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article imageRemembering Dr. Warren DeBoer: Esteemed archaeology professor

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 7, 2020 in Science
The Queens College and archaeology community worldwide mourn the loss of esteemed college professor Warren DeBoer, who passed away on May 24, 2020, from cancer.
Dr. Warren DeBoer joined Queens College's Anthropology Department back in 1972, and he retired in 2012. His research focused on archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, South America, and North America. He instructed such Queens College Anthropology courses as "Introduction to Archaeology," "Peoples of North America," and "Archaeology of North America," for four decades, all of which are foundational courses for all anthropology majors (especially those studying archaeology).
He was respected by Queens College students, staff, and faculty, and he was known for his quick wit and dry humor. In his classroom lectures, he was known for his analytical mind, thought-provoking classroom discussions, and passion for archaeology.
Dr. DeBoer was a true renaissance man and renowned archaeologist, who was known for his ethnoarchaeological and ethnohistorical work in South America. That was where he studied the modern behaviors of indigenous peoples, in an effort to help understand patterns that are observed by archaeologists.
His archaeological work and field research involved a wide spectrum of topics such as cultural ecology, ceramic decoration and use-life, manioc consumption, feasting, ceremonial areas, and raiding.
Dr. DeBoer also conducted archaeological research on the ancient populations in North America, where he scrutinized such topics as storage pits and the economic surplus, exchange networks, sacred journeys, and gambling.
Dr. Warren DeBoer during his Cayapas excavation in 1989
Dr. Warren DeBoer during his Cayapas excavation in 1989
Photo Courtesy of Warren DeBoer
A prolific writer, DeBoer was able to communicate to a broad range of scholars (being published in many peer-reviewed journals and books) and his research will most remain significant to the field of archaeology for many generations to come. Many faculty members of the Department of Anthropology still regard Dr. DeBoer as a father figure, mentor, and a moral guardian, who will never be forgotten.
In 1999, DeBoer was the recipient of the Society for American Archaeology's "Excellence in Ceramic Studies Award."
The Warren DeBoer Memorial Scholarship Fund has been set up in this distinguished archaeology professor's memory and honor. For more information, check out the Queens College website. The Anthropology Department is commemorating his memory and academic legacy by offering an annual award to promising undergraduate Anthropology students at Queens College, who may one day follow in his footsteps.
For more information on Professor Warren DeBoer, check out his "In Memoriam" page in the Queens College Anthropology website.
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