An Inspiration

Irwin Scollar died on 13th December 2021, aged 93. He was an Honorary Member of ISAP from the begining and will be missed by the community for his contributions and pioneering spirit.

Ever since I started in archaeological prospection Irwin's publications and thoughts were an inspiration. Always sharp and ahead of the times there were insights amass. I tried to find even the most obscure of his references. Here is a short extract (my tarnslation) from Scollar, I. (1974). Einleitung. In E. M. Wilkinson, C. E. Mullins and A. Tabbagh (eds) Technische und Naturwissenschaftliche Beitraege zur Feldarchaeologie: vi-viii. Koeln: Rheinland-Verlag GmbH.

"All contributions of this volume of Archaeo-Physika require the reader to have specialised knowledge in physics and mathematics. Even if the older generation of archaeologists may feel excluded, the hope is that in future the propspects for this area of research will be better. Experts in archaeological organisations with the required scientific background will have no difficulties to fully appreciate the articles by Wilkinson, Mullins and Tabbagh."

Similarly ahead of its time were the software developments for air-photo rectification (airphoto). And when I complained to Irwin about the end of support for the full package AirPhoto3 (in 2014) in favour of the free and user-friendly AirPhotoSE, he just commented: "You are probably the last one who still uses the gazillions of options in AirPhoto3". And this was not meant as a compliment!


Armin Schmidt
(Chair ISAP)