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Secretary of the 
Smithsonian Institution 

Published by 





Carl Whiting Bishop 

Associate Curator, Freer Gallery of Art 

with the collaboration of 

Charles Greeley Abbot 

Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 


Ales Hrdlicka 

Curator, Division of Phvsical Anthropologv 
United States National Museum 





Copyright 1930, by 

[Printed in the United States of America] 

All rights reserved 

Copyright Under the Articles of the Copyriglit Convention 

of the Pan-American Republics and the 

United States, August 11, 1910 


Preface i 

I. Man's Theater of Action .... i 

11. The Chorus of Man's Stage ... 12 

III. The Development of the Individual 

Human Being 23 

IV. The Study of Human Prehistory . . 37 
V. The Ice Age 56 

VI. Man the Cave Dweller 71 

VII. Neanderthal Man 83 

VIII. Neanderthal Man {Continued) . . no 

IX. The Most Ancient Remains of Man 134 

X. The Unfolding of Man's Intelligence 166 

XI. The Old Stone Age 182 

XII. The Middle Stone Age 234 

XIII. The New Stone Age 246 

XIV, The Age of Bronze 266 

XV. Ancient Egypt, Asia Minor, and Crete 294 

XVI. Other Centers of Civilization . . . 313 

XVII. Prehistoric Man in the New World 326 

Bibliography 352 

Appendix: Neanderthal Remains . . 359 

Index 365 





A conception of prehistoric man Frontispiece 

I. The Ptolemaic and the Copernican theories of the universe 2 

1. The appearance of our universe 3 

3. Pika Peak, an example of erosion 8 

4. CrtWrtra.frt«n/.f, a giant reptile of the Jurassic .... 14 

5. Woolly rhinoceros in combat with bison 16 

6. What breeding will do 2° 

7. Human embryo and pig embryo 28 

8. Human embryo of four to six weeks 29 

9. Human embryo of six to eight weeks 3^ 

10. The Age of Steel 4<^ 

11. The Age of Iron 4^ 

12. The Bronze Age 43 

13. The New Stone Age 44 

14. The Old Stone Age 45 

15. Skulls of man and gorilla 4^ 

16. Hand silhouettes in prehistoric caves 49 

The Victor Glacier, Alberta, Canada 56 

Glacial striation 57 

Loess country, northwestern China 64 

A raised beach 65 

21. A mammoth hunt in the Old Stone Age 68 

22. Varves in glacial clay 7° 

23. Restoration of Cro-Magnon man 74 

24. Caves at Grimaldi, near Mentone, France 80 

25. The Grimaldi skeletons °^ 

26. The Gorge of Neanderthal 84 

27. The Neanderthal cave °5 

28. Restoration of Neanderthal man 86 

29. Side view of Neanderthal cranium 88 

30. The Gibraltar skull • °9 

31. Rock-Gun, Gibraltar 9^ 

32. Restoration of Neanderthal boy 93 

22- Rock and cave of Spy, Belgium 96 

34. Spy skull No. I 97 

35. Rock-shelter of Krapina 104 

36. Restoration of Neanderthal woman and child .... 105 

37. Kaempfer's Quarry, Ehringsdorf 112 

38. Skulls of La Chapelle and modern man 118 

39. Skulls of La Ferrassie man and Le Moustier youth . . 119 

40. Le Moustier, on the Vezere, France 126 

41. The Galilee skull 128 

42. Restoration of Neanderthal man 129 

43. Restoration of Piltdown man 136 

44. The Mauer Quarry, Heidelberg, Germany 144 

45. The Mauer or Heidelberg jaw 145 

46. hocaWty of Pit/iecant/iropus find 148 

47. Pithecanthropus skullcap and reconstructed skull . . . 149 

48. Thigh bones of /'/Mf(r<3«Mro/)«.f and of white man . . . 152 

49. Broken Hill cave, Rhodesia, South Africa i '^6 

50. The Rhodesian skull 160 

51. Discoverer of the Rhodesian skull 161 

52. Fire-making by rotating a stick 172 

53. An Arab still 176 

54. Restoration of Neanderthal man 196 

55. Restoration of Neanderthal woman 197 

56. Bisons modeled in clay by Cro-Magnon artists . . . 204 

57. Solutrean carving of a mammoth 208 

58. Musk ox 216 

59. Magdalenian bone needles, awls, and fishhooks . . . 217 

60. Superimposed mural frescoes 220 

61. Magdalenian painting of a bison 222 

62. Life in the Stone Age 232 

63. Thatched hut, New Hebrides islands 240 

64. Primitive bark canoe of Australian aborigines .... .241 

65. Neolithic warrior 248 

66. Chinese carts 256 

67. Loom used by certain American Indians 264 

68 American Indians beating out copper 265 

69. Igorot group, Philippine Islands 268 

70. Hopi Indian woman potter 272 

71. Outrigger sailing canoe 276 

72. Chinese deep-sea fishing junk 277 

73. Mosaic standard from Ur of the Chaldees 284 

74. Assyrian king in his chariot, hunting lions 285 

75. Ancient Egyptian chairs 296 

76. Egyptian portrait statues 298 

77. Portrait statue of scribe of an Egyptian king .... 299 

78. Temple of Karnak, Egypt 300 

79. Example of Egyptian mummification 301 

8c. Assyrian troops besieging a city 304 

81. Assyrian winged lion 305 

82. Assyrian troops in battle 306 

83. Persian frieze of archers 307 

84. Ancient Cretan vases 308 

8 if. Cretan bath of terra cotta 309 

86. Ceremonial procession of Cretan women 310 

87. Gold cups from Vapheio 311 

88. Primitive scenes in India 314 

89. Primitive scenes in India 315 

90. Stone hoe and knives, Neolithic China 320 

gi. Bronze sacrificial vessel 321 

92. Asiatic archer and slingers 324 

93. Chinese bronze helmet 325 

94. American Indians hunting moose . 328 

95. The quetzal, or resplendent trogon 330 

96. Ruins of a Maya temple 332 

97. Maya pyramid 233 

98. Old Spanish map of Tenochtitlan 338 

99. The sack of Cholula ^39 

100. Atahualpa, the last of the Incas 348 


1. Woolly rhinoceros 19 

2. Cell multiplication by division 26 

3. Fetal membranes of a pig embryo 29 

4. Typical cross-section of cave strata 40 

5. Skulls of chimpanzee, Neanderthaler, and modern man . 42 

6. Skulls and brains of modern man and chimpanzee . . 44 

7. Skulls of chimpanzee, Neanderthaler, and modern man, 

seen from below .• . . 45 

8. Lower jaws showing chin development 46 

9. Skull, spinal column, and pelvis of man and gorilla . 47 

10. Thigh bone of modern man, Neanderthaler, and gorilla . 48 

11. Fragments of skull of ancient Egyptian woman ... 50 

12. Reconstructed skull of ancient Egyptian woman ... 50 

13. Cave painting of a bison 52 

1 4. Map of western Europe showing former land elevation . 64 

15. Skull of Grimaldi woman 79 

16. Aurignacian and modern Bushman comparisons ... 80 

17- Diagram of human skull 86 

18. Lower jaw of a Neanderthal child 95 

19. Profiles of Neanderthal and Spy crania 102 

20. Skeletons of La Chapelle man and modern Australian . 115 

21. Skulls of Neanderthaler, Pithecanthropus, and modern 

Arab 123 

22. Skulls of European, Australian, Neanderthaler, and chim- 

panzee 130 

23. Comparison of modern and Neanderthal head forms . . 131 

24. Bone implement from Piltdown 135 

2^. Reconstructions of Piltdown skull 137 

26. Piltdown, La Chapelle, and modern skulls 138 

27. Development of lower jaw 144 

28. Brain-cases of Pithecanthropus y Neanderthal man, chim- 

panzee, and gibbon i<;i 

29. Brains of chimpanzee, /'/Mffrt«/Aro/)«j', and modern man . 163 

30. Eoliths of the Tertiary Period 171 

31. Primitive method of fire-making 172 

32. Primitive clothing of Tierra del Fuego natives . . . . 174 
22- Necklace of later Old Stone Age 17'? 

34. Central Australian sacred object 176 

35. African witch doctor 178 

36. African chief on bow of war canoe 180 

37. Pointed types of eoliths 183 

38. Pre-Chellean type of stone implement 185 

39. Tasmanian stone implements 185 

40. Chellean flint tools 186 

41. Acheulian fist-axes 189 

42. Mousterian implements 191 

43. Flint core and flakes •. ... 193 

44. Aurignacian implements 200 

45. Baton de commandement 201 

46. Engraving of grazing reindeer 2o<; 

47. Solutrean laurel-leaf flints 208 

48. Geometric design of a woman 210 

49. Prehistoric engraving of a horse, and the Mongolian wild 

horse . 213 

50. Magdalenian flint implements 214 

51. Magdalenian bone and ivory points 215 

52. Magdalenian spear-thrower 216 

53. Tectiform designs from caves of southern France and Spain 217 

54. Conventionalized designs carved on fragments of bone . 218 

55. Hunters' feast engraved on bone pendant 219 

56. Stone lamp from cave of La Mouthe 220 

57- Design of herd of reindeer 221 

58. Mammoth engraved on ivory 221 

i;g. Red deer and sahiion, engraved on reindeer antler 223 

60. "The Sorcerer" of Trois Freres 224 

61. Ceremonial bowls made from human skulls ... 226 

62. A stag hunt 230 

63. Wounded warrior .... 231 

64. Flat harpoons of red-deer antler 235 

65. Stone hatchet and iron hammer 235 

66. Negrito using bow and arrow 237 

67. Wooden fire-drill 238 

68. Tasmanian canoe 240 

69. Chinese dragon-boat 241 

70. Aztec human sacrifice 247 

71. Staghorn pickaxes 248 

72. Prehistoric stone hatchet 249 

73. Dog travois used by American Plains Indians .... 255 

74. Primitive Mexican cart 257 

75. South African Bushman woman's digging-stick . 258 

76. Ancient Egyptian wooden hoe 258 

77. Caschrom, or foot-plough 259 

78. Korean three-man spade 260 

79. Ancient Egyptian man-drawn plough 261 

80. Rock engraving of plough and oxen 261 

81. Necklace of leopard's teeth 263 

82. Wooden ladle 263 

83. Swiss lake dwellings 264 

84. Pick made of deerhorn 267 

85. Flint-bladed dagger 268 

86. Late Bronze Age sword 268 

87. Bronze axes 270 

88. Bronze ax with wooden helve 271 

89. Copper axes and ax-adz 271 

90. Stone copies of bronze battle-axes 272 

91. Male costume of early Bronze Age 274 

92. Female costume of Bronze Age 275 

93. Bull-boat of American Plains Indians 276 

94. Roman coin of bronze, about 300 B. c 278 

95. Early Chinese knife-money 279 

96. Early Chinese hoe-money 280 

97. Bronze vase of late Bronze Age 282 

98. Egyptian infantry, Eighteenth Dynasty 285 

99. Four-wheeled wagon 287 

100. Sacrifice of a slave 292 

loi. Primitive Egyptian hoe 297 

102. Dagger or short sword of early Iron Age 312 

103. Rock engraving of mounted warrior 323 

104. Maya design of Feathered Serpent 329 

105. Maya wall painting of human sacrifice 330 

106. Diagrammatic cross-section of Maya building .... 332 

107. Maya wall painting 233 

108. Design from Aztec sacrificial stone 340 

109. Section from design of Peruvian painted vase .... 343 
no. Portion of a Peruvian quipu 345 

111. Peruvian mythological design 347 

112. Peruvian concept of the God of the Air 348 


The past history of our race is far too vast and complex a 
subject to be surveyed adequately by any one individual. 
Hence this book is the result ot cooperative effort on the 
part of workers in several different fields, all, however, 
with a direct bearing on the subject. 

Dr. Charles G. Abbot, Secretary of the Smithsonian 
Institution and Editor-in-Chief of the present Series, has 
assumed the task of writing the first three chapters. In 
the first two of these he has described the setting of the 
cosmic stage upon which the human race is playing its 
part; while in the third he has told of the prenatal life of 
the individual, which so strikingly recapitulates the de- 
velopment of the species in many ways. 

The portions of the book dealing with the physical 
characteristics of prehistoric man have been based very 
largely upon the work of Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, of the Na- 
tional Museum, Chapters VII and VIII in particular hav- 
ing been taken almost verbatim from a technical mono- 
graph specially prepared by him for the Smithsonian 

For the remaining chapters and especially for those 
dealing with man's cultural progress, the writer is re- 

In order to avoid confusing the reader, the distinction 
between man's physical development and his progress in 
civilization has been carefully maintained. In discussing 
the former, the plan has been followed of working back 
from the recent to the more remote past — from familiar 
types to those less well known. This method enables us 



to see more clearly how the human race grows ever more 
primitive, increasingly less like that of today and definitely 
inferior to it in many ways, the farther back we go in point 
of time. 

The account of man's conquest of material things, how- 
ever, from his primeval condition ' to the beginnings of 
modern civilization, contained in the last nine chapters, 
has called for the opposite method of treatment. Instead 
of tracing them backward through the ages, the various 
discoveries and inventions of major importance have been 
dealt with in their probable order of occurrence, and their 
application to an ever-growing range of uses has been 

Where so many have been drawn on for information, it 
would be impossible to give due credit by name in each 
individual instance. Special acknowledgment must be 
made, however, to Dr. H. N. Russell, Sir James Jeans, and 
Dr. A. S. Eddington, among astronomers; to Dr. T. C. 
Chamberlin, Dr. R. D. Salisbury, Dr. Ernst Antevs, Dr. 
C. W. Gilmore, Dr. R. S. Bassler, the late Dr. C. D. 
Walcott, and the late Dr. G. P. Merrill, among geologists 
and paleontologists; to Dr. E. W. MacBride, Dr. C. W. 
Prentiss, Dr. L. B. xArey, and Dr. Edwin G. Conklin, 
among cytologists and embryologists; and to Sir Arthur 
Keith, M. Marcellin Boule, the Abbe H. Breuil, Dr. G. G. 
MacCurdy, Dr. Hugo Obermaier, and Dr. H. F. Osborn, 
among prehistorians. 

For the various illustrations, due acknowledgment is 
made in the captions accompanying each. Hearty thanks 
must be paid to Mr. William H. Gill, of Washington, for 
the artistic excellence of the drawings, which are almost 
entirely the result of his painstaking work. 

The writer also wishes to express his personal apprecia- 
tion to Miss Daisy Furscott, of the Freer Gallery Expedi- 
tion Library, for her aid in reference work and her helpful 
criticism; and to Miss Christabel E Hill for her unremit- 
ting care in the preparation of the manuscript. 


Lastly and in a very special sense are the joint authors 
under deep obligation to Mr. John R. Ellingston and Miss 
Rose A. Palmer, of the Editorial Staff, for their cordial 
and unwearying cooperation, without which this book 
could not have been completed. 

C. W. Bishop. 

Free)- Gallery of Art^ Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington, November /, igsg. 




Man has his residence upon a world 8,000 miles in diam- 
eter. It is fifth in size and third in solar distance of the 
sun's family of eight principal planets. The sun is an 
average star, situated about twenty-five trillions of miles 
from the nearest neighboring star. Alpha Centauri, in the 
southern heavens. As it would be almost meaningless to 
name in miles the distances of the other stars, astronomers 
have devised another expression which is very striking. 
This is the light-year, the distance which light, moving 
186,000 miles each second, covers in a full year. It equals 
some six trillions of miles. In these terms Alpha Centauri 
is at about four light-years' distance from our sun and his 
family of planets. Though expressed in hundreds of 
millions of miles, the separations of the planets from each 
other and from the sun become, by comparison to the dis- 
tance of the nearest star, almost as nothing. Light travels 
from sun to earth in eight minutes. 

Only a few stars are known to lie within 100 light-years 
of our solar system. The vast majority of them exceed 
1,000 and even 10,000 light-years in distance. The stars 
are not scattered uniformly outwards to infinity. If we 
could stand armed with a great telescope at a million light- 
years' distance from the sun, we should see all of our own 
familiar starry system isolated like a little wheel whose rim, 

' These introductory chapters on man's setting are by Dr. Charles G. Abbot. 



extended along the plane of the Milky Way, would appear 
about five times as wide as its hub. Within this lens- 
shaped star cluster, which we call our galaxy, the stars, if 
we could count them all, would probably number some 
thirty billions. 

As we gazed about us from our supposed observing point, 
a million light-years distant, we should see still other clus- 
ters of stars not belonging to our system, for our galaxy 
is not the only one in space. There are, indeed, hundreds 
of thousands of other island universes, each of multitudes 
of stars, besides that one which contains the well-known 
constellations, the solar system, and the world of man. Do 
other stars within our own galaxy have planets revolving 
about them? If so, are these planets inhabited by con- 
scious beings? Do other island universes far outside our 
galaxy contain still other inhabited worlds? In short, is it 
reasonable to believe that among the hundreds of thou- 
sands of galaxies, each containing its millions or billions 
of stars, only one world supports creatures equal to man? 

So much for the world's setting in regard to space. What 
of its extension in the domain of time? "The days of our 
years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of 
strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength 
labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut oflF, and we fly away." 
So writes the Psalmist of the individual. As the history of 
the ancient world is recovered in written inscriptions on 
walls and tablets, we are carried back to a time six thou- 
sand years ago when men already built great works, mar- 
shaled armies, and carried on industries. Dating from 
many thousands of years before this earliest recorded his- 
tory, evidences of human skill and fossil human remains in 
cave dwellings are still preserved. These indications grow 
less and less evidential of high intelligence in man with in- 
creasing antiquity, until at last, at a time estimated at 
much less than a million years ago, man fades from the 
scene. Back of that period, animal and vegetable king- 
doms persisted for periods estimated at several hundreds 



When man believed earth to he the center of the universe and 

himself the supreme achievement. From a seventeenth-century 

edition of the Ptolemaic Almagest^ depicting victory of the Ptolemaic 

over the Copernican theory 


What our universe would look like observed from a point a million 
light-veal's distant. Earth's position would be about a half inch off 
center. Photograph of Spiral Nebula Messier 23 from Mt. Wilson 



of millions of years. Back farther still the most ancient 
traces of life itself fade out. 

Was this the dawn of time for our earth? We believe 
not. Nature furnishes a calendar in the minerals which 
bear the radioactive elements, radium, thorium, uranium, 
and their degenerated products, lead and helium. Radium, 
for example, constantly decomposes, yielding helium and a 
temporary element called radium emanation. The emana- 
tion itself decomposes into more helium and a second 
temporary element. After five similar transformations the 
end product, besides the gas helium, is the familiar metal 

Such are the works of nature's time clock. The time 
element consists in this, that radium loses half of its weight 
in 1,700 years, producing helium and lead at rates which 
are now well known, and which no known agency can 
either hasten or retard. Basing their estimates on the 
quantities of helium and of lead in certain of the very old- 
est rocks which contain such chemical elements as uranium 
and radium, and on other similar data, students have now 
come to a general agreement that the primeval earth's 
crust can not be less than a billion years of age. 

Was this, then, the beginning of time.^ Evidently not, 
for the chemicals in the stars are all so hot as to be gaseous, 
whereas the crust of the earth is so cool as to be solid. 
Immense periods of time must have elapsed before the 
material which combined to form the solid earth was de- 
veloped from the gases of which once it formed a part. 
This brings us to the newest view relating to the length of 
time, which grows out of the consideration of solar and 
stellar energy. Our sun and the other stars constitute im- 
mense bodies hundreds of thousands of times more massive 
than the earth. Owing to their tremendous temperatures 
they constantly give off visible and invisible rays having 
enormous energy. Even at the earth's immense distance 
the sun rays contain over a horsepower of energy per square 
yard. Equally intense are the sun rays in all directions, so 



that the flow of solar energy is to be estimated in horse- 
power in terms of the number of square yards on the sur- 
face of a sphere ninety-three million miles in radius. 

