International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Born in Hamburg, Irmgard Melanie Sellnow (1922-2010) rose from being an accountant to a nationally and internationally recognized specialist in anthropology and prehistory in the GDR. After studying in Leipzig and Berlin, she worked at the Berlin Academy of Sciences where she co-organized conferences and co-edited books on the issue of non-capitalist societies. She is seen as a theorist who integrated Marxist-Leninist thought within anthropology and prehistory, advocating the equal importance of ethnographic and archaeological sources in research on “primitive society”.

Keywords: Social and cultural anthropology | Prehistory | Ethnography | Marxism-Leninism | Germany | German Democratic Republic (GDR) | Ghana | Hausa

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