The “Umbrella Man”, Occam’s Razor, and the Archaeological Noise of Personal Practice

Robert Mazrim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay considers the ramifications of “The Umbrella Man” - a brief mystery that was of interest to historians and theorists examining the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 - on the practice of modern archaeology and some of the basic tenets upon which it relies. The paper focuses on certain materials, analytical methods, and research themes associated with the study of nineteenth-century sites in the Midwest, contextualized to varying degrees by the presence of a written record left behind by the makers and users of the material world as it existed in the region during the 1800s.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-974
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • ISAS
  • Theory
  • Atmosphere
  • Method
  • Place
  • Occam’s Razor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • History
  • Archaeology


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