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The origin of the cretans Anthropological investigations on the island of bravery. (I Katagogi ton Kriton.) By Aris N. Poulianos. 286 pp. figures. Library of the Anthropological Society no. 1. Kostas Koulouthakos' Press Athens. 1971

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In addition, data are presented in a way
that they can be compared with the voluminous cross-sectional data presented by
Schultz for the chimpanzee. For the longitudinal data, Gavan develops two equations for analyzing the data. One, a
second order polynomial for trunk dimensions, another, an exponential equation
for measures of the limbs. The need for
two equations may be the result of measurements spanning more than one growth
center, i.e., the more centers measured
the more difficult growth is to analyze.
This is not a new idea, but as Gavan
notes, perhaps it is “time to consider
other methods of measurement.”
Biegert contributes the chapter on dermatoglyphics. The introductory portion is
particularly well done and the novice,
after reading this section, will be well
prepared to attack the complex problem
of nonhuman primate dermatoglyphics.
As characteristic of much of the volume,
this chapter considers many more genera
than Pan. Biegert demonstrates that although variable, dermatoglyphic patterns
are specific for different species and therefore of taxonomic value. He also shows
that the differences between chimpanzee
and other pongids are mostly quantitative and that Pan and Gorilla are very
similar. All great apes are quite different
from man. The pongids, hylobatids and
hominids can be derived from a generalized catarrhine condition.
Platzer considers the anatomy of the
blood vessels in straightforward fashion.
He commences with the aorta, notes its
major branching patterns before passing
to the common carotid, external carotid,
etc. He closes his section with a short
discussion of the veins. He is accurate
in discussing the variability associated
with the arteries throughout the chimpanzee body. His references are complete.
Anyone interested in the arterial arrangements of Pan will find this chapter extremely valuable.
According to most authorities, the placentas of the Pongidae are so like the
human, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between them. Ludwig and Baur
agree with this thesis in their chapter
on the placenta of Pan. In all aspects,
the placenta of Pan corresponds in structure with those of other hominoids. This
similarity includes the new morphometric
data on the chimpanzee placenta presented by the authors.
The last chapter is written by the editor
of the series, G. H. Bourne. It is concerned
with the nutritional problems of Pan, both
in the wild and in captivity. He notes the
passing of the idea that chimpanzees were
exclusively vegetable eaters (this idea of
exclusive diets is probably incorrect for
many other nonhuman primate species).
It is known today that wild chimpanzees
enjoy a cosmopolitan diet that ranges
from bananas to baboons and includes
a delectable gustatory tidbit, the curried
lemon flavored weaver ant! Bourne makes
an obvious but often overlooked point that
nutritional requirements may not be the
same for all apes (monkeys?). The average
calorie requirements per day in the United
States (male 22-35) is 2,800. The Yerkes
chimpanzees get 2,990. Bourne correctly
stresses the importance of providing the
animals with a “great variety of diet.”
A monotonous, unvaried diet can quickly
become boring and unpalatable to a caged
animal, particularly when their wild cousins are enjoying curried lemon flavored
weaver ants!
In conclusion, we recommend this volume to the primatological world in particular, and to the biological community
in general. It is written for the specialist
but the more sagacious student will find
it valuable.
University of Washington
By Aris N. Poulianos. 286 pp., figures.
Library of the Anthropological Society
no. 1. Kostas Koulouthakos’ Press,
Athens. 1971. No price.
The author writes quickly and vividly
and gives the reader of Demotiki Greek a
cross between a mystery movie and an encyclopedia whose references are in Russian and Greek more often than not. This
can be tantalizing when one can’t find
sources for statements - for example the
statement that Cretans resemble very
closely indeed the Antinkaioi ( = Adighe
or Circassians?) of the Kuban and also
other Black Sea peoples, especially Caucasian-speakers in Georgia, so that Aegean
and Caucasian peoples must have a common origin at least in the Upper Paleolithic; but no sample from any part of the
Caucasus is in the figure on p. 105 comparing Cretans with nearer groups South Bulgars, Maniotes, Ikarians, Thasians - in order to establish Poulianos’
Aegean Type. Also the focus on origins as
refracted from geographical comparison
of samples of living, handled at length in
the first part of the book, squeezes out
questions of social biology, over the range
from intervillage migration and exogamy
to child development -which
inhere in
Poulianos’ rich data and which he mentions just in passing. The second part, historical, is more panoramic and fasterpaced, really the outline for a second
As far as possible Poulianos took his
sample of 1104 males (average age 43)
and 261 females (average age 37) from
villages and avoided those born in cities;
he photographed about a third of them.
He tabulates them in 22 areas: grouped in
the Kantanos, Rizitika, and Sphakia regions of the mountainous western nomos
(province) of Khania, from regions in
Rethymno, from Herakleion including the
northern mountains and the Mesogeion or
south-central plain, and from the eastern
nomos of Lasithi, a plateau and an eastern
mountain mass joined by an isthmus.
