Popular Science Monthly/Volume 48/November 1895/Primigenial Skeletons, The Flood, and the Glacial Period

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

PRIMIGENIAL SKELETONS, THE FLOOD, AND THE GLACIAL PERIOD.
By H. P. FITZGERALD MARRIOTT.
PART I. THE PALÆOLITHIC SKELETONS OF MENTONE.

IN the rocks near Mentone that go by the name of Les Rochers Rouges[1] there was discovered, on the 12th of January, 1894, another human skeleton. It is that of a man about six feet two inches in height, but, owing to the head having been crushed, accurate measurement is difficult. M. Adolphe Mégret,[2] however, has calculated the height of the living man to have been 1·984 metre. This he does by multiplying the length of the phalangine[3] of the medial finger, 0·031 metre, by 64, a method that in every case proves successful. The first account of this find, in the local Anglo-American, mentioned two skeletons, and in spite of it being now affirmed that only one was discovered, we rather suspect that there was truth in the first statement, especially as the leg bones of another are admitted to have been found beside it; and all the more, knowing as we do how the skeleton of 1872 was accompanied by two others, the existence of which was kept a secret, as they were too imperfect for the scientific discoverer to describe conscientiously at the time. This skeleton of 1894, as we must hereafter call it, lay on its back, inclining to the left side, the body slightly bent, the legs stretched and crossed below the knee, the right arm bent and with the hand lying open over the left breast, while the left hand was supporting the side of the head. The teeth are large and strong, but much used; the front teeth are nearly as thick as ordinary molars. Near the right hand was a crystal of quartz, similar to those found on the rocks around to this day, but pointed at one end, and about two inches long and an inch and a half thick; some suppose this to be the top of the handle of a knife. The head was ornamented with chaplets of deer teeth and shells. By the remains and on the bones is seen the same deposit of red ochre that was noticed on all the other skeletons. Several slabs of stone were found, which seemed to have formed part of a dolmen. The skeleton, however, was not resting in a palæolithic stratum, though it is considered that these remains are pre-neolithic. A few metres below it, however, in a stratum that is decidedly palæolithic, were found several huge mammoth bones—the hip-joint head of the thigh bone (femur) and the socket of the pelvis: beneath these was found the remains of a fire—a line of black in the stratum—and a large flint instrument, thus proving that man was contemporary with the mammoth.

The length, or depth, of this cave was once at least forty-five metres; and its mouth appeared smaller when it opened nearer the sea, before quarrying destroyed it, and, in particular, removed nearly the whole of its eastern side. At present its depth is about twenty metres, though the end is but a mere crack. It now appears as a huge fissure that rends the face of the lower end of the Rochers Rouges for fifteen metres to nearly the height of the cliff; but from the sloping and irregular level of its own earth floor, which rises several yards above that of the base of the cliff, it is only thirty or forty feet high, and narrows at the top to a mere crack. In width it is about four metres, diminishing inward. Within the dark brown mold filling the lowest levels of this cave, which for facility of reference is called No. 5, were found also the skeletons of 1884 and 1892.

The rocks in which these human remains, bones of animals, and flint instruments have from time to time been discovered are situated at the east end of Mentone, and extend toward the sea, which washes their rough rocky beach; they rise on the other side of the little stream of the St. Louis ravine that divides France from Italy, and are therefore on Italian soil. Round their base runs the narrow old Roman road, which crosses a little bridge of the same date, immediately after rounding the corner. These ruddy colored cliffs are composed of the secondary cretaceous limestone, and contain many crevices and small caverns, in which, mixed with the softer earth covering the floor to many yards in depth, have been found from time to time mammalian bones, with shells and Crustacea, imbedded in places in hard sand and calcareous matter, mixed with flint instruments. Thus they were known in 1848, yet even as early as the last century De Saussure had drawn the attention of the scientific world to their existence. But in 1858 they were first actually described by M. François Forel, a Swiss. M. Rivière commenced excavations in 1869; it was not, however, till 1872, while making the cutting for the railway, that the first human skeletons became unearthed by him on March 26th, six metres and a half below the level of the older excavations, in cave No. 4. Beside the one on which M. Rivière wrote his monograph in 1873, two others[4] were discovered lying near it about the same time, but so badly were they broken that he made mention of only that one, which is now in the Natural History Museum of Paris. On its head were found some shells forming a circlet, as also some carved reindeer teeth in the same position, while beneath the head was found a curved flint blade. It was supposed to have been the skeleton of an Ethiopian, at first, but there were differences that marked a race that has now passed away, or become somewhat altered: the orbital cavities were larger, and its height, though not great, was abnormal. We pass over this skeleton,[5] and all that M. Rivière has already written about it, and all the names[6] that he has given to the flint and bone instruments that were found beside it, and we come to the skeletons discovered in cave No. 5 by M. Bonfils, curator of the Mentone Museum, in February of 1884. Again three were found together. Owing to the stupidity and jealousy of the actual owner of the land, an Italian peasant of the name of Abbo, they were much broken; but neither of these skulls, which M. Bonfils has shown to us, seems to be quite of the same formation as those of 1892, though the peculiar, somewhat quadrangular shape of

