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Reading: Bandelier: Behind and Beyond the Journals


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Discourses on the History of Archaeology

Bandelier: Behind and Beyond the Journals


Jonathan E. Reyman

Illinois State Museum, Springfield, Illinois, US
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Bandelier: The Life and Adventures of Adolph Bandelier, by Charles H. Lange and Carroll L. Riley, 1996

A surge in publication has accompanied the recent, renewed interest in the history of American anthropol­ogy, and the Bulletin is one manifestation of this. Another notable aspect is the publication of biographies and collections of biographical essays of late-19th through mid-20th century archaeologists and other anthropologists.

One interesting and sometimes surprising aspect of this output of new biography is how much more we learn about those whom we thought we knew well. For example, I have read two, book-length biographies of Ruth Benedict and Alfred Kidder as well as several biographical essays. Nevertheless, new publications about these anthropologists, and others, continue to provide additional insights and greater understanding, even though they cover much the same basic data as· earlier works.

Different perspectives often yield novel ideas and conclusions, and the discovery of new, biographical and other historical data frequently requires a major reassesesment and revision of both the biography and general history. Furthermore, my own experi­ence (Reyman n.d.) suggests that, when we write biography, we also learn much about ourselves and pro­vide readers with insights about us (often unintentionally), as well as about our subjects.
How to Cite: Reyman, J.E., 1996. Bandelier: Behind and Beyond the Journals. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 6(2), pp.2–8. DOI:
Published on 20 Nov 1996.
Peer Reviewed


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