What supplies this copious flood of energy? Probably 
the annihilation of atoms. This, indeed, so eminent an 
astronomer as Professor Jeans of England states to be not 
only a reasonable but a necessary article of scientific belief. 
Writing on "Astronomy" in the thirteenth edition of the 
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Professor Eddington declares 
the energy equivalent of the destruction of the entire sub- 
stance of our sun to be sufficient to sustain its output of 
radiation through fifteen trillions of years. This is the 
order of time which the universe is now supposed to 

Thus, in brief summary, man's home is in a universe con- 
taining some hundreds of thousands of galaxies each com- 
posed of millions or billions of stars. Among these there 
may be many systems of planets such as that which our 
star, the sun, holds in his train, and among them may be 
many inhabited worlds. The starry hosts are scattered 
through a space measured in millions of times the six 
trillions of miles that light traverses in a year. They seem 
likely to have been existing through time enduring trillions 
of years, and likely to continue quite as long in time to 
come. From the prodigious stores of energy, partly gravi- 
tational, partly radiant, which our star, the sun, supplies, 
man collects the fragment that he needs to carry on his 
comparatively small concerns. In short, a man, one of 
nearly two billion living human individuals enduring 
but for threescore years, does not loom large compared 
to the universe in which he dwells, to its duration or its 

Man's existence on his little earth depends on extraor- 
dinary circumstances. As to how life began here, science 
ofi^ers no guess, but how slight are the changes which 
might destroy life has recently become plain. Water in 
liquid form is indispensable. It is the only natural liquid 



independent of life processes^ which exists in free state and 
considerable quantity at the earth's usual temperature. A 
small change of temperature would congeal or vaporize 
this indispensable liquid. A fall of only ten per cent in the 
temperature of the globe would drive the higher forms of 
life to the tropics. Again, miles high above the earth ex- 
ists that form of oxygen which is called ozone. There is so 
little of it that if brought to the earth's surface it would 
make a gaseous layer only a little thicker than the cover of 
this book. Yet if this trifling constituent of our atmos- 
phere should be destroyed, probably blindness and death 
to humanity would ensue, owing to the burning chemical 
action of extreme ultra-violet rays of the sun which ozone 
cuts off. 

The materials of which the universe is composed seem 
to be common to all parts of it. In the sun and all the 
stars are found, by observation, only those chemical 
elements, such as iron, hydrogen, oxygen, and others, which 
are familiar on our earth, and some of which go to make up 
man himself. These elements,wherever found, are composed 
of two constituents, and two only — the protons and the 
electrons, equal and opposite elementary charges of elec- 
tricity. On the other hand, harmonious to this unity, there 
are many examples of progressive gradation. These begin 
among the very atoms of the chemical elements. 

The keen discoverer who laid the groundwork of this 
knowledge of the atomic gradation was Henry Gwyn- 
Jeffreys Moseley. Born in 1887, he graduated at Oxford 
University and became lecturer in physics at the Uni- 
versity of Manchester, where he was associated with the 
eminent British Nobel prize winner, Sir Ernest Ruther- 
ford. By a brilliant series of highly delicate and original 
experiments, Moseley demonstrated the step-by-step re- 
lation in the X-ray spectra of the elements, now known as 
Moseley's law. So epoch-making was this discovery that 
he was specially invited to lecture upon it in Australia at 

* Gasoline, the oils, the alcohols, etc., are in nature all products of life processes. 



the meeting of the British Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science in the year 1914. A volunteer officer in 
the "Territorials," Moseley hurried from the British As- 
sociation scientific assembly on the outbreak of the Great 
War, to be instantly killed by a Turkish bullet at Gallipoli, 
August 10, 191 5. He lived only twenty-eight years, but 
his name will be remembered forever. 

Moseley's law finds its interpretation in the structure of 
the atoms of the chemical elements. Hydrogen has one 
orbital electron, helium two, lithium three, beryllium four, 
and so on, advancing by unit steps, to uranium, the last of 
the known chemical elements, with ninety-two electrons 
arranged in a multitude of orbits all focusing about the 
central nucleus. 

Not only in the infinitesimal domain of the atoms, but in 
the vast spaces of the starry systems, an orderly gradation 
of qualities prevails. In size, in brightness, in spectrum, 
in density, in temperature, the nebulae and the stars pre- 
sent an orderly series of great impressiveness. Invisible to 
the eye, because of tremendous distance, but readily photo- 
graphed by great telescopes, the heavens contain hun- 
dreds of thousands of such objects as are shown in Plate 2. 
We see there a series of forms ranging from irregular 
through spherical hazy masses, thence, through gradual 
elongation, to pronounced spindle shape, and finally to the 
branched spirals. It is believed that here we see the evolu- 
tion of a starry galaxy such as our own. At first unformed, 
gravitation settles the gaseous mass into a sphere; rota- 
tion elongates it; still greater motion tends to produce the 
spindle shapes; which, with increased velocities and tidal 
forces, produce the two-branched spirals; from which, at 
length, separate the stars. All of this observedly probable 
train of events conforms to known laws of fluids. 

But the stars also show progression after their birth, of 
which a striking evidence is given by the group of stellar 
spectra shown in Plate 78 in Volume 2 of this Series. By 
many years of observation along many lines of attack, 



knowledge has advanced so far that we may now summa- 
rize the evolution of a star. Separating from the parent 
nebula as an enormously extended gaseous ball, hundreds 
of millions of miles in diameter and rare as the residual of 
gas in what we are apt to call a high vacuum, the newly- 
born star is of low temperature, glows but feebly red, and 
shows in its spectrum the bands of molecular compounds. 
Condensing and rising in temperature by the fall inwards 
of its gaseous matter under its own gravitation, the star 
glows yellowish red, its spectrum loses its compound bands, 
because heat dissociates the compounds which produce 
them, and substitutes for these bands the lines of moder- 
ately heated metals. Still enhancing its temperature by 
internal gravitation, the density of the star becomes yet 
greater, and its light glows yellowish. Its spectrum lines 
begin to show the effects of the high temperature involved 
in the shattering of the atoms from which are stripped off 
one or more electrons by the violent agitation of the power- 
ful heat within. 

This process goes on through the white to the blue stage, 
when the atoms become so far dissociated as to render the 
spectrum unfamiliar, for it corresponds to temperatures 
too exalted to be commanded for any considerable time in 
our laboratories. If this be the exterior condition, much 
more is the interior of the star in tremendous exalta- 
tions of heat and pressure. It is believed that under these 
conditions matter is gradually annihilated by the collapse 
of the atoms, and that the enormous output of radiation is 
made possible only by the actual passing out of existence 
of interior matter, with a diminution of the mass of the 
star. Thus the star grows smaller both by condensation 
and by annihilation. 

With great density the star material, though gaseous, be- 
comes so little transparent that the inner heat is no longer 
able to force to the exterior a sufficient supply to maintain 
the radiation outward. The star then visibly cools, and 
passes in reverse order through the series of colors and of 



spectrum appearances which we have named. But now, 
from the rarity of a red star newly born, it grows old and 
ends as a red star, indeed, but with a density approach- 
ing or even exceeding that of the solid metals such as iron. 
Finally failing altogether to supply glowing heat, the star 
becomes dark, as indeed many great celestial bodies are 
known to be. These reveal their presence not by their 
light but by their gravitation or by cutting off the light of 
companion stars. 

Such, it appears, is the evolution of a galaxy and a star. 
A solar system presents another operation. Among the 
multitudes of stars, all of which are in rapid motion in 
various directions, there will be some pairs, in the course of 
billions or trillions of years, which will approach so closely 
together as nearly to collide. Though not actually pre- 
senting the tremendous catastrophe of collision, which 
between two bodies so enormous would indeed be beyond 
description, a pair of stars passing near each other would 
raise such great mutual tides that their material would not 
merely swell out like our ocean tides, but for a time would 
actually flow away in ropelike streams into space by 
reason of the adventure. Such material, after the passage 
of the disturbing star, would collect into planets; and such, 
we may imagine, is the origin of our solar system. 

We are to suppose, then, that our earth was formed by 
the gathering together of matter which had been caused to 
flow out from the sun by reason of the close approach, ages 
ago, of some other star. As the stars often exceed twenty- 
five miles a second in their mutual approach or recession, 
and as we have noted that the nearest star. Alpha Cen- 
tauri, is only some 25,000,000,000,000 miles away, it is 
conceivable that the near catastrophe which gave birth to 
our earth might have happened no more than 1,000,000,- 
000,000 seconds, or 30,000 years ago. But as our radium 
clock has told us that the earth's crust is fully a billion 
years old, we must conclude that it was not the nearest of 
the stars but some unknown one, now very distant, which 



by its close approach to the sun founded the solar system. 

It used to be supposed, when another hypothesis of its 
origin prevailed, that the earth cooled from the condition 
of a glowing hot ball until its crust formed, and that soon 
after that event it became fit for life. We are now more 
apt to believe, following Chamberlin and Moulton, who 
first advocated this view in the early years of the present 
century, that the earth is the product of gradual accretion 
of the train of finely divided solid meteoric matter which 
the supposed close approach of a star to our sun threw out 
as gases from the sun into space, but which soon cooled to 
solidification there before combining to form the earth. 

Some meteoric matter in individual masses of pounds or 
tons, and some thousands of minor planets, which are 
mineral masses of some miles in diameter, still are met 
with in the solar system. But nearly the whole of the 
matter which it is supposed escaped from the sun owing 
to the near approach of another star, is now collected to 
form the eight great planets and their moons. 

In the progress of accretion it is not to be supposed that 
the earth was at first of regular shape or complete solidity. 
But as more and more matter accumulated, its growing 
pressure gradually squeezed out the lighter parts, includ- 
ing the present earth's crust and the water and air. The 
water settled into depressed regions and, adding to their 
weight, tended the more to depress them. Also, then as 
now, the action of the atmosphere in producing decompo- 
sition and disintegration, and of the rains and streams in 
wearing off the elevated parts, tended to remove the 
heavier portions of the rocks, which on the whole are more 
soluble. This detritus, finding its way to the incipient 
oceans, tended the more to emphasize the oceanic depres- 
sions and to tilt still higher the land elevations. 

Under the enormous weight of the outer part of the 
earth, its inner portion flows slowly as if it were a viscous 
fluid. Experiments have shown that the crust to a depth 
of about sixty miles behaves like a floating island, tilting 



about and bending under the loads of detritus which the 
rivers bring down to the plains and the sea, as the winds 
and waters plane the mountains down. Again and again, 
as geology teaches us, portions of the continents have been 
uplifted, planed down, sunk beneath the oceans, covered 
with mud layers, newly uplifted into mountains, newly 
planed down, and so on through vicissitude after vicissi- 
tude in the great age of the earth. Similar changes are still 
going on, slowly, but probably no more slowly than they 
always have done. During many of these changes life 
existed, the remains of which were sometimes buried by 
sands and mud that became rock and so have preserved 
for us the fossil records of the past. 

It is impossible to determine accurately in years the 
length of the periods of geologic time. Moreover, the 
records are fragmentary, imperfect, depending on the 
vicissitudes of elevation and depression, aridity, tempera- 
ture, and other factors. Nowhere is the whole gamut of 
strata from earliest to latest time exposed. The laying 
down of strata demands locations such as the shores of a 
sea or lake, the sea bottom, river basins, or desert valleys. 
Obviously, these could not in all ages prevail at any one 
place. Yet the earth's surface yields so many examples of 
the burial of multitudes of forms of life at successive depths 
that what is lost in one locality may be supplied from an- 
other. Thus it has become possible for paleontologists to 
estimate the approximate order of succession of life re- 
corded in the fossil remains, and the approximate relative 
length of time involved in the several periods which these 
fossil remains suggest. These data are confirmed by many 
samples from many parts of the earth's surface. Local 
contradictory evidences, explainable on grounds of earth- 
folding, noncontemporaneousness of life forms, and other- 
wise, become no more than the exceptions which prove 
the rule. The broad features remain surely known. 

In this brief survey of present hypotheses and observa- 
tions relating to the place of man and his abode in time 



and space, our attention has been drawn to the orderly- 
march of forms, both as regards the infinitesimal atoms and 
the enormous heavenly bodies. In such developments we 
find a forecast of the progress of life forms from the sim- 
plest to the most complex, not only of every individual 
being from his conception to his death, but of the animal 
and vegetable kingdoms themselves. In the next two 
chapters we shall trace the progressive steps of life de- 
velopment which lead us at length to the consideration 
of adult man and his achievements. 



In most plays the principal actors are assisted by a large 
group of minor characters and attendants, whose parts, 
though less conspicuous, are vital to the drama. It is so 
in nature. Though man dominates creation, his happi- 
ness and even his very existence depend on humbler 
creatures. Nor are they all his friends or the friends of 
his friends. Powerful as he is, man requires the full use of 
all his mental superiority to hold his own against the 
competition of the insects and microscopic enemies which 
threaten his life. 

Man has not always held the stage. Long before his 
entrance, race after race of creatures developed, came to 
the zenith of their power, and gave way in turn to others. 
Perhaps it will be so with man. 

The almost interminable march of life as read in the 
imperfect record of the rocks has presented six especially 
interesting eras, which may be designated as, first, the era 
of the simplest life forms; second, the reign of the inver- 
tebrates; third, the period in which vertebrates, exempli- 
fied by the fishes, made their appearance; fourth, the 
heroic age of vegetation; fifth, the age of reptiles; and 
sixth, the age of mammals, culminating in man. 

The first era embraces the dawn of life. Its duration 
probably is to be reckoned in hundreds of millions of 
years and is at least equal in length to all succeeding 
time. Partly by reason of the vicissitudes of the ages 
which lie between that period and ours, partly because 
its strata have not been thoroughly explored, and more 



especially because in its strata the complete records have 
not been preserved, we have little evidence of the kinds of 
creatures which then developed. 

It is in the rocks of the second great life period, that of 
the early Paleozoic time, divided in geological nomencla- 
ture into the "Cambrian" and "Ordovician," that numer- 
ous fossil specimens first become available, abundant, and 
beautifully preserved. These were the ages solely of the 
invertebrates, among them many creatures so different 
from present forms that they can not be said to have de- 
scendant representatives in the modern world. There 
was, for instance, the great family of the trilobites, which 
resembled superficially the lobster and the crab. The 
trilobites long ago became totally extinct, but they domi- 
nated the earlier part of the periods of which we are now 
speaking. Some of them, indeed, grew to large size, ex- 
ceeding eighteen inches in length. The name comes from 
the shape of the body, which presents a right, a left, and a 
middle prominent portion. Very beautiful in outline, 
with numerous delicate side organs almost fernlike in their 
detail, and provided with eyes and other sense organs, the 
trilobites seem to have been as complexly organized as 
many of the foremost of the invertebrates of the present 
day. They are not by any means primitive creatures. 
If we accept the theory of the gradual evolution of life 
forms, they must have had a very long ancestry. 

The trilobites counted among their contemporaries 
many kinds of shell-protected creatures, including several 
whose shells resemble greatly some of those of today. 
Thus we may regard the family of the present-day oyster 
and those of certain other bivalve mollusks as extremely 
ancient, though the species have changed from the ancient 

Toward the close of the Ordovician period, the class of 
the cephalopods, now represented by the chambered 
nautilus, the octopus, squid, and their like, usurped the 
preeminence so long held by the trilobites, and continued 



prominently during the Silurian period which followed. 
Some of these chambered shells were of straight, tapering 
form, and no less than twelve to fifteen feet in length and 
one foot in maximum diameter. It is interesting to 
speculate on their means of locomotion and nutrition. 

The great period called the Silurian, which followed the 
Ordovician, is the last one dominated by invertebrate 
animal life. During the Silurian the trilobites declined, 
but the cephalopods continued very notable. They 
shared their prominence, however, with certain remark- 
able crustaceans, of somewhat scorpionlike appearance, 
called Eurypterus and Pterygotus. Among these latter, 
giants of one and a half to six feet in length appeared. 
These creatures have never been surpassed among crusta- 
ceans of all ages. Many of the other orders and classes 
of invertebrates flourished notably during the Silurian, 
as they had done previously, but towards the end of the 
age the third great life era, that of the vertebrates repre- 
sented by fishes, began to dawn. 

Here we find forms called the ostracoderms, which seem 
to constitute a connecting link between the crustaceans, as 
represented by the trilobites, and the true vertebrate 
fishes that were to come. Their heads and trunks ex- 
ternally bear resemblance to the trilobites, while present- 
ing fishlike fins and tails. They opened their jaws later- 
ally like the crabs, not vertically like the fishes, yet so fish- 
like were their bodies and tails that till recently students 
have always classed them with the fishes. 

With the Devonian period comes the reign of the true 
fishes, though the forms differed extensively from most of 
those in the present seas. Sharks lived in the Devonian 
both in the open sea and in brackish waters of the shores. 
Lampreys, lungfishes, and ganoids were also developed. 
But as yet paleontologists have found no trace of the now 
dominant bony fishes. 

Our fourth era of special interest is the heroic age of 
vegetation, the Carboniferous. As vegetation is indis- 


-T3 b 


















' — ^. 













' ^ 














pensable to support animal life, it must have coexisted 
plentifully with the earliest terrestrial animals, though 
inconspicuous in the fossil record. Fossil evidences of 
bacteria and marine algae have been found in the rogks 
laid down in the era of dawning life; but vegetation, though 
present through all preceding ages, first becomes plentiful, 
as indicated by the fossil record, in the Devonian. It is 
represented then, not only by mosses and ferns, but by 
trees of fernlike form and by some palmlike species. In 
the Carboniferous period, however, though in forms very 
strange to our eyes, vegetation became so luxuriant as to 
form the main source of the coal and to some extent of the 
oil on which modern industry depends for power. Layers 
of coal which in some sections reach a thickness of 250 
feet are supposed to represent several million years of 
luxuriant vegetation during the Carboniferous period. 
Many kinds of trees abounded, but they were very unlike 
those of the present. 

This same period brought forth in the animal kingdom 
the amphibians, those vertebrate creatures adapted to 
both land and water. They are thought by some to have 
developed from certain Devonian types of fishes. Surely 
this development is a most interesting one. It marks a 
new era in which for the first time the earth held verte- 
brate animals able to live on land. Some Carboniferous 
amphibians, recalling the structure of the crocodile, 
reached lengths of eight to ten feet. Others resembled 
snakes, lizards, and salamanders. 

Following the Carboniferous period, there ensued an age, 
evidently of great stress and hardship, called the Permian. 
It used to be supposed that life was then altogether ex- 
tinguished ^nd that all subsequent life arose from a new 
creation. This is an exaggeration. Great diminution in 
life certainly occurred, and many species were extermi- 
nated. It was estimated from such knowledge as was 
available about the beginning of this century that, with 
10,000 known animal species of the Carboniferous period, 



only 300 remained to represent the Permian. The ratio at 
present would be more favorable to the Permian, but the 
decline is startling. Simpler, hardier forms of vegetation 
took the place of the rich Carboniferous flora. Among 
vertebrate animals arose a new order, the reptiles. Strange 
forms they took. There was, for instance, the fin-back lizard, 
Dimetrodon^ found six to seven feet in length. Highly in- 
teresting is the discovery of reptilian forms which, in the 
shape of head and skeleton, begin to suggest the mammals. 

But before the age of mammals, the earth had yet to see 
the long ascendency of the gigantic reptiles which ruled at 
length air, land, and sea. The Triassic period witnessed the 
rise of the reptilian land dinosaurs, which, although they 
did not rival the monstrous forms of the two following 
periods, yet attained a length of fifteen feet. Reptiles of 
marine habit became lords of the sea, preying upon its 
previous rulers, the fishes. But the shell-armored inverte- 
brates also attained a new prominence with the rise of the 
cephalopod ammonites, somewhat similar to the modern 
nautilus. Their beautifully sculptured spiral shells present 
hundreds of varieties. 

From the Triassic we pass to the Jurassic period, in 
which the ammonites attained their maximum of luxuri- 
ance and beauty. Among the fishes, which during their 
earlier dominance in the Devonian had been limited to the 
families related to the lampreys and sharks, the modern 
bony types now first made their appearance. However, 
the Jurassic stands for the grand period of the reptiles, both 
on sea and land. Ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs reached 
their highest development. The former took on something 
of the lines of a fish, though crocodilian of snout, with pad- 
dles, fins, and sharklike tails suitable to rapid marine loco- 
motion. The plesiosaurs were ungainly reptiles described 
by some one as having "the body of a turtle strung on a 
snake." Like the ichthyosaurs, they were covered by 
smooth skins unprotected by scales. They ranged from 
eight to forty feet or more in length. 


r- C 

i. ^ 


On land the dinosaurs attained enormous stature. Here 
we find Brontosaurus^ an herb-eating creature balancing its 
huge horizontal carcass of sixty feet, in combined length of 
neck and tail, on four stocky legs. Equally grotesque was 
the great armored Stegosaurus with its row of vertical 
plates over the backbone from head to tip of tail. 

