Historical Hall of Fame: David Ives Bushnell (1875-1941) was an archeologist who specialized in indian ethnography and
whose work is recognized by the Archeological Society of Virginia as a member of their Hall of Fame.
Virginia History Series
David Ives Bushnell (1875-1941) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was introduced to archaeological and ethnographic material
at an early age by his father, David Bushnell, Sr., who served on the Advisory Committee at the Missouri Historical Society for many
years and was a trustee from 1898-1913.
Never formally trained as an anthropologist, David I. Bushnell Jr. enjoyed a wide range
of interests in the field of anthropology, archaeology and ethnography. Bushnell extensively photographed his numerous expeditions,
many of which resulted in the publications he produced throughout his life. Schooled in St. Louis and later in Europe he was associated
with Harvard University from 1901-1904 as an archaeological assistant at the Peabody Museum.
He was appointed as an editor
at the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) where he remained from 1912-1921. In 1899 he joined an expedition
to Northern Minnesota where he observed and recorded life among the Chippewa and Ojibwa where he excavated sites at
Mille Lac led by Dr. Brower (see photo at left of the 25-year old archeologist excavating at a lodge pole site.)
Bushnell excavated at the Cahokia Mounds and took a trip with his mother to Europe where he documented North American ethnographic
material housed in European collections and museums. While in Switzerland, he excavated and collected specimens from peat bogs. He
returned to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1907 and was hired as a contributor to the Handbook of American Indians. He continued his
anthropological investigations in 1908-1909 with studies of the Choctaw in Louisiana, and later returned to the area in
1917-1918. In the decades to follow, Bushnell devoted much of his time to excavations in Virginia, specifically in the James and Rappahannock
River Valleys, as well as to documenting soapstone quarries there.
Some Representative Works by David Ives Bushnell (1899-1941)