Ferdinand Keller (archaeologist)

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Ferdinand Keller
Ferdinand Keller
BornDecember 24, 1800
DiedJune 21, 1881
Known forPrehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps
Scientific career

Ferdinand Keller (December 24, 1800 – June 21, 1881) was a Swiss archaeologist. He is mainly known for his investigations of Swiss lake dwellings in 1853–54,[1] and work on the remains of the La Tène culture. He is the founder of the Antiquarische Gesellschaft in Zürich (Antiquarian Society in Zurich).


He was born at Marthalen. He studied theology and natural sciences at Zurich, Lausanne, and Paris. In 1831 he was made an instructor at Zurich, and secretary of the Society for Natural Research, and in this capacity he published various works on naked rock soil and vent holes. The discovery of the sepulchral mound at Burghölzli led to the founding of the Antiquarian Society of which Keller was the longtime president, and to the founding of a museum, the growth of which was largely due to him. His most important discovery was the pile dwelling Meilen–Rorenhaab in the winter of 1853,[2][3] and in later years the settlements Zürich–Enge Alpenquai,[4] Kleiner Hafner and Grosser Hafner.[5] In 1857 a skeleton wearing bronze jewelry was unearthed near Robenhausen, and Jakob Messikommer who later discovered and researched the Wetzikon-Robenhausen settlement, reported the findings to Keller. Keller encouraged him to search for prehistoric remains.[6] The American Philosophical Society elected Keller an international member in 1863.[7]


His articles on the pile dwelling were published in the proceedings of the Antiquarian Society. He also published Bauriss des Klosters Sankt Gallen vom Jahr 820 (1844), and an archaeological map of Eastern Switzerland (1874).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wood, James, ed. (1907). "Keller, Ferdinand" . The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.
  2. ^ Ferdinand Keller: Die keltischen Pfahlbauten in den Schweizerseen, Band 1. Mittheilungen der Antiquarischen Gesellschaft in Zürich, Zürich 1854.
  3. ^ "Sites Switzerland: Meilen-Rorenhaab (CH-ZH-09)". palafittes.org. Archived from the original on 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
  4. ^ "Sites Switzerland: Zürich–Enge Alpenquai (CH-ZH-09)". palafittes.org. Archived from the original on 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
  5. ^ "Sites Switzerland: Zürich Kleiner and Grosser Hafner (CH-ZH-10)". palafittes.org. Archived from the original on 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
  6. ^ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Jakob Messikomer". britannica.com. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  7. ^ "Ferdinand Keller". American Philosophical Society Members History Database. Retrieved 16 February 2021.


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