The author does not outline ecology or
geography and his small map with 54 dots
representing the places of study has no
names except those of the four nomoi or
provinces. About six of the 22 village centers can be found in atlases and even with
detailed modern German-printed road maps
there was one which I could not find (Apokoronas, apparently in the Kantanos orbit). Yet to be really fruitful the village by
village comparison needs mention of distances as well as other barriers to intermixture. One can spend hours fitting the
anthropometric (20 items) and morphological (38 items) data from 87 tables into
the clines pictured clearly on 32 maps and
then comparing these with sharp plates
showing people from the following towns
and villages: Kantanos, Rizitika, Kalli-
kratis, Anopolis, Sphakia, and Apokoronas
in Khania; Rethymno; Anogeia, Archanes,
and Pompia in Herakleion; and Tzermiadon, Kroustas (Kritsa on most maps), Ierapetra and Siteia in Lasithi. The sample
favors the more barren west, with 426
males from Khania as opposed to 250 from
Male stature at 168 cm. and female stature at almost 157 cm. rise from east to
west. They range from 163-166 and 15%
155 in the Kroustas part of western Lasithi
and around Pompia south-center in Herakleion (plus a male low of 164 at Amarion
in Rethymno not shown on the stature
map) up to over 171 for males and almost
160 for females in the Sphakiote mountain villages of southeastern Khania. Poulianos gives no other body measurements
or observations (except chest hair) so that
there are no data to see which groups are
deep-chested, muscular, and stocky in
build like many mainlanders (cf. Hertzberg et al., ’63) and which lithe like ancient Minoans who should survive, P.
thinks, especially in Archanes south of
Herakleion (the Megalokastro of Kazantzakis’ books). The average Cretan exemplifies what Poulianos calls the Aegean type:
medium-sized and intermediate or subbrachy head (cephalic index 80) with medium forehead (fronto-parietal 71) and face
breadth (cranio-facial index 93) and jowl
breadth (fronto-gonial index 102), and
rather high face (index 88) and narrow
nose (index 64) with straight profile, hair
usually wavy and black to dark brown, iris
dark to mixed, strong body hair and beard,
and only 13% with occipital flattening. In
the far west the Kantanos people are close
to this average but the taller Sphakiote
mountaineers have slightly shorter heads
(22% occipital flattening), shorter noses
and lighter pigmentation. In the center
the mountain people of Anogeia, around
Mt. Ida near the Rethymno-Herakleion
border, and those on the plateau of west
Lasithi (Tzermiadon and Kroustas) just
west of the isthmus, are short in stature
and have linear heads (4% occipital flattening) without extra facial linearity and
with rather wide noses like published Minoan skulls; often they have black hair. P.
links them and parts of the Rizitika people
with old Aegean populations, Thasos, and
the Caucasus. The wide-headed, long-
faced and narrow-nosed central people of
Archanes (contrast Pompia to the south on
the Mesogeion) P. links with later Minoans. The short- and small-headed people
of Siteia near the eastern extremity of
Crete, with their linear and rather rectangular faces (not unlike Cypriotes in
fact) and somewhat lighter pigmentation
P. links with Tsakones of the Peloponnese
and also with western Anatolians. Yet he
labels Herakleion as the area always attractive to migrants, external and internal.
We need clarification on some points.
Although the shorter-headed groups consistently show higher frequencies of flattened occiput (which P. not quite correctly
calls platyinion) than do groups with cephalic index under 78 P. claims no influence from swaddling plus direct use of a
wooden cradle for infants since the frequency of platyinion varies from 4% to
22% whereas “in almost all Crete they
apply the same form of swaddling and
the same design for the cradle.” He goes
on to say that head-binding is normal in
all of Crete and Greece and has been for
millennia, with traces apparent on bregma and occiput of skulls from Neolithic
times onward, but not enough to affect
measurements. I must note here that I
have hardly ever seen artificial deformation in prehistoric or ancient Greek skulls
(except for Classical Thracians) in very
striking contrast to Neolithic and Bronze
Age Cyprus where three quite different
modes of deforming occur, apparently according to family preference. Another point
of confusion is in figure 1 listing the T between head length and head breadth in 21
groups as ranging from 0.72 to -0.98;
clearly the eight extreme values are impossible and according to the tables of
measurements the real range is from 0.31
among “Mixed Cretans” and 0.30 among
“good series” of Kallikratis to -0.23 in
Rethymno - the higher values in Figure
1 are 0.072 or -0.098, etc., with slipped
decimal points; this would not matter if
P. did not use high correlation as a sign
of homogeneity. He notes varying degrees
of local homogeneity and considerable intervillage variation linked with endogamy
but uses no method of rating exogamy or
endogamy or mixture.
Dealing with more or less inherited details Poulianos uses data of Valaoras to
show from east to west a decrease of
blood type 0 and increase of B and A, and
irregular differences in frequency of suppression of MS and 12 (he says agenesis
but could not use X-rays). Differences in
shovel incisor frequency fit regionally other
slight mongoloid traits (facial?). There are
no other data on teeth, either genetic or
The second part of the book, pp. 233286, outlines evidence from paleoanthropology, archeology and history, linguistics,
and ethnography for the origins and place
of the Cretans. So far there is no evidence
for Paleolithic occupation, though with
Petralona (in Chalcidice, Macedonia) and
other mainland and Anatolian caves as
example P. feels that more of the 1,450
Cretan caves should be searched and that
certainly Mesolithic colonists by boat are
to be expected. The half dozen unpublished
Neolithic skulls, stated linear and delicate,
anticipate Minoan and later populations.
