Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/722

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mals, while every part of the skeleton of reindeer and smaller animals is to be found. The soil in the caverns, wherever it contains crushed bones, contains also an immense amount of charred wood. This mixture of bones and charcoal occurs so generally, so uniformly, that it is not easy to suppose that the Troglodytes lighted fires merely for the purpose of keeping themselves warm. They must have lighted fires daily at all seasons of the year, and hence it is likely that they cooked their food.

We are unable to say whether they got their fire from flint, or from wood by friction. They had no pottery, and could not boil their provisions over the fire. And yet they did not roast their meat either, for you will rarely find in their caves a calcined bone, or only such bones as were evidently burned by mere chance. They may have boiled their meats in wooden troughs, bringing the water to a boil by casting into it red-hot stones. But I think it more likely that they cooked their meat beneath the ashes, as is still the custom of many savage tribes.

A tid-bit for them was the brain of animals, or the marrow, as is evidenced by the fact that all the skulls are cracked and all the marrow-bones (and they only) broken. All savages have a special liking for marrow, and have a peculiar way of cracking the bones containing it. The chief is always the first to suck the marrow-bone. Our Troglodytes had little wedge-shaped pieces of flint, which they used as hatchets to break these bones. We find also in their caves an implement of reindeer-horn which was probably used for getting out the marrow, though archæologists are divided as to its purpose.

After a meal, the Troglodytes left the bones scattered about the floor. In a warm climate these remnants would have given out an insupportable stench; but in those early times the temperature was very low in France, and our Troglodytes were not paragons of cleanliness. To their uncleanly habits we are indebted for what we know about their food. Their chief staple was reindeer meat; but they also eat the flesh of the horse, the aurochs, several species of the ox, the chamois, the wild-goat, and even some carnivora. They used also fish, and, by means of the bow and arrow, they could take winged game. The caves contain the remains of birds of many different species. But, among all these bones, we find no human remains; and, hence, we know that our good Troglodytes were not cannibals. That supreme delight of the savage soul was all unknown to them—devouring a vanquished foeman. I record this with pleasure, albeit I attach no exceptional importance to the question of anthropophagy. In the eyes of the philosopher the crime is not in devouring, but in killing a human being. Judging from the style of weapons these Troglodytes employed, we should say that they were quiet folk, not given to war.

It has been supposed that they wore no clothing, as all the human figures portrayed by their artists are nude (Fig. 5). This, however,