Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man

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Plate I.



A VILLAGE BUILT OF PILES IN A SWISS LAKE.
(Restored by Dr. F. Keller, partly from Dumont D'Urville's Sketch of similar habitations in New Guinea.)



THE GEOLOGICAL EVIDENCES

 

OF

 

THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN

 

WITH REMARKS ON THEORIES OF

 

THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES BY VARIATION

 

By SIR CHARLES LYELL, F.R.S.

AUTHOR OF 'PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY,' 'ELEMENTS OF GEOLOGY,' ETC. ETC.

 

ILLUSTRATED BY WOODCUTS

 

LONDON

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET

1863

 

The right or translation is reserved



LONDON

PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO.

NEW-STREET SQUARE


CONTENTS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

Preliminary Remarks on the Subjects treated of in this—Work Definition of the Terms Recent, Post-Pliocene, and Post-Tertiary—Tabular View of the entire Series of Fossiliferous Strata
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Page 1
 

RECENT PERIOD—DANISH PEAT AND SHELL MOUNDS—SWISS LAKE DWELLINGS.

Works of Art in Danish Peat-Mosses—Remains of three Periods of Vegetation in the Peat—Ages of Stone, Bronze, and Iron—Shell-Mounds or ancient Refuse-Heaps of the Danish Islands—Change in geographical Distribution of Marine Mollusca since their Origin—Embedded Remains of Mammalia of recent Species—Human Skulls of the same Period—Swiss Lake-Dwellings built on Piles—Stone and Bronze Implements found in them—Fossil Cereals and other Plants—Remains of Mammalia, wild and domesticated—No extinct Species—Chronological Computations of the Date of the Bronze and Stone Periods in Switzerland—Lake-Dwellings, or artificial Islands called 'Crannoges,' in Ireland
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8
 

FOSSIL HUMAN REMAINS AND WORKS OF ART OF THE RECENT PERIOD.

Delta and Alluvial Plain of the Nile—Burnt Bricks in Egypt before the Roman Era—Borings in 1851-54—Ancient Mounds of the Valley of the Ohio—Their Antiquity—Sepulchral Mound at Santos in Brazil—Delta of the Mississippi—Ancient Human Remains in Coral Reefs of Florida—Changes in Physical Geography in the Human Period—Buried Canoes in marine Strata near Glasgow—Upheaval since the Roman Occupation of the Shores of the Firth of Forth—Fossil Whales near Stirling—Upraised marine Strata of Sweden on Shores of the Baltic and the Ocean—Attempts to compute their Age
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33
 

POST-PLIOCENE PERIOD
BONES OF MAN AND EXTINCT MAMMALIA IN BELGIAN CAVERNS.

Earliest Discoveries in Caves of Languedoc of Human Remains with Bones of extinct Mammalia—Researches in 1833 of Dr. Schmerling in the Liége 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
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Page 59
 

POST-PLIOCENE PERIOD
FOSSIL HUMAN SKULLS OF THE NEANDERTHAL AND ENGIS CAVES.

Earliest Discoveries in Caves of Languedoc of Human Remains with Bones of extinct Mammalia—Researches in 1833 of Dr. Schmerling in the Liége 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
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75
 

POST-PLIOCENE ALLUVIUM AND CAVE DEPOSITS WITH FLINT IMPLEMENTS.

General Position of Drift with extinct Mammalia in Valleys—Discoveries of M. Boucher de Perthes at Abbeville—Flint Implements found also at St. Acheul, near Amiens—Curiosity awakened by the systematic Exploration of the Brixham Cave—Flint Knives in same, with Bones of extinct Mammalia—Superposition of Deposits in the Cave—Visits of English and French Geologists to Abbeville and Amiens
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93
 

PEAT AND POST-PLIOCENE ALLUVIUM OF THE VALLEY OF THE SOMME.

Geological Structure of the Valley of the Somme and of the surrounding Country—Position of Alluvium of different Ages—Peat near Abbeville—Its animal and vegetable Contents—Works of Art in Peat—Probable Antiquity of the Peat, and Changes of Level since its Growth began—Flint Implements of antique Type in older Alluvium—Their various Forms and great Numbers
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106
 

POST-PLIOCENE ALLUVIUM WITH FLINT IMPLEMENTS OF THE VALLEY OF THE SOMME—concluded.

