Dyson, Robert H., Jr., Ph.D.
Robert H. Dyson, Jr., Ph.D.
Past President of the Louis J. Kolb Society of Fellows
Emeritus Shoemaker Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
Curator Emeritus, American Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum
Date appointed: 1987
Bob Dyson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1950. He taught at Harvard for four years before coming to Penn in 1954 as a field archaeologist, teaching and serving as curator of the Near East Section of the University Museum. He obtained his doctorate from Harvard in 1966. In 1979 he was named Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He become director of the Penn museum in 1982. During his tenure as director of the museum he founded, with Peter Paanakker and Jerome Byne, the Kolb Foundation and the Kolb Society, with it's system of fellows that he based on the Society of Fellows at Harvard. Bob Dyson retired from the museum in 1994 and stepped down as president of the Kolb Society at that time.
Bob Dyson has had a long career as an anthropologist and a field archaeologist. As a graduate student, he spent three months as a cultural anthropologist in the Kalahari Desert in Namibia. He has excavated in many parts of the world including Jericho in Israel, Nippur in Mesopotamia, Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, and Gordion in Turkey. He is well-known for his work at Hasanlu, Hissar, Susa and Malyan in Iran and Tikal in Guatemala. Perhaps his most famous moment is the discovery in 1958 of the golden bowl in the hands of an Iron age warrior at Hasanlu.