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Caucasoids or more correctly Caucasians refers to a major race that are native to Europe and a wider geographical area. This area corresponds to major geographic barriers that made contacts and genetic exchange between different groups difficult: Oceans, the Himalayas and Urals mountain ranges, and deserts.


The terms derive from the Caucasus Mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The term "Caucasians" was introduced in 1795 (in Latin) by the German anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach he having concluded that Europeans' ancestral origins lay in this region.[1]

To most people across the world, and especially in the United States, the term Caucasians refers exclusively to Europeans or White Americans. In Russia and nearby, however, Caucasian usually refers exclusively to people who are from the Caucasus region itself, or speak those Caucasian languages. In traditional anthropological literature, the Caucasians are often contrasted with other groups such as Negroids and Mongoloids and Asians.


The term Caucasian originated as one of the racial categories recognized by 19th century craniology and is derived from the region of the Caucasus mountains.[2] The concept of a "Caucasian race" or Varietas Caucasia was first proposed under those names by the German scientist and classical anthropologist, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840).[3] His studies based the classification of the Caucasian race primarily on skull features, which Blumenbach claimed were optimized by the Caucasian Peoples.[4] Blumenbach writes:

Caucasian variety - I have taken the name of this variety from Mount Caucasus, both because its neighborhood, and especially its southern slope, produces the most beautiful race of men, I mean the Georgian; and because all physiological reasons converge to this, that in that region, if anywhere, it seems we ought with the greatest probability to place the autochthones (birth place) of mankind.[5]

The Caucasian race has a long history in anthropology. 19th century anthropologists Thomas Huxley considered India to be completely not Caucasian. Edgar Thurston considered India to be largely a Dravidian and Aryan mixture with the former not being Caucasian, but 20th century anthropologist Carleton S. Coon classified Dravidians as Caucasian and considered India to be largely Caucasian. New studies have shown that Dravidians have an australoid racial basis and a caucasoid influence by the mixture with Aryans.

Physical characteristics

The term "Caucasoid race" is used in physical anthropology to refer to people of a certain range of anthropometric measurements [6]. The 2007 Encyclopedia Britannica characterizes the Caucasoid race as having light skin color, biochemical similarities and a variability in hair and eye colors.[7] University of College Cork chair of anatomy and physiology, M. A. MacConaill,[8] describes Caucasoids as being "native to Europe... [and having] light skin and eyes, narrow noses, and thin lips. Their hair is usually straight or wavy".[9] Caucasoids are said to have the lowest degree of projection of the alveolar bones which contain the teeth, a notable size prominence of the cranium and forehead region, and a projection of the midfacial region.

Further reading

  • Ripley, PhD., Professor William Z., The Races of Europe, London, 1899.
  • Dominian, Leon, The Frontiers of Language and Nationality in Europe, Holt & Co., New York, 1917.
  • Pearson, PhD (Anthropology), Roger, Heredity and Humanity, Scott-Townsend Pubs., Washington D.C., 1996, ISBN: 1-878365-15-5
  • Wade, Nicholas, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, Penguin, New \York, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-59420-446-3.


  1. Caucasian
  2. University of Pennsylvania [1]
  3. University of Pennsylvania [2]
  4. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, The anthropological treatises of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, translated by Thomas Bendyshe. 1865. November 2, 2006. [3]
  5. Blumenbach , De generis humani varietate nativa (3rd ed. 1795), trans. Bendyshe (1865). Quoted e.g. in Arthur Keith, Blumenbach's Centenary, Man, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (1940).
  6. Reinhard, K.J., & Hastings, D. (Annual 2003) Learning from the ancestors: the value of skeletal study.(study of ancestors of Omaha Tribe of Nebraska). In American Journal of Physical Anthropology, p177(1).
  7. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. "Europe the people." 2007. August 23, 2007.[4]
  8. University of College Cork. Department of Anatomy. 2007. September 5, 2007. [5]
  9. M. A. MacConaill. The Last Two Million Years: Reader's Digest History of Man. Readers Digest. 1981. ISBN 0895770180