The Antiquity of Man
by Charles Lyell
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All the remains of organic bodies, such as land-shells, and the bones of quadrupeds, found during the excavations belonged to living species. Bones of the ox, hog, dog, dromedary and ass were not uncommon, but no vestiges of extinct mammalia. No marine shells were anywhere detected; but this was to be expected, as the borings, though they sometimes reached as low as the level of the Mediterranean, were never carried down below it—a circumstance much to be regretted, since where artesian borings have been made in deltas, as in those of the Po and Ganges, to the depth of several hundred feet below the sea level it has been found, contrary to expectation, that the deposits passed through were fluviatile throughout, implying, probably, that a general subsidence of those deltas and alluvial formations has taken place. Whether there has been in like manner a sinking of the land in Egypt, we have as yet no means of proving; but Sir Gardner Wilkinson infers it from the position in the delta on the shore near Alexandria of the tombs commonly called Cleopatra's Baths, which cannot, he says, have been originally built so as to be exposed to the sea which now fills them, but must have stood on land above the level of the Mediterranean. The same author adduces, as additional signs of subsidence, some ruined towns, now half under water, in the Lake Menzaleh, and channels of ancient arms of the Nile submerged with their banks beneath the waters of that same lagoon.

In some instances, the excavations made under the superintendence of Hekekyan Bey were on a large scale for the first 16 or 24 feet, in which cases jars, vases, pots and a small human figure in burnt clay, a copper knife, and other entire articles were dug up; but when water soaking through from the Nile was reached the boring instrument used was too small to allow of more than fragments of works of art being brought up. Pieces of burnt brick and pottery were extracted almost everywhere, and from all depths, even where they sank 60 feet below the surface towards the central parts of the valley. In none of these cases did they get to the bottom of the alluvial soil. It has been objected, among other criticisms, that the Arabs can always find whatever their employers desire to obtain. Even those who are too well acquainted with the sagacity and energy of Hekekyan Bey to suspect him of having been deceived, have suggested that the artificial objects might have fallen into old wells which had been filled up. This notion is inadmissible for many reasons. Of the ninety-five shafts and borings, seventy or more were made far from the sites of towns or villages; and allowing that every field may once have had its well, there would be but small chance of the borings striking upon the site even of a small number of them in seventy experiments.

Others have suggested that the Nile may have wandered over the whole valley, undermining its banks on one side and filling up old channels on the other. It has also been asked whether the delta with the numerous shifting arms of the river may not once have been at every point where the auger pierced.* (* For a detailed account of these sections, see Mr. Horner's paper in the "Philosophical Transactions" for 1855 to 1858.) To all these objections there are two obvious answers:—First, in historical times the Nile has on the whole been very stationary, and has not shifted its position in the valley; secondly, if the mud pierced through had been thrown down by the river in ancient channels, it would have been stratified, and would not have corresponded so closely with inundation mud, we learn from Captain Newbold that he observed in some excavations in the great plain alternations of sand and clay, such as are seen in the modern banks of the Nile; but in the borings made by Hekekyan Bey, such stratification seems scarcely in any case to have been detected.

The great aim of the criticisms above enumerated has been to get rid of the supposed anomaly of finding burnt brick and pottery at depths and places which would give them claim to an antiquity far exceeding that of the Roman domination in Egypt. For until the time of the Romans, it is said, no clay was burnt into bricks in the valley of the Nile. But a distinguished antiquary, Mr. S. Birch, assures me that this notion is altogether erroneous, and that he has under his charge in the British Museum, first, a small rectangular baked brick, which came from a Theban tomb which bears the name of Thothmes, a superintendent of the granaries of the god Amen Ra, the style of art, inscription, and name, showing that it is as old as the 18th dynasty (about 1450 B.C.); secondly, a brick bearing an inscription, partly obliterated, but ending with the words "of the temple of Amen Ra." This brick, decidedly long anterior to the Roman dominion, is referred conjecturally, by Mr. Birch, to the 19th dynasty, or 1300 B.C. Sir Gardner Wilkinson has also in his possession pieces of mortar, which he took from each of the three great pyramids, in which bits of broken pottery and of burnt clay or brick are embedded.

M. Girard, of the French expedition to Egypt, supposed the average rate of the increase of Nile mud on the plain between Assouan and Cairo to be five English inches in a century. This conclusion, according to Mr. Horner, is very vague, and founded on insufficient data; the amount of matter thrown down by the waters in different parts of the plain varying so much that to strike an average with any approach to accuracy must be most difficult. Were we to assume six inches in a century, the burnt brick met with at a depth of 60 feet would be 12,000 years old.

Another fragment of red brick was found by Linant Bey, in a boring 72 feet deep, being 2 or 3 feet below the level of the Mediterranean, in the parallel of the apex of the delta, 200 metres distant from the river, on the Libyan side of the Rosetta branch.* (* Horner "Philosophical Transactions" 1858.) M. Rosiere, in the great French work on Egypt, has estimated the mean rate of deposit of sediment in the delta at 2 1/4 inches in a century;* (* Description de l'Egypte "Histoire Naturelle" tome 2 page 494.) were we to take 2 1/2 inches, a work of art 72 feet deep must have been buried more than 30,000 years ago. But if the boring of Linant Bey was made where an arm of the river had been silted up at a time when the apex of the delta was somewhat farther south, or more distant from the sea than now, the brick in question might be comparatively very modern.

The experiments instituted by Mr. Horner at the pedestal of the fallen statue of King Rameses at Memphis, in the hope of obtaining an accurate chronometric scale for testing the age of a given thickness of Nile sediment, are held by some experienced Egyptologists not to be satisfactory, on the ground of the uncertainty of the rate of deposit accumulated at that locality. The point sought to be determined was the exact amount of Nile mud which had accumulated there since the time when that statue is 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 in 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.


As I have already given several European examples of monuments of prehistoric date belonging to the Recent period, I will now turn to the American continent. Before the scientific investigation by Messrs. Squier and Davis of the "Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley",* (* "Smithsonian Contributions" volume 1 1847. ) no one suspected that the plains of that river had been occupied, for ages before the French and British colonists settled there, by a nation of older date and more advanced in the arts than the Red Indians whom the Europeans found there. There are hundreds of large mounds in the basin of the Mississippi, and especially in the valleys of the Ohio and its tributaries, which have served, some of them for temples, others for outlook or defence, and others for sepulture. The unknown people by whom they were constructed, judging by the form of several skulls dug out of the burial-places, were of the Mexican or Toltec race. Some of the earthworks are on so grand a scale as to embrace areas of 50 or 100 acres within a simple enclosure, and the solid contents of one mould are estimated at 20 million of cubic feet, so that four of them would be more than equal in bulk to the Great Pyramid of Egypt, which comprises 75 million. From several of these repositories pottery and ornamental sculpture have been taken, and various articles in silver and copper, also stone weapons, some composed of hornstone unpolished, and much resembling in shape some ancient flint implements found near Amiens and other places in Europe, to be alluded to in the sequel.

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 Alleghenies, 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 civilisation, 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. When the first European settlers entered the valley of the Ohio, they found the whole region covered with an uninterrupted forest, and tenanted by the Red Indian hunter, who roamed over it without any fixed abode, or any traditionary connection with his more civilised predecessors. The only positive data as yet obtained for calculating the minimum of time which must have elapsed since the mounds were abandoned, have been derived from the age and nature of the trees found growing on some of these earthworks. When I visited Marietta in 1842, Dr. Hildreth took me to one of the mounds, and showed me where he had seen a tree growing on it, the trunk of which when cut down displayed eight hundred rings of annual growth.* (* Lyell's "Travels in North America" volume 2 page 29.) But the late General Harrison, President in 1841 of the United States, who was well skilled in woodcraft, has remarked, in a memoir on this subject, that several generations of trees must have lived and died before the mounds could have been overspread with that variety of species which they supported when the white man first beheld them, for the number and kinds of trees were precisely the same as those which distinguished the surrounding forest. "We may be sure," observed Harrison, "that no trees were allowed to grow so long as the earthworks were in use; and when they were forsaken, the ground, like all newly cleared land in Ohio, would for a time be monopolised by one or two species of tree, such as the yellow locust and the black or white walnut. When the individuals which were the first to get possession of the ground had died out one after the other, they would in many cases, instead of being replaced by the same species, be succeeded (by virtue of the law which makes a rotation of crops profitable in agriculture) by other kinds, till at last, after a great number of centuries (several thousand years, perhaps), that remarkable diversity of species characteristic of North America, and far exceeding what is seen in European forests, would be established."


I will next say a few words respecting certain human bones embedded in a solid rock at Santos in Brazil, to which I called attention in my "Travels in North America" in 1842.* (* Volume 1 page 200.) I then imagined the deposit containing them to be of submarine origin—an opinion which I have long ceased to entertain. We learn from a memoir of Dr. Meigs that the River Santos has undermined a large mound, 14 feet in height, and about 3 acres in area, covered with trees, near the town of St. Paul, and has exposed to view many skeletons, all inclined at angles between 20 and 25 degrees, and all placed in a similar east and west position.* (* Meigs "Transactions of the American Philosophical Society" 1828 page 285. ) Seeing, in the Museum of Philadelphia, fragments of the calcareous stone or tufa from this spot, containing a human skull with teeth, and in the same matrix, oysters with serpulae attached, I at first concluded that the whole deposit had been formed beneath the waters of the sea, or at least, that it had been submerged after its origin, and again upheaved; also, that there had been time since its emergence for the growth on it of a forest of large trees. But after reading again, with more care, the original memoir of Dr. Meigs, I cannot doubt that the shells, like those of eatable kinds, so often accumulated in the mounds of the North American Indians not far from the sea, may have been brought to the place and heaped up with other materials at the time when the bodies were buried. Subsequently, the whole artificial earthwork, with its shells and skeletons, may have been bound together into a solid stone by the infiltration of carbonate of lime, and the mound may therefore be of no higher antiquity than some of those above alluded to on the Ohio, which, as we have seen, have in like manner been exposed in the course of ages to the encroachments and undermining action of rivers.


