Bureau of American Ethnology, 1937–38

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    ALTHOUGH the normal activities of the Smithsonian Institution have been curtailed of recent years owing to economic conditions in the United States, the Bureau of American Ethnology has been able to maintain its operations in the field, and even to extend them in archaeology, owing to the provision of Federal finance and the supply of labour made available by measures for relief. A summary statement of the research carried out by members of the staff in the period 1937-38 is given in the fifty-fifth annual report (Washington, D.C., 1939. Pp. 8) covering that statistical year-an exiguous document in comparison with the more elaborate accounts familiar to anthropologists in earlier years. A major work of archaeological excavation was that of the Lindenmeier site in Colorado, where Dr. F. H. H. Roberts, jun., has continued the work of exploration of the habitation site of Folsom man which he initiated in 1934. His operations in the summer of 1937 uncovered an area of 2,800 sq. ft., and 735 specimens were obtained, including a number of new types of stone implement. Early in the season 1938 evidence of the artistic effort of Folsom man, “one of the earliest known of New World inhabitants”, came to light in the form of pieces of bone with attempts at engraved design. An interesting investigation approaching completion is Dr. John R. Swanton's research on behalf of the United States De Soto Expedition Commission, of which he is chairman. It involved one field expedition in the year, when Dr. Swanton visited Alabama for the purpose of examining old Indian town sites which might possibly be identified with those mentioned by De Soto. An extended ethnological exploration of western South America has been planned, which was initiated when in April last Dr. J. H. Steward left Washington for Ecuador, where he has since been at work among the highland Indians.

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    Bureau of American Ethnology, 1937–38. Nature 143, 934 (1939) doi:10.1038/143934a0

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