Erhard Eylmann: A German Anthropologist in Australia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Erhard Eylmann (1860-1926) was a German scientist who devoted much of his working life to researching Australia, where he travelled extensively during the period 1896 to 1913. His primary field of expertise was anthropology, about which he wrote at great length in his major work Die Eingeborenen der Kolonie Südaustralien (The Aborigines of the Colony of South Australia). This paper places Eylmann and his work in a tradition of German scientific endeavour which can be traced back to William Blandowski and Alexander Von Humboldt. Eylmann's insistence on the primacy of empirical methodology and his belief in the essential unity of all the scientific disciplines characterise his work. At the same time the paper argues that Eylmann's approach to anthropological study was also indebted to practitioners outside Germany, in particular Francis Gillen and Baldwin spencer. similarly, there were other anthropologists in Eylmann's own time - foremost among them Carl Strehlow - who adopted a very different paradigm in their efforts to understand indigenous Australians.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-90
    Number of pages8
    JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Australian aborigines
    • Carl Strehlow
    • Erhard Eylmann
    • German anthropology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Erhard Eylmann: A German Anthropologist in Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this