Tributes to
J. Desmond Clark


I met Desmond in person on only four or five occasions, but immensely more times through his publications which inspired me as a young man and subsequently throughout my career as an African geologist/palaeontologist. As all African field geologists know, virtually all badlands (even Miocene ones) contain surface scatters of stone tools and other signs of archaeological activity, and whenever I found such evidence I would immediately be reminded of Desmond and his far ranging studies of African stone age cultures. In 1989, when I told him of my plans to carry out a palaeontological survey in Angola, he sent me a letter of encouragement and included detailed instructions on how to locate some archaeological sites that he'd worked on briefly some decades before. This openness of spirit and readiness to share scientific information was characteristic of him. He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word, and he will be missed by all his colleagues and friends, in particular those who looked upon him as a stabilising influence in the cut and thrust world of modern palaeoanthropology. We could do with a few more people like him in the discipline.

-Martin Pickford, National Museum of Natural History, Paris.