Current Anthropology 1960

Clark, Desmond J. Human Ecology During the Pleistocene and Later Times in Africa South of the Sahara. Current Anthropology, July, 1960. Vol.1(4):307-324.

Clark essentially presents an outline of the Pleistocene era in which he divides it into four smaller spatial periods. Each one of these periods has been characterized by Clark according to its local hominid remains found there. With these remains come other inferred elements of civilization such as fire, sustenance patterns, choice habitats, and tool use. He looks at these remains and how they interact with the dry and wet periods, and other spatial elements that occurred during the Pleistocene. He also infers much information, such as the move into caves from flat lands. The beginning of Clark’s article provides his methodology in classifying Pleistocene hominids. He says one must start by establishing chronological framework; doing classificatory (taxonomic) work; knowing spatial distribution of cultures and industry; establishing environmental and ecological setting of cultures as accurately as possible; being selective in the choice and excavation of sites; and not overlooking surviving ethnographic evidence. In the time this article was written Clark acknowledges that little work had been done with remains that were in open fields as opposed to remains in caves. This is slightly harder to excavate, yet he believes that the remains found reveal previously unknown cultural elements of the lower Pleistocene and Pre-Chelles-Acheul industries, middle Pleistocene and the Chelles-Acheul industries, upper Pleistocene and middle stone age industries, and post Pleistocene and later stone age industries.


Many of the comments received on Clark’s article were in relation to the fact of his spatial outline of events. A few of the commentators did not understand how he could infer information such as that used to create his distribution maps. Others comment on the lack of evidence provide by Clark, and how this can be misleading to other researchers. There is one who agrees with a part of the article.

RIKKI CASTLES Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Giddings, J. L. The Archeology of Bering Strait. Current Anthropology Mar.,1960. Vol. 1(2):121-138

Giddings presents evidence to settle the argument over the Bering Strait peoples’ movement patterns. It was once thought that the Bering Strait area was merely a land bridge where people migrated from Asia to North America but did not actually settle. The people who actually stayed and survived in this area appeared to be several groups of hunters and fishermen, developing highly specialized tools for such purposes. Giddings focuses on three different areas of the Bering Strait area: The Asian Sites, The America-Chukchi Sea Sites, and The America-Bering Sea Sites. Each of these three large areas also contains several individual sites of study. He presents evidence from these sites to show that the people who once resided there were never cut off from one another. This hypothesis is supported by many different forms of evidence, including ceramics, slate knives, obsidian, and harpoon heads, as well as house construction. All of these as well as others that are unmentioned here are shown to be either similar or identical among contemporary peoples on both sides of the Strait. Giddings also presents Radio-Carbon dating evidence from the three different areas that spans the pre-contact through the contact periods. These dates range from much older than 3100B.C. to 1900 A.D. All of this evidence combined paints a picture of people that were in contact with one another subsisting on hunter-gathering and fishing in this area for many millennia.


As Giddings admits, there are several gaps in the archaeological timeline of this area. Arctic archaeology was still in its infancy in 1960. Not very much is known about this region, as several of the sites are undoubtedly underwater. The recent geological projections of the receding of the last ice age refer to most of his three areas being hundreds of miles inland. The sea-side dwellings of the “land-bridge era” have been now covered over with both the Chukchi and Bering Seas and the archaeological evidence from the time of migration may have been lost forever. Giddings does have most of his evidence post 700 B.C., showing the lifestyle of this area in the pre-contact and contact periods. Archaeologists will at least be able to form some conclusions based on these three areas at these times, as there is ample evidence for contact and technology.


Giddings admits to their being a problem with the Radio-Carbon dating in this area. Sites often contain few or no uncontaminated samples. He believes that samples that have been continuously frozen would offer the best results, as they would be free of root disturbances and seepage. But, how is it known that these samples have indeed been continuously frozen since their deposition? Since that question is impossible to answer, the dating of this area should be given a higher +- rating on the Radio-Carbon analysis. By increasing the +- rating of the Radio-Carbon dating, one would be aware of the possible errors in determining an exact date from this locale.