I have shown in my "Travels in North America" that the deposits forming the delta and alluvial plain of the Mississippi consist of sedimentary matter, extending over an area of 30,000 square miles, and known in some parts to be several hundred feet deep. Although we cannot estimate correctly how many years it may have required for the river to bring down from the upper country so large a quantity of earthy matter—the data for such a computation being as yet incomplete—we may still approximate to a minimum of the time which such an operation must have taken, by ascertaining experimentally the annual discharge of water by the Mississippi, and the mean annual amount of solid matter contained in its waters. The lowest estimate of the time required would lead us to assign a high antiquity, amounting to many tens of thousands of years (probably more than 100,000) to the existing delta.

Whether all or how much of this formation may belong to the recent period, as above defined, I cannot pretend to decide, but in one part of the modern delta near New Orleans, a large excavation has been made for gas-works, where a succession of beds, almost wholly made up of vegetable matter, has been passed through, such as we now see forming in the cypress swamps of the neighbourhood, where the deciduous cypress (Taxodium distichum), with its strong and spreading roots, plays a conspicuous part. In this excavation, at the depth of sixteen feet from the surface, beneath four buried forests superimposed one upon the other, the workmen are stated by Dr. B. Dowler to have found some charcoal and a human skeleton, the cranium of which is said to belong to the aboriginal type of the Red Indian race. As the discovery in question had not been made when I saw the excavation in progress at the gas-works in 1846, I cannot form an opinion as to the value of the chronological calculations which have led Dr. Dowler to ascribe to this skeleton an antiquity of 50,000 years. In several sections, both natural in the banks of the Mississippi and its numerous arms, and where artificial canals had been cut, I observed erect stumps of trees, with their roots attached, buried in strata at different heights, one over the other. I also remarked, that many cypresses which had been cut through, exhibited many hundreds of rings of annual growth, and it then struck me that nowhere in the world could the geologist enjoy a more favourable opportunity for estimating in years the duration of certain portions of the Recent epoch.* (* Dowler cited by Dr. W. Usher in Nott and Gliddon's "Types of Mankind" page 352.)


Professor Agassiz has described a low portion of the peninsula of Florida as consisting of numerous reefs of coral, which have grown in succession so as to give rise to a continual annexation of land, gained gradually from the sea in a southerly direction. This growth is still in full activity, and assuming the rate of advance of the land to be one foot in a century, the reefs being built up from a depth of 75 feet, and that each reef has in its turn added ten miles to the coast, Professor Agassiz calculates that it has taken 135,000 years to form the southern half of this peninsula. Yet the whole is of Post-Tertiary origin, the fossil zoophytes and shells being all of the same species as those now inhabiting the neighbouring sea.* (* Agassiz in Nott and Gliddon ibid. page 352.) In a calcareous conglomerate forming part of the above-mentioned series of reefs, and supposed by Agassiz, in accordance with his mode of estimating the rate of growth of those reefs, to be about 10,000 years old, some fossil human remains were found by Count Pourtales. They consisted of jaws and teeth, with some bones of the foot.


I have shown, in the "Principles of Geology," where the recent changes of the earth illustrative of geology are described at length, that the deposits accumulated at the bottom of lakes and seas within the last 4000 or 5000 years can neither be insignificant in volume or extent. They lie hidden, for the most part, from our sight; but we have opportunities of examining them at certain points where newly-gained land in the deltas of rivers has been cut through during floods, or where coral reefs are growing rapidly, or where the bed of a sea or lake has been heaved up by subterranean movements and laid dry.

As examples of such changes of level by which marine deposits of the Recent period have become accessible to human observation, I have adduced the strata near Naples in which the Temple of Serapis at Pozzuoli was entombed.* (* "Principles of Geology" Index "Serapis.") These upraised strata, the highest of which are about 25 feet above the level of the sea, form a terrace skirting the eastern shore of the Bay of Baiae. They consist partly of clay, partly of volcanic matter, and contain fragments of sculpture, pottery, and the remains of buildings, together with great numbers of shells, retaining in part their colour, and of the same species as those now inhabiting the neighbouring sea. Their emergence can be proved to have taken place since the beginning of the sixteenth century. [Note 5.]

In the same work, as an example of a freshwater deposit of the Recent period, I have described certain strata in Cashmere, a country where violent earthquakes, attended by alterations in the level of the ground, are frequent, in which freshwater shells of species now inhabiting the lakes and rivers of that region are embedded, together with the remains of pottery, often at the depth of fifty feet, and in which a splendid Hindoo temple has lately been discovered, and laid open to view by the removal of the lacustrine silt which had enveloped it for four or five centuries.

In the same treatise it is stated that the west coast of South America, between the Andes and the Pacific, is a great theatre of earthquake movements, and that permanent upheavals of the land of several feet at a time have been experienced since the discovery of America. In various parts of the littoral region of Chile and Peru, strata have been observed enclosing shells in abundance, all agreeing specifically with those now swarming in the Pacific. In one bed of this kind, in the island of San Lorenzo, near Lima, Mr. Darwin found, at the altitude of 85 feet above the sea, pieces of cotton-thread, plaited rush, and the head of a stalk of Indian corn, the whole of which had evidently been embedded with the shells. At the same height, on the neighbouring mainland, he found other signs corroborating the opinion that the ancient bed of the sea had there also been uplifted 85 feet since the region was first peopled by the Peruvian race. But similar shelly masses are also met with at much higher elevations, at innumerable points between the Chilean and Peruvian Andes and the sea-coast, in which no human remains have as yet been observed. The preservation for an indefinite period of such perishable substances as thread is explained by the entire absence of rain in Peru. The same articles, had they been enclosed in the permeable sands of an European raised beach, or in any country where rain falls even for a small part of the year, would probably have disappeared entirely [Note 6.]

In the literature of the eighteenth century, we find frequent allusion to the "era of existing continents," a period supposed to have coincided in date with the first appearance of Man upon the earth, since which event it was imagined that the relative level of the sea and land had remained stationary, no important geographical changes having occurred, except some slight additions to the deltas of rivers, or the loss of narrow strips of land where the sea had encroached upon its shores. But modern observations have tended continually to dispel this delusion, and the geologist is now convinced that at no given era of the past have the boundaries of land and sea, or the height of the one and depth of the other, or the geographical range of the species inhabiting them, whether of animals or plants, become fixed and unchangeable. Of the extent to which fluctuations have been going on since the globe had already become the dwelling-place of Man, some idea may be formed from the examples which I shall give in this and the next nine chapters.


It has long been a fact familiar to geologists, that, both on the east and west coasts of the central part of Scotland, there are lines of raised beaches, containing marine shells of the same species as those now inhabiting the neighbouring sea.* (* R. Chambers "Sea Margins" 1848 and papers by Mr. Smith of Jordan Hill "Memoirs of the Wernerian Society" volume 8 and by Mr. C. Maclaren. ) The two most marked of these littoral deposits occur at heights of about 50 and 25 feet above high-water mark, that of 50 feet being considered as the more ancient, and owing its superior elevation to a continuance of the upheaving movement. They are seen in some places to rest on the boulder clay of the glacial period, which will be described in future chapters.

In those districts where large rivers, such as the Clyde, Forth, and Tay, enter the sea, the lower of the two deposits, or that of 25 feet, expands into a terrace fringing the estuaries, and varying in breadth from a few yards to several miles. Of this nature are the flat lands which occur along the margin of the Clyde at Glasgow, which consist of finely laminated sand, silt, and clay. Mr. John Buchanan, a zealous antiquary, writing in 1855, informs us that in the course of the eighty years preceding that date, no less than seventeen canoes had been dug out of this estuarine silt, and that he had personally inspected a large number of them before they were exhumed. Five of them lay buried in silt under the streets of Glasgow, one in a vertical position with the prow uppermost as if it had sunk in a storm. In the inside of it were a number of marine shells. Twelve other canoes were found about 100 yards back from the river, at the average depth of about 19 feet from the surface of the soil, or 7 feet above high-water mark; but a few of them were only 4 or 5 feet deep, and consequently more than 20 feet above the sea-level. One was sticking in the sand at an angle of 45 degrees, another had been capsized and lay bottom uppermost; all the rest were in a horizontal position, as if they had sunk in smooth water.* (* J. Buchanan "Report of the British Association" 1855 page 80; also "Glasgow, Past and Present" 1856.)

