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Reading: C. V. Hartman and Museum Anthropology a Century Ago


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C. V. Hartman and Museum Anthropology a Century Ago


David R. Watters ,

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, US
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Oscar Fonesca Zamora

University of Costa Rica, CR
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Dave Watters (Section of Anthropology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History) and Oscar Fonseca Zamora (University of Costa Rica, retired) are exploring aspects of the life of Carl Villielm Hartman (1862-1941), a Swedish botanist who changed careers to anthropology during the decade of the I 890. Hartman's transition began on Carl Lurnholtz's expedition (1890-1892) to the Sierra Madre region of Mexico. He took over responsibility for archaeological research from the expedition's first archaeologist, A. M. Stephen (Lurnholtz used only the initials) who almost certainly was Alexander McGregor Stephen, a somewhat mysterious early Southwestern anthropologist discussed by Don Fowler in A Laboratory of Anthropology (our gratitude to Don for making that connection). After that expedition, Hartman worked for F. W. Putnam and Pranz Boas at the World's Columbian Exposition for six months. He returned to Sweden and acquired superb archaeological field training under Hjalmar Stolpe who was working on Iron Age cemeteries. In 1896 he went to Central America on a three-year Swedish.sponsored anthropological expedition, spending about a year and a half conducting archaeological research in Costa Rica and an equivalent amount of time doing ethnographic research in El Salvador and Guatemala. He returned to Sweden in 1899 and worked as Stolpe's assistant at the Royal Ethnographical Museum, mounting an exhibit of his Costa Rican artifacts and publishing his first monograph (Hartman 1901) on Costa Rican archaeology. From this time forward, Hartman based his professional career exclusively in museums.
How to Cite: Watters, D.R. and Zamora, O.F., 2002. C. V. Hartman and Museum Anthropology a Century Ago. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 12(2), pp.21–24. DOI:
Published on 24 Nov 2002.
Peer Reviewed


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