JOEL G. AUD Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Henry, Jules. A Cross-Cultural Outline of Education. Current Anthropology July, 1960 Vol.1(4): 267-305

‘A Cross-Cultural Outline of Education’ by Jules Henry is mainly concerned with how learning and teaching takes place cross-culturally, from the simplest societies to the most complex ones. He presents an outline with twelve main sections, each divided into many subsections. For each section he attempts to answer one question pertaining to specific topics. These include: what is the educational process? How is information communicated to the learners? Who educates, as a means of understanding the effect of it on the learners? How do learners and educators participate? These questions are analyzed cross-culturally with examples of different cultures across the globe to make a point about the nature of education and learning of our species.

Henry starts by stating that humans must learn much more than other animals, and that learning is dominated by symbolic processes, where the motivational organizers of learning are variable, as opposed to being innate instinctual behavior in action. Pavlov stated that polyphasic learning is much more extensive in humans, where the need and ability to learn more than one thing at a time is much higher than in animals. Henry says that human education is a paradox in nature, where human societies have tried ‘repeatedly to accomplish in their members a completely predictable response system’(p. 268). For that reason there is a tendency for Americans to rise whenever one hears the national anthem.

One other issue Henry seems concerned about is the use of education to society. He compares societies where women and men have different roles and learn different things as a result. In the society described by Henry–the U.S. of the 1960s, the need for women and men to learn what the opposing sex has learned is non-existent. Moreover, if it were the case that men and women learning was identical, why would men and women in this society need each other? What would be the reason for them to be together? From that example one can say that learned behavior is a produce of the cultural environment one lives, in other words, teaching and learning are culturally bound by a set of values, that define and limit what and how is going to be taught and learned.

Henry’s main point of all of this cross-cultural study of education is that humans learned a long time ago that ‘natural maturation’ in a social sense does not exist, and the main problem for humans is for each generation to adapt to their culture. A big effort has been put forth by humans to conquer the barriers of learning and by using ridicule, praise, torture, admonition and many other artifacts, we have fulfilled many purposes. Maybe not in a perfect sense, but results and progress were definitely acquired. Culture has been a big achiever of that purpose but at the same time it limits and bounds how and what stimuli are accepted to be learned–maybe a natural response to an overwhelming amount of information, possibly impossible to be acquired poliphasically.

EDWARD PABLO DE SA SAUERBRUNN Southern Illinois University, Carbondale(Jonathan Hill)

Howell, F. Clark. European and Northwest African Middle Pleistocene Hominids. Current Anthropology, May, 1960. Vol.1(3):195-232.

Howell suggests that the few human Middle Pleistocene skeletal remains discovered in Europe the existence of two distinctive hominid lineages within the Middle Pleistocene, one represented by eastern Asian and northwest African populations, and the other by European populations. His major basis for this conjecture is the difference in measurements between the Mauer mandible of the earlier Middle Pleistocene range of time found in the Elsenz River Valley just north of the village of Mauer and that of an eastern Asian hominid of the same time era. Howell substantiates his claim by cataloguing each European human fossil recovered by location and the natural depositions with their contained flora and fauna and/or stone implements found in the surrounding rock strata. Local geological factors such as previously documented glacier movement and/or seismic activity in the area are also correlated. He then analyzes each skeletal specimen from Europe as to morphological properties. Size, shape, and density of the fossils are compared to previously identified contemporaneous Middle Pleistocene remains found in Asia and Northeastern Africa.


Several learned reviewers find no fault with Howell’s methods or conclusions. The scope of his analysis is lengthy but would be considered necessary by some for the presentation of such a theory. The samples under comparison were necessarily small due to the apparent absence of burial practices for these primitive peoples. Future European hominid discoveries will be needed to substantiate his claim.