Finally, the reptiles, as represented by the pterodactyls 
and others, invaded even the air. They did not occupy 
it alone, however, for in the same period the first birdlike 
animals appear, in the form of the Archaeopteryx. 

Still antedating the age of mammals, we pass on into the 
Cretaceous period, in the vegetation of which appear for 
the first time the angiosperms which form the dominant 
dynasty of modern plants. The plants had hitherto been 
represented by the gymnosperms, whose seeds are naked. 
The angiosperms have true seed vessels. To this class a 
great variety of trees, shrubs, and herbs of the present day 

Among land reptiles, the dinosaurs now attained their 
most formidable features for attack and defense in Tricera- 
tops^ with his shieldlike crest, sharp beak, and great, 
pointed horns. Yet Marsh remarks that he had the larg- 
est head with the smallest brain of the reptile race. Turtles, 
lizards, snakes, and crocodiles were among other reptile 
fauna of the period. The flying reptiles attained great 
spread of wings, possibly twenty-five feet, and doubtless 
flew with great power. 

At sea, also, the reptiles still ruled. A species of sea 
turtle reached the enormous size of twelve feet in diameter, 
with a skull larger than that of a horse. The plesiosaurs 
and other marine reptiles still continued in giant forms. 
True sea-diving birds of large size are found, as well as 
smaller flying species. Among the fishes, a transition had 
taken place to the prevailing dominance of the modern 
bony types. 

And now, after the long ages of invertebrates, fishes, 
amphibians, and reptiles, and finally of birds, we arrive at 



last at the eve of the rapid rise of the mammals, and with 
them, of the rise of the mind. We find in the Eocene pe- 
riod herbivorous, carnivorous, and insectivorous mammals, 
among them the ancestors of the cats, dogs, squirrels, rab- 
bits, monkeys, and lemurs, the horse, and the rhinoceros. 
Ancestral forms of the elephant and mastodon arose in 
Africa and migrated through Eurasia and America. Some 
mammals of Eocene time were of elephantine size, though 
soon extinct. Also, the mammals went down to the sea as 
the reptiles had done previously, and were represented by 
whales, dolphins, manatees, seals, and sea lions. Indeed, 
the name Eocene is given because in this period, for the 
first time in all the long history of life, the world's fauna and 
flora contained an appreciable percentage of orders that 
still exist. Thus the Eocene is the dawn of modern life. 

In the Miocene period, which succeeded the Oligocene, 
the approach toward the present fauna was marked by the 
advance of the cat and dog families, of the horse, the 
rhinoceros, the rodents, and by the development of the 
pigs and the camels, which as yet were confined to America. 
The deer and ox families migrated extensively. Most in- 
teresting, however, is the rise of the primates, nearest of 
all creatures in their form to man. 

The Miocene gave place to the Pliocene period, in which 
after an intermigration of New and Old World types, simi- 
lar to that which had taken place in the Eocene and other 
periods, pointing to the existence of ancient bridges across 
the ocean depths, there begins the divergence which separa- 
tion by the oceans has caused. The elephant family were 
the giants of this period. Mastodons occupied all conti- 
nents. Among the cats occurred the ferocious saber- 
toothed tiger, now extinct. The apes developed in south- 
ern Europe and other parts of the Old World. Dubois, in 
1 891, found in Java portions of a skeleton of Pliocene age, 
about which paleontologists are in doubt as to whether it 
is more akin to the apes or to man, and so have called it 
Pithecanthropus erectus — the erect apelike man. 



To whichever species the Java fossil remains may be as- 
signed, the next period, the Pleistocene, indubitably brings 
in the dawn of the day of man. His advent is demon- 
strated by skeletons, tools, drawings, and many other evi- 
dences. That he was contemporaneous with extinct 

Fig. I. Woolly rhinoceros of the Pleistocene in Europe. A mural drawing in 

red in the cavern of Font-de-Gaume, Dordogne, France. After Capitan, Breuil, 

and Peyrony 

Pleistocene animals is proved by his drawings of spirited 
likenesses of some of these creatures in the caves of south- 
ern Europe, as well as by the association in European 
fossil beds of primitive human skeletons and artifacts with 
bones of the mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, and other 
animals now extinct. The Pleistocene, or Glacial period, 
was remarkable for the several advances and retreats of 
arctic and antarctic glaciation. In North America the ice 
sheets pushed as far south as the junction of the Ohio and 
Mississippi rivers, while in Europe ice sheets invaded the 
plains of France. Thus in the infancy of the race, man 
struggled against odds. 

Beginning with the dawn of life, we have surveyed 
animal and vegetable development through the early 
Paleozoic, the age of the invertebrates; the Devonian, the 
age of fishes and of the rise of vertebrates; the Carbonifer- 
ous, or heroic age of vegetation; the Triassic, Jurassic, and 
Cretaceous, embracing the long dominance of the giant 



reptiles of air, land, and sea, and the rise of birds; through 
the Eocene,01igocene, Miocene, and Pliocene, which saw the 
dawn of the age of mammals, and their development to 
cover and rule the earth; till finally, after the lapse of hun- 
dreds of millions of years, man came upon the scene. 
Within the comparatively brief epoch of a few hundred 
thousand years at most, he has become master of the world. 
Other creatures hold their lives at his pleasure; the earth 
yields her stores of fruits, fuel, and minerals to his machin- 
ery; he collects power from the rivers and the sun; he com- 
municates his thoughts around the world almost instan- 
taneously; he explores the universe with his telescope and 
spectroscope; and he rides on air, land, and water at 
speeds exceeding that of the swiftest of the birds. 

There are at present in the world approximately 600,000 
known species of insects, several hundred thousand other 
invertebrates and nonmammalian vertebrates, and 15,000 
mammals. Until comparatively recent times, these were 
nonexisting, and other species, now extinct, prevailed. 
Their numbers can not now be estimated, because of the 
imperfect record which paleontology has thus far disclosed. 
Nor is the present number complete. Every year adds 
thousands of newly discovered species to the already 
hugely swollen list of creatures of the present and the past. 
It has even been estimated that the unknown insect 
species are really ten times as numerous as those hitherto 

The immense numbers of species and the changes there- 
in from epoch to epoch which have marked the past history 
of the earth, and the tremendous time scale indicated by 
the study of the slow alterations and great thickness of 
stratified rocks no less than by the discovery of the trans- 
mutation of radium, combine both to accentuate and to 
answer the question: What is the origin of species? With- 
out other evidences than those just mentioned, the mind 
would tend to conclude that the species have been formed 
by gradual divergences of forms exposed to different en- 



vironments over ages of time. Such indeed is the almost 
universally accepted conclusion of scientific men. It is 
called the theory of organic evolution. As to the relative 
importance of the parts played by different agencies in pro- 
moting the evolutionary process there is as yet no general 
agreement; but as regarding the general proposition there 
is nearly unanimous consent. 

If the proposition of organic evolution requires further 
support, it may be found in the experiments of the present 
day. For example, the little plant, St.-John's-wort, which 
in America and Europe seldom exceeds a foot in height, 
was transplanted to New Zealand about eighty years ago. 
There it has become a tree reaching forty feet in the air. 
Pigeons which came originally from the wild blue rock 
pigeon have been developed, under the care of breeders, 
into the astonishing variety of forms familiar to fanciers. 
Dogs and horses, too, under the selection of breeders, 
range through forms almost as various. In laboratory ex- 
periments of the past half century, hundreds of what may 
be accepted as new species of invertebrates and vertebrates 
have been originated. Man himself is proved to vary. 
Thus the races of Europe, which have furnished over 
twenty million emigrants to America within the past cen- 
tury, betray, according to Hrdlicka, definite changes of the 
shape of the skull and other of the most deep-seated skele- 
tal characters in their descendants of only a few genera- 

Still more remarkable is the evidence of change which 
we shall take up in the next chapter, where we follow the 
human development from conception to old age. It is 
thought by some to be derogatory to the dignity of man 
that he should be considered to have ascended from sub- 
ordinate creatures during the progress of ages. Yet it can 
not be denied that every human individual goes through an 
extensive evolution in his own individual development and 
passes through forms equally repulsive to the squeamish 
eye. A fact which is often overlooked in this connection 



is that if the theory of organic evolution is admitted, we 
are to consider man as ascending from some mammal of 
the Eocene period, not from any existing form of primate. 
The date of the parent stem, from which man and the 
other primates separated as branches, must be set back 
in time quite a million years. 

22 ] 



Although in adult life a man is about thirty times as 
heavy as a fowl, the human egg weighs less than a mil- 
lionth as much as that of the hen, and is less than a 
hundredth of an inch in diameter. This great disparity 
is" appropriate to the great difference in the method of 
nourishing the unborn progeny. The essential nucleus of 
the living germ-cell in either case makes up but a trifling 
portion of the total weight of the egg. A great portion of 
the egg substance in the fowl consists of the. yolk which 
gives nourishment to the forming creature. This egg 
nourishment must entirely suflice to sustain growth 
throughout the three-weeks' period of gestation preceding 
the birth of the chick. The human embryo, on the con- 
trary, almost immediately attaches itself to the wall of 
the uterus and begins to be nourished at the expense of its 
mother's circulation. 

The nucleus of the human germ-cell within the egg is 
microscopic in its size and, though it is considerably 
larger than the male nucleus which unites with it to in- 
itiate the new individual, the two contain essentially the 
same number of chromosomes which constitute the in- 
heritance material. With this in mind, and reflecting 
that the subsequent office of the mother is mainly to 
nourish the growing embryo, it will not appear so strange 
that on the average the influences of father and mother on 
the character of their offspring are substantially equal. 



What at first sight is even more extraordinary is that 
family resemblances, traits of character, even minute 
similarities in ways of acting, legion in their number, are 
clearly transmitted from parents to progeny through the 
channel of the microscopic germ-cells. One might well 
marvel that so small an organism could possibly carry the 
potential impression of so many and such complicated 
traits. To illustrate this point: A certain gentleman, when 
signing his name to the roll of members of the Handel and 
Haydn Society in Boston was accosted by the secretary 
with the remark, "I should have known to what family you 
belong had you written only the little letter bT Not only 
do deportment, degree of deliberation of movement, stat- 
ure, facial and bodily appearance, and quality of voice, but 
a host of other little peculiarities proving family connec- 
tion, thus pass from ancestor to descendant. 

On the other hand, no two human individuals are alike. 
In the act of fertilization many thousands of spermatozoa 
compete for the impregnation of a single ovum, of which 
but a single spermatozoon is successful. The preferment 
is in the highest degree accidental, and had any other of 
the many possible combinations occurred, the child would 
have differed from him who is born. Also the ova, 
though far less numerous than the spermatozoa, differ 
each from each and impart differences to their progeny. 
Hence by the marriage of two individuals arises almost 
countless possibilities of varied characters in their off- 
spring. The germ-cells, in short, carry not only the com- 
plex imprint of family inheritance, but also the imprint 
of individuality which stamps each child apart from all 
others who ever lived. Yet considering the race as a 
whole, every germ-cell is only one of an almost infinite 
number, each of which represents still other individuali- 
ties. Notwithstanding that its potential capacities are 
thus certainly so highly complex, the tiny organism is, 
as we have said, so small as to be beyond the unaided 
vision of the human eye. 



We may carry this remarkable consideration still fur- 
ther. It is difficult, though not always impossible, to 
detect differences microscopically between the germ-cells 
of man and those of many other creatures of the millions 
of species representing vertebrate and invertebrate life. 
These others also have each one their millions of ancestral, 
living, or potential individuals. By so much the more 
extraordinary, therefore, is the certainty of determination 
which stamps uniquely the order, species, race, family, 
sex, and individuality upon a microscopic human germ- 

How is this possible? It is because of the astonishing 
divisibility of matter. Though so minute, the germ-cells 
are nevertheless large enough to contain at least billions, 
perhaps even trillions, of molecules apiece. In a structure 
containing such an unthinkable number of molecules, the 
possibilities of dissimilar combinations of chemical differ- 
ences and of varieties of arrangement are sufficient even to 
carry all the complexities of inheritance which are wrapped 
up within a germ-cell. 

Let us look more closely upon this mystery. The whole 
substance of every living creature, plant and animal, is 
made up of minute cells. In the adult human body, the 
cells are estimated to number twenty-six quadrillions. 
Each of them contains a microscopic portion called the 
nucleus. This latter is the part in which inheritance fac- 
tors reside. Differences exist in the cells which determine 
if a fragment of substance is perchance part of a plant, an 
invertebrate, a mammal, a male or female, a brain, a 
nerve, a muscle, or skin. Living cells have four properties: 

I. Movement. 

1. Metabolism, nutrition, etc. 

3. Sensitivity. 

4. Reproduction. 

Movement, by expansion and contraction; metabolism, 
including the building up of definite substances and the 



excretion of worn-out or waste substances ; sensitivity, com- 
prising the reception and transmission of stimuli, so that 
what is done to one cell produces some sort of effect in 
others; and reproduction by cleavage, so that one cell 
becomes two. Although reproduction by cleavage is the 
property of all living cells and is necessary for the growth 
and repair of tissues, certain cells in the higher forms of 
life are reproductive cells par excellence, since they have the 
function of producing new individuals. 

Cells contain, besides the microscopic nucleus, the nour- 
ishing and specialized material called cytoplasm, con- 
tained within a sur- 
rounding membrane. 
Imbedded in the cyto- 
plasm, the nucleus 
itself is also inclosed 
most of the time 
within an inner mem- 
brane, which contains 
a fluid called nuclear 
sap and also the all- 
important chromo- 
somes of the nucleus 
wherein is the seat of 
inheritance units. The 
cell goes through two 
phases, which may be 
compared to sleeping 
and waking. In the 
dormant state of the 
^ cell the chromosomal 
\ structure of the nu- 
cleus is practically in- 
visible, though un- 
doubtedly this is only 
an apparent absence, 
not a real one. In the 


Fig. 2. Phases of mitosis or cell multiplica- 
tion by division. After Schafer, from Prentiss 
and Arey 



active state occur the extraordinary processes of the divi- 
sion of the nucleus and of the cell (Fig. 2). Within the 
nucleus at this time the microscope reveals the chromo- 
somes as a certain number of aggregations of granular 
material. These take various forms, such as loops or 
chains or single lumps. The number of chromosomes in a 
cell is characteristic and is constant for each species, but 
within each species it may differ between the two sexes. 
In man the count is difficult, but the number is usually 
regarded as forty-eight. 

Preparatory to cell division, a pair of centers migrate 
apart to opposite poles of the nucleus (Fig. 2). The chro- 
mosomes range themselves as if upon a central plane with 
respect to these centers, while from each center rays or 
fibers go out and fasten upon the chromosomes, thus giving 
a spindle-shaped appearance to these radiating threads. 
Thus the whole structure at this time resembles a double 
cone, with the company of chromosomes at the junction of 
its bases. Meanwhile the membrane which inclosed the 
nucleus has dissolved, so that the fluid of the nucleus 
merges into the cytoplasm of the remainder of the cell. 
And now all of the chromosomes are dragged into halves, 
as though drawn toward the two centers by opposing pulls 
of the connected fibers. These half-chromosomes come 
together near each of the centers and about them new in- 
closing membranes are formed. The outer membrane of 
the cell itself then shows a furrow which deepens into a 
middle septum, and then the cell divides into two cells, 
each inclosing one of the daughter nuclei. 

Such, in brief, is the general story of all kinds of cells and 
of their multiplication. But in the formation of the special 
male and female germ-cells which unite to produce the 
embryo, each rejects one-half the number of its chromo- 
somes at a certain stage. The act of impregnation com- 
pletes the structure and unites in a single normal cell the 
chromosomes of two cells, which were distinctively male 
and female before impregnation. In every division of 

[ 27 ] 


cells which occurs thereafter throughout the body of the 
child, and even in adult life, the daughter cells, being 
always composed of halves of all chromosomes in the pre- 
existing parent cells, contain equal shares of male and 
female elements. Every part of the human body, there- 
fore, is composed of cells which owe half of their chromo- 
somes to each parent. 

There is a reservation to be made. In the human species 
the male germ-cells, or spermatozoa, consist of about 
equal numbers of two kinds. Each of these germ-cells has 
one chromosome possessing one or the other of two dis- 
similar properties. Depending on which of these dissimilar 
chromosomes is included in the male germ-cell which 
fortuitously unites with the female, the resulting embryo 
is male or female. In some animals, as among the birds, 
for instance, the female holds the pair of unequal chromo- 
somes and is the governing influence which controls the sex 
of the offspring. In certain animals the disparity between 
the pair of unequal chromosomes is so great that one 
chromosome is entirely absent in half the male germ-cells 
and all cells of the bodies of females contain one more 
chromosome than those of males. 

After the union of the male and female germ-cells the 
resulting new cell of compound nature soon divides in the 
manner described above, making two cells, and these in 
turn divide again, and so on, until soon the ovum contains 
not one but many cells, each of which includes the male 
and female chromosomes. Up to this point, so far as 
microscopic observation shows, the cells have been nearly 
alike, merely minute sparks of living matter. Yet it is not 
quite so, for the descendants of certain of them have, it 
is now proved, capacity for only one sort of further de- 
velopment, although, on the other hand, other cells can 
subsequently give rise to any organs indiscriminately. 
But now, as in colonies of bees or of ants, the cells begin 
to be definitely assigned to different functions, and their 
descendent cells develop differences from this time for- 

[28 1 


A ntttion 

Branchial grooves i-j -<:r7^ 

Maxillary process 

Body stalk 


Maxillary process Mandibular process 
Cephalic flexure 

hial arch 2 
ranchial arch 3 

Ccrvic al sinus 

Olfactory pi I 
Yolk sat 

Cut edge 
of amnion 

limb bud 

[Irium of heart 


> •^\-U pper limb 

-r4- Mesodermal 
« ft segment 

fp^'~^ Mesonephros 

Upper: Human embryo of 2.6 mm., showing yolk sac. Enlarged many 

times. After His, Normeutafel 

Lower: Pig embryo of 6 mm. Compare with Plates 8 and 9. After 

Prentiss and Arey 


Human embryo of four to six weeks (2.1 to II mm.). After His, 



ward. They resolve themselves into three categories, 
called in the language of embryology, the ectoderm, the 
entoderm, and the mesoderm (Fig. 3). 

Of course, the new creature has not yet given any 
recognizable visible signs of the wise head, the strong 

Entoderm of primitive gut 





Somatic mesoderm 
Splanchnic mesoderm 

Yolk sac 


Chorionic ectoderm 
Uterine epithelium 
Tunica propria of uterus 

Fig. 3. Diagram of the fetal membranes and allantoic placenta of a pig embryo, 
showing the three primary germ layers, ectoderm, entoderm, and mesoderm, 
from which all tissues and organs of the body are derived. After Prentiss and 


body, the nimble legs, which later will appear. The three 
primitive divisions which we now speak of are much 
simpler; for the ectoderm is merely the original source of 
that which develops the outer skin, with hair and nails, the 
lining of the mouth and nose, the nervous system, and the 



lens of the eye; the entoderm, of the lining of the long 
canal which is finally to make up the digestive as well as 
the speaking and breathing organs; and the mesoderm, of 
the bones, the muscles, the blood and lymph, lining of the 
body cavity, and the reproductive organs. 

In the initial stage, as we have seen, it is difficult if not 
impossible to recognize microscopically the differences 
between the nuclei of the germ-cells of different species or 
even of different orders of animals. But the eggs differ 
greatly in the quantity of the yolk in which the nuclei are 
immersed. With birds and reptiles, as we well know, the 
eggs contain much yolk, whereas with mammals, includ- 
ing man, the yolk is scanty. The development of the 
embryos associated with much yolk occurs outside the 
mother's body and they derive all nourishment up to the 
time of birth from the egg. There naturally develops, as 
the means of nourishing the growing embryo, a channel of 
communication leading to the reservoir of food which the 
egg contains. This channel and reservoir are called the 
yolk-stalk and the yolk-sac. In the mammals we might 
well expect the absence of these appendages, for they are 
useless because the yolk is so scanty and the embryo almost 
immediately is attached to the parent's circulation. Yet 
they exist, and persist for a long period, notwithstanding. 
(Plate 7 A.) 