PSM V48 D027 Paleolithic skeleton discovered in a rochers rouge cave 1894.jpg

Photograph of the Palæolithic Skeleton discovered in the Fifth Cave in the Rochers Rouges, near Mentone, on January 12, 1894. Reproduced by the kind permission of M. Bertrand, Mentone.

the orbital cavities, turning up at the outer corners, is very similar. Prof. Boyd Dawkins believed these 1884 skeletons to be of "doubtful antiquity." They, however, appear more ancient than those found in 1872; and the male skeleton was of gigantic size, being six feet nine and a half inches in height, from top of head to heel, according to M. Bonfils. The latter also discovered with this last specimen several flint blades, one on each shoulder and one resting on the top of the head. It was 8·40 metres below the original floor.

Of the three skeletons discovered in February, 1892, Mr. Vaughan Jennings gave a description in an article to which we will refer later on. They also were found in the fifth cave, but a very little further within its depths than those of 1884, and were first noticed by workmen who were blasting and hewing the face of the cliff for stone. During this work they gradually destroyed the sides of the high cleft or cave, and in removing the hard earth that filled its floor to some eight or ten feet in depth, at the distance of about twenty-five metres from its original entrance, they came upon a skull which, unfortunately, was broken by the blow from a man's pickaxe, or, as some say by the energetic digging of one of Abbo's young sons with the iron instrument used for sinking holes for blasting. From that moment, but not with sufficient care, the skeletons, lying side by side, were unearthed and rapidly robbed of the flints and ornaments found about them, with the result that none can be certain in what position Abbo found them. At first only two were entirely visible—those of a man and a woman—but soon a third, that of a youth, lying between the two, came to light. They lay seven metres and a half below the original floor. All are of great size; the skulls being broken and the skeletons half in the earth, exact measurement of the height was very difficult at the time; but both then and since the skulls have been pieced together we have managed to take some sort of measurement, showing the biggest skeleton, from the crown of the skull to the heel, to be six feet ten inches and a half,[7] and the other two about six feet six inches and a half. If, then, we allow for the shrinking of the tendons and for the flesh on the heels and head, the man must have stood about seven feet four inches, and the others, to whom the remaining skeletons belonged, about seven feet and half an inch at most. No child was found, as was erroneously stated by a newspaper. The skulls are of unusual size and thickness, the frontal bone being at least a quarter of an inch thick, and the parietal and occipital bones fully three quarters of an inch. The occiput in one of them is enormous, and is very much larger and out of proportion to the rest of the cranium, being expanded lengthwise, while in another it is the parietal bones which exhibit excessive extension. The orbital cavities are unusually large and curiously curved up at the outer corners. The bones, too, are of great thickness; they are, however, most friable; to the slightest touch many of them will crumble, and all of them are covered with a red sort of rust, while they lie in a sepia-colored earth softer than that which is immediately above and around them in the cave, M, Bonfils explains this rusty color by the fact that lumps of red ocher have been found near the skeletons, probably having been obtained from some rocks that exist not far off; with this the bodies most probably had been covered, and the flesh having disappeared, the ocher had settled and remained on the bones. It is said that around the head of the man was a circlet of carved reindeer teeth and a chaplet of shells, and around the necks of all were found necklaces, of course long since fallen to pieces, formed from the backbones of fish; these latter have been strung together on wire. But so many people claim to have seen the skeletons first and dispute each other's assertions with regard to these relics found with them that we only refer to them for what they are worth: certain it is that circlets of carved reindeer teeth and other objects have been found in these caves; all that has been found we have ourself seen, but, unfortunately, no authoritative person was able to reach the caves in time to ascertain in exactly what positions these chaplets, knives, and other objects were found by the peasant Abbo and his wife, to whose house, not far from the caves, the articles were at once transported, to be placed with many others which have from time to time been discovered. These bones and other objects are here and there tinged with the same ocher rust with which the skeletons themselves are covered. The outermost skeleton, that of the man, was lying on its back, the knees slightly bent toward its left, its arms stretched out by its side. In the left hand was found a flint blade exactly nine inches long, held loosely, which proves that once there was a handle of some perishable material. The woman and the youth had been buried lying on their left sides, the legs bent slightly at the knee; the former held in her left hand, raised beside her face, a smooth, wide, and hollow-curved blade of flint that lay under the head as if it had been placed there for it to rest on, while in the right hands of both these smaller skeletons were said to have been found flint knives, as in that of the bigger one. Their right arms were bent so that the hand reached the shoulder. The third, buried between the man and woman, and whose skull is missing, we have taken to be that of a tall youth. From the appearance of these skeletons they seem to have been buried rather than to have been overcome by some sudden catastrophe, as has sometimes been supposed of that of 1872, which was very much bent up and leaning on its left side. Around them, above and below, were the bones of many extinct species of mammalia—huge teeth, teeth of reindeer and of the Bos primigenius and the horse, together with many small flint instruments; but these would merely seem to indicate that they had been buried in the cave in which, during their lifetime, they had lived and consumed these animals whose remains we find.

