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Racial History in the Arctic

Nature volume 140, pages 577578 (02 October 1937) | Download Citation



DR. ALĚS HRDLIČKA, of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., on his recent return from his ninth expedition of anthropological investigation in the arctic regions of North-West America, has issued through the Smithsonian Institution a preliminary report on the results of his season's work in the Aleutian Islands, in which he discusses the character and distribution of early racial types in the Far North. The investigations and excavations carried out by Dr. Hrdlička in 1936 and 1937 have been directed more particularly to the study of the problem whether racial migration from Asia, in addition to the Bering Sea route, may have made use of the more southerly passage by the Aleutian Islands—a suggestion which on a general line of argument would appear to have much to support it, but for which until recently positive evidence has been regarded as inadequate. In the expedition of 1936, it may be remembered, evidence was obtained which was held to support Dr. Hrdlička's view. Skeletal material and a large quantity of archæological material accruing from the expedition's excavations in 1937, and now awaiting further detailed examination in Washington, Dr. Hrdlička holds, confirm his previously formulated theories, and afford him a basis for the racial classification to which reference is made above. "The finds," he states, "make more probable than ever the hypothesis of a 'race nursery' in the Far North for the aboriginal population of the New World."

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