J. Desmond Clark
I am saddened to learn that we
have lost J. Desmond Clark. For someone interested in paleoanthropology,
it was a real privilege to be a student at Berkeley while Dr. Clark
was there. We had the opportunity to learn about African archaeology
from J. Desmond Clark and Glynn Isaac and about the fossil evidence
for human evolution from F. Clark Howell and Tim White. In the memories
I have of my undergraduate years at Berkeley (1977-1981), Dr. Clark
looms as a larger-than-life figure.
I fondly remember taking J. Desmond
Clark's course in African Prehistory in 1978 and his Old World Prehistory
Laboratory in 1980. Of course, the African prehistory course was
his tour de force. It is difficult to imagine anyone ever mastering
the scope of knowledge about African prehistory he so confidently
possessed. The Old World Prehistory Laboratory was an even more
amazing class because we were exposed first-hand to Dr. Clark's
truly incredible wealth of knowledge about prehistoric technologies.
In both classes, tests were essays answered in blue books. You wrote
down every single thing you could remember and hoped that it would
be enough. You then received comments from Dr. Clark in a handwriting
that you could only wish that you could decipher. At the end of
the Old World Prehistory Laboratory, after the final, Dr. Clark
drank sherry with us while we chatted about stone tools.
Even though my interests eventually
turned to the study of ape and human ancestors from the Miocene
of Kenya, Dr. Clark kept an active interest in such matters and
he provided fascinating comments on the interpretation of Kenyapithecus.
I felt fortunate, therefore, that Dr. Clark served as a member of
my Ph.D. committee.
I know that everyone who ever met
him was impressed not only by his incomparable knowledge but also
by his great warmth and generosity. There will never again be anyone
as great as J. Desmond Clark.
L. McCrossin - New Mexico State University