An ambitious German in early twentieth century Tasmania: The collections made by Fritz Noetling

01st June 2006

Struwe Figure 1 AA62Ruth Stuwe

At the turn of the twentieth century, after the success of Darwin’s theory of evolution, important work in several disciplines was done on hominisation and prehistory. Fritz Noetling lived in Tasmania from 1906 to 1919 and collected a considerable number of Aboriginal stone artefacts. He intended to make them available for European researchers. He compared them with an early stage in prehistory, the ‘Eolithic’ or ‘Archaeolithic’ stage. This article shows that during Noetling’s time this method of research ultimately served racist concepts. The stone artefact collections in German museums, however, can contribute to modern archaeological research.

Image caption: Hofrat Dr Friedrick (Fritz) Wilhelm Noetling (published in Australian Archaeology 62:31 with permission from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery).
Ruth Struwe
An ambitious German in early twentieth century Tasmania: The collections made by Fritz Noetling
June 2006
62
31-37
Article
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