Adolph Bandelier (1840 - 1914)

Born in Bern, Swizterland, Bandelier was well-educated and studied law. But, he dedicated his life to archaeology due to his admiration for Alexander Von Humboldt and his devotion to natural history. His family moved to Illinois, but Bandelier continued west and found his way to the Native American lands in the southwest.

Bandelier began to focus on the Pueblo Indians of northern New Mexico and was one of the first to use the methodology of participant observation. He studied their culture by living with them and studying the artifacts and ruins left by previous people on their land. Some criticized him for being untrained, but he proved, at least to himself, that training in the field was just as effective as formal schooling.

Due to their common interests, he began a correspondence with Lewis Henry Morgan, who some consider to be the "Father of Anthropology." This friendship with the learned colleague increased not only his knowledge but also the respect that he so rightly deserved. Bandelier was intent on correcting the false image that had been created about Indians, and spent his life in this endeavor. Bandelier's observations, research and dedication resulted in the naming of Bandelier National Monument in his honor. It spreads over 50 square miles in northern New Mexico and is brimming with archaeological sites. It was an area that was most dear to Adolph Bandelier.


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