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(212) 854-6579 May 17, 1999



Archaeologist Wins Smithsonian Medal


Alberto Rex Gonzalez, a pioneer in the field of archaeology and alumnus of Columbia University, has received the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal, one of the Smithsonian Institutionās highest honors, adding him to a distinguished list that includes actor and director Robert Redford, anthropologist Richard Leakey, and television newsman Walter Cronkite.

The medal recognizes Gonzalezās lifetime career as an anthropologist and expert in Latin American archaeology.. Michael Heyman, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, presented the award to Gonzalez on May 4 at Washingtonās National Museum of Natural History.

Gonzalez is currently a researcher with the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas.. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia in 1959 and is the former director of the Office of Anthropology at Argentinaās Department of Culture, as well as the former director of the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Buenos Aires.

A leading archaeologist with a specialty in pre-Columbian America, Gonzalez has published over 100 scholarly articles and is recognized as a pioneer in the field of archaeology. Most recently, he directed a team of researchers which discovered a pyramid discovered to predate Inca monuments by 500 years.

The medal was first awarded in 1965 to honor the 200th anniversary of the birth of Smithson, the Smithsonian Institutionās founding benefactor. The medal is awarded for contributions to areas of interest to the Smithsonian.

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