National Park Service


Date of this Version



Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley Volume , Number 1, July 1998


1. Weymouth Awarded Fryxell Medal by SAA

Dr. John Weymouth, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, was recognized by the Society for American Archeology (SAA) at its 63rd Annual Meeting in Seattle on March 27, 1998. Weymouth was presented the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research, which was initiated in 1977 to recognize excellence by a distinguished scientist whose research has contributed significantly to American archeology.

Each year the award is based on performance in one of five disciplines: earth sciences, physical sciences, general interdisciplinary studies, zoological sciences, and botanical sciences. The award, which consists of a citation and a medal, was named in memory of Roald Fryxell, whose career exemplified so well the crucial role of interdisciplinary cooperation in archeology.

To further recognize the contributions of Dr. Weymouth, many of his colleagues presented a symposium in his honor on Saturday, March 28, 1998, as part of the SAA Annual Meeting. The paper I presented at the symposium is printed in this issue of Hopewell Archeology to offer some documentation of Dr. Weymouth's important contributions to midwestern archeology.

2. Geophysical Surveys in the Mid-Continent: John Weymouth and the Midwest Archeological Center By Mark J. Lynott

A paper presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archeology, Seattle, Washington, March 28, 1998.

When I got started in archeology, the skills of archeologists were judged largely by their ability to move dirt and dig a nice square hole. Archeology was highly excavation oriented. As a graduate student in the mid-1970s, I received my first exposure to geophysical survey techniques being developed in Great Britain. I was fascinated with the idea of seeing subsurface features without actual excavation, and the newly developing conservation archeology provided further inspiration for interest in non-destructive research. Unfortunately, the early application of geophysical survey methods were very limited in North America, and I soon gave up hope of having access to a magnetometer or soil resistance meter.

Imagine my surprise in 1978 when I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, to join the Midwest Archeological Center and discovered that John Weymouth was using magnetometers to map village sites in the Middle Missouri drainage. My delight in discovering a physicist located in the city where I lived, and with an interest in archeology, has subsequently multiplied as I have come to know, respect, and admire the man as much as his work.


Those of us in the National Park Service who have had the good fortune to have worked with John Weymouth have learned a great deal about geophysical survey and its application to archeological research. We recognize the advances that John has made in refining methods and interpretations, thereby allowing us to derive more and better interpretations from geophysical data. However, it is likely that the real impact of John's work is yet to be fully understood. As geophysical survey techniques become an ever increasing component of archeology's research arsenal, it is likely that we will develop an even greater appreciation for what John Weymouth has done for archeology. His pioneering efforts have brought geophysical survey to the attention of the North American archeological community.

The staff of the Midwest Archeological Center is honored to have had the opportunity to work with John Weymouth over the last twenty years, and we look forward to another twenty years of participating in his productive and interesting geophysical study of archeological sites.

References Cited