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Bandelier: The Life and Adventures of Adolph Bandelier, by Charles H. Lange and Carroll L. Riley, 1996

DOI: 10.5334/bha.06203

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Adolph F. Bandelier (1840-1914) is best known for his work in the Southwestern United States, particularly among the pueblos and prehistoric sites of the Rio Grande area, although he did extensive field and archival research in Mexico and South America as well. Self-taught, like most of his contemporaries, his research included archaeology, ethnology, history, and geography, plus a serious interest in botany, zoology, and meteorology. Bandelier was born in Bern, Switzerland, but when he was eight his family moved to the largely Swiss settlement of Highland, Illinois, 30 miles east of St. Louis, where he attended school, was tutored privately, and taught by his well educated mother. He mastered German and English, as well as his native French, and later added Spanish and Latin. For many years he worked in his father's general store, finally, at the age of forty, making the difficult decision to devote himself to scholarship rather than business. In 1869 at the St. Louis Mercantile Library he had begun the study of prehistoric Mexican cultures. He met Lewis Henry Morgan on a trip to the east and for many years was greatly influenced by his view of cultural evolution, but he.remained far more fact oriented than concerned with theory. Bandelier's first major work, "On the Art of War and Mode of Warfare of the Ancient Mexicans," was published in 1877 by the Peabody Museum of Harvard.


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