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To the Origins of American Archaeology in the Czech Lands: The Case of Julius Nestler

Abstract

The basis for the present article is the case study of Julius Nestler, amateur archaeologist from Prague, who at the beginning of the twentieth century pursued excavations in the ruins of Tiahuanaco and brought to Prague a unique collection of about 3,600 pieces, deposited now in the Náprstek Museum in Prague. His activities are put into the broader context of the origins of Americanist archaeology and anthropology in Central Europe, against a background of nationalist competition and economic entrepreneurship. The life story of Nestler also brings to the fore the problem of ethics in anthropological and archaeological work.

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