Robert Hamilton Wallace (Ham) Parker 1916-1994
Ham was born and raised in and around Auckland and Putaruru. Attendance at Otago University saw him diverted from Medicine to Arts, taking Skinner's anthropology paper.
Service in World War 2 took him to Greece, the Middle East and Italy, managing to develop an interest in the antiquities he saw and found and eventualy published.
Farming after the war Ham studied Egyptian archaeology from the sources he could find, then trained as a teacher and commenced work in primary and secondary schools. While a teaching he found time to take papers at Auckland University including those offered by Jack Golson. Ham directed the Skippers Ridge excavation and took part in many others, including research in Rarotonga with Canterbury Museum.
Thailand became the focus of his work in association with Otago University, where he lectured in archaeology, the first New Zealand born archaeologist to be so employed in New Zealand. He is remembered by his students for the depth of his knowledge, the organisation he put into his lectures, his humanity, his smoking (while lecturing) and as a raconteur.
In retirement in Auckland Ham did voluntary work at Auckland Museum.
Correspondence, notes and interview cassettes of Ham preparatory to a research essay on his work by Elaine Cooper are held in Auckland War Memorial Museum Library .
Obituaries: 1994 Archaeology in New Zealand 37(4):236-238 and 255-271.
Bibiliography (New Zealand / Rarotonga papers only - for a full list see the obituary.)
Parker, R.H. 1959. A new site at Opito. N.ZA.A. Newsletter 2(2): 18-20.
Parker, R.H. 1960. Reconnaissance at Skipper's Ridge, N.Z.A.A. Newsletter 3(2):39-41.
Buist, A.G. and Parker, R.H. 1961. Urenui excavation - a preliminary report. N.Z.A.A. Newsletter 4(4):11-14.
Parker, R.H. 1962. Aspect and phase on Skipper's Ridge (Opito) and Kumara-Kaiamo (Urenui). N.Z.A.A. Newsletter 5(4):222-232
Parker, R.H. 1974a. House-site excavations at Vaiakura and Avana. Prehistory of the Southern Cook Islands. Ed. Michael M. Trotter. Canterbury Museum Bulletin No.6:54-62.
Parker, R.H. 1974b. Survey of the Ara Metua. Prehistory of the Southern Cook Islands. Ed. Michael M. Trotter. Canterbury Museum Bulletin No.6:63-69.
Parker, R.H. 1974c. The Maungaroa Valley Survey. Prehistory of the Southern Cook Islands. Ed. Michael M. Trotter. Canterbury Museum Bulletin No.6:70-79.
Parker, R.H. n.d. Ancient Egyptian Mummies in the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Paper No.52021