National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
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|American geologist, mineralogist and explorer. Pumpelly studied at the Freiburg Mining Academy, and after graduating worked as an engineer in a mine in Arizona. In 1861, he came to Japan at the invitation of the Tokugawa Shogunate and made a geological survey of Hokkaido. He also taught mining techniques at a university in Hakodate. In 1863, he was invited by the government of China to participate in geological and coalfield studies in various parts of China. In 1864-65, he surveyed the Gobi desert and traveled the Yangtze River before making his way to St. Petersburg via Mongolia and Siberia. When the American Civil War ended, he returned to the US, becoming a professor at Harvard University in 1866. He also served as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey at Missouri. In 1903-05, he led an expedition to Turkistan funded by the Carnegie Foundation. In southern Turkmenistan near the border with Iran, he found the approximately 3000-year-old Anau ruins, where he excavated tools showing evidence of ancient flour cultivation and uncovered beautifully designed pottery. In 1905, he became chairman of the Geological Society of America. The low-temperature metamorphic mineral, pumpellyite, is named after him.|
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