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Anthropological work in the U.S.S.R. in 1938 and 1939

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I N 1938 AND 1939
Work on the study of human races in the U.S.S.R. is conducted by :
(1) The Sub-Department of Race Studies of the Scientific
Research Institute of Anthropology of the Moscow State
University (headed by Prof. Y. Y. Roginsky).
(2) The Department of Anthropology of the Museum of
Ethnography, the Academy of Sciences, Leningrad (headed by
V. V. Ginsburg).
(3) The Chair of Anthropology of the Central Asiatic State
University, Tashkent (headed by Prof. L. V. Oshanin).
W o r k of the Institute of Anthropology
During 1938-9 and the years preceding, the Institute of
Anthropology conducted its studies of the human races in the
following four directions :
(1) Study of the race composition of the modern population
of the U.S.S.R. in connection with problems of ethnogenesis
(history of the peoples of the U.S.S.R.).
Attention in this domain was concentrated on the anthropology of the nationalities of the North-Nentsi,
(Hante), Voguls (Mansi), Selkups. The work was conducted
by T. A. Trofimova, G. F. Debets, N. N. Cheboksarov, and S. A.
Shluger. Craniological investigations among the Ostyaks and
Chukchi were conducted by M. G. Levin.
The results of the following field work served as the basic
material for the investigation of the anthropology of the
peoples of the North:
IData furnished t o the Editor by the U.S.S.R. Society for Cultural Relations
with Foreign Countries.
( a ) Nentsi from the mouth of the Pechora River up to the
Tazov Bay; 850 persons, of which 450 adult men (by N. N.
Cheboksarov and S. A. Shluger, '38-'39).
(b) Hante (Ostyaks) Vakh River, right tributary of the Ob
River ; 160 persons, of which 125 adult men (by G. F. Debets,
( c ) Selkups-Narim Area; 100 persons, of which 70 adult
men (by G. F. Debets, '39).
(d) Mansi-(Voguls) Central Urals; 160 adult men (by N. N.
Cheboksarov and T. A. Trofimova, '39).
The program of work of these expeditions was a s follows:
the height, measurements and descriptive signs of the head
and face, the blood groups, the tactile designs of the palms
and fingers, reaction on phenyl-thio-carbamide. Among the
Nentsi, besides, a test for colour-blindness.
(2) Study of the ancient fossil remains of the population
of the U.S.S.R., conducted conjointly with archeological researches.
Work was conducted on the Slavs (by T. A. Trofimova and
G. E'. Debets), on the Crimean Goths, on the ancient population
of the Minusinsk Territory (by G. F. Debets) and of the Tatar
Republic (by T. A. Trofimova).
( 3 ) Analysis of individual race signs of man from the riewpoint of the laws of their variability.
( a ) The variability of the cranial s i g n s - o f the relief of the
medium part of the facial skeleton (by B. M. Shapkin), comparative individual and group variability of the cranio-facial
indices of man and other mammals-apes, semi-simians, seals
and marmots (by Y. Y. Roginsky).
( b ) Certain effects of ultra-violet rays upon the skin in
connection with its colo~ation(by Y. Y. Roginsky).
( c ) Study of the laws of distribution of dactyloscopic designs in the territory of the U.S.S.R. (by M. V. Volotskaya).
(4) Application' of mathematical methods in the problems
of race analysis.
An investigation was coiiducted pertaining to the influence
of mutations on the distribution of signs among the human
population (X. V. Ignatyev).
Publicatiom based
this work
Science of races and the race theory. A Symposium. Works of the Institute of
Anthropology of the Moscow State University, Issue IV.
Materials on anthropology of Eastern Europe, A Symposium. Works of the Institute of Anthropology of the Moscow State University, Issue V (in press).
N. N. Anthropological types of Komi-Zyryans. ( I n prep.)
Mongoloid elements among the population of Central Europe. ( I n
DEBETS,G. F. Palaeo-anthropology of the U.S.S.R. (from the Palaeolithic Age
up to the Eighteenth Century). An exhaustive r6sum6 of the results of
many years of work of the author and of other research workers.
( I n prep.)
M. V. On the influence of mutations on the distribution of signs among
the human population. (In prep.)
LEVIN,M. G. Craniological investigations of the peoples of the North (issues
devoted to the Ostyaks and Chukchi). ( I n prep.)
M. 5. History of the science of races. ( I n prep.)
ROOINSKY,1’. Y. Laws of distribution of blood groups throughout the globe.
(In prep.)
