NYHIST-L Archives

September 2002


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Phil Lord <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 27 Sep 2002 09:52:04 -0400
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Museum staff were saddened yesterday to learn that Dr. Robert (Bob) E. Funk, retired State Archeologist, died on Tuesday evening. Dr. Funk was active in archaeology for almost 50 years. He began his 33-year employment at the New York State Museum in 1960. He subsequently received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University in 1966 with a dissertation on the Archaic period occupations of the Hudson River Valley. Dr. Funk was appointed State Archaeologist at the Museum in 1971, a position he held until his retirement in 1993. He was also an adjunct faculty member of the University at Albany's Department of Anthropology where he served on several dissertation committees.

During his tenure at the New York State Museum, Dr. Funk led extensive archaeological field investigations in the Hudson, Mohawk, and Susquehanna River valleys and Fishers Island. Through field schools he held as part of his research programs he trained many students who are active in New York archaeology today. He was the author of over 80 professional publications based on these investigations including seven books, several of which are considered classics. These include Aboriginal Settlement Patterns in the Northeast (1973 with William A. Ritchie),  Recent Contributions to Hudson Valley Prehistory (1976), and Archaeological Investigations in the Upper Susquehanna Valley, New York State, 2 volumes (1993, 1998). His research also helped form the basis of the life groups in the Museum's popular Native Peoples of New York exhibition.

Following his retirement in 1993, Dr. Funk remained active in New York archaeology and was a Research Associate at the Museum.  He was working on three books at the time of his death.

Dr Funk was a highly regarded member of the Museum community and will be missed by his many friends, colleagues, and students.