Almost every one of these ancient boats was formed out of a single oak-stem, hollowed out by blunt tools, probably stone axes, aided by the action of fire; a few were cut beautifully smooth, evidently with metallic tools. Hence a gradation could be traced from a pattern of extreme rudeness to one showing great mechanical ingenuity. Two of them were built of planks, one of the two, dug up on the property of Bankton in 1853, being 18 feet in length, and very elaborately constructed. Its prow was not unlike the beak of an antique galley; its stern, formed of a triangular-shaped piece of oak, fitted in exactly like those of our day. The planks were fastened to the ribs, partly by singularly shaped oaken pins, and partly by what must have been square nails of some kind of metal; these had entirely disappeared, but some of the oaken pins remained. This boat had been upset, and was lying keel uppermost, with the prow pointing straight up the river. In one of the canoes, a beautifully polished celt or axe of greenstone was found, in the bottom of another a plug of cork, which, as Mr. Geikie remarks, "could only have come from the latitudes of Spain, Southern France, or Italy."* (* Geikie, "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" volume 18 1862 page 224.)

There can be no doubt that some of these buried vessels are of far more ancient date than others. Those most roughly hewn, may be relics of the stone period; those more smoothly cut, of the bronze age; and the regularly built boat of Bankton may perhaps come within the age of iron. The occurrence of all of them in one and the same upraised marine formation by no means implies that they belong to the same era, for in the beds of all great rivers and estuaries, there are changes continually in progress brought about by the deposition, removal, and redeposition of gravel, sand, and fine sediment, and by the shifting of the channel of the main currents from year to year, and from century to century. All these it behoves the geologist and antiquary to bear in mind, so as to be always on their guard, when they are endeavouring to settle the relative date, whether of objects of art or of organic remains embedded in any set of alluvial strata. Some judicious observations on this head occur in Mr. Geikie's memoir above cited, which are so much in point that I shall give them in full, and in his own words.

"The relative position in the silt, from which the canoes were exhumed, could help us little in any attempt to ascertain their relative ages, unless they had been found vertically above each other. The varying depths of an estuary, its banks of silt and sand, the set of its currents, and the influence of its tides in scouring out alluvium from some parts of its bottom and redepositing it in others, are circumstances which require to be taken into account in all such calculations. Mere coincidence of depth from the present surface of the ground, which is tolerably uniform in level, by no means necessarily proves contemporaneous deposition. Nor would such an inference follow even from the occurrence of the remains in distant parts of the very same stratum. A canoe might be capsized and sent to the bottom just beneath low-water mark; another might experience a similar fate on the following day, but in the middle of the channel. Both would become silted up on the floor of the estuary; but as that floor would be perhaps 20 feet deeper in the centre than towards the margin of the river, the one canoe might actually be twenty feet deeper in the alluvium than the other; and on the upheaval of the alluvial deposits, if we were to argue merely from the depth at which the remains were embedded, we should pronounce the canoe found at the one locality to be immensely older than the other, seeing that the fine mud of the estuary is deposited very slowly and that it must therefore have taken a long period to form so great a thickness as 20 feet. Again, the tides and currents of the estuary, by changing their direction, might sweep away a considerable mass of alluvium from the bottom, laying bare a canoe that may have foundered many centuries before. After the lapse of so long an interval, another vessel might go to the bottom in the same locality and be there covered up with the older one on the same general plane. These two vessels, found in such a position, would naturally be classed together as of the same age, and yet it is demonstrable that a very long period may have elapsed between the date of the one and that of the other. Such an association of these canoes, therefore, cannot be regarded as proving synchronous deposition; nor, on the other hand, can we affirm any difference of age from mere relative position, unless we see one canoe actually buried beneath another."* (* Geikie, "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" volume 18 1862, page 222.)

At the time when the ancient vessels, above described, were navigating the waters where the city of Glasgow now stands, the whole of the low lands which bordered the present estuary of the Clyde formed the bed of a shallow sea. The emergence appears to have taken place gradually and by intermittent movements, for Mr. Buchanan describes several narrow terraces one above the other on the site of the city itself, with steep intervening slopes composed of the laminated estuary formation. Each terrace and steep slope probably mark pauses in the process of upheaval, during which low cliffs were formed, with beaches at their base. Five of the canoes were found within the precincts of the city at different heights on or near such terraces.

As to the date of the upheaval, the greater part of it cannot be assigned to the stone period, but must have taken place after tools of metal had come into use.

Until lately, when attempts were made to estimate the probable antiquity of such changes of level, it was confidently assumed, as a safe starting-point, that no alteration had occurred in the relative level of land and sea, in the central district of Scotland, since the construction of the Roman or Pictish wall (the "Wall of Antonine"), which reached from the Firth of Forth to that of the Clyde. The two extremities, it was said, of this ancient structure, bear such a relation to the present level of the two estuaries, that neither subsidence nor elevation of the land could have occurred for seventeen centuries at least.

But Mr. Geikie has lately shown that a depression of 25 feet on the Forth would not lay the eastern extremity of the Roman wall at Carriden under water, and he was therefore desirous of knowing whether the western end of the same would be submerged by a similar amount of subsidence. It has always been acknowledged that the wall terminated upon an eminence called the Chapel Hill, near the village of West Kilpatrick, on the Clyde. The foot of this hill, Mr. Geikie estimates to be about 25 or 27 feet above high-water mark, so that a subsidence of 25 feet could not lay it under water. Antiquaries have sometimes wondered that the Romans did not carry the wall farther west than this Chapel Hill; but Mr. Geikie now suggests, in explanation, that all the low land at present intervening between that point and the mouth of the Clyde, was sixteen or seventeen centuries ago, washed by the tides at high water.

The wall of Antonine, therefore, yields no evidence in favour of the land having remained stationary since the time of the Romans, but on the contrary, appears to indicate that since its erection the land has actually risen. Recent explorations by Mr. Geikie and Dr. Young, of the sites of the old Roman harbours along the southern margin of the Firth of Forth, lead to similar inferences. In the first place, it has long been known that there is a raised beach containing marine shells of living littoral species, at a height of about 25 feet, at Leith, as well as at other places along the coast above and below Edinburgh. Inveresk, a few miles below that city, is the site of an ancient Roman port, and if we suppose the sea at high water to have washed the foot of the heights on which the town stood, the tide would have ascended far up the valley of the Esk, and would have made the mouth of that river a safe and commodious harbour; whereas, had it been a shoaling estuary, as at present, it is difficult to see how the Romans should have made choice of it as a port.

At Cramond, at the mouth of the river Almond, above Edinburgh, was Alaterva, the chief Roman harbour on the southern coast of the Forth, where numerous coins, urns, sculptured stones and the remnant of a harbour have been detected. The old Roman quays built along what must then have been the sea margin, have been found on what is now dry land, and although some silt carried down in suspension by the waters of the Forth may account for a part of the gain of low land, we yet require an upward movement of about 20 feet to explain the growth of the dreary expanse of mud now stretching along the shore and extending outwards, where it attains its greatest breadth, well-nigh two miles, across which vessels, even of light burden, can now only venture at full tide. Had these shoals existed eighteen centuries ago, they would have prevented the Romans from selecting this as their chief port; whereas, if the land were now to sink 20 feet, Cramond would unquestionably be the best natural harbour along the whole of the south side of the Forth.* (* Geikie, "Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal" for July 1861.)

Corresponding in level with the raised beach at Leith, above mentioned (or about 25 feet above high-water mark), is the Carse of Stirling, a low tract of land consisting of loamy and peaty beds, in which several skeletons of whales of large size have been found. One of these was dug up at Airthrie,* (* Bald, "Edinburgh Philosophical Journal" 1 page 393 and "Memoirs of the Wernerian Society" 3 page 327.) near Stirling, about a mile from the river, and 7 miles from the sea. Mr. Bald mentions that near it were found two pieces of stag's horn, artificially cut, through one of which a hole, about an inch in diameter, had been perforated. Another whale, 85 feet long, was found at Dunmore, a few miles below Stirling,* (* "Edinburgh Philosophical Journal" 11 pages 220, 415.) which, like that of Airthrie, lay about 20 feet above high-water mark. Three other skeletons of whales were found at Blair Drummond, between the years 1819 and 1824, 7 miles up the estuary above Stirling,* (* "Memoirs of the Wernerian Society" volume 5 page 440. ) also at an elevation of between 20 and 30 feet above the sea. Near two of these whales, pointed instruments of deer's horn were found, one of which retained part of a wooden handle, probably preserved by having been enclosed in peat. This weapon is now in the museum at Edinburgh.

The position of these fossil whales and bone implements, and still more of an iron anchor found in the Carse of Falkirk, below Stirling, shows that the upheaval by which the raised beach of Leith was laid dry extended far westward probably as far as the Clyde, where, as we have seen, marine strata containing buried canoes rise to a similar height above the sea.

The same upward movement which reached simultaneously east and west from sea to sea was also felt as far north as the estuary of the Tay. This may be inferred from the Celtic name of Inch being attached to many hillocks, which rise above the general level of the alluvial plains, implying that these eminences were once surrounded by water or marshy ground. At various localities also in the silt of the Carse of Gowrie iron implements have been found.

The raised beach, also containing a great number of marine shells of recent species, traced up to a height of 14 feet above the sea by Mr. W.J. Hamilton at Elie, on the southern coast of Fife, is doubtless another effect of the same extensive upheaval.* (* "Proceedings of the Geological Society" volume 2 1833 page 280.) A similar movement would also account for some changes which antiquaries have recorded much farther south, on the borders of the Solway Firth; though in this case, as in that of the estuary of the Forth, the conversion of sea into land has always been referred to the silting up of estuaries, and not to upheaval. Thus Horsley insists on the difficulty of explaining the position of certain Roman stations, on the Solway, the Forth, and the Clyde, without assuming that the sea has been excluded from certain areas which it formerly occupied.* (* "Britannia" page 157 1860.)

