Credit: Ohio State University Archives
Physical anthropologist William Montague Cobb made significant contributions to the debate on racea recent idea created by western Europeans following exploration across the world to account for... More
and athletics. He used anthropometric measurements to establish that race was insignificant to athletic achievement. He compared the calf muscles of Jesse Owens (pictured at left), celebrated for his accomplishments in track and field in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to other European athletes. His findings indicated that training, rather than specific “racial traits,” accounted for athletic success.
In the late nineteenth century, John Wesley Powell led the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, which dominated the field of anthropologyThe study of humans and their cultures, both past and present. The field of anthropology... More in the U.S. at the time. Powell and his curator for ethnology, Otis T. Mason, v proponents of Lewis Morgan’s theory of cultural evolution-the idea that the social progress of a cultureThe full range of shared, learned, patterned behaviors, values, meanings, beliefs, ways of perceiving, systems... More is inextricably linked to technological progress. Franz Boas, often considered the father of American anthropology, opposed Morgan’s theory and introduced new ideas about the evolutionthe transformation of a species of organic life over long periods of time (macroevolution) or... More of cultures, as well as organization and classificationThe ordering of items into groups on the basis of shared attributes. Classifications are cultural... More of artifacts.