International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Latvian ethnographer, linguist, folklorist and archaeologist Eduards Volters (1856-1941) conducted pioneering ethnographic fieldwork in neighbouring Lithuania – then divided between Russia and Prussia – between 1882 and 1918. Volters provided a new interpretation of ethnographic statistics; he directed his identity studies to help reveal political processes, thereby providing a new look at the Baltic region’s history and ethnography. He was an active member of the Baltic national movements, particularly in Lithuania, and put forward nation-building ideas through studies of Baltic ethnicities, antiquities and old books, language, migration and borderland identities. An obscure figure in the history of anthropology, Volters was a cosmopolitan scholar and a teacher at the University of Saint Petersburg for over thirty years.

Keywords: Archaeology | History | Linguistics | Statistics | Evolutionism | Ethnography | Middle Ages | Russia | Latvia | Lithuania | Mythology | Cultural diffusion and migrations