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if we found signs that the men who inhabited Europe in the tertiary or in the oldest diluvian period were cannibals. And if this is probable à priori, of course a prehistoric (urgeschichtlicher) historian who is worthy of the name will find proofs of this. And accordingly Le Hon gives us the following. 1. Children's bones have been found which bear signs of having been gnawed by human teeth. Why the teeth must have been human is more than I can say. 2. Human bones have been found which appear to have been broken in order to extract the marrow, as is the case also with the bones of animals. Le Hon is honest enough to add that it is not quite proved that the bones were broken on purpose. 3. Human remains have been found in the so-called kitchen middens. But, of course, it cannot be proved that they were thrown away as kitchen refuse, and did not get in among the shells and bones of animals in some other way.
Such things as these belong not to prehistoric history, but to prehistoric nonsense. But what becomes of these proofs of the low condition of man in the mammoth age, when real works of art are produced which are said to belong to that time, drawings scratched on slate or ivory, on bits of reindeer horn, on mammoths' bones, etc. ? It is true, no doubt, that some of these prehistoric works of art have been made by living artists. Lindenschmit proved that two drawings on animals' bones, which were said to have been found in 1875 at Thayingen in Switzerland, and which were believed to be genuine by several archæologists, were simply copied from the drawings in a child's book which was published in 1868, and the forgery was
subsequently acknowledged.' Some other pieces also are of very doubtful antiquity.” But many of these drawings are evidently genuinely old. The question however is, how old ?: If they belong to one of the so-called prehistoric periods, no doubt the men who lived in that period cannot have been so barbarous and savage as is often supposed. Ranke in discussing this point rightly observes, “ Recently many of the results of exact science have seemed to show that the original inhabitants of Europe were not autochthonous savages, but immigrants who brought with them to a new country the culture and civilisation of a happier ancestral home.”+ Schaaffhausen thinks that the works of art which have been found in France could hardly have been produced without the influence of a cultivated people, perhaps the Phænician or Greek colonies on the coast of the Mediterranean; but he adds rather ruefully, that this assumption would much diminish the antiquity of these objects, which up to this time has been believed to be very great. And not only the
1 Archiv für Anthr. ix. 173, 269.
2 In the Archiv für Anthr. viii. 270, Schaaffhausen says: “An ivory plate found by Lartet, engraved with the picture of a mammoth, bears no signs of forgery, such as may be detected on other drawings on stone which were exhibited in Paris in 1867; but the circumstances under which this picture of the mammoth was found were such that one could hardly help suspecting a forgery.” The workmen in the cave of La Madelaine knew that Lartet was coming with a stranger to visit the cave on a certain day. When he appeared with Falconer, they brought him five pieces of a mammotlı's tooth, which he put together, and the engraved picture then appeared. The appearance of the mammoth was well known in France, because in a French periodical Adams had just described the one found on the Lena, with its skin and hair still preserved.
3 A. Ecker, “ Ueber præhistorische Kunst,” Archiv für Anthr. xi. 133. Cf. Corr.-blatt. der deutschen Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Oct. 1877, p. 103.
4 Infinge der Kunst, Börlin 1879, f. 30.
antiquity of these objects, but also of the whole mammoth and reindeer age; for the mammoths' bones and reindeer horns on which the drawings are scratched, and the other objects which have been found in the same deposits as the works of art, cannot be thousands of years older than the latter.
The theories of the so-called prehistoric science will be greatly modified by the progress of inquiry. At · present much is still uncertain. It is the more to be
lamented that this period is now-a-days made the subject of popular descriptions, which in the nature of things are only too much calculated to spread erroneous beliefs. “It is a difficult matter,” says Ecker, “ to popularize a young science which is in the midst of its development, and in which so much is still a matter of dispute, and what our Nestor, K. E. v. Baer, says, in his autobiography, about the subject in general must be specially applied to this science. He says, 'I have always believed that science ought to be popularized; but now that this is being done, and all that has been discovered and ascertained is being ground in countless mills, it seems to me that these mills are like the bone-mills in which the remains of living organisms are ground up into shapeless powder, which is then used to manure the fields and to produce nourishment for the people. The object is undoubtedly good ; but it is only too easy for untrue, that is unwholesome, matter to get into the powder, and it then becomes irrecognisable, as all witness of its origin is lost;' and,” adds Ecker, “every savant will admit that in the sketches of primæval history, however carefully they may be made, 'uu
wholesome matter will get into the powder,'-every savant at least who knows what confusion the words stone age, bronze age, etc., have created in many brains.” 1
In fact, we may fairly say with Virchow? that the common accounts of prehistoric times are scientific fictions, just as mythology is popular fiction. And they are perhaps harmless enough when they are presented in the shape of historical romance. But we sometimes find such accounts, containing more romance or “scientific fiction” than history, thus recommended to “educated people of all ranks." 4 In the last century many attempts were made to lift the dark veil which covers the primæval history of mankind; but they were all in vain, as all data were still wanting. But just as our earth has written her own history on herself, so to her we owe also extensive revelations of the primæval history of mankind. It is true that it is only on stones and bones that we can discern the traces of the existence of man, and of his activity at a period long before the first beginnings of history and legend. These dumb and yet eloquent witnesses of a period which not long ago was hidden, have opened before our wondering eyes a new world of which we had no suspicion. The birth pangs of the new ideas were very severe, for it was soon seen that they would bring about a revolution in the theories which had hitherto obtained concerning the world and life. But fortunately science will suffer no unassailable dogmas. The new truth has made a way for itself in spite of all hindrances and objections, etc. etc. And the book which is to show “educated people of all classes” the errors in “the theories which have hitherto obtained, concerning the world and life,” and which announces the "new truth which has at length made a way for itself,” that is, which asserts the theory of descent and the pithecoid theory, the doctrine of the stone, bronze, and iron ages, etc., as if they were unassailable dogmas, is furnished with several pictures and engravings in order to illustrate the text, such as “ Man fighting in the flint age,” “ Arrangements for a festival in the stone age,” “The first artists of the reindeer age,” and so on; pictures of which Ecker justly says, “Even if the sober inquirer does not object to them, they are only too much calculated to give wrong ideas to unscientific people, and it is for the latter, not for earnest inquirers, that the book is written."
1 Archiv für Anthr. vii. 114.
3 A historical novel of the reindeer period is advertised in the Paris Polybiblion, March 1872, p. 91. It is called Solutre ou les chasseurs de rennes dans la France centrale, par Adrian Cranille, Paris Hachette, 1872, pp. 200–8 et 10 gravures.
4 Prospectus to W. Baer's book, Der Vorgeschichtliche Mensch., Leipsic
In conclusion, I return once more to the question of the age of man. You may say, if the calculations which have been made directly and indirectly by geologists are really so untrustworthy as you claim to have proved that they are, how is it possible that savants, who in their separate branches are just as great authorities as Lyell, believe that geological inquiry has shown that men must be about 100,000 years old ? I answer, it is not possible, but neither is it true. Many of the older savants have attempted to ascertain by