Variations of crailio-facial indices of man and of other mammals.
( I n prep.)
T. A. Anthropological types of Tatars of the Volga region. ( I n prep.)
Skulls from the Nikolsk Burial mound (Russians of the Sixteenth
Century). ( I n prep.)
M. V. Distribution of types of tactile designs of fingers throughout
the globe. ( I n prep.)
Also, a section devoted to the races of man in the “Course of Anthropology’’
for universities under the editorship of V. V. Bunak (author Y. Y. Roginsky) is
now in press.
Work of other institutions
The Department of Anthropology of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences elaborated mainly a number of problems connected with the ancient
population of the Soviet Union. The most interesting work is
being conducted by Zhirov on the study of skeletons from the
neolithic burial mound on the Oleny Ostrov (Deer Island) on
Lake Onega, and by V. V. Ginsberg, on the laws of variations
of the race signs according to epochs.
The Chair of Anthropology of the Central Asiatic State
University is engaged in compiling a general resume on the
anthropology of Central Asia, which represents a summary
‘This listing is by no means exhaustive.
of the many years of research work by L. V. Oshanin and his
collaborators on the race composition of the Iranian, Turkish
and Semitic peoples of Central Asia.
Works of the Institute on anthropomorphology, closest in
their themes to general problems of anthropology, are conducted in the U.S.S.R. by the Laboratory of the Morphology of
Man, at the Scientific Research Institute of Anthropology,
under the Moscow State University (Director, Prof. V. V.
The basic theme of the Laboratory is the study of factors
of the genesis of forms by means of analyzing ( a ) the correlation of individual macro-, micro- and hemo-structural signs ;
(b) ontogenesis mainly post-natal.
I n these connections the following works were conducted in
the Laboratory during 1938 and 1939.3
(1) Analysis o f the curves of increase of t h e total stature of
t h e body. Comparison of complete stature curves from 0 to
20 years, of seven different groups demonstrated that they
are equalized in the best and simplest manner by the parabola
of the IV order. Groups differing in their final size show a
noticeable parallelism of the curves of growth. During the
whole period of post-natal development is preserved a certain,
uniform level of velocity which is determined at the earliest
stages of development. The established facts supply indications for understanding the mechanism of growth and compel
one to reject decidedly the conceptions of Robertson, Fischer,
Brody and others.
This work, compiled by Professor Bunak, is in press.*
(2) A g e variations of the proportiow of the body. The
growth of all partial dimensions of the body is subordinated to
* For the results of the work of the preceding years, see “ Transactious of the
Scientific Research Institute of the Institute of Anthropology of the Moscow State
University,” Issue 111, and “Scientific Notes of the Moscow State University, ”
Vol. X, 1937.
‘Bunak (V.)-Typology of growth curves of the human body. Am. J. Phys.
Anthrop., 1940, XXVI, 69-85.
the laws of the parabola of the IV order. The theory on
isogonism of J. Huxley requires more exact definition and as
a whole is insufficient. The distribution of the rate of growth
in various groups is very similar. The initial caudal direction
of the gradient of growth is replaced by an opposite in the
post-natal period, and only once. The ontogenesis of anthropomorphous apes does not give any grounds for explaining the
age dynamics of the proportions of the body in the light of the
theory of recapitulation.
This work has been completed by Professor Bunak and is
now in press.
( 3 ) Investigations o f the factors of the formation of the
large bones (tibia). (Parts I11 and IV.) The dependence between the forms of epiphysis, its mechanical properties and
the dimensions of the bones has been established. The principle of Roux requires a corrective-on account of the hemostructural peculiarities.
The above work has been completed by lecturer Zenkevich
and is now in press.
(4) Variations o f the dimensions of muscular filaments.
Certain types of the direct muscle of the abdomen were selected
in accordance with the composition of their filaments and variations in their dimensions. The differences of the perimeter of
the muscular abdomen are connected with the differences in
the number of filaments as well as with their dimensions and
hemostructure (content of water).
This work has been compiled by post-graduate student
Kuzbleva and is in press.
( 5 ) Variations o f the hair pigment in connection with the
coZou.ration of the hair. This work is being conducted by
post-graduate student Stroykova.
( 6 ) Variations i.n the specific weight of the human body in
connection with the specific features of its corzstitution. This
work is being conducted by post-graduate student Bashkirov.
( 7 ) Types of deportment of man. This work is being conducted by post-graduate student Alekseyeva.
of the lingual muscles.
This work is being conducted by post-graduate student
Works on anthropomorphology (besides descriptive anatomy) are being conducted also in a number of other subdepartment s.