Fluvio-marine Strata, with Flint Implements, near Abbeville—Marine Shells in same—Cyrena Fluminalis—Mammalia—Entire Skeleton of Rhinoceros—Flint Implements, why found low down in Fluviatile Deposits—Rivers shifting their Channels—Relative Ages of higher and lower-level Gravels—Section of Alluvium of St. Acheul—Two Species of Elephant and Hippopotamus coexisting with Man in France—Volume of Drift, proving Antiquity of Flint Implements—Absence of Human Bones in tool-bearing Alluvium, how explained—Value of certain Kinds of negative Evidence tested thereby—Human Bones not found in drained Lake of Haarlem
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Page 121
 

WORKS OF ART IN POST-PLIOCENE ALLUVIUM OF FRANCE AND ENGLAND.

Flint Implements in ancient Alluvium of the Basin of the Seine—Bones of Man and of extinct Mammalia in the Cave of Arcy—Extinct Mammalia in the Valley of the Oise—Flint Implement in Gravel of same Valley—Works of Art in Post-Pliocene Drift in Valley of the Thames—Musk Buffalo—Meeting of northern and southern Fauna—Migrations of Quadrupeds—Mammals of Amoor Land—Chronological Relation of the older Alluvium of the Thames to the Glacial Drift—Flint Implements of Post-Pliocene Period in Surrey, Middlesex, Kent, Bedfordshire, and Suffolk
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150
 

CAVERN DEPOSITS, AND PLACE OF SEPULTURE OF THE POST-PLIOCENE PERIOD.

Flint Implements in Cave containing Hyæna and other extinct Mammalia in Somersetshire—Caves of the Gower Peninsula in South Wales—Rhinoceros hemitœchus—Ossiferous Caves near Palermo—Sicily once part of Africa—Rise of Bed of the Mediterranean to the Height of three hundred Feet in the Human Period in Sardinia—Burial Place of Post-Pliocene Date of Aurignac in the South of France—Rhinoceros tichorhinus eaten by Man—M. Lartet on extinct Mammalia and Works of Art found in the Aurignac Cave—Relative Antiquity of the same, considered
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170
 

AGE OF HUMAN FOSSILS OF LE PUY IN CENTRAL FRANCE AND OF NATCHEZ ON THE MISSISSIPPI, DISCUSSED.

Question as to the Authenticity of the Fossil Man of Denise, near Le Puy-en-Velay, considered—Antiquity of the Human Race implied by that Fossil—Successive Periods of volcanic Action in Central France—With what Changes in the Mammalian Fauna they correspond—The Elephas Meridionalis anterior in Time to the implement-bearing Gravel of St. Acheul—Authenticity of the Human Fossil of Natchez on the Mississippi, discussed—The Natchez Deposit, containing Bones of Mastodon and Megalonyx, probably not older than the Flint Implements of St. Acheul
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Page 194
 

ANTIQUITY OF MAN RELATIVELY TO THE GLACIAL PERIOD AND TO THE EXISTING FAUNA AND FLORA.

Chronological Relation of the Glacial Period, and the earliest known Signs of Man's Appearance in Europe—Series of Tertiary Deposits in Norfolk and Suffolk immediately antecedent to the Glacial Period—Gradual Refrigeration of Climate proved by the Marine Shells of successive Groups—Marine Newer Pliocene Shells of northern Character, near Woodbridge—Section of the Norfolk Cliffs—Norwich Crag—Forest Bed and fluvio-marine Strata—Fossil Plants and Mammalia of the same—Overlying Boulder Clay and contorted Drift—Newer freshwater Formation of Mundesley compared to that of Hoxne—Great Oscillations of Level implied by the Series of Strata in the Norfolk Cliffs—Earliest known Date of Man long subsequent to the existing Fauna and Flora
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206
 

CHRONOLOGICAL RELATIONS OF THE GLACIAL PERIOD AND THE EARLIEST SIGNS OF MAN'S APPEARANCE IN EUROPE.

Chronological Relations of the Close of the Glacial Period and the earliest geological Signs of the Appearance of Man—Effects of Glaciers and Icebergs in polishing and scoring Rocks—Scandinavia once encrusted with Ice like Greenland—Outward Movement of Continental Ice in Greenland—Mild Climate of Greenland in the Miocene Period—Erratics of recent Period in Sweden—Glacial State of Sweden in the Post-Pliocene Period—Scotland formerly encrusted with Ice—Its subsequent Submergence and Re-elevation—Latest Changes produced by Glaciers in Scotland—Remains of the Mammoth and Reindeer in Scotch Boulder Clay—Parallel Roads of Glen Roy formed in Glacier Lakes—Comparatively modern Date of these Shelves
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229
 

CHRONOLOGICAL RELATIONS OF THE GLACIAL PERIOD AND THE EARLIEST SIGNS OF MAN'S APPEARANCE IN EUROPE—continued.

