Weidenreich, Franz

Weidenreich, Franz

(vī`dĕnrīkh), 1873–1948, German anatomist and physical anthropologist. He was educated at the universities of Munich, Kiel, Berlin, and Strasbourg. In 1921 he became professor of anatomy at the Univ. of Heidelberg; his work there stimulated his interest in anthropology and laid the groundwork for his later achievements in that field. Weidenreich was (1928–35) professor of anthropology at the Univ. of Frankfurt and worked (1935) on the excavation and study of Sinanthropus fossils from caves near Beijing (Peking), China. Later he was associated with the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. He is known for his descriptions of Peking man (Homo erectusHomo erectus
, extinct hominin living between 1.6 million and 250,000 years ago. Homo erectus is thought to have evolved in Africa from H. habilis, the first member of the genus Homo. African forms of H.
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; described by Weidenreich as Sinanthropus pekinensis) in 1943 and of Solo man (H. erectus soloensis) in 1948. His most famous work, The Skull of Sinanthropus Pekinensis, was published by the Geological Survey of China in 1943.

Weidenreich, Franz

 

Born June 7, 1873, in Edenkoben, in the Palatinate; died July 11, 1948, in New York. German anthropologist. When fascism came to power he emigrated from Germany and worked in China and the USA. Weidenreich is the author of the so-called theory of polycentrism, according to which the present human races derived from different species or even genera of ancient man that developed independently in different parts of the world. This conception has been thoroughly criticized in the works of Soviet anthropologists.

REFERENCES

Roginskii, Ia. Ia. Teorii monotsentrizma i politsentrizma v problème proiskhozhdeniia sovremennogo cheloveka. Moscow, 1949.
Levin, M. G. “Novaia teoriia antropogeneza F. Weidenreikha.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1946, no. 1.

Weidenreich, Franz

(1873–1948) physical anthropologist; born in Edenkoben, Germany. He received his M.D. from the University of Strassburg (1899), then served at several German universities until Nazi anti-Semitism forced him to emigrate to the U.S.A. The University of Chicago sent him to China (1934–41), where his excavations of the fossil Peking (Beijing) Man resulted in a series of definitive monographs. Returning to the U.S.A., Weidenreich continued his work at the American Museum of Natural History.
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