Wilhelm Solheim

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This article refers to Wilhelm G. Solheim II, the Anthropologist. For his father, Wilhelm G. Solheim I the botanist, see Wilhelm Solheim (botanist).[1]

Wilhelm G. Solheim II (1924—2014) was an American anthropologist recognized as the most senior practitioner of archaeology in Southeast Asia, and as a pioneer in the study of Philippine and Southeast Asian prehistoric archaeology.[2] He is perhaps best known, however, for hypothesizing the existence of the Nusantao Maritime Trading and Communication Network (NMTCN), one of two dominant hypotheses regarding the peopling of the Asia-Pacific region during the Neolithic age.[3]

Life and education[edit]

Solheim was born on the 19th of November 1924 in Champaign, Illinois. He entered the University of Wyoming in 1941, with Mathematics as his major and Physics as his minor. In 1943 he joined the US Air Force and served in Europe for three years, before returning to the United States to finish his studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He finished his undergraduate degree in 1947.

Three months after he finished his undergraduate degree, he pursued a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology at Berkeley. During his MA years, he decided to visit the Philippines in 1949 and enroll in courses under H. Otley Beyer. He stayed there from 1949 - 1952. During this time, he already began excavating some sites in Luzon.

He completed his Ph.D at the University of Arizona in 1959.

Solheim continued with his work as an archaeologist and professor until his retirement in 1991. After his retirement he became Emeritus Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. During the mid-1990s, he surveyed an archaeological site in Palawan with fellow Filipino archaeologists. There they found the Ille Cave, now a major archaeological site. Solheim and his wife Ludy ‘Nene’ Solheim built their permanent residence in El Nido, near Ille Cave.

In 1997, he joined the staff of the Archaeological Studies Program at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.[2]

Solheim remained in the Philippines with his wife until his death. He died on July 25, 2014 at the age of 89.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Casino, Eric S., George R. Ellis, Wilhelm G. Solheim II, Father Gabriel Casal and Regalado Trota Jose, People and Art of the Philippines, Museum of Cultural History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1962.
  • Solheim, Wilhelm G. Archaeology of central Philippines : a study chiefly of the Iron Age and its relationships, Manila : National Science Development Board, National Institute of Science and Technology, 1964.
  • Solheim, Wilhelm G. (editor). Anthropology at the Eighth Pacific Science Congress of the Pacific Science Association and the Fourth Far Eastern Pre-history Congress, Quezon City, Philippines, 1953, Honolulu, Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawaii, 1968.
  • Solheim, Wilhelm G. Archaeological survey to investigate Southeast Asian prehistoric presence in Ceylon, Colombo : Commissioner of Archaeology, Ceylon Dept. of Archaeology, 1972
  • Solheim, Wilhelm G., et al. Archaeological survey in southeastern Mindanao, Manila, Philippines : National Museum of the Philippines ; [Manoa] : University of Hawaii, 1979.
  • Solheim, Wilhelm G., et al., (eds). Pacific region 1990 : change and challenge, Washington, D.C. : Fulbright Association ; [Hawaii] : Hawaii Chapter, Fulbright Association, 1991
  • Solheim, Wilhelm G. Archaeology of central Philippines : a study chiefly of the Iron Age and its relationships, [Manila] : University of the Philippines, Archaeological Studies Program, 2002.
  • Solheim, Wilhelm G., (edited by Victor Paz). Southeast Asian archaeology : Wilhelm G. Solheim II festschrift, Diliman, Quezon City : University of the Philippines Press, 2004. ISBN 971-542-451-1
  • Solheim, Wilhelm G. Archaeology and culture in Southeast Asia : unraveling the Nusantao, (revised edition), Diliman, Quezon City : University of the Philippines Press, 2006. ISBN 971-542-508-9


  1. ^ Baxter, John W.; Martha Christensen (Jan–Feb 1979). "Wilhelm Gerhard Solheim (1898-1978)". Mycologia (Mycological Society of America) 71 (1): 45–46. JSTOR 3759219. 
  2. ^ a b Valdes, Cynthia O.. "About Bill Solheim". Wilhelm G. Solheim II Foundation Website. Wilhelm G. Solheim II Foundation for Philippine Archaeology, Inc. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  3. ^ Solheim, Wilhelm G., II (2006). Archaeology and Culture in Southeast Asia: Unraveling the Nusantao. Diliman, Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. p. 316. ISBN 971-542-508-9. 
  4. ^ "DR. WILHELM G. SOLHEIM". staradvertiser.com/. August 2, 2014. 


  1. ^ Southeast Asian Archeology: Wilhelm G. Solheim II feistscript