56. Osborn, H. F., Men of the Old Stone Age, Scribners, New York, 1936, p.19f.
57. Fleure, H. J., The Races of Mankind, Benn, London, 1930, p.45.
No clear 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.
The situation 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 ï¿½ and therefore with more force ï¿½ in favour of it. We shall return to this subsequently.
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.
After dealing 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.
Then, subsequently, in dealing with African ethnology, he observed: (61)
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.
Henry Field, 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: (64)
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 ï¿½ 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 ï¿½ 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. . . .
Some comment 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, p.180.
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.
At 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.
Fossil 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 ï¿½ 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, 1959, p.30.
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 ï¿½ 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].
Nevertheless, the principle may be true ï¿½ even if it does contradict evolutionary reconstructions.
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” ï¿½ 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.
“modern man.” (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 ï¿½ fossil, prehistoric, historic, and modern ï¿½ 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: (81)
One and the same piece of evidence will assume totally different aspects according to the angle ï¿½ paleontological or historical ï¿½ 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.
This general 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 development.” (82) 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 ï¿½ 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 admitted.” (84) 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.” (86)
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 ï¿½ 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.
almost Neanderthal to almost sapiens.” (90) LeGros Clark was even prepared to omit the “almost.” (91)
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 of animals.
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.
Forms similar 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), p.802.
92. Weidenreich, Franz, “Homo Sapiens at Choukoutien,” News and Notes, in Antiquity, June, 1939, p.87.
93. Ibid. p.88.
Physical 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.
This extraordinary 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. (102)
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 1874: (108)
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.
Although it 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 ï¿½ 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 ï¿½ 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: (116)
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.
Many speculations 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 culture.
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, horse, sloth,
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, 1953, p.46.
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 9:25ï¿½28 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 follows:
(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.
(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 ï¿½ the Hamitic family of Genesis 10.
(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.