On the background to Karin Mark’s monograph "Finno-Ugric Peoples Physical Anthropology" (2014)


  • Jaan Kasmel Centre for Physical Anthropology, University of Tartu, Tartu
  • Tiiu Kasmel Centre for Physical Anthropology, University of Tartu, Tartu




Juhan Aul, Karl Ernst von Baer, Karin Mark, Physical Anthropology of Finno-Ugric Peoples, Leiu Heapost


This article describes how Karin Mark’s (1922–1999) monograph Physical Anthropology of Finno-Ugric Peoples, a bulky and beautifully designed book, (Tallinn: Academy of Sciences Press and Institute of History, Tallinn University, 2014, 542 pp.), reached publication.

For better understanding of the background, short summaries are given of the research activities of three major Estonian anthropologists – Prof. Juhan Aul, Karin Mark and Leiu Heapost.

When analysing the materials collected from 1955–1976 and preparing her life’s work for print as Origin of Finno-Ugric Peoples According to Anthropological Data, K. Mark passed away, and the book was unfinished. Only the unique collections of materials and manuscripts based on their analysis remained.

Based on these, Leiu Heapost began to compile, enlarge and edit K. Mark’s monograph that by today has been published under the new title. Why did L. Heapost decide to do it, what were her aims, by which principles was she guided, where did she consider it necessary to make corrections and additions, etc.? Answers to all of this can be found in the materials L. Heapost included in the monograph compiled by her.

It is certain that the unique materials collected by K. Mark and published 15 years after her death open new prospects for researchers for further indepth studies of the theme.


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