Morgan, Lewis Henry

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A founder of American anthropology (scientific anthropology), known especially for establishing the study of kinship systems and for his comprehensive theory of social evolution. He put forth the scheme of development as being savagery to barbarism to civilization. His work directly affected the application of the theory of evolution to the discipline of anthropology. Morgan's theory of cultural evolution was published in "Ancient Society or Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization" (1877). This was the first major scientific account of the origin and evolution of civilization with illustrations of developmental stages drawn from various cultures.