European Connections of a Bronze Age Scholar  

Steegstra, H. 

Hardcover. 324 pp. Illustrated. Barkhuis 2018 

The archaeologist and Bronze Age metal specialist Dr Jay J. Butler (1921-2014) was a kind, warmhearted man, averse to hype and ostentation, who was happy to share his knowledge in non-academic language both with professionals and interested amateurs.

But woe betide anyone who might use the evidence to draw unwarranted conclusions... A cosmopolitan American, he  demonstrated that people in the Bronze Age maintained contacts that reached well beyond today's national frontiers. In practicals with his students he acquainted them with, for instance, the difficulties of bronze casting: prehistoric artisans were far more sophisticated than previously thought.

He started taking samples for metal analyses, initiated international collaborative projects, and widened his students' horizons by taking them on trips abroad to visit excavations and museums. His eventful life was linked to many themes: immigration that is welcome only inasfar as it is lucrative, racism, exploitation of the poor, religious fundamentalism, a devastating world war, information being doctored or suppressed, lack of humanity and neglect of common courtesy. With Jay Butler's demise, the world lost an enthusiastic, authoritative and accessible archaeologist.

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