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Johann Blumenbach, German anthropologist

Johann Blumenbach, German anthropologist

H402/0236

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Johann Blumenbach. Engraving of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), German founder of the science of anthropology. Blumenbach was professor of medicine at Gottingen University. He analysed the physical characteristics of various human races, particularly the shape of their skulls (craniology). He put forward the theory that humans belonged to a single race, but that they were divided into five sub-groups: Caucasians, Mongolians, Malayans, Americans and Ethiopeans. Such simple genetic divisions have since been discredited. His major work was Collection of the Skulls of Various Peoples, (1790-1828).

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