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An Introduction to Anthropology: A General Survey of the Early History of the Human Race

Abstract

MR. JAMES aims at introducing the student not so much to anthropology in general as to prehistoric archæology interpreted in the light of the study of primitive man, modern as well as ancient. After an introductory chapter outlining, the scope of anthropology conceived as the study of man in evolution, he proceeds to sketch the evidence relating to the side of somatology. Considering the limitations of space, his account seems fairly complete. A few slips occur. Trogontherium will scarcely do as the name of a kind of elephant. Rhinoceri reminds us of octopi. More important, it is a pity to adopt KJaatsch's term “Aurignacian man” to describe a physical type (Combe Capelle), seeing that to do so is to correlate a race with a cultural type which may or may not have been confined to that race—nay, probably was not. Next, the characteristic forms of industry are described. We note that Mr. James is inclined to accept the Sub-Crag flints as of genuine human workmanship. He also takes the view that the Mousterian industry is inferior to the Acheulean, representing a set-back in culture and not an advance as effected by a labour-saving device. Mr. James is entitled to judge at first hand, inasmuch as he has worked on a Mousterian site (Jersey), where material was plentiful. Perhaps he doesnot sufficiently allow for the fact that, if finely wrought pieces werebut as one in every hundred fragments forming the workshop refuse, these masterpieces were of a very high quality, symmetrical in outline and smoothly and delicately finished off.

An Introduction to Anthropology: A General Survey of the Early History of the Human Race.

By the Rev E. O. James. Pp. ix + 259. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1919.) Price 7s. 6d. net.

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