astonished and strongly encouraged in my research.
This is just an example, a testimony among many, of the constant
support and human concern and care that Desmond had for students,
scientists from different countries and different fields of research.
Such open mind and broad scientific curiosity is the privilege of
a Great Scientist.
Since then, I had many opportunities to see Desmond at different
scientific Congress or gathering, during which I appreciated his
stimulating conversation, and his very pleasant sense of humor.
He was enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and happiness. At different
occasions, I had the honor to be invited to Betty and Desmond's
house. Sharing a dinner or a party in their company was a unique
In the evocation of being fortunate
to work with Desmond, I should recall the time for field work that
I spent at Gadeb prehistoric site, the long evening chats, with
our small group in the Spartan camping site of the Ethiopian Highlands.
It was during Civil War, an insecure situation. Desmond serenity
is legendary. Day after day, he indefatigably worked on the archaeological
excavation. One Sunday, we all climbed Mont Bale up to over 4000
m. He was looking with us at the moorland vegetation, with his elegant
silhouette in the mist. His strain for better knowledge will always
keep us going further.
At the Berkeley Conference in tribute
to his long career, Desmond shared with all the audience his emotion
in memory of Glynn Isaac, a nearest colleague and friend. He was
so sincerely affected by his disappearance and found the appropriate
words to express his kindness.
Today, I join my colleagues and friends in sharing the deep sorrow
of having lost a Famous Archaeologist of real international status,
a Great Wise Man and a unique, friendly Human Figure, that we will
always fondly remember.
Je tiens à exprimer ma profonde
sympathie à Betty, sa femme, compagne attentive de tous les
jours et soutien de sa longue et riche carrière professionnelle.
Raymonde Bonnefille, Directeur de
recherche, CNRS CEREGE, Aix-en- Provence, France