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Portrait of Arthur Keith and Galley Hill skeleton

Portrait of Arthur Keith and Galley Hill skeleton

E436/0025

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Credit

JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

British anatomist Arthur Keith (1866-1955) whose work profoundly affected investigations into the evolution of man. He is seen with bones from the Galley Hill skeleton found in 1888 in gravel pits in the east of London. The deposits were ancient, but the anatomy of the bones was considered recent. In 1910 Keith re-evaluated the bones confirming their affinity with Homo sapiens, but considered the bones to be as ancient as the deposits. This supported his evolutionary view of the antiquity of modern man and that Java and Neanderthal man were not ancestors, but 'degenerate cousins'. In 1949, using fluorine tests, the bones were shown to be of recent orgin,.

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