CHELSEA POLSTON Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Hymes, D. H. Lexicostatistics So Far Current Anthropology, Jan 1960. Vol. 1(1):3-44

This article provides an extensive and comprehensive survey of the field of lexicostatistics as of 1960. Hymes goes into a lot of detail explaining the methods involved, analyzing issues and problems, foreshadowing developments, and suggesting ideas and solutions. As a result, this article is very technical in nature and requires a background in lexicostatistics or glottochronology in order to grasp a firm understanding of what the author is trying to communicate. He begins by introducing the field of glottochronology, which he claims is one of several lexicostatistical methods. Glottochronology uses mathematical methods to analyze the differentiation between lists of basic words from different languages but of similar meanings. The aim is to track the rates of change in languages and aid in deducing the actual dating of common ancestral languages. Hymes discusses the use of the terms “glottochronology” and “lexicostatistics”. He states that glottochronology examines the rate of change in languages which may be used to infer historical timeframes and provide an analysis of relationships in a language family. Lexicostatistics involves the statistical study of vocabulary for historical implications. Obviously, these two fields are distinctive but closely related. Hymes continues by explaining the foundations of glottochronology: the use of basic vocabulary for the test list; the ongoing development of test lists; the examination of control cases which involve languages at different stages in a single line of development; and the retention rates of words in languages as they change. In the next section, Hymes goes into extensive detail explaining the application of the glottochronological methods. Using numerous examples and references from other published works, the author demonstrates the uses of glottochronology in examining test lists, evaluating cognates, deducing time depths, inferring relationships between languages, and comparing deductions with other historical evidence. The article’s final section describes some uses of lexicostatistics. Apart from glottochronology, lexicostatistics may be further developed to examine sub-groupings in language families, determine genetic relationships among languages, and analyze rates of lexical change. In conclusion, Hymes defends the developing character of lexicostatistics with its short history, but recognizes its potential in anthropology. He calls for further research and development in lexicostatistics.


Driver suggests the use of meanings shared by a dozen or more reconstructed protolanguages to choose glosses for basic word test lists. He also cautions against mistaking the accuracy of time depths inferred from samples of control languages because the selection of control languages is non-random. Since standard error for a variable rate of change is also subject to change, Driver calls for a formula that accounts for this standard error. He stresses that the correlation between language, culture, and biological characteristics should not be casually dismissed since it is of historical significance.

Dyen discusses the use of lexicostatistics in quantitative analysis of the classification of languages and change. This is followed by a detailed explanation of applying lexicostatistics in determining relationships between languages. Dyen then discusses cognate boundaries between word lists and conditions under which defective lists may be used. He continues with explaining word meanings and changes in meanings. He stresses two criteria for a word’s inclusion in a list: the universality of meaning and frequency. The frequency of a word, according to Dyen, can be culture-free or culture-bound. He also advocates the use of lists with varying degrees of persistence depending on the analysis or the inference drawn.

Gudschinsky suggests the use of series of word lists for an initial classification framework from which future research can be based upon. She also stresses the use of probable cognates in formulating hypotheses rather than actually measuring time. Gudschinsky then argues for considering mesh relationships between languages because of the useful information that can provide. In light of the subjective interpretation and use of meanings of words, Gudschinsky calls for researchers to be aware of the biases. Lastly, she brings to attention the variation in definitions of time depths and the problem of determining absolute time depths.

Hattori proposes, based on drift and dregs, the use of the value of 1.4 rather than 2 in the formulae used for time depth. He attempted to improve on Swadesh’s list by enlarging it for statistical reliability and increasing its effectiveness in exploring proofs of genetic relationship between languages.

JOHN LI Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Imanishi, Kinji Social Organization of Subhuman Primates in Their Natural Habitat. Current Anthropology, Vol. 1, No.5/6 (Sep.-Nov.,1960), 393-407

In this article I feel the author does not properly represent all realms of social organization. In the introduction he is prompt to mention that he is not taking into consideration “such topics as food habits, nesting habits, mating habits, territoriality, nomadism, and vocal communication, when it does not concern those problems in social organization that are of interest here.” I believe this is a huge flaw in his research it is through his own opinion that these characteristics do not matter, but he does not give reasoning behind this. The author focuses the paper in on “the question of a breeding season, the declination of the minimal social unit, and some features of the internal organization of such units.”

