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Dioptrographic Tracings in Four Normal of Fifty-two Tasmanian Crania

Nature volume 85, pages 366367 (19 January 1911) | Download Citation



WITH the death of “Lalla Rhook” in 1876 one of the most interesting of human races passed out of existence. “When we reflect,” write the authors of this atlas, “that the Tasmanian aboriginal carried into our own times the primitive culture of Palæolithic man and many of the structural peculiarities of Homo neanderthalensis we realise, the scientific importance of the study of Tasmanian remains.” They have made by far the largest contribution to the material on which our conception of the Tasmanian race must be based, and made it at a most unexpected period. In his well-known monograph on the Tasmanian race, published two years ago, Sir William Turner gave a detailed list of all the skulls then known, seventy-nine in number, and was of opinion that further additions were uplikely. The authors of this atlas have been successful in finding forty-two hitherto unknown specimens, thirty-three of which they discovered in various private and museum collections in Tasmania, while nine they unearthed from a native burial ground. In preparing and publishing art atlas which contains 212 accurate tracings of these crania, the authors had two objects in view: they wished to make the material thus discovered available for the study of anthropologists throughout the world; they also wished to secure a permanent record of crania which, being chiefly in the hands of private owners, are liable to be lost or destroyed.

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