Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/39

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THE recent sweeping denials by Mr. W. H. Holmes, of the Bureau of Ethnology, respecting the validity of the evidence upon which the existence of glacial man in America has been so generally accepted makes it necessary to present the facts in greater detail than has heretofore been done. It seems that Mr. Holmes has been himself looking for palæolithic implements in undisturbed gravel of glacial age for two or three years, but has not found any; and that he has discovered that the Indians had quarries and workshops in various places where they threw aside great piles of partially wrought and rejected implements which were of such shape as not to be readily available for their purposes, and which had a faint resemblance to palæolithic implements. In view of these experiences Mr. Holmes has come to the conclusion, first, that all the so-called palæolithic implements which have been found by Dr. C. C. Abbott and others in America are simply "rejects"; and, secondly, that nobody in America has found any implements in undisturbed gravel of glacial age. In Science for January 20, 1892, he uses the following language: "If there was, as is claimed, an ice-age man, or at any rate a palæolithic man, in eastern America, the evidence so far collected in support of these propositions is so unsatisfactory and in such a state of utter chaos that the investigation must practically begin anew."

The best answer which I can give to this sweeping denial will be to present, with illustrations, the details concerning a single discovery in Ohio with which I am familiar, namely, that at Newcomerstown. But, to get the full significance of this discovery, and the cumulative value of the evidence afforded by it, a brief statement of other discoveries must be made.

The evidence naturally begins with that at Trenton, N. J., where Dr. C. C. Abbott has been so long at work. Dr. Abbott, it is true, is not a professional geologist, but his familiarity with the gravel at Trenton, where he resides, the exceptional opportunities afforded to him for investigation, and the frequent visits of geologists have made him an expert whose opinion is of the highest value upon the question of the undisturbed character of the gravel deposit. The gravel banks which he has examined so long and so carefully have been extensively exposed by the undermining of floods on the river-side, but principally by the excavations which have been made by the railroad and by private parties in search of gravel. For years the railroads had been at work digging away the side of the banks until they had removed