Gustaf Kossinna


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(1858–1931) [Bi]

German linguist and prehistorian well known for his nationalistic views on the use of archaeological research. Born in Tilsit, East Prussia, he attended the universities of Göttingen, Leipzig, Berlin, and Strasbourg. He then became a librarian and worked in the library of the University of Berlin from 1892. During this time he read widely on archaeology and published numerous papers on material culture in relation to German territory. Rather strangely, in 1904, he was appointed Professor of German Prehistory in the University of Berlin. Through much of his work he viewed Germany as the centre for numerous developments which spread outwards from there into the wider world. Such views about the central European archaeological record contributed to the ideological base of Nazism during the 1920s and 1930s.


B. Arnold, 1990, The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany. Antiquity, 64, 464–78

Subjects: Archaeology.

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