Saville, Marshall H. (Marshall Howard), 1867-1935

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Exist Dates

June 24, 1867 - May 7, 1935

Biographical or Historical Note

Marshall Howard Saville was a curator in the Dept. of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History from 1894 to 1907. He was the first curator of Mexican and Central American archaeology at the museum, and an authority on the cultures and artifacts of these regions. Saville's acquisitions for the museum during his expeditions of 1896-1904 established the department's leadership in this country. Saville received his training in archeological fieldwork from Frederick W. Putnam of Harvard's Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology. His first field trip was to the Yucatán in 1890, which led to his 1891-1892 study of Copán, Honduras. In 1894 Saville became assistant curator in anthropology at the AMNH, and in 1896, after Mexico enacted a law allowing the museum to carry out research in its territory, Saville explored the Mayan ruins of Palenque in Chiapas. In 1897 he began excavations that continued until 1904 at Mitla, Monte Albán and Xochicalco. Saville served on the host committee for the New York meeting, in 1902, of the 13th International Congress of Americanists, and represented the AMNH at the next meeting, in Germany. In 1907 he resigned from his curatorial duties, and from 1910 on he devoted himself to George Gustave Heye's plans for an American Indian museum. Saville was on the staff of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, from 1918 until 1932.


    Library of Congress Name Authority File
    From biographical note for Saville's archive collection at the AMNH Library, Mss .S28, written by Ann Herendeen.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

American Museum of Natural History. Department of Anthropology
associated dates: 1894-1907

Related Resources

Marshall Howard Saville correspondence, 1896-1903
Repository: AMNH Special Collections, Mss .S28

Written by: Iris Lee
Last modified: 2018 October 5


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