On a review of the whole evidence, geological and archaeological, afforded by the Scottish coast-line, we may conclude that the last upheaval of 25 feet took place not only since the first human population settled in the island; but long after metallic implements had come into use, and there seems even a strong presumption in favour of the opinion that the date of the elevation may have been subsequent to the Roman occupation.

But the 25 feet rise is only the last stage of a long antecedent process of elevation, for examples of Recent marine shells have been observed 40 feet and upwards above the sea in Ayrshire. At one of these localities, Mr. Smith of Jordanhill informs me that a rude ornament made of cannel coal has been found on the coast in the parish of Dundonald, lying 50 feet above the sea-level, on the surface of the boulder-clay or till, and covered with gravel containing marine shells. If we suppose the upward movement to have been uniform in central Scotland before and after the Roman era, and assume that as 25 feet indicate seventeen centuries, so 50 feet imply a lapse of twice that number, or 3400 years, we should then carry back the date of the ornament in question to fifteen centuries before our era, or to the days of Pharaoh, and the period usually assigned to the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. [Note 8.]

But all such estimates must be considered, in the present state of science, as tentative and conjectural, since the rate of movement of the land may not have been uniform, and its direction not always upwards, and there may have been long stationary periods, one of which of more than usual duration seems indicated by the 50-foot raised beach, which has been traced for vast distances along the western coast of Scotland.


Sir H. De la Beche has adduced several proofs of changes of level, in the course of the human period, in his "Report on the Geology of Cornwall and Devon," 1839. He mentions (page 406) that several human skulls and works of art, buried in an estuary deposit, were found in mining gravel for tin at Pentuan, near St. Austell, the skulls lying at the depth of 40 feet from the surface, and others at Carnon at the depth of 53 feet. The overlying strata were marine, containing sea-shells of living species, and bones of whales, besides the remains of several living species of mammalia.

Other examples of works of art, such as stone hatchets, canoes, and ships, buried in ancient river-beds in England, and in peat and shell-marl, I have mentioned in my work before cited.


In the same work I have shown that near Stockholm, in Sweden, there occur, at slight elevations above the sea-level, horizontal beds of sand, loam, and marl, containing the same peculiar assemblage of testacea which now live in the brackish waters of the Baltic. Mingled with these, at different depths, have been detected various works of art implying a rude state of civilization, and some vessels built before the introduction of iron, and even the remains of an ancient hut, the marine strata containing it, which had been formed during a previous depression, having been upraised, so that the upper beds are now 60 feet higher than the surface of the Baltic. In the neighbourhood of these recent strata, both to the north-west and south of Stockholm, other deposits similar in mineral composition occur, which ascend to greater heights, in which precisely the same assemblage of fossil shells is met with, but without any intermixture, so far as is yet known, of human bones or fabricated articles.

On the opposite or western coast of Sweden, at Uddevalla, Post-Tertiary strata, containing recent shells, not of that brackish water character peculiar to the Baltic, but such as now live in the Northern Ocean, ascend to the height of 200 feet; and beds of clay and sand of the same age attain elevations of 300 and even 600 feet in Norway, where they have been usually described as "raised beaches." They are, however, thick deposits of submarine origin, spreading far and wide, and filling valleys in the granite and gneiss, just as the Tertiary formations, in different parts of Europe, cover or fill depressions in the older rocks.

Although the fossil fauna characterising these upraised sands and clays consists exclusively of existing northern species of testacea, it is more than probable that they may not all belong to that division of the Pleistocene strata which we are now considering. If the contemporary mammalia were known, they would, in all likelihood, be found to be referable, at least in part, to extinct species; for, according to Loven (an able living naturalist of Norway), the species do not constitute such an assemblage as now inhabits corresponding latitudes in the North Sea. On the contrary, they decidedly represent a more arctic fauna. In order to find the same species flourishing in equal abundance, or in many cases to find them at all, we must go northwards to higher latitudes than Uddevalla in Sweden, or even nearer the pole than Central Norway.

Judging by the uniformity of climate now prevailing from century to century, and the insensible rate of variation in the geographical distribution of organic beings in our own times, we may presume that an extremely lengthened period was required even for so slight a modification in the range of the molluscous fauna, as that of which the evidence is here brought to light. There are also other independent reasons for suspecting that the antiquity of these deposits may be indefinitely great as compared to the historical period. I allude to their present elevation above the sea, some of them rising, in Norway, to the height of 600 feet or more. The upward movement now in progress in parts of Norway and Sweden extends, as I have elsewhere shown,* (* "Principles" 9th edition chapter 30.) throughout an area about 1000 miles north and south, and for an unknown distance east and west, the amount of elevation always increasing as we proceed towards the North Cape, where it is said to equal 5 feet in a century. If we could assume that there had been an average of 2 1/2 feet in each hundred years for the last fifty centuries, this would give an elevation of 125 feet in that period. In other words, it would follow that the shores, and a considerable area of the former bed of the North Sea, had been uplifted vertically to that amount, and converted into land in the course of the last 5000 years. A mean rate of continuous vertical elevation of 2 1/2 feet in a century would, I conceive, be a high average; yet, even if this be assumed, it would require 24,000 years for parts of the sea-coast of Norway, where the Pleistocene marine strata occur, to attain the height of 600 feet. [Note 9.]



Earliest Discoveries in Caves of Languedoc of Human Remains with Bones of extinct Mammalia. Researches in 1833 of Dr. Schmerling in the Liege Caverns. Scattered Portions of Human Skeletons associated with Bones of Elephant and Rhinoceros. Distribution and probable Mode of Introduction of the Bones. Implements of Flint and Bone. Schmerling's Conclusions as to the Antiquity of Man ignored. Present State of the Belgian Caves. Human Bones recently found in Cave of Engihoul. Engulfed Rivers. Stalagmitic Crust. Antiquity of the Human Remains in Belgium how proved.

Having hitherto considered those formations in which both the fossil shells and the mammalia are of living species, we may now turn our attention to those of older date, in which the shells being all recent, some of the accompanying mammalia are extinct, or belong to species not known to have lived within the times of history or tradition.


In the "Principles of Geology," when treating of the fossil remains found in alluvium and the mud of caverns, I gave an account in 1832 of the investigations made by MM. Tournal and Christol in the South of France.* (* 1st edition volume 2 chapter 14 1832, and 9th edition page 738, 1853.)

M. Tournal stated in his memoir that in the cavern of Bize, in the department of the Aude, he had found human bones and teeth, together with fragments of rude pottery, in the same mud and breccia cemented by stalagmite in which land-shells of living species were embedded, and the bones of mammalia, some of extinct, others of recent species. The human bones were declared by his fellow-labourer, M. Marcel de Serres, to be in the same chemical condition as those of the accompanying quadrupeds.* (* "Annales des Sciences Naturelles" tome 15 1828 page 348.)

Speaking of these fossils of the Bize cavern five years later, M. Tournal observed that they could not be referred, as some suggested, to a "diluvial catastrophe," for they evidently had not been washed in suddenly by a transient flood, but must have been introduced gradually, together with the enveloping mud and pebbles, at successive periods.* (* "Annales de Chimie et de Physique" 1833 page 161.)

M. Christol, who was engaged at the same time in similar researches in another part of Languedoc, published an account of them a year later, in which he described some human bones, as occurring in the cavern of Pondres, near Nimes, in the same mud with the bones of an extinct hyaena and rhinoceros.* (* Christol, "Notice sur les Ossements humains des Cavernes du Gard" Montpellier 1829.) The cavern was in this instance filled up to the roof with mud and gravel, in which fragments of two kinds of pottery were detected, the lowest and rudest near the bottom of the cave, below the level of the extinct mammalia.

It has never been questioned that the hyaena and rhinoceros found by M. Christol were of extinct species; but whether the animals enumerated by M. Tournal might not all of them be referred to quadrupeds which are known to have been living in Europe in the historical period seems doubtful. They were said to consist of a stag, an antelope, and a goat, all named by M. Marcel de Serres as new; but the majority of palaeontologists do not agree with this opinion. Still it is true, as M. Lartet remarks, that the fauna of the cavern of Bize must be of very high antiquity, as shown by the presence, not only of the Lithuanian aurochs (Bison europaeus), but also of the reindeer, which has not been an inhabitant of the South of France in historical times, and which, in that country, is almost everywhere associated, whether in ancient alluvium or in the mud of caverns, with the mammoth.

In my work before cited,* (* "Principles" 9th edition page 739.) I stated that M. Desnoyers, an observer equally well versed in geology and archaeology, had disputed the conclusion arrived at by MM. Tournal and Christol, that the fossil rhinoceros, hyaena, bear, and other lost species had once been inhabitants of France contemporaneously with Man. "The flint hatchets and arrow-heads," he said, "and the pointed bones and coarse pottery of many French and English caves, agree precisely in character with those found in the tumuli, and under the dolmens (rude altars of unhewn stone) of the primitive inhabitants of Gaul, Britain, and Germany. The human bones, therefore, in the caves which are associated with such fabricated objects, must belong not to antediluvian periods, but to a people in the same stage of civilization as those who constructed the tumuli and altars."