M. Adolphe Mégret suggests that, in the position in which all the skeletons that have as yet been discovered were found to have been buried, we are "in the presence of a funeral and religious rite that was perpetuated." Here we would further draw attention to the little bone objects of various dimensions, but always of the same shape, that have each time been found with the

PSM V48 D030 Paleolithic skeleton discovered in a rochers rouge cave 1892.jpg

Photograph of the Palæolithic Skeletons discovered in the Fifth Cave in the Rochers Rouges, near Mentone, in February, 1892. Reproduced by the kind permission of M. Bertrand, Mentone.

ornaments that are supposed to have been around the heads or necks; we refer to the pieces of bone that measure from about one inch and a half to three inches in length, cut in the center so as to form two ovals joined together; they are slightly ribbed longitudinally; these were supposed to have united the ends of the necklaces of deer's teeth or shells and thus been suspended in a prominent position; they probably were roughly cut "totems" or objects of veneration of their "religious" instinct. Even the same shaped "totems" have been found elsewhere. For further and fuller explanation of a meaning that we can not express here, see a note in our Facts about Pompeii, published by Messrs. Hazell, Watson & Viney, London.

Mr. A. Vaughan Jennings, as we have said, in 1892 had an article in the June number of Natural Science concerning The Cave Men of Mentone, which was so peculiarly inaccurate in its facts as to merit a few lines of criticism. First of all he refers to M. Rivière's skeleton of 1872 as if discovered in 1873. It was M. Rivière's monograph that appeared in 1873. Knowing the place, as we have all our life, we can say that he is correct when he affirms that "the east side of the cavern No. 4[8] has been a good deal cut back by quarrying," although he omits to mention that both sides of the cavern—indeed, the whole face of the cliff—some twenty years ago came to within a couple of yards of the rocks that break the force of the sea. Mr. Jennings, from his statement, shows that he did not see the remains till the 15th of March, and that by that date they were considerably modified, the skull and arms having been removed. We saw the skeletons on March 18th, and according to notes we made at the time the arms were still there; however, we had the opportunity of seeing them on the 23d of February in a very complete state. We also saw the left arm of the third skeleton, that of the woman, bent up, which Mr. Vaughan Jennings particularly says was not the case. In a footnote on M. Rivière's measurements and those mentioned by the papers, Mr. Vaughan Jennings regrets that "the exact measure will probably never be known, as the neck and shoulder region is now destroyed." We are happy to have been able to supply this necessary information, from measurements that we took at the time on the spot, before the skeletons were removed from the earth in which they were imbedded. Later on Mr. Hanbury, of Mortola, very generously bought the skeletons from Abbo and placed them in the latter's cottage with the other remains; this has saved them from further destruction. Mr. Jennings places the 1892 skeletons between the palæolithic and neolithic periods of man, and very rightly deprecates the habit of speaking of these periods with sharp distinctions; thus it is possible that an intermediate race existed, while it is only natural to understand that the formation of neolithic man was merely a series of progressions from earlier forms. On the other hand, the period of time between the existence of palæolithic and neolithic man may not have been so great as has been supposed.

 
PART II, MAN, THE FLOOD, AND THE GLACIAL PERIOD.