Other curious features in young mammalian embryos 
are the so-called gill slits. (See Fig. 8 in Plate 8.) These 
occur in the place corresponding to the gills of fishes. They 
are most marked in human embryos at the fourth or fifth 
week, and gradually are closed and modified into the 
organs of the face, so that they usually disappear before 
the end of the second month. 

Again, the human embryo has a tail or coccyx, very plainly 
present as an exterior appendage during the second month. 
(See Plates 8 and 9.) Though the infant generally retains no 
external vestige thereof at birth, sometimes (though rarely) 
the tail visibly persists throughout adult life. 



We might mention also the soft woolly hair called 
lanugo which covers the human fetus at a certain age, but 
is shed prior to or soon after birth. Numerous other tran- 
sient similarities to other forms of life have been detected 
in the human embryo. Some of them even persist through 
adult life. So many and curious are they that they have 
given rise to what is called the "doctrine of recapitula- 
tion." This is the idea that in the development of each 
human individual from the germ-cell to adult life we see 
recapitulated in a fragmentary way the organic evolution 
of man's entire ancestry. Organs which it is suggested 
were functional in man's remote animal ancestors, but 
under present conditions are useless, briefly show them- 
selves, and by disuse atrophy and are lost. Some, indeed, 
like the hair and vermiform appendix, are in process of 
being lost, although in earlier ancestral forms of life they 
were valuable functionally. 

It is, of course, perfectly obvious that, in the skeleton ; the 
skin; the lungs and their accessories; the heart and the 
blood circulation; the digestive and reproductive organs; 
and in many other particulars, man bears a strong re- 
semblance to many of the mammals, and more particu- 
larly to the great apes. It is stated by Sir Arthur Keith^ 
that only thirty per cent of man's structural details are 
peculiar to himself and not shared with any others of the 
primates. Among the remaining seventy per cent there 
are said to be twenty-six per cent of characters which man 
shares with the gorilla or the chimpanzee but with no other 
animal. Going back to other genera of the primates, there 
are found eight per cent of characters shared by man and the 
great apes with the gibbons, and indeed a small residue of 
characters shared with the little monkeys of South America. 

Such facts and considerations as these, added to those 
outlined in Chapter II, have led most anthropologists to 
admit great probability in the hypothesis that man is not 
an independent creation but a gradually developed animal 

'See Encyclopaedia Britannica, Ed. 13, vol. ii, p. 779. 



form, whose ancestry and the ancestry of the great apes 
separated from a common stock at some distant epoch 
which anthropologists incline to put as far back as the 
Miocene period. Still further back, in Oligocene or 
Eocene time, this stock separated, as it is supposed, from 
those of the gibbons and other Old World monkeys and 
from the small monkeys of South America. This hypothe- 
sis does not imply at all that man's ancestors were like 
the present great apes. For the line of descent both of 
man and of the great apes has been subject to great evolu- 
tionary changes in these hundreds of thousands of years. 
We must therefore conceive that the supposed common 
ancestral stock was quite as different from the great apes 
of the present as from man. 

Speculating still further as to man's descent, it may 
have come with that of other mammals through the am- 
phibians, and these by way of the fishes from the arthro- 
pods, where we lose all paleontological evidence in the long 
twilight of pre-Cambrian time. But the evidence from 
analogy found in the development of the human embryo 
leads us by the doctrine of recapitulation to assign simpler 
and simpler structures to this prepaleontological human 
ancestry, until in the beginning of life it originated from 
the cell itself. There scientific speculation commits the 
problem to religious faith. 

It is of surpassing interest to know what are the in- 
fluences which change the forms of life. From our knowl- 
edge of the structure of the cell, it seems clear that the 
almost infinitesimal chromosomes are the all-important 
elements which determine inheritance. Whatever of in- 
fluence the environment may exert upon a living creature 
can have no permanent effect on succeeding generations 
unless it modifies the chromosomes. 

Hence students of cytology have made many experi- 
ments to endeavor to change in some way the fundamental 
characters of the chromosomes. Without going far aside 
to note their work extensively, it will show something of 




Human embryo of six to eight weeks (12.5 to 23 mm.)- Stage W (22) 
marks the transition from embryo to fetus. After His, Kormentajel 


the means employed and the results reached to speak of 
the X-ray treatment of the sex cells of certain plants, as 
reported by Goodspeed and Olson. With a Coolidge X-ray 
tube operated at 50,000 volts, the flower buds of the plant 
Nicotiana tabacum;^2ir\^ty purpurea^^^xo. treated in January 
for ten- and twenty-minute intervals. Of over 1,000 plants 
raised from these seeds more than twenty per cent were 
variant from the normal. In one lot of 168 plants, 136 were 
variant. A majority of the variants were decidedly abnor- 
mal in such characters as stature, leaf shape, and flower 
structure. Many of the new forms were completely fertile. 
In some variants the chromosomes themselves were found 
by microscopic examinations to be visibly altered. 

The development of the individual human being enters 
a new phase with birth. Ceasing to depend upon the moth- 
er's circulation for nourishment and excretion of waste 
matter, the infant begins to employ its lungs to vitalize the 
blood with oxygen, and its digestive organs to assimilate 
food taken for the first time through the mouth. \t this 
epoch of radical change in habit, let us pause to compare 
the status of the infant with that which has preceded and 
that which is to follow. As regards age, length, and weight, 
the average prenatal growth has been summarized as follows : 


























1 .0 


























































Compared to the adult, the length of a newly-born in- 
fant may be taken as thirty per cent, and the weight as 
five per cent. But if the total weight is thus to increase 
twentyfold between infancy and adult life, the different 
organs of the body show great differences in this respect. 
Thus, in average terms, if we take the infant weights in 
each case as unity, the adult weights of corresponding 
organs are as follows: 


















It is thus apparent that the eyes and brains of newly-born 
infants are greatly developed compared to other organs, 
a fact which is of high importance to a creature whose 
command over nature rests so much more upon sight 
and thought than upon size and strength. 

The rate of growth of the child decreases very rapidly 
during the first two or three years, then remains nearly 
stationary until about the seventh or eighth year, when it 
again rises rapidly, so that the youth from twelve to fifteen 
years of age is fairly racing toward adult growth and his 
food demands are correspondingly increased. From this 
maximum of growth rate there is a gradual decline, and 
growth practically ceases at about the twenty-fifth year. 
In later life the weight, however, often has a marked in- 
crease after about the fiftieth year. 

The heart-beat of the babe is very rapid, and ap- 
proximates 135 per minute, falling to i 10 in the second 
year, about ninety in the tenth, and seventy-five in adult 
life. Considering the very much smaller volume of the 
infant body, this relatively great rapidity of heart action 
causes an exceedingly more rapid renewal of the blood 
in the tissues than occurs in adult life. 



Breathing, too, is quicker in the infant life, ranging from 
thirty-five per minute at birth to twenty-eight in the second 
year, twenty-six in the fifth, and so onwards. In the 
early years there is a continual storing up of reserves in 
the form of complex chemical compounds. Energy is being 
laid up against the exigencies of life in the form of rapidly 
increasing masses of flesh. The infant and growing child 
require pound for pound, over and above the needs of 
adult man, a larger income of energy corresponding to the 
imperious demands of growth. 

Let us embrace in a single view the long panorama of 
life and survey the mysterious march of progressive evolu- 
tion from its marvelous beginning in the individual cell, 
through the complex organizations of cells making up the 
many orders and species which have occupied the earth in 
the past or occupy it now, looking forward towards the 
undisclosed unfolding of the life of the future. In this 
far-ranging view, reproduction, not present activity, is by 
far the most important of all functions. Without it 
the glory of life is indeed but evanescent. With it 
the potentialities of the life of the future are beyond 

From this point of view it is wholly fitting that the 
period of life which is marked by the most outstanding 
changes in form, activity of growth, behavior, mental out- 
look, and assertion of individuality should be the period of 
puberty, when the organs of reproduction become func- 
tional. In savage life, the significance of this period is 
frankly recognized and has led to rites and ceremonies, 
fasts, vigils, self-torturings, and other curious practices 
emblematic of the mysterious importance associated with 
this vital epoch. 

It would be superfluous to describe changes of bodily 
form and habits of thought which accompany the onset of 
the reproductive period of life, for no one can avoid know- 
ing them. The literature of romance, of motherhood, and 
of chivalry, which makes up so preponderating a part of 



the written heritage of the world, expresses the finer 
influences of this transcendent experience. 

We have traced the outline of the history of the forms 
of life culminating in man, as revealed in the geological 
record, and the development of the human individual from 
conception to adult life, as discovered by the sciences of 
cytology, embryology, and anatomy. We may properly 
turn now to the story of the upward march of the race 
of mankind, which begins with primitive man and his 
implements. These till recently lay buried under the 
accumulations of ages, but now reveal to us humankind 
contending for a place in the sun against the brutes and 



It was formerly supposed that the great sequences in life 
forms, like the Age of Fishes, the Age of Reptiles, the Age 
of Mammals, and so on, came as the result of "cata- 
clysms." There is no evidence, however, that universal 
catastrophes, of flood, glaciation;, or what not, have ever 
really wiped out all life on the globe so that nature had 
to start out all over again. The nearest approach to it 
appears to have come in Permian time, but even then, as 
noted in Chapter II, many species survived. On the 
contrary, the same natural forces — rain, wind, frost, ice, 
earthquake, and volcanic eruptions — which we see about 
us today, have operated with only moderate fluctuations 
of eff"ect from the beginning. We shall study the pre- 
historic past of man as a part of this orderly continuous 
working of nature. 

The decipherment of the records of man's physical type 
and of the achievements of his intelligence in the far- 
distant past by the archeologist has required the coopera- 
tion of specialists in many diff^erent fields — of the geologist, 
the climatologist, the paleontologist, the zoologist, the 
botanist, the ethnologist, among others. Thanks to their 
cooperative work we now know far more than would have 
seemed possible even a generation ago. Yet the task 
has been but fairly begun, except perhaps in western 
Europe and especially France. 

In spite of the vast age of human remains in Europe, it 
is probable that man did not originate on that continent, 
but came there from other lands, partly over "land- 



bridges" long since sunk beneath the sea. When Asia and 
Africa have given up more of the secrets which recent 
discoveries show are concealed in their soil, we shall know 
much more about man's origin and earliest history than 
we do now. 

The records of man's prehistoric past fall into several 
classes, of which two are of leading importance — first, his 
own actual bodily remains in the shape of his bones; and 
second, the objects of his handiwork, such as tools and 
weapons and evidences drawn frorri the traces of his old camp 
sites, his burial customs, and his dawning artistic sense. 

In addition, the animal life and the vegetation associ- 
ated with early man can contribute much information. 
Certain types of plants and animals flourish in tropical 
climates, while others can exist only under temperate and 
even cold conditions. Their remains give a clue to climate 
and other conditions under which early man lived. We 
can also learn something of prehistoric man from the more 
backward races of the present day. 

But before we describe these methods and their ap- 
plication, let us see how the trained archeologist works. 
Once he has chosen his site, he digs methodically and with 
closest attention, sometimes even straining every spadeful 
of earth through a sieve. He makes exhaustive notes of 
every bit of evidence that he finds, records each fragment 
of pottery or bone or worked stone as to its position and 
condition when found. He takes photographs not only 
of the objects themselves but also of their surroundings, 
in some cases even from aeroplanes; draws detailed plans; 
makes maps; notes fully the geology and climate, the 
human and animal life and vegetation of the region, 
both past and present — everything, in short, which might 
throw light in any way on the mode of lite of the men of 
that time and place. The final study of the finds them- 
selves can be done properly only at some great institu- 
tion, a museum or university, with the aid of all the 
resources that modern science can bring to bear. 



If it be asked how we can tell the relative age of dif- 
ferent kinds of remains found in the soil, how we know 
that one type of human culture, for instance, is older than 
another, a simple illustration may answer. Most of us 
cherish early memories of the "old swimming hole" and 
its sometimes forbidden delights. Very often, we recall, 
the creek curved around, with a high bank on the outer 
edge of the bed, where the water was deep and safe for 
diving, and with a low, shelving beach on the inner side. 
The steep outer bank tended always to be undercut by 
the current, so that portions of it occasionally slipped 
down into the water, leaving exposed a fresh surface of 
clay. Near the top of this we should perhaps find sticking 
out of the earth objects that had been left there in recent 
times since white people inhabited the country: a rusty 
piece of iron, some baked bricks, a few fragments of broken 
chinaware, or a decaying log bearing marks of the pioneer's 
steel ax. There might, too, be bones of horses or oxen, 
pigs or sheep — animals which we know the early settlers 
brought with them from Europe. Lower down in the 
freshly exposed face of the bank we might find stone 
arrowheads, fragments of coarse, unglazed pottery, or 
bones and antlers of deer — animals which shared the 
country with the Indians. 

Sometimes, of course, we should find things mixed up — 
jumbled together by the plow of the farmer, by burrow- 
ing animals, spring freshets, or the caving in of the banks. 
In general, however, we should see that traces of the later 
comers in the country lie above those of the earlier in- 
habitants. In a brick wall, the lowest course is bound 
to be the earliest, while the top one is laid down last. 
That, in essence, is the principle on which archeology 
depends (Fig. 4). 

As our knowledge accumulates, the easier it is to apply 
it. If an archeologist from Mars were to come upon a 
chipped Indian arrowhead of stone sticking out of our 
clay bank above a rusty old iron hoe instead of below it, 



he might be pardoned for thinking that the Stone Age 
came later than that of Iron. We know, however, thanks 
to our better information, that it was really the other 
way around. 

It is always easier to work from the known to the un- 
known. That is the way all riddles are solved. Man's 
prehistoric past is really a riddle to be solved from certain 

Fig. 4. Cross-section of deposits in cave of Drachenloch, Switzerland, showing 

how consecutive occupation through the ages is recorded in distinct strata. 

After Bachler 

clues, a skein to be unraveled from the end in hand, which 
in this case is the present. Let us treat it so, starting 
from the things we know, and when we reach the things 
we have not known they will be much less unfamiliar to 
us. As we go backwards we shall see man's great dis- 
coveries — metal working, weaving, pottery making, house 
building, the domestication of plants and animals, and 
implement making — fall away from him one by one, until 
at last we come to a time when he lived among the wild 
creatures, naked as one of them. 

The age we live in is an age of steel. This does not 
mean, of course, that we never employ other substances 


,/ii'J ;Iii .Y v/ j/ ,yniijliij9 liO btiibneiS adl "^o guidaio tu; rnofl 
lbfifia4 riqago] yd 

li '!()>{ rlisclfisil.'! bnB riqyao]^ arlj to v^j-tiwo } 

^^•ji^n')") 'l<^ ■'■"""'•,! aril nf noil-jttllo'J) 



The Age of Steel 

From an etching of the Standard Oil Building, New York City, 

by Joseph Pennell 

Courtesy of the Joseph and Elizabeth Robins Pennell 
Collection in the Library ot Congress 


where they prove more suitable or economical. We use 
copper in many more ways than were ever dreamed of 
in the Copper x'^ge itself, as we also use stone and wood. 
But steel is the material most characteristic of our times. 

Man has known and employed steel, mainly for making 
weapons and edged tools, for over 2,000 years; but the 
true Age of Steel only began something like half a century 
ago, with its general application to structural uses. Be- 
fore that, civilized man had long been living in the Iron 
Age, which began in the real sense about 3,000 years ago, 
almost certainly in western Asia. Man had known iron 
earlier still, but only so slightly as to consider it a precious 
metal. He forged rings and other ornaments from it, 
and, with the intense superstition which enveloped him, 
he regarded it as something mysterious and uncanny. 

We must not think that the general use of iron sprang 
up in every part of the globe anything like 3,000 years 
ago. The entire Western Hemisphere, which long re- 
mained to all intents and purposes in the late Stone Age, 
learned of it only four centuries ago, as did also portions 
of Asia and Africa and the whole of Australia and the 
great Pacific area. Even yet remote and isolated tribes, 
like the New Guinea Papuans, who use stone, bone, horn, 
or shell for their tools and weapons, are actually living 
in the Stone Age today. This helps us realize as nothing 
else can that widely different culture stages may exist at 
one and the same time in various parts of the world. 

As we delve still deeper into the past, we find that be- 
fore the Iron Age there was a time when, in certain regions 
of the Old World, people depended on bronze (an alloy of 
copper mixed, generally, with about ten per cent of tin) 
as their chief metal. We know this period, therefore, 
as the Bronze Age, and its earliest traces are to be sought 
somewhere around 4000 b. c. 

But people did not find out all at once how to combine 
copper and tin to make bronze. Before that they em- 
ployed copper alone, perhaps as far back as 5000 or 



6000 B. c. Along with its use, we meet with many traces 
surviving from the preceding epoch, that in which weapons 
and implements were made of stone. In fact, for a very- 
long period men seemed to have looked on the lumps of 
native copper and the nuggets of gold which they found 
here and there merely as varieties of tough, malleable 
stone, and cut, pounded, and polished them into shape 
long before some prehistoric Edison found out how to 

melt and cast them. 
Hence we often speak, 
not of an Age of Copper, 
but of a Chalcolithic Pe- 
riod, from two Greek 
words meaning, respec- 
tively, "copper" and 

Then, as we push on 
still further backward 
into the past, we reach 
a time when men knew 
nothing of metals, but 
depended instead on 
stone, chipped, ground, and polished, for their most 
serviceable tools and weapons. This cultural stage is 
called the Neolithic Period, or New Stone Age. In its long 
course, man made very many of the basic discoveries upon 
which all his later progress has depended. The further 
back we penetrate into bygone ages, the less certain be- 
comes our chronology, because we have less and less to go 
by. But perhaps we shall be reasonably close to the truth 
in estimating that in the more advanced parts of the world 
of that day the New Stone Age was beginning something 
like 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. 

As our knowledge of the past steadily increases, we 
realize more and more that there are few breaks in prog- 
ress. Successive stages always grow quite naturally out 
of those that have gone just before. Thus instead of a 


Fig. 5. Outlines of the skulls of a chim- 
panzee (dotted line), of a Neanderthal 
man (solid line), and of a modern European 
(broken line); showing stages in cranial 
development. After Boule 


The Aiie (if Irdii. Scnic at a postluiuse (Hi one c.f the yixat Roman 

roads. In the foreground a cavalryman. After Forestier, The 

Roman Soldier 


The Bronze Age. Right, a Greek like those who fought at Troy; 

left, a western European chieftain; center, one from the Danube 

region. After Forestier, The Roman Soldier 


complete gap or hiatus between the New and the Old 
Stone Ages in Europe, such as students once thought 
existed, there was an intermediate period when men were 
slowly, and no doubt often with great difficulty, adjusting 
themselves to changed conditions and new discoveries. 
This stage has been given a name of its own, viz., the 
Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age. It was clearly an age of 
transition. Some of the peoples and cultures which then 
appeared in Europe undoubtedly arrived there from other 
lands; but there also existed some survivors from earlier 
times in that continent itself. 

But we have not yet reached the earliest evidences of 
man's presence in Europe. Before the Middle Stone 
Age, as we might infer from the name itself, there was 
an Old Stone Age — the Paleolithic Period, as it is called 
by prehistorians, who have subjected it, especially in 
France, to intensive study. They have discovered in it 
numerous subdivisions which they have named after 
places in France where typical sites have been found. 
At the very close of the Old Stone Age — merging, in 
fact, with the Mesolithic that followed — is the Azilian, 
named for the cave of Mas d'Azil in the northern spurs 
of the Pyrenees; before that comes the Magdalenian, so 
called after the rock shelter of La Madeleine, in the same 
region; then the Solutrean, from the great open camp of 
prehistoric man found at Solutre, farther east; the Aurig- 
nacian, from the sepulchral grotto of Aurignac, and the 
Mousterian, from the cave of Le Moustier, both in the 
same region as Mas d'Azil; the Acheulian, from St. 
Acheul, and the Chellean, from Chelles, two places in 
northern France; and lastly, the Pre-Chellean, oldest 
of all. 

