INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) professor's early career decision to rebury Native American human remains - an act then considered academic suicide - recently earned the professor international recognition for significant contributions to world archaeology.
The World Archaeological Congress awarded its inaugural Peter J. Ucko Memorial Award to Larry J. Zimmerman, anthropology and museum studies professor in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Zimmerman is also jointly appointed with the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art as the Public Scholar of Native American Representation.
Four Native American archaeologists nominated Zimmerman in recognition of his role in indigenous archaeology and for "paving the way for a generation of Native Americans to believe we could join this profession without having to sacrifice our deeply help moral beliefs about our rights and responsibilities as Indigenous people," says Smithsonian Institution Repatriation Officer Dr. Dorothy Lippert, one of the nominating group.
During a 1978 dig at the site of the 1330s Crow Creek Massacre in South Dakota, Zimmerman decided to rebury Native American remains unearthed at the site. That act was considered a turning point in the field of archaeology.