S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Senyurek, Professor Muzaffer Suleyman (palaeoanthropology)

Born: 1915, Izmir, Turkey.
Died: 1961, Ankara, Turkey.

Muzaffer Sueleyman Senyuerek was one of the most prominent Turkish physical anthropologists. He studied under the famous American anthropologist Earnest Hooton at Harvard University, where he received his PhD in 1939. Upon his return to Turkey in 1940 he was appointed as a Docent (later Professor) in the Faculty of Languages, History and Geography in Ankara. He died in an airplane crash near Ankara at the peak of his career.

Senyuerek was known internationally as one of the foremost experts on the early Anatolians. One of his main fields of interest was palaeoanthropology, primarily dental analysis of fossil hominids, and he was known as a firm proponent of the multidisciplinary approach in palaeoanthropology. His contribution to South African science lies in his analysis of the dentition of australopithecines, published as "The dentition of Plesianthropus and Paranthropus" in Annals of the Transvaal Museum(1941, Vol. 20, pp. 203-302). He was one of the first scientists to support the views of Raymond Dart* and Robert Broom*, later generally accepted, regarding the place of australopithecines in human evolutionary history.

List of sources:
Annals of the Transvaal Museum, 1941, Vol. 20, Part 3, paper by Senyuerek.

Erdentug, A. Senuerek, Muzaffer Sueleyman (1915-1961). In F. Spencer (Ed.), History of physical anthropology: An encyclopaedia (pp. 921-922). New York: Garland, 1997.

Compiled by: G. Strkalj