Last Updated
Friday 28 November 2014, 17:55 pm.
History legend Alec Campbell dies

Professor Alec Campbell, who has authored a large body of works on Botswana history, is no more. He passed away on Friday, after fighting leukemia for a long time.
By Staff Writer Sat 29 Nov 2014, 09:16 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: History legend Alec Campbell dies








He was 80-years-old. He is perhaps best known for the book, "History of Botswana", he co-authored with the late Prof Thomas Tlou, which went on to be a set book at junior and senior secondary school level, and also at the University of Botswana.

University of Botswana sources, where he worked for a long time, were not immediately available for comment yesterday but old friend and fellow writer and former museum curator, Sandy Grant said he learnt that Alec Campbell died on Friday. Government spokesman and fellow historian Dr Jeff Ramsay yesterday said he was shocked by the news.

Campbell is also revered for his archaeological exploits in the 1970's, which overturned the previous consensus that Botswana had little Stone Age activity. The results were publications such as African Rock Art: Paintings and Engravings on Stone, 2001 with David Coulson, and Tsodilo Hills: Copper Bracelet of the Kalahari, 2008.

Born Alexander Colin ("Alec") Campbell in 1932 in England, he went on to become a highly respected archaeologist and museum curator here. Campbell is Emeritus Director of Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks and National Monuments.

According to records sourced by The Monitor Campbell joined the British South Africa Police in Southern Rhodesia in 1951. He would later transfer to the agricultural department as a tsetse fly officer in 1954. Later he studied IsiNdebele at Rhodes University.

He became a district officer in the Bechuanaland Protectorate in 1962. Unverified sources also say Campbell ran the country's first house-to-house census in 1963-4. After Botswana attained independence, Campbell became senior warden of Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks. He founded and was later director of Botswana's National Museum and Art Gallery. He is also a founder member of the Botswana Society in 1969, chairing the editorial board of its journal, Botswana Notes and Records, for 30 years.



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