Carleton Stevens Coon

Carleton Stevens Coon

Antropologo statunitense (Wakefield, Massachusetts, 1904 - Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1981). Curatore dell'Istituto di etnologia e professore di antropologia all'Università di Pennsylvania, compì numerosi viaggi di lavoro in Africa, Asia ed Europa. Nel 1950 in collaborazione con S. M. Garn e J. B. Birdsell pubblicò una classificazione delle popolazioni umane viventi in 30 gruppi etnici o “razze”, fondata su parametri scelti da un punto di vista funzionale, quali il livello evolutivo, la forma del corpo, che Coon ritiene condizionata dall'ambiente nel quale si è evoluta la cosiddetta “razza”, e la presenza di speciali modificazioni della superficie corporea (p. es. colore della pelle).

Tale classificazione, che ha dato origine a molte critiche perché non trova corrispondenza nell'applicazione pratica, è stata semplificata nelle successive rielaborazioni e si è venuto sempre più chiarendo il concetto, tipico di Coon, di una divisione delle popolazioni umane attuali in “razze geografiche”, a loro volta suddivise in razze locali o “razze microgeografiche”. Ancor più discusse le idee esposte da Coon intorno all'origine delle popolazioni umane attuali, che vengono ricollegate alle diverse forme di uomini paleolitici; in questo modo Coon fa indietreggiare nel tempo la suddivisione delle differenti “razze”, che considera più risultato di isolamenti geografici antichi che non adattamenti relativamente recenti alle diverse condizioni ambientali.

Fra le opere principali: Races. A Study of the Problems of Race Formation in Man (1950; Razze. Uno studio sui problemi della formazione della razza umana; in collaborazione con S. M. Garn e J. B. Birdsell), The Origin of Races (1962; L'origine delle razze), The Story of Man (1962), The Living Races of Man (1965; Le razze umane viventi).

Vedi anche Summa Gallicana

Carleton Stevens Coon

Carleton Stevens Coon, (23 June 1904 – 3 June 1981) was a American physical anthropologist, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, and lecturer and professor at Harvard. Coon is noted for books on race.

Carleton Coon was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He developed an interest in prehistory, and attended Phillips Academy, Andover where he studied hieroglyphics and became proficient in ancient Greek. Coon transferred to Harvard, where he studied Egyptology with George Reisner. He was attracted to the relatively new field of anthropology by Earnest Hooton and he graduated magna cum laude in 1925. He became the Curator of Ethnology at the University Museum of Philadelphia. Coon continued with coursework at Harvard. He conducted fieldwork in the Rif area of Morocco in 1925, which was politically unsettled after a rebellion of the local populace against the Spanish. He earned his Ph.D. in 1928 and returned to Harvard as a lecturer and later a professor. Coon's interest was in attempting to use Darwin's theory of natural selection to explain the differing physical characteristics of races. Coon studied Albanians from 1929-1930; he traveled to Ethiopia in 1933; and in Arabia, North Africa and the Balkans, he worked on sites from 1925 to 1939, where he discovered a Neanderthal in 1939. Coon rewrote William Z. Ripley's 1899 The Races of Europe in 1939.

Coon wrote widely for a general audience like his mentor Earnest Hooton. Coon published the novels The Riffians, Flesh of the Wild Ox, Measuring Ethiopia, and A North Africa Story: The Anthropologist as OSS Agent. The North Africa Story was an account of his work in North Africa during World War II, which involved espionage and the smuggling of arms to French resistance groups in German-occupied Morocco under the guise of anthropological fieldwork. During that time, Coon was affiliated with the United States Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Coon left Harvard to take up a position as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1948, which had an excellent museum. Throughout the 1950s he produced academic papers, as well as many popular books for the general reader, the most notable being The Story of Man (1954).

Coon did photography work for the United States Air Force from 1954-1957. He photographed areas where US planes might be attacked. This led him to travel throughout Korea, Ceylon, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Taiwan, Nepal, Sikkim, and the Philippines.

Coon published The Origin of Races in 1962, but it was not well received. The field of anthropology was moving rapidly from theories of racial typing to other trends. Coon continued to write and defend his work. He died on June 3, 1981, in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Racial theories

Coon concluded that sometimes different racial types annihilated other types while in other cases warfare and / or settlement led to the partial displacement of racial types. He asserted that Europe was the refined product of a long history of racial progression. He stated that historically "different strains in one population have showed differential survival values and often one has reemerged at the expense of others (in Europeans)", in The Races of Europe, The White Race and the New World (1939). He stated the "maximum survival" of the European racial type was increased by the replacement of the indigenous peoples of the New World. He stated the history of the White race to have involved "racial survivals" of White subraces.

Study of the Caucasoid race

Pigmentation Hair and Eyes in Europe
according to the book The Races of Europe

In his book The Races of Europe, The White Race and the New World (1939), Coon used the term "Caucasoid" and "White race" synonymously, as had become common in the United States (although not elsewhere). This is in contrast to many uses of the term "White race" that exclude Arabs and those from the Indian subcontinent. Typically Coon would include most people from the Middle East and South Asia within the "Caucasoid" and "White" definitions which he used interchangeably. In his introduction, he stated his interest was "the somatic character of peoples belonging to the white race". His first chapter was entitled, "Introduction to the Historical Study of the White Race", and his last chapter, "The White Race and the New World".

He considered the European racial type to be a sub-race of the Caucasoid race, one which warranted more study. In other sections of The Races of Europe, he mentioned people to be "European in racial type" and having a "European racial element." Coon suggested that the study of some major versions of European racial types was sadly lacking compared with other types, writing, "For many years physical anthropologists have found it more amusing to travel to distant lands and to measure small remnants of little known or romantic peoples than to tackle the drudgery of a systematic study of their own compatriots. For that reason the sections in the present book which deal with the Lapps, the Arabs, the Berbers, the Tajiks, and the Ghegs may appear more fully and more lucidly treated than those which deal with the French, the Hungarians, the Czechs, or the English. What is needed more than anything else in this respect is a thoroughgoing study of the inhabitants of the principal and most powerful nations of Europe."

