Crawford Hallock Greenewalt, Jr., emeritus professor of classical archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a leading participant for more than 50 years in the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis in Turkey, died on May 4 at the age of 74.
He passed away in Delaware, due to complications from a brain tumor just over a week after receiving the American Archaeological Institute’s esteemed Bandelier Award for Public Service to Archaeology for his personal and scholarly achievements in the field.
Greenewalt, or "Greenie" as he was known by friends and colleagues, was an expert on Lydian culture and published extensively on the site of Sardis, an ancient city that was the capital of the Lydian Empire and home of King Croesus, famous for his legendary wealth; and later, a capital city under Persian, Roman, and Byzantine rule. He also took part in Turkish excavations at Pitane, Old Smyrna, and Gordion.
While still a graduate student, Greenewalt excavated some of Sardis’s most important monuments, including the monumental Lydian walls on the acropolis of Sardis, and investigated the huge burial mound of Karn’yar?k Tepe. He made his first real mark in Sardis in 1960 when he rediscovered the long buried Pyramid Tomb.
His ongoing archaeological work in the field and in the lab is said to have greatly expanded the understanding of Lydian culture, Lydian and Greek pottery, and the chronology of Lydia as well as of the entire Aegean and eastern Mediterranean world.
Greenewalt also supervised the reinstallation of the Sardis galleries in the nearby Archaeological Museum of Manisa, and carried out such gallery projects as a building reconstruction displaying Lydian architectural terra cottas.
Greenewalt was born on June 3, 1937, in Wilmington, Del. His interest in ancient civilization, said to have been sparked when he was just eight years old, never waned.
He was educated at Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Del., and then at Harvard College, where he was awarded a B.A. in 1959, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Ph.D. in 1966.
Greenewalt joined the Sardis Expedition, which is sponsored jointly by the Harvard University Art Museums and Cornell University, as its official photographer in 1959, shortly after graduating from Harvard.
He continued with the expedition every summer. He became its field director in 1976, supervising an international staff of archaeologists, art historians, architects, conservators, object illustrators, anthropologists and others as he kept the project’s focus on the Sardis of King Croesus and the Archaic period. At Sardis, he also trained generations of students in archaeological techniques.
Greenewalt stepped down in 2007, and Nicholas Cahill, a Berkeley alumnus and professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, took the helm. Cahill, one of Greenewalt’s students, recalled his former professor, mentor and friend fondly.