The author discusses the discovery of two smoking pipe fragments at a Shaker
In 1959 Cotter completed his Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, and the following year introduced the first course devoted to North American historical archaeology there. A founding member and first president of the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), Cotter also held the positions of Adjunct Associate Professor and Curator in American Historical Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1984, he received the SHA’s J. C. Harrington Medal in recognition of his lifelong contributions to the field. The SHA later named the John L. Cotter Award to recognize outstanding contributions by historical archaeologists at the start of their professional careers. Of his contributions to archaeology, Cotter said with characteristic humility, “I’ve simply tried to say what is there, but in doing so, I couldn’t help but observe and comment just a little bit, and if that involves a certain amount of wit, I’m happy about it because I see things as being awfully funny very often.”
Old archaeologists don’t fade away like some old generals I can recall, by golfing and garnering big bucks on the lecture circuit. Nor do they fade away like most politicians I’ve read about, men of high office who endow presidential libraries while enriching themselves with fat consultant fees, unless detoured by jail. Old archaeologists don’t seem to fade away at all. Many of us would rather publish than perish.
From “Antique Archaeologists,” by John L. Cotter, Archaeology Jan./Feb. 1997