Bandelier: The Life and Adventures of Adolph Bandelier

Bandelier: The Life and Adventures of Adolph Bandelier

Bandelier: The Life and Adventures of Adolph Bandelier

Bandelier: The Life and Adventures of Adolph Bandelier

Synopsis

Adolph Bandelier (1840-1914) has long been recognized as one of the most significant figures in the early history of anthropology and archaeology, not only in the American Southwest but also in Mexico and South America. With almost no formal education, Bandelier succeeded in painting a rich picture of prehistoric American Indian life - a truly unique accomplishment for his day. Because of his extensive work on the Frijoles Canyon Anasazi complex, Bandelier National Monument, between Santa Fe and Los Alamos, carries his name. Bandelier presents a picture of a man who was an explorer in every sense of the word. From his early years as the child of Swiss immigrants in Illinois through his travels around the Southwest, Mexico, then Peru and Bolivia, Bandelier followed his interests wherever they led, counting as his influences Lewis Henry Morgan and the German naturalist Baron Alexander von Humboldt. This accessible biography places Bandelier at the juncture of two eras: the old, in which antiquarians could call themselves archaeologists, and the new, in which archaeology began to establish itself as a science.

Excerpt

Adolph F. Bandelier (1840-1914) has long been recognized as a significant figure in the early history of anthropology, not only in the American Southwest but also in Mexico and South America. Celebrations in 1940 of the centennial of his birth and in 1980 of his first trip to Frijoles Canyon, New Mexico, along with frequent references to Bandelier and his work in scholarly and popular publications and the continued attraction of Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, have served to keep his name in the public awareness.

It seemed to us that a faithful biography, making liberal use of Bandelier's own journals and letters, would be a logical, challenging, and worthwhile venture. Together, these sources reveal much of his determination and complexity; they go far in portraying Adolph F. Bandelier as an important early contributor to several fields of study. His career also has importance because it paralleled so closely the founding and growth of the discipline that was to emerge as anthropology.

In 1981 we completed editing and annotating the last of the four volumes of The Southwestern Journals of Adolph F. Bandelier, covering the years 1880 to 1892. These volumes were issued by the University of New Mexico Press between 1966 and 1984. After nearly a quarter of a century of research and writing related to Bandelier, we thought our involvement with him had come to an end.

Yet just before our fourth volume went to press, new and significant biographical material came to our attention. a part of this material came from a 1982 biography of Bandelier by Eric Rufener, published in French. Other new information had been collected by Madeleine Turrell Rodack of the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, through correspondence with Rufener and Madame Simone Bandelier Sarasin in Switzerland. in addition to the Rufener and Sarasin . . .

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