Frederica de Laguna and Aleš Hrdlièka: A Missed Collaboration

Rachel Mason


In the early 1930s, when Frederica de Laguna first conducted archaeological and ethnographic research in southcentral Alaska, Aleš Hrdlièka was already working in the region. He had been coming to the territory since 1926 to collect human remains and study human populations. De Laguna was just beginning her long career; Hrdlièka was already a well-known physical anthropologist, and they had little contact with one another. Later in her career, de Laguna was openly critical of Hrdlièka. She particularly deplored his methodology at the Uyak site on Kodiak Island. For his part, Hrdlièka never had much praise for de Laguna. This paper looks at the two scholars’ differing fieldwork styles, and their responses to each other’s work.

  • Rachel Mason, National Park Service 240 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99501

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