Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/94

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70
THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY

He lived in a world not remotely unlike the world of the still earlier sub-man of the first implements; the deposits in which it is found show that there were elephants, horses, rhinoceroses, bison, a moose, and so forth with it in the world, but the sabre-toothed tiger was declining and the lion was spreading over Europe. The implements of this period (known as the Chellean period) are a very considerable advance upon those of the Pliocene Age. They are well made but very much bigger than any truly human implements. The Heidelberg man may have had a very big body and large forelimbs. He may have been a woolly strange-looking creature.

 

§ 4

We must turn over the Record for, it may be, another 100,000 years for the next remains of anything human or sub-human. Then in a deposit ascribed to the Third Interglacial period, which may have begun 100,000 years ago and lasted 50,000 years,[1] the smashed pieces of a whole skull turn up. The deposit is a gravel which may have been derived from the washing out of still earlier gravel strata and this skull fragment may be in reality as old as the First Glacial period. The bony remains discovered at Piltdown in Sussex display a creature still ascending only very gradually from the sub-human.

The first scraps of this skull were found in an excavation for road gravel in Sussex. Bit by bit other fragments of this skull were hunted out from the quarry heaps until most of it could be pieced together. It is a thick skull, thicker than that of any living race of men, and it has a brain capacity intermediate between that of Pithecanthropus and man. This creature has been named Eoanthropus, the dawn man. In the same gravel-pits were found teeth of rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and the leg-bone of a deer with marks upon it that may be cuts. A curious bat-shaped instrument of elephant bone has also been found.[2]

There was, moreover, a jaw-bone among these scattered remains, which was at first assumed naturally enough to belong to

  1. We follow Penck.
  2. For sixpence and postage the reader can get from the British Museum, South Kensington, a very fully illustrated pamphlet A Guide to the Fossil Remains of Man, showing the Piltdown material in great detail.