FOOTE, Robert Bruce. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire 22.9.1834 — Calcutta 29.12.1912. British Geologist in South India, a Pioneer of Indian Prehistoric Archaeology. Son of William Henry F. and Sophia Wells. Joined the Geological Survey of India 1858 at the age of 24, remained there 33 years, working in South India. Retiring in 1891 he entered the service of Baroda state. Finally settled in Yercaud (Salem dt.). Married 1862 Elizabeth Ann Percival (daughter of —> P. Percival), then 1874 Eliza Melissa Wells, 4+5 children. In 1863 he found the first palaeolithic handaxe in India, near Madras. His collection was sold to the Madras Government Museum.
Publications: Many articles on geology and prehistory in Quarterly Journal, Records and Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India; “On the occurrence of stone implements in lateritic formations in various parts of the Madras and North Arcot districts”, MJLS 3:2, 1866, 1-35, 24 pl.; “Sketch of the work of the Geological Survey in Southern India”, MJLS 1881, 279-328; “Notes on Prehistoric Finds in India”, JRAnthrInst 16, 1887, 70-75.
– The Foote Collection of Indian Prehistoric and Protohistoric Antiquities. Catalogue Raisonne. Madras 1914; The Foote Collections of Indian Prehistoric and Protohistoric Antiquities. Notes on Their Ages and Distributions. 1-2. 9+262, 15+246 p. 64 pl. Madras 1916.
Sources: *D. K. Chakrabarti, “R.B.F. and Indian Prehistory”, EW 29, 1979, 11-26; *Enc. Brit. 2004; not in Br. Biogr. Arch. 2nd Series; *D. Sen & A,K, Ghosh, Studies in prehistory: Robert Bruce Foote memorial volume. 1966; family details in myheritage; Wikipedia with photo.
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