G. William "Bill" Monaghan

Long standing colleague and friend G. William "Bill" Monaghan passed away in Bloomington IN early on the morning of 28 October from the effects of a massive stroke suffered eleven days previously.  Bill never recovered consciousness, died peacefully, and was in the company of many family members, colleagues, and friends during his final week.  As he wished, Bill was cremated, and no memorial service or other ceremony is planned.


Bill Monaghan was well known as a dominant researcher and personality in the geological, archaeological, and geoarchaeological communities, primarily across the Great Lakes and Midwest, but also in the Northeast, Mid South and Mid Atlantic coastal regions.  While he conducted work as a private firm for much of his career, Bill held several formal positions with the Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University, as well as with the Indiana Geological Survey, and maintained long standing affiliations with Michigan State University and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.  His expertise in geology and geoarchaeology brought him into research associations with numerous private firms, federal and state agencies, historic foundations and trusts, and colleges and universities.  While much of Bill Monaghan's research is found in the so called "gray" literature, he also published extensively in top tier archaeological and geological venues, and was coauthor on two books through Michigan State University Press. When Bill became a widower he spent much of his time in the field and writing.  At his passing Bill had active research projects in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, and Virginia, as well as Oregon(!), and was planning to lead a Geological Society of America field trip at their forthcoming Annual Meeting.


Anyone who worked with Bill Monaghan soon found out that he was consummately data oriented, was direct with his interpretations of his interactions with you, but simultaneously fostered productive exchanges of ideas that effectively bridged the social and earth sciences. Students soon found that he was also a "tough love" mentor, but one who would give as much as a student was willing and able to receive.   While Bill held a PhD in Geological Sciences from Michigan State University (1989), he had an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from MSU (1978) and had also briefly dabbled in Anthropology as a graduate student. His interdisciplinary interest served him well in the bridging arena of geoarchaeology where he made his professional home.


Our community is diminished.  Please raise a glass to Bill, and keep him in your thoughts.


William A. Lovis, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
Curator Emeritus of Anthropology
Editor, Midwest Archaeological Perspectives Affiliate, Lithic Michigan State University