Mediterranean Race

According to Carleton Coon the "homeland and cradle" of the Mediterranean race is in the Middle East, in the area from Morocco to Afghanistan. Coon argued that smaller Mediterraneans traveled by land from the Mediterranean basin north into Europe in the Mesolithic era. Taller Mediterraneans (Atlanto-Mediterraneans) were Neolithic seafarers who sailed in reed-type boats and colonized the Mediterranean basin from a Near Eastern origin. He argued that they also colonized the British Isles where their descendants may be seen today, characterized by dark brown hair, dark eyes and robust features. He stressed the central role of the Mediterraneans in his works, claiming "The Mediterraneans occupy the center of the stage; their areas of greatest concentration are precisely those where civilization is the oldest. This is to be expected, since it was they who produced it and it, in a sense, that produced them".

Multiregional model

Carleton Coon believed that each of the five races followed a separate evolutionary path for tens of thousands of years. He believed, "The earliest Homo sapiens known, as represented by several examples from Europe and Africa, was an ancestral long-headed white man of short stature and moderately great brain size." Further, he wrote, "The negro group probably evolved parallel to the white strain." (The Races of Europe, Chapter II) Coon hypothesized that modern humans, Homo sapiens, arose five separate times in five separate places from Homo erectus, "as each subspecies, living in its own territory, passed a critical threshold from a more brutal to a more sapient state".

In 1999 discovery of a possible hybrid Homo sapiens x neanderthalensis fossil child at the Abrigo do Lagar Velho rock-shelter site in Portugal made some anthropologists think there might be evidence for Coon's Multiregional hypothesis. Further review of the findings, however, did not silence those who disagreed. Conclusions were carried in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Many scientists still believe based on sound evidence that Homo neanderthalensis did interbreed with Homo sapiens.

In his 1962 book, The Origin of Races, Coon theorized that some races reached the Homo sapiens stage in evolution before others, resulting in the higher degree of civilization among some races. He had continued his theory of five races. He considered both what he called the Mongoloid race and the Caucasoid race had individuals who had adapted to crowding through evolution of the endocrine system, which made them more successful in the modern world of civilization. This can be found on pages 108-109 of The Origin of Races. In his book Coon contrasted a picture of an Australian Aborigine called "Topsy" with one of a Chinese professor. His caption "The Alpha and the Omega" was used to demonstrate his research that brain size was positively correlated with intelligence.

“ Wherever Homo arose, and Africa is at present the most likely continent, he soon dispersed, in a very primitive form, throughout the warm regions of the Old World....If Africa was the cradle of mankind, it was only an indifferent kindergarten. Europe and Asia were our principal schools. ”

By this he meant that the Caucasoid and Mongoloid races had evolved more in their separate areas after they had left Africa, especially by admixture with Homo erectus.

Races in India

In his 1962 book, Coon wrote that within the Caucasoid race there was a "third division [Mediterraneans which]... included... southern India," but remarked this group had "facial features of a Veddoid character which in some instances suggest Australoid affinities." He said that in India there were "Veddoids... individuals who are to all extents and purposes Australoid." Regarding the exact racial composition of India, Coon noted, "[T]he racial history of southern Asia has not yet been thoroughly worked out, and it is too early to postulate what these relationships may be...[I] shall leave the problems of Indian physical anthropology in the competent hands of Guha and of Bowles."


When Coon published his magnum opus The Origin of Races in 1962, the field of physical anthropology had changed markedly, and his book was not well received. Contemporary researchers such as Sherwood Washburn and Ashley Montagu were heavily influenced by the modern synthesis in biology and population genetics. In addition, they were influenced by Franz Boas, who had moved away from typological racial thinking. Rather than supporting Coon's theories, they and other contemporary researchers viewed the human species as a continuous serial progression of populations.

An article from 2001 published in the Journal of the History of Biology reviewed the controversy around the reception of Coon’s 1962 book, The Origin of Races. In it Coon had theorized that the human species divided into five races before it had evolved into Homo sapiens. Further, he suggested that the races evolved into Homo sapiens at different times.

The article abstract concluded: "Segregationists in the United States used Coon’s work as proof that African Americans were “junior” to white Americans, and thus unfit for full participation in American society. The paper examines the interactions among Coon, segregationist [and Coon relative] Carleton Putnam, geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky, and anthropologist Sherwood Washburn. The paper concludes that Coon actively aided the segregationist cause in violation of his own standards for scientific objectivity."

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and changing social attitudes challenged racial theories like Coon's that had been used by segregationists to justify discrimination and depriving people of civil rights. In 1961 non-fiction writer Carleton Putnam, who had founded an airline and was not an academic, had published Race and Reason: A Yankee View, a popular theory of racial segregation. In a sign of rejection of such unscientific thinking, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists voted to censure Putnam's book. Carleton S. Coon, President of the association, resigned in protest of this violation of free speech.

Brief overview of The Races of Europe

Coon's book concludes the following:

1 - The Caucasian race is of dual origin consisting of Upper Paleolithic (mixture of sapiens and neandertals) types and Mediterranean (purely sapiens) types.

2 - The Upper Paleolithic peoples are the truly indigenous peoples of Europe.

3 - Mediterraneans invaded Europe in large numbers during the Neolithic period and settled there.

4 - The racial situation in Europe today may be explained as a mixture of Upper Paleolithic survivors and Mediterraneans.