The author tells about past examples of how information has been gathered about the same topic and how in some cases it has been flawed. He also gives a brief history of the field of observation and research relying heavily on the work of S. Zuckerman.

The article was very interesting read however I still believe that the author was too narrow in his studies and should have considered factors behind his reasoning, none the less I would still recommend it to all people with an interst in social organization or primate behaviors.

ERICA KNOLLENBERG Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Imanishi, Kinji. Social Organization of Subhuman Primates in Their Natural Habitat. Current Anthropology. Sep.-Nov., 1960 Vol. 1(5/6):393-407.

In this article, Imanishi reviews studies by others of subhuman primates in their natural habitats. His focus is largely centered on “the question of a breeding season, the delineation and definition of the minimum social unit, and some features of the internal organization of such units” (393). Imanishi’s purpose is to develop a theory for studying the social organization of subhuman primates in their natural habitats.

Imanishi begins with a discussion about research methods. He presents the naturalistic research method, where a researcher enters the habitat, searches for and observes the primates, and records experiences. The second research method presented was the intensive research method, where individual primates are identified by means of tattooing or some other method of identification. In addition to discussing research methods, Imanishi discusses the differing paths taken to acquire status and dominance by female and male primates. Imanishi also touches on the presence of a subgroup and asserts that such a group should not be referred to as a family when promiscuity might prevail.

Although Imanishi makes several valid points, I feel that his argument would have been better understood with a more broken-down structure. For instance, I was not entirely sure of the purpose of his reviews. Perhaps a more defined purpose in the introduction would have been helpful. I would have liked to know why Imanishi was concerned with the social organization of subhuman primates. Of course I could speculate that it is to relate these patterns to those of human primates, but I feel that a defined purpose by Imanishi would have been beneficial to his audience. I believe Imanishi’s intended audience was fellow physical anthropologists. In that respect, his article is well served. However, his scientific approach is difficult to follow. For example, he uses a few technical terms and scientific primate names which can make comprehension difficult.

Imanishi finishes his argument by stating that the most relevant research is that done using the intensive method to identify individual subjects. In this conclusion, Imanishi states that many of the studies he mentioned did not utilize the intensive method and are therefore not as reliable and conclusive as those that do. In addition, Imanishi presents several new points which have not been previously addressed in the paper. As this is one of the older articles in relation to such studies, I would venture to say that Imanishi’s contributions have been substantial in the intellectual realm surrounding the study of social organization of subhuman primates.

LINDSEY MERCER Valdosta State University (Melissa Rinehart).

Kurath, Gertrude Prokosch. Panorama of Dance Ethnology. Current Anthropology May, 1960 Vol.1(3):233-254.

Kurath addresses the issue of dance as an emerging discipline of ethnology. She explains the objectives of choreology (the study of dance), which is difficult, because of the disagreement among researchers as to the term’s definition and its need within the general area of ethnology. Previously, Kurath defined dance ethnology as “the scientific study of ethnic dances in all their cultural significance, religious function or symbolism, or social place”. In this article, she agrees to a distinction between folk and ethnic dances. However, she cites researchers who express the study of dance as all encompassing and including all forms of dance. Kurath has organized a correlation of dance and its significance to anthropology. In the realm of social relations, she lists the importance of individual and group creativity, male and female roles and organization as to ritual, but not secular dances, which are usually formed according to the objectives of the group. The dynamic processes of dance are explained as continuity, diffusion, transculturation (borrowing), acculturation (blending), enrichment, decline, resurgence, and rebound, which is the recovery of a dance into its homeland after its acculturation into another country. Kurath suggests other fields of research that could benefit from choreologic findings. In psychology, dance as mental therapy should be explored. The study of kinetic patterns can be used to improve the efficiency of industrial techniques as motions of work have the same components as those of dance. Other disciplines that are promising avenues for the integration of dance are linguistics, mythology, theater science, archaeology and art history, musicology and symbolics. Kurath gives a thorough explanation of the analysis of dance using symbols, which are required to fully describe dance constituents. The most complete symbol system,“Labanotation”, created by Rudolf Laban, is the one in widest use in the United States. It records the motion of every part of the body in distinctive signs and figures. Kurath argues that there is a need for an adequate course of study for the training of dance ethnologists. The usual graduate-study requirements in anthropology leave no room for three-year courses in choreography. However, research in choreology that is sound must be done by dancers who have achieved the insight and point of view of the ethnologist, or by musicians and ethnologists with dance training.