These successive stages overlap the entire vast span 
of the Old Stone Age. They comprise certain periods 
when the climate was warmer than it is now, and others 
when it was far colder and a sheet of ice buried much 
of Europe, as Greenland today. Throughout this epoch, 



as we travel further and further back into the past, we 
find on the whole an increasing rudeness of culture asso- 
ciated with older and older types of animals, many of 


Fig. 6. Side view of the skulls and brains of modern man and 

chimpanzee. Note the difference in the manner of carrying the head. 

After Boule 

them extinct ages ago. This is no mere guesswork, but is 
clearly proved by the actual remains themselves. 

The bones of men and animals, unlike the rest of the 
body, may, under favorable circumstances, be preserved 
almost indefinitely. Careful study of them can tell us 
much about the looks and habits and the relationships of 
the creatures, human or animal, to which they once 




JH^S^V ,:.A"^ 



belonged. Fortunately, also, the very part of the skeleton 
most apt to be preserved is the one which reveals to us 
more about the living creature than any other, namely, 
the skull, which in life contains the brain, the seat of 
man's intelligence — precisely what we are studying. The 
size of this organ, as shown by that of the brain-case 

Fig. 7. The lower surfaces of the skulls of a chimpanzee, a Neanderthal man, 

and a modern European; showing progressive shifting of the opening for the spinal 

cord toward the center of the skull. After Boule 

itself, provides us with many clues of the highest im- 
portance. Among normal white male adults the size of 
the brain averages around 1,550 cubic centimeters, al- 
though in different individuals this figure may vary as 
much as 200 cubic centimeters either way. The skulls of 
certain less cultured modern peoples, however, as well 
as those of some prehistoric races, fall decidedly below 
this capacity. In the three higher apes, the gorilla, the 
chimpanzee, and the orang-utan, the average sizes of 
the brain rarely if ever exceed 600, 400, and 400 cubic 
centimeters, respectively. 

Hence, speaking very generally, the lower we go in 
the scale of intelligence the smaller and lighter in weight 
do we find the brain. More than that, it is simpler and 
less convoluted, so that in creatures like some of the 
South American monkeys, for example, the surface of the 





brain presents a very smooth structure showing com- 
paratively few of those folds which seem so closely linked 
with intelligence. Again, by good fortune, the number 
and shape of these convolutions is indicated on the inner 
surface of the skull, which nature 
molds to fit them exactly (Plate 
15). Hence, in a well-preserved 
prehistoric skull we can tell by the 
impressions on its inner surface 
whether the individual to which 
it once belonged had a brain of 
higher or of lower grade. And 
where, as in the case of Neanderthal 
man, we have found several skulls 
belonging to the same type, we can 
begin to draw conclusions regard- 
ing that race as a whole. 

Scarcely less significant are the 
base of the skull and the manner 
of its attachment to the neck. 
These help to reveal the posture 
habitually assumed by man and by 
the most manlike animals, the great 
apes. As none of the latter ever 
habitually go about erect, their 
heads are set on their necks very 
differently from ours. The face is 
pushed forward (Fig. 6), and the 
muscles of the neck are attached to 
the skull in a way calculated to sup- 
port the latter in this position. 
Moreover, the opening through 
which the spinal cord passes into 
the brain is situated much nearer 
the back of the head (Fig. 7). From 
these data we could deduce, if we 
had never seen a live gorilla, that 

Fio. 8. A series of Ibwer 

jaws showing progressive 

development of chin. After 




he normally assumes a stooping posture, with the head 
and especially the jaws carried far forward, more nearly 
approaching that of four-legged creatures on the one 
hand and of very early man on the other. 

The characters of the lower jaw or mandible, though 
too numerous and often too technical for us to describe 
in detail, contain much information for the anthro- 
pologist. The hinge, or articulation, by which the lower 
jaw is attached to the 
skull differs widely 
both in individuals 
and in races, so that 
this single character 
can tell us a great 
deal regarding the 
shape of the head of 
which it once formed 
a part. The presence 
or absence of a chin 
also means very 
much. All modern 
and recent races of 
men have a chin, 
while the apes have 
none, their lower jaws 
sloping right back- 
ward from the front 
teeth. Here again, the 
further back we go 
into man's remote 
past, the less do we 
find his chin developed, until in some of the most ancient 
human skulls it is practically absent (Fig. 8), 

Just inside the point of the human chin, back of and 
below the roots of the front teeth, occurs a small projection 
bearing two points to which the main muscles controlling 
the tongue are attached. Instead of a projection, the 




Fig. 9. The skull, spinal column, and pelvis 
of man and gorilla compared. After Boule 



lower jaws of apes actually have a small depression at 
this point; and in the older prehistoric human skulls, we 
find a condition intermediate between modern man and 
the ape. 

The teeth, in their size and shape, including that of their 
roots, in the way they are set in the jaw, and in many 
other features, likewise contain evidence of great sig- 
nificance to the 
anatomist and 
the prehis- 

As our far- 
distant ances- 
tors gradually 
attained a more 
upright pos- 
ture, their fossil 
skeletons reveal 
that further 
anatomical and 
changes took 
place in their 
bodies. The 
head began to 
be balanced 
on the spinal 
column , in- 
stead of being 
thrust far 
forward (Fig. 9). To accomplish this balancing, the back 
of the head, or occiput, grew out backward, the jaws were 
drawn in and became less massive, the forehead became 
higher, and the whole face more nearly vertical. At the 
same time equal or even greater changes went on in the 
rest of the skeleton, notably in the pelvic bones. In a 
creature going on all fours, the weight of the internal 


Fig. 10. Thigh bone of modern man (left), of Neander- 
thal man (center), and of gorilla (right). After Keith 


Upper: Progressive series of skulls — gorilla, Rhodesian man. Neander- 
thal man, and modern Kafir. In the National Museum 
Lower: Fragment of the Piltdown skull. Note its great thickness 
and the impression left by the brain on its inner surface. After 
Smith Woodward 






Silhouettes of hands, mostly mutilated, made hy prehistoric man on 
the walls of the cave of Gargas, in the Pyrenees. After Breuil 


organs, chest, and head is partly supported by the fore- 
legs; in man, on the contrary, this duty is thrown on the 
pelvis. Alterations took place also in the curvature of the 
backbone and in the structure of the individual vertebrae. 

Finally, the bones and joints of the legs and feet like- 
wise bear witness to many facts about primitive man. 
For example, a fairly constant relation exists between the 
length of the thigh bone, or femur, and the total height 
of the individual in different races; and the femur is pre- 
cisely one of the parts of fossil skeletons most apt to be 
preserved (Fig. lo). The shape of the knee joint, again, 
shows whether the leg could be straightened, which is to 
say, whether its owner walked upright or stooping over. 

A striking recent instance will suffice to show how the 
trained modern specialist works with the often very frag- 
mentary evidence that keeps coming to light. About a 
score of years ago some pieces of a skull found at Piltdown, 
in southern England, were recognized at once as one of the 
very earliest specimens yet discovered. It was in the 
highest degree desirable to restore it as nearly as possible 
to its original shape. As some question existed as to 
whether the fragments found were sufficient to allow of 
this being done, the eminent anatomist. Sir Arthur Keith, 
submitted to the following test. With his permission we 
here quote part of his narrative in his own words: 

. . . The question is often asked: Are four fragments of a skull, such 
as those found at Piltdown, sufficient to give us a definite clue to the 
original form of skull? . . . To test the matter. Professor F. G. Par- 
sons of St. Thomas's Hospital Medical School, London, made a pro- 
posal to me, namely, that he and some of his fellow-anatomists should 
select a skull, cut fragments from it corresponding to those found at 
Piltdown, and that I should attempt to reconstruct the entire skull 
from these fragments. I gladly accepted the proposal, and resolved, 
however the result should turn out, to make the experiment the sub- 
ject of an address I had promised to the fellows of the Royal Anthro- 
pological Institute. 

On the i6th January, 1914, a fortnight before this lecture was due, 
the four pieces of a skull shown in [Fig. 1 1 ] came to me from Dr. Douglas 
Derry, of University College, London. They were representatives 



of the Piltdown fragments, and the task of reconstruction offered the 
same difficulties. Only on one piece — the occipital fragment — could 
any certain sign of the middle line of the skull be detected. 

How near a true reconstruction of the original form can be obtained 

by the use of such a meth- 
od is apparent in [Fig. 12]. 
xAs regards the width and 
height, the reconstruction 
was in close agreement 
with theoriginal skull from 
which the fragments given 
to me had been cut. The 
general form was rightly 
reproduced. There were 
certain minor errors which 
could have been elimi- 
nated had there been suf- 
ficient time at my disposal. 
It is obvious in [Fig. 12] 
that the right parietal 
fragment is placed too low, 
and that the occipital bone is too high. But as regards general outline 
and chief diameters the result of this experiment was reassuring. 

Fig. II. Fragments of skull used in .Sir 

Arthur Keith's test; cut from the cranium of 

an ancient Egyptian woman. .After Keith 

The actual reconstruction of the experimental skull occupied me 




Skull of ancient Egyptian woman as reconstructeti 
Arthur Keith, and cast of the original 



the better part of two days. Having made exact drawings of it, I 
handed the skull and drawings to Dr. Derry at University College. 
He then showed me the cast of the original — the skull of an ancient 
Egyptian — a woman, with a peculiar form of head and a brain capacity 
of 1,395 ^- ^- The estimate I returned of the brain capacity, namely 
1,415 c. c, was not very wide of the truth, and as regards general form 
and actual dimensions I was relieved to find the method I had followed 
had given — except in one respect — a fairly accurate reproduction of 
the original. 

Nothing could be more conclusive regarding the pains- 
taking methods employed by modern anatomists in the 
study of ancient skeletal remains. And only rarely, we 
may add, do prehistoric skulls present so many difficulties 
as that of Piltdown. 

The comparison of ancient man's customs and practices, 
so far as we know them, with parallel traits among modern 
savages has its dangers, for often the ethnologist finds that 
closely similar practices among modern tribes may arise 
in totally different ways and be governed by entirely 
different ideas. Yet this method in the hands of experts 
can be made very useful, even if rarely in itself decisive. 
A concrete example will show how it helps to throw light 
on the far-distant past. 

There have been found painted on the walls of caves in 
France and Spain many silhouettes of human hands, with 
one, two, three, or even four fingers showing only as 
stumps (Plate 16). An experience with American Indians 
reported by George Bird Grinnell suggests the key to this 
mystery. Once when he was present at Camp Lewis, 
Montana, the body of a Crow Indian chief killed in battle 
was brought in, whereupon the mother and a male rela- 
tive each cut off the little finger of the left hand in sign 
of their grief. And a Cheyenne Indian once explained to 
Grinnell how he had sacrificed three of his fingers to the 
Higher Powers, to induce them to aid him in taking ven- 
geance on an enemy. 

Again we find in the reasoning of certain primitive 
peoples of our day who depict animals and enemies on 



their weapons and elsewhere, for the purpose of exerting 
over them magical influences, an explanation of why some 
of the prehistoric peoples of Europe executed wonderfully 
lifelike paintings and engravings of animals on the almost 
inaccessible and ordinarily invisible walls of caves. They 

Fig. 13. Cave painting of a bison, with darts (or possibly 

arrows) piercing its sides; undoubtedly of magical significance. 

From the cavern of Niaux, southwestern France. After 


did this not to give expression to their artistic impulses 
but for magical motives. 

It may help to make clear the manner in which the 
science of archeology reveals the story of man's ancient 
past if we consider three typical prehistoric sites where 
lived generations of men far apart in time. 

There is a cavern near the village of Mas d'Azil, in 
southwestern France, forming a natural tunnel some 500 
yards long through which flows the Arize, a tributary of 
the Garonne. Repairs in the road along the stream in 
the year 1887 brought to the notice of M. Edouard Piette 
a section of the earth with which the cavern had become 
filled through the ages. A surface layer of black clay five 
feet thick contained many traces of the latest occupants. 
These dated from Roman times back to the Neolothic 
Period, which in this part of France merged into the 



subsequent Bronze Age somewhere around 2500 b, c. Just 
beneath this, and therefore next older, was a stratum one 
and one-half feet in thickness, of various colored clays, 
containing objects of early Neolithic date. Lower still 
came the x^zilian layer, also about one and one-half feet 
thick, with implements of that transitional period which 
in fact has received its name from this very site. Below 
the Azilian again, a succession of strata, amounting in all 
to seventeen feet, contained various hearths with remains 
of Magdalenian type, including a thick barren layer which 
showed that there had been a long interval when the cave 
was unoccupied by man. Bones of reindeer and other 
arctic animals, some of the latter belonging to extinct 
species, were found in the lower deposits, but not in the 

Passing over now to Solutre, where M. Arcelin carried 
on excavations from 1866 until his death in 1904, we find 
a site of another kind. It is two and one-half acres in 
extent, sloping upward from the river Saone toward a 
rocky bluff 300 feet high, and consisting largely of the 
debris left behind by the ancient occupants. In some 
places this great mass of material was found to reach a 
depth of thirty-three feet. Its upper portions contained 
bones of various wild animals, including the mammoth, 
the cave bear, the wild bull, the horse, and especially the 
reindeer; also quantities of tools and weapons of reindeer 
horn, bone, and stone; minerals for colors; carved figures; 
and perforated animal teeth. The weapons included many 
of the so-called "laurel-leaf" points of flint, so character- 
istic of the Solutrean culture phase named for this very site. 

Beneath the Solutrean remains and belonging appar- 
ently to the preceding x-^urignacian epoch, at a depth of 
about ten feet, occurred a uniform layer of horse bones, 
charred, cut, and broken; mingled with these were flint 
implements. This huge deposit covered an area of well 
over 4,200 square yards, or more than seven-eighths of 
an acre, and represented the remains of at least 100,000 



horses that had been killed and eaten by the prehistoric 
hunters during their long occupancy of this site. Below 
the horse bones, again, the excavators came upon one and 
in some places two layers of Aurignacian debris; while 
finally, in the deepest portions of their trench, they un- 
covered the Mousterian culture with its characteristic 
coarser artifacts. These were buried under nearly forty 
feet of accumulations. In 1923, the son of the elder M. 
Arcelin, in company with MM. Deperet and Mayet, dis- 
covered in the Aurignacian stratum, under all those of 
Solutrean and Neolithic and more recent times and well 
below that of the horse bones, the skeletons of two men 
and one woman. Near the latter lay the remains of two 
babies. The bodies of the adults had evidently been 
regularly buried, for their graves were marked by slabs 
of limestone which, though destined in the course of ages 
to be so deeply covered, probably had projected above the 
ground when the prehistoric mourners placed them in 

The last of our three typical sites is that of Chelles, on 
the river Marne, eight miles east of Paris. Here the an- 
cient sands and river gravels form a terrace about twenty- 
six feet thick between the present bed of the stream and 
the surrounding level. First comes a Mousterian stratum; 
just below that, an Acheulian one; then, earliest of all, 
about thirteen feet above the river, the Chellean, to which 
this site has given its name. Characteristic types of stone 
implements and bones of different species of animals mark 
each of these layers. For the Chellean and earlier Acheu- 
lian epochs were associated with creatures belonging to a 
warm climate, like the straight-tusked elephant, the hip- 
popotamus, and Merck's rhinoceros. On the other hand, 
the upper or later Acheulian and the Mousterian, later 
still, show, by the presence of animals like the mammoth, 
the reindeer, and the woolly rhinoceros, the existence of 
arctic conditions. 

These three typical sites — Mas d'Azil, Solutre, and 



Chelles — show how successive culture layers have come to 
Hght one after the other, from the NeoHthic, at the top, 
clear back to the Chellean, far below. They reveal, too, 
that the further back we go into the past the cruder are 
the implements which we find man using and the more 
primitive his manner of life. 



Geological research has revealed traces of more than one 
ice age, or glacial period, in both the Northern and South- 
ern Hemispheres, far back in the earth's remote past, 
countless ages before the appearance of man. However, 
the one which we generally have in mind when we speak 
of the Ice Age, and with which we are here concerned, oc- 
curred but yesterday, geologically speaking, and pro- 
foundly influenced the development of man. There is no 
doubt whatever that man existed long before it began, but 
the vicissitudes and hardships to which he was then ex- 
posed had a great deal to do with the shaping of his later 
destinies and therefore the Glacial Period deserves our 
attention here. 

Many explanations have been suggested of the causes 
that produce an ice age or lead to its disappearance. One 
surmise pictures the solar system, in its journey through 
space, as having passed through a "cold region" which 
lowered the temperature of our earth enough to cause 
enormous expansion of the polar ice caps. But this theory 
lacks the support of any real evidence. 

Again, the English astronomer, Croll, argued for varia- 
tions in the shape of the earth's orbit as the cause of an 
ice age. We all know that the path of our planet around 
the sun does not form a true circle but an ellipse. This 
changes its shape through the ages at a rate that can be 
calculated astronomically. Croll suggested that the Ice 
Age corresponded to the last period of great eccentricity 
of the orbit of the earth, when the latter attained its 



maximum distance from the sun and therefore received 
correspondingly less of its heat. This would have made 
the Glacial Period begin 240,000 years ago and last for 
160,000 years, thus coming to an end 80,000 years ago. 

This theory at one time found wide acceptance. But 
growth of knowledge has developed serious objections to 
it, and prehistorians have corrie to feel convinced that 
the maximum severity of the Ice Age occurred much less 
than 80,000 years ago. 

Still others have tried to explain the great expansion of 
the ice caps as due to causes arising on our earth itself, 
such as changes in the shape of the continents, produced 
by the elevation or sinking of the land. It has also been 
claimed that an ice age has followed every great period of 
mountain upheaval. Such earth movements have no 
doubt played a part, perhaps an important one, but they 
do not explain everything. 

Another hypothesis, in some ways more promising than 
any of those outlined above, ascribes the advance and 
retreat of the great ice fields to fluctuations in solar radia- 
tion; for our sun appears to be what astronomers call a 
variable star, giving out less heat at certain times than 
at others. 

But whatever the cause or causes, they led to a lowering 
of the temperature, although not necessarily a great one. 
In fact, meteorologists believe that even under present 
atmospheric conditions a fall in the average yearly tem- 
perature of only seven to nine degrees Fahrenheit would 
bring on another glacial period in Europe. 

The formation of glaciers requires that two conditions 
be met: First, an annual heavy fall of snow, so that it lies 
in great drifts; and second, surrimers either too cool or too 
short to melt all the snow that falls. The snow thus keeps 
on growing deeper and deeper, until the lower and older 
layers, subjected to great pressure by the superstructures, 
gradually turn into solid ice. When this takes place on 
level ground, immense ice sheets form in time, to remain 



for ages until another slow change in climate causes them 
gradually to melt. In rugged country, however, these 
vast accumulations of ice tend to move downhill, seeking 
ever lower levels (Plate 17). In this way the valleys are 
occupied by slowly moving rivers of ice, partly carried 
along by their own weight and partly pushed on by that 
of the ever-growing masses behind them. Usually glaciers 
move down the valleys very slowly, although in the polar 
regions they may advance as much as fifty feet per day. 
The rate depends on the temperature, the slope of the 
ground, and the volume of ice involved. It is a little 
greater by day than by night and in summer than in 

Now the passage of millions of tons of ice over the sur- 
face of the earth produces many interesting effects. For 
one thing, it naturally exerts a tremendous grinding and 
scouring force which steadily wears away the sides and 
bottoms of the glacier-filled valleys. Their cross-sections 
thus become changed in time from the typical V shape, 
produced by ordinary stream erosion, into one resembling 
a capital letter U. Where valleys of this type occur, we 
may be sure that glaciers have once passed. 

Much as the current of a river often undermines its 
banks and causes them to cave in, so a glacier, in spite 
of its vastly slower movement, produces in the same way 
falls of rock, gravel, and earth. These lie on its surface 
and gradually form long lines of debris, known as lateral 
moraines, which, sinking slowly to the bottom of the 
glacier, become frozen solidly in the ice; being thus dragged 
along irresistibly over the underlying rock surface, they 
score parallel grooves running in the same direction as that 
of the moving glacier (Plate 18). After the latter has dis- 
appeared with the return of a warmer climate, these marks 
remain to afford unmistakable proof that the region was 
once ice covered. 