Besides special publications of individual institutes, some
researches appeared in the ‘‘Archives of Anatomy, Histology
and Embryology’’ and in the “Reports of the Lesgaft Scientific Institute”, in Leningrad.
( 8 ) l ’ k e g r o w t h of t h e filaments
During recent years the scientific research work on anthropogenesis was concentrated in the scientific institutes of the
U.S.S.R. mainly around the most important problems of comparative anatomy, physiology and comparative psychology
(connected with the problem of the origin of man, on problems
from the spheres of palaeo-anthropology, history of material
culture and of the development of society), and finally, around
general theoretical problems of the process of evolution of
man (of the factors of evolution of man, of Darwin’s theory
on anthropogenesis) and on the methodological principles of
the study of anthropogenesis in the light of the theory of
dialectical materialism.
I. I n the field of comparative-anatomical study of problems
of anthropogenesis, the main attention of anthropologists and
anatomists was devoted to the cerebrum and the system of
the organs of locomotion and also to the corporeal proportions
of man and ape.
The results of investigations of the cyto-architectonic peculiarities of the brain of man, chimpanzee, orang-utan, gibbon, and of the lower narrow-nosed apes, in the State Brain
Institute in Moscow (by Shevchenko) and in the U.S.S.R.
Institute of Experimental Medicine (by Kurepina) brought
the research workers, in particular, to the conclusion of the
cardinal similarity of the cerebrum of the large anthropoids
with that of man; also of the relatively very low level of
development of the cerebrum of the small anthropoids, as for
instance, the gibbon, which brings them rather closer to the
marmoset-like apes.
Several years ’ works conducted at the Institute of Anthropology (by Deshin) resulted in the preparation for press of
a large monograph on the evolution of the macro-structural
morphological peculiarities of the cortex of the cerebral hemispheres of man and of other primates.
The Institute of Anthropology also studied the muscles of
the extremities of man and of the higher apes (Deshin), main
attention being paid to differences connected with various
means of locomotion. A special work was devoted to the
subcutaneous muscles of the neck of primates and of other
mammals (by Yatsuta).
I n studying the skeleton, works were continued on investigating the micro-structure of the larger bones of man and
apes. This resulted in the establishment of the radical similarity in the structure of the compact lamella of the hip of
modern man and the Pithecanthropus (by Sinelnikov). An
interesting method f o r studying the arterial system of the
bones of the human skeleton was submitted (by Anserov),
and a study was conducted of the intra-osseous blood supply
(by Wokken) as well as of the vessels of the cerebrum of apes
(by Yatsuta).
Variations of the occipital bone in the area of the large
foramen (Schneider) as well as of the metopic suture (Uryson)
were studied on the collections of the State Museum of AnthroPologY.
A special work was devoted to the study of the 0s frontalis
of apes (by Yatsuta).
The study of the extremity proportions of apes in the process of age development was conducted on living hamadryad
baboons in the Sub-Tropical Branch of the U.S.S.R. Institute
of Experimental Medicine in Sukhumi (by Yakimov).
I n the field of comparative physiology mention should be
made of the works on the daily periodics (by Scherbakova)
and on the menstrual cycle of apes and humans which were
conducted in Sukhumi. Works on comparative pathology of
apes were conducted in Sukhumi (by Vadova and Konikova)
and in the Moscow Zoological Garden (Shtefko: “A case of
eclampsia in pregnancy of a chimpanzee at premature delivery
of twins of unlike sex”).
Works also were conducted in Sukhumi, in the sphere of
comparative psychology; namely, on the behaviour of apes
(baboons and macaques) by means of conditioned reflexes
(by Raminsky, Mayorov, and S. J. Roginsky). The results of
other experiments with chimpanzees were elaborated in E. P.
Pavlov ’s Laboratory in Koltushi. A philogenetic approach
was realized in the vestigations conducted on the characteristic
peculiarities of the behaviour of apes in connection with the
problem of the origin of the human intellect and of the origin
of labor actions (by Voytonis).
Mention should likewise be made of the concluding volume
of the work (preparing for press) dealing with the results of
observations and experiments on the behaviour of a chimpanzee offspring and a human child in the Darwin Museum,
stressing the point of similarity between them (by LadyginKots).
11. Of great interest are the finds of fossil hominidae in the
territory of the U.S.S.R. One of the most ancient is the previous discovery of a skeleton of a hand and foot of a Neanderthal man in the cave Kiik-Koba, Crimea, the monograph
on which is now in press (by Bonch-Osmolovsky).
