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Smithsonian Archæological Expeditions

Nature volume 141, page 1048 (11 June 1938) | Download Citation



Two expeditions of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, it is announced, have taken the field for the operations of 1938. Dr. F. H. H. Roberts, jun., has left for the Lindenmeier site in northern Colorado, where he will continue his work of excavation on the camp site once occupied by Folsom man; and Dr. Aleš Hrdlička is on his way to the Aleutian Islands, where he will carry further the archæological and ethnological investigations on which he has been engaged on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution in each year since 1926, with the object of determining the character and course of the early migrations of man to the American continent. It will be remembered that Dr. Hrdlička, after devoting several seasons to the Eskimo problem, and the succession of cultures in the far north, has in his recent expeditions turned to the Aleutian islands, which he regards as one of the original migration pathways into North America. Here he has found in the craniological material excavated evidence of two distinct types of man, of which the later is distinguished from the earlier by an increase in the breadth of the skull, just as he had found two forms of Eskimo skull, also differentiated by an increase in breadth in the later type. The evidence as a whole, he maintains, points to the fact that all this northwestern region of the continent was a “nursery of peoples”, constituted by several related strains of Asiatics, from which either the pronounced Eskimo or the typical Indian could easily have developed.

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