Overall, commentators are in agreement as to the validity of this paper and the importance of dance ethnology as a subdiscipline of anthropology. Criticisms are of the definition of ethno-choreography, which one reviewer believes should be a definition of dance ethnology rather than “choreography”. The relationship between the dance, costumes, and the place of performance are of considerable interest. However, they are missing from this survey. One commentator believes that Kurath does not give full credit to some of the people who have done a lifetime of research on dance.

DEBORAH A REARDANZ Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Kurath, Gertrude Prokoseh. Panorama of Dance Ethnology Current Anthropology May, 1960 Vol. 1(3):233-254.

In this article, Kurath presents several questions about dance and attempts to address these questions. One question she proposes is what is dance ethnology? Kurath clarifies that dance ethnology deals with a variety of kinetics including expressive, rhythmical, and aesthetically pleasing activities. Dance ethnologists see a functional activity like rice-planting as a kinetic activity because it can be accompanied by song and then stylized into dance. Everyday motions are the roots of dance because it is a patterned phenomenon that deals with expressive movements.

Kurath looks at several themes of dance in cultures, but I want to focus on the social relations of male and female roles with dancing. Each sex fulfills specific ceremonial assignments and enters the dance in a prescribed order. Courtship dancing is the most fundamental of human activities. Some couples dance holding each others hands and in other cultures partners may cross arms or lock elbows, and in American Indian social dances, men place their hands on the woman’s neck or shoulder.

Another question Kurath proposes is what is the scope of dance ethnology? This question is more difficult to approach because the definition of dance ethnology is controversial. Kurath’ definition of dance ethnology is the scientific study of ethnic dance and its cultural significance, religious functions or symbolism, and social placement (235). The main problem that dance educators have with her definition is the concept “ethnic dance” (235). Some compare ethnic dance to folk dance and to some folk dance is not equal to ethnic dance because folk dance can be recreational. Placing all forms of dance in the category of ethnic dance is problematic.

Choreographers play a major part in dance ethnology. Choreographers who study dance share many of the observation skills ethnologists utilize. The recording and analysis of dance movement is illustrated by using drawings. Ground plans are track drawings represented with solid or dotted lines that are commonly employed to depict solo or group movement along the ground. Diverse symbols are used by choreographers to represent the dancer’s sex and the direction they face. Body motion is represented by stick figures or photographs where these figures are drawn at a stooped posture, erect posture, or flexed posture that help map schemes of cultural dances.

Dance ethnology involves many issues for study. Dance ethnology is an interesting topic that Kurath has explored fully. Every dance movement or ethnic dance has a purpose or pattern. Dance ethnology is new and Kurath made a valuable attempt at defining the dancing process and the meaning of dance in cultures.

AMY GAISS Valdosta State University (Melissa Rinehart).

La Barre, Weston. Twenty Years of Peyote Studies. Current Anthropology, Jan., 1960 Vol.1(1):45-60

Weston La Barre’s Twenty Years of Peyote Studies focuses on the peyote research conducted by other authors, who are mainly anthropologists. La Barre uses other anthropologists’ works in order to summarize the different studies on peyote. For example, he delves into others research to see how peyotism is used and if peyote is a narcotic. Overall, La Barre bases this article “upon the extensive published literature on peyote and peyotism, on the [once] unpublished field notes by many persons, and on [his] own field trips during several years [of studies]…” (1960: 45). La Barre’s article is a study “for the general ethnologist…to attempt a perspective on the past as well as a prospect for future studies” (45).