A discovery of world-wide importance was that made in
the summer of 1938 of an incomplete skeleton of a Neanderthal child, of about 8 years of age, in the cave Teshik-Tash,
near the town of Baysun, Uzbekistan, in a layer of cultural
relics of the later .Mousterian (by Okladnikov). The skull
has a large brain case (about 1,490 cub. e m ) , and the lower
jaw lacks a chin protuberance, possessing at the same time
a cynadont tooth structure. These, as well as the other parts
of the skeleton are being studied in the Institute of Anthropology ( Gremyatsky, Debets and Rokhlin) .
Much attention was also attracted by three ancient skulls
with the Neanderthal Man's traits found previously in Pyatigorsk (by Gremyatsky) in Khvalinsk, on the Volga River, and
near the Skhodnya River near Moscow (by Badder). The
geological antiquity of these, unfortunately, has not been precisely established. By their morphological peculiarities, however, they bear the character of an intermediate type between
the Neanderthal Man and the type of modern man, being
rather closer related to the latter type.
It is necessary specially to mention the arrival in the
U.S.S.R., in 1939, of the outstanding American anthropologist,
Alei HrdliEka, who studied the large collections of skulls in
the State Museum of Anthropology and in the Irkutsk Museum
in connection with the problem of the origin of Indians. Hrdli6ka delivered some interesting reports in the Institute of
Anthropology on the evolution of man. His opinion on the
origin of the type of modern man from the Neanderthal man
coincides in general with the opinion of Soviet anthropologists
and this has been fully elucidated in works taking account of
the influence of biological and social factors in the process of
this transition. (Gremyatsky and Y. Y. Roginsky).
The most ancient stage of the evolution of mankind (the
epoch of ape-men) was also a subject of study (by Nesturkh) ;
as well as the Javan-thropus (by Zalkind), one of the most
important and most ancient forms of Neanderthal Man.
The natural environment of the fossil remains of man also
was studied (Gromov). It is necessary to mention in this
connection that the works of Soviet geologists (Gromov), and
investigations in the sphere of the early and later palaeolithic
age (Voyevodsky), resulted in the fact that Soviet geologists
and archaeologists recognize the correctness of the monoglacial theory.
I n the field of study of the palaeolithic age mention must be
made of the discovery of early palaeolithic sites in Abkhazia
(Zamyatin) and of later palaeolithic age images of oxen, deer,
rapacious beasts and the mammoth in the Azov Sea re,'wion.
(Badder) .
A t the mouth of the Chusovaya River the most northern
palaeolithic Magdalenian site in Europe was explored (Talitsky). A fine collection of typical Mousterian implements of
classical forms was obtained during excavations in the Wolf
Grotto in Crimea (Badder).
Early Mousterian (or late Ashel) deposits were investigated on the Desna River which, in connection with their
occurrence under a Riss moraine (Gromov) testifies to the
existence of human habitats in the North of Europe, in the
pre-Riss age (Voyevodsky). The results of these and of
other investigations of the old stone age and of the geology
of the Quaternary period on the territory of the U.S.S.R.
were reported at the Conference F o r the Study of the Quaternary Period, in Kiev, in 1939 (Badder, Voyevodsky, Gromov
and others). A large work of a collated character was published on the problem of cultural stages in the development
of primitive society (by Yefimenko). Works on the palaeolithic age were also reflected in scientific literature abroad.
(Golomshtok, E. A., 1938. The Old Stone Age in European
Russia. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society,
vol. XXIX. pp. 191-468).
111. Special papers were read at memorial conferences held
in the Moscow State University (reporter Gremyatsky) and
the Academy of Sciences (reporter Roginsky) in connection
with the 80th anniversary of the appearance of Charles Darwin’s basic work ‘‘Origin of the Species By Means of Natural
Selection”. These reports stressed in particular the point
that all the subsequent development of biology confirmed the
basic theory of Darwin on the origin of man from the manlike ape of the type of Dryopithecus, the common ancestor of
man, chimpanzee and gorilla.
A new translation (by Nekrasov and Nesturkh) of Charles
Darwin’s “Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”
is ready for press.
I n the light of Darwin’s theory, anthropologists conducted
a critical review of the idealistic hypotheses of anthropogenesis-of
Wood-Jones ’ tarsial hypothesis and of Osborne’s
hypothesis of aristogenesis (by Nesturkh) The theory of
polygenesis was refuted in connection with the struggle
against the “race theory” (Gremyatsky).
