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upon the inferior surface of the flints in this bed. This crust is seen upon all the genuine hatchets at Saint Acheul, and is absent in the spurious hatchets fabricated by the miners. Some few of the genuine hatchets have, moreover, a characteristic peculiarity, that upon the surface, not covered by a calcareous deposit, dendritic impressions are seen, attesting the high, the great antiquity of the section.
Thus, continues M. Pouchet, the bed called diluvium contains, at Amiens, Abbeville, and in other spots of the basin of the Somme, objects worked by the hand of man, at a period long anterior to that usually assigned to man's apparition upon the earth. It has been pretended that the bed was not a real diluvium, but must have been formed since the commencement of the actual period. The fact, however, that in the same bed containing the hatchets, bones and teeth of the elephant, etc., have been found, proves, at any rate, that man inhabited the north of France simultaneously with the elephant. No human bones, it is true, have as yet been found. The remains of elephants have been, on account of their large dimensions, collected by the miners, while they carelessly cast aside the smaller bones. It is not known whether the diluvium of Saint Acheul does not contain human bones. M. Pouchet is convinced they will yet be found. This would complete the evidence, but is not absolutely requisite, as the existence of man is sufficiently attested by his works.
M. G. St. Hilaire said: I am not going to treat of the question of the “ fossil man," but I believe that the question will soon be answered in the affirmative. There are already a sufficient number of facts which would be considered as conclusive, were the question confined to any other animal. Human bones have certainly been found in such positions, and with such characters, that no one would have thought to deny their being real fossils if they had belonged to the elephant or ox. But as the question related to man, and was an opposition to an idea accredited in science, many have tortured themselves to find sufficient reasons for rejecting them; and various hypotheses, some the most improbable, have to explain the intrusion of human bones in fossiliferous caverns and strata.*
As to the race who fabricated the flints, all opinions are simply the wildest conjectures; some think that the Iberians, who have been supplanted and nearly destroyed by the invading Celts, were the fabricators, whilst others attribute the implements to an extinct primitive race who are supposed to have lived long before the diluvial beds were formed an inferior race, the relics of which, found by Professor Spring, in Belgium, he describes as follows.
• Société d'Anthropologie.
Cranium very small absolutely; very small also when compared with the large development of the jaws; forehead receding, temples flattened, nostrils large, dental arches very voluminous, supporting oblique teeth ; facial angle about 70 degrees. The bones of the limbs short, indicating a stature not quite as high as that of the Lapps. And here it may be mentioned that while crania presenting the African type, have been found in various parts of the Continent, as in Baden; those found on the borders of the Danube and the Rhine, approach the shape of the crania of the Caribs.
The skulls found at Krems, in Austria, and at Lahr, in the valley of the Rhine, in the marl of the old alluvium, are also described as resembling those of the Caribs and Chilenos.
Surprising facts give rise to still more surprising theories ; we are, then, by no means astonished that to explain the presence of these skulls, it has been broadly stated that the skulls belonged to natives of America, who had been brought to Europe and presented to the Spanish and German courts after the Conquest of the New World. How these skulls became mingled with the bones of the extinct animals is, however, left to the imagination.
Dr. Schmerling* found in several caverns on the banks of the Meuse, especially in the caverns of Engis and Engihoul, a quantity of human fossils, associated with the bones of extinct animals, and worked flints. Some of the crania approach the African type. He expresses his conviction that these crania belonged to individuals whose intellectual capacities were little developed. The colour, the degree of decomposition of the human bones is not in any way different from those of other animals; he concludes that the human remains have been buried in these caverns at the same epoch as the remains of extinct animals. What struck him most was the presence of flints of variable size, the forms of which were so regular that it is impossible to confound them with those found usually in the chalk. It cannot but be admitted that these flints were worked by the hand of man and may have served as arrows or knives. He attaches immense importance to the presence of these flints, for even if no human bones had been found in conditions favourable to the opinion that they belong to the antediluvian period the proof would have been furnished by the fashioned flint. He concludes, by expressing his conviction, that time will decide whether he is right to express himself in such a categoric manner.
De Saulcy, the celebrated French antiquary and traveller, has given a description of the remarkable brick-soil of Marsal, in Lorraine,
• Recherches sur les Ossements Fossiles, Liège, 1846.
which was once inhabited by a pre-Celtic race. The valley, de la Seille, appears to have been originally a large marsh, perfectly unfit for human habitation. An unknown tribe of immigrants seem, for some reasons, to have selected this enclosed valley for a settlement. They consequently softened the clay of the surrounding hills, shaped it into lumps, burned them, and sunk millions of these bricks into the marsh, until the soil became sufficiently firm, not merely to bear their habitations, but the present towns-Dieuze, Marsal, etc., which now occupy the locality. This subterraneous work is called the briquetage de Marsal. It has been calculated that 4000 workmen, labouring eight hours daily, would require twenty-five years merely to prepare the bricks for burning. How long it took that primitive people to perform the task, is not easy to say.
Primitive Inhabitants of the North of Europe.—The supposition of pre-Celtic populations of Europe gains daily more ground. Professor Nilsson, of Lund, is of opinion that the southern parts of Sweden were formerly connected with Denmark and Germany. As vegetation increased, graminivorous animals came from the south; these were followed by carnivora, and finally, by man, who was contemporary with the primeval ox (Bos primigenius), and the cave bear. He adduces, as a proof, that they possess in Lund, a skeleton of the primitive ox pierced by an arrow, and another of a bear found under a gravel deposit, along with stone and bone implements, for hunting and fishing.
