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Harrington completed his bachelor's degree in architectural engineering at the University of Michigan in 1924.
During the project, Harrington met archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewett and his excavation crew at the Gran Quivira ruins.
There Harrington's interest in archaeology began to develop.
Also a student from the University of Chicago, Sutton began as a Ranger Historian at Jamestown in 1937.
They married in 1938, and throughout their marriage they worked together on archaeological projects.
This publication addressed an audience outside the field of archaeology, giving an idea of the types of questions that historical archaeology could address to augment historical research.
Harrington's background in both architecture and archaeology made him a prime candidate to mediate conflicts that had developed between archaeologists and architects during the National Park Service's excavations at Jamestown, Virginia.Approached by the National Park Service in 1936, Harrington was reluctant to take the position, noting that he was not interested in working for the government or in excavating a site that, archaeologically speaking, was quite young.
To combat this, the Harringtons and other National Park Service employees founded the Eastern National Park and Monument Association in 1948, which published a number of Pinky's archaeological reports.While studying at the University of Chicago, Harrington received the nickname "Pinky" for his red hair and the bright shade of pink he turned when exposed to the sun.He would be known to his friends and colleagues as "Pinky" from graduate school onward. His mother who was named Patricia and father named Edwards were both teachers, though his father later became a school superintendent.The Great Depression led Harrington to reconsider his career path, and he enrolled as a graduate student in archaeology at the University of Chicago.While at the University of Chicago, Harrington joined an expedition conducting a site survey across the Yucatán Peninsula, funded by the Carnegie Institution of Washington.He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, where he took courses in the architectural school for a year.