"In the Gaulish monuments," he added, "we find, together with the objects of industry above mentioned, the bones of wild and domestic animals of species now inhabiting Europe, particularly of deer, sheep, wild boars, dogs, horses, and oxen. This fact has been ascertained in Quercy and other provinces; and it is supposed by antiquaries that the animals in question were placed beneath the Celtic altars in memory of sacrifices offered to the Gaulish divinity Hesus, and in the tombs to commemorate funeral repasts, and also from a superstition prevalent among savage nations, which induces them to lay up provisions for the manes of the dead in a future life. But in none of these ancient monuments have any bones been found of the elephant, rhinoceros, hyaena, tiger, and other quadrupeds, such as are found in caves, which might certainly have been expected had these species continued to flourish at the time that this part of Gaul was inhabited by Man."* (* Desnoyers, "Bulletin de la Societe Geologique de France" tome 2 page 252; and article on Caverns, "Dictionnaire Universelle d'Histoire Naturelle" Paris 1845.)

After giving no small weight to the arguments of M. Desnoyers, and the writings of Dr. Buckland on the same subject, and myself visiting several caves in Germany, I came to the opinion that the human bones mixed with those of extinct animals, in osseous breccias and cavern mud, in different parts of Europe, were probably not coeval. The caverns having been at one period the dens of wild beasts, and having served at other times as places of human habitation, worship, sepulture, concealment, or defence, one might easily conceive that the bones of Man and those of animals, which were strewed over the floors of subterranean cavities, or which had fallen into tortuous rents connecting them with the surface, might, when swept away by floods, be mingled in one promiscuous heap in the same ossiferous mud or breccia.* (* "Principles" 9th edition page 740.)

That such intermixtures have really taken place in some caverns, and that geologists have occasionally been deceived, and have assigned to one and the same period fossils which had really been introduced at successive times, will readily be conceded. But of late years we have obtained convincing proofs, as we shall see in the sequel, that the mammoth, and many other extinct mammalian species very common in caves, occur also in undisturbed alluvium, embedded in such a manner with works of art, as to leave no room for doubt that Man and the mammoth coexisted; Such discoveries have led me, and other geologists, to reconsider the evidence previously derived from caves brought forward in proof of the high antiquity of Man. With a view of re-examining this evidence, I have lately explored several caverns in Belgium and other countries, and re-read the principal memoirs and treatises treating of the fossil remains preserved in them, the results of which inquiries I shall now proceed to lay before the reader.


The late Dr. Schmerling of Liege, a skilful anatomist and palaeontologist, after devoting several years to the exploring of the numerous ossiferous caverns which border the valleys of the Meuse and its tributaries, published two volumes descriptive of the contents of more than forty caverns. One of these volumes consisted of an atlas of plates, illustrative of the fossil bones.* (* "Recherches sur les Ossements fossiles decouverts dans les Cavernes de la Province de Liege", Liege 1833-1834.)

Many of the caverns had never before been entered by scientific observers, and their floors were encrusted with unbroken stalagmite. At a very early stage of his investigations, Dr. Schmerling found the bones of Man so rolled and scattered as to preclude all idea of their having been intentionally buried on the spot. He also remarked that they were of the same colour, and in the same condition as to the amount of animal matter contained in them, as those of the accompanying animals, some of which, like the cave-bear, hyaena, elephant, and rhinoceros, were extinct; others, like the wild cat, beaver, wild boar, roe-deer, wolf, and hedgehog, still extant. The fossils were lighter than fresh bones, except such as had their pores filled with carbonate of lime, in which case they were often much heavier. The human remains of most frequent occurrence were teeth detached from the jaw, and the carpal, metacarpal, tarsal, metatarsal, and phalangeal bones separated from the rest of the skeleton. The corresponding bones of the cave-bear, the most abundant of the accompanying mammalia, were also found in the Liege caverns more commonly than any others, and in the same scattered condition. Occasionally, some of the long bones of mammalia were observed to have been first broken across, and then reunited or cemented again by stalagmite, as they lay on the floor of the cave.

No gnawed bones nor any coprolites were found by Schmerling. He therefore inferred that the caverns of the province of Liege had not been the dens of wild beasts, but that their organic and inorganic contents had been swept into them by streams communicating with the surface of the country. The bones, he suggested, may often have been rolled in the beds of such streams before they reached their underground destination. To the same agency the introduction of many land-shells dispersed through the cave-mud was ascribed, such as Helix nemoralis, H. lapicida, H. pomatia, and others of living species. Mingled with such shells, in some rare instances, the bones of freshwater fish, and of a snake (Coluber), as well as of several birds, were detected.

The occurrence here and there of bones in a very perfect state, or of several bones belonging to the same skeleton in natural juxtaposition, and having all their most delicate apophyses uninjured, while many accompanying bones in the same breccia were rolled, broken, or decayed, was accounted for by supposing that portions of carcasses were sometimes floated in during floods while still clothed with their flesh. No example was discovered of an entire skeleton, not even of one of the smaller mammalia, the bones of which are usually the least injured.

The incompleteness of each skeleton was especially ascertained in regard to the human subjects, Dr. Schmerling being careful, whenever a fragment of such presented itself, to explore the cavern himself, and see whether any other bones of the same skeleton could be found. In the Engis cavern, distant about eight miles to the south-west of Liege, on the left bank of the Meuse, the remains of at least three human individuals were disinterred. The skull of one of these, that of a young person, was embedded by the side of a mammoth's tooth. It was entire but so fragile, that nearly all of it fell to pieces during its extraction. Another skull, that of an adult individual, and the only one preserved by Dr. Schmerling in a sufficient state of integrity to enable the anatomist to speculate on the race to which it belonged, was buried 5 feet deep in a breccia, in which the tooth of a rhinoceros, several bones of a horse, and some of the reindeer, together with some ruminants, occurred. This skull, now in the museum of the University of Liege, is figured in Chapter 5 (Figure 2), where further observations will be offered on its anatomical character, after a fuller account of the contents of the Liege caverns has been laid before the reader.

On the right bank of the Meuse, on the opposite side of the river to Engis, is the cavern of Engihoul. Bones of extinct animals mingled with those of Man were observed to abound in both caverns; but with this difference, that whereas in the Engis cave there were several human crania and very few other bones, in Engihoul there occurred numerous bones of the extremities belonging to at least three human individuals, and only two small fragments of a cranium. The like capricious distribution held good in other caverns, especially with reference to the cave-bear, the most frequent of the extinct mammalia. Thus, for example in the cave of Chokier, skulls of the bear were few, and other parts of the skeleton abundant, whereas in several other caverns these proportions were exactly reversed, while at Goffontaine skulls of the bear and other parts of the skeleton were found in their natural numerical proportions. Speaking generally, it may be said that human bones, where any were met with, occurred at all depths in the cave-mud and gravel, sometimes above and sometimes below those of the bear, elephant, rhinoceros, hyaena, etc.

Some rude flint implements of the kind commonly called flint knives or flakes, of a triangular form in the cross section (as in Figure 14), were found by Schmerling dispersed generally through the cave-mud, but he was too much engrossed with his osteological inquiries to collect them diligently. He preserved some few of them, however, which I have seen in the museum at Liege. He also discovered in the cave of Chokier, 2 1/2 miles south-west from Liege, a polished and jointed needle-shaped bone, with a hole pierced obliquely through it at the base; such a cavity, he observed, as had never given passage to an artery. This instrument was embedded in the same matrix with the remains of a rhinoceros.* (* Schmerling part 2 page 177.)

Another cut bone and several artificially-shaped flints were found in the Engis cave, near the human skulls before alluded to. Schmerling observed, and we shall have to refer to the fact in the sequel (Chapter 8), that although in some forty fossiliferous caves explored by him human bones were the exception, yet these flint implements were universal, and he added that "none of them could have been subsequently introduced, being precisely in the same position as the remains of the accompanying animals." "I therefore," he continues, "attach great importance to their presence; for even if I had not found the human bones under conditions entirely favourable to their being considered as belonging to the antediluvian epoch, proofs of Man's existence would still have been supplied by the cut bones and worked flints"* (* Schmerling, part 2 page 179.)

Dr. Schmerling, therefore, had no hesitation in concluding from the various facts ascertained by him, that Man once lived in the Liege district contemporaneously with the cave-bear and several other extinct species of quadrupeds. But he was much at a loss when he attempted to invent a theory to explain the former state of the fauna of the region now drained by the Meuse; for he shared the notion, then very prevalent among naturalists, that the mammoth and the hyaena* (* Ibid. part 2 pages 70 and 96.) were beasts of a warmer climate than that now proper to Western Europe. In order to account for the presence of such "tropical species," he was half-inclined to imagine that they had been transported by a flood from some distant region; then again he raised the question whether they might not have been washed out of an older alluvium, which may have pre-existed in the neighbourhood. This last hypothesis was directly at variance with his own statements, that the remains of the mammoth and hyaena were identical in appearance, colour, and chemical condition with those of the bear and other associated fossil animals, none of which exhibited signs of having been previously enveloped in any dissimilar matrix. Another enigma which led Schmerling astray in some of his geological speculations was the supposed presence of the agouti, a South American rodent, "proper to the torrid zone." My friend M. Lartet, guided by Schmerling's figures of the teeth of this species, suggests, and I have little doubt with good reason, that they appertain to the porcupine, a genus found fossil in Pleistocene deposits of certain caverns in the south of France.

