Research Items


    HUMAN REMAINS FROM ANCIENT GOLD MINES IN RHODESIA.-In view of the conflicting interpretations of archaeological evidence in Rhodesia, any human remains to which any degree of antiquity can be attributed are likely to be of importance for the early racial history of that area. Considerable interest therefore attaches to a report by Sir Arthur Keith on two skeletons from ancient gold mines which appears in Vol. xxiii. of the Proceedings of the Rhodesian Scientific Association. The Que-que skeleton was found 4J ft. below the surface in a filled-in working. It is represented by numerous fragments, all weathered, partly dissolved and fallen into pieces. They are only lightly mineralised, yet have the appearance of having been buried for a considerable time, possibly a thousand years or more. Such characters as can be recognised indicate a young female of about 18 years of age, of an estimated height of 5 ft. i in., and belonging to the negro race. The second specimen, from Belingwe, is a pure negro type, male, between 20 and 30 years of age. The skull is small, length 182 mm., breadth 124 mm., index 68, cranial capacity 1220 cc. A remarkable feature is the projection of the alveolar bone 9 mm. beyond the nasal spine and its wide simian nasal grooves. The skull is mineralised to a certain extent, and somewhat more ancient than the Gwanda woman (described in the Proceedings of the Rhodesian Scientific Association, Vol. xxi.) whose stature has now been calculated as 4 ft. 9 in. These measurements are comparable with those of two skeletons of ancient man from Rhodesia described by Dr. F. C. Shrubsall in Man in 1909. Thus all the remains we have from ancient ruins or mines in Rhodesia are of the Negro or Bantu type, and show no trace of Arab, Egyptian, Bushman, or Hottentot strain.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Research Items. Nature 115, 62–64 (1925) doi:10.1038/115062a0

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.