Signs of extinct Glaciers in Wales—Great Submergence of Wales during the Glacial Period proved by Marine Shells—Still greater Depression inferred from stratified Drift—Scarcity of organic Remains in Glacial Formations—Signs of extinct Glaciers in England—Ice Action in Ireland—Maps illustrating successive Revolutions in Physical Geography during the Post-Pliocene Period—Southernmost Extent of Erratics in England—Successive Periods of Junction and Separation of England, Ireland, and the Continent—Time required for these Changes—Probable Causes of the Upheaval and Subsidence of the Earth's Crust—Antiquity of Man considered in relation to the Age of the existing Fauna and Flora
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265
 

EXTINCT GLACIERS OF THE ALPS AND THEIR CHRONOLOGICAL RELATION TO THE HUMAN PERIOD.

Extinct Glaciers of Switzerland—Alpine Erratic Blocks on the Jura—Not transported by floating Ice—Extinct Glaciers of the Italian Side of the Alps—Theory of the Origin of Lake-Basins by the erosive Action of Glaciers, considered—Successive Phases in the Development of Glacial Action in the Alps—Probable Relation of these to the earliest known Date of Man—Correspondence of the same with successive Changes in the Glacial Condition of the Scandinavian and British Mountains—Cold Period in Sicily and Syria
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290
 

HUMAN REMAINS IN THE LOESS, AND THEIR PROBABLE AGE.

Nature, Origin, and Age of the Loess of the Rhine and Danube—Impalpable Mud produced by the grinding Action of Glaciers—Dispersion of this Mud at the Period of the Retreat of the great Alpine Glaciers—Continuity of the Loess from Switzerland to the Low Countries—Characteristic organic Remains not Lacustrine—Alpine Gravel in the Valley of the Rhine covered by Loess—Geographical Distribution of the Loess and its Height above the Sea—Fossil Mammalia—Loess of the Danube—Oscillations in the Level of the Alps and lower Country required to explain the Formation and Denudation of the Loess—More rapid Movement of the inland Country—The same Depression and Upheaval might account for the Advance and Retreat of the Alpine Glaciers—Himalayan Mud of the Plains of the Ganges compared to European Loess—Human Remains in Loess near Maestricht, and their probable Antiquity
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324
 

POST-GLACIAL DISLOCATIONS AND FOLDINGS OF CRETACEOUS AND DRIFT STRATA IN THE ISLAND OF MÖEN, IN DENMARK.

Geological Structure of the Island of Möen—Great Disturbances of the Chalk posterior in Date to the Glacial Drift, with recent Shells—M. Puggaard's Sections of the Cliffs of Möen—Flexures and Faults common to the Chalk and Glacial Drift—Different Direction of the Lines of successive Movement, Fracture, and Flexure—Undisturbed Condition of the Rocks in the adjoining Danish Islands—Unequal Movements of Upheaval in Finmark—Earthquake of New Zealand in 1855—Predominance in all Ages of uniform Continental Movements over those by which the Rocks are locally convulsed
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341
 

THE GLACIAL PERIOD IN NORTH AMERICA.

Post-glacial Strata containing Remains of Mastodon Giganteus in North America—Scarcity of Marine Shells in Glacial Drift of Canada and the United States—Greater southern Extension of Ice-action in North America than in Europe—Trains of Erratic Blocks of vast Size in Berkshire, Massachusetts—Description of their Linear Arrangement and Points of Departure—Their Transportation referred to Floating and Coast Ice—General Remarks on the Causes of former Changes of Climate at successive geological Epochs—Supposed Effects of the Diversion of the Gulf Stream in a Northerly instead of North-Easterly Direction—Development of extreme Cold on the opposite Sides of the Atlantic in the Glacial Period not strictly simultaneous—Number of Species of Plants and Animals common to Pre-glacial and Post-glacial Times
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351
 

RECAPITULATION OF GEOLOGICAL PROOFS OF MAN'S ANTIQUITY.

Recapitulation of Results arrived at in the earlier Chapters—Ages of Stone and Bronze—Danish Peat and Kitchen-Middens—Swiss Lake-Dwellings—Local Changes in Vegetation and in the wild and domesticated Animals and in Physical Geography coeval with the Age of Bronze and the later Stone Period—Estimates of the positive Date of some Deposits of the later Stone Period—Ancient Division of the Age of Stone of St. Acheul and Aurignac—Migrations of Man in that Period from the Continent to England in Post-Glacial Times—Slow Rate of Progress in barbarous Ages—Doctrine of the superior Intelligence and Endowments of the original Stock of Mankind considered—Opinions of the Greeks and Romans, and their Coincidence with those of the modern Progressionist—Early Egyptian Civilisation and its Date in comparison with that of the First and Second Stone Periods
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369
 

THEORIES OF PROGRESSION AND TRANSMUTATION.

