MacNeish, Richard S.

MacNeish, Richard S. (Stockton) (“Scotty”)

(1918–  ) archaeologist; born in New York City. After graduating from Colgate University (B.A. 1940), he did his graduate work at the University of Chicago. He was the anthropologist and chief archaeologist at the National Museum of Canada (1949–64) and director of the Peabody Foundation for Archaeological Research (1968–83); in 1983 he incorporated himself as the Andover Foundation for Archaeological Research in order to facilitate fund raising and support for his various projects. His most famous excavations were during the 1960s at the site of Tehuacan, Mexico, and he spent much of his career in the field, from Eskimo sites in the Yukon, through northeastern and southwestern U.S.A., and well down into South America. In later years he worked to prove that the arrival of ancestors of the American Indians in the New World was well before 12,000 years ago, and in the early 1990s he directed a search in China for the origins of rice agriculture. A prolific writer on the prehistory of the Americas, he is especially known for his work on the transition from hunting-and-gathering societies to agricultural communities.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.