Table of Contents
Part I: Fossil Remains of Early Man
and the Record of Genesis
Where Did Man First Appear?
evolutionary origin was proposed, it was generally agreed that
the Cradle of Mankind was in Asia Minor or at least in the Middle
East area. Any evidence of primitive types elsewhere in the world,
whether living or fossil, were considered proof that man had
degenerated as he departed from the site of Paradise. When evolution
captured the imagination of anthropologists, then primitive fossil
remains were at once hailed as proof that the first men were
constitutionally not much removed from apes. One problem presented
itself almost from the beginning, however, and this was that
these supposed ancestors of modern man always seemed to turn
up in the wrong places. The basic assumption was still being
made that the Middle East was the home of Man and therefore these
primitive fossil types, which were turning up anywhere but in
this area, seemed entirely misplaced. Osborn, in his Men of
the Old Stone Age, accounted for this anomaly by arguing
that they were migrants. He asserted his conviction that both
the human and animal inhabitants of Europe, for example, had
migrated there in great waves from Asia and from Africa. In the
latter case, he wrote that it was probable that the source of
the migratory waves was also Asia, North Africa being merely
the route of passage. This was his position in 1915, and when
a third edition of his famous book appeared in 1936, he had modified
his original views only slightly. Thus he has a map of the Old
World with this subscription, "Throughout this long epoch
Western Europe is to be viewed as a peninsula, surrounded on
all sides by the sea and stretching westwards from the great
land mass of Eastern Europe and Asia ‹ which was the chief
theatre of evolution, both of animal and human life." (56) However, in 1930 and contrary
to expectations, H. J. Fleure had to admit: (57)
56. Osborn, H. F., Men of the Old Stone
Age, Scribners, New York, 1936, p.19f.
1 of 18
57. Fleure, H. J., The Races of Mankind, Benn, London,
traces of the men and cultures of the later part of the Old Stone
Age (known in Europe as the Aurignacian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian
phases) have been discovered in the central highland of Asia.
remained essentially the same when, twenty years later, Wilhelm
Koppers observed: (58)
It is a remarkable fact that
so far all the fossil men have been found in Europe, the Far
East, and Africa, that is, in the marginal regions of Asia that
are most unlikely to have formed the cradle of the human race.
No remains are known to us from Central Asia where most scholars
who have occupied themselves with the origin of man would place
the earliest races.
It is true that
some fossil men have now been found in the Middle East but far
from telling against this area as being central to subsequent
migration, they seem to me to argue indirectly ‹ and therefore
with more force ‹ in favour of it. We shall return to this
Griffith Taylor of the University
of Toronto, in speaking of migratory movements in general whether
in prehistoric or historic times, wrote: (59)
A series of zones is shown to
exist in the East Indies and in Australasia which is so arranged
that the most primitive are found farthest from Asia, and the
most advanced nearest to Asia. This distribution about Asia is
shown to be true in other "peninsulas" [i.e., Africa
and Europe], and is of fundamental importance in discussing the
evolution and ethnological status of the peoples concerned. .
Which ever region we consider,
Africa, Europe, Australia, or America, we find that the major
migrations have always been from Asia.
with some of the indices which he employs for establishing possible
relationships between groups in different geographical areas,
he remarked: (60)
How can one explain the close
resemblance between such far distant types as are here set forth?
Only the spreading of racial zones from a common cradle land
[his emphasis] can possibly explain these biological affinities.
subsequently, in dealing with African ethnology, he observed:
The first point of interest
in studying the distribution of the African peoples is that the
same rule holds good which we have observed in the Australasian
peoples. The most primitive groups are found in the regions most
distant from Asia, or what comes to the same thing, in the most
inaccessible of regions. . . .
Given these conditions it seems
logical to assume that the racial
58. Koppers, W., Primitive Man and His
World Picture, translated by Edith Raybould, Shedd and Ward,
New York, 1936, p.239.
59. Taylor, Griffith, Environment, Race and Migration,
University of Toronto, 1945, p.9, 10.
60. Taylor, G., ibid., p.67.
61. Taylor, G., ibid., p.120, 121.
zones can only have resulted from similar
peoples spreading out like waves from a common origin. This cradle-land
should be approximately between the two "peninsulas,"
and all indications (including the racial distribution of India)
point to a region of maximum evolution not far from Turkestan.
It is not unlikely that the time factor was similar in the spread
of all these peoples.
In a similar
vein, Dorothy Garrod wrote: (62)
It is becoming more and more
clear that it is not in Europe that we must seek the origins
of the various paleolithic peoples who successfully overran the
west. . . . The classification of de Mortillet therefore
only records the order of arrival [my emphasis] in the
West of a series of cultures, each of which has originated and
probably passed through the greater part of its existence elsewhere.
So also wrote
V. G. Childe: (63)
Our knowledge of the archaeology
of Europe and of the Ancient East has enormously strengthened
the Orientalist's position. Indeed we can now survey continuously
interconnected provinces throughout which cultures are seen to
be zoned in regularly descending grades round the centers of
urban civilization in the Ancient East. Such zoning is the best
possible proof of the Orientalist's postulate of diffusion.
in writing about the possible cradle of Homo sapiens,
gave a very cursory review of the chief finds of fossil man (to
that date, 1932), including finds from Java, Kenya, Rhodesia,
and Heidelberg, and then gave a map locating them; and he remarked:
It does not seem probable to
me that any of these localities could have been the original
point from which the earliest man migrated. The distances, combined
with many geographical barriers, would tend to make a theory
of this nature untenable. I suggest that an area more or less
equidistant from the outer edges of Europe, Asia, and Africa,
may indeed be the center in which development took place.