The problem of anthropogenesis is viewed by the absolute
majority of Soviet anthropologists as a problem distinct in
quality from the evolution of the entire animal kingdom; labor
is considered the basic factor of evolving man. This is mirrored not only in scientific research work, but also in the
popular scientific literature (Gremyatsky, Nesturkh, Plisetzky,
Yusefovich) and in school textbooks (textbook on anthropology by Bunak, Nesturkh and Roginsky) ; it is also reflected
in the exposition and popularization activity of the State Museum of Anthropology in Moscow and of a number of other
museums and institutes of the U.S.S.R.
N. E. Arterial system of the human skeleton. Transactions of the
Third Moscow Medical Institute, Second Issue, 142 pp., 87 illustrations,
Moscow, 1939. Published by the Third Moscow Medical Institute.
AND Y. Y. RWINSKY Anthropology (Brief
Course) MOSCOW,
Text and School Books Publishing House. In press).
EFIMENKO,P. P. Primitive society. State Publishing House, Moscow-Leningrad,
1938, 530 pp., 199 illustrations and photo tables.
M. A. How man originated. Seeond edition, Moscow, 1938, 112
pp., 55 illustrations.
Signs of “higher” and “lower” races and anthropogenesis. I n
the Symposium “Science on Races and the Race Theory.”
Transactions of the Institute of Anthropology of the Moscow State University, I V Issue, pp. 47-80, with 5 tables, Moscow-Leningrad, 1938.
Published by the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R.
S. D. Sub-tropic branch of the U.S.S.R. Institute of experimental
medicine (Sukhumi). I n the “Report on the Scientific Research
Work of the U.S.S.R.,A. M. Gorky Institute of Experimental Medicine for the years 1933-1937”, pp. 525-530, with 2 photo tables and
a complete list of works.
S. D.
F. P. MAYOROVOn the dynamic-stereotype among apes.
Physiological Jour. of the U.S.S.R.,1939, XXVII, Issue 6, 701-710.
M. M. The structure and philogenetic development of thalami optici
among primates. Archives Biol. Sc’s., 1937, XLIX, Issue I, pp.
108-124, with 3 illustrations; 1938, 11. pp. 139-161, with 10 illustrations and 1 table and Issue 3, PP. 116-133, with 5 illustrations and
2 tables.
NESTTJRKH, M. F. Fossil anthropoids and archaic hominidae (According to
latest data). Successes of Modern Biology, IX, Issue 2, pp. 161-212
with 16 illustrations.
OKLADNIKOV,A. P. Discovery of a Neanderthal man in Uzbekistan. Bull. of
Ancient History, No. I (6), pp. 256-257.
ROQINSKY,8. G. Formation of habits among lower apes. Comparative psychological observations of apes. Psychological Observations (Transactions of the Bekhterev State Institute for Study of the Brain,
Volume 9). Edited by B. G. Ananyev, pp. 185-288, With 23 illustrations, Leningrad, 1939. Published by, the Brain Institute.
ROQINSKY,Y. Y. The problem of the origin of homo sapiens (According to the
data of the works of the last twenty years). Successes of Modern
Biology, 1938, IX, Issue 1, pp. 115-135.
0. P. Materials for studying the daily periodics of physiological
processes of the higher mammals. Paper 11, Bull. Experimental Biol.
&I Med.. V. 1938. Issue 2, up. 167-170, with 2 illustrations. (Report
No. 1, ibid., 1937. IV, Issue 4).
Y. G. Variability in tho structure of the cerebral cortex. "he
lower parietal are& Paper by Shevchenko. The lower parietal area
in the intermediate group of apes. Trans. the Brain Inst., Issues 3
and 4 With an Atlas of micro-photographs, pp. 363-392with 18 illustr.
(and 6 tables-Nos.
67-72, in the Atlas) MOSCOW,
Published by the
State Brain Inst., 1938.
K. Z. (1) Sub-cutaneous muscles of the neck of mammals; (2) Subcutaneous muscles of the neck of primates; (3) Arteries of the circle
of Willis of some primates; (4) On the morphology of the 0s frontalis.
Scientific Notes of the Biol. Scientific & Res. Inst. of the V. M. Yolotov Rostov-on-Don State University, Issue 2, Trans. of the Chair of
Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, pp. 49-124, with 48 illustr.;
pp. 125-156, with 15 illustr.; pp. 157-170 with 19 illustr.; and pp.
171-189 with 2 illustr. Rostov-on-Don, Rostov Publishing House, 1938.
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