5 - When reduced Upper Paleolithic survivors and Mediterraneans mix, then occurs the process of dinarization which produces a hybrid with non-intermediate features.

6 - The Caucasian race encompasses the regions of Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Northeast Africa.

7 - The Nordic race is part of the Mediterranean racial stock, being a mixture of Corded and Danubian Mediterraneans.

Falling into disfavor

Coon's ideas faded from acceptance as new work superseded his. New types of evidence brought forward in work by scientists such as Franz Boas, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Leonard Lieberman and others, played down and dismissed race as a valid concept with which to classify biodiversity.

Works by Carleton Stevens Coon


The Origin of Races (1962)
The Story of Man (1954)
The Races of Europe (1939)
Caravan: the Story of the Middle East (1958)
Races: A Study of the Problems of Race Formation in Man
The Hunting Peoples
Anthropology A to Z (1963)
Living Races of Man (1965)
Seven Caves: Archaeological Exploration in the Middle East
Mountains of Giants: A Racial and Cultural Study of the North Albanian Mountain Ghegs
Yengema Cave Report (his work in Sierra Leone)
Racial Adaptations (1982)

Fiction and Memoir

Flesh of the Wild Ox (1932)
The Riffian (1933)
A North Africa Story: Story of an Anthropologist as OSS Agent (1980)
Measuring Ethiopia
Adventures and Discoveries: The Autobiography of Carleton S. Coon (1981)

Carleton Stevens Coon

Carleton Stevens Coon, (23 junio 1904 - 3 junio 1981) fue un antropólogo físico estadounidense. Coon escribió numerosos libros sobre raza. Coon nació en Wakefield, Massachusetts. Se interesó en la prehistoria, y asistió a la academia Phillips, Andover donde estudió jeroglíficos y alcanzó muy buen dominio del griego antiguo. Luego concurrió a Harvard en donde inicialmente estudió egiptología con George Reisner. Sin embargo, al igual que muchos estudiantes, Earnest Hooton lo atrajo al campo de la antropología y así Coon se graduó magna.cum.laude en 1925. Una vez graduado comenzó a desempeñarse como curador de etnología en el museo de la Universidad de Filadelfia.

Estando en Harvard, en 1925 realiza el primero de muchos viajes al norte de África para conducir trabajos de campo en el área del Rif de Marruecos, que seguía siendo políticamente inestable después de una rebelión del populacho local contra la dominiación española. Coon obtuvo su doctorado en 1928 y volvió a Harvard como conferenciante y más adelante como profesor. Su trabajo a partir de este período incluyó una reescritura en 1939 de la obra "Races of Europe" (Razas de Europa) de William Z. Ripley (1899). Coon tenía un carácter colorido y al igual que su mentor Earnest Hooton muchos de sus escritos se orientan a una audiencia general, no técnica. Además publicó varias novelas y llevó a la ficción notas de sus viajes al norte de África, incluyendo The Riffians, Flesh of the Wild Ox, Measuring Ethiopia, y A North Africa Story: The Anthropologist as OSS Agent.

Este último libro es un relato de su trabajo durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, que implicaba espionaje y el tráfico de armas para los grupos franceses de la resistencia en Marruecos que estaba entonces ocupado por Alemania. Esta tarea realizada bajo el disfraz de trabajo antropológico de campo es una práctica condenada generalmente por los antropólogos en la actualidad, en el contexto de la ética de la ciencia del siglo XXI. Durante este tiempo, Coon trabajó con la oficina de Estados Unidos de servicios estratégicos.

Coon hizo estudios antropológicos físicos en el exterior. Estudió a los albaneses entre 1929-1930. En 1933 realizó un viaje a Etiopía como parte de sus estudios. En el período 1925 a 1939 recorrió Arabia, África del norte y los Balcanes y en 1939 descubrió un ejemplar de Neanderthal. En 1948, Coon dejó Harvard para tomar una posición como profesor de antropología en la Universidad de Pennsylvania, que tenía un museo excelente. A través de los años 50 produjo una serie de escritos académicos, así como muchos libros populares, siendo el más notable The Story of Man (1954). El interés de Coon consistía en utilizar la teoría de Darwin de la selección natural para explicar las diferentes características físicas de varios grupos raciales.

A partir de 1954-1957, hizo trabajos de fotografía para la fuerza aérea de Estados Unidos. Fotografió las áreas donde los aviones norteamericanos pudieran ser atacados. Esto lo condujo a viajar en Asia de Corea, a Ceilán, India, [Paquistán]], a Arabia Saudita, Japón, Taiwán, Nepal, Sikkim, y Filipinas. Coon murió de 3 de junio de 1981, en Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Teorías raciales

Coon sostuvo la hipótesis de que diversos tipos raciales combatieron por la dominación y aniquilación de otros tipos raciales. Por ejemplo sostenía que Europa era el producto refinado de una larga historia de progresión racial. Tal como lo expresó en su obra The Races of Europe, creía que históricamente "diversas tensiones en una población han demostrado valores diferenciados de supervivencia y a menudo una ha resurgido a expensas de otros (en Europeos)". Llegó a afirmar que la "supervivencia máxima" de europeos fue aumentada por su reemplazo de los pueblos indígenas del “Nuevo Mundo”. Creía que la historia de la raza blanca había incluido "supervivencias raciales" de las diferentes subrazas blancas.

