Robert Dyson

Professor Emeritus, Anthropology


We are sad to report that Dr. Robert H. Dyson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at Penn, passed away on Friday, February 14th, 2020 at age 92, after a long illness. Robert H. Dyson, Jr., was born in 1927 in York, Pennsylvania. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1966. While at Harvard, he participated in archaeological fieldwork and ethnographic fieldwork on three continents. Robert H. Dyson, Jr. directed the Hasanlu Project from 1956 to 1977.  Before working in northwestern Iran, he participated in research projects in Africa and at Jericho, Nippur, Susa and Bahrain Island, as well as in the United States. He was a professor in the department of anthropology at Penn and curator of the Near East section of the Penn Museum. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1982. In 1971 he was a Guggenheim Fellow of Social Sciences. From 1982 to 1994, he was the Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum. He was president of the Archaeological Institute of America and he is a member of the American Philosophical Society. Dr. Dyson has written numerous articles on ancient Iran, especially the sites of Hasanlu Tepe and Tepe Hissar. Over a long career, he worked in North America, Guatemala, and South Africa in addition to his work in western Asia.  He retired from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 as professor emeritus. The Robert H. Dyson chair appointments in the Department of Anthropology and Near East Section of the Penn Museum were established in his honor. 

Faculty Status