Bandelier, Adolph

Bandelier, Adolph (Francis Alphonse)

(1840–1914) explorer, archaeologist, author; born in Bern, Switzerland. Brought by his family to Illinois in 1848, he went back to Switzerland to study geology at the University of Bern, then returned to Illinois and worked in a bank. After studying on his own (and a visit to Mexico in 1877), he published several works on the Aztecs (late 1870s). These gained him the sponsorship of the Archaelogical Institute of America and he went off to the Southwest in 1880; for the next decade he lived with the Pueblo Indians, studying their ways and history and engaging in some excavations; this work resulted in further publications. In 1892 he went to Peru and Bolivia to continue his researches. In 1903 he came back to the U.S.A. and joined the staff of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and taught at Columbia University. In 1911, having joined the staff of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, he went to continue his researches in Spain and died in Seville. As a scholar he worked to dispose of such legends as Quivira and the Seven Cities of Cibola, but he himself wrote two novels, The Delight Makers (1890) and The Gilded Man (1893). His early work in the Southwest gained him the distinction of being called the first American archaeologist.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.