En su libro The Races of Europe utiliza el término "Caucásico" y "raza blanca" como sinónimos. En su introducción, indica que “el tema (de su libro) es el carácter somático de la gente que pertenece a la raza blanca". Estas ideas también se presentan en el primer capítulo titulado "Introducción al estudio histórico de la raza blanca" y en el capítulo de conclusión titulado "La raza blanca y el Nuevo mundo". Coon consideraba el tipo racial europeo como una subraza de la raza Caucásica que autorizó más estudio. En otras secciones de sus libro The Races of Europe menciona a personas que son "europeos en tipo racial" y teniendo un "elemento racial europeo". Coon advirtió que el estudio de algunas versiones importantes de tipos raciales europeos era pobre comparado con el esfuerzo dedicado a otras tipologías. "Por muchos años muchos antropólogos físicos han encontrado más divertido viajar a tierras distantes y medir pequeños restos de pueblos poco conocidos o románticos que abordar un estudio sistemático de sus propios compatriotas. Por esa razón las secciones en el presente libro que tratan de los lapones, los árabes, los bereberes, los tajiks, y los ghegs pueden aparecer más completamente y más lúcidamente tratados que los que se ocupen de los franceses, de los húngaros, de los checos, o de los ingleses. Lo que se necesita más que cualquier cosa a este respecto es un estudio minucioso de los habitantes de las principales y más poderosas naciones de Europa".

Coon creía que los blancos siguieron una trayectoria evolutiva separada de otros seres humanos. Creía que: "los primeros homo sapiens conocidos, representados por varios ejemplos de Europa y de África, era un hombre blanco ancestral de craneo largo y estatura corta y con tamaño moderadamente grande del cerebro." y "el grupo negro probablemente se desarrolló paralelo a la tensión blanca" (The Races of Europe, capítulo II)

Coon sostenía que algunas razas evolucionaron menos que otras. Por ejemplo consideraba que los lapones de Europa del Norte representaban una raza transitoria de Mongoloide o una mezcla de la subraza nórdica con los Mongoloides. Él presumió que si eran de hecho un Mongoloide transitorio, después han conservado su brachycephalization de una etapa anterior en la evolución pero tienen el rubio de la etapa más alta de evolución del Caucásico. También creyó que algunas razas alcanzaron la etapa de Homo sapiens en la evolución antes que otras, dando por resultado el grado más alto de civilización entre algunas razas. Además consideraba a la raza de Mongoloide y la raza de Caucásico ser racialmente superiores que las razas Australoide, Capoide y Congoide. "Dondequiera que se presentara el homo, y África es actualmente el continente más probable, él pronto se dispersó, en una forma muy primitiva, a través de las regiones calientes del viejo mundo....Si África fue la cuna de la humanidad, fue solamente un jardín de infantes indiferente. Europa y Asia fueron nuestras escuelas de principios."

En 1962, publicó su libro The Origin of the Races. Desafortunadamente para Coon, la antropología física había cambiado mucho desde su época de estudiante en Harvard. La síntesis moderna en biología y genética de la población influenciaron en forma importante a investigadores contemporáneos tales como Sherwood Washburn y Ashley Montagu. Así como una rebelión de Franz Boas contra el pensamiento racial tipológico. La especie humana ahora era vista como una progresión serial continua de poblaciones más bien que como cinco razas paralelas genéticamente distintas. La década de 1960 fue un tiempo polémico para las teorías raciales, y Carleton Putnam sugirió que el trabajo de Coon, entre otros, justificaba la segregación racial. Coon se retiró como presidente de la asociación americana de antropólogos físicos a disgusto después de que la Asociación votara la censura al libro de Putnam Race and Reason: a Yankee View, Coon continuó escribiendo y defendiendo su trabajo.

Trabajos escritos por Coon

The Origin of Races (1962)
The Story of Man (1954)
Culture Wars and the Global Village: A Diplomat’s Perspective
The Races of Europe (1939)
Races: A Study of the Problems of Race Formation in Man
The Hunting Peoples
Anthropology A to Z (1963)
Living Races of Man (1965)
Steven Caves: Archaeological Exploration in the Middle East
Adventures and Discoveries: The Autobiography of Carleton S. Coon (1981)
Mountains of Giants: A Racial and Cultural Study of the North Albanian Mountain Ghegs
Yengema Cave Report (his work in Sierra Leone)
Caravan: the Story of the Middle East (1958). A North Africa Story (1980)
Racial Adaptations (1982)
Adventures and Discoveries: The Autobiography of Carleton S. Coon
Human Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Manual of Carlton S. Coon, Loren C. Eiseley & Wilton M. Krogman (chairman)

The Races of Europe

The Races of Europe is the title of two books related to the anthropology of Europeans. The first book was written by American sociologist/anthropologist William Z. Ripley in 1899, and was positively received by both the scientific and lay community. Harvard anthropologist Carleton Stevens Coon published a new, completely rewritten edition of the book in 1939. Both books wrote a history and classification of white racial types, and draw most of their conclusions about race from morphological observation and anthropometric studies of individuals. The Coon book is available online at Society for Nordish Physical Anthropology website. Some of Coon's racial descriptions or theories regarding language have fallen out of favour with mainstream anthropology because genetics are now the defining features of racial clusterings.

The Races of Europe (1899)

William Z. Ripley published The Races of Europe: A Sociological Study in 1899, which grew out of a series of lectures he gave at the Lowell Institute at Columbia in 1896. Ripley believed that race was critical to understanding human history, though his work afforded environmental and non-biological factors, such as traditions, a strong weight as well. He believed, as he wrote in the introduction to Races of Europe, that: "Race, properly speaking, is responsible only for those peculiarities, mental or bodily, which are transmitted with constancy along the lines of direct physical descent from father to son. Many mental traits, aptitudes, or proclivities, on the other hand, which reappear persistently in successive populations may be derived from an entirely different source. They may have descended collaterally, along the lines of purely mental suggestion by virtue of mere social contact with preceding generations."

