The Department regrets to announce the recent passing of Harold Dibble, Francis E. Johnston Term Professor of Anthropology, on June 10, 2018.

The Department of Anthropology regrets to share the sad news that Harold Dibble, archaeologist and Francis E. Johnston Term Professor of Anthropology, passed away on Sunday, June 10th, 2018 due to complications from a recent diagnosis of cancer. Our hearts go out to Harold’s family including his wife, Lee, and his two sons, Chip and Flint Dibble. Please see the message below, kindly shared with the department by Harold's family:

“Many among you have heard of the sudden death of Harold Dibble. To honor Harold’s life and career, we are asking (in lieu of flowers) that family, friends, and colleagues donate to the Harold L. Dibble Mini-Me Fund at the Paleoanthropology Society and to Penn’s Anthropology Department. The funds will be used to assist students and colleagues with limited access to monies to support attendance at the Paleoanthropology Society meetings and for student archaeological fieldwork and research at Penn.

While Harold’s legacy is tied to innovative methods, archaeological excavation, laboratory analysis, and scientific publications, he truly believed that the most effective form of scientific dissemination was through hands-on apprenticeship. Harold was more than just a teacher to his students, he was a friend and mentor who supported them with unwavering conviction and respected their choices.
Harold’s unique ability to water his relationships with his numerous students has led to a proliferation of mini-me’s, as he affectionately referred to himself in relation to his own mentors. We hope that these funds will continue to support mini-me’s in the future.

With respects to Harold’s final wishes there will be no funeral. We are planning to hold a celebration of his life at the Penn Museum sometime in the fall with more details to be announced as we know more.
We wish to thank all of Harold’s family, friends, colleagues, and students who have contacted us or posted their thoughts and memories of Harold on social media. We have been deeply touched by the sheer number of people who have expressed such amazing warmth and heart-felt support in this difficult time.

Thank you,

Lee Dibble

Flint Dibble and Jonida Martini

Chip Dibble and Lauren Shandelman

Christine Burke"

Donations to the Harold L. Dibble Mini-Me Fund at the Paleoanthropology Society can be made at

Donations for Penn archaeology students can be made in honor of Harold at or checks may be made out to the Trustees of the University Of Pennsylvania, and sent to Laura Weber, Penn Arts and Sciences Advancement, 3600 Market St., Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19104, with Harold's name in the memo line.