anthropology

The Social Theories of Lewis Henry Morgan

The Social Theories of Lewis Henry Morgan

On November 21, 1818, pioneering American anthropologist and social theorist Lewis Henry Morgan was born. Morgan is best known for his work on kinship and social structure, his theories of social evolution, and his ethnography of the Iroquois. Interested in what holds societies together, he proposed the concept that the earliest human domestic institution was the matrilineal clan, not the patriarchal family. Lewis Henry Morgan – American Anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan was born…
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Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and the Human Races

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and the Human Races

On May 11, 1752, German physician, naturalist, physiologist, and anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach was born. He was one of the first to explore the study of mankind as an aspect of natural history. Frequently called the father of physical anthropology, Blumenbach proposed one of the earliest classifications of the races of mankind. He divided humanity into five races: Caucasian, Ethiopian, American, Mongolian, and Malay. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach – Early Life Johann Friedrich…
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Ales Hrdlicka and the Origin of the Americans

Ales Hrdlicka and the Origin of the Americans

On March 29, 1869, Czech anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka was born. Hrdlicka is known for his studies of Neanderthal man and his theory of the migration of American Indians from Asia. He was the one of the first scientists to argue the Americans originated in Asia and came across the Bering Strait, and participated in numerous archeological expeditions which contributed a great amount of information and physical evidence. “While the anthropologist is thus…
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Louis Leakey and the Human Evolutionary Development in Africa

Louis Leakey and the Human Evolutionary Development in Africa

On August 7, 1903, Kenyan paleoanthropologist and archaeologist Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey was born. Louis Leakey‘s work was important in establishing human evolutionary development in Africa, particularly through his discoveries in the Olduvai Gorge. We’ve already had posts about his wife Mary Leakey, as well as two other famous women, whose life is connected with Louis Leakey: Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall. Having been a prime mover in establishing a tradition of…
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How Ötzi the Iceman became World Famous

How Ötzi the Iceman became World Famous

On September 19, 1991, two German tourist found a corpse on the east ridge of the Fineilspitze in the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian–Italian border. The corpse turned out to be a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE, which has become famous under the name “Ötzi“. The Discovery On 19 September 1991, Ötzi was found by two German tourists in the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian–Italian border,…
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The Discovery of the Neanderthal Man

The Discovery of the Neanderthal Man

On February 4, 1857, German anatomist Hermann Schaaffhausen publicly announced the discovery of the remains of an extincted prehistoric species of human, the Neanderthal man, whose remains were discovered by amateur naturalist Johann Karl Fuhlrott in the German Neander Valley. From Belgium over Gibraltar to Düsseldorf Actually, the remains found in the Neander Valley were not the first known pieces of the Neanderthal man. Around 1829, Neanderthal skulls were discovered in what…
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Mary Leakey and the Discovery of the false ‘Nutcracker Man’

Mary Leakey and the Discovery of the false ‘Nutcracker Man’

On July 17, 1959, British paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey discovered the first fossil of the Paranthropus boisei at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. The Most Disciplined Student Mary Leakey was born as Mary Douglas Nicol , the daughter of the then well-known landscape painter Erskine Edward Nicol and the hobby painter Cecilia Marion Frere, who lived for years in France in the Dordogne. Frequent visits to prehistoric and archaeological sites in France aroused her interest in…
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Robert Redfield and the Folk-Urban Continuum

Robert Redfield and the Folk-Urban Continuum

On December 4, 1897, American anthropologist and ethnolinguist Robert Redfield was born. Redfield‘s ethnographic work in Tepoztlán, Mexico is considered a landmark Latin American ethnography. From his studies of Mexican communities, Redfield developed a theory (1956) of a folk-urban continuum, to account for the differences between folk society and urban society. Early Years Robert Redfield was the son-in-law of University of Chicago sociologist Robert E. Park. In 1923 he and his wife…
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Colin Turnbull and the Forest People

Colin Turnbull and the Forest People

On November 23, 1924, British-American anthropologist Colin Turnbull was born. Turnbull came to public attention with the popular books The Forest People on the Mbuti Pygmies of Zaire and The Mountain People on the Ik people of Uganda, and one of the first anthropologists to work in the field of ethnomusicology. Early Years Colin Turnbull was born in the London borough of Harrow His parents were Helen Dorothy Wellesley Chapman (1894-1977) and John Rutherford…
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Earnest A. Hooton and Physical Anthropology

Earnest A. Hooton and Physical Anthropology

On November 20, 1887, Jewish-American physical anthropologist Earnest Hooton was born. Hooton investigated human evolution and racial differentiation, classified and described human populations, and examined the relationship between personality and physical type, particularly with respect to criminal behaviour. Education and Academic Career Earnest Albert Hooton was born in Clemansville, Wisconsin, USA. He was educated at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where heearned his BA in 1907. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to…
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