Robert and Linda Braidwood, archeologists who were married 66 years and worked side by side at the University of Chicago, have died. He was 95, and she was 93.
Robert Braidwood died of pneumonia Wednesday just a few hours before his wife succumbed to the same illness. Both were being treated at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
The couple, who had been living in LaPorte, Ind., trained some of the country’s best-known archeologists and co-wrote dozens of scientific publications. They were so well-known as a team that they were often referred to as “LinBob.”
She studied ancient tools; he, the rise of civilizations. A 1989 dig in Turkey was their last, although they continued to teach and do research at the university’s Oriental Institute.
Their excavations in the Middle East found samples of human blood, hand-worked copper implements and textiles that confirmed humans evolved from nomadic hunter-gatherers to members of settled communities.
“Bob was one of the first people to call attention to this transition and was one of the first people to come up with an actual, explicit theory of where and how it took place,” said Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute.
The institute hired Robert Braidwood in 1933, and he earned his doctorate from the university 10 years later. Nepotism rules prevented Linda Braidwood from pursuing a doctorate at the University of Chicago, but she did earn a master’s degree in archeology from the school in 1946.
He was a native of Detroit; she was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. The two met at the University of Michigan in the 1920s and married in 1937.
“The role she played was very much as his colleague,” said Mary Voigt, chancellor professor of anthropology at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
Linda Braidwood was a Fulbright Research Fellow in Turkey in 1963-64 and wrote several books, including “Digging Beyond the Tigris,” an account of working in the Kurdish hills of Iraq.
The Braidwoods are survived by a daughter, a son and three grandchildren.