July 29, 1907– January 15, 2003
BY PATTY JO WATSON
ROBERT J. BRAIDWOOD, ELECTED to the National Academy of Sciences in 1964, WAS a central figure within the community of field archaeologists that elicited culture history from the earth at the middle of the twentieth century. The heroic age of world archaeology, which began prior to World War II, was dominated by legendary excavators, such as Howard Carter, Gertrude Caton-Thompson, Grahame Clark, J. Desmond Clark, Dorothy Garrod, Emil Haury, Jesse Jennings, Kathleen Kenyon, A. V. Kidder, Richard (“Scotty”) MacNeish, Mortimer Wheeler, and Leonard Woolley. At the time of his death in January 2003, Bob Braidwood was the last survivor of this illustrious group.
Robert John Braidwood was born on July 29, 1907, in Detroit, Michigan, a second-generation descendant of Scottish immigrants, both his mother’s and his father’s parents having come to the United States during the nineteenth century. As a boy, Bob Braidwood worked in his father’s pharmacy after school and held occasional part-time jobs at a grocery store and a bank. During the summer before he left home to attend the University of Michigan as a freshman undergraduate, he held an apprentice card in a carpenters’ union. His carpentry skills were often deployed in archaeological field camps decades later and stayed with