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San Gerónimo de La Habana College sponsors a season of Conferences
"Manuel Fermín Rivero de la Calle joins Juan Luis Epifanio Montané Dardé and Fernando Ortiz Fernández in the famous and eternal pedestal that some day will lift the Cuban anthropology to its teachers", considered Armando Rangel Rivero PhD when opening the season of conferences titled Antropología de la Antropología (Anthropology of the Anthropology) sponsored by the San Gerónimo de La Habana University College in honour to the 280 anniversary of the foundation of the first Cuban university.

"Historia de la antropología en Cuba: la obra de Manuel Rivero de la Calle" (The history of the Anthropology in Cuba: the work of Manuel Rivero de la Calle) was the title of the presentation where it was offered an idea of the development of that discipline in the country from its origins. In this conference was taken as a reference the Museum of Natural History of Paris, where Armand Quatrefages de Bréau (1810-1892) founded in 1855 the first department of anthropology.

Armando Rangel explained that according to Luis Montané, an essential figure in the development of this discipline - both in Cuba as in France - Henry Dumont (1824-1878) opened in Cuba the anthropology institute with the publication, in 1865, of General Researches about diseases of the races that do not have the yellow Fever and Anthropology and Pathology Studies in races of African origins in Cuba, 1874.

Important findings, such as the axe of Cueva Ponce and the skull found at El Purial, Sancti Spíritus - that started a debate about the presence of the autochthonous man in Cuba: the Homo cubensis - were quoted by the specialist, who indicated that at the Science Congress, to be held from the 22nd up to the 24th of February at the Alejandro de Humboldt House, will be proposed, due to its importance for the development of the anthropology and palaeontology in Cuba, to declare El Purial as a National Monument.

He said that it was Arístides Estéfano Mestre Hevia (1858-1952) who was the link between Montané and Rivero de la Calle, since he left the first anthropology books published in the country. Rivero de la Calle drank from his predecessors while teaching, first at the School of Arts and Trades of Trinidad and later at the Institute of Second Education of Santa Clara, the Central University of Las Villas and University of Havana. He carried out important expeditions and took part in countless Cuban and international scientific meetings. He also was the director of the Montané Anthropological Museum for about a decade. Among his most important researches it is the one he carried out between 1960 and 1970 at the Yateras region.

Armando Rangel recall the several conferences offered by Rivero de la Calle in Old Havana, a Patrimony of Mankind, his participation in the archaeological excavation of the historic centre and his work as adviser of the Archaeology office of the Office of the Historian of the City.

The season of conferences Antropología de la Antropología, sponsored by the San Gerónimo de La Habana University College will be held until April, when it is celebrated the 83 anniversary of the birth date of Manuel Rivero de la Calle PhD, one of the most important Cuban physic anthropologists of the XX century.


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