physical anthropologist,

active in Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Europe, and Northeast Africa and prolific writer and editor. Field was born in Chicago and received his B.A. (1925) and D.Sc. (1937) from Oxford University. His appointments in anthropology include the Field Museum, Chicago (1926–1941); United States Navy, Washington, D.C. (1941–1945); Peabody Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1950–1986); and the University of Miami, Florida (1966–1986). He directed the Field Research Projects, Coconut Grove, Florida (1963–1986), issuing an eclectic series of reports begun In 1953 at the University of Miami Press. The series focused on the anthropology, archaeology, and natural history of Southwest Asia.

Under his curatorship at the Field Museum, the influential Halls of Prehistoric Mankind and of the Races of Mankind were created In 1933. The cooperative efforts involved were described in Field's The Track of Man: Adventures of an Anthropologist (New York, 1953). The great range of modern humans throughout the world was represented in the exhibition by bronze figures sculpted from life by Malvina Hoffman.

Expeditions to Iraq and Iran provided material for Field's memoir on the Arabs of central Iraq (Field, 1935), volumes on these peoples (Field, 1939; 1952), and many short articles. An expedition to Northeast Africa yielded anthropological contributions on the Sudan and Egypt (Field, 1949; 1952). Field reviewed and interpreted anthropological research reported from eleven countries in Southwest Asia (Field, 1956; 1961). His 1925–1950 survey work in Jordan, Arabia, and Iraq was published In 1960 (Field, 1960). Expeditions to India and Pakistan widened his views on this link in human history (Field, 1970). Field is altogether credited with more than six hundred publications.

As a naval officer and anthropological adviser to U.S. presidents Roosevelt and Truman (1941–1945), Field and his coworkers reviewed world literature on patterns of migration and settlement (Field, 1969). His bibliographies of Southwest Asia (Field, 1953–1961) remain central for students and advanced researchers studying the region.


  • Field, Henry. Arabs of Central Iraq: Their History, Ethnology, and Physical Characteristics with Introduction by Sir Arthur Keith; Field Museum–Oxford University Joint Expedition to Mesopotamia. Field Museum of Natural History, Anthropology Memoirs, vol. 4. Chicago, 1935. Pioneering presentation containing more than a thousand photographs and anthropometric data on modern Arabs of the Kish area. The text is expanded in the 1939 report (below) and supplemented by Field with articles In 1937, 1940, 1943, 1950–1952, and 1955.
  • Field, Henry. Contributions to the Anthropology of Iraq. 2 vols. Field Museum of Natural History, Anthropological Series, vol. 29. 1–2. Chicago, 1939. Extends early work at Kish, with discussions of land, people, and physical anthropology of racial groups.
  • Field, Henry. The Northern Sudan. University of California, African Expedition Scientific Paper, no. 1. Berkeley, 1949. Basic early anthropological data.
  • Field, Henry. The Anthropology of Iraq. 3 vols. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 46. 1–3. Cambridge, Mass., 1951–1952. Kurds and other groups.
  • Field, Henry. Contributions to the Anthropology of the Faiyum, Sinai, Sudan, and Kenya. Berkeley, 1952. Early observations and interpretations, some of seldom-studied groups.
  • Field, Henry. Bibliography of Southwestern Asia. 7 vols. Coral Gables, Fla., 1953–1961. Indispensable source of selected titles in anthropology, anthropogeography, and natural history from Anatolia to the Arabian Sea, from the Nile River to the Indus Valley. Access is facilitated by subject indices released by Field and others. See as well the eight supplements compiled by Field and E. M. Laird (Coconut Grove, Fla., 1968–1973).
  • Field, Henry. Ancient and Modern Man in Southwestern Asia. 2 vols. Coral Gables, Fla., 1956–1961. Original observations and sources from the literature, with extensive anthropometric data, maps, and graphs. Twenty-nine plates show Paleolithic and Neolithic implements from Saudi Arabia.
  • Field, Henry, et al. North Arabian Desert Archaeological Survey, 1925–50. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 45.2. Cambridge, Mass., 1960.
  • Field, Henry. “M” Project for F.D.R.: Studies on Migration and Settlement. Coconut Grove, Fla., 1969. Definitive summary of 665 reports, compiled In 1943–1945 at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., on world population, refugees, migration, and settlement, that are essential for understanding these historic problems.
  • Field, Henry. Contributions to the Physical Anthropology of the Peoples of India. Coconut Grove, Fla., 1970. Physical observations interpreted in support of the author's late views on the subcontinent's role in the historical distributions of human populations.

William C. Overstreet