La Barre breaks up the article into nine sections: general works, legal status of peyotism, psychiatric research, special problems, new substantive data on the peyote rite, problems of diffusion, scholarly controversies over interpretations, peyote music and art, popular accounts of peyote and peyotism, and future studies. While each section focuses on its designated topic, the primary focus remains with the chosen anthropologists’ perspective on that area of peyotism. One exception is in the section on future studies, La Barre looks at authors other than anthropologists. He offers some criticism about a few of the other researchers, such as James S. Slotkin, who has a different perspective on the “early diffusion of peyote to Texas and the eastern Southwest… (46).” It is important to note, that La Barre never went into detail about the other anthropologists in order to concentrate on peyote itself.


Overall, La Barre clearly makes his viewpoint and purpose known to the reader. When he stated one author’s viewpoint or work, La Barre would normally put down other sources to demonstrate another focus on the topic. More importantly, La Barre’s viewpoint never became clear to the reader. This would have taken the reader away from research material, and allowed the focus to remain on the more pertinent material. Yet, in doing this, La Barre put his own bias about which authors are considered significant. Overall, La Barre’s article relayed the many different kind of information relating to peyote and peyotism.

CHARLES GAIN Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Movius, Jr., Hallam L. Radiocarbon Dates and Upper Paleolithic Archaeology in Central and Western Europe. Current Anthropology Sep.-Nov., 1960 Vol.1(5/6): 355-391.

Movius emphasizes the crucial role that accurate dating plays in archaeology. The much-needed tool for obtaining a time frame for a particular sample is integral with solving chronological problems, which Movius states is of utmost importance with reference to Late Pleistocene materials in Central and Western Europe. Movius mentions that although radiocarbon dating is an effective method in the investigation of Upper Paleolithic evidence, there has been relatively little dating in the scope of the sixty millennia covered by the Upper Paleolithic. In Central and Northern Europe, Movius focuses on the Fourth Glacial (Wurm/Weichsel) chronology. The understanding of this chronology is important because it can reveal the Upper Paleolithic cultural development with use of the archaeological evidence. Movius acknowledges that there is a need to find more accurate dates for the end of the Gottweig Interstadial, and also for the basal portion of the Paudorf Oscillation which took place during the Fourth Glacial. Movius states that the main problem that Upper Paleolithic archaeologists face is to determine what cultural developments took place during this period of time. In Western Europe, Movius uses information mainly from Southwestern France and makes climatic correlations with the evidence of the Fourth Glacial sequence of Northern and Central Europe.


Many of the commentators commend Movius’s achievements made on Upper Paleolithic archaeology through the use of the radiocarbon dating method. However, suggestions are proposed along with the disagreements over the general chronology that Movius has presented. Blanc suggests dropping the term “Fourth Glacial” to avoid confusion, since the Wurm/Weichsel Glaciation appears to be the fifth major cold phase. Bordes also suggests the revision of the terms that Movius employs with reference to the specific phases of the Wurm/Weichsel Glaciation.


Movius appreciates his colleagues’ comments and states that the comments have been useful and that the majority of the comments helped to support his views. Movius agrees with Blanc’s suggestion, and states that his comment only reinforces the need for a standard terminology. In response to Bordes’s suggestions, Movius explains that there is no standard universal terminology, so the use of individual preference is accepted.

JESSICA ZACCAGNINI Southern Illinois University (Jonathan Hill)

Oppenheim, A. Leo. Assyriology- Why and How? Current Anthropology Sept-Nov., 1960 Vol.1(5-6):409-423.

