Putnam, Frederic Ward

Putnam, Frederic Ward

(1839–1915) archaeologist, naturalist; born in Salem, Mass. He studied zoology with Louis Agassiz at Harvard and became interested in archaeology as a curator at Harvard's Peabody Museum (1875–1909), one of numerous museum affiliations that included the Essex Institute (1856–94) and the American Museum of Natural History (1894–1909). Author, pioneering excavator of Indian sites, and Harvard professor (1886–1909), he virtually founded North American anthropology by developing university programs, initiating museum-sponsored excavations, and helping to found Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.