BERKELEY, CALIF.

John Howland Rowe died May 1, 2004 of complications of Parkinsonís Disease. He was born in Sorrento on June 10, 1918, eldest son to Louis Earle Rowe and Margaret Talbot Jackson Rowe, who resided in Providence, R.I., and summered in Sorrento. Earle was Director of the Rhode Island School of Design, and Margaret became Curator of Textiles at the Yale University Art Gallery after Earle died in 1937.

John decided at an early age that his life would be dedicated to the study of archaeology, inspired in part by his fatherís strong interest in the field. When John was 10 years old the family lived in Rome for a year during which he read books by Rodolfo Lanciani on the archaeology of Rome and then went to visit the ruins the books reported on. Johnís own later work paralleled Lancianiís style of careful reporting of the observed data and avoiding speculation on unknown details. John received his A.B. degree in Classical Archaeology from Brown University in 1939, his A.M. degree in Anthropology from Harvard University in 1941, and his Ph.D. degree in Latin American History and Anthropology from Harvard University in 1947. John married Barbara Bent Burnett of Waban, Mass., and Hancock Point, in 1942. John took a position as Professor and Director of the Section of Archaeology in the Faculty of Sciences at the National University of Cuzco, Peru. They lived in Cuzco until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 where he was Sergeant in the 280th Engineer Combat Batallion in the Central Europe Campaign. After the war, he and Barbara moved to PopayŠn, Colombia, where John taught at the university. Their daughter, Ann Pollard Rowe was born in Boston in 1947. In 1948, John was appointed to the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Berkeley, where he remained for the rest of his career. Their daughter, Lucy Burnett Rowe was born in California in 1950. John had a long and distinguished career studying the history and archaeology of Peru. He published over 200 research articles in both Spanish and English. He published most of his work in scientific articles rather than in books, as he believed that articles were better suited to the speed at which scientific knowledge advances. He mentored innumerable students both at Berkeley and at universities in Peru, providing extensive commentary on their manuscripts and guiding their study in the field. He spent most of the summers of his career in Peru, particularly in Cuzco, studying the Incas and earlier Peruvian prehistory, training students, visiting sites, supervising excavations, studying ancient architecture and artifacts, reading archival documents, and making notes for publications and course materials. He is probably best known for his study of the Incas, both during the period of their empire and during the Spanish colonial period. This work includes both a monograph published in 1946, which is still useful today on the Incas at the time of the Spanish conquest in the Smithsonian Institutionís Handbook of South American Indians, and his more recent discussion of the document that identifies Machu Picchu as an estate of the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Another important contribution was his rethinking of how archaeological evidence in Peru should be used. This work enabled students working closely with him to establish a detailed chronology of the ceramic styles of the Ica valley on the southern Peruvian coast, which can be used as a timeline for the reconstruction of Andean prehistory. He also published an important article on Chavin art, the earliest widespread Peruvian art style. His university lecture courses on Language and Culture, South American Indians, Culture Growth, Peoples of the Andes, and others, as well as his seminar courses were much appreciated by his students, as was his ready informal attention to studentsí development. His standard and love of scholarship was unparalleled and influenced all who knew him.

He was among the founding faculty advisers to the Kroeber Anthropological Society in 1949 and its publication Papers of the Kroeber Anthropological Society. In 1960, he organized the Institute of Andean Studies and served as its president until his death. He also founded and served as editor of —awpa Pacha, an international publication series for Andean archaeology. He was instrumental in the development of the Anthropology Library at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as chairman of the Department of Anthropology in the turbulent years of 1963-1967. He served as a Senior Fellow in Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., from 1984 to 1990. John was the recipient of numerous awards beginning very early in his career. Among these, he received an honorary Litt. D. from Universidad National de Cuzco in 1954 and an honorary L.H.D. from his alma mater Brown University in 1969. He received the highest national honors from the Peruvian government: Oficial de la Orden ďEl Sol del PeruĒ in 1968 and the Gran Cruz de la Orden ďAl Merito por Servicios DistinguidosĒ in 1981. He was recipient of the Fiftieth Anniversary Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Archaeology from the Society for American Archaeology in 1985. He received the Berkeley Citation of the University of California Berkeley for distinguished achievement and notable service to the University. An endowed librarianship was established in Johnís name for the George and Mary Foster Anthropology Library at the University of California, Berkeley.

John is survived and sorely missed by his second wife of 34 years, Patricia J. Lyon, an anthropologist in Berkeley, Calif.; his two daughters, Ann, who is a curator at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., specializing in Central and South American textiles, and Lucy, who works in biomedical research at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor; his sister Edith Rowe, a retired school teacher and head mistress at the St. Nicholas School in Seattle Wash.; his niece, Dorothy Rowe of Lawrenceville, N.J., and nephew, William Rowe of Sorrento. He was predeceased by his brother, William Rowe of Providence, R.I., and Sorrento; and his first wife and the mother of his daughters, Barbara Rowe of Blue Hill.

The next Annual Meeting of the Institute of Andean Studies in January 2005 will be dedicated to Johnís honor. Burial will take place in Sorrento in summer 2004. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to either the Institute of Andean Studies, P.O. Box 9307, Berkeley, CA 94709, or in Johnís name to the George and Mary Foster Anthropology Library at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

   
   
   

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