- historical event:
- Dragutin was born with the German surname Kramberger, and only Croatized his surname to Gorjanović at the age of 26. During his childhood, he became interested in the fossils of fish and plants that one could find in the Zagreb region, and retained this fascination through the rest of his life.
Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger, a well-known Croatian paleontologist, was born in Zagreb in 1856. His birth name was Karl, but he Croatized it to Gorjanović at the age of 26. His first name Karl (Charles) is also considered cognate to the Croatian Dragutin.
The Kramberger family originated from Germany, but spread across Austria and Hungary after 1648. Dragutin’s father hailed from Austrian Styria, and later moved to Zagreb. A skilled shoemaker and innkeeper, he married a Croatian woman, Terezija Dušek. Dragutin was therefore of mixed Croatian-German heritage.
During his childhood, he became interested in the fossils of fish and plants that one could find in the Zagreb region (long ago, there was actually a sea on this region), and retained this fascination through the rest of his life.
Dragutin achieved his greatest success in 1899, when he discovered a very rich Neanderthal site near the town of Krapina, Croatia. He received many awards for his work, which helped prove the theory of the evolution of the human species. In addition, he developed a technique that allows the dating of human remains with the help of the fluorine found in bones.
Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger died in Zagreb, aged 80.