Page:American Anthropologist NS vol. 1.djvu/712
holmes] auriferous gravel man 643
growth. The Pithecanthropus of California would have to be looked for somewhere in the early Tertiary if not in a preceding period. The burdens thus thrown upon the Auriferous Gravel evidence are enormous.
(3) The proposition that a Tertiary man could survive to the present time surpasses belief. The physical and biological changes in the region have been profound and far-reaching. The western half of the continent has been twice or thrice remodeled since Middle Tertiary times, and every known species of plant and all species of the higher forms of animal life have been obliter- ated. Evidence based on random and inexpert observations is not sufficient to establish such a proposition.
(4) If it could for a moment be admitted that man did survive throughout the ages and continental transformations, it appears quite impossible that his physical characters and his culture should have remained unchanged. It is equally impossible that a modern race could have sprung up duplicating the man of a million years before in every essential particular.
(5) Examination of the human relics reported from the gravels fails to give support to the claim of antiquity. Fossilization of the osseous remains, upon which so much stress has been laid, may have taken place in comparatively recent times. The chemical changes noted are such as might be expected to charac- terize remains buried for a few hundred years in the deep pits and caverns of the region. The crania recovered are identical in character with recent crania.
(6) Objects of art from the Auriferous Gravels are said to be of the most primitive character, and, in large measure, peculiar to the gravels. When critically examined, however, they are found to belong to the polished stone age and to duplicate modern im- plements in every essential respect. They are sucbas may have fallen in from Indian camp sites or been carried in by the Indians themselves. They are made from varieties of stone belonging to formations ranging from the oldest to the youngest found in