Hrdlicka, Ales

Hrdlička, Aleš

Hrdlička, Aleš (äˈlĕsh hûrdˈlĭchkä), 1869–1943, American anthropologist, b. Humpolec (now in Czech Republic). He received his medical education in the United States. In 1903 he began to organize the division of physical anthropology at the U.S. National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington and was its curator from 1910 to 1942. Hrdlička founded the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (1918), which he edited until his death, and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (1929). From 1898 to 1925 he carried out anthropological investigations throughout Europe and the Americas as well as in East Asia, Australia, Egypt, and South Africa. In 1926–37 he led expeditions to Alaska. His work on anthropometry, early man, and human evolution and his research on the supposed migration tracks of the Native American in Siberia and Alaska won him an international reputation. His books include Physical Anthropology (1919), Anthropometry (1920), Old Americans (1925), and Alaska Diary, 1926–1931 (1943).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hrdlička, Aleš


Born Mar. 29, 1869, in Humpolec, Bohemia; died Sept. 5, 1943, in Washington, D.C. American anthropologist of Czech extraction.

From 1903, Hrdlička served as assistant curator of the division of physical anthropology of the National Museum in Washington, D.C.; he was curator of the division from 1910 through 1942. He founded the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (1918). Hrdlička’s major writings dealt with the origin and evolution of man and the original settlement of the American continent. He spent many years doing field studies of various Indian tribes in North and South America, as well as of the inhabitants of the Aleutian and Komandorskie islands, which confirmed the theory that North America was first settled by Asiatic peoples. According to another theory of Hrdlička’s, which he set forth in 1927, Neanderthal man represents a stage in the evolution of mankind.


Early Man in South America. Washington, D.C. 1912.
The Neanderthal Phase of Man. London [1927].
Skeletal Remains of Early Man. Washington, D.C. 1930.


Levin, M. G. “A. Grdlichka (Zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’).” Kratkie soobshcheniia In-ta etnografii, 1946, issue 1.
“100 let so dnia rozhdeniia A. Grdlichki.” Voprosy antropologii, 1969, issue 33, pp. 3–15.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.