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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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ANTIQUITY OF MAN. 39

which bear marks similarly ascribed to human agency. But the manatee lived in the Miocene period; therefore the Frenchman now proclaimed Miocene man. Unfortunately a fierce, carnivorous fish lived in the same waters, and was buried in the same cemetery, and his sharply serrated teeth exactly fit the markings on the scratched bones of the manatee. Tertiary man vanishes again. Finally at Thenay, again in France, some flints are found in lower Miocene limestone, which were at first pronounced the work of human hands. But bushels of similar flints may be picked up on any sea-beach of the chalk districts.

II. Human remains erroneously supposed pre-glacial. A human skeleton found in volcanic tuff at Le Puy-en-Velay, in central France, was associated with the bones of an elephant known to belong in Pliocene time. Pliocene man was again proclaimed, when, alas, some one showed that the elephant-bearing tuff was an older eruption than that hearing human bones, while the latter contained in fact the bones of another elephant—the well-known mammoth, which lived after the reign of ice. Again, the river drifts of the Somme were set down by the French geologists as pre-glacial or glacial in origin ; and hence the flints which they enclose belonged to Tertiary man. The cooler heads of English geologists detected the fallacy, and pointed out several localities where it appears that even the valley of the Somme was not excavated till after the glacial drift was laid down ; and the flint gravels are of still later date. In 1856 a human skull and numerous bones of the same skeleton were exhumed from the Calle del Vento in Liguria, and published to the world as "l'uomo pliocenico;" but no scientific observer saw the bones in place, and the best anthropologists now declare that the remains are not pliocene. A few years ago a sensation was created by the discovery of a human pelvis at Natchez, Mississippi, in a deposit of undoubted pre-glacial age. This, like all similar finds, filled the newspapers with sensational paragraphs calculated for the discomfiture of old opinions. But Sir Charles Lyell showed that the pelvis had in all probability fallen down from an Indian grave at the top of the bluff. So, from being a relic of pre-glacial man, it suddenly became the pelvis of a modern Cherokee, perhaps a hundred and fifty years old. The human remains of California,



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