Putnam, Frederic Ward

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Curator of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, from 1875-1909. He was a leader in the founding of anthropological science in the US. He was important as an archaeologist who classified and described finds and as an administrator and archaeological sponsor. In fieldwork, he depended on scientific techniques for surveying, excavating, drawing cross-sections of excavations, and plotting finds. He did studies of the mounds of the Midwest US and on the antiquity of humans on the continent, which he believed to predate the end of the last glaciation. In 1891, Putnam began organizing the anthropological section of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. That collection became the basis of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. He was the curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History following that and in 1903 he went to the University of California, Berkeley, to organize both the new department of anthropology and the anthropological museum. Putnam published more than 400 zoological and anthropological articles, reports, and notes and was also a founder and the editor of the periodical "American Naturalist.