In time the bowlders carried along at the bottom of the 
glacier are worn by their contact with the ground into 



characteristic rounded or prismatic shapes. Ultimately 
many of them are reduced to dust. All this material, both 
coarse and fine, together with the earth that falls from 
the sides of the glacial valleys, combines to form what is 
known as "till," or "bowlder clay." The occurrence of 
this substance is another evidence of the former presence 
of a glacier. 

Often, too, after the ice has melted away, it leaves be- 
hind it bowlders of all sizes, usually with rounded contours, 
called "erratic blocks." When these are composed of rock 
unlike that of the country around them, they can often 
be traced back, sometimes for vast distances, to the region 
whence they originally came. 

The glacier, as it slowly travels downhill, eventually 
reaches a level where it melts and forms a "glacial stream," 
which carries along with it bowlders, gravel, and sand, 
automatically sorting them out, as it goes, according to 
size. This material forms heaps called terminal moraines, 
often of crescent shape, with the hollow side toward the 
glacier. Wherever, owing to stability of climate, the melt- 
ing end of a glacier has remained stationary for centuries, 
these appear as huge mounds quite unmistakable to the 
trained eye. 

Through the careful study of these and other traces of 
former glaciation, particularly in western Europe, geolo- 
gists have been able to learn a great deal about the nature 
and history of the last great Ice Age. They have found 
that the latter, far from being confined to western Europe, 
extended over the world, with glaciers forming in both 
the Southern and Northern Hemispheres apparently about 
the same time, and through their gradual extension en- 
veloping large portions of the globe. In this way much 
of North America, of northern Europe, and of southern- 
most South America was buried under enormous fields 
of ice during untold thousands of years. Asia, owing to 
a drier climate, seems largely to have escaped such visita- 
tions. For we must remember that to bring on an ice age 



an increase of cold alone is not enough; there has to be 
at the same time a fairly heavy annual fall of snow. 
Northern Siberia, at least in part, lay under a vast station- 
ary field of ice; and some of the great Asiatic mountain 
masses formed important centers of glaciation. But, speak- 
ing generally, in x^sia the Glacial Period appears to have 
been far more local in character than it was either in 
Europe or in North America. The same, too, may be 
said of South Africa, of Australia, and of New Zealand. 

Geologists have found further that the Glacial Period 
consisted not of a single intensely cold epoch, but of 
several, alternating with epochs of mild or even decidedly 
warm climate. In most of western Europe the great ice 
sheets underwent no less than three or four successive 
epochs of expansion and retreat, known as glacial and 
interglacial stages respectively, even the shortest of which 
lasted for many thousands of years. There is, moreover, 
reason to believe that the interglacial epochs were much 
longer than the glacial ones. 

As a glacial stage approached, the winters must have 
grown imperceptibly more and more severe, through not 
merely hundreds but many thousands of years. The 
glaciers far in the north crept further south, those in high 
mountain masses further down the valleys, until they over- 
spread the northern portions of Europe and North America 
with enormous ice sheets, in some places thousands of feet 
thick. Conditions then must have resembled those of 
today in Greenland and in the Antarctic Continent. 

Further, the glaciers transformed the covering of the 
neighboring ice-free regions from forest and meadow- 
land and swamp into tundras — treeless plains of black 
mucky soil, with a permanently frozen subsoil overgrown 
with moss, lichens, and dwarf shrubs, as in northern 
Alaska and Siberia today. The animals living on them 
were quite typical, and included forms like the hairy 
mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, and the reindeer. The 
terrible storms of winter often killed multitudes of these 



and other wild creatures, whose skeletons, buried in the 
earth, still remain and reveal many facts concerning the 
climatic and other conditions which prevailed in those 

Again, while the glacial stages were drawing on or dis- 
appearing, the nearness of the ice fields set up atmospheric 
effects of the most far-reaching sort, such as the winds 
known as anticyclones. These blew over the adjoining 
ice-free areas, carrying vast clouds of dust composed 
largely of the finer material from the moraines. The fact 
that this dust settled equally on the tops of the hills as 
well as down in the valleys shows that it was carried there 
by the wind and not by the action of water. As the 
process went on, the dust accumulated in thick beds of a 
special kind of soil known as loess, which occurs in many 
parts of the world, in both the Eastern and the Western 
Hemispheres. Loess is no longer being formed in Europe, 
but it is in northern China, where it covers vast areas 
with a mantle many feet in thickness (Plate 19). There 
the people hollow their dwellings out of it, and the roads 
in time become worn down so deep that not only they 
but even the vehicles passing along them are often quite 
invisible from the surface. 

Along with the formation of the loess, the aspect of 
the country gradually assumed a steppe condition, like 
the seemingly limitless plains of southern Russia and 
central Asia. These have an extreme range of temper- 
ature, with short hot summers, when they are covered 
with grass and shrubs, and long bitterly cold winters, 
when the snow lies deep, blizzards rage, and animals 
perish by the thousands. 

To the latter peculiarity of a "steppe" phase of climate 
we owe much of our knowledge about the animal life of 
the time, including such plains-loving forms as the bison 
and the horse. For the blizzards killed many creatures 
whose bones, left after the snow melted away in spring, 
were buried by the dust storms of the following summer. 



The same is true of human remains, though in far less 
degree; for man even then was able to afford himself and 
his kind protection from the frightful snowstorms. 

Other phenomena attending the Glacial Period were 
the recurrent elevation and sinking of the land. We do 
not know definitely just what occasioned this, but the 
very weight of the enormous ice sheets seems to have 
caused the ground beneath them to sink slowly, while 
the regions where they were absent were pressed as 
gradually upward, in a sort of slow seesawing motion. 

Still another contributory cause seems to have been 
the actual lowering of sea level during the glacial stages. 
In order to form the enormous ice fields, water had to 
come from some source. Normally that drawn up out 
of the ocean by evaporation is returned to it, either di- 
rectly as rain and snow falling on its surface, or indirectly 
through rivers, streams, and melting icebergs. But dur- 
ing the recurring glacial epochs this balance was upset. 
Then the snow which fell over vast areas, instead of 
melting the following summer to flow eventually back 
into the ocean, slowly, year after year, turned into ice. 
While the glaciers were thus growing in size during tens 
of thousands of years, more water was being withdrawn 
from the ocean than was going back into it. Dr. Ernst 
Antevs, of the University of Stockholm, a very high 
authority, has made some interesting calculations based 
upon this fact. He says: 

The volume of ice during the climax of the last glaciation in excess of 

the existing quantity, according to the estimates made in the foregoing 

chapter, was as follows: ^ ,. 

^ Cubtc 


of Ice 

North American ice sheet 27,050,000 

European ice sheet 5,000,000 

Other Pleistocene glaciers in Eurasia 350,000 

Greenlandic ice sheet 400,000 

Northern Hemisphere 32,800,000 



This total volume of ice corresponds to 30,800,000 cubic km. of 
water. Taking the area of the ocean as 361,000,000 square km., this 
water quantity represents a layer over that area 83 m. (272 feet) thick. 

The ice sheets and glaciers on the Northern Hemisphere are thought 
to have reached their greatest extent at practically the same time. On 
the other hand the climaxes of the glaciations were perhaps not en- 
tirely synchronous on the different hemispheres, though alternation 
is out of question. The volume of the ice on the Southern Hemisphere 
in excess of the present quantity is estimated to have been some 
4,100,000 cubic km., which corresponds to 3,760,000 cubic km. of 
water and represents a layer over the area of the oceans 10 m. (22 feet) 
thick. Therefore, if the glaciations reached their climax simultane- 
ously on both sides of the equator the sea level was lowered by some 
93 m. (30? feet). If the contemporaneity was only partial the sea level 
may at most have been lowered 88 m. (290 feet). 

This process steadily, although very slowly, caused a 
lowering of the sea level and exposed to the air thousands 
of square miles of the earth's surface that had hitherto 
formed part of the bed of the sea. 

There is scarcely a part ot the globe where the effects of 
this rising and sinking of the land are not manifest. Thus 
in many regions we find one or more "raised beaches," old 
strands on which the sea once broke for long periods, but 
which are now raised far above the reach of the highest 
waves (Plate 20). 

The opposite sort of earth movement, that of slow 
subsidence, left traces in "sunken rivers." The taking of 
accurate soundings has traced the former courses of 
many of the present-day rivers sometimes for long dis- 
tances along the sea bottom. The latter, that is to say, 
was once elevated above sea level, so that existing rivers 
fiowed across it far beyond their present mouths. 

Thus both England and Ireland have in the past been 
joined to the mainland, as was the case even after the 
close of the Ice Age, not so very many thousand years 
ago. And Europe was connected with Africa both across 
the Strait of Gibraltar and by way of Italy and the pres- 
ent islands of Sicily and Malta, thus dividing the Medi- 
terranean Sea into two landlocked basins. The "land- 



bridge" at Gibraltar probably sank beneath the waves 
somewhat before that of which Sicily still forms a remnant. 
But traces of the invasion of Spain by cultures from 

Fig. 14. Map of western Europe, to illustrate the former greater elevation of 

the land. The dotted lines indicate the ancient coast lines and the courses of 

"sunken rivers." Note the land connections between Europe and North Africa 

across the Strait of Gibraltar and by way of Sicily 


>> 4-. 


13 W5 

"-C -^, 



The terrace along the hillside in the distance is a raised beach repre- 
senting the shore line of old Lake Bonneville, Utah. Photograph 
by Gilbert. Courtesy of the Geological Survey 


Africa seem to show that during at least part of the Pleisto- 
cene or Glacial Period the two regions were connected. 
It is unlikely that man during the Old Stone Age had 
learned how to build canoes or rafts, so wherever he spread, 
he probably did so by walking. 

On the other hand, during a portion of the Ice Age, 
great gulfs stretched down across what is now dry land 
from the Arctic Ocean to the Caspian and Aral seas (then 
probably united) and to Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia. 
One proof of this is that in all three of these now quite 
landlocked bodies of water occur seals, which could only 
have reached them when they were connected by sea with 
the waters of the Arctic regions. 

A final characteristic result of the Ice Age to be men- 
tioned is the "river terraces" it formed. As the climate 
grew warmer with the approach of an interglacial stage, 
the melting of the ice sheets set free vast quantities of 
water, which caused great floods and freshets. These 
carried with them much of the debris brought down by 
the glaciers from the uplands, and spread it over the 
river bottoms as sand or gravel. With the disappearance 
of the ice, the rivers, deprived of most of their supply of 
water, of course shrank in size, and began to cut for them- 
selves channels in the great beds of sand and gravel that 
they had brought down in the preceding glacial stage. 
Thus terraces formed, and sometimes we find more than 
one, the highest in each case being the most ancient. 
In the gravel and sand of certain of these river terraces, 
we find some of the earliest remains of man's handiwork, 
in the form of rough stone implements. These include 
the Pre-Chellean, the Chellean, and the Acheulian cul- 
ture stages, when man had not yet been forced to become 
a cave dweller, but lived in open camps or at most on 
the sunny side of overhanging bluffs. 

The sequence of the warm and cold epochs which to- 
gether composed the Glacial Period has been well worked 
out in the region of the Alps by Penck and Bruckner. 



They found in those mountains and their surrounding 
foothills evidence of four glacial stages, which they called 
the Giinz, Mindel, Riss, and Wiirm. 

Of these the first or Giinz stage, although it lasted for 
many thousands of years, seems to have been the least 
extensive. Its traces, for example, appear to be lacking 
in parts of Germany and perhaps in England. At all 
events, no evidence exists of any very severe or wide- 
spread refrigeration, although the snow line in the Alps 
dropped 4,000 feet lower than the present 8,800 feet 
above sea level. 

After the Gunz glaciation had reached its maximum, 
the climate of Europe grew slowly milder again. The 
first interglacial stage was relatively short and its tem- 
perature seems to have been slightly warmer than that 
of the present, as indicated, for example, by the fossil 
remains of the hippopotamus. 

The second or Mindel stage ushered in the first really 
great period of glaciation, at least in Europe. Great ice 
sheets, spreading out from the Alps, from Scandinavia, 
and from Scotland, gradually overflowed those regions, 
in addition to the greater part of England and Holland, 
nearly the whole of northern Germany, and two-thirds of 
Russia. Ice packs covered the northern seas the year 
round, and glaciers, forming in the mountains of Scotland 
and Scandinavia, united in a solid mass of ice clear across 
the North Sea. 

There followed in turn another interglacial stage, which 
appears to have been the longest of all. Penck, indeed, 
believes that its duration was greater than all the time 
that has elapsed since. The remains of the vegetation 
indicate a climate not so very much warmer then than 

The third or Riss glaciation seems to have been more 
severe than the first, but less so than the second, and was 
followed by a warm interval of particular interest to us 
because in it many authorities place the beginning of 



the Old Stone Age — the Pre-Chellean, the Chellean, and 
the Acheulian epochs of human culture, mentioned in the 
previous chapter. 

Up to the end of this third interglacial stage the animal 
life of Europe had been one suited to a tropical or sub- 
tropical climate. It included various forms of the elephant 
and the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the monkeys, the 
lion, the hyena, and the saber-toothed tiger. These 
creatures probably came from southern Asia and northern 
Africa, in part at least by the "land-bridges" which then 
spanned the Mediterranean. More northern forms, like 
the musk ox, do occur during the colder stages, but not in 
the south of Europe. 

After the close of this interglacial stage, however, as 
the fourth or Wiirm glacial stage drew near, this warm- 
temperate animal life of Europe died out entirely, to be 
replaced by species belonging to northern regions with a 
cold environment. A like change also occurred in the 

During this fourth glacial stage the climate seems to 
have been colder than at any previous period, though 
the areas actually covered by ice sheets did not, at least 
in Europe, equal those covered in the second stage, so 
that man managed to exist in spite of the cold damp 

The type of human culture in Europe and the ad- 
joining portions of Asia and Africa during most, if not 
all, of this glacial stage was the Mousterian, which is 
always associated with remains of the Neanderthal race, 
a species of mankind differing from that of the present 
day. For the Neanderthalers life in the fourth glacia- 
tion must have been hard and rough to a degree beyond 
anything that we can conceive of now. In its appalling 
danger and discomfort it has been likened by one recent 
author to a winter in the trenches under the conditions 
of modern warfare. Although man had progressed some- 
what in his- mastery over nature, he was still pitifully 



ill equipped for his struggle with ferocious beasts and a 
bitter climate (Plate 21). 

After the maximum of the fourth glacial stage the 
climate did not at once turn warmer. Instead, there 
followed a period of oscillation, with at least three minor 
returns of the ice, during which the mammoth, the woolly- 
rhinoceros, the reindeer, and other cold-weather animals 
continued to live in Europe, although many other crea- 
tures found there during the earlier periods had died out. 

Gradually the slow changes of temperature character- 
izing the Postglacial Period became less and less marked, 
and toward the beginning of the Neolithic or New Stone 
Age, the climate became pretty much what it is today. 

It is interesting to note, in this connection, that the 
Ice Age still exists in the north and south polar regions. 
These, however, were not always covered with ice, as they 
are today. The fossil remains of plants found there prove 
that they have in times past enjoyed a mild and genial 
climate. Perhaps some day they will do so again. On the 
other hand the present may be simply an interglacial 
stage, with another return of the ice sheet awaiting us 
in the far distant future. 

Various attempts have been made to determine how 
long the Ice Age lasted, and definite light has recently 
been thrown on the length of time since the last or Wiirm 
glacial stage attained its maximum. So far, however, 
we do not know how long it had taken to reach that 
point; nor how long the preceding periods lasted. Some 
have put the beginning of the Pleistocene period, or Ice 
Age, as far back as 1,000,000 years ago; others at half 
that figure; Penck estimated it at 525,000 years, and 
Sir Arthur Keith at 200,000 years ago. 

Geologists practically agree, however, that the Ice Age 
closed both in North America and in Europe some- 
thing like 10,000 years ago, a little more in the southern 
portions of those continents and a little less further 
north. Thus Scandinavia, lying considerably nearer the 



. „ 



— ' 




' " 


















. — t 






















North Pole, remained in the grip of the ice sheet for over 
two thousand years longer than France. 

Baron Gerard de Geer of Sweden has made the most 
promising attempt at measuring the time that has elapsed 
since the height of the last great glacial stage. In his 
article in Antiquity of September, 1928, he says: 

In 1 891 I had noticed, in several places [in America] laminated clays, 
similar to the late glacial melting sediments in Sweden; these I had 
found, by long continued investigations, to represent the annual de- 
posit from the melting water on the border of the retreating ice edge. 
... I had succeeded in identifying such varves from one point to 
another, and ultimately worked out a systematic plan for the elabora- 
tion of a continuous time scale. 

These varves, or annual bands, as Baron de Geer satis- 
fied himself, corresponded to the yearly fluctuation of the 
glaciers, due to the oncoming heat of summer (Plate 22), 
If carefully measured over some section of country which 
represents the whole retreat of the ice since the end of 
the last glaciation, they will indicate pretty closely the 
number of years that have elapsed since that retreat 
began. They will also tell us, by their inequalities, which 
were the warmer and which the cooler periods of years. 
If we find that such warmer and cooler periods occurred 
at the same time in different parts of the earth, we shall 
know that the major cause of all these successive glacia- 
tions must have been of cosmic character. Such a dis- 
covery would also probably throw much new light on 
the variability of the sun's radiation, to which these world- 
wide, contemporaneous glacial changes would in all 
probability be due. 

Aided by a band of enthusiastic university students, 
Baron de Geer actually carried through the laborious 
undertaking of counting and measuring the varves in 
Sweden. He found that in that country approximately 
8,700 years have elapsed since the latest glacial stage 
finally closed. His pupil. Doctor Antevs, made extensive 
counts and measurements in the United States and 



Canada and found nearly corresponding results. Going 
still further back, these investigators have shown that 
certain well-defined pulsations of ice advance and retreat 
occurred both in America and in Europe. Summing up 
all the evidence, Doctor Antevs concludes as follows: 

Thus there was correspondence between the ice retreat in North 
America and in Europe in several of the larger features, but topographic 
and climatic differences seem to have limited the agreement. Since 
the correspondence was not perfect even in the larger features, agree- 
ment in the smaller features in details, such as relative summer tem- 
perature and varve graphs, cannot be expected. 

Our present knowledge of the geologic history of the two areas does 
not permit any other correlation. If the one outlined is correct and 
the estimates of the time represented by zones in which the ice retreat 
is not chronologically determined are fair, the last ice sheets had their 
greatest extent and began to wane about 40,000 years ago. This figure 
may be less than 10,000 years too large or too small — a fact of impor- 
tance because of the interest that has recently sprung up in the absolute 
Quaternary chronology. 

Thus for the first time we have before us, in results 
attained since 1920, an actual chronology in years cover- 
ing the period since the peak of the last glaciation, and 
we can say with some confidence that it reached its 
greatest intensity about 40,000 years ago and, after a 
long and fluctuating period of retreat, finally ended, in 
western Europe at least, about 8000 or loooo b. c. This 
much is fairly definite. 


I r 































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Not until the final great glacial stage, that of the Wurm, 
did man, in Europe at least, begin definitely to live in 
caves, forced thereto no doubt by the increasing cold. We 
often speak of "cave men" as though they were, from 
first to last, of one and the same species. But we err in 
doing so, for it was precisely during this cave-dwelling 
period that there occurred the most fundamental change 
in mankind so far known in human history. 

At first, as we move backward in time, through the 
Ages of Iron, of Bronze, and of Polished Stone, we meet 
with men of essentially modern type, differing in no very 
marked way from the races found today in all parts of the 
globe. The same thing applies in almost equal degree to 
the Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age, and to the last of 
the three subdivisions of the Old Stone Age proper, that 
usually called the Upper Paleolithic. For even then, dur- 
ing and just after the close of the last glacial stage, we 
find living in Europe men of large brains, well developed 
foreheads and chins, and sometimes almost gigantic 
height. It is just here that the change occurs. Before the 
last-mentioned peoples, and differing from them far more 
than does any one modern race from another, lived the 
lowly Neanderthal man, short of stature and slightly 
stooping of posture, with a large head, thick neck, enor- 
mous projecting brows, retreating forehead and chin, and 
powerful frame. 

