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Adamites and Preadamites: or, A Popular Discussion Concerning the Remote Representatives of the Human Species and their Relation to the Biblical Adam

Syracuse, N.Y.: John T. Roberts, 1878

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Art & Architecture


indications have been discovered of a fair inventive capacity and an extensive system of industries, even while yet every tool had to be constructed of stone, bone or stag's horn. Esthetieally considered, the oldest Stone Folk had advanced no farther than the use of necklaces formed of shell beads. Some obscure etchings on stones exist. In the Reindeer Epoch, articles of ornament became decidedly abundant. Religiously, there is little to be affirmed or inferred of the Paleolithic tribes. Some curiously wrought flints may have served as religious emblems; and the occasional discovery of deposits of food near the body of the dead may very naturally be regarded as evidence of a belief in the future life. In the Reindeer Epoch, this class of evidences becomes very greatly augmented, as shown in the systematic and carefully provided burials in some of the tumulus-dolmens, and in the traces of funeral repasts in these and the rock-shelters of Aurignac, Bruniquel and Furfooz. The numerous specimens of bright and shining minerals found about many settlements may have been used as amulets, and may thus testify to the vague sense of the supernatural, which characterizes the infancy of human society. The Neolithic people add to such indications the erection of megalithic structures, some of which, surrounded by their cemeteries, as at Amesbury, England, must naturally be considered as their sacred temples.

Pre-historic man, in brief, represented, in Europe, the infancy of the human species. All his powers were undeveloped and uneducated. Every evidence sustains us in the conclusion that he was not inferior in psychic endowments to the average man of the highest races; but he was lacking in acquired skill, and in the results of experience accumulated through a long series of generations, and preserved from forgetfulness by the blessings of a written language.

This glance at the scientific facts bearing on the condition and physical relations of primeval man in Europe opens the way for a more intelligible discussion of the antiquity of the race at large.

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