It is true that
these statements were written before the recent discoveries in
South Africa, or in the Far East at Choukoutien, or in the New
World. Of the South African finds we have already spoken ‹
and they do not concern us here since there is no general agreement
that they are truly fossils of man or even, in the opinions of
some, ancestral to him. The finds at Choukoutien, as we shall
attempt to show, support the present thesis in an interesting
way. As for the
62. Garrod, Dorothy, "Nova et Vetera:
a Plea for a New Method in Paleolithic Archaeology," Proceedings
of the Prehistoric Society of East, Anglia, vol.5, p.261.
63. Childe, V. Gordon, Dawn of European Civilization,
Kegan Paul, London, 3rd edition, 1939. In the 1957 edition Childe
in his introduction invites his readers to observe that he has
modified his "dogmatic" orientation a little, but he
still concludes at the end of the volume (p.342): "the primacy
of the Orient remains unchallenged."
64. Field, Henry, "The Cradle of Homo Sapiens," American
Journal of Archeology, Oct.-Dec., 1932, p.427.
New World, no one has
ever yet proposed that it was the Cradle of Mankind. Nor do fossils
in it antedate the supposedly earliest fossil men in the Old
World. Thus the Middle East could still retain priority as the
home of Man, although in the matter of dating it must be admitted
that no authority with a reputation for orthodox scholarship
at stake would ever propose it was a homeland so recently ‹
by our reckoning only 4,500 to 5,000 years ago. The problem of
time therefore remains. And at the moment we have no answer to
it, but we can continue to explore further lines of evidence
which in most other respects assuredly do support the thesis
set forth in this Paper.
Part of this evidence, curiously
enough, is the fact of diversity of physical type found within
what appear to have been single families (since the fossils are
found all together and seem to be contemporary). This has been
a source of some surprise, though readily enough accounted for
on the basis of central dispersion. Some years ago, W. D. Matthew
made the following observation: (65)
Whatever agencies may be assigned
as the cause of evolution in a race, it should be at first most
progressive at its point of original dispersal. . . .
is in order on this observation because there are important implications
in it. Lebzelter pointed out that "where man lives in large
conglomerations, physical form tends to be stable while culture
becomes specialized: where he lives in small isolated groups,
culture is stable but specialized races evolve." (66) According to Lebzelter,
this is why racial differentiation was more marked in the earlier
stages of man's history. The explanation of this fact is clear
enough. In a very small, closely inbreeding population, genes
for odd characters have a much better chance of being homozygously
expressed so that such characters appear in the population with
greater frequency, and tend to be perpetuated. On the other hand,
such a small population may have so precarious an existence that
the margin of survival is too narrow to encourage or permit cultural
diversities to find expression. Thus physical type is variant
but is accompanied by cultural conformity. Whereas in a large
and well established community, a physical norm begins to appear
as characteristic of that population, while the security resulting
from numbers allows for a greater range of cultural divergence.
65. Matthew W. D., "Climate and Evolution,"
Annals of the New York Academy of Science, vol.24, 1914,
66. Lebzelter, quoted by W. Koppers in his Primitive Man,
translated by Edith Raybould, Sheed & Ward, New York, 1952,
p.220. His view was sustained by Le Gros Clark, Journal of
the Royal Anthropological lnstitute, vol.88, Part
II, July-Dec., 1958, p.133.
the very beginning, we might therefore expect to find in the
central area a measure of physical diversity and cultural uniformity;
and at each secondary or provincial centre in its initial stages,
the same situation would reappear. The physical diversity to
be expected on the foregoing grounds would, it is now known,
be exaggerated even further by the fact (only comparatively recently
recognized) that when any established species enters a new environment
it at once gives expression to a new and greater power of diversification
in physical form. As LeGros Clark put it: (67)
High variability (in type) may
be correlated with the fact that (at that time) the rate of hominid
evolution was proceeding rather rapidly with the deployment of
relatively small and often contiguous populations into widely
dispersed areas with contrasting and changing environments.
The fact of
initial variability has been widely recognized. Richard B. Goldschmidt
spoke of it as a nearly universal phenomenon: (68)
The facts of greatest general
importance are the following. When a new phylum, class, or order
appears, there follows a quick explosive (in terms of geological
time) diversification so that practically all orders or families
known appear suddenly and without apparent transitions.
Thus we have
in reality three factors, all of which are found to be still
in operation in living populations, which must have contributed
to the marked variability of early fossil human remains, particularly
where several specimens are found in a single site as at Choukoutien,
for example, or at Obercassel, or Mount Carmel.
These factors may then be summarized
as follows: (1) A new species is more variable when it first
appears. (2) A small population is more variable than a large
one. (3) When a species (or a few members of it) shifts into
a new environment, wide variation again appears that only becomes
stable with time. To these should be added a fourth, namely,
that small populations are likely to be highly conservative in
their culture, thus maintaining many links with the parent body
though widely extended geographically.
Vere Gordon Childe observed: (69)
Firmly entrenched instances,
passionately held superstitions, are notoriously inimical to
social change and the scientific advances that make it necessary.
