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Der fossile Mensch: Grundzüge einer Paläanthropologie


    English students who wish to know what their German colleagues think of recent discoveries of fossil man will be somewhat disappointed when they consult this work. Its author, Prof. Werth, who has published several books on the Ice-age and allied geological subjects, has either never heard of the fossil remains discovered at Piltdown and fully described by Dr. Smith Woodward, or refuses to believe in their authenticity; at least no mention is made of them. Nor is any allusion made to the remains found at Boskop, South Africa, the fossil skull found at Talgai, Queensland, nor those found by Prof. Eugene Dubois at Wadjak-Java. On the other hand, full and welcome accounts are given of two important finds made in Germany during war-time. One of these was made at Ehringsdorf, near Weimar, where two fossil lower jaws were found. These are attributed —and rightly so—to Neanderthal man, whose distribution is thus carried beyond the watershed of the Rhine. The other discovery, which was made at Obercassel, near Bonn, has revealed the remains of a man and of a woman belonging to the last phase of the Ice-age, and regarded by their discoverers as members of the so-called Cromagnon race. The skull of the man serves very well as the prototype of many a specimen found in neolithic graves in Scandinavia and Britain, but has such outstanding cheek-bones, zygomatic arches and angles of the jaw (or jowls) as have never been seen in European skulls hitherto. The width of the face in front of the ears is 153 mm., at the angles of the lower jaw 127 mm., betokening an extraordinary development of the masseter muscles. Notwithstanding these features, the skull is that of a strong, handsome, and big-headed man.

    Der fossile Mensch: Grundzüge einer Paläanthropologie.

    Von Prof. Dr. E. Werth. Erster Teil. Pp. iv + 336. (Berlin: Gebrüder Borntraeger, 1921.) 20s.

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