Article ID: CBB084064255

Arthur Posnansky, the Czar of Tiwanaku Archaeology (2019)

unapi

Arthur Posnansky was the illustrious pioneer of Tiwanaku archaeology, remembered as a quixotic, flamboyant, and swashbuckling character. He was a naval officer, a businessman, and a scholar. He dedicated nearly fifty years of his life to the study of the Andean past, which resonates through the history of Bolivian archaeology. While clearly not the field’s father, his commanding presence and outsized legacy could make him the czar of Tiwanaku archaeology. He developed a hyperbolic narrative of Tiwanaku as the ’cradle of American man’ and tirelessly promoted it in Europe and the Americas. Like many pioneers, he was not trained as an archaeologist. His theories were based on little concrete information but he defended them with enviable passion. His ideas were strongly influenced by intellectual trends he lived though and participated in, including racist anthropology. This has led some to dismiss him as a misguided, self-appointed champion of Tiwanaku. However, I suggest that Posnansky’s life and times are very relevant to both understanding popular views and scholarly interpretations of the site.

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Authors & Contributors
McMahon, Richard
Challis, Debbie
Browman, David L.
Livio Sansone
Zumwalt, Rosemary Lévy
Francis, Patricia
Journals
Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
History and Anthropology
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
History of the Human Sciences
Archives of Natural History
Publishers
University of Nebraska Press
University of Chicago Press
Temple University
Walter de Gruyter
Presses Universitaires de France
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Concepts
Anthropology
Archaeology
Racism
Biographies
Science and race
Science and politics
People
Petrie, William Matthew Flinders
Jacobs, Joseph
Virchow, Rudolf Carl
Ponce Sanginés, Carlos
Pearson, Karl
Lombroso, Cesare
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century, late
18th century
Places
Germany
Great Britain
Middle and Near East
Andes
Yugoslavia
Peru
Institutions
Pitt Rivers Museum (University of Oxford)
Oxford University
Columbia University
Harvard University
American Museum of Natural History, New York
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