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Where did Man Originate?

  • E. A. Hooton
Extract

Students of human origins agree that man was not separately created, but evolved in the remote past from an apelike ancestor. To such as reject the evidence of man’s emergence from a lower animal form, the place of his original home is not a subject for discussion but rather a tenet of faith, or a simple geographical identification of the Garden of Eden.

Even if one is uninfluenced by ecclesiastical tradition it is difficult to avoid prejudice in the search for the cradle of humanity. The ex oriente Zux hypothesis, which Reinach once so vigorously contested in the field of archaeology, numbers among its submissive acceptants a majority perhaps of anthropologists and students of primate evolution. Much of human culture and many peoples have come out of Asia. Because of the antiquity of its civilizations, the multifariousness of its inhabitants and its vast extent and physical diversity, that continent has become a natural residuary legatee for all unknown origins. The paucity of knowledge concerning the archaeology and palaeontology of Asia has determined its selection as the mute scapegoat of all our original sins.

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1 Black, Davidson: Asia and the Dispersal of the Primates; Bulletin of the Geological Society of China, vol. 4, no.2 p. 141, Peking, 1925.

2 Matthew, W.D., Climate and Evolution, Annals of the New York Academy of Science, vol. 24, pp. 171318. Quoted from Davidson Black, op. cit. p. 141.

3 Black, Davidson, op. cit. p. 148.

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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