And the force of such reaction in a community seems to be inversely
proportional to the community's economic security, a group always
on the brink of starvation dare not risk a change.
67. Clark, Sir W. LeGros, "Bones of Contention,"
Human Evolution: Readings in Physical Anthropology, edited
by N. Korn and F. Thompson, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New
York, 1967, p.301.
68. Goldschmidt, Ralph B., "Evolution As Viewed by One Geneticist,"
American Scientist, vol.40, Jan., 1952, p.97; and see
for additional material on this point, "The Supposed Evolution
of the Human Skull," Part IV in this volume.
69. Childe, V. Gordon, Man Makes Himself, Thinker's Library,
Watts, London, 1948, p.99.
remains constantly bear witness to the reality of these factors,
but the witness has meaning and the facts are best accounted
for only if we assume that a small population began at the centre
and, as it became firmly established there, sent out successive
waves of migrants usually numbering very few persons in any one
group who thereafter established a further succession of centres,
the process being repeated again and again until early man had
spread into every habitable part of the world. Each new centre
at the first showed great diversity of physical type but as the
population multiplied locally a greater physical uniformity was
achieved in the course of time. Where such a subsidiary centre
was wiped out before this uniformity had been achieved and where
chance preserved their remains, the diversity was captured and
frozen for our examination. At the same time in marginal areas
where individuals or families were pushed out even further by
those who followed them, circumstances often combined to degrade
them so grossly that fossil man naturally tends towards a bestial
form ‹ but for quite secondary reasons. This is supported
by a statement of Le Gros Clark, for example. In discussing Heidelberg
Man, he asks whether he represents a separate species of man
or may not be "merely a deviant peripheral isolate."
(70) Clark virtually
admits the same possibility for Neanderthal Man. After referring
to him as "an aberrant side line . . . a sort of evolutionary
retrogression," he goes on to say, "If the remains
of Neanderthal Man are placed in their chronological sequence,
it appears that some of the earlier fossils, dating from the
earlier part of the Mousterian period are less 'Neanderthaloid'
in their skeletal characters (and thus approach more closely
to Homo sapiens) than the extreme Neanderthal type of later
date [my emphasis]." (71)
On the other hand, in the earliest
stages of the migrations
70. Clark, LeGros, "Bones of Contention,"
in Human Evolution: Readings in Physical Anthropology,
edited by N. Korn and F. Thompson, Holt, Rinehart & Winston,
New York, 1967, p.239.
71. Clark, W. LeGros, History of the Primates, Phoenix
Books, University of Chicago, 1957, pp.163, 164. The 1966 edition
of the Encyclopedia Britannica, vol.14 (p.738) has this observation:
"In the early days of paleoanthropological discovery, Homo
Neanderthalensis was commonly assumed to represent the ancestral
ape from which Homo sapiens derived. . . .
But the accumulation of further discoveries made
it clear that these apparently primitive features are secondary
-- the result of a retrogressive evolution from still earlier
types which do not appear to be specifically distinguishable
from Homo sapiens."
Wilfred E. LeGros Clark notes that Neanderthal Man
"disappeared from Europe quite abruptly, to be replaced
by a population of the modern Homo sapiens type. Presumably,
the latter spread into Europe from a neighbouring area, perhaps
the Middle East, and by replacement led to the extinction of
Homo Neanderthalensis." See his "The Crucial Evidence
for Human Evolution," American Scientist, vol.47,
cultural uniformity would
not only be the rule in each group but necessarily also be found
between the groups themselves. And this, too, has been found
to be so. Indeed, following the rule enunciated above, the most
primitive fragments which had been pushed furthest to the rim
might logically be expected to have the greatest proportion of
shared culture elements, so that links would not be surprising
if found between such peripheral areas as the New World, Europe,
Australia, South Africa, and so forth ‹ which is exactly
what has been observed.
Such lines of evidence force upon
us the conclusion that we should not look to these marginal areas
for a picture of the initial stages of man's cultural development
nor for a picture of his original appearance. It is exactly in
these marginal areas that we shall not find these things. The
logic of this was both evident to and flatly rejected by E. A.
Hooten who remarked: (72)
The adoption of such a principle
would necessitate the conclusion that the places where one finds
existing primitive forms of any order of animal are exactly the
places where these animals could not have originated. . . .
But this is the principle of "lucus
a non lucendo," i.e., finding light just where one ought
not to do so, which pushed to its logical extreme would lead
us to seek for the birthplace of man in that area where there
are no traces of ancient man and none of any of his primate
precursors [my emphasis].
the principle may be true ‹ even if it does contradict evolutionary
William Howells has written at some length
on the fact that, as he puts it, "all the visible footsteps
lead away from Asia." (73) He then examined the picture with respect to the
lines of migration taken by the "Whites" (Caucasoids)
and observed that at the beginning they were entrenched in southwest
Asia "apparently with the Neanderthals to the north and
west of them." He then proposed that while most of them
made their way into both Europe and North Africa, some of them
may have travelled east through central Asia into China, which
would explain, possibly, the Ainus and the Polynesians. He thought
that the situation with respect to the Mongoloids was pretty
straightforward, their origin having been somewhere in the same
area as the Whites, from which they peopled the East. The dark
skinned peoples are, as he put it, "a far more formidable
puzzle." He thought that the Australian aborigines can be
traced back as far as India with
72. Hooten, A. E., "Where Did Man Originate?"
Antiquity, June, 1927, p.149.
