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of man, but he has obtruded questions which have nothing to do with that subject. We think the plan of announcing a work on the Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, and then introducing long chapters on the theories of the origin of species, to be most objectionable. But we have other complaints to make against this work, which we shall briefly touch on as we proceed. In making these objections, we would wish to state, in limine, that we entertain the highest respect for the author, and freely acknowledge that he has done good service to the cause of truth and science by the publication of his present work. We cordially sympathize with the spirit of the undertaking, and freely acknowledge that the author has made a very fair epitome of existing facts, and that his work, although studiously laboured, is still very readable. We are grateful for what the author has given us, but regret that it is not so complete and satisfactory as we believe it was in the power of Sir Charles to make it.
The work begins with a chapter on the Danish peat mounds and Swiss lake dwellings. We had thought that both these subjects should come under the exposition of the archæologist rather than the geologist. However this may be we are bound to confess that this chapter is far from being even a complete epitome on these subjects. Indeed, it is clear that Sir Charles is not at all at home in writing of archæological subjects. Many of the most important facts are entirely omitted, and there is a want of clearness of exposition which sufficiently shews that the author is not thoroughly versed in his subject. When the author understands his subject, he invariably writes clearly; and there are not a few passages in the work which deserve to be commended, both from the clearness with which they are narrated, as well as from the value of the facts themselves. In the account of the lake-habitations of Switzerland, we read :
"Carbonized apples and pears of small size, such as still grow in the Swiss forests, stones of the wild plum, seeds of the raspberry and blackberry, and beech nuts, also occur in the mud, and hazel nuts in great plenty. Near Morges, on the Lake of Geneva, a settlement of the bronze period, no less than forty hatchets of that metal have been dredged up; and in many other localities the number and variety of weapons and utensils discovered, in a fine state of preservation, is truly astonishing. It is remarkable that as yet all the settlements of the bronze period are confined to Western and Central Switzerland. In the more eastern lakes, those of the stone period alone have as yet been discovered. The tools, ornaments, and pottery of the bronze period in Switzerland bear a close resemblance to those of corresponding age in Denmark, attesting the wide spread of a uniform civilization over Central Europe at that era. In some few of the aquatic stations, as well as in tumuli and battle-fields in Switzerland, a mix. ture of bronze and iron implements and works of art have been observed, including coins and medals of bronze and silver, struck at Marseilles, and of Greek manufacture, belonging to the first and preroman division of the age of iron. In the settlements of the bronze era, the wooden piles are not so much decayed as are those of the stone period; the latter having wasted down quite to the level of the mud, whereas the piles of the bronze age (as in the Lake of Brienne, for example) still project above it. Professor Rütimeyer of Basle, well known to palæontologists as the author of several important memoirs on fossil vertebrata, has recently published a scientific description of great interest of the animal remains dredged up at various stations, where they had been imbedded for ages in the mud in which the piles were driven. These bones bear the same relation to the primi. tive inhabitants of Switzerland and some of their immediate successors, as do the contents of the Danish refuse-heaps' to the ancient fishing and hunting tribes who lived on the shores of the Baltic.”
We next have an account of the investigations of Mr. Leonard Horner respecting the age of pottery found in the Nile sediments. We are sorry to find that Sir Charles Lyell has thought it worth while to notice such absurdities. Because some burnt brick was found sixty feet deep, therefore it must be twelve thousand years old! At least Hekekyan Bey, an Armenian, vouches for the pottery being found at that depth, and no doubt correctly. To waste the money of the Royal Society, and to occupy the paper and print of the Philosophical Transactions, was bad enough, but to base a chronology on the evi.. dence Mr. Horner adduced was preposterous. Well may Sir Charles Lyell observe:
“ The experiments instituted by Mr. Horner, in the hope of obtaining an accurate chronometric scale for testing the age of a given thickness of Nile sediment, are not considered by eminent Egyptologists to have been satisfactory. The point sought to be determined was the exact amount of Nile mud which had accumulated in three thousand or more years, since the time when certain ancient monuments, such as the obelisk at Heliopolis, or the statue of King Ramesses at Memphis, are supposed by some antiquaries to have been erected. Could we have obtained possession of such a measure, the rate of deposition might be judged of, approximately at least, whenever similar mud was observed in other places, or below the foundations of those same monuments. But the ancient Egyptians are known to have been in the habit of enclosing with embankments the areas on which they erected temples, statues, and obelisks, so as to exclude the waters of the Nile; and the point of time to be ascertained, in every case where we find a monument buried to a certain depth in mud, as at Memphis and Heliopolis, is the era when the city fell into such decay that the ancient embankments were neglected, and the river allowed to inundate the site of the temple, obelisk, or statue. Even if we knew the date of the abandonment of such embankments, the enclosed areas would not afford a favourable opportunity for ascertaining the average rate of deposit on the alluvial plain; for Herodotus tells us that in his time those spots from which the Nile waters had been shut out for centuries appeared sunk, and could be looked down into from the surrounding grounds, which had been raised by the gradual accumulation over them of sediment annually thrown down. If the waters at length should break into such depressions, they must at first carry with them into the enclosure much mud washed from the steep surrounding banks, so that a greater quantity would be deposited in a few years than, perhaps, in as many centuries on the great plain outside the depressed area where no such disturbing causes intervened.”
Speaking of the Mound builders of America, the author writes :
“ It is clear that the Ohio mound builders had commercial intercourse with the natives of distant regions, for among the buried articles some are made of native copper from Lake Superior, and there are also found mica from the Alleghanies, sea shells from the Gulf of Mexico, and obsidian from the Mexican mountains. The extraordinary number of the mounds implies a long period, during which a settled agricultural population had made considerable progress in civilization, so as to require large temples for their religious rites, and extensive fortifications to protect them from their enemies. The mounds were almost all confined to fertile valleys or alluvial plains, and some at least are so ancient, that rivers have had time since their construction to encroach on the lower terraces which support them, and again to recede for the distance of nearly a mile, after having undermined and destroyed a part of the works."
