April 12, 1975
Dear Dr. Berger,
Thank you for your kind invitation to present a lecture of my choice at your new education center at Crow Canyon.
Unfortunately, I must respectfully decline your generous offer.
It has recently come to my attention – in a recent editorial published in American Antiquity by Lewis Binford – that I am unfit to practice archaeology. His exact words were “old relic,” “incompetent,” and “a sorry excuse for a scholar.” He also suggested that I should permanently retire my trowel.
I was also surprised to learn that my archaeological skills are not only antiquated, but are also straight out of a Hollywood film. After being called a “Swashbuckler” more than four times in just one paragraph, it is clear that my field methods are in sharp opposition to the goals of this “New Archaeology” that I am hearing so much about.
So, instead of wasting your time, presenting on some archaeological adventure of a bygone era, I will instead suggest that you contact Dr. Binford and ask him to address your groups. I am sure that his theories about this “New Archaeology” are much more exciting for general audiences. You can tell him that I highly recommended him.
You can also tell him that I have a brilliant idea of how to put my trowel to very good use.