73. Howells, William, Mankind So Far, Doubleday, Doran,
New York, 1945, pp.295f.
some evidence of them
perhaps in southern Arabia. Presumably, the African Negroes are
to be traced also from the Middle East, possibly reaching Africa
by the Horn and therefore also via Arabia.
However, there are a number of
black skinned peoples who seem scattered here and there in a
way which he terms "the crowding enigma" ‹ a major
feature of which is the peculiar relationship between the Negroes
and the Negritos. Of these latter, he had this to say: (74)
They are [found] among the Negroes
in the Congo Forest, and they turn up on the eastern fringe of
Asia (the Andaman Islands, the Malay Peninsula, probably India,
and possibly formerly in southern China), in the Philippines,
and in New Guinea, and perhaps Australia with probable traces
in Borneo, Celebes, and various Melanesian Islands.
All of these are "refugee"
areas, the undesirable backwoods which the Pygmies have obviously
occupied as later more powerful people arrived in the same regions.
. . .
Several things stand out from these
facts. The Negritos must have had a migration from a common point.
. . And it is hopeless to assume that their point of origin was
at either end of their range . . . It is much more likely
that they came from some point midway which is in Asia.
There is, then,
a very wide measure of agreement that the lines of migration
radiate not from a point somewhere in Africa or Europe or the
Far East but from a geographical area which is to be closely
associated with that part of the world in which not only does
Scripture seem to say that man began physically populating the
world after the Flood, but also culturally. Looking at the spread
of civilization as we have looked at the spread of people, it
is clear that the lines follow the same course. The essential
difference, if we are taking note of current chronological sequences,
is that whereas the spread of people is held to have occurred
hundreds of thousands of years ago, the spread of civilization
is an event which has taken place very recently. I think that
man was making his long trek to the uttermost corners of the
world while at the very same time civilization was blossoming
at the centre.
It used to be argued that although
civilized man is a single species, these far-flung fossil remains
of man formed separate species in their own right and were therefore
not related to modern man in any simple way. Some have tentatively
proposed, for example, a concept like this by looking upon Neanderthal
Man as an earlier species or subspecies who was eliminated with
the appearance of so-called
74. Ibid., pp.298, 299.
(75) The association
of Neanderthals with moderns in the Mount Carmel finds seems
to stand against this. (76) And indeed, there is a very widespread agreement
today that, with the exception of course of the most recent South
African finds, all men ‹ fossil, prehistoric, historic, and
modern ‹ are one species, Homo sapiens. (77)
Ralph Linton viewed the varieties
of men revealed by fossil finds as being due to factors which
we have already outlined. As he put it: (78)
If we are correct in our belief
that all existing men belong to a single species, early man must
have been a generalized form with potentialities for evolving
into all the varieties which we know at present. It further seems
probable that this generalized form spread widely and rapidly
and that within a few thousand years of its appearance small
bands of individuals were scattered over most of the Old World.
These bands would find themselves
in many different environments, and the physical peculiarities
which were advantageous in one of these might be of no importance
or actually deleterious in another. Moreover, due to the relative
isolation of these bands and their habit of inbreeding, any mutation
which was favorable or at least not injurious under the particular
circumstances would have the best possible chance of spreading
to all members of the group.
It seems quite possible to account
for all the known variations in our species on this basis, without
invoking the theory of a small number of distinct varieties.
Viewed in this
light, degraded fossil specimens found in marginal regions should
neither be treated as "unsuccessful" evolutionary experiments
towards the making of true Homo sapiens types, nor as "successful
but only partially complete" phases or links between apes
and men. Indeed, as Griffith Taylor was willing to admit, "the
location of such 'missing' links as Pithecanthropus in Java,
etc., seems to have little bearing on the question of the human
cradle land." (79)
And he might in fact also have said, "on the question of
human origins." He concludes, "They are almost certainly
examples of a type which has been pushed out to the margins."
At a recent conference of anthropologists
one speaker was reported as having said: (80)
Many of the so called "primitive"
peoples of the world today, most of the participants agreed,
may not be so primitive after all. They
75. Weidenreich, Franz, Palacontologia
Sinica, Whole Series, No.127, 1943, p.276.
76. Romer, Alfred, Man and the Vertebrates, University
of Chicago Press, 1948, pp.219, 221.
77. Fossils of man as a whole: see F. Gaynor Evans in a note
on "The Names of Fossil Men," Science, vol.101,
1945, p.16, 17.
78. Linton, Ralph, The Study of Man, Appleton Century,
New York, 1936, p.26.
79. Taylor, Griffith, Environment, Race and Migration,
University of Toronto Press, 1945, p.282.
80. Reported in Science Yearbook, 1966, p.256.
suggested that certain hunting tribes
in Africa, Central India, South America, and the Western Pacific
are not relics of the Stone Age, as had been previously thought,
but instead are the "wreckage" of more highly developed
societies forced through various circumstances to lead a much
simpler, less-developed life.
