[Taxacom] Jack Holland - a geological taxonomist

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sat Jan 3 13:42:25 CST 2015


There's probably only a couple of people on this list who would know of
Jack Holland who passed away recently. This is because his field of
research was not in biological taxonomy, but for many years he pioneered
the development of a descriptive geological taxonomy for chert (or flint)
to help archaeologists in North America identify the provenance of American
Indian spear and arrow heads. After a career as an electrician he focused
on his interest in archaeology and realized that there was no adequate
resource for archaeologists and anthropologists to accurately identify the
origins of stone artifacts. To remedy this situation he generated the first
comparative chert reference collection for the US and Canada and he became
widely recognized as an authority on the subject - although he was earlier
on not treated well by some professionals. He also published several
regional descriptions for chert.

His reference collection is now housed with the Anthropology Department at
the Smithsonian Institution.

John Grehan


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