Antiquity and Persistency in Character of the existing Races of Mankind—Theory of their Unity of Origin considered—Bearing of the Diversity of Races on the Doctrine of Transmutation—Difficulty of defining the Terms 'Species' and 'Race'—Lamarck's Introduction of the Element of Time into the Definition of a Species—His Theory of Variation and Progression—Objections to his Theory, how far answered—Arguments of modern Writers in favour of Progression in the Animal and Vegetable World—The old Landmarks supposed to indicate the first Appearance of Man, and of different Classes of Animals, found to be erroneous—Yet the Theory of an advancing Series of organic Beings not inconsistent with Facts—Earliest known Fossil Mammalia of low Grade—No Vertebrata as yet discovered in the oldest fossiliferous Rocks—Objections to the Theory of Progression considered—Causes of the Popularity of the Doctrine of Progression as compared to that of Transmutation
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385
 

ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES BY VARIATION AND NATURAL SELECTION.

Mr. Darwin's Theory of the Origin of Species by Natural Selection—Memoir by Mr. Wallace—Manner in which favoured Races prevail in the Struggle for Existence—Formation of new Races by breeding—Hypothesis of definite and indefinite Modifiability equally arbitrary—Competition and Extinction of Races—Progression not a necessary Accompaniment of Variation—Distinct Classes of Phenomena which natural Selection explains—Unity of Type, rudimentary Organs, Geographical Distribution, Relation of the extinct to the living Fauna and Flora, and mutual Relations of successive Groups of Fossil Forms—Light thrown on Embryological Development by natural Selection—Why large Genera have more variable Species than small ones—Dr. Hooker on the Evidence afforded by the Vegetable Kingdom in favour of Creation by Variation—Sefström on alternate Generation—How far the Doctrine of independent Creation is opposed to the Laws now governing the Migration of Species
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407
 

OBJECTIONS TO THE HYPOTHESIS OF TRANSMUTATION CONSIDERED.

Statement of Objections to the Hypothesis of Transmutation founded on the Absence of intermediate Forms—Genera of which the Species are closely allied—Occasional Discovery of the missing Links in a Fossil State—Davidson's Monograph on the Brachiopoda—Why the Gradational Forms, when found, are not accepted as Evidence of Transmutation—Gaps caused by Extinction of Races and Species—Vast Tertiary Periods during which this Extinction has been going on in the Fauna and Flora now existing— Genealogical Bond between Miocene and recent Plants and Insects—Fossils of Oeninghen—Species of Insects in Britain and North America represented by distinct Varieties—Falconer's Monograph on living and fossil Elephants—Fossil Species and Genera of the Horse Tribe in North and South America—Relation of the Pliocene Mammalia of North America, Asia, and Europe—Species of Mammalia, though less persistent than the Mollusca, change slowly—Arguments for and against Transmutation derived from the Absence of Mammalia in Islands—Imperfection of the Geological Record—Intercalation of newly discovered Formations of intermediate Age in the chronological Series—Reference of the St. Cassian Beds to the Triassic Period—Discovery of new organic Types Feathered Archæopteryx of the Oolite
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ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGES AND SPECIES COMPARED.

Aryan Hypothesis and Controversy—The Faces of Mankind change more slowly than their Languages—Theory of the gradual Origin of Languages—Difficulty of defining what is meant by a Language as distinct from a Dialect—Great Number of extinct and living Tongues—No European Language a Thousand Years old—Gaps between Languages, how caused—Imperfection of the Record—Changes always in Progress—Struggle for Existence between Rival Terms and Dialects—Causes of Selection—Each Language formed slowly in a single geographical Area—May die out gradually or suddenly—Once lost can never be revived—Mode of Origin of Languages and Species a Mystery—Speculations as to the Number of original Languages or Species unprofitable
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454
 

BEARING OF THE DOCTRINE OF TRANSMUTATION ON THE ORIGIN OF MAN, AND HIS PLACE IN THE CREATION.

Whether Man can be regarded as an Exception to the Rule if the Doctrine of Transmutation be embraced for the rest of the Animal Kingdom—Zoological Relations of Man to other Mammalia—Systems of Classification—Term Quadrumanous, why deceptive—Whether the Structure of the Human Brain entitles Man to form a distinct Sub-class of the Mammalia—Recent Controversy as to the Degree of Resemblance between the Brain of Man and that of the Apes—Intelligence of the lower Animals compared to the Intellect and Reason of Man—Grounds on which Man has been referred to a distinct Kingdom of Nature—Immaterial Principle common to Man and Animals—Non-discovery of intermediate Links among Fossil Anthropomorphous Species—Hallam on the compound Nature of Man, and his Place in the Creation—Dr. Asa Gray on Gradations in Nature, and on the bearing of the Doctrine of Natural Selection on Natural Theology
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This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.