Assyriology, the study of the Assyrian and Babylonian dialects of Akkadian, as a discipline is reviewed and critiqued by A. Leo Oppenhiem, the editor-in-chief of the Assyrian Dictionary. He summarizes the objects of study, some tens of thousand of clay tablets that paint “a strangely distorted picture of the more than two thousand years of Mesopotamian civilizations.” Oppenheim describes the two categories that make up this history, a standardized body of literature and personal letters and records. First, “the stream of tradition,” the scholarly and literary texts recorded by well-trained scribes, who, as a part of their training, copied and recopied important standardized texts, a tradition kept alive for more than two thousand years. The second category consists of reports of day-to-day activities of individuals and authorities. He goes on to describe the size and characteristics of these texts before he gets to the crux of his argument. He asserts that the assyriologists are misrepresenting the meaning and the importance of literary epics (like the Epic of Gilgamesh, which make up a minute percentage of tablets) to somehow fit Western standards of what is expected in “the study of man.” He states the because of this search, Assyriology is stagnating in its current place within the Humanities, which does not have the correct conceptual tools, so long have they been geared for assimilation along Western standards. Stagnation has resulted in the shrinkage of research topics for fear that new excavations will result in new conclusions that “endanger and overthrow” ones already reached. What he calls for as a possible solution is a multidisciplinary approach, in which historians of technology and medicine, scholars within economics and, “above all, in cultural anthropology” can interpret the findings of assyriologists, using their own unique expertise to better understand the “history” of Mesopotamian culture. Oppenheim also adds a bibliographical note to help the reader become better acquainted with the subject.



Both Pritchard and Adams agree with Oppenheim’s argument, urging scholars from other disciplines to react to the call. Adams attempts to define in what ways cultural anthropology can be useful. There is a need for synthesis between the philologist, whose domain lies with the textual, and the anthropologist, whose expertise lies with the contextual. It is the job of the anthropologist to establish regular patterns and relationships that reduce and explain the complexity of the data. The philologist, on the other hand, is key in translating that data. A spirit of cooperation must exist between the approaches, to further an understanding.

ERIN BILYEU Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Tappen, N.C. Problems of Distribution and Adaptation of the African Monkeys. Current Anthropology March, 1960. Vol.1(2):91-120.

This article focuses on the distribution and adaptation of African monkeys. Tappen discuss some of the general problems that African monkeys exhibit and their environmental relationships and shows the significance in anthropology. The author believes that little is known about the behavior of non-human primates in their natural habitat. By knowing the distribution, fundamental ecologies and adaptations of African monkeys to their environment, anthropologists will be able to use this information to better understand the evolution and order of man. Tappen implies that the first step in understanding the evolution and order of man is to study primate species within their natural habitat, observing behavior and basic adaptations. This information would not be just beneficial to anthropologists but for behavioral studies and medical research as well. Tappen believes that adaptation is a key factor in evolution and that the evolution of man from a primate ancestor shows a parallel with that of African monkeys. He uses the divergence and speciation of African monkeys along with the history of the continent to support his theory. He also suggests that by investigating possible origins in other primates it will help us to better understand and learn about human behavior. The value of studying living primates is to be able to apply those theories and findings to enhance our knowledge about ourselves. Throughout his discussions, he listed several topics for primatologists to investigate in future research. This article is structured by listing the different types of ecological conditions of Africa and giving an example of African monkeys that inhabit those areas. He listed the way in which they survive, and the present environmental problems they face. He does this by going over several genera, giving an ecological account of each. He also provides a map showing the biotic divisions of Africa. He then breaks down his discussion by showing how this information can be applied and beneficial to anthropologists. He concluded by showing the relationship between primate species, other animals and humans, using this to address the study of human evolution.


Many commentators agree with Tappen. They state that his insight of general problems possessed by the living African primates and his guiding principle of habitat segregation and differentiation are well supported. Many have found the article to be very informational and think that it has made a major contribution to the taxonomy and geographical distribution of the African monkeys.


Tappen replied by listing who has made his African experience possible and giving thanks to Warren G. Kinzey for pointing out imprecise initial information in one of his statements. He also made reference to a comment made by Kinji Imanishi who suggests that Tappen come to a hasty conclusion about the sexual activity of Japanese monkeys.

NASHEED SMITH Southern University at Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)