Ephraim Squier

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Squier, Ephriam.jpg

Ephraim Squier was a newspaper editor and amateur archaeologist in Ohio in the mid-nineteenth century. Squier was born in 1821. He worked in both New York and Connecticut as a newspaper reporter before settling in Ohio in the mid 1840s. In Ohio, Squier first served as editor of the Scioto Gazette. In 1847, he became clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Unhappy with politics, Squier turned his attention to archaeology. The Hopewell and Adena Native American mounds fascinated him. He befriended Edwin Davis, a specialist on the Ohio mounds, and assisted him in his research. In 1851, the two men published their findings in Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley. This was the first book ever published by the Smithsonian Institution. Squier became well-known and used his newfound popularity to become a prominent ambassador to Central and South American countries. One of his primary goals during his service was also to study prehistoric sites. Squier served in Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua, and Honduras. He also continued to publish, including several works on the pre-Columbian peoples of the Americas. He died in 1887.

See Also


  1. Barnhart, Terry A. Ephraim George Squier and the Development of American Anthropology. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
  2. Squier, Ephraim George, and Edwin Hamilton Davis. Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley: Comprising the Results of Extensive Original Surveys and Explorations. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1848.