Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/108

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84
THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY

is reason to suppose that the later Homo Neanderthalensis buried some individuals at least with respect and ceremony. One of the best-known Neanderthal skeletons is that of a youth who apparently had been deliberately interred. He had been placed in a sleeping posture, head on the right fore-arm. The head lay on a number of flint fragments carefully piled together "pillow fashion." A big hand-axe lay near his head, and around him were numerous charred and split ox bones, as though there had been a feast or an offering.

To this appearance of burial during the later Neanderthal age we shall return when we are considering the ideas that were inside the heads of primitive men.

This sort of men may have wandered, squatted about their fires, and died in Europe for a period extending over 100,000 years, if we assume, that is, that the Heidelberg jaw-bone belongs to a member of the species, a period so vast that all the subsequent history of our race becomes a thing of yesterday. Along its own line this species of men was accumulating a dim tradition, and working out its limited possibilities. Its thick skull imprisoned its brain, and to the end it was low-browed and brutish.

 

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When the Dutch discovered Tasmania, they found a detached human race not very greatly advanced beyond this Lower Palæolithic stage. But over most of the world the Lower Palæolithic culture had developed into a more complicated and higher life twenty or thirty thousand years ago. The Tasmanians were not racially Neanderthalers;[1] their brain-cases, their neck-bones, their jaws and teeth, show that; they had no Neanderthal affinities; they were of the same species as ourselves. There can be little doubt that throughout the hundreds of centuries during which the scattered little groups of Neanderthal men were all that represented men in Europe, real men, of our own species, in some other part of the world, were working their way along parallel lines from much the same stage as the Neanderthalers ended at, and which the Tasmanians preserved, to a higher

  1. But compare Sollas' Ancient Hunters. Elliot Smith (Primitive Man, Proceedings Brit. Acad., vol. vii) says they approach the Neanderthal type.