Squier, Ephraim


August 11, 2022

Ephraim George Squier (Eng. Ephraim George Squier, June 17, 1821, Bethlehem, New York, USA - April 17, 1888, New York) was an American archaeologist, diplomat, researcher of pre-Columbian cultures of the New World.


While working as editor of the Scioto Gazette newspaper in Chillicothe in 1846, he excavated and mapped mound mounds - ritual earthen buildings of the Hopewell culture, on the site of which is now a US national park. It was he who discovered and excavated the Great Serpent Mound. In 1848, with Edwin Davis, he published Monuments of the Mississippi Valley: Comprising the Results of Extensive Original Surveys and Explorations. This work became a milestone for American studies, because for the first time the culture of the builders of mounds was studied. At the same time, US archeology was turning into a scientific discipline. The book was published by the Smithsonian Institution. From 1846-1869, Squier was on diplomatic duty in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Participated in the conclusion of the American-British Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (signed on April 19, 1850), concerning the delimitation of territories in the zone of the forthcoming construction of the Nicaraguan Canal. At the same time, he conducted excavations in Honduras and Peru, where in 1863-1864 he served as US Consul General. One of his Peruvian collaborators was O. Le Plongeon. Since 1871, E. Squier was president of the Archaeological Institute in New York.

Main work

The ancient monuments of the Mississippi valley. Washington (1848). Sketches of Travels in Nicaragua. New York (1851).