Nelson, Nels Christian

Nelson, Nels Christian

(1875–1964) anthropologist; born near Fredericia, Jutland, Denmark. He emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1892. Joining the American Museum of Natural History in 1912, he was curator of prehistoric archaeology (1928–43). He pioneered stratigraphic excavation techniques in his extensive international fieldwork and promoted the hypothesis of age-and-area, the outward diffusion of human culture.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.