Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Lubbock, John

  • Alice Beck Kehoe
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_316

Basic Biographical Information

John Lubbock was a key figure in the establishment of archaeology as a science and a strong advocate of Spencerian progressivism during the Victorian era. Lubbock was born in 1834, the son of Sir John Lubbock, third Baronet, a London banker. He grew up on the family country estate of High Elms near Downe in Kent, England. Serendipitously the estate was adjacent to the home of Charles Darwin. The great naturalist befriended the boy, guided him in studying insects and flora, and benefitted later by Lubbock’s membership in a group of younger scientists within the Royal Society, the “X-Club,” that proselytized evolution. Lubbock attended Eton to the age of 14. He then joined his father’s bank and became a partner at the age of 22.

During the 1860s, Lubbock held a number of influential positions, including President of the Ethnological Society (1864–1865), Vice-President of the Linnean Society (1965), and President of the International Association for...

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  1. Lubbock, S.J. 1865. Pre-historic times: as illustrated by ancient remains, and the manners and customs of modern savages. London: Williams & Norgate.Google Scholar
  2. - 1870. The origin of civilisation and the primitive condition of man: mental and social condition of savages. London: Longmans, Green.Google Scholar
  3. Wilson, D. 1862. Prehistoric man: researches into the origin of civilization in the Old and the New World. London: Macmillan and Co.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Barton, R. 1998. ‘Huxley, Lubbock and half a dozen others’: professionals and gentlemen in the formation of the X Club, 1851-1864. Isis 89: 410-44.Google Scholar
  2. - 2004. Lubbock, Sir John (1834-1914), Lord Avebury, in B. Lightman (ed.) The dictionary of nineteenth-century British scientists: 1272-8. Bristol: Thoemmes.Google Scholar
  3. Kehoe, A. B. 1998.The land of prehistory: a critical history of American archaeology. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Murray, T. 2009. Illustrating ‘savagery’: Sir John Lubbock and Ernest Griset. Antiquity 83: 488-99.Google Scholar
  5. Patton, M. 2007. Science, politics and business in the work of Sir John Lubbock. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  6. Stocking Jr., G. W. 1987. Victorian anthropology. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  7. Trigger, B. G. 2006. A history of archaeology thought, 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AnthropologyUniversity of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA