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that these flints are man-made implements : at considerable length Dr. Evans discusses the characteristics of their authenticity” (p.575); but this only relates to the indications by which they can be distinguished from modern
spurious imitations,” which is a very different matter from that of their being genuine human implements. The so-called “Implements” of the gravel beds of the Somme are undoubtedly authentic, in that they are really found in the gravel-beds, and may be known from new-made forgeries; but it does not therefore follow that they are genuine as implements made by man. (See Trench on Words, p. 197.—On the “confusion often made between genuine and authentic.” 2d. ed.) And, in fact, Dr. Evans in this place does not appear to draw such a conclusion.
Both Sir Charles Lyell* and Sir John Lubbockt have considered it necessary for them to prove that the “flint implements ” are of human workmanship, but they do not support this proposition by any direct evidence; they do, however, convincingly prove by the vitreous gloss and dendritic markings on its surface that the split flint is not a modern forgery; and then they jump to the conclusion that it is a genuine implement. This is obviously a mistake of the question.
Mr. Prestwich alone has fairly grappled with this subject; and I have given his arguments in full and my reply, at page 45 of my Flint Implements from Drift.
On the other hand, there is a considerable amount of sound rebutting evidence to show that these split flints are not man-made tools, of which I will only now adduce two arguments :
Ist. These flints are usually found at the lower part of the stratum of angular Aint-gravel, where the fractured surfaces of the whole mass are stained the same colour, show the same kind of fracture, and exhibit the same vitreous gloss and dendritic markings as the supposed implements. And the most symmetrical implement is found to pass by imperceptible gradations through other forms of fractured flint into the rough angular grarel by which it is surrounded; the fracture of which is confessedly the result of natural causes.
In the Museum of Practical Geology in Jermyn Street there are a large number of rough flint "implements" side by side with naturally-fractured flints of approximate forms; the object being to show that the simpler forms referred to fortuitous fracture may have suggested the type of the “ doubtedly artificial implements." But by an inspection of the labels the attempt to refer some to one class and some to the other confessedly breaks down. Thus in series D, six specimens in succession are described as
“ 42. Seems entirely natural.
Antiquity of Man. First ed., p. 112. + Pre-historic Times, p. 276.
44 a. Natural or partly dressed.
Specimen No. 10 probably approached the nearest to the Somme type, but even this flint is described as “natural, but perhaps chipped at the edge."*
These flints were collected and described by a first-class “expert,” having the “experienced eye,” which Lyell says is necessary to distinguish the false from the true implement; and yet in this case the present Woodwardian Professor of Geology at Cambridge could not distinguish from his point of view the vork of man from that of nature, the gradation of form and fracture being so imperceptible.
2nd. I have inspected most of the gravel-beds whence these “implements” have been obtained, both in England and on the Continent, and also the accessible museums in which they have been placed ; and I have never found one single “ Drift implement” showing the same indubitable evidence of use by man, as is stamped on the true stone tools of the Neolithic age.
Even the degraded Bushman of South Africa, who has no bouse or home, no animals but a few wretched half-wild dogs, and no clothing but rough skins, makes a stone implement, with a hole in it for a handle, to dig out roots from the soil. And these undoubted implements are now found over a large area, conclusively indicating a former extension of the Bushmen who used them over that which they now occupy.t
Wherever man, even the most degraded savage, has been, he has left multiform and indubitable relics of bis presence, but the supposed Palæolithic man of the Drift gravel-beds has left no evidence of his former existence but rough stone implements, and these unlike any genuine implements known to have been used by man, and so uncouth in form that it is doubtful to what use they could have been applied; and with these, says Sir Charles Lyell, are a vast variety of very rude implements, some of which can only be recognised by an experienced eye as bearing marks of human workmanship (Antiq. of Man, p. 118, 1st ed.); and we now further find others which so blend with the natural forms of the angular flint gravel, that the most acco
complished expert cannot determine the difference between the work of nature and the work of man.
Considering judicially the weight which should be attached to the whole of the evidence for and against the “implement” theory of these flints, from the ancient valley gravels, it appears to me more reasonable to reject the supposed existence of the so-called Paläolithic man,--than to believe that these fractured flints are of human workmanship.
* "On Flint Implements.” By T. McK. Hughes, M.A. The "Geological Repertory."
Proc. Soc. drt. Lond.
PROFESSOR HUGHES REPLY TO THE FOREGOING
It gives me great satisfaction to meet with the approval of so skilled and careful an observer as the Duke of Argyll, and I quite agree with his Grace in believing that, whether we are investigating the evidence for the antiquity of man, or the sequence of events which we include in what is known as the Glacial period, the most important inquiry is,—what was the extent, horizontal and vertical, of the last great movement of depression in the British Isles ? It marks the close of our Glacial period, and seems to precede the commence. ment of our human period. It was probably the sea of that submergence that lifted off the last of the ice. We do not expect to find traces of man's sojourn here when the whole was covered by ice, nor was he likely to have left much indication of his visits when the greater part was covered by water. I did not go into this question, because I have not within my own knowledge any evidence of remains of man having been found in the marine deposits of that age.
With regard to Prof. Birks'observations, I may remark that, as I cannot regard the astronomical combinations referred to as even the principal cause of the prevalence of Alpine conditions in our area at any period, I, of course, cannot accept them as a measure of the age of the Glacial period. I think, on referring to my paper, it will be seen that I do not lay much stress on the contemporaneousness of man with certain extinct mammals, except so far as we can infer that such palæontological changes seem to take place slowly, and to be dependent on terrestrial movements, which also, we believe, take place gradually. To the growth of stalagmite as a measure of time I attach no importance, and have made full allowance for local changes of level, which would accelerate the rate of waste. I appeal to river terraces, not to any doubtful deposits which may be due to cataclysmic action. What it comes to is this,—that there is at present no certainty about the age of the old riverterraces in which we find the remains of man; but apply what test we will, we have always the same result, that, according to observed rates of change, the time must have been very long, unless we assume that every case that has been examined is an exceptional one, in which there has been an exceptional and local acceleration of all the operations of nature.
I must ask Mr. Brass to read the former paper by myself, referred to in p. 10, and I think he will see that I am far from assuming that no recent changes of level have taken place affecting the flow of rivers and the rate of Waste in valleys. It is the recognition of this and other similar facts that makes me believe that in the present state of our knowledge it is impossible to assign a term of years to the period during which the rivers have been at work.
Whether a valley has been in the main cut out by an ordinary river or by some exceptional flood, is a question about which a field geologist can generally form a good opinion.
Prof. Huxley's remarks, quoted in a footnote on p. 342, refer to the effect which such changes might have on the rate of denudation, but do not call in question the fact that the valley has in the main been scooped out by the river.
Of course many mistakes have been made, as might have been expected, where so many people with very various previous experience of such phenomena have been examining the gravels and loams for evidence of the existence of man during the period of their deposition. What we have to ask is, are there any well-authenticated cases -and I think we must admit that there are.
Prof. Boyd Dawkins' note, referring as it does to several cases which I have not had an opportunity of examining, usefully supplements and supports the arguments I have adduced.
Mr. Harrison will find recorded plenty of instances of the large mammalia in northern regions being caught by river floods, or in the ice, and perishing in herds. Although this may occur only now and then, it is part of the ordinary operatious of nature there. When I said they went out one by one, I was not referring to individuals, but to species (races and groups). To follow the theories propounded by Mr. Harrison would lead me too far from the points I proposed to deal with in my paper.
Mr. Mello raises some interesting questions, which I fear cannot at present be answered, among them the reason of the gap between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods. There are some things which lead one to infer that the Paläolithic type, though it went back very far, also came down to Neolithic times ; as, for instance, the occurrence of so many Palæolithic forms among the misfits of Grime's graves near Brandon, in Suffolk, and the Paläolithic implements scattered over the surface at La Ganterie, near Dinan, in Brittany.
Mr. Pattison would find among the causes now in operation full explanations of floods and debacles sufficient to fill many a valley with coarse débris. When a flood dammed for a time some of the upper waters of the Rhone, and then they broke loose upon the valley, filling it, as I myself saw, with rocks and stone; when a thunder-storm had burst upon a small hillside in Westmoreland, and I saw the greater part of a field covered in two hours with gravel 10 feet deep,--all this was but the common way of rain and river denudation. But we know that kind of débris when we see it, and it is not in that kind of gravel that the implements I referred to were found, still less in a gravel showiny any evidence of having been transported by great rushes of water due to violent earth-movements.
I regret that the Member writing from Cirencester has been unable to find evidence in that district to satisfy him as to the mode of formation of the Thames and other similar valleys, but I doubt not that the views I have put forward on this point will on further inquiry be more generally admitted.
The vagueness referred to by Dr. Southall arises, I think, from this, that I assume as proved certain views in physical geography with which he does not agree, and, therefore, the figures on which he relies cannot be applied to the statement of observations as given by me. For instance, I hold that broad valleys are formed by the rivers winding from side to side along the flatter parts, but that a river never runs in a shallow stream evenly covering the whole of the bottom of a valley. Again, I never knew a river with a uniform fall along its whole length, and believe that a slope of much less than a foot per mile along the flatter parts, with a fall of 6 or 10 feet at the rapids, would cut back a valley, though there might be no denudation going on, except at the rapids. The general principle upon which I lay so much stress, that a river cuts back at the rapids, and that the denudation of valleys is chiefly due to that kind of action, has received ample illustration this year. I have known the rapids cut back in some of our Welsh rivers many yards in the recent heavy floods. Nor can I follow Dr. Southall in his explanation of the formation of loess and gravels. The loess, or brick-earth, may be seen after floods have spread over the lowlands; as, for instance commonly in the rivers which run into the Humber, Wash, and Thames estuary, and is only the mud which has settled down from the flood-water when it has been allowed to stand and the sediment to settle. This is a well-known phenomenon, and is directed and turned to account in the process of warping. But the gravel requires water running at a high velocity to transport it, and cannot be spread at one and the same time over the whole valley.
Mr. Whitley confines his remarks to the question whether the objects appealed to in evidence are really the work of man or not, and refers to a collection I made many years ago to illustrate the probability that man, first adopting common natural forms, then modifying these, had the fashion of his tools suggested by nature. Mr. Whitley objects to receive my evidence that a finished weapon is the work of man, because I have stated that I have found specimens which I thought were natural forms, but which had received a blow or two which made them more likely to be useful, and because I would not venture to say whether those blows were accidental or given designedly by man. If I see a stone chisel-dressed all over, and recognize it as the work of man, because I have seen man make such things, but have not known them produced by nature, and I see also a weathered fragment under a crag broken by frost and fall, and I say I have no doubt that it has been broken by natural causes, is my evidence about these of no value because I refuse to say whether another piece which I find by a road is altogether natural or roughly-hewn by man?