38 ADAMITES AND PREADAMITES.
and of the prehistoric Stone Folk of Europe. Of the validity of Chinese and Egyptian historic claims to a high antiquity I shall express no opinion. I dissent emphatically, however, from the position entertained by some recent archeologists, that the Stone Folk of Europe carry us back fifty or a hundred thousand years, or even that their antiquity is greater than that of the oldest historic nations. The opinion seems to me wild and fanatical. The obscurity which hangs over the Stone Folk is mistakenly ascribed to remoteness. Like objects seen in a fog, the events of the Stone Age are not so remote as they seem. The latest pile-habitations come down to the sixth century In many in-stances, the debris from the lacustrine villages has yielded Roman coins and other works of Roman art. Homer's epic was composed but 600 years before our era, and the Stone Folk were then in full possession of central and northern Europe.
History declares that among the Lapps and Finns the Stone Age descended to the time of Caesar. The civilized Pelasgians entered Greece 1400 years before Homer and found the Stone Folk there. We have, then, at least twenty-five centuries of historical time for the duration of the Stone Age. I see no good ground for the opinion that the primeval men of Europe appeared more than 2500 or 3000 years before Christ. But, as a contrary opinion is sometimes expressed, I will proceed to state the grounds on which I understand it to be based, and then offer my reasons for the rejection of these grounds.
I. Pre-glacial remains of other animals have been mistaken for human remains. I refer to remains older than the continental glacier of Europe. Some bones found at Saint Prest, France, were observed to bear cuts and scratches which might' have been made by flint instruments in human hands. But with them were associated the remains of a species of elephant, known to have lived in later Pliocene time. Hence the mercurial Frenchman made proclamation of Pliocene man. But actual experiment proved that precisely similar markings are made upon hones by the porcupine ; and as a rodent left his bones in the same bed with the cut and scratched bones, cooler reason promptly ascribed the markings to rodent agency rather than human. Again, certain shell-marks near Bordeaux enclose the bones of a manatee,