Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/96

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THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY

Glacial Age is rising towards its maximum. Man is taking to caves and leaving vestiges there; at Krapina in Croatia, at Neanderthal near Düsseldorf, at Spy, human remains have been found, skulls and bones of a creature that is certainly a man. Somewhere about 50,000 years ago, if not earlier, appeared Homo Neanderthalensis (also called Homo antiquus and Homo primigenius), a quite passable human being. His thumb was not quite equal in flexibility and usefulness to a human thumb, he stooped forward, and could not hold his head erect, as all living men do, he was chinless and perhaps incapable of speech, there were curious differences about the enamel and the roots of his teeth from those of all living men, he was very thick-set, he was, indeed, not quite of the human species; but there is no dispute about his attribution to the genus Homo. He was certainly not descended from Eoanthropus, but his jaw-bone is so like the Heidelberg jaw-bone as to make it possible that the clumsier and heavier Homo Heidelbergensis, a thousand centuries before him, was of his blood and race.

 

§ 5

Upon this question of the Piltdown jaw-bone, it may be of interest to quote here a letter to the writer from Sir Ray Lankester, discussing the question in a familiar and luminous manner. It will enable the reader to gauge the extent and quality of the evidence that we possess at present upon the nature of these early human and sub-human animals. Upon these fragile Piltdown fragments alone more than a hundred books, pamphlets, and papers have been written. These scraps of bone are guarded more carefully from theft and wilful damage than the most precious jewels, and in the museum cases one sees only carefully executed fac-similes.

"As to the Piltdown jaw-bone, the best study of it is that by Smith Woodward, who first described it and the canine found later. The jaw is imperfect in front, but has the broad, flat symphysis of the Apes. G. S. Miller, an American anthropologist, has made a very good comparison of it with a chimpanzee's jaw, and concludes that it is a chimpanzee's. (His monograph is in the Am. Jour. of Phys. Anthrop., vol. i, no. 1.) The one