Online Encyclopedia

CROMAGNON RACE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 483 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CROMAGNON RACE, the name given by Paul Broca to a type of mankind supposed to be represented by remains found by Lartet, Christy and others, in France in the Cromagnon cave at Les Eyzies, Tayac district, Dordogne. At the foot of a steep rock near the village this small cave, nearly filled with debris, was found by workmen in 1868. Towards the top of the loose strata three human skeletons were unearthed. They were those of an old man, a young man and a woman, the latter's skull bearing the mark of a severe wound. The skulls presented such special characteristics that Broca took them as types of a race. Palaeolithic man is exclusively long-headed, and the dolichocephalic appearance of the crania (they had a mean cephalic index of 73.34) supported the view that the " find " at Les Eyzies was palaeolithic. It is, however, inaccurate to state that brachycephaly appears at once with the neolithic age, dolichocephaly even of a pronounced type persisting far into neolithic times. The Cromagnon race may thus be, as many anthropologists believe it, early neolithic, a type of man who spread over and inhabited a large portion of Europe at the close of the Pleistocene period. Some have sought to find in it the sub-stratum of the present populations of western Europe. Quatrefages identifies Cromagnon man with the tall, long-headed, fair Kabyles (Berbers) who still survive in various parts of Mauritania. He suggests the introduction of the Cromagnon from Siberia, " arriving in Europe simultaneously with the great mammals (which were driven by the cold from Siberia), and no doubt following their route." See A. H. Keane's Ethnology (1896) ; Mortillet, Le Prehistorique (1900) ; Sergi, The Mediterranean Race (19o1) ; Lord Avebury, Prehistoric Times, p. 317 of 1900 edition.
End of Article: CROMAGNON RACE
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