In the year 1833, I passed through Liege, on my way to the Rhine, and conversed with Dr. Schmerling, who showed me his splendid collection, and when I expressed some incredulity respecting the alleged antiquity of the fossil human bones, he pointedly remarked that if I doubted their having been contemporaneous with the bear or rhinoceros, on the ground of Man being a species of more modern date, I ought equally to doubt the co-existence of all the other living species, such as the red deer, roe, wild cat, wild boar, wolf, fox, weasel, beaver, hare, rabbit, hedgehog, mole, dormouse, field-mouse, water-rat, shrew, and others, the bones of which he had found scattered everywhere indiscriminately through the same mud with the extinct quadrupeds. The year after this conversation I cited Schmerling's opinions, and the facts bearing on the antiquity of Man, in the 3rd edition of my "Principles of Geology" (page 161, 1834), and in succeeding editions, without pretending to call in question their trustworthiness, but at the same time without giving them the weight which I now consider they were entitled to. He had accumulated ample evidence to prove that Man had been introduced into the earth at an earlier period than geologists were then willing to believe.

One positive fact, it will be said, attested by so competent a witness, ought to have outweighed any amount of negative testimony, previously accumulated, respecting the non-occurrence elsewhere of human remains in formations of the like antiquity. In reply, I can only plead that a discovery which seems to contradict the general tenor of previous investigations is naturally received with much hesitation. To have undertaken in 1832, with a view of testing its truth, to follow the Belgian philosopher through every stage of his observations and proofs, would have been no easy task even for one well-skilled in geology and osteology. To be let down, as Schmerling was, day after day, by a rope tied to a tree, so as to slide to the foot of the first opening of the Engis cave,* (* Schmerling part 1 page 30.) where the best-preserved human skulls were found; and, after thus gaining access to the first subterranean gallery, to creep on all fours through a contracted passage leading to larger chambers, there to superintend by torchlight, week after week and year after year, the workmen who were breaking through the stalagmitic crust as hard as marble, in order to remove piece by piece the underlying bone-breccia nearly as hard; to stand for hours with one's feet in the mud, and with water dripping from the roof on one's head, in order to mark the position and guard against the loss of each single bone of a skeleton; and at length, after finding leisure, strength, and courage for all these operations, to look forward, as the fruits of one's labour, to the publication of unwelcome intelligence, opposed to the prepossessions of the scientific as well as of the unscientific public—when these circumstances are taken into account, we need scarcely wonder, not only that a passing traveller failed to stop and scrutinise the evidence, but that a quarter of a century should have elapsed before even the neighbouring professors of the University of Liege came forth to vindicate the truthfulness of their indefatigable and clear-sighted countryman.

In 1860, when I revisited Liege, twenty-six years after my interview with Schmerling, I found that several of the caverns described by him had in the interval been annihilated. Not a vestige, for example, of the caves of Engis, Chokier, and Goffontaine remained. The calcareous stone, in the heart of which the cavities once existed, had been quarried away, and removed bodily for building and lime-making. Fortunately, a great part of the Engihoul cavern, situated on the right bank of the Meuse, was still in the same state as when Schmerling delved into it in 1831, and drew from it the bones of three human skeletons. I determined, therefore, to examine it, and was so fortunate as to obtain the assistance of a zealous naturalist of Liege, Professor Malaise, who accompanied me to the cavern, where we engaged some workmen to break through the crust of stalagmite, so that we could search for bones in the undisturbed earth beneath. Bones and teeth of the cave-bear were soon found, and several other extinct quadrupeds which Schmerling has enumerated. My companion, continuing the work perseveringly for weeks after my departure, succeeded at length in extracting from the same deposit, at the depth of 2 feet below the crust of stalagmite, three fragments of a human skull, and two perfect lower jaws with teeth, all associated in such a manner with the bones of bears, large pachyderms, and ruminants, and so precisely resembling these in colour and state of preservation, as to leave no doubt in his mind that Man was contemporary with the extinct animals. Professor Malaise has given figures of the human remains in the "Bulletin" of the Royal Academy of Belgium for 1860. * (* Volume 10 page 546.)

The rock in which the Liege caverns occur belongs generally to the Carboniferous or Mountain Limestone, in some few cases only to the older Devonian formation. Whenever the work of destruction has not gone too far, magnificent sections, sometimes 200 and 300 feet in height, are exposed to view. They confirm Schmerling's doctrine, that most of the materials, organic and inorganic, now filling the caverns, have been washed into them through narrow vertical or oblique fissures, the upper extremities of which are choked up with soil and gravel, and would scarcely ever be discoverable at the surface, especially in so wooded a country. Among the sections obtained by quarrying, one of the finest which I saw was in the beautiful valley of Fond du Foret, above Chaudefontaine, not far from the village of Magnee, where one of the rents communicating with the surface has been filled up to the brim with rounded and half-rounded stones, angular pieces of limestone and shale, besides sand and mud, together with bones, chiefly of the cave-bear. Connected with this main duct, which is from 1 to 2 feet in width, are several minor ones, each from 1 to 3 inches wide, also extending to the upper country or table-land, and choked up with similar materials. They are inclined at angles of 30 and 40 degrees, their walls being generally coated with stalactite, pieces of which have here and there been broken off and mingled with the contents of the rents, thus helping to explain why we so often meet with detached pieces of that substance in the mud and breccia of the Belgian caves. It is not easy to conceive that a solid horizontal floor of hard stalagmite should, after its formation, be broken up by running water; but when the walls of steep and tortuous rents, serving as feeders to the principal fissures and to inferior vaults and galleries are encrusted with stalagmite, some of the incrustation may readily be torn up when heavy fragments of rock are hurried by a flood through passages inclined at angles of 30 or 40 degrees.

The decay and decomposition of the fossil bones seem to have been arrested in most of the caves by a constant supply of water charged with carbonate of lime, which dripped from the roofs while the caves were becoming gradually filled up. By similar agency the mud, sand, and pebbles were usually consolidated.

The following explanation of this phenomenon has been suggested by the eminent chemist Liebig. On the surface of Franconia, where the limestone abounds in caverns, is a fertile soil in which vegetable matter is continually decaying. This mould or humus, being acted on by moisture and air, evolves carbonic acid, which is dissolved by rain. The rain water, thus impregnated, permeates the porous limestone, dissolves a portion of it, and afterwards, when the excess of carbonic acid evaporates in the caverns, parts with the calcareous matter and forms stalactite. So long as water flows, even occasionally, through a suite of caverns, no layer of pure stalagmite can be produced; hence the formation of such a layer is generally an event posterior in date to the cessation of the old system of drainage, an event which might be brought about by an earthquake causing new fissures, or by the river wearing its way down to a lower level, and thenceforth running in a new channel.

In all the subterranean cavities, more than forty in number, explored by Schmerling, he only observed one cave, namely that of Chokier, where there were two regular layers of stalagmite, divided by fossiliferous cave-mud. In this instance, we may suppose that the stream, after flowing for a long period at one level, cut its way down to an inferior suite of caverns, and, flowing through them for centuries, choked them up with debris; after which it rose once more to its original higher level: just as in the Mountain Limestone district of Yorkshire some rivers, habitually absorbed by a "swallow hole," are occasionally unable to discharge all their water through it; in which case they rise and rush through a higher subterranean passage, which was at some former period in the regular line of drainage, as is often attested by the fluviatile gravel still contained in it.

There are now in the basin of the Meuse, not far from Liege, several examples of engulfed brooks and rivers: some of them, like that of St. Hadelin, east of Chaudefontaine, which reappears after an underground course of a mile or two; others, like the Vesdre, which is lost near Goffontaine, and after a time re-emerges; some, again, like the torrent near Magnee, which, after entering a cave, never again comes to the day. In the season of floods such streams are turbid at their entrance, but clear as a mountain-spring where they issue again; so that they must be slowly filling up cavities in the interior with mud, sand, pebbles, snail-shells, and the bones of animals which may be carried away during floods.

The manner in which some of the large thigh and shank bones of the rhinoceros and other pachyderms are rounded, while some of the smaller bones of the same creatures, and of the hyaena, bear, and horse, are reduced to pebbles, shows that they were often transported for some distance in the channels of torrents, before they found a resting-place.

When we desire to reason or speculate on the probable antiquity of human bones found fossil in such situations as the caverns near Liege, there are two classes of evidence to which we may appeal for our guidance. First, considerations of the time required to allow of many species of carnivorous and herbivorous animals, which flourished in the cave period, becoming first scarce, and then so entirely extinct as we have seen that they had become before the era of the Danish peat and Swiss lake dwellings; secondly, the great number of centuries necessary for the conversion of the physical geography of the Liege district from its ancient to its present configuration; so many old underground channels, through which brooks and rivers flowed in the cave period, being now laid dry and choked up.

The great alterations which have taken place in the shape of the valley of the Meuse and some of its tributaries are often demonstrated by the abrupt manner in which the mouths of fossiliferous caverns open in the face of perpendicular precipices 200 feet or more in height above the present streams. There appears also, in many cases, to be such a correspondence in the openings of caverns on opposite sides of some of the valleys, both large and small, as to incline one to suspect that they originally belonged to a series of tunnels and galleries which were continuous before the present system of drainage came into play, or before the existing valleys were scooped out. Other signs of subsequent fluctuations are afforded by gravel containing elephant's bones at slight elevations above the Meuse and several of its tributaries. It may be objected that, according to the present rate of change, no lapse of ages would suffice to bring about such revolutions in physical geography as we are here contemplating. This may be true. It is more than probable that the rate of change was once far more active than it is now in the basin of the Meuse. Some of the nearest volcanoes, namely, those of the Lower Eifel about 60 miles to the eastward, seem to have been in eruption in Pleistocene times, and may perhaps have been connected and coeval with repeated risings or sinkings of the land in the Liege district. It might be said, with equal truth, that according to the present course of events, no series of ages would suffice to reproduce such an assemblage of cones and craters as those of the Eifel (near Andernach, for example); and yet some of them may be of sufficiently modern date to belong to the era when Man was contemporary with the mammoth and rhinoceros in the basin of the Meuse.