There is an account of the Mounds of Santos in Brazil, the Delta of the Mississippi, and the Coral Reefs of Florida, which are all dismissed with three pages out of the 506 which the work contains. We then have ten pages on Recent Deposits of Seas and Lakes : and then Sir Charles begins to get at home, and writes on the upheaval since the human period of the central district of Scotland, of Cornwall, and Sweden and Norway. We next have an account of the bones of Man and extinct Mammalia in the Cavern of Bize, Engis, and Neanderthal. Professor Huxley then occupies eight pages with observations on the Human Skulls of Engis and Neanderthal. We then come to an account of the Post-pliocene Alluvium containing flint implements in the valley of the Somme. And here we think the author has hardly done justice to the accomplished M. Boucher de Perthes, who first discovered these implements, upwards of twenty years ago (in 1841), and who published a full and correct account of his discoveries sixteen years ago (in 1847). Sir Charles Lyell does not explain why he did not examine this evidence until more than ten years after the publication of M. Boucher de Perthes' work. On this subject we should have been glad if Sir C. Lyell had been a little more explicit. All we read is “the scientific world had no faith in the statements that works of art, however rude, had been met with in undisturbed beds of such antiquity."
Now this explanation has been given before; but we think it to be a very lame excuse, and most unjust to M. Boucher de Perthes. It is not our business to discover what were the reasons for the non-acceptance of the conclusions which were given in this work; but they would not be difficult to guess. We say at once, that it is no little disgrace to the geologists of this country that they should have taken no notice of these discoveries until they had been proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the then United States of America, and had been accepted by some of the best scientific men of that country.
Dr. William Usher of Mobile published in 1854 a most complete summary of all the facts relating to caverns, and also a full account, with illustrations, of M. Boucher de Perthes' discoveries, in the great national American work The Types of Mankind. Sir C. Lyell has not mentioned this paper : but the public are likely to learn far more from a perusal of it than from his own studied reserve.
In treating of the Brixham cave, we think that justice is hardly done to the care and labour which Mr. Pengelly and Dr. Falconer devoted to the excavations which were made here. The conclusion is thus given :
“ Upon the whole, the same conclusion which Dr. Schmerling came to, respecting the filling up of the caverns near Liège, seems applicable to the caves of Brixham.”
For an exemplification of the working of the peculiar process of reasoning by which Sir Charles Lyell was able to examine the caves near Liège, as well as other caves, and then for thirty years write against their affording any evidence of Man's antiquity, and is now able to say that Dr. Schmerling gave the true reason forty years ago, we must refer to the works of the author.
We next have four chapters on the Post-pliocene Alluvium of France and England, with an account of the works of art that have been found in different caves in Europe. These chapters, although very diffuse, are still written with very great care, and are a good epitome of what is known on the subject. We then come to a chapter in which the human fossil found at Natchez on the Mississippi is discussed. Here we are glad to see that Sir Charles has given up his old style of argument respecting this fossil. Dr. Usher, ten years
France and in different car with very greave then come
ago, protested against the way in which the Natchez fossil was treated. We feel it just to quote an extract from his article.*
“One human pelvis, found near Natchez by Dr. Dickeson, is an undoubted fossil; yet we are told that ferruginous oxides act upon an os innominatum differently than upon bones of extinct genera lying in the same stratum, lest natural incidents might give to man in the valley of the Mississippi an antiquity altogether incompatible with received ideas : and Sir Charles Lyell accordingly suggests a speedy solution of the difficulty, by saying that a fossilized pelvis may have fallen from an old Indian grave near the summit of the cliff. Attempts have been made to throw doubt upon every discovery of human fossils in the same manner : and the greatest ingenuity is exhibited in adapting adequate solutions to the ever-varying dilemmas. In the case of the fossils brought from Brazil, a human skull was taken out of a sandstone rock now overgrown with lofty trees, Sir Charles Lyell had again recourse to his favourite Indian burying-ground; although this time it had to be sunk beneath the level of the sea, and become again upheaved to its present position. But, supposing all this to be true, what an antiquity must we assign to this Indian skull, when we remember the ancient trees above its grave, and reflect upon the fact that bones of numerous fossil quadrupeds, and, among others, of a horse (both found in the alluvial formation), must be of a more recent origin than the human remains.”
On this subject Sir Charles now writes :
“If I was right in calculating that the present delta of the Mississippi has required, as a minimum of time, more than 100,000 years for its growth, it would follow, if the claims of the Natchez man to have coexisted with the mastodon are admitted, that North America was peopled more than a thousand centuries ago by the human race. But, even were that true, we could not presume, reasoning from ascertained geological data, that the Natchez bone was anterior in date to the antique Aint hatchets of St. Acheul." * * * * “Should future researches, therefore, confirm the opinion that the Natchez man coexisted with the mastodon, it would not enhance the value of the geological evidence in favour of man's antiquity, but merely render the delta of the Mississippi available as a chronometer, by which the lapse of post-pliocene time could be measured somewhat less vaguely than by any means of measuring which have as yet been discovered or rendered available in Europe."
Seven chapters follow, in which the following subjects are treated -Antiquity of Man relatively to the Glacial Period, and to the existing flora and fauna; Chronological Relations of the Glacial Period, and the earliest signs of man's appearance in Europe (two chapters); Extinct Glaciers of the Alps, and their chronological relation to the Human Period; Human Remains in the Loess, and their probable
• "Geology and Paleontology in connection with the Human Origins." Types of Mankind, page 344. 1851.