Message #151
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 

Wed, 22 Apr 1998 05:09:27 -0700
Subject: Ian "Sandy" Thompson Passes

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

From: Bill Lipe lipe@wsu.edu 

Death of Ian "Sandy" Thompson

Ian "Sandy" Thompson passed away at his home in
Cortez, Colorado on April 20, from the effects
of cancer. His sons Geoff and Jon were with him.
From 1985 to 1991, he served as Executive
Director of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
near Cortez, and played a leading role in its
development as an important center for
archaeological research and education in the
Southwest. From 1995 to 1997, he was the Center's
Director of Research. At the time of his death, he
held the Crow Canyon Chair in Archaeology, and was
writing a popular book on archaeological research
in the Mesa Verde region of the Southwest, with
emphasis on the projects that have been conducted
by Crow Canyon. For many years, until his illness
prevented him from continuing, Thompson wrote a
weekly column entitled "Four Corners Almanac" for
the Sunday edition of the Durango Herald, providing
his observations and perspectives on the past and
present cultures and environments of the region.
Many of these essays drew on his experiences with
archaeology and archaeologists. A selection of
them  was published a few years ago in his book
"Houses on Country Roads." He also authored popular
books on the history of southwestern Colorado,
Hovenweep National Monument, and the Escalante Ruin
complex near Dolores, and collaborated with
photographer Dick Arentz on "Four Corners Country"
published by the University of Arizona Press.
Thompson co-authored several technical research
papers on archaeological topics and was an active
contributor to the development of Crow Canyon's
research program. He also worked effectively to
involve Native American scholars in Crow Canyon
educational programs and to seek Native American
advice on the conduct of archaeological research
projects. He lived most of his life in southwestern
Colorado, and was a graduate of Dolores High School
and the University of Colorado. Before becoming
Executive Director of Crow Canyon, Thompson edited
several newspapers, including the Silverton Standard
and the Durango Herald, and was Mayor of Durango in
1982-83. "Sandy" was a friend, confidant, teacher,
and facilitator to many student and professional
archaeologists, and he will be sorely missed.