The Races of Europe (Coon book)

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The Races of Europe
AuthorCarleton S. Coon
CountryUnited States
GenrePhysical anthropology
Published1939 (Macmillan)
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Preceded byThe Races of Europe (Ripley) 

The Races of Europe is a popular work of physical anthropology by Carleton S. Coon. It was first published in 1939 by Macmillan.


In 1933, the Harvard anthropologist Carleton S. Coon was invited to write a new edition of William Z. Ripley's 1899 The Races of Europe, which Coon dedicated to Ripley.

Coon's entirely rewritten version of the book was published in 1939. At the time, he explicitly avoided the discussion of either blood groups or race and intelligence, the latter of which he claimed to know "next to nothing about."[1]

The conclusions from the book entail the following:

  1. The Caucasoid race is of dual origin consisting of Upper Paleolithic (mixture of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals) types and Mediterranean (purely Homo sapiens) types.
  2. The Upper Paleolithic peoples are the truly indigenous peoples of Europe.
  3. Mediterraneans invaded Europe in large numbers during the Neolithic and settled there.
  4. The racial situation in Europe today may be explained as a mixture of Upper Paleolithic survivors and Mediterraneans.
  5. When reduced Upper Paleolithic survivors and Mediterraneans mix a process of "dinaricization" occurs which produces a hybrid with non-intermediate features, epitomized by the Dinaric race.
  6. The Caucasoid race extends well beyond Europe into the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.[2]
  7. "The Nordic race in the strict sense is merely a pigment phase of the Mediterranean",[3] created by the combination of Corded and Danubian elements.

In The Races of Europe, Coon classified Caucasoids into racial sub-groups named after regions or archaeological sites, expanding the tripartite system Mediterranean-Alpine-Nordic of Ripley (1899) by types such as Brünn, Borreby, Ladogan, East Baltic, Neo-Danubian, Lappish, Atlanto-Mediterranean, Iranid, Hallstatt, Keltic, Tronder, Dinaric, Noric and Armenoid.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carleton S. Coon, The Origin of Races (New York: Knopf, 1962), pp. vii and ix.
  2. ^ Carleton S. Coon, "The Races of Europe". Archived from the original on April 15, 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-13.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), Chapter XI, section 1.
  3. ^ Coon, Carleton Stevens (1975). The races of Europe. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-8371-6328-5.

External links[edit]