Thus the way
in which one studies or views these fossil remains is very largely
coloured by whether one's thinking is in terms of biological
or historical processes. And A. Portmann of Vienna has remarked:
One and the same piece of evidence
will assume totally different aspects according to the angle
‹ paleontological or historical ‹ from which we look
at it. We shall see it either as a link in one of the many evolutionary
series that the paleontologist seeks to establish, or as something
connected with remote historical actions and developments that
we can hardly hope to reconstruct. Let me state clearly that
for my part I have not the slightest doubt that the remains of
early man known to us should all be judged historically.
approach towards the interpretation of the meaning of fossil
man has been explored in some detail by Wilhelm Koppers who thought
that "primitiveness in the sense of man being closer to
the beast" can upon occasion be the "result of a secondary
He believed that it would be far more logical to "evolve"
Neanderthal Man out of modern man than modern man out of Neanderthal
Man. He held, in fact, that they were a specialized and more
primitive type ‹ but later than modern man, at least in so
far as they occur in Europe.
Surprisingly enough, such a great
authority as Franz von Weidenreich was prepared to admit unequivocably,
"No fossil type of man has been discovered so far whose
characteristic features may not easily be traced back to
modern man" [emphasis mine]. (83)
Griffith Taylor has agreed with this opinion.
He observed, "evidence is indeed accumulating that the paleolithic
folk of Europe were much more closely akin to races now living
on the periphery of the Euro-African regions than was formerly
Many years ago, in fact, Sir William Dawson pursued this theme
and explored it at some length in his beautifully written but
almost completely ignored work entitled Fossil Man and Their
Modern Representatives. (85) At the Cold Springs Harbor Symposia on Quantitative
Biology held in 1950, T. D. Stewart
81. Portmann, A., Das Ursprungsproblem,
Eranos-Yahrbuck, 1947, p.11.
82. Koppers, Wilhelm, Primitive Man and his World View,
translated by Edith Raybould, Sheed and Ward, New York, 1952,
p.220 and 224.
83. Weidenreich, Franz, Apes, Giants and Man, Chicago
University Press, 1918, p.2.
84. Taylor, Griffith, Environment, Race and Migration,
University of Toronto Press, 1945, p.45.
85. Dawson, Sir J. William, Fossil Men and Their Modern Representatives,
Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1883, viii and 354 pages, illustrated.
in a paper entitled
"Earliest Representatives of Homo sapiens" stated his
conclusions in the following words, "Like Dobzhansky, therefore,
I can see no reason at present to suppose that more than a single
hominid species has existed on any time level in the Pleistocene."
Ernst Mayr is prepared to admit
the possibility that Heidelberg Man could be merely "a deviant
peripheral isolate," which would suggest that he should
no longer be viewed as a potentially early candidate ancestor
on account of his "brutish" appearance. (87)
The Pithecanthropocines are all
more or less peripheral to the traditional Cradle of Man. These
include Vertesszolles Man in Hungary, Ternifine Man in Algeria,
Olduvai Man in Tanzania, Swartkranz Man in South Africa, and
Lantian and Pekin Man in Java and China. Neanderthal Man, on
the other hand, occupies a position intermediate for cranial,
facial, and dental characteristics between Pithecanthropus and
Homo sapiens. (88)
The most primitive types being at the
margins and only essentially modern types so far found where
civilization had its source, it is to be expected that combinations
and intermediate forms would be found in the geographic areas
in between. Alfred Romer observed in commenting on the collection
of fossil finds from Palestine (Mugharet-et-Tabun, and Magharet-es-Skuhl),
"while certain of the skulls are clearly Neanderthal, others
show to a variable degree numerous neanthropic (i.e., 'modern
man') features." (89) Subsequently he identified such neanthropic skulls
as being of the general Cro-Magnon type in Europe ‹ type
of man who appears to have been a magnificent physical specimen.
He proposed later that the Mount Carmel people "may be considered
as due to interbreeding of the dominant race (Cro-Magnon Man)
with its lowly predecessors (Neanderthal Man)." The assumption
is still being made that the lower Neanderthal form preceded
the higher Cro-Magnon Man. William Howells said of the Skuhl
fossil group, "It is an extraordinary variation. There seems
to have been a single tribe ranging in type from
86. Stewart, T. D., "The Problem of the
eRliest Claimed Representatives of Homo sapiens" in The
Cold Springs Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology:
Origin and Evolution of Man, Biological Laboratories,
Cold Spring Harbour, New York, 1950, vol.15, p.105.
87.Mayr, Ernst, "The Taxonomic Evaluation of Fossil Remains"
in Human Evolution: Readings in Physical Anthropology,
edited by N. Korn and F. Thompson, Holt, Rinehart & Winston,
New York, 1967, p.239.
88. McCown, T.D., "The Genus Palaeoanthropus and the Problem
of Superspecific Differentiation Among the Hominidae." Cold
Springs Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology: Origin and Evolution
of Man, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, 1950 vol.15, p.92.
89. Romer, Alfred, Man and the Vertebrates, University
of Chicago Press, 1948, pp.219, 221.
to almost sapiens." (90) LeGros Clark was even prepared to omit the "almost."
