Here is John Hawks in a review of a book called The First Human, which, by the way, he strongly recommends:
The first is the real danger of today’s field work. Paleoanthropology is not merely a game today, it is “the Great Game” replayed. Field teams divide up “Connecticut-sized” research territories, hem opponents into areas with younger sediments, and — when bullying, scientific name-calling, and bureaucratic manouvers fail — finally agitate local people, enlist bandits, or pull their guns. To me, the book’s most touching moment is its description of Michel Brunet’s feelings after losing a colleague on his field team. In another episode, a young graduate student (who deserves recognition for her science and not this) personifies a near-miss with violence in the field. The two cases together bear rereading: if paleoanthropology continues along its current path, then who can doubt that some people will be killed in the field?
Take a look at the review. Might even tempt you to buy the book.