Ripley's book, written to help finance his children's education, became very-well respected in anthropology, renowned for its careful writing and careful compilation (and criticism) of the data of many other anthropologists in Europe and the United States. Ripley based his conclusions about race by correlating anthropometric data with geographical data, paying special attention to the use of the cephalic index, which at the time was considered a well-established measure. From this and other socio-geographical factors, Ripley classified Europeans into three distinct races:

Teutonic/Nordic — members of the northern race were long-skulled (or dolichocephalic), tall in stature, and possessed pale eyes and skin.

Mediterranean — members of the southern race were long-skulled (or dolichocephalic), short in stature, and possessed dark eyes and skin.

Alpine — members of the central race were round-skulled (or brachycephalic), stocky in stature, and possessed intermediate eye and skin color.

Ripley's tripartite system of race put him at odds both with other scholars who insisted that there was only one European race, and those who insisted that there were dozens of European races (such as Joseph Deniker, who Ripley saw as his chief rival). Ripley was the first American recipient of the Huxley Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 1908 on account of his contributions to anthropology.

The Races of Europe, overall, became an influential book of the Progressive Era in the field of racial taxonomy. Ripley's tripartite system was especially championed by Madison Grant, who changed Ripley's "Teutonic" type into Grant's own Nordic type (taking the name, but little else, from Deniker), which he postulated as a master race. It is in this light that Ripley's work on race is usually remembered today, though little of Grant's ideology is present in Ripley's original work.

The Races of Europe (1939)

In 1933, the Harvard anthropologist Carleton Stevens Coon was invited to write a new edition of Ripley's The Races of Europe, which he dedicated to Ripley. His entirely rewritten version of the book was published in 1939. At the time, Coon explicitly avoided the discussion of either blood groups or racial differences in intelligence, the latter of which he claimed to know "next to nothing about" at the time.

The conclusions from the book entail the following:

- The Caucasoid race is of dual origin consisting of Upper Paleolithic (mixture of sapiens and neanderthals) types and Mediterranean (purely sapiens) types.

- The Upper Paleolithic peoples are the truly indigenous peoples of Europe.

- Mediterraneans invaded Europe in large numbers during the Neolithic and settled there.

- The racial situation in Europe today may be explained as a mixture of Upper Paleolithic survivors and Mediterraneans.

- When reduced Upper Paleolithic survivors and Mediterraneans mix, there occurs the process of "dinarization" which produces a hybrid with non-intermediate features, epitomized by the Dinaric race.

- The Caucasoid race extends well beyond Europe into the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, North Africa, and Northeast Africa.

- The Nordic race is part of the Mediterranean racial stock being a mixture of Corded ware and Danubian Mediterraneans.

Illyrians as Dorians

Carleton Stevens Coon claimed there was a connection between the Illyrians and the Dorians based on his anthropological analyses of the Albanian and Montenegrin population as well as the Sfakian population in Crete. Coon discovered that Montenegro and Albania is highly concentrated Illyrian racial zone and that the Sfakians are directly descended from Doric tribes that invaded Crete from the direction of Macedonia and Illyria. Moreover, he stated that Albanians, Montenegrins and Sfakians shared many similarities in stature, appearance, language, national costume, belligerent tendencies, tribal orders and vendettas.

Recent research

The Races of Europe was by no means the only attempt to develop a system of classification among European types. It was preceded by Joseph Deniker's theory. In Germany, Hans F. K. Günther created an alternative taxonomic model. Bertil Lundman also produced an alternative model in the book The Races And Peoples Of Europe. Some recent evidence has suggested that there may have been some interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals. The mainstream view in modern anthropology is that all humans are direct descendants of a population that evolved in Africa and expanded from there to acquire predominant traits locally, but that gene flow was not interrupted on a scale large enough to recognize anything but clines.

The Races of Europe
Distribution of Bodily Characters
Chapter VIII section 5
Pigmentation, the Pilous System, and Morphology of the Soft Parts.

MAP 8: Pigmentation of Hair and Eyes.

The fourth and last of the general distribution maps (Map 8), is designed to show the distribution of progressive degrees of blondism in the European area. While data on hair and eye color are plentiful, much material has been collected without the use of scales; although it is possible to correlate this with standard material in most major areas, the judgment of the compiler nevertheless plays a greater part here than in the maps which show the distributions of purely metrical characters. Under these circumstances, it has seemed most useful to divide the existing materials into five broad classes, designated and distributed as follows.

The darkest stippling represents populations in which the hair is consistently black or dark brown (distinctions between these two shades are seldom valid), with less than ten per cent of a lighter hue. The accompanying eye color found in this brunet class is pure brown or black in over sixty per cent of the series; in most cases over eighty. Since all brunet white populations studied show some degree of mixed eyes22 (green, blue, or gray in conjunction with brown), a small minority of this type seems endemic in the white racial stock, and must not be construed as evidence of racial blondism. Skin color, which again is an important element in blondism, varies less among Europeans than do either hair or eye color, and is more difficult to use. Hence it has been omitted from consideration in the draughting of the pigment map.

The brunet hair and eye condition defined above, including a minimum of blondism, surrounds Europe and encroaches on all its borders, not excluding the Atlantic. North Africa, almost all of Asia on or off the map, Portugal, most of Spain, southern Italy, Greece, the Aegean fringes, and finally, the northern pastures of the Samoyeds, converge to encircle the world's one important nucleus of blondism.

The second most heavily stippled zone shown on the map, that of prevailingly brunet pigmentation, covers regions in which complete or partial blondism is not rare, but is definitely less common than a purely brunet condition. The width of this zone depends, of course, upon the latitude of the category assumed by the author. In the present map, it is relatively narrow, and includes central and northern Spain, central Italy, most of the Balkans, the Caucasus, and a narrow vertical belt in eastern Russia. The Lapps, in their purest discoverable form, seem to fit into this class rather than the purely brunet one. Islands of prevailingly brunet pigmentation occur far afield from the main zone, in parts of Wales, in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, in Crete, in the Jebel Druz, and in Luristan. The reasons for these exceptions are different in almost each case, and must be treated separately later.