As an extraordinary example of
the tremendous variability which an early, small isolated population
at the periphery can show, one cannot do better than refer to
the finds at Choukoutien in China, from the same locality in
which the famous Pekin Man was found. These fossil remains came
from what is known as the Upper Cave, and consist of a group
of seven people who appear to be members of one family: an old
man judged to be over 60, a younger man, two relatively young
women, an adolescent, a child of five, and a newborn baby. With
them were found implements, ornaments, and thousands of fragments
A study of these remains has produced
some remarkably interesting facts, the most important of which
in the present context is that, judged by cranial form, we have
in this one family a representative Neanderthal Man, a "Melanesian"
woman who reminds us of the Ainu, a Mongolian type, and another
who is rather similar to the modern Eskimo woman. In commenting
on these finds, Weidenreich expressed his amazement at the range
of variation. Thus he wrote: (92)
The surprising fact is not the
occurrence of paleolithic types of modern man which resemble
racial types of today, but their assemblage in one place and
even in a single family considering that these types are found
today settled in far remote regions.
to that of the "Old Man," as he has been named, have
been found in Upper Paleolithic, western Europe and northern
Africa: those closely resembling the Melanesian type, in the
Neolithic of Indo-China, among the ancient skulls from the Cave
of Lagoa Santa in Brazil, and in the Melanesian populations of
today; those closely resembling the Eskimo type occur among the
pre-Columbian Amerindians of Mexico and other places in North
America and among the Eskimos of western Greenland of today.
He then proceeded to point out
that the upper Paleolithic melting pot of Choukoutien "does
not stand alone." (93) In Obercassel in the Rhine Valley were found two
skeletons, an old male and a younger female, in a tomb of about
the same period as the burial in Choukoutien. Weidenreich said,
"The skulls are so different in appearance that one would
not hesitate to assign them to two races if they came from separate
localities." So confused is the picture that he observed: (94)
90. Howells William, Mankind So Far,
Doubleday, Doran, New York, 1945, p.202.
91. Clark, Sir W. LeGros, in Human Evolution, (ref.I),
92. Weidenreich, Franz, "Homo Sapiens at Choukoutien,"
News and Notes, in Antiquity, June, 1939, p.87.
93. Ibid. p.88.
anthropologists have gotten into a blind alley so far as the
definition and the range of individual human races and their
history is concerned. . . .
But one cannot push aside a whole
problem because the methods applied and accepted as historically
sacred have gone awry.
variability nevertheless still permits the establishment of lines
of relationship which appear to crisscross in every direction
as a dense network of evidence that these fossil remains for
the most part belong to a single family, the descendants of Ham.
Griffith Taylor linked together
Melanesians, Negroes, and American Indians. (95) The same authority proposed a relationship between
Java Man and Rhodesian Man. (96) He related certain Swiss tribes which seem to be
a pocket of an older racial stock with the people of northern
China, the Sudanese, the Bushmen of South Africa, and the Aeta
of the Philippines. (97)
He would also link the Predmost Skull to Aurignacian folk and
to the Australoids. (98)
Macgowan (99) and
Montagu (100) were
convinced that the aboriginal populations of central and southern
America contain an element of Negroid as well as Australoid people.
Grimaldi Man is almost universally admitted to have been Negroid
even though his remains lie in Europe. (101) But indeed, so widespread is the Negroid type that
even Pithecanthropus erectus was identified as Negroid by Buyssens.
Huxley maintained that the Neanderthal
race must be closely linked with the Australian aborigines particularly
from the Province of Victoria; (103) and other authorities held that the same Australian
people are to be related to the famous Canstadt Race. (104) Alfred Romer related
Solo Man from Java with Rhodesian Man from Africa. (105) Hrdlicka likewise related
the Oldoway Skull with LaQuina Woman;
95. Taylor, Griffith, Environment, Race
and Migration, University of Toronto Press, 1945, p.11.
96. Ibid., p.60. His argument here is based on head form,
which he considers conclusive.
97. Ibid., p.67. He feels only a "common cradle land"
can possibly explain the situation.
98. Ibid., p.134.
99. Macgowan, Kenneth, Early Man in the New World, Macmillan,
New York, 1950, p.26.
100. Montagu, Ashley, Introduction to Physical Anthropology,
Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 1947, p.113.
101. Weidenreich, Franz, "Homo sapiens at Choukoutien",
News and Notes, Antiquity, June, 1939, p.88.
102. Buyssens, Paul, Les Trois Races de l'Europe et du Monde,
Brussels, 1936, reviewed by G. Grant MacCurdy, American Journal
of Archaeology, Jan.-Mar., 1937, p.154.
103. Huxley, Thomas, quoted by D. Garth Whitney, "Primeval
Man in Belgium," Transactions of the Victoria Institute,
London, vol.40, 1908, p.38.
104. According to D. Garth Whitney, ibid.
105. Romer, Alfred, Man and the Vertebrates, University
of Chicago Press, 1948, p.223.
LaChapelle and others
to the basic African stock; (106) and held that they must also be related to Indian,
Eskimo, and Australian races. Even the Mauer Jaw is held to be
Eskimo in type. (107)
We cannot do better than sum up
this general picture in the words of Sir William Dawson who,
far in advance of his time, wrote of fossil man in Europe, in
What precise relationship do
these primitive Europeans bear to one another? We can only say
that all seem to indicate one basic stock, and this is allied
to the Hamitic stock of northern Asia which has its outlying
branches to this day both in America and in Europe.
is perfectly true that the thesis we are presenting has against
it in the matter of chronology the whole weight of scientific
opinion, it is nevertheless equally true that the interpretation
of the data in this fashion makes wonderful sense and, indeed,
would have allowed one to predict both the existence of widespread
physical relationships as well as an exceptional variableness
within the members of any one family. In addition to these anatomical
"linkages" there are, of course, a very great many
cultural linkages. One such linkage is the painting of the bones
of the deceased with red ochre ‹ a custom which not so very
long ago was still being practiced by the American Indians and
which has been observed in prehistoric burials in almost every
part of the world.
