Thursday, March 6, 2014

Your Daily Giant 1/15/2013

An important read if you have an interest in the cover-up of America's pre-colonial past and the shockingly racist beginnings of the field of Anthropology in our country. From the Berkeley Daily Gazette March 12th 1934 we find the bold pronouncement from the Smithsonian's head of Anthropology Alex Hrdlicka that "Giants Are No More." Hrdlicka was named the first Director of Anthropology for the Smithsonian Institution in 1910. There were no denials of giant skeleton finds before his tenure. Although there were already many giant accounts in the Smithsonian's own Ethnology Reports and other Scientific Journals of the time and the Smithsonian reported many finds in the search for the proof of a giant race theory, we are told it was basically all a series of mistakes. In the article above Hrdlicka states,
"The finder makes a hurried comparison of the length of the fossil thigh bone with his own, and from this calculates the size of this hypothetical ancient giant. The person unfamiliar with human anatomy does not know that the upper joint of the femur is several inches higher than would appear from superficial examination of the living body." Essentially we are being told that a vast number of professionals through decades of time did not correctly understand human anatomy. Even if this ludicrous theory were somehow true it does nothing to address the anatomic anomalies such as double rows of teeth, massive jawbones and skulls sometimes twice as large as normal or the landslide of 9, 10 and 11 foot giant skeleton accounts. Hrdlicka had a couple of other things to say as well such as the following, printed in the Science News letter v13 #353 1928 pg.21.
“the greatest danger before the American people today is the blending of the Negro tenth of the population into the superior blood of the white race."

Hrdlicka was appointed to the "Committee on the Negro" along with Earnest Hooton and fellow pre-Nazi eugenist Charles Davenport, in 1927 their committee endorsed a comparison of African babies with young apes, in 1937 Hrdlicka also published findings in his American Journal of Physical Anthropology to “prove that the negro race is phylogenetically a closer approach to primitive man than the white race.
Through cranial measurement Hrdlicka concluded that Native Americans along with African Americans were inferior to the white race. As geologist Kirk Bryan told his students during the reign of Hrdrickla "if you ever find evidence of human life in a context which is ancient, bury it carefully but do not forget about it."(from The First American: A study of North American Archaeology 1971.). One of the reasons Hrdlicka covered up or marginalized giant skeletal finds of Native Americans is because it flew in the face of the field of Eugenics, which correlated cranial size with intelligence. Massive skulls certainly were not welcome additions to the debate.
Hrdlicka also zealously believed there was no one inhabiting the U.S. before 2000 B.C. and violently opposed anyone who questioned this, basically being forced kicking and screaming to finally accept the Folsom finds from New Mexico site. The Folsom site was excavated in 1926 and showed 23 bison had been killed using distinctive points called "Folsom points" between 8000 and 9000 B.C. He called Louis Leaky a heretic to his face. He also took the same approach to giant skeletal finds and inconvenient artifacts found in Native American burial mounds. He clashed with Warren K. Morehead, the "Dean of American Archaeology", who unearthed giant skeletons in Illinois, Penn. and Conn. and helped to ruin his career. Morehead's later writings showed he was becoming increasingly concerned about the plight of Native Americans. Hrdlicka was not alone with his pre-Nazi eugenist and outwardly racist views at the Smithsonian, surrounding himself with many like minded colleagues and establishing a good ole boy network at the "Vatican of Science".
It is one thing to realize there have always been racists throughout history but quite distinctly another matter when someone has the power to shape and censor an entire field for decades and decades of time. Obviously, Anthropologists should not be tainted personally by this unfortunate dynamic but hopefully can revaluate evidence that has been marginalized or excluded from their field. A dark and disturbing beginning to the field of Anthropology in the U.S. I would like to thank author Ross Hamilton who has brought much of this information to light with an enormous amount of painstaking and impeccable research, in his book "A Tradition of Giants".

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