Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/43

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33
THE GLACIAL MAN IN AMERICA.

sixteenth century, for at that period, in the spirit of the Tyrian and Sidonian sailor, the Spaniards and the French had their plans for stopping the advance of other nations—the one by fortifying the straits of Magellan, and the other by holding the supposed route to the Indies by way of the St. Lawrence.

It is now gradually becoming apparent that the peopling of America was accomplished by more than one race of emigrants, and that at least two distinct expeditions went from Europe to Mexico and Yucatan before the Spaniards. This question, therefore, has its historic and archaeological side, and consists of a number of very distinct lines, which are to be studied separately by specialists, in the conviction that no one theory or set of facts covers the whole ground. Several distinct contributions were made by the inhabitants of the Eastern Continent toward the peopling of America, and, by means of a careful division of labor, we may yet reach some satisfactory solution of a subject that has so long baffled inquiry. Such studies may be conducted on strictly scientific principles, as well as those prosecuted with relation to the story of life in general on this continent; for, if we may accept as historic the representation of Professor Marsh, who pictures the American primates making their way over the miocene bridge at Behring Strait to Europe, and failing, later, when differentiated, to return, because the bridge had broken down, man alone returning to the country of his "earlier ancestry," it is certainly reasonable to hope that the origin of those races not connected with the in-comer by Behring Strait may be satisfactorily explained.

At what period the Atlantic was first crossed by man it is impossible now to conjecture. It was nevertheless navigated in very early times, and was a sea of light, though at the dawn of history it appears as the "Sea of Darkness," inspiring no little apprehension and dread; while Albinovinus sends out Germanicus upon the sea with a ruit ipsa dies. Under the circumstances, therefore, the old discussions will be continued, though the subject of the glacial man in America may be pursued as something wholly independent.

But was there any glacial man in America? To this question the answer is distinct, though given with the reserve which the subject justifies. For the best that is known, we are chiefly indebted to Dr. C. C. Abbott, who was the first to call attention to the stone implements found in the glacial deposits of the Delaware Valley. These implements are chiefly of argellite, though examples of flint occur at higher levels. They have been found at the bluffs near Trenton, both in position where deposited and among the débris at the base. Dr. Abbott says, "Perhaps it is a wise caution that is exercised in but provisionally admitting the great antiquity of American man, but, were these rude implements not attributed to an inter-glacial people, their coequal age with the containing beds would never have been questioned." On this point the Curator of the Peabody Museum at