The circumstances are worth a moment's
consideration because it is hard to explain the phenomenon as
simply evidence "that men's minds work pretty much the same
everywhere." It might be true of the use of flint for weapons,
the making of wooden spears, or the use of leather for clothing,
because all these things serve needs which men everywhere are
apt to experience. But painting bones with red ochre serves no
strictly "useful" purpose, nor can it be said that
in most known cases the practice contributed to beautification.
It is difficult to know precisely what purpose it did serve.
But it certainly was very widespread.
One of the first notices of this
practice was the finding in 1823 by William Buckland of a female
skeleton in a cave near Paviland which was painted with red ochre.
(109) His find
came to be known as "The Red Lady of Paviland." In
the New World the same practice
106. Hrdlicka, Ales, "Skeletal Remains
of Early Man," Smithsonian Institute, Miscellaneous Collections,
vol.83, 1930, p. 342ff.
107. Ibid., p.98. And see William S. Laughlin, "Eskimos
and Aleuts: Their Origins and Evolution," Science,
vol.142, 8 Nov.,1963, p. 639, 642.
108. Dawson, Sir J. William, "Primitive Man and Revelation,"
Transactions of the Victoria Institute, London, vol.8,
1874, p. 60, 61.
109. Buckland, quoted by Kenneth Macgowan, Early Man in the
New World, Macmillan, New York, 1950, p.52.
recurs, though much
later in time. Thus between A.D. 700 and A.D. 1100, in the cultural
sequences which have been established in the Illinois area in
the United States, there is what has been termed the "Red
Ochre Culture," so-called because in almost every case bodies
were sprinkled with hematite. Sir William Dawson (110) had noted this circumstance
in other parts of the New World and remarked upon one burial
from the St. Lawrence Valley dated (at that time) as about 300
years old, in which warriors were buried with iron oxide treatment
of the face precisely similar to those discovered by Dr. Riviera
in a cave at Mentone on the border between France and Italy.
He suggested that in the case of the Indian burials it was an
attempt to provide the dead with the means to appear in the presence
of their ancestors with the appropriate war paint. Perhaps Dawson
was not too far from the truth when he argued that prehistoric
man quite probably enjoyed a culture very similar to that of
many Indian tribes when first discovered by the White Man. He
proposed that the very epithet "Red Indian" derives
from this use of red ochre. The Crow Indians painted the newborn
baby with grease and red paint, (111) which seems to suggest that the substance was held
to be of great potency in guaranteeing vitality ‹ both to
the newborn, the warrior, and to those who had gone to join the
spirits of their ancestors.
So powerful is this colouring material,
and so widespread is its use, that the Australian aborigines
in the central areas of Australia coat with it everything except
their spears and spear throwers. (112) Coon observes, "It is hard to say how much this
served them as a protection and lubricant." Even some of
their spear throwers are treated with red ochre (I have one),
though it is hard to know whether this is a concession to tourists.
At the other end of the world,
it appears that the Saxons also buried their dead, at least upon
occasion, in the company of red ochre, if not originally actually
painted with it. (113)
Surely such a custom could hardly arise everywhere indigenously
110. Dawson, Sir J. William, Fossil Men
and Their Modern Representatives, Hodder & Stoughton,
London, 1883, pp.19, 142, 143.
111. Murdock, G. P., Our Primitive Contemporaries, Macmillan,
NewYork, 1951, p.275.
112. Coon, Carleton S., A Reader in General Anthropology,
Holt, New York, 1948, p.226.
113. Childe, V. G.ordon, The Dawn of European Civilization,
Kegan Paul, London, 3rd edition, 1939, p.168; and elsewhere in
Europe, see pp.209, 254, 259. See also C. S. Coon, Reader
in General Anthropology, Holt, New York, 1948, p.226; George
P. Murdock, Our Primitive Contemporaries, Macmillan, New
York, 1934, p. 275; Kenneth Macgowan, Early Man in the New
World, Macmillan, New York, 1950, p.52; Sir J. William Dawson,
Fossil Men and Their Modern Representatives, Hodder &
Stoughton, London, 1883, p.19, 143; and in the Time Life Publications,
Early Man, edited by F. William Howell, Life Nature Library,
1965, p.156, and The Epic of Man, edited by Courtland
Canby, Time Inc., New York, 1961, pp.40, 41.
simply as an expression
of the tendency of men's minds to find similar answers to similar
needs, for where was the need? It seems much more reasonable
to assume it was spread by people who carried it with them as
they radiated from some central Cradle of Mankind.
And this brings us once more to
the question of the geographical position of this Cradle. Evidence
accumulates daily that, culturally speaking, the place of man's
origin was somewhere in the Middle East. No other region in the
world is as likely to have been the Home of Man if by man we
mean something more than merely an intelligent ape. Vavilov (114) and others (115) have repeatedly pointed
out that the great majority of the cultivated plants of the world,
especially the cereals, trace their origin there. Field remarked:
Iran may prove to have been
one of the nurseries of Homo sapiens. During the middle or upper
Paleolithic periods the climate, flora, and fauna of the Iranian
Plateau provided an environment suitable for human occupation.