But, although we may be unable to estimate the minimum of time required for the changes in physical geography above alluded to, we cannot fail to perceive that the duration of the period must have been very protracted, and that other ages of comparative inaction may have followed, separating the Pleistocene from the historical periods, and constituting an interval no less indefinite in its duration.



Human Skeleton found in Cave near Dusseldorf. Its geological Position and probable Age. Its abnormal and ape-like Characters. Fossil Human Skull of the Engis Cave near Liege. Professor Huxley's Description of these Skulls. Comparison of each, with extreme Varieties of the native Australian Race. Range of Capacity in the Human and Simian Brains. Skull from Borreby in Denmark. Conclusions of Professor Huxley. Bearing of the peculiar Characters of the Neanderthal Skull on the Hypothesis of Transmutation.


Before I speak more particularly of the opinions which anatomists have expressed respecting the osteological characters of the human skull from Engis, near Liege, mentioned in the last chapter and described by Dr. Schmerling, it will be desirable to say something of the geological position of another skull, or rather skeleton, which, on account of its peculiar conformation, has excited no small sensation in the last few years. I allude to the skull found in 1857 in a cave situated in that part of the valley of the Dussel, near Dusseldorf, which is called the Neanderthal. The spot is a deep and narrow ravine about 70 English miles north-east of the region of the Liege caverns treated of in the last chapter, and close to the village and railway station of Hochdal between Dusseldorf and Elberfeld. The cave occurs in the precipitous southern or left side of the winding ravine, about sixty feet above the stream, and a hundred feet below the top of the cliff. The accompanying section (Figure 1.) will give the reader an idea of its position.

When Dr. Fuhlrott of Elberfeld first examined the cave, he found it to be high enough to allow a man to enter. The width was 7 or 8 feet, and the length or depth 15. I visited the spot in 1860, in company with Dr. Fuhlrott, who had the kindness to come expressly from Elberfeld to be my guide, and who brought with him the original fossil skull, and a cast of the same, which he presented to me. In the interval of three years, between 1857 and 1860, the ledge of rock, f, on which the cave opened, and which was originally 20 feet wide, had been almost entirely quarried away, and, at the rate at which the work of dilapidation was proceeding, its complete destruction seemed near at hand.


a. Cavern 60 feet above the Dussel, and 100 feet below the surface of the country at c. b. Loam covering the floor of the cave near the bottom of which the human skeleton was found. b, c. Rent connecting the cave with the upper surface of the country. d. Superficial sandy loam. e. Devonian limestone. f. Terrace, or ledge of rock.)

In the limestone are many fissures, one of which, still partially filled with mud and stones, is represented in the section at a c as continuous from the cave to the upper surface of the country. Through this passage the loam, and possibly the human body to which the bones belonged, may have been washed into the cave below. The loam, which covered the uneven bottom of the cave, was sparingly mixed with rounded fragments of chert, and was very similar in composition to that covering the general surface of that region.

There was no crust of stalagmite overlying the mud in which the human skeleton was found, and no bones of other animals in the mud with the skeleton; but just before our visit in 1860 the tusk of a bear had been met with in some mud in a lateral embranchment of the cave, in a situation precisely similar to b, Figure 1, and on a level corresponding with that of the human skeleton. This tusk, shown us by the proprietor of the cave, was 2 1/2 inches long and quite perfect; but whether it was referable to a recent or extinct species of bear, I could not determine.

From a printed letter of Dr. Fuhlrott we learn that on removing the loam, which was five feet thick, from the cave, the human skull was first noticed near the entrance, and, further in, the other bones lying in the same horizontal plane. It is supposed that the skeleton was complete, but the workmen, ignorant of its value, scattered and lost most of the bones, preserving only the larger ones.* (* Fuhlrott, Letter to Professor Schaaffhausen, cited "Natural History Review" Number 2 page 156. See also "Naturhistorischer Verein" Bonn 1859.)

The cranium, which Dr. Fuhlrott showed me, was covered both on its outer and inner surface, and especially on the latter, with a profusion of dendritical crystallisations, and some other bones of the skeleton were ornamented in the same way. These markings, as Dr. Hermann von Meyer observes, afford no sure criterion of antiquity, for they have been observed on Roman bones. Nevertheless, they are more common in bones that have been long embedded in the earth. The skull and bones, moreover, of the Neanderthal skeleton had lost so much of their animal matter as to adhere strongly to the tongue, agreeing in this respect with the ordinary condition of fossil remains of the Pleistocene period. On the whole, I think it probable that this fossil may be of about the same age as those found by Schmerling in the Liege caverns; but, as no other animal remains were found with it, there is no proof that it may not be newer. Its position lends no countenance whatever to the supposition of its being more ancient.

When the skull and other parts of the skeleton were first exhibited at a German scientific meeting at Bonn, in 1857, some doubts were expressed by several naturalists, whether it was truly human. Professor Schaaffhausen, who, with the other experienced zoologists, did not share these doubts, observed that the cranium, which included the frontal bone, both parietals, part of the squamous, and the upper third of the occipital, was of unusual size and thickness, the forehead narrow and very low, and the projection of the supra-orbital ridges enormously great. He also stated that the absolute and relative length of the thigh bone, humerus, radius, and ulna, agreed well with the dimensions of a European individual of like stature at the present day; but that the thickness of the bones was very extraordinary, and the elevations and depressions for the attachment of muscles were developed in an unusual degree. Some of the ribs, also, were of a singularly rounded shape and abrupt curvature, which was supposed to indicate great power in the thoracic muscles.* (* Professor Schaaffhausen's "Memoir" translated "Natural History Review" April 1861.)

In the same memoir, the Prussian anatomist remarks that the depression of the forehead (See Figure 3.), is not due to any artificial flattening, such as is practised in various modes by barbarous nations in the Old and New World, the skull being quite symmetrical, and showing no indication of counter-pressure at the occiput; whereas, according to Morton, in the Flat-heads of the Columbia, the frontal and parietal bones are always unsymmetrical.* (* "Natural History Review" Number 2 page 160.) On the whole, Professor Schaaffhausen concluded that the individual to whom the Neanderthal skull belonged must have been distinguished by small cerebral development, and uncommon strength of corporeal frame.

When on my return to England I showed the cast of the cranium to Professor Huxley, he remarked at once that it was the most ape-like skull he had ever beheld. Mr. Busk, after giving a translation of Professor Schaaffhausen's memoir in the "Natural History Review," added some valuable comments of his own on the characters in which this skull approached that of the gorilla and chimpanzee.

Professor Huxley afterwards studied the cast with the object of assisting me to give illustrations of it in this work, and in doing so discovered what had not previously been observed, that it was quite as abnormal in the shape of its occipital as in that of its frontal or superciliary region. Before citing his words on the subject, I will offer a few remarks on the Engis skull which the same anatomist has compared with that of the Neanderthal. [Note 10. ]


Among six or seven human skeletons, portions of which were collected by Dr. Schmerling from three or four caverns near Liege, embedded in the same matrix with the remains of the elephant, rhinoceros, bear, hyaena, and other extinct quadrupeds, the most perfect skull, as I have before stated, was that of an adult individual found in the cavern of Engis. This skull, Dr. Schmerling figured in his work, observing that it was too imperfect to enable the anatomist to determine the facial angle, but that one might infer, from the narrowness of the frontal portion, that it belonged to an individual of small intellectual development. He speculated on its Ethiopian affinities, but not confidently, observing truly that it would require many more specimens to enable an anatomist to arrive at sound conclusions on such a point. M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire and other osteologists, who examined the specimen, denied that it resembled a negro's skull. When I saw the original in the museum at Liege, I invited Dr. Spring, one of the professors of the university, to whom we are indebted for a valuable memoir on the human bones found in the cavern of Chauvaux, near Namur, to have a cast made of this Engis skull. He not only had the kindness to comply with my request, but rendered a service to the scientific world by adding to the original cranium several detached fragments which Dr. Schmerling had obtained from Engis, and which were found to fit in exactly, so that the cast represented at Figure 2 is more complete than that given in the first plate of Schmerling's work. It exhibits on the right side the position of the auditory foramen (see Figure 6), which was not included in Schmerling's figure. Mr. Busk, when he saw this cast, remarked to me that, although the forehead was, as Schmerling had truly stated, somewhat narrow, it might nevertheless be matched by the skulls of individuals of European race, an observation since fully borne out by measurements, as will be seen in the sequel.


"The Engis skull, as originally figured by Professor Schmerling, was in a very imperfect state; but other fragments have since been added to it by the care of Dr. Spring, and the cast upon which my observations are based (Figure 2) exhibits the frontal, parietal, and occipital regions, as far as the middle of the occipital foramen, with the squamous and mastoid portions of the right temporal bone entire, or nearly so, while the left temporal bone is wanting. From the middle of the occipital foramen to the middle of the roof of each orbit, the base of the skull is destroyed, and the facial bones are entirely absent.