The decision as to the midpoint between blond and brunet hair and eye pigmentation hinges largely on one's definition of pure blondism. For practical purposes, pure eye blondism includes gray and blue eyes, with or without a small number of pigmented spots, or a narrow pigmented ring, near the pupillary border of the iris. It is impossible to segregate the spotted and unspotted in most data. Pure hair blondism includes, in the same arbitrary fashion, hair that ranges from light brown to ashen or golden. In the present map the intermediate class represents regional samples in which light and light mixed forms seem approximately equal to those which are prevailingly brunet.

This intermediate zone is again narrow, and again continues the general scheme of concentricity. An exception to this scheme is seen among the Ostiaks, a Finnish group living along the banks of the Obi River and its western tributaries. Bulgars and Vlachs possess more blondism than a class four stipple would show, but hardly enough for the intermediate class when taken en masse. Therefore three capsules of intermediate stippling in the Balkans indicate these tendencies in a schematic manner. The northernmost and the southwesternmost represent concentrations of Vlachs, the middle one of Bulgars.

Walloons of the province of Luxembourg, and southeastern Bavarian mountaineers, conversely, represent nuclei of intermediate pigmentation in blonder territory. One may postulate without difficulty that the Bavarian nucleus was once continuous with northern Italy through the Tyrol, for many Tyrolese are quite brunet, but the continuity has been broken by the Germanic advance in historic times up the Innthal. The refuge quality of the Austrian as well as of the Swiss Alps is conversely shown by the survival, since this Germanic thrust, of very blond local populations in the Lechthal and in other small,. isolated valleys. As for the Walloons of Luxembourg they quite palpably represent a survival of pre-Iron Age brachycephals in their highlands, through the period of Celtic and Frankish invasions.

The greatest difficulty of all in compiling this map lay in making the decision between what was predominantly blond, and what was merely more blond than brunet. If the eyes were almost uniformly light or light mixed, and the hair light brown or lighter in over fifty per cent of cases, the lightest group seemed indicated; if, in a majority of cases, the hair was dark or medium brown, or the eyes mixed, the second class was chosen. Sometimes both hair and eyes indicated the second lightest stipple. In the predominantly blond class, pure brunet pigmentation is less than ten per cent.

The greatest degree of blondism recognized is definitely nuclear and, in fact, almost glacial in its distribution. There is, however, a nucleus within a nucleus; a center of lesser blondism which seems truly hypermarginal. This is the partial blondism of the Danish islands, of parts of the Norwegian coast, of Iceland, and of the southwestern tip of Ireland. This inner nucleus apparently coincides with the survival of the oldest, immediately post-glacial population.

It is not unlikely that the original undifferentiated sapiens men, living in the Pleistocene, may have possessed a light brown or brunet white skin color, with black or dark brown hair and brown eyes. Different racial stocks which grew out of this common base by differentiation, mixture, or both, may have shown early tendencies to develop specialized variations of their own in pigmentation. Such tendencies are likewise seen within single species of ape, such as the gibbon, chimpanzee, and gorilla. The negroid races, for example, must. have formed, before the end of the Pleistocene, a progressive tendency toward an abundance of dense pigment cells in the skin, the fundus, and the iris; while the whites, before their dispersal from a common center, must already have developed a tendency, presumably recessive, toward blondism. The universality of some degree of blondism among whites and near whites everywhere makes it unlikely that it was ever confined to a single race or group of races within the White family.

Blondism is a state of partial depigmentation, due to the paucity of melanin granules in the skin, hair, and iris, and, with some types of pigment, to the small size of these granules. The pigment granules are composed of a substance known as melanin, the chemical composition of which has been roughly determined.23 Melanogenesis, the process by which melanin is formed, is "an intercellular enzymic oxidation process, in which an amino acid chromogen is converted, with the aid of catalytic copper, to the pigment melanin."24 It has been proved by experiments with rats and rabbits that a dietary deficiency in copper produces a pigment reduction,25 and that with the restoration of a normal diet, the animal's normal pigmentation will return. Hence blondism, being a phenomenon of pigment reduction, is presumably caused by a genetically controlled limitation of the oxidation process dependent upon the body's supply of copper. Blondism therefore may have originally been motivated as a response to a mineral deficiency through an endocrine agency of control. There is no reason now known why it should be limited to whites, but actually its appearance among members of other major racial groups is rare.

Although skin color is apparently a directly quantitative matter, hair color, it is now known, is determined by two different pigment factors. One is composed of oval or spindle-shaped cells of melanin, of varying size and frequency.26 When these cells are large and overlap, within the translucent body shaft which lies between the central canal and the outer horny layer of the individual hair, the hair appears black or dark brown. When the cells are smaller they appear yellowish or light brownish, although the chemical composition of the melanin is the same. The size of these cells, therefore, and their abundance within the hair cortex, determine the degree of blondism or brunet coloring.

The second pigment factor which influences hair color is rufosity. Red hair contains a fine stain, at first considered amorphous, which is now thought to be composed of extremely fine cells, probably slightly different in molecular structure from ordinary melanin.27 This stain may be present or absent, and if present may be faint or intensive. Thus it is both qualitative and quantitative in reference to ultimate hair color. If it coincides with large, dark melanin cells, the black color so caused may mask the rufosity in all but unusual lights, while if a large amount of it coincides with blondism, red hair is the result. It is likely that golden hair is caused by a combination of blondism with a slight degree of rufosity.

