John Lubbock, British biologist

John Lubbock, British biologist


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John Lubbock (1834-1913), British biologist and 1st Baron Avebury. A wealthy neighbour and friend of Charles Darwin, Lubbock was encouraged as a child by Darwin to pursue natural history and science. Family obligations lead him into banking, but his Victorian ideals as a polymath also lead him to become a Liberal politician, philanthropist, scientist and instrumental force in palaeolithic archaeology (as well as in the preservation of Britain's ancient monuments). He created the Bank Holiday, called for protection of Avebury and Stonehenge and originated the terms 'Palaeolithic' and 'Neolithic' to define major periods of early prehistory. He is often seen as the father of palaeolithic archaeology. His own exact studies of ants, bees and wasps held more personal fascination. This chalk and pastel sketch by John Richmond dates from 1865.

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