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Division mourns the loss of archaeologist Joan Parsons


Members of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs staff are mourning the loss of archaeologist Joan Parsons who passed away on June 3, 2018.

Joan Parsons with her son Tibor in 1984
Joan Parsons with her son Tibor in 1984

Parsons, a 1976 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology/archaeology, was a stalwart member of Delaware’s archaeological community for decades, serving for many years as president of both the Archaeological Society of Delaware and its New Castle chapter. She was also a board member of the New Sweden Centre and a volunteer at the Green Bank Mill.

According to division archaeologist Alice Guerrant, Parsons was instrumental in holding the Archaeological Society together in the 1990s after a period of declining participation. She was particularly interested in archaeology education, helping to organize lectures, seminars, festivals and activities in support of Delaware Archaeology Month. In 2013, she played a major role in the organization of the 375th Anniversary New Sweden Conference entitled “Encountering ‘Others’ in the Atlantic World: Perspectives From the Material World.”

Her energy and enthusiasm will be sorely missed.


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