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Typology in anthropology is the division of the human species by races. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, anthropologists used a typological model to divide people from different ethnic regions into races, (e.g. the Negroid race, the Caucasoid race, the Mongoloid race, the Australoid race, and the Capoid race which was the racial classification system as defined in 1962 by Carleton S. Coon)[1]. This approach focused on traits that are readily observable from a distance such as head shape, skin color, hair form, body build, and stature.

The typological model was built on the assumption that humans can be assigned to a race based on similar physical traits. However, author Dennis O'Neil says the typological model in anthropology is now thoroughly discredited.[2] Current mainstream thinking is that the morphological traits are due to simple variations in specific regions, and are the effect of climatic selective pressures.[2] Those who claim typological models are scientific are criticized as anecdotal and unsupported by credible scientific evidence.[3] This debate is covered in more detail in the article on race.

See also


  • Brown, Ryan A and Armelagos, George, "Apportionment of Racial Diversity: A Review" Evolutionary Anthropology 10:34–40 2001 [4]


  1. ^ Coon, Carleton S. The Origin of Races (1962)
  2. ^ O'Neil, Dennis. Palomar College. "Biological Anthropology Terms." 2006. May 13, 2007. [1]
  1. ^ Modern Human Variation: Models of Classification [5]


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