If one could test for rufosity accurately with all pigment shades, it would probably be seen that this character has no association whatever with blondism, but is a purely independent variable. That this is likely is shown by the fact that rufosity is completely uncorrelated with eye color.28 Thus rufosity may be wholly absent in many normal individuals, while the melanin cells are totally absent only in albinos. Rufosity may, by the same token, be lacking in entire races, and with better data it might be possible to discover the racial significance, if any, of this apparently functionless condition. Within the blonder segment of the white race, however, we know that rufosity has a regional and a racial connotation. Blond hair is readily divisible into two categories, golden and ash-blond (cendré), which are distinguished on the Fischer hair color chart. Light brown and brown hair shades similarly may be segregated on the same basis into two separate and parallel classes.

The pigmentation of the iris is more suited for refined analytical study than either skin or hair color. Skin tans and weathers, while hair bleaches with the sun and darkens with advancing age, until the advent of graying; the iris, on the other hand, retains its pigment pattern with relatively little change. If studied under constant light conditions, so that the pupil is contracted and the concentric muscle zones flattened, the iris is seen to be a detailed field of muscle-layers and pigment cells, of considerable complexity.

In all but albinotic eyes, the inner wall of the iris is permeated with melanotic pigment cells so overlapped as to make the iris, whether dilated or contracted, a perfect light-proof diaphragm. It is this pigment lining, reflected through several layers of outer iridical tissue, that gives a light eye its blue appearance. Additional pigment presents its true brown color. Thus in a mixed eye of complex pattern it is possible to plot the relative depths of different groups of pigment cells. Cells concentrated along the radial, dilating muscle fibers give the eye a rayed appearance, while those lumped about the concentric sphincters produce a zoning. In a black eye the surface pigment is so dense that it is impossible to see into the iris, but in a brown eye it is usually possible to make out some of the pattern. Many purely brunet eyes show a contrast between different brown-producing layers.

In purely light eyes, in which no surface pigment is seen, there are nevertheless differences in coloring which are readily noticeable and which may be used as criteria of racial differentiation. The principal distinction is that between the blue eye, which in its extreme form takes a deep sky-blue color, and the gray eye, which in its extreme form is almost white. Since these two forms grade into each other without a natural line of demarcation, the factor which distinguishes them must be considered quantitative rather than qualitative. Research on this subject does not seem as yet to have been done; we do not know what causes this difference, and can only repeat Bryn's speculation that it has something to do with the relative coarseness and opacity of the radial iris muscles, through which the pigment in the posterior walls of the iris is reflected.29

Geographically and in individuals, it is possible to make valid correlations between the four end types of hair and of eye blondism. The golden type of hair, whether blond or brown, tends to be associated with the bluer shades of eye, whether pure light or mixed; on the other hand, the ash blond type of hair usually goes with a grayish iris. At present there seems to be no direct reason for these linkages, but we have much to learn about these matters.

At any rate, when we apply this distinction to the map, we see that the golden-blue combination is commonest in the western half of our nuclear zone of light pigmentation, in Norway and the British Isles; while the ashen-gray combination is more typical of Sweden and of the lands east of the Baltic. In the western half of the blond nucleus, and especially in its British periphery, there is an asymmetry of linkage, for in Ireland, for example, a world's extreme ratio of light eyes is associated with hair which is often brown or dark brown. On the eastern side the opposite is true; in Poland and southern Russia ashen hair of a very light shade goes frequently with dark-mixed or brown eyes. These regional asymmetries weaken the total unity of blondism, but do not destroy it.

From further correlations between types of pigmentation and other characters, such as stature, bodily build, head size, head form, and face form, it is possible to show that the golden-blue variety, with rufosity, is partly associated with the old Palaeolithic hunting strain, while the ashen-gray extreme goes rather with the Iron Age Nordic range of types, and with eastern European blonds of various degrees of superficial mongolism. Within historic times the zone of frequent blondism stretched from north western Europe across the Russian steppes into central Asia where it touched China, but violent and rapid ethnic movements in Asia have nearly eliminated this eastern extension. We do not know how long ago the distribution map of blondism assumed its present concentric and glaciation-like character.

It is very probable that pigmentation is definitely capable of alteration in response to environment, through selection. Blonds in the tropics are at a disadvantage, particularly if living under primitive cultural conditions. A black skin with a profusion of sweat glands, like that of the African negro, must be better than a pinkish integument which is subjected to repeated burning and blistering, and incapable of tanning.30 In the iris, the pigment in the posterior wall acts as a completely light-proof diaphragm, and hence there can be no direct functional disadvantage to a gray or blue iris, as with that of an albino. But since the iris color seems to be, as Wilmer has shown,31 correlated with the pigmentation of the retina, eye blondism may serve to indicate the presence of a functional disadvantage. It is conceivable, but not as yet demonstrable, that the chocolate-brown pigment cells in the negro's fundus may give his optic nerve more comfort in the desert glare than the pinkish, almost pigmentless retina of the blond white man.

Black skin and a black eye, then, may be variables which are advantageous under hot, bright, equatorial light conditions. A partially depigmented skin and fundus condition can perhaps survive without disadvantage only in a climate where the light is weak. Blond hair, however, cannot be assigned any survival value of either a negative or a positive character. Until definite experimental evidence is at hand, we must postulate that only through its partial genetic linkage with skin and eye color is the blondism or darkness of hair determined. On the whole, the totality of evidence in regard to blondism as a unit indicates that this phenomenon is a recessive trait endemic in the white racial stock, and that it has become a major racial character only among groups of people living at one time under light conditions of sub-glacial intensity. This applies to the Upper Palaeolithic strain in part or as a whole, and to certain of the more northerly Mediterranean branches. The mongoloids and American Indians living under parallel conditions apparently lack the initial mutative tendency necessary for its development.

In the European zone of maximum blondism are included tall and short populations, long-headed and round-headed, eagle-beaked and snub-nosed; many such variations occur to which degree of pigmentation seems complacent. Within the two main types of blondism, racial sortings are clearer, but on the whole blondism alone assumes the character of an unlinked mutant.