Indeed, Ellsworth Huntington has postulated that during late
Pleistocene times southern Iran was the only [his emphasis]
region in which temperature and humidity were ideal, not only
for human conception and fertility but also for chances of survival.
exist as to the routes taken by Caucasoids, Negroids and Mongoloids,
as the world was peopled by the successive ebb and flow of migrations,
and while not one of these really establishes with certainty
how man originated as man, almost all of them make the
basic assumption that western Asia is his home as a creator of
From this centre one can trace
the movements of an early migration of Negroid people, followed
by Caucasoid people, in Europe. From this same area undoubtedly
there passed out into the East and the New World successive waves
of Mongoloid people, and the time taken need not have been so
great. Kenneth Macgowan said it has been estimated that men might
have covered the 4,000 miles from Harbin, Manchuria, to Vancouver
Island in as little as twenty years, (117) while Alfred Kidder said, (118) "A hunting pattern based primarily on big game
could have carried man to southern South America without the
necessity at that time of great localized adaptation. It could
have been effected with relative rapidity, so long as camel,
114. Vavilov, N. I., "Asia, the Source
of Species," Asia, Feb., 1937, p.113.
115. Cf. Harlan, T. R., "New World Crop Plants in Asia Minor,"
Scientific Monthly, Feb., 1951, p.87.
116. Field, Henry, "The Iranian Plateau Race," Asia,
Apr., 1940, p.217.
117. Macgowan K., Early Man in the New World, Macmillan,
New York, 1950, p.3 and map on p.4.
118. Kidder, Alfred, "Problems of the Historical Approach:
Results," in Appraisal of Anthropology Today, edited
by Sol Tan and Charles Callender, University of Chicago Press,
and elephant were available.
All the indications point to the fact that they were." According
to de Quatrefages, (119)
600,000 people made a trip from a point in Mongolia to China
during winter and under constant attack in just five months,
covering a distance of 700 leagues or 2100 miles; and though
this seems to be a staggering trip in so short a time, it actually
works out to an average of 14 miles per day.
In Africa, Wendell Phillips, (120) after studying the relationships
of various African tribes, concluded that evidence already existing
makes it possible to derive many of the tribes from a single
racial stock (particularly the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and
the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert), which at a certain time
must have populated a larger part of the African continent only
to retreat to less hospitable regions as later Negroid tribes
arrived in the country. H. J. Fleure (121) held that evidence of a similar nature towards the
north and northeast of Asia, and on into the New World, was to
be discerned by a study in the change of head forms in fossil
remains, and it has even been suggested that the finds at Choukoutien
mean we have encountered some of these first pioneers on their
way to the Americas. Moreover, wherever tradition sheds light
on the subject, it invariably points in the same direction and
tells the same story. Many primitive people having recollections
of a former higher cultural standing, a circumstance explored
elsewhere by the writer at considerable length.
And thus we conclude that from
the family of Noah have sprung all the peoples of the world,
prehistoric and historic. The events described in connection
with Genesis 6 to 10 and particularly the prophetic statements
of Noah himself in Genesis 9:25‹28 with respect to the future
of his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, together combine to
provide us with the most reasonable account of the early history
of mankind, a history which, rightly understood, does not at
all require us to believe that modern man began with the stature
of an ape and only reached a civilized state after a long, long
evolutionary history, but made a fresh start as a single family
who carried with them into an unpeopled earth the accumulated
heritage of the pre-Flood world.
In summary, then, what we have
endeavoured to show in this Paper may be set forth briefly as
(1) The geographical distribution
of fossil remains is such that they are most logically explained
by treating them as marginal
119. de Quatrefages, A., L'Espece Humaine,
Balliere et Cie., Paris, 14th edition, 1905, pp.135,136.
120. Phillips, Wendell, "Further African Studies,"
Scientific Monthly, Mar., 1950, p.175.
121. Fleure, H. J., The Races of Mankind, Benn, London,
1930, pp.43 and 44.
representatives of a
widespread and, in part, forced dispersion of people from a single
multiplying population, established at a point more or less central
to them all, which sent forth successive waves of migrants, each
wave driving the previous one further towards the periphery.
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(2) The most degraded specimens
are representatives of this general movement who were driven
into the least hospitable areas where they suffered physical
degeneration as a consequence of the circumstances in which they
were forced to live.
(3) The extraordinary physical
variability of their remains stems from the fact that they were
members of small, isolated, strongly inbred bands; whereas the
cultural similarities which link together even the most widely
dispersed of them indicate a common origin for them all.
(4) What is true of fossil man
is equally true of vanished and of living primitive societies.
(5) All these initially dispersed
populations are of one basic stock ‹ the Hamitic family of
(6) They were subsequently displaced
or overwhelmed by the Indo-Europeans (i.e., Japhethites) who
nevertheless inherited, or adopted and extensively built upon,
their technology and so gained the upper hand in each geographical
area where they spread.
(7) Throughout this movement, both
in prehistoric and historic times, there were never any human
beings who did not belong within the family of Noah and his descendants.
(8) Finally, this thesis is strengthened
by the evidence of history, which shows that migration has always
tended to follow this pattern, has frequently been accompanied
by instances of degeneration both of individuals or whole tribes,
and usually results in the establishment of a general pattern
of cultural relationships, which are parallel to those that archaeology
has since revealed from antiquity.