Inventing Homo gardarensis: Prestige, Pressure and Human Evolution in Interwar Scandinavia

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  • Peter C. Kjærgaard, Denmark
In the 1920s there were still very few fossil human remains to support an evolutionary explanation of human origins. Nonetheless, evolution as an explanatory framework was widely accepted. This led to a search for ancestors in several continents with fierce international competition. With so little fossil evidence available and the idea of a Missing Link as a crucial piece of evidence in human evolution still intact, many actors participated in the scientific race to identify the human ancestor. The curious case of Homo gardarensis serves as an example of how personal ambitions and national pride were deeply interconnected as scientific concerns were sometimes slighted in interwar palaeoanthropology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience in Context
Pages (from-to)359-383
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2014

    Research areas

  • Human evolution, Scandinavia, Prehistory, Palaeoanthropology, Archaeology, Viking history, National identity

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