Back to this point, the beginning of the Middle Paleo- 
lithic or Mousterian epoch, our knowledge of the different 

[71] . 


physical types of the Old Stone Age is fairly extensive, 
because while people lived and died in caves their bones 
stood a much better chance of being preserved than when 
left lying in the open. Moreover we have definite proof 
that even the lowly Neanderthal race had come to rever- 
ence its dead enough to lay their bodies away in graves, 
where they would be covered with earth at once and thus 
protected from destructive agencies. 

But earlier still, during the Lower Paleolithic, that ex- 
tremely long period embracing the Acheulian, the Chel- 
lean, and the Pre-Chellean epochs, there were men who 
made from stone roughly chipped implements of ever- 
increasing crudeness the further we penetrate back into 
the past. Finally we reach the Eolithic or "Dawn 
Stone" Age, characterized by implements so rough as 
to be barely, if at all, recognizable as the work of human 
hands and brains. Throughout these long earlier ages 
men seem to have lived mainly in the open, often on 
the "glacial terraces" described in the last chapter. 
Hence when they died their skeletons stood but lit- 
tle chance of preservation, especially as they appear not 
to have done much, if anything, in the way of burying 
their dead. 

An account of the human types of the later periods, 
when man had already become much what he is today, 
forms no part of the plan of the present volume. In the 
present chapter we shall confine ourselves to a discussion 
of the cave-dwelling races of the Old Stone Age, and more 
particularly to some of the finds of human skeletal re- 
mains from the three epochs of the Upper Paleolithic, 
viz., the Magdalenian, nearest our own times; the Solu- 
trean, next earlier; and the Aurignacian, earliest of the 
three. A description of the various industries and above 
all the remarkable art of this time belongs more properly 
in the last section of this book, devoted to man's cultural 


The Magdalenian Epoch 

Excellent authorities are inclined to put the beginning 
of the Magdalenian epoch at from 15,000 to 18,000 years 
ago, and it appears to have lasted at least 3,000 or 4,000 
years. Researches indicate that it occurred during the 
first two of the three minor advances of the ice fields which 
took place in Postglacial time, together with the drier 
interval between. During the greater part of this long 
period one race of men dominated western Europe, almost 
though not quite to the exclusion of all others. This race 
is named after the little hamlet of Cro-Magnon in south- 
western France, where, in 1868, five typical skeletons 
came to light in a grotto. 

The men of the Cro-Magnon race, when it first appears, 
were of almost gigantic height, although its women were 
much shorter, a disproportion which seems to have been 
a special characteristic of the race. But by the Magdale- 
nian epoch, with which we are now dealing, it had for some 
reason degenerated considerably in this respect, although 
still of high mental type and strong bodily development. 
In fact, with this one exception of stature, it presents 
much the same traits during the entire Upper Paleolithic, 
from the beginning of the /\urignacian down to the very 
end of the Magdalenian. Some of its characteristics seem 
to have survived into much later times and perhaps even 
to the present day. 

The shape of the Cro-Magnon skull is quite unmistak- 
able, and in itself serves to identify skeletons of this 
race wherever found. Anthropologists call it "dishar- 
monic," because the shape of the face does not harmonize 
with that of the brain-case, as it normally does in most 
races. When looked at from above, the Cro-Magnon 
skull is seen to be long and narrow; but the face, instead 
of having a somewhat similar outline, is short and broad. 

Even the women of the Cro-Magnon race actually had 
larger brains than the average modern American or 

[73 1 


western European, a condition due perhaps in part to the 
fact that with bigger bodies go larger brains. But an- 
other explanation suggests itself. The intensely hard 
conditions of life during the Old Stone Age must con- 
stantly have weeded out the less intelligent individuals, 
particularly during their younger years. Probably only 
the very fittest, both in mind and in body, survived to 
become the fathers and mothers of the next generation. 

The human remains assigned to the Magdalenian epoch 
include the parts of two skeletons found near La Madeleine 
(Dordogne), the site which gave the culture its name, and 
a single skeleton, that of an adult male, found at Laugerie- 
Basse, a great rock-shelter on the Vezere, by Massenat in 
1872, under nearly ten feet of deposits containing Paleo- 
lithic hearths. 

In the rock-shelter of Raymonden, in the commune of 
Chancelade (Dordogne), MM. Hardy and Feaux, in 1888, 
found a nearly complete skeleton of a man between fifty 
and sixty years of age, and about five feet in height. It 
lay doubled tightly up, and had probably been buried in 
that position, perhaps swathed about with bandages. 
This Magdalenian man of Chancelade had a large brain 
quite of modern size, a high and rather narrow skull, a 
long straight nose, broad face, powerful jaw, and strong 
chin. Except for his short stature we should find him a 
well-built man with strong features. Both this and the 
preceding example, that from Laugerie-Basse, differ from 
the typical Cro-Magnon in displaying greater height of 
face. In this trait, they have been thought to resemble 
some of the eastern Eskimo of today. 

Again, two well-preserved skeletons of a man and a 
woman were found in 1914 by workmen at Obercassel, 
near Bonn, on the Rhine. They lay at a depth of about 
twenty-five feet, protected by large, flat stones. Here, 
as elsewhere, the bones were stained with red ocher and 
were associated with bone implements bearing the incised 
decorations characteristic of Magdalenian art. This has 



Restoration ot Cro-Magnon man; represented clad in furs and carving 
a piece of bone. Modeled by Mascre under the direction of Rutot 


definitely proved the Cro-Magnon race to be responsible 
for the remarkable artistic development of the Upper 
Paleolithic Period. The man's height was estimated at 
five feet three inches, the woman's at two inches less. 

The Solutrean Epoch 

The Solutrean epoch was shorter by probably i,ooo 
years than the Magdalenian, which it immediately pre- 
ceded in parts of western and central Europe. The geo- 
graphical distribution of its peculiar culture suggests that 
the latter came from the east, perhaps from the plains of 
Russia and western Siberia. The forms of its art and its 
implements, rather than the skeletal remains of man 
himself, distinguish the period. Among the very few 
skeletons which may be attributed with some certainty 
to the Solutrean epoch are the following: 

At Crot-du-Charnier, in the commune of Solutre itself, 
Ducrost found, at a depth of some five feet, an oval hearth 
measuring about fifteen by ten feet, bounded by flag- 
stones. Within this inclosure he discerned the skeleton 
of a male, under the bones of whose right hand were two 
fine "laurel-leaf" points, the special flint implements which 
characterize the Solutrean. Near by lay several carvings 
and outside the flagstones great quantities of cold-period 
animal bones. Numerous other sepultures have been 
found near this site, but many of them seem to belong to 
later times. 

At Klause, near Neu-Essing, in Bavaria, Obermaier 
found many Solutrean artifacts and, amid a mass of 
breccia composed of fragments of mammoth tusks, a 
human skeleton of a male about thirty years old, attrib- 
uted to that stage. A mass of powdered ocher completely 
surrounded it. 

Among other skeletal remains usually attributed to the 
Solutrean epoch are those from Briix, in Bohemia, and 
from Briinn, in Moravia. These indicate the existence 
in central Europe of a narrow-headed race which, how- 



ever, differed from the very broad-faced Cro-Magnons 
in having a harmonic form of head; that is, the face was 
narrow, like the brain-case. 

Thus it would seem that during this period two dis- 
tinct races occupied Europe, the Cro-Magnon in the west 
and that of Briinn more to the east, particularly in the 
valley of the Danube. This would harmonize with the 
belief that the Solutrean culture came originally from 
that direction. It has been suggested, moreover, that 
in the Briinn race we have the remote ancestors of the 
type of northern European, tall, fair, and narrow skulled, 
which we know as the Nordic race; but whether this be 
true or not only time and further research can tell. 

The Aurignacian Epoch 

The x'^urignacian epoch, the earliest of the three in- 
cluded within the Upper Paleolithic, endured for perhaps 
7,000 or 8,000 years. Its culture appears to have reached 
Europe toward the close of the fourth great glacial stage, 
that known as the Wiirm, somewhere around 25,000 or 
30,000 years ago, finding a climate much colder than that 
of the present and quite severe enough to compel man to 
seek refuge in rock-shelters and the mouths of caves. 

The splendid Cro-Magnon race first appears in Europe 
at the beginning of the Aurignacian. At this time, in 
addition to its other fine attributes, it enjoyed that of 
exceptionally great stature, which it later lost. The men 
seem actually to have averaged over six feet in height, 
and individuals have been found who stood over six feet 
four inches. In addition to this splendid height, the 
men had deep chests and broad shoulders, and the pro- 
portions of their leg bones show that they were capable 
of great speed and physical activity. The Cro-Magnon 
race stands, in fact, among the finest that has ever ex- 
isted anywhere in the world. 

It has been suggested that the race originated some- 
where in Asia and moved slowly westward, along the 



northern shores of Africa, until it reached the ancient 
land-bridge extending across the Mediterranean Sea by 
way of Sicily to Italy, which it crossed to enter Europe. 

In connection with the skeletal remains of Aurignacian 
man, the name of Lartet will ever be remembered. 
Edouard Lartet, in early life a lawyer, when almost 
sixty years of age became keenly interested in the ex- 
ploration of caves. These are numerous in the depart- 
ments of Haute Garonne and Ariege, in southern France. 
Near the village of Aurignac there existed a small cave, 
now wholly quarried away, which New Stone Age man 
had used as a sepulcher and then walled up with a slab 
of stone. Falls of debris from the hill above had hidden 
its mouth, but it was accidentally discovered in 1852. 
Within were found the remains of seventeen persons, 
which by order of the mayor received Christian burial. 

In i860, Lartet visited this cave and explored the un- 
disturbed strata, two or three feet thick, which still cov- 
ered its floor. These abounded in charred and broken 
bones of extinct animals — the cave bear, cave lion, cave 
hyena, woolly rhinoceros, giant deer, mammoth, and 
others — broken for their marrow by the men who formerly 
lived there. In the terrace in front of the cave he found 
charcoal and other traces of ancient hearths, in which were 
embedded objects of the type we now call Aurignacian, 
including flint implements, carvings in ivory, shell neck- 
laces, pendants of perforated teeth, and weapons of bone 
and reindeer horn. 

Eight years later, Louis Lartet, the son of Edouard, 
while excavating a grotto or rock-shelter at Cro-Magnon, 
near Les Eyzies (Dordogne), made the discovery of five 
skeletons lying amid hearths and implements similar 
to those found at Aurignac. The skeletons belonged to 
men averaging nearly six feet in height and were, on the 
whole, hardly to be distinguished from those of tall men 
of the present day. This site gave the race the name 
which it bears among prehistorians today. 



In the Crot-du-Charnier at Solutre, MM. Mayet, 
Deperet, and Arcelin found in 1923 three Aurignacian 
burials beneath the celebrated deposit of horse bones 
already mentioned. These included the remains of two 
tall males and one short female, the former resembling 
the tall old man found at Cro-Magnon. 

We can mention but one more of the many discoveries 
of Aurignacian remains, that made by the late Prince 
Albert of Monaco. In the year 1895, the Prince under- 
took the investigation of the caves of Grimaldi, sixty or 
seventy feet above sea level in the red rocks which rise 
from the sea a little east of Mentone. For his researches 
Prince Albert secured the help of the best talent of France, 
including such eminent men as Boule, Cartailhac, Ver- 
neau, and Villeneuve. They investigated no less than 
seven caves, one of which, the famous Grotte des Enfants, 
proved a veritable treasure house of Aurignacian remains. 
In excavating thirty-three feet of deposits, they revealed 
ten ancient floors of habitation. From the top down to 
the ninth level all were Aurignacian, yet evidently sep- 
arated from one another by long intervals of nonoccu- 
pancy, which suggests the long duration of the Aurigna- 
cian epoch. 

The upper strata disclosed the reindeer, but no mammoth 
or woolly rhinoceros, such as were found at more north- 
erly sites of the same period. Various extinct forms 
common in those ancient times, like the cave bear, cave 
lion, and cave hyena, were discovered. Toward the bot- 
tom, tropical animals — Merck's rhinoceros, the hippopota- 
mus and the straight-tusked or "ancient" elephant — 
proved the existence in the early Aurignacian of an inter- 
lude of warm climate. In the lowest layer of all, some 
implements gave evidence of the Mousterian culture of 
Neanderthal man. 

The investigators found human remains in the second, 
third, eighth, and ninth levels, all probably interred in 
shallow graves under the floors of their dwelling sites, 



according to the custom of the time. Ornaments and 
artifacts, evidently intended by their friends as provision 
for the future life, accompanied the skeletons, and some 
of the bones found were stained with red ocher. 

At the base of the Aurignacian deposits of Grimaldi, 
and dating apparently from the very beginning of that 

Fig. 15. Profile and full-face views of the skull of the Grimaldi woman. After 


epoch, were found two skeletons which have aroused 
great interest among prehistorians. For they have been 
held to indicate the existence at that time in this part of 
Europe of representatives of a race which was neither 
that of Neanderthal nor that of Cro-Magnon. The 
skeletons belonged to a youth and a woman, both of rather 
short stature (Plate 25), and they present traits which 
have been interpreted as Negroid in character. Tt will be 
remembered that the Cro-Magnon race, with its Aurigna- 
cian culture, is supposed to have entered Europe from 
Asia by way of northern Africa and the old land-bridges 
across to Italy. Now in recent years there are coming 
to light all over Africa remains of a type of art, consisting 
mainly of engravings and paintings of animals, which in 
many ways recall the remarkable cave art of the Upper 
Paleolithic in Europe. 



In South Africa works of this character are attributed 
in part to those dwarfish, yellow-skinned, woolly-haired 
little hunters, the Bushmen, themselves undoubtedly a 
very ancient race, now nearly extinct. Moreover, cer- 
tain of the physical peculiarities of the latter people are 




Fig. i6. Aurignacian and modern Bushman comparisons. A, Bushman woman; 
B, Bushman drawing of same; C and D, statuettes in steatite from the Grimaldi 

shown clearly in the figures of very stout nude women, 
carved from ivory or soft stone, which have been found 
here and there in the Upper Paleolithic of Europe (Fig.i6). 
These facts, taken in conjunction with the Negroid traits 
ascribed to the two Grimaldi skeletons just mentioned, 
seem to hint at some African influence on Aurignacian 
art. Any more definite conclusion than this, however, 
we should hardly be justified in drawing as yet. 

At all events we have now reached the point, in our 
backward journey through time, when Aurignacian man 
first appears in Europe and takes the place till then occu- 
pied by the low-grade race of Neanderthal. As far as 

I 80] 



c o 
9. CQ 

o .^ 




The Grimaldi skeletons of a woman and a youth with negroid 
characteristics. After V'erneau 


western Europe is concerned, Neanderthal man disap- 
pears completely from the scene never to return. Whether 
he was in part absorbed and in part exterminated by the 
far superior Cro-Magnon race, or whether he died out 
from other causes, we can not as yet say with certainty.^ 

Beyond doubt contact, with intermarriage between the 
two races, did occur. The spread of civilized man over so 
much of the globe at the expense of less advanced races 
during the past few centuries shows us what usually hap- 
pens in such cases. The lower culture, even though 
destined in the long run to be entirely destroyed by the 
higher, yet borrows from the latter many of its features, 
particularly in the domain of warfare. 

In like manner the unmistakable Aurignacian influence 
visible in certain classes of Mousterian artifacts may very 
probably be traced to the time when the Cro-Magnon 
race was spreading over western Europe, absorbing, driv- 
ing out, or killing off Neanderthal man as it advanced. 
Perhaps, too, the undoubted resemblance in the burial 
customs of the two races is due, in part at least, to this 
cause. In central Europe the Mousterian epoch is im- 
mediately followed, not by the xAurignacian, but by the 
Solutrean, which would indicate that the Cro-Magnons 
for some reason did not penetrate that far. But even 
here the Neanderthal race finally disappears and is suc- 
ceeded by the bearers of the Solutrean culture, who ap- 
pear to have been the race of Briinn or Predmost. That 
the latter, notwithstanding their high skulls and their 
faces of modern type, should display certain traits recall- 
ing the Neanderthalers may perhaps be due to contacts 
at this time. 

It is possible that Neanderthal man may have survived 
for a while longer in a few other regions. At one time or 
another he inhabited not only Europe but also parts of 

^ On this subject the author accepts the views of many eminent prehistorians, not- 
withstanding that Dr. Hrdlicka, as will appear in the following chapter, inclines to think 
the Cro-Magnon the lineal descendant of Neanderthal man. 



Asia and Africa. But until the prehistory of the two 
latter continents is much better known than it is today, 
we shall not be able to say where he originated or where 
he made his last hopeless stand against men of the modern 

This much seems agreed upon by most prehistorians — 
that the Mousterian culture appears in Europe at the 
close of the third interglacial period; that it was in part, 
though by no means entirely, a development from the 
previous Acheulian; and that it extended over much of the 
last great glacial stage, that known as the Wiirm. Some 
time after the first and more important climax of the 
latter, the career of Neanderthal man came to an end, 
and that of the Cro-Magnon race began. 



Neanderthal Gorge and the valley north of it consti- 
tute one of the most interesting natural formations in 
western Germany. Here one comes unexpectedly upon a 
piece of romantic scenery lying beneath the level of the 
cultivated plain surrounding it. Eroded by the small 
stream, Diissel, and its branches, out of the limestone 
formations that underlie the surface, for generations the 
gorge and valley have been favorite resorts. The former 
is named for Joachim Neander, a poet and song composer 
of the German Reformed Church, who lived in the seven- 
teenth century, and for whom the gorge was a favorite 
retreat. Doubtless he sometimes entered the cave in 
which two centuries later was found the famous skeleton 
which has become the type of a special race of men. 

The gorge is bounded by high, rugged cliffs of Devonian 
limestone which have been extensively quarried since the 
middle of the nineteenth century. In the year 1856 the 
excavations had reached the so-called Feldhofen Grotto, 
a somewhat extensive cave located in the right-hand cliff 
not far from Ravenstein, a high, isolated rock still standing. 
The mouth of the cave lay about 1 10 feet from the right 
bank of the stream and 60 feet above its level. 

According to local accounts the cave had two parts. In 
August, 1856, two laborers, clearing out the loam from 
the smaller section, uncovered a human skeleton. Not 

* This and the following chapter are quoted with slight alterations from, and 
Chapter IX is based on, a monograph by Doctor Hrdlicka, now being published by 
the Smithsonian Institution, entitled "The Skeletal Remains of Early Man." 



recognizing its importance they threw it out with the 
earth; but the owner of the quarry on being told of the 
find urged the workmen to collect the fragments of the 
skeleton. Fourteen pieces were gathered and these were 
given soon after into the hands of Doctor Fuhlrott, of 

They comprised the skullcap, the femora, humeri, 
ulnae, right radius, a portion of the left pelvic bone, part 
of the right scapula, a piece of the right clavicle, and five 
pieces of ribs. 

At the general meeting of the Natural History Society 
of the Prussian Rhineland and Westphalia, at Bonn, on 
June 2, 1857, Doctor Fuhlrott gave a full account of the 
locality of the find and of the circumstances under which 
the discovery was made. The principal details of his re- 
port were as follows: 

A small cave or grotto, high enough to admit a man and about 15 
feet deep from the entrance, which is 7 or 8 feet wide, exists in the 
southern wall of the gorge of the Neanderthal, as it is termed, at a 
distance of about 100 feet from the Diissel and about 60 feet above 
the bottom of the valley. In its earlier and uninjured condition this 
cavern opened upon a narrow plateau lying in front of it and from 
which the rocky wall descended almost perpendicularly to the river. 
It could be reached, though with difficulty, from above. The uneven 
floor was covered to a thickness of 4 or 5 feet with a deposit of mud, 
sparingly intermixed with rounded fragments of chert. In moving 
this deposit the bones were discovered. The skull was first noticed, 
placed nearest to the entrance of the cavern; and further in were 
the other bones lying in the same horizontal plane. Of this I was 
assured in the most positive terms by the two laborers who were em- 
ployed to clear out the grotto and who were questioned by me on 
the spot. At first no idea was entertained of the bones being human; 
and it was not till several weeks after their discovery that they were 
recognized as such by me and placed in security. But, as the impor- 
tance of the discovery was not at the time perceived, the laborers were 
very careless in the collecting and secured chiefly only the larger 
bones; and to this circumstance it may be attributed that fragments 
merely of the probably perfect skeleton came into my possession. 

Soon afterwards, in i860, Sir Charles Lyell, the cele- 
brated English geologist and paleontologist, visited the 



The Ciorge uf Neanderthal as it was about 1840, before the 
rocks were blasted away. From an old woodcut 


locality, in company with Doctor Fuhlrott, and made a 
sketch thereof. 

Following the early notices concerning the Neanderthal 
cranium and before other specimens of similar nature, 
such as those of Spy and Gibraltar, became known, an 
extensive controversy arose as to the real significance of 
the find. Virchow, and after him others, were at first 
inclined to look upon the skull as pathological; to Barnard 
Davis its sutures appeared to show premature synostosis; 
while Blake and his followers regarded the specimen as 
probably proceeding from an idiot. But there were also 
those, such as Schaaffhausen, Broca, and others, who 
from the beginning saw in the cranium (the other bones 
received at first but little attention) not a pathological or 
accidental monstrosity, but a peculiar, theretofore un- 
known type of ancient humanity. From time to time new 
examples of this same early type appeared in different 
parts of Europe, under circumstances which steadily 
strengthened the claim of the whole class to geological 
antiquity. Finally, after a thorough comparative study 
of the Neanderthal remains had been carried out by 
modern methods and in the light of new knowledge, the 
cranium and bones were definitely recognized as repre- 
senting in a normal and characteristic way a most inter- 
esting earlier phase or variety of mankind, our Mid-Quater- 
nary predecessor or close relative. Homo neanderthalensis . 
The credit for deserving work in this field is due especially 
to Prof. G. Schwalbe, of Strassburg, whose numerous 
publications on the early forms of human remains in 
Europe are well known to every anthropologist. 

The remains of the Neanderthal skeleton are preserved 
in the Provincial Museum at Bonn, where, through the 
courtesy of the director. Prof. Hans Lehner, Doctor 
Hrdlicka was enabled to examine the originals and later 
have them photographed. For the explanation of the terms 
used in the description of this and other skulls, the reader is 
referred to the diagram of the human skull (Fig. 17). 



19 20 21 

?4 25 

f\/ 26 


Fig. 17. Diagram of skull showing pri 

1. Mental foramen 

2. Body of lower jaw 

3. Superior maxilla 

4. Ramus of lower jaw 

5. Zygomatic arch 

6. Styloid process 

7. External auditory meatus 

8. Mastoid process 

9. Asterion 

10. Superior curved line of occipital 


11. External occipital protuberance 

12. Lambdoid suture 

13. Occipital bone 

14. Lambda 

15. Obelion placed between the two 

parietal foramina 

ncipal characters referred to in the text 

16. Parietal bone 

17. Lower temporal ridge 

18. Upper temporal ridge 

19. Squamous part of temporal bone 

20. Bregma 

21. Coronal suture 

22. Stephanion 

23. Frontal bone 

24. Pterion 

25. Temporal fossa 

26. Great wing of sphenoid 

27. Nasal bone 

28. Lachrymal bone 

29. Malar canal 

30. Infraorbital canal 

31. Malar bone 

32. Anterior nasal aperture 



Restoration ot Neanuerthal man. Courtesy ot the i'lelci Museum oi Natural 



The skull (Plate 29) is gray in color, with large mud- 
brownish or gray-sepia patches, on the outside, and 
whitish gray to whitish brown on the inside. It is de- 
cidedly heavy and much mineralized. It is plainly non- 
pathological. The sagittal suture has evidently closed 
earlier than it ordinarily does in civilized modern man, 
but this must have taken place after the brain ceased to 
influence the cranial vault, for it resulted in no perceptible 
deformation. The coronal suture is obHterated up to the 
temporal ridges, while the lambdoid is still patent. Simi- 
lar conditions to these are sometimes met with in the 
skulls of persons beyond the fiftieth year of life, and if not 
attended by scaphocephaly or other consequent deforma- 
tion can not be regarded as abnormal. The serration of 
the lambdoid suture is decidedly simpler than in modern 
human skulls. 

The facial and basal parts are lacking. The vault 
shows very good dimensions in length and breadth, but 
is strikingly low, and the bones are considerably thicker 
than in the white man of today, so that the brain cavity 
was only moderate. 

Besides its lowness the vault is characterized by a very 
decided protrusion of the whole supraorbital region. The 
supraorbital torus, or arch, formed through this pro- 
trusion is heavier than in any other known example of 
Homo neanderthalensis. The line from the glabella to the 
naso-frontal articulation is relatively extensive and 
passes considerably backward and downward, indicating 
a very marked depression at the root of the nose, not 
unlike that which is present in the adult gorilla. Like- 
wise owing to the forward extension of the supraorbital 
arch, the upper parts of the planes of the orbits face very 
perceptibly downward, while in modern man they face 
somewhat upward or approach the vertical. 

The forehead is low and slopes markedly backward; 
nevertheless it presents a moderately well-defined con- 
vexity. The sagittal region is oval from side to side, much 



like that in man of today; the occiput, however, is marked 
by a relatively high situation of the crest and other 
peculiarities. The outline of the vault, as looked at from 
above, is a long ovoid. The thickness of the frontal bone 
at the eminences is 8.5 mm.; of the left parietal, along a 
line I cm. above the squamous suture, 6 to 8 mm. These 
measurements are about one-third greater than those of 
the skull of an average modern European. 

The lowness of the skull vault is very marked. In 
modern crania the vault is almost invariably much higher. 
Neanderthal skull measurements gave a height, accord- 
ing to Schwalbe, of 8.05 cm. with "calotte-index" of 40.4. 
In contrast thereto, 107 recent adult human skulls, of 
various derivation, gave heights of from 8. 40 to 1 1.70 cm. 
and indices from 52 to 68. The cephalic index is 78.5, 
almost exactly medium between long and short heads of 
modern times. 

The internal capacity of the skull has been estimated 
by Schaaffhausen at 1,033 ^-^-y ^Y Huxley at 1,230 c.c, 
and by Schwalbe at 1,234 c.c. 

The brain which filled the skull was lower and narrower 
and slightly more pointed than the human brain of today, 
approaching in these features more nearly the anthropoid 
form. The right frontal lobe was slightly larger and 
longer than the left, and the whole right hemisphere was 
slightly longer than that of the opposite side. In modern 
man it is generally the left hemisphere which is the longer, 
but this exception in the Neanderthal man is not neces- 
sarily of any special significance. 

The long bones and others of the skeleton, so far as 
preserved, show many features of anthropological in- 
feriority, demonstrating plainly that not merely the skull, 
but the whole body of Neanderthal man occupied a 
somewhat lower evolutionary stage than that of any 
normal human being of historic times. Yet there is 
much, also, that connects the type closely with later 
and present-day man. 



The bones of the arm, the pelvis, and the femur, or long 
bone of the leg, differ markedly from those of the average 
present-day man. Certain distinctive features of the 
femur, indeed, could not be duplicated today collectively; 
in some instances, not even individually. Thus, among 
other differences: The head is larger and more globular 
than in modern man; the neck is stout and rather short, 
and the angle it forms with the shaft is less oblique than 
in most recent femora; the connecting bridge of bone 
between the great trochanter and the neck is stouter 
than in most recent bones; and the trochanteric fossa 
is larger than in modern man. These are but a few of 
the many differences too technical for this discussion. 

Some of these may be observed in Figure lo, in which the 
Neanderthaloid femur is compared with those of a mod- 
ern Frenchman and of a gorilla. 

The bones of the Neanderthal skeleton in general in- 
dicate a powerful musculature and a broad and strong 
chest, combined with a somewhat submedium stature. 

As years have gone by since the discovery of the skele- 
ton at Neanderthal, many other remains of similar men, 
with retreating chins, low, beetling brows, and powerful 
frames, have been found in various parts of Europe and 
Asia. Almost a score of important recoveries of this 
nature have already (1929) come to light. The prin- 
cipal ones found thus far are dealt with by Hrdlicka in 
the order which follows. 

The Gibraltar Skull 

The celebrated Gibraltar skull was discovered as early 
as 1848, therefore eight years before the Neanderthal 
cranium made its appearance, in the Forbes Quarry 
situated on the north front of the Rock of Gibraltar. It 
was dug out of a terrace on the north face of the rock 
from a formation of solidified breccia consisting of weath- 
ering of the limestone cliff and fine wind-blown sand. 

The part of the terrace where the cranium lay was 



possibly in former times the floor of a cave. A section 
of a cave still exists behind the site of the discovery and 
was explored in 191 1 by Duckworth, but without results. 
It is certain that the skull showed, and to some extent 
presents to this day, a hard stony matrix adhering to 
its surface and filling its cavities. Broca, to whom we 
owe the first descriptive account of the specimen, says 
that it was taken out from a "very compact and adherent 
gangue" from which it was disengaged with much diffi- 
culty. The photographs published with Broca's account 
show very noticeable remnants of the stony matrix. 

The skull was presented to the Gibraltar Scientific 
Society by the then secretary. Lieutenant Flint, but for 
many years received no scientific attention. In 1862 
it came to England, with the collections from the Gi- 
braltar caves, and was studied to some extent by Busk 
and Falconer. The latter, perceiving how much it differed 
from recent human skulls, proposed to refer it to a dis- 
tinct variety of man, the Homo calpicus, after Calpe, 
the Roman name of Gibraltar. Finally, in 1868, Busk 
presented the cranium to the Museum of the British 
Royal College of Surgeons, where it is still preserved. 

The first descriptive account of the specimen was pub- 
lished, as mentioned above, by Broca, but the adhering 
stony matrix prevented at that time any attempt at 
accurate measurement. Subsequently it received atten- 
tion from Huxley, de Quatrefages, and Hamy, and later 
from Macnamara, Klaatsch, Schwalbe, Sollas, Sera, and 
Keith, as well as Hrdlicka. It is a very remarkable 
specimen, which, even though the geological and paleon- 
tological evidence relating to its antiquity is imperfect, 
does not allow for one moment any doubt as to its repre- 
senting an early form of human being; and its character- 
istics are such that it is now universally regarded as a 
representative, possibly a very early one, oi Homo neander- 

The cranium is gray-whitish to yellowish in color. It is 



considerably mineralized and heavier than normal. .The 
stony matrix has been so far removed that such important 
determinations and measurements as the defective state 
of the bones permit may now be made. Fortunately the 
facial region, the frontal bone, and most of the right side 
of the skull, including the back, are relatively well pre- 
served; the top of the vault, on the other hand, shows a 
large defect, and the left parietal, temporal, and sphenoid 
parts, together with much of the base, are lost. With all 
these defects, a sufficient number of parts remain to per- 
mit of valuable determinations on the skull and infer- 
ences as to the brain, and also a fairly correct recon- 

The aspect of the face is semihuman, apish. The mid- 
portion, from the glabella downward, protrudes more 
than in normal skulls, as a result of which the planes of 
the orbits, as well as the planes of the malars, slope more 
outward and backward than they do in modern crania. 
Other very striking features of the face are: The relatively 
(for a female) huge supraorbital arch; the very large orbits; 
the stoutness of the medial process of the frontal bone; 
the complete absence of the supraorbital (canine) fossae; 
the broad nose; and the dental arch with long teeth. The 
supraorbital arch does not greatly protrude as it does in 
the male Neanderthal skulls; nevertheless it represents a 
true and rather huge torus, such as is wholly unknown in 
recent crania. A remarkable feature which gives the face 
its characteristic appearance is the fullness, to mild 
convexity, of the suborbital (canine) fossae and of the 
nasal processes of the maxilla. All these parts look as if 
inflated from behind. 

The teeth, though considerably worn off, appear very 
long. A very interesting condition is the absence of the 
two median incisors. As there is no sign of decay, and 
as the alveolar process shows a characteristic absorption 
notch at this place, it would seem that the two teeth 
must have been lost long before the death of the indi- 



vidual, and that presumably through some violence. The 
whole recalls forcibly the ceremonial knocking out of 
these incisors (and sometimes also other teeth) in the 
Negro, Australian, and other primitive peoples. 

Another facial peculiarity of the skull is its low and 
sloping forehead, the ensemble presenting a picture of 
phylogenetic inferiority which, taking into consideration 
that this is unquestionably the skull of a female, is not 
quite equaled by any other specimens of Neanderthal 
origin thus far discovered, though it is true that the facial 
features are preserved in only a few of the specimens be- 
longing to this great period. 

The vault of the skull is especially noteworthy on ac- 
count of its lowness and a peculiar formation of the occi- 
put that gives the impression of breadth with submedium 
height. Much the same characteristic is found also in 
other Neanderthal skulls. 

Endocranially, the skull shows a number of interesting 
features. There is throughout a marked paucity of im- 
pressions of brain convolutions and also of those of the 
blood vessels. Even the sinuses have left but shallow 
grooves. The brain itself was not particularly small for 
a female skull; and it was of an already rather advanced 
human type. 

There are other details and dimensions about the speci- 
men which are of more or less interest to the anthropolo- 
gist, but which need not be dealt with in this account. 
It will suffice to say that both the visual and the instru- 
mental examination of the specimen lead to the conclu- 
sion that the Gibraltar skull represents highly valuable 
remains of an early human being and that its principal 
characteristics justify its classification with Homo neander- 
thal ensis. 

The cephalic index is approximately 77 as measured 
by Hrdlicka, 80 according to Sollas; the cranial capacity 
1,200 c.c. according to the estimate of Keith, 1,250 to 
1,260 c.c. according to Sollas. 



A view of Rock-Gun, Gibraltar, with the Devil's Tower cave marked 
by a black cross. After Miss Garrod 


Restoration ut a NcamJerthal hoy. Courtesy of the Field Museui 
of Natural History 


Later Work at Gibraltar 

In 1910 and again in 191 1, W. L. H. Duckworth, of 
Cambridge University, visited Gibraltar for the purpose 
of obtaining, if possible, additional information about the 
old skulls and of making further exploration. 

He found that the Forbes Quarry still existed, though, 
having been worked at intervals since 1848, its boundaries 
were now larger. The quarry, as originally noted, is 
under- the north front of the Rock of Gibraltar. The rock 
at this point still contains a remnant of a cave, which is 
not more than about thirty feet above sea level and "is 
probably the result of marine erosion at a remote epoch; 
and at a remote epoch also, the mouth of this cave must 
have been closed, until it was reopened by the quarry- 
men." It was in all probability in this cave that the 
skull was discovered. A partial exploration of the cave 
and the neighboring talus was barren of results so far as 
remains of man were concerned. 

A second cave in the rock explored by Doctor Duck- 
worth gave remains of the Neolithic Period. Another 
cavern (Sewell's Cave) yielded, with others, some Mous- 
terian, Aurignacian, Solutrean, and even Magdalenian 
stone implements. 

In 1917, parts of the Rock of Gibraltar and its neigh- 
borhood were investigated by the xAbbe Breuil. During 
this work the Abbe discovered near the "Devil's Tower" 
a rough rock-shelter which gave indications of Paleolithic 
man. This site, in 1926, was explored in detail by Dr. 
Dorothy A. E. Garrod; and it was here that in June, 1926, 
Miss Garrod found, inclosed in rock, the skull of a child, 
proceeding evidently from the Mousterian period. 

The specimen was found in some Mousterian deposits 
fronting a small cave opposite the ruin of Devil's Tower, 
in the eastern face of the north front of the Rock, not 
very far from the Forbes Quarry, in which in 1848 was 
discovered the adult Neanderthaloid skull of Gibraltar. 



The details of the find are given by Miss Garrod; the 
main points are as follows: 

The Mousterian site at Devil's Tower was discovered in 191 7 by 
the Abbe Breuil, then acting as diplomatic courier between Gibraltar 
and the French Naval Bureau at Madrid. In the course of a visit to 
the North Front of the Rock he noticed fragments of fossil bone in 
the talus of a small cave or rock-shelter at the foot of the immense 
vertical peak of Rock-Gun, immediately opposite a ruin known as the 
Devil's Tower. M. Breuil was unable to follow up this discovery at 
the time, but in 191 9 he returned to Gibraltar and with the help of 
the late Colonel Willoughby Verner dug a trial trench a little way 
down the talus of the shelter, unearthing a number of animal bones 
and four stone implements of definite Mousterian type. My own 
work on the shelter, undertaken at M. Breuil's suggestion, occupied 
seven months, between November, 1925, and January, 1927, and was 
carried out by means of a grant from the Percy Sladen Memorial Fund. 

The Devil's Tower cave is a narrow fissure running obliquely into 
the Rock of Gibraltar at the eastern end of the North Front, 350 m. 
from Forbes Quarry. It has a maximum height of 12 m. and a 
maxim"Um width of 1.20 m., and 4 m. from the entrance it narrows to 
a mere crack. The rocky floor at the cave mouth lies 9 m. above sea 
level, and 5 m. above the average level. 

The work carried out consisted in emptying the cave down to the 
rock floor and removing the talus or terrace deposits over an area 
extending from the rock wall which bounded them on the west to a 
line 4.50 m. to the east of the cave mouth. Seven layers of deposit 
were revealed in this way, the succession from above downwards being 
as follows: 

1. Fine sand, filling the fissure to the roof. 

2. Calcareous tufa, 1-4 m. 

3. Fine sand, 20 cm. — i m. 

4. Travertine, 10-80 cm. 

5. Fine sand, 40 cm. — 1.40 m. 

6. Travertine, 50-75 cm. 

7. Raised beach, with its surface at 8.50-9 m. above sea level. 

Layers 1-5 contained archeological material, the industry from top 
to bottom being Mousterian. 

The total number of implements and flakes recovered 
was small — less than 500 — the majority in quartzite, the 
rest in flint, chert, and jasper. There were also two frag- 
ments of bone compressors. The industry of layers i 



—De\^iCs Tower 
--European Child 
■Young Chimpanzee 

and 2, and the implements found in the "wash" have a 
well-marked Upper Mousterian character. 

The fauna found by Miss Garrod was much the same 
at all levels and represented about twenty-five species, 
many of them now extinct. They include the wolf, bear, 
hyena, lynx, deer, horse, and elephant, and indicate a 
cold-temperate climate as then prevailing in southern 

In June, 1926, after firing a heavy blast of explosive 
gelatin in the hard rock, Miss Garrod uncovered with 
difficulty part of a human skull embedded in layer 4 and 
filled in with travertine. It had been cracked by the 
blast into several 
In October, other 
parts of the skull 
were found 
in layer 4, about 
eighteen feet dis- 
tant and nearer 
the mouth of the 

Miss Garrod 

It seems clear from 
the position of the 
bones that the skull 
originally lay in the 
mouth of the cave, 

but as it belonged to a very young individual it fell apart along the 
sutures, and the frontal and left parietal, together with those parts 
which are missing, were washed forward on to the terrace by the waters 
of the spring which converted the original sandy layer into travertine. 
The missing parts were probably carried further forward than the 
others, and so rolled down the slope and were lost. 

It is probable that the skull was already separated from the body 
when it lay in the cave, for if the whole skeleton had been present, 
some at least, of the bones must have been found. On the other hand, 
the fact that the lower jaw (Fig. 18) lay quite close to the temporal 


Fig. 18. Lower jaw of the Neanderthal child from 

the Devil's Tower, Gibraltar, compared with those of 

a modern European child and a young chimpanzee. 

After Buxton 


and maxilla suggests either that decomposition was not complete at 
the time of deposition or that the jaw was fastened to the skull by 
a thong or string. In either case it seems impossible to avoid the 
conclusion that the skull was intentionally preserved, either as a 
trophy or in fulfilment of a pious rite. 

The human skull is described most carefully and with 
much detail by Professor Buxton. The main results of 
his study are: 

The Devil's Tower bones are the remains of a single individual skull 
belonging to a child of five years old, probably of the male sex. . . . 
The form of the face and jaws is essentially that which we associate 
with Neanderthal man. Many of these features can be shown, how- 
ever, to owe their characteristic appearance partly to the great size 
of the teeth and partly to functional activities, but the general mas- 
siveness, not only of the jaws but also of such features as the tympanic 
plate, is remarkable. 

. . . The dimensions and form of the brain-case, especially the 
expansion of the frontal area, are beyond the range of Neanderthal 
man, as hitherto discovered, if we make the same allowance for age 
