Italian Anthropological Expedition to Erythraea


    ON his return at the close of last year from an expedition to the Tana basin of Ethiopia, Prof. L. Cipriani, director of the Anthropological Laboratory of the University of Florence, was forthwith placed in charge of an anthropological mission to northern Erythraea for the purpose of studying the little-known peoples north of Cheren. This mission was under the joint auspices of the Royal Academy of Italy and the Bureau of Colonial Studies of Florence. The expedition lasted from December 1937 until March 1938. According to a preliminary note of the results (L'Anthropologie, 48, 3–4 ; 1938), anthropometric measurements were made of 450 subjects, of whom there were 70 Bogo, 94 Maria, 26 Habab, and 159 representatives of groups adjacent to the last-named. For purposes of comparison, measurements were also made of 29 Abyssinians, as well as 30 Baria women and 20 Rasciàida. The blood groups were tested in 110 subjects. A further result of the expedition was the discovery of a large number of rock paintings in the granite caves of Carora near the Anglo-Egyptian frontier, as well as of stone implements of palaeolithic type, the first to be recorded in Erythraea. Finally the expedition brought back to Italy 68 masks taken from the living, and more than two thousand photographs of ethnographical and anthropological subjects.

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    Italian Anthropological Expedition to Erythraea. Nature 142, 246 (1938).

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