The skulls of this primitive race are short, and present the brachycephalic form of Retzius. The parietal tubers are prominent, and the occiput broad and flattened. This race seems to have been succeeded by another with a cranium of a more lengthened oval form, and a prominent and narrow occiput (Dolichocephalic of Retzius). The third race, with a longer cranium than that of the second, and marked by greater prominence at the sides, is, by Nilsson, considered to have been of Celtic origin, who have introduced the use of bronze. Finally, there came the true Swea, introducing weapons of iron, from which the present Scandinavians are descended. The settlement of this race occurred sometime in the sixth century.
The skull, which was found in 1857, in the gorge of the Neanderthal, between Düsseldorf and Elberfeld, has excited much attention amongst anatomists. No satisfactory proof of its geological antiquity has been afforded us, as it was only found in a cave about sixty feet above the stream of the Düssel, with a fissure partially filled with mud and stones, extending from the cave to the upper surface of the country, and through which the skeleton was probably washed. The loam in which it was found, on the base of the cave, was five feet thick. The cranium exhibits many remarkable analogies to that of the chimpanzee, and has been stated by Professor Huxley to be the most ape-like skull he ever beheld. According to Professor Huxley, it resembles those of the apes, not only in the prodigious development of the superciliary prominences and the forward extension of the orbits, but still more in the depressed form of the brain-case, in the straightness of “the squamosal suture, and in the complete retreat of the occiput forward and upward, from the superior occipital ridges.” The capacity of the skull was equal to the mean deduced from the comparison of the highest and the lowest human skulls. Professor Huxley, calling attention to the amount of variation between the skulls of the Australian race, warns cautious reasoners not rashly to affirm that the Neanderthal and Engis skulls were necessarily of distinct races. At the same time, he does not affirm that the Engis and Neanderthal skulls belong to the Australian race, or that the ancient skulls belong to one and the same race.
Professor Waitz, of Marburg, has in his latest work,* the following observations in relation to the antiquity of man.
“The exact period of man's appearance on the globe cannot be determined, but that it must be very remote from the adopted historical human period is for many reasons all but certain.”
“Geology may, perhaps, furnish us some data. Thus, the age of the coal formation is by some computed to lie between five and nine millions of years. This calculation by no means appears to be exaggerated. Lyell, on the other hand, has calculated that the formation of the valley of the Niagara, which is much more recent than the diluvial deposits, required at least 35,000 years for its formation.
“Now, though it may be admitted that it has not as yet been proved that the age of man reaches much beyond the diluvial formation, there is still less reason to believe that he appeared later, inasmuch as no general change of the surface of the earth has since taken place, and as all the essential conditions for man's existence were then present. It seems, therefore, that we are justified to assume the age of man to be between the extreme limits of 35,000 and 9,000,000 years.”
“It must be acknowledged, that the Professor, by thus soaring into infinite time far beyond our ken, takes rather the safe side of the question. At any rate, he seems merely to say that there is presumptive geological evidence that humanity is not younger than 35,000 years.
Primitive Inhabitants of the British Isles.—The ancient inhabitants of Britain seem to have been closely connected with those of Scandin.
• Anthropologie der Naturvölker, 1860.
avia. Dr. Wilde* thinks that there is sufficient evidence to believe that Ireland has at different and remote periods been inhabited by at least two if not three distinct races, the first of which was characterised by a short and the second by an elongated form of skull, corresponding in character and succession to the Aborigines of Scandinavia. Dr. Daniel Wilson, in his work,t is of opinion that the most ancient of the extinct pre-celtic races of Scotland were men with boat-shaped kumbecephalic skulls, the second race of Nilsson. These lived in the stone period. The short-heads lived after them; both were destroyed or displaced by the Celts in the bronze period; and, in their turn, gave way to the Norwegians, who introduced iron.
Intelligence of Primitive Races.—That the mere rudeness of workmanship in the implements left us by the antehistoric or aboriginal peoples, does not necessarily lead to the inference that they were physically and morally inferior to succeeding races, must be admitted, for it may be doubted, that supposing a number of the present intelligent audience were suddenly cast away upon some desert island, deprived of the least use of metal or of the means to procure it, whether they could, by mere percussion, and friction, manufacture objects either more perfect, or more adapted to the purpose intended than the rude implements of the antehistoric race. As, therefore, we cannot judge of them by their works, we must search for other indications of their supposed mental capacities.
It is generally admitted that the mental superiority of man depends on the development and structure of his brain, and that the manifestation of intellect and the capacity for improvement is closely connected with the cerebral structure. It is also mostly allowed that examination of the interior of the skull gives a fair index of the size and shape of the brain.
Hence, our chief anthropologists have adopted the particular shape of the cranium as the great mark of distinction between the different races of man.
Premature as the inference may be, still if we are to judge of the smallness of the skull, the development of the jaws, and other abnormities of the crania, found mingled with fossil-bones and flint implements, the conclusion is not altogether unfounded that the original races were inferior to the succeeding immigrants, and also that the primitive race is now extinct in Europe, and has shared the fate of the gigantic animals with which it was contemporaneous.
* Ethnology of the Ancient Irish.
+ Pre-Celtic Annals of Scotland.