Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

Living Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith (Editor-in-Chief)

Andersson, Johan Gunnar

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_2448-2

Basic Biographical Information

Johan Gunnar Andersson (1874–1960) is an archaeologist, paleontologist, and geologist, a pioneer in Neolithic Chinese archaeology, and also famous for his involvement in the discovery of Peking man. He was born in rural Sweden and in several riveting autobiographical books (1932, most famously) tells the story of how he became interested in science and nature already as a young boy. He later read geology and paleontology at Uppsala University and received a doctoral degree in 1901 for his dissertation on the geology of Bear Island in the North Atlantic. Andersson participated in several other Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. In 1906 he became director of Sweden’s Geological Survey and hosted the International Geological Congress in Stockholm in 1910. In 1914 he accepted an invitation to work at China’s newly organized National Geological Survey (NGS) as a “mining adviser to the Chinese Government” of the young Chinese Republic founded in 1911 (Fig. 1).
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  1. Andersson, J.G. 1923. An early Chinese culture. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of China 5: 1–68.Google Scholar
  2. Andersson, J.G. 1932. Den gula jordens barn: Studier över det förhistoriska Kina. Stockholm: Bonniers. (Trans. as Children of the yellow earth: Studies in prehistoric China. London: Kegan Paul, 1934).Google Scholar
  3. Andersson, J.G. 1938. Under brinnande krig. Stockholm: Saxon & Lindström. (Trans. as China fights for the world, London: Paul, Trench & Trubner, 1939).Google Scholar
  4. Andersson, J.G. 1939. Topographical and archaeological studies in the Far East. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 11: 1–111.Google Scholar
  5. Andersson, J.G. 1943. Researches into the prehistory of the Chinese. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 15: 7–304. 200 plates.Google Scholar
  6. Andersson, J.G. 1953. Hur vi erövrade jorden: De geografiska upptäckterna genom tidsåldrarna [How we conquered the earth: Geographical discoveries through the ages]. Vols. I–II. Stockholm: Saxon & Lindström (In Swedish).Google Scholar
  7. Chen, X. & M. Fiskesjö. 2014. “Oscar Montelius and Chinese archaeology.” Co-authored with Chen Xingcan. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology [Melbourne, Australia] 24:10. archaeologybulletin.org/article/view/bha.2410/608.
  8. Palmgren, N. 1934. Kansu mortuary urns of the Pan Shan and Ma Chang groups. Palaeontologia Sinica series D, Vol. 3, Fascicle 1.Google Scholar
  9. Sommarström, B. 1956. The site of Ma-Kia-Yao. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 28: 55–138.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Chen, X. 1997. Zhongguo shiqian kaoguxue yanjiu [Studies in the history of Chinese prehistoric archaeology, 1895–1949]. Beijing: Sanlian. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  2. Fiskesjö, M. 2007. Science across borders: Johan Gunnar Andersson & Ding Wenjiang. In Explorers and scientists in China’s borderlands, 1880–1950, ed. D. Glover et al., 240–266. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  3. Fiskesjö, M. 2010. The reappearance of Yangshao? Reflections on unmourned artifacts. China Heritage Quarterly 23 http://www.chinaheritagequarterly.org/scholarship.php?searchterm=023_yangshao.inc&issue=023
  4. Fiskesjö, M. 2014. Art and science as competing values in the formation of the museum of far Eastern antiquities. In Collectors, collections, and collecting the arts of China: Histories and challenges, ed. G. Lai and J. Steuber, 67–98. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.Google Scholar
  5. Fiskesjö, M. 2016. Chinese autochthony and the Eurasian context: Archaeology, mythmaking and Johan Gunnar Andersson's “Western origins”. In Fitful histories and unruly publics: Rethinking temporality and community in Eurasian archaeology, ed. K. Weber et al., 303–320. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  6. Fiskesjö, M., and X. Chen. 2004. China before China: Johan Gunnar Andersson, Ding Wenjiang, and the discovery of China’s prehistory/ Zhongguo zhi qian de Zhongguo: Antesheng, Ding Wenjiang, he Zhongguo shiqianshi de faxian. Stockholm: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. (Bilingual, in English and Chinese).Google Scholar
  7. Johansson, P. 2012. Saluting the yellow emperor: A Swedish case of sinography. Leiden: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Liu, L. 2004. The Chinese neolithic: Trajectories to early states. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Claire Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia