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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Human origins, race typology and the other Raymond Dart
Author:Dubow, SaulISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:human evolution
biographies (form)
Anthropology and Archaeology
About person:Raymond Arthur Dart (1893-1988)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020189608707838
Abstract:Raymond Dart is one of the best-known figures in the early development of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is most famous for his claim in 1925 that the newly discovered Taung fossil skull (which he termed 'Australopithecus') represented a crucial 'missing link' in the evolution of modern humankind. Dart's view was highly contested at the time and some twenty-five years were to pass before the significance of 'Australopithecus' gained general scientific acceptance. This article, focusing on Dart's interwar work, raises questions about his status as scientific hero. It considers the wider intellectual context of Dart's work, in particular the race typology model which he embraced as well as his infatuation with cultural diffusionism. The paper concludes by suggesting that Dart contributed to the development of scientific racism in South Africa and that his ideas both reflected and reinforced assumptions of white racial superiority. Notes, ref., sum.