Flint instruments, the product of man, for a long time have been often found in many places. It is merely necessary here to mention a few instances. In 1715 a flint knife, now in the British Museum, was found imbedded in gravel with the tooth of an extinct species of elephant, near Gray's Inn Lane, London, thus marking the extreme antiquity of flint instruments. In 1797 flint hatchets were found in Suffolk, and in 1847 flint instruments at Abbeville. In 1858 Sir Charles Lyell found others in the valley of Somme in Picardy. Flint instruments have been found in caves all over the earth, mixed with bones of animals that lived before, during, and after the Glacial period. They can be more or less classified according to their form and finish.[9] We believe that in all instances flint instruments have been found with what are supposed to be the earliest skeletons of mankind; moreover, the oldest type of flint instrument has been found with the skeleton of man.[10]

The difficulty now is to assign a period to the earliest type of flint instrument. If this can be done, the period in which man first appeared on the earth can be more precisely ascertained, and this in two ways—either by finding these flint instruments beneath certain strata which can be assigned to certain periods by geologists, or by finding them with the bones of certain animals the period of whose extinction is also approximately known. This only is certain: that the bones of extinct species of animals, extinct yet still represented by later races, have been found in these and other caverns with those of man and with flint instruments. These bones are those of mammalia of the Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene periods. Secondly, the caverns in which these human bones have often been found have, we believe, been always in the Secondary and Lower Cretaceous rocks, though this does not, of course, show that man was in existence immediately after the formation of these rocks, but merely that they were the most accessible and convenient for him in which to live or be buried, for many of the skeletons that have been discovered seem to have been carefully buried by others. The alluvial deposits, formed by the action of water, which actually contain man's remains, belong to a more modern era than the newest stage of the Tertiary epoch and are within the Post-tertiary series, in the Pleistocene, Glacial, or Bowlderdrift period, as it is variously called. But then we must remember that this may not have been the original soil in which they first lay, for the very reason that it is alluvial and could have been formed afterward. In 1852 human bones were found in a cave at Aurignac, near the foot of the Pyrenees, In caves in the valley of the Meuse, near Liege, three human skeletons with flint knives and a mammoth's tooth were found. In 1858 human bones were found in Brixham cave

PSM V48 D033 Paleolithic remains discovered near menton 1892.jpg

Photograph of some of the Palæolithic Remains discovered in the Caves near Mentone, in February, 1892. A, B, skulls of two of the three skeletons; C, chains formed of fish bones strung together by the holes with which they were found to have been pierced; D, carved reindeer teeth strung together by the holes with which they were found to have been pierced; E, flint knives, etc.; F, carved bones, shaped as if to be tied round the middle by a string, and possibly worn round the neck or wrist as an ornament or "totem." (See note, page 12, Facts about Pompeii; Hazell, Watson & Viney, London.) Reproduced by the kind permission of M. Bertrand, Mentone.

near Torquay. In 1863 a human tooth and jawbone with flint instruments and the bones of extinct animals were found in a gravel pit at Montin-Guignon. In North America human bones have been found in the caverns of Kentucky, and in South America in caverns in Brazil. In the Dordogne caves in central France were found perforated teeth, vertebræ, and shells of Cypræa, and still more important the bones of mammoth and reindeer on which were etched the figures of mastodons, deer, and horses. Caves in Saxony, Gibraltar, Austria, and many other places have been discovered containing human bones. The human skeletons discovered in a modern limestone formation at Guadaloupe, in the Windward Islands, are possibly of a later period and are not even fossilized, though imbedded in compact stone. In August, 1894, Herr Masclia, director of the Grammar School at Predmost in Bohemia, who has for many years made discoveries in that neighborhood! and has found hundreds of mammoth skeletons, has unearthed a family of six people—a man of enormous size and a woman and her children—near to the remains of mammoths; this is said to be the furthest northeast that primeval man has been discovered with the bones of antediluvian animals. It is a pity that more exact information upon certain interesting points has not come to hand. It is equally a pity that all such treasures of the ancestry of our race should not be preserved and indeed systematically sought for by professional scientists and archæologists, for we know how those at Mentone have been ruined and altered and their ornaments removed by the peasant Abbo and his workmen before competent judges have had any chance of observing the several different points of interest that seem to require even more than the knowledge of the anatomist and osteologist. These remains at Predmost and the men whose bones have been discovered at Mentone must have been coeval with the animals of either the Miocene, Pliocene, or Glacial periods. But as late as the Glacial period the bones have been discovered of mammoth and of extinct species of lions, bears, rhinoceros, hyenas, reindeer, Irish elk, and of the Bos primigenius, animals that had also existed in the two earlier periods, and with whose bones flint instruments have been in different places discovered in fluviatile gravels and in caves. This, however, only proves that man lived either during or just previous to the Glacial period, the latest at which these animals existed. Till, however, the bones of man or his flint instruments can be found with the bones of some animal that became extinct before the Glacial period, we can not place him at any earlier date.