Without actual maps, there is little use in reviewing the distribution of the pilous system and soft parts, in more than a cursory manner, since these will be discussed at greater length in the chapters to follow. Hair form, which according to Haddon is the most important racial criterion to be found in man, is of little use in distinguishing white sub-groups. Most European hair is straight or slightly wavy, although exceptional individuals in the straightest-haired groups have ringlet forms. Curly hair of this description is quite common in western Ireland and in Wales; it is also frequent in the whole of North Africa and in the western Mediterranean shorelands of Europe. Eastern Europe is predominantly straight haired, and as one approaches mongoloid territory this condition of course becomes more pronounced.

The amount of body hair on the adult male is closely correlated with the amount of beard, and both are linked with age, for a hairy man grows hairier as he becomes older. At the same time, baldness is most frequent among those with heaviest body hair and heaviest beards. Browridges, and other bony excrescences of a hypermasculine nature, are closely linked with excessive pilous development of the body and beard, and with a tendency to baldness. Europeans, on the whole, are among the hairiest-bodied and heaviest-bearded groups of men, being equalled or exceeded only by the Australians and the Ainu. Both negroid and mongoloid skin conditions are inimical to excessive hair development except upon the scalp.

The Mediterranean peoples, on the whole, are less hairy than other Europeans. Pure dolichocephalic Europeans, of normal Mediterranean type, whether blond or brunet, tend to a hairless chest and a patchy beard. Among Arabs a complete beard is rare, and is considered a sign of evil character. One must look upon great hairiness, and a great beard development, as well as a high incidence of baldness, as a multiple endocrine manifestation associated with relatively great sex differentiation in a masculine direction. Alpines and Central Europeans, in general, show an excess of this combination, and so do many Balkan peoples and Near Eastern Asiatics. This combination is in Europe associated with the non-Mediterranean element in the composition of the white stock, although in Asia the cleavage is not so clear. The baldness which is part of this complex is of genetic motivation, and differs in cause from the dry-scalped, fine-haired alopecia associated with extreme hair blondism.

The morphology of the external eye is also subject to regional distribution. High orbits, with no folds, are characteristic of Dinarics, and of most Near Eastern peoples; orbits of moderate height, and with a tendency to external folding in maturity and old age, go with long-headed peoples of both blond and brunet varieties, while a median fold, indicative of both a low orbit and a thick fat deposit in the eye region, goes rather with the Finnic and Slavic blond mesocephals and brachycephals. The true internal or mongoloid fold is not common in Europe and is found in numbers only in the east, in the Kalmuck and Tatar districts of Russia, and in the far north.

Extreme cragginess and ruggedness of facial features, including the forehead, the superciliary region, the malars, the jaws, and the nose, are associated with the western marginal fringe area, and especially with the region of largest heads and maximum Palaeolithic survival. Nordics and Mediterraneans, whether in Europe, North Africa, or southwestern Asia. have a maximum of facial relief, without this appearance of bony massiveness. The malars are laterally compressed, the nose thin and often beaked. Facial flatness, intensified by fatty deposits over the malars, while more typical of mongoloids, becomes characteristic in eastern Europe and extends into Poland, Finland, and Hungary.

The maximum nasality of the Near Eastern peoples, of whatever head form, is accompanied by a number of related features. One of these is the concurrency of the eyebrows over the nose, which is geographically centered in the Near East. Another is the predominant convexity of the nose as a whole, and the depression of the tip, especially in old age. In man the nose passes through a definite and continuous cycle of growth changes comparable in form, if not in degree nor in exact anatomical detail, to those found in the proboscis monkey. The nearest approach to the proboscis in the extent of nasal change is, however, found among Near Easterners from Armenia to Afghanistan. In Europe the same is true to a lesser degree in Albania and Montenegro.

A map showing the form of the nasal profile would have centers of convexity in the Dinaric area and throughout western Asia, with the exception of Arabia; centers of concavity would lie in the north of Scandinavia, and across the whole of eastern Europe from the Baltic onward. The rest of the map would be relatively undifferentiated, with all forms present, but the straight profile most common.


22 The only valid exceptions seem to be the Ruwalla Bedawin and the Tuareg. See Chapter XI, sections 2 and 12.

23 Melanin is approximately 55 per cent carbon, 6 per cent hydrogen, 12 per cent nitrogen, 2 per cent sulphur, and 25 per cent oxygen. Young, W. J., BJ, vol. 15, 1921, pp. 118 seq.

24 Glodt, H. R., Melanogenesis, a thesis submitted for honors in Anthropology at Harvard University, April, 1937. MS. in Peabody Museum Library, Harvard University. Quotation from p. 71. Author's permission secured. This whole section is taken largely from Glodt.

25 Cunningham, I. J., BJ, vol. 25, 1931, pp. 1267 seq.

26 Conitzer, H., ZFMA, vol. 29, 1931, pp. 83-147. - Hausman, L. A., AJPA, vol. 12, 1928, pp. 276-277. - Jankowsky, W., ZFRP, vol. 5, 1932, pp. 1-48,111-119; also VGPA, vol. 6, 1931-32, pp. 66-69.

27 Conitzer, H., op. cit. - Klinke, K., BZB, vol. 160, 1925, pp. 28 seq.

28 Conitzer, H., op. cit. - I have separately confirmed this claim by making 130 contingency tables, of six or more boxes, between hair and eye color, in each of which a negotiable amount of rufosity was present. In every instance red hair was found to be completely complacent to eye color.

29 Bryn, H., Homo Caesius, p. 19.

30 Baur, E., Fischer, E., and Lenz, E., Human Heredity, p. 134.

31 Wilmer, W. H., Atlas Fundus Oculi.