"The extreme length of the skull is 7.7 inches, and as its extreme breadth is not more than 5.25, its form is decidedly dolichocephalic. At the same time its height (4 3/4 inches from the plane of the glabello-occipital line (a d) to the vertex) is good, and the forehead is well arched; so that while the horizontal circumference of the skull is about 20 1/2 inches, the longitudinal arc from the nasal spine of the frontal bone to the occipital protuberance (d) measures about 13 3/4 inches. The transverse arc from one auditory foramen to the other across the middle of the sagittal suture measures about 13 inches. The sagittal suture (b c) is 5 1/2 inches in length. The superciliary prominences are well, but not excessively, developed, and are separated by a median depression in the region of the glabella. They indicate large frontal sinuses. If a line joining the glabella and the occipital protuberance (a d) be made horizontal, no part of the occiput projects more than 1/10th of an inch behind the posterior extremity of that line; and the upper edge of the auditory foramen is almost in contact with the same line, or rather with one drawn parallel to it on the outer surface of the skull.


a. Superciliary ridge and glabella. b. Coronal suture. c. The apex of the lamboidal suture. d. The occipital protuberance.)

"The Neanderthal skull, with which also I am acquainted only by means of Professor Schaaffhausen's drawings of an excellent cast and of photographs, is so extremely different in appearance from the Engis cranium, that it might well be supposed to belong to a distinct race of mankind. It is 8 inches in extreme length and 5.75 inches in extreme breadth, but only measures 3.4 inches from the glabello-occipital line to the vertex. The longitudinal arc, measured as above, is 12 inches; the transverse arc cannot be exactly ascertained, in consequence of the absence of the temporal bones, but was probably about the same, and certainly exceeded 10 1/4 inches. The horizontal circumference is 23 inches. This great circumference arises largely from the vast development of the superciliary ridges, which are occupied by great frontal sinuses whose inferior apertures are displayed exceedingly well in one of Dr. Fuhlrott's photographs, and form a continuous transverse prominence, somewhat excavated in the middle line, across the lower part of the brows. In consequence of this structure, the forehead appears still lower and more retreating than it really is. To an anatomical eye the posterior part of the skull is even more striking than the anterior. The occipital protuberance occupies the extreme posterior end of the skull when the glabello-occipital line is made horizontal, and so far from any part of the occipital region extending beyond it, this region of the skull slopes obliquely upward and forward, so that the lambdoidal suture is situated well upon the upper surface of the cranium. At the same time, notwithstanding the great length of the skull, the sagittal suture is remarkably short (4 1/2 inches), and the squamosal suture is very straight.


a. Superciliary ridge and glabella. b. The coronal suture. c. The apex of the lamboidal suture. d. The occipital protuberance.)

"In human skulls, the superior curved ridge of the occipital bone and the occipital protuberance correspond, approximatively, with the level of the tentorium and with the lateral sinuses, and consequently with the inferior limit of the posterior lobes of the brain. At first, I found some difficulty in believing that a human brain could have its posterior lobes so flattened and diminished as must have been the case in the Neanderthal man, supposing the ordinary relation to obtain between the superior occipital ridges and the tentorium; but on my application, through Sir Charles Lyell, Dr. Fuhlrott, the possessor of the skull, was good enough not only to ascertain the existence of the lateral sinuses in their ordinary position, but to send convincing proofs of the fact, in excellent photographic views of the interior of the skull, exhibiting clear indications of these sinuses.

"There can be no doubt that, as Professor Schaaffhausen and Mr. Busk have stated, this skull is the most brutal of all known human skulls, resembling 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 forwards and upward, from the superior occipital ridges.


The superciliary region of the Neanderthal skull appears less prominent than in Figure 3, as the contours are all taken along the middle line where the superciliary projection of the Neanderthal skull is least marked. a. The glabella. b. The occipital protuberance, or the point on the exterior of each skull which corresponds roughly with the attachment of the tentorium, or with the inferior boundary of the posterior cerebral lobes.)

"But the cranium, in its present condition, is stated by Professor Schaaffhausen to contain 1033.24 cubic centimetres of water, or, in other words, about 63 English cubic inches. As the entire skull could hardly have held less than 12 cubic inches more, its minimum capacity may be estimated at 75 cubic inches. The most capacious healthy European skull yet measured had a capacity of 114 cubic inches, the smallest (as estimated by weight of brain) about 55 cubic inches, while, according to Professor Schaaffhausen, some Hindoo skulls have as small a capacity as about 46 cubic inches (27 ounces of water). The largest cranium of any Gorilla yet measured contained 34.5 cubic inches. The Neanderthal cranium stands, therefore, in capacity, very nearly on a level with the mean of the two human extremes, and very far above the pithecoid maximum.

(FIGURE 5. SKULL ASSOCIATED WITH GROUND FLINT IMPLEMENTS, FROM A TUMULUS AT BORREBY IN DENMARK, AFTER A CAMERA LUCIDA DRAWING BY MR. G. BUSK, F.R.S. The thick dark line indicates so much of the skull as corresponds with the fragment from the Neanderthal.

a. Superciliary ridge. b. Coronal suture. c. The apex of the lamboidal suture. d. The occipital protuberance. e. The auditory foramen.)

"Hence, even in the absence of the bones of the arm and thigh, which, according to Professor Schaaffhausen, had the precise proportions found in Man, although they were stouter than ordinary human bones, there could be no reason for ascribing this cranium to anything but a man; while the strength and development of the muscular ridges of the limb-bones are characters in perfect accordance with those exhibited, in a minor degree, by the bones of such hardy savages, exposed to a rigorous climate, as the Patagonians.

"The Neanderthal cranium has certainly not undergone compression, and, in reply to the suggestion that the skull is that of an idiot, it may be urged that the onus probandi lies with those who adopt the hypothesis. Idiotcy is compatible with very various forms and capacities of the cranium, but I know of none which present the least resemblance to the Neanderthal skull; and, furthermore, I shall proceed to show that the latter manifests but an extreme degree of a stage of degradation exhibited, as a natural condition, by the crania of certain races of mankind.

"Mr. Busk drew my attention, some time ago, to the resemblance between some of the skulls taken from tumuli of the stone period at Borreby in Denmark, of which Mr. Busk possesses numerous accurate figures, and the Neanderthal cranium. One of the Borreby skulls in particular (Figure 5) has remarkably projecting superciliary ridges, a retreating forehead, a low flattened vertex, and an occiput which shelves upward and forward. But the skull is relatively higher and broader, or more brachycephalic, the sagittal suture longer, and the superciliary ridges less projecting, than in the Neanderthal skull. Nevertheless, there is, without doubt, much resemblance in character between the two skulls—a circumstance which is the more interesting, since the other Borreby skulls have better foreheads and less prominent superciliary ridges, and exhibit altogether a higher conformation.

"The Borreby skulls belong to the stone period of Denmark, and the people to whom they appertained were probably either contemporaneous with, or later than, the makers of the 'refuse-heaps' of that country. In other words, they were subsequent to the last great physical changes of Europe, and were contemporaries of the urus and bison, not of the Elephas primigenius, Rhinoceros tichorhinus, and Hyaena spelaea.

"Supposing for a moment, what is not proven, that the Neanderthal skull belonged to a race allied to the Borreby people and was as modern as they, it would be separated by as great a distance of time as of anatomical character from the Engis skull, and the possibility of its belonging to a distinct race from the latter might reasonably appear to be greatly heightened.

"To prevent the possibility of reasoning in a vicious circle, however, I thought it would be well to endeavour to ascertain what amount of cranial variation is to be found in a pure race at the present day; and as the natives of Southern and Western Australia are probably as pure and homogeneous in blood, customs, and language, as any race of savages in existence, I turned to them, the more readily as the Hunterian museum contains a very fine collection of such skulls.

"I soon found it possible to select from among these crania two (connected by all sorts of intermediate gradations), the one of which should very nearly resemble the Engis skull, while the other should somewhat less closely approximate the Neanderthal cranium in form, size, and proportions. And at the same time others of these skulls presented no less remarkable affinities with the low type of Borreby skull.

"That the resemblances to which I allude are by no means of a merely superficial character, is shown by the accompanying diagram (Figure 6), which gives the contours of the two ancient and of one of the Australian skulls, and by the following table of measurements.

TABLE 5/1.


COLUMN 2 (A): The horizontal circumference in the plane of a line joining the glabella with the occipital protuberance.

COLUMN 3 (B): The longitudinal arc from the nasal depression along the middle line of the skull to the occipital tuberosity.

COLUMN 4 (C): From the level of the glabello-occipital line on each side, across the middle of the sagittal suture to the same point on the opposite side.

COLUMN 5 (D): The vertical height from the glabello-occipital line.

COLUMN 6 (E): The extreme longitudinal measurement.

COLUMN 7 (F): The extreme transverse measurement.* (* I have taken the glabello-occipital line as a base in these measurements, simply because it enables me to compare all the skulls, whether fragments or entire, together. The greatest circumference of the English skull lies in a plane considerably above that of the glabello-occipital line, and amounts to 22 inches.)

Engis : 20 1/2 : 13 3/4 : 12 1/2 : 4 3/4 : 7 3/4 : 5 1/4. Australian, Number 1 : 20 1/2 : 13 : 12 : 4 3/4 : 7 1/2 : 5 4/10. Australian, Number 2 : 22 : 12 1/2 : 10 3/4 : 3 8/10 : 7.9 : 5 3/4. Neanderthal : 23 : 12 : 10 : 3 3/4 : 8 : 5 3/4.

"The question whether the Engis skull has rather the character of one of the high races or of one of the lower has been much disputed, but the following measurements of an English skull, noted in the catalogue of the Hunterian museum as typically Caucasian (see Figure 4) will serve to show that both sides may be right, and that cranial measurements alone afford no safe indication of race.

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