Pagina:Scientia - Vol. IX.djvu/127

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119 THE EVOLUTION OF MAN

existing beliefs. The new views enjoyed a triumph in this ease also, and we are now ready to accept with indifference whatever geological epoch may be assigned to the birth of our species, our sole concern being with the adequacy of the evidence.

Palaeolithic man was the subject chosen by Sir John Evans for his Anniversary Address to the Geological Society in 1875, and the next year saw the publication of Prof. Boyd Dawkins’s Cave Hunting. At this time research on prehistoric man in these islands reached its high-water mark, and the extraordinary advance which has attended subsequent investigation we owe to the industry and sagacity of our friends on the Continent, especially in France.

When Sir John Evans delivered his address he recognized only two stages in the palaeolithic series, represented by cave man and river-drift man; as a result of investigations in Prance, we are now able to distinguish six, the Chellean, Acheulean, Mousterian, Aurignacian, Solutrian, and Magdalenian, some of these being capable of further division into two or more substages. They are enumerated above in the order of their age, the Chellean being the oldest.

All observers arc agreed that the Chellean corresponds with an interglacial episode, the fauna associated with it, particularly Elephas antiquus and Rhinoceros merkii, pointing to a warm climate; but opinions differ as to which interglacial episode this may be: Prof. Boule pronounces for the last, Prof. Penck for the last but one.

Human remains have long been known from the Magdalenian stage. They afford evidence of the contemporary existence of two very different races: one represented by the old man of Crô Magnon, on which much additional light has been thrown by the skeletons found in the caves of Mentone, and so admirably described by M. Verneau; the other by a single skeleton found under a rock-shelter in Chancelade, not far north of Périgueux. The latter, as clearly shown by Dr. L. Testut, belonged to an adult man about 5 feet in height, who was beyond doubt an Eskimo. The Crô Magnon race, apparently extinct, were a tall people, 6 feet to 6 feet 3 inches in height; they combined a long skull with a short face, and made a closer approach to the Mongolian type than to the Eskimo, in which both face and skull are long.