If, however, man existed before or during the Glacial period, it is strange that there should be no tradition of such a change taking place on the earth's surface. It may be that the alteration in temperature was so gradual, and extended over such a great length of time, that the generations of men who succeeded each other were unaware of it; perhaps, too, almost imperceptibly to themselves, the then existing races of men moved gradually to warmer regions, keeping pace with the advance of cold, which we must, in reasoning thus, suppose to have been so gradual that at any rate nomadic races would not have noticed it by their traditions. But such a change in one portion of the earth would not be likely to take place without a coincident change everywhere else. While ice lay over a great portion of the earth, the rest of its surface may have possessed a temperate or almost semitropical climate, of peculiarly equable character the whole year round. The race of men born in such a zone would probably be hardy and strong, and this is precisely what we suppose our first ancestors to have been. But, though in what appear such favored conditions, they have left to us, in nearly all the races that have sprung from them over the whole world, a tradition of a great catastrophe—a flood. The chiefs of the then world, it seems, were saved, and, whether in one ark, or in several strangely and wonderfully built vessels, were preserved to again spread the human race. But how came this flood, and when? And why should immense quantities of rain descend, and why should the seas rise in every direction? If we refer to the probable cause of the Glacial period, we shall also see the origin of the flood. It is, we believe, an accepted theory that the mountain ranges of the globe were formed by the shrinking of the earth's crust. This was caused by the diminishing lava or molten earth within having contracted at length to such an extent as to have been often removed during the globe's rotation on its axis far away from the still self-supporting crust, till a stage was at length reached when the outer crust became so cold that ice gradually formed over all those parts that were furthest from the molten liquid. At the two poles—that is, furthest from the greatest sunshine, as also from the lava (since the latter would be naturally drawn round with the velocity of the equator, and therefore would be furthest from the poles and nearest to the equator)—there was the greatest abundance of ice. After many centuries of this there came a time when the crust could no longer support itself; the strain of the internal lava beating loosely within was too great at times; great convulsions shook the earth's surface, the crust breaking in long lines, and forcing up huge mountain ridges covered with gigantic blocks of ice that rose thousands of feet high. The crust, diminished in extent, again touched the molten lava, the ice melted, volcanoes arose, steam escaped from the cracks, the whole range of the Andes poured forth clouds of steam, the earth again became warm. But what then happened? The water that was formed by the melting ice, that had not risen in steam to the clouds, spread at once over the lessened area of the earth's surface; the seas rose in every direction and' chilled the air; and thus the earth's outermost surface also once more cooling somewhat, the vapor or clouds dispersed around descended again in torrents to add to the great sea already spreading between the newly raised and the ancient mountain ranges of the earth. This, then, is the connection between the Glacial period and the flood, and the probable reason why no tradition has descended to us of the former; first, because man was born during its epoch and was formed by it and accustomed to it, and living in the one temperate zone on the equator saw nothing strange in his surroundings, and, secondly, because the only change that man saw was the sudden accumulation of waters descending from the earthquake-riven and colder portions of his then unexplored globe.

Thus, man's remains have been found with those of the mammoth—a mammal of the warm, subtropical Pliocene period, that lived on into the cold Pleistocene epoch. Probably his origin was previous to that of man; but man may not have appeared until the end of the Pliocene period and the commencement of the cold, which, in all likelihood, gradually and surely came on, as the interior of the globe shrank farther and farther away from contact with the easily chilled outer crust, which it left to fields of ice bordering a narrow temperate zone; the ice reaching from the north pole as far south possibly as 50° north of the equator, and from the south pole as far north as 40° south of the equator; thus the present temperate zones became arctic, and the tropical zone became almost unvaryingly temperate. Man probably in his first ages had spread far and wide north and south of the equator, but not so far as at present we find ourselves; he had been gradually driven back by the advancing cold, yet so slowly that the change did not make itself noticeable to him, and as his civilization advanced to the time when he began to build and to establish great cities he found himself settled near the equator, even further south than ancient Thebes, and probably where the great deserts of Arabia, Nubia, and those of the Sahara stretch their vast plains of sands, and perchance now cover works even older than the stepped pyramid of Ata. However long, therefore, these periods of change may have been, it seems very probable that man first appeared in a fresh, temperate climate, the only proof of which is that he has several times been found with the remains of the mammoth, an animal that outlived the primal warm periods. Probably no preglacial period existed for man. As for the length of time that must have elapsed between the first appearance of vegetation upon the earth until the time that the climax of the Glacial period arrived, when the flood took place, ten thousand years need not be too much. Midst the surroundings of that Glacial period, however, man's remains have been found, but not in those of the preglacial ages that lead back to the ichthyosaurus, plesiosaurus, and other monsters of the deep, or of the age of gigantic flora, huge pine trees, and enormous ferns.

