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William L. Rathje

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William L. Rathje Famous memorial

Birth
Wheaton, DuPage County, Illinois, USA
Death
24 May 2012 (aged 66)
Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA
Burial
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown Add to Map
Memorial ID
View Source
Archaeologist, author. Founder of The Garbage Project. Born William Laurens Rathje in Wheaton, Illinois, he was graduated from the University of Arizona in 1967 and earned a doctorate at Harvard in 1971. He returned to Arizona that year as an assistant professor of anthropology. He specialized in the archaeology of Mesoamerica, and in Maya culture. In 1973, he was a co-director of the Cozumel Archaeological Project, sponsored by National Geographic where his work established Cozumel's significant as an  Olmec and Mayan port of trade. His realization that nearly all of what was being excavated was what the ancient culture had thrown away led to his thought of using the same techniques to learn about our own culture. Later that year he founded The Garbage Project, lightheartedly dubbed Le Projét du Garbage, and armed with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rathje and his garbologist student volunteers, analyzed the trash taken from surveyed neighborhoods, discovering gaps, often significant ones, in what people reported they used and discarded, compared to what actually was found. The project expanded in 1987 to include landfills themselves to find out what they contained and how materials behaved inside them. His Garbage Project eventually had an impact on fields beyond archaeology, such as nutrition, diet and food loss, hazardous waste disposal, and recycling, as well as landfill management. In 1990, received the Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 1992 the Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology, from the American Anthropological Association. That same year, he collaborated with Cullen Murphy on the best-selling book, "Rubbish! The Archaeology of Landfills." He served as host of the computer-interactive video "Our Garbage Dilemma," which is a permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. In 1998 he collaborated with Robert M. Lilienfeld for the book "Use Less Stuff, Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are." In 2000, he retired from the University of Arizona as professor emeritus and joined Stanford University as a research fellow in archaeology. He returned to Tucson in 2010 where he passed of natural causes at the age of 66.
Archaeologist, author. Founder of The Garbage Project. Born William Laurens Rathje in Wheaton, Illinois, he was graduated from the University of Arizona in 1967 and earned a doctorate at Harvard in 1971. He returned to Arizona that year as an assistant professor of anthropology. He specialized in the archaeology of Mesoamerica, and in Maya culture. In 1973, he was a co-director of the Cozumel Archaeological Project, sponsored by National Geographic where his work established Cozumel's significant as an  Olmec and Mayan port of trade. His realization that nearly all of what was being excavated was what the ancient culture had thrown away led to his thought of using the same techniques to learn about our own culture. Later that year he founded The Garbage Project, lightheartedly dubbed Le Projét du Garbage, and armed with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rathje and his garbologist student volunteers, analyzed the trash taken from surveyed neighborhoods, discovering gaps, often significant ones, in what people reported they used and discarded, compared to what actually was found. The project expanded in 1987 to include landfills themselves to find out what they contained and how materials behaved inside them. His Garbage Project eventually had an impact on fields beyond archaeology, such as nutrition, diet and food loss, hazardous waste disposal, and recycling, as well as landfill management. In 1990, received the Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 1992 the Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology, from the American Anthropological Association. That same year, he collaborated with Cullen Murphy on the best-selling book, "Rubbish! The Archaeology of Landfills." He served as host of the computer-interactive video "Our Garbage Dilemma," which is a permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. In 1998 he collaborated with Robert M. Lilienfeld for the book "Use Less Stuff, Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are." In 2000, he retired from the University of Arizona as professor emeritus and joined Stanford University as a research fellow in archaeology. He returned to Tucson in 2010 where he passed of natural causes at the age of 66.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iola
  • Added: Jul 17, 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID:
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/132934759/william_l-rathje: accessed ), memorial page for William L. Rathje (1 Jul 1945–24 May 2012), Find a Grave Memorial ID 132934759; Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown; Maintained by Find a Grave.