A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
The rise and demise of ARCHAEOLOGY's Victorian predecessor
The professional community must have bristled at the magazine's apparent tolerance of the trade in antiquities. In an editorial "Do Not Ask Too Much Of Us," editor Alfred Franklin Berlin addresses the issue head-on: "some dissatisfaction is shown by anthropologists, because in the Archaeologist are printed the advertisements of dealers who wish to dispose for cash remains of pre-historic art. The complainants must certainly be aware of the fact that this journal DOES NOT PAY. Can its publishers then be blamed for trying to at least make enough money out of the project to meet all expenses?"
More problems lay ahead. The American Archaeological Association disbanded, victim of a seriously ill secretary, a treasurer on the lam (apparently with some of the magazine's subscription money), and a membership of only 66 people, not all of whose dues were current. To remedy the situation, the magazine's publishers incorporated the Archaeologist Publishing Company. Selected as new editor was none other than Warren K. Moorehead, who would become a major figure in American archaeology, excavating at the famed Hopewell and Fort Ancient sites (in Ohio), Cahokia (in Illinois), and Etowah (in Georgia). Moorehead charged one dollar a year for a subscription, with individual issues priced at 15 cents.
To attain solvency, Moorehead sold stock in his publishing company at $25 a share and offered $15 cash and a collection of artifacts to the reader who brought in the most new subscribers. The magazine continued to accept ads from dealers, including Moorehead himself. The pages of the Archaeologist are peppered with his ads for "mound pottery," "amulets," and "urns of queer shapes."
Jerald T. Milanich is curator in archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History and author of a number of books on Florida archaeology.