If the flood, then, as some have calculated, was only five or six thousand years ago, then the coldest period of the Glacial age can not have been very far removed, and not much further off than five or six thousand years from the present date; and those skeletons found near Mentone may be those of men who lived eight or nine thousand years ago, before the coldest epoch had gradually driven them further south, near the completion of the evolution of the race, and its consolidation into the perfect form of man, whose intelligence lives and breathes as much as does his more visible and wonderfully formed body.

 
  1. In dialect their name is Baoussé-Roussé, the Italian for which is Balze Rosse.
  2. Étude de Mensurations sur l'Homme préhistorique, Nice, 1894.
  3. La phalangine is probably the smallest and last of the phalanges of the medius.
  4. In a paper of February, 1892, by M. Binet-Heutsch, entitled Nouvelles Découvertes aux Grottes de Menton, we find mention of a skeleton that was found in the same cave by M. Rivière in the following year (1873), far less well preserved than the first. It was of enormous size, and was more than two metres in height; the skull was damaged during the excavation. Possibly this may be one of the skeletons that we have mentioned, on the excellent authority of one who was present with M. Rivière at the time, as having been discovered with the 1872 skeleton. Mention, however, is made by M. Rivière of three skeletons, that he found, in a brochure entitled Découverte d'un second Squelette humain de l'Époque Paléolithique dans les Cavernes de Baoussé-Roussé, Nice, 1873. With the measurements given of these last three skeletons by M. Rivière, M. Adolphe Mégret (by his method of multiplying the length of the phalangine of the medial finger by sixty-four), in his Étude de Mensurations sur l'Homme préhistorique, calculates their living heights to have been respectively 1·984, 1·920, and 2·048 metre.
  5. An amusing Box and Cox episode recalls to our mind the name of Mr. Moggeridge, a gentleman who many years ago lived at Mentone, and who published an excellent outline panorama of all the mountains as seen from the Borrigo Valley bridge, and who had scientifically studied the exact maximum and minimum temperature at the top of each summit. This gentleman, being equally persuaded that he would find human bones beneath the other remains of extinct animals and flint instruments, used to work at the cave during hours when it was deserted, leaving the soil somewhat disturbed, to the bewilderment of M. Rivière on his return the next day. It fell, however, to the lot of the Frenchman to remove the last layers of earth, and, therefore, to have gained the sole honor of being the discoverer.
  6. Among other names, M. Rivière, in his monograph published in 1873, Découverte d'un Squelette Humain de l'Époque Paléolithique dans les Cavernes des Baoussé-Roussé dites Grottes de Menton, gave that of "bâton de commandement" to a small bone, un métacarpien principal gauche, appartenant à l'Equus cavallus (a chief left metacarpal of a horse), which is 0·21 metre in length, or about eight inches. It is pierced by a hole, and he remarks "devait être porte suspendu au cou comme insigne. Il ne porte aucun dessin, ni gravure, ni entaille" ("was probably worn suspended from the neck as an insignium. It bears no drawing, or engraving, or carving"). We may here add that if what he here describes is in any way like what we have referred to under the skeleton of 1892, it is probably a roughly formed totem for veneration.
  7. M. Adolphe Mégret, by his usual calculation, makes the height of the living man to have been 2·144 metres, or about seven feet and half an inch.
  8. M. Rivière's No. 5.
  9. M. Bonfils, curator of the Mentone Museum, in order to prove how rapidly these flint knives, hatchets, spearheads, daggers, fishing weights, etc., could be made, has himself made many with the aid of only stones with which to commence, and later on with the help of the instruments thus formed. And thus he has found that they only took from five hours to nine days to make, according to the quality of the flint or agate and the form of the instrument.
  10. Previous to flint, man must have used wood, breaking boughs from off the trees and making them into the form of stout staves and clubs, and later into that of wooden spears, bows, and arrows, of which perishable materials naturally no traces can be found.