The 250 Minoan skulls, largely from excavations by J. Sakellarakis at Archanes, do
include variants such as rounder skulls in
N. E. Crete (as Duckworth showed over
60 years ago) but with Middle Minoan
homogeneity and similarity to modern
Icarian skulls. Later there is mixture and
minor changes in the Early Iron Age
though with no shortheadedness which was
supposed to go with Dorian intrusion
(falsely in P’s opinion and here I agree
with him). P. labels the Sphakiotes proDoric. The Minoan language carried in
linear A script P. links only tentatively
with the well-known pre-Indo-European
words in -ss, -nth-, etc., or with Anatolian
I-E dialects or with Pelasgian (I-E also) or
with some form of Greek! He firmly rejects
Cyrus Gordon’s idea that Minoan is a
Semitic language although he thinks that
Minoan is the direct source for the
“phoenician” alphabet. Historically P.
backs the idea out of Evans that Minoans ruled the whole Aegean - e.g., Middle
Bronze Age Greeks lacked the swords and
the harbors to mount warlike expeditions
(?). The Aegean Type and Greek language
have no necessary connection. On the other hand the ceramic and weaving and
farming aspects of the economy show almost full prehistoric to modern identity
and he quotes folklore experts on the embroidered petsa, the lyre, and the manti-
nades and even the Minoan male belt yet
ignores the one-piece wood plow, the dogen (douyenni or threshing sled) and other
practical farm equipment which really
does show some continuity.
This hurried last section lacks the necessary hard data. There are no skull measurements or observations at all and the
only skull photographs are of excavation
finds or of a single “microcephal” from
Bronze Age Kato Zakro (said to result
from isolation and inbreeding) or of unspecified “surgery” which in figure 16
looks like simply overdeveloped temporal
lines. P. mentions Minoan trepanations,
said to be for headache like those which
modern shepherds do on sheep. The claims
of homogeneity and isolation are amazing.
What is the evidence for them? Sites on
the mainland and Western Anatolia in the
Bronze Age show Sigma Ratios above 100
and have visibly heterogeneous samples. Is
Crete different at a time of sea-trading? I
mention this point to stress the gap between statements and data in this sketchy
second part. In its present form it is irrelevant and weakens the book.
There are many signs that Poulianos
directs this book to the educated Greek and
the students from high-school on: he writes
in the most slangy (almost hip) language
which is often vivid but surprising (andros becomes antras, eis to becomes sto,
etc.); there are a number of elementary
discussions of race and of evolution; he
uses the concept of “type”; he expects intimate knowledge of Cretan geography
without giving a map of names. Does he
plan the whole as a trial balloon before
translating into English or a more widely
read language for anthropologists? I look
forward to this and recommend care, clarity, and a bibliography.
Smithsonian Institution
Hertzberg, H. T. E., E. Churchill, C. W. Dupertuis,
R. M. White a n d A. Damon 1963 An anthropometric survey of Turkey, Greece, and Italy.
Pergamon Press, London.
LAPPS.Compiled by Thord Lewin. 104 pp., tables,
figures, bibliographies. Suomen Hammaslaakariseuran Toimituksia (Proceedings of the Finnish Dental Society),
vol. 67, suppl. 1, 1971. $10.00 (paper).
It seems important to begin with an attempt at defining what kind of publication
is under review. For the present case, the
title can be taken most seriously, that is,
this work surely represents an introduction. Indeed, the monograph consists of a
compilation of introductory reports which
are based upon literature surveys and reconstructed church records. The reports
are arranged into chapters but in actuality
there are seven separate articles authored
by various researchers. For each article,
however, the first cited or sole author is
the compiler of the monograph.
Four of the review articles cover Lapps
with respect to their history, human biology, anthropometry and odontology. The
remaining three reports present results
of formal and some not so standard analyses of demographic trends, child mortality
rates and genealogical patterns found in
Lapp populations. Much of these analyzed
data were extracted from a church register
of vital statistics the original of which had
been destroyed by fire and was later reassembled by way of interviews and verified
for accuracy. All of the articles concentrate on those Lapp populations who inhabited northern Finland over the past
century or so. These are referred to as the
Skolts. Other Lapps from throughout Scandinavia and Russia, and also non-Lappish
groups, are brought in for comparison or
for background information.
Secondly, it seems equally important to
establish a raison d’etre for the monograph. The authors accomplish this task
by stating that, “It has here been our
aim to create a basis of reference for coming publications that will be dealing with
the Skolts’ somatometry with respect to,
inter alia, genetic conditions, nutrition
and secular changes in growth (p. 93).
Even though the statement pertains directly to the article on Skolt anthropometry,
it applies equally well to the other articles. They were written with the express
purpose of providing “reference bases” for
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