SPOONER, David Brainerd

SPOONER, David Brainerd. Vermon, Vermont 7.2.1879 — Agra 30.1.1925. U.S. Indologist and Archaeologist in India. Son of elder D.Br.Sp. and Mary Morton. Studied at Stanford University in California. After graduation (B.A. 1899) he went to Japan and studied Sanskrit at Imperial University, then at Sanskrit College in Varanasi. Ph.D. 1906 Harvard, under Lanman (some say at Berlin under Pischel). Further studies in Berlin. From 1906 employed in the A.S.I., as Superintendent of Frontier Circle, working in Peshawar, from 1910 of Eastern Circle in Patna. From 1919 until his death Deputy Director-General under Marshall. Carried out important excavations at Sahribahlol, Takht-i-Bāhī, Vaiśālī, Kumrahar and Pāṭaliputra. Married 1911—> Elisabeth Colton Spooner.

In his 1915 article Spooner noted the Iranian parallels in the remains of Pāṭaliputra, but this soon led him into wild speculations. In the end both Candragupta and Śākyamuni were Iranian Zoroastrians, Śākta religion a cult of Ištar, etc.

Publications: Reports of excavations in ASIAR: “Sahrībahlol”, 1906-07, 102-118 & 1909-10, 46-62; “Takht-i-Bāhī”, 1907-08, 132-148; “Shāh-jī-kī-Dhērī”, 1908-09, 38-59; etc.

– “The Zoroastrian period of Indian history”, JRAS 1915, 63-89, 405-455.

Sources: E.A. Horne, JASB N.S. 22, 1926, clxi-clxiv; C.E.A.W. Oldham, JRAS 1925, 375f.; parents in geni.com; Wikipedia. Neither in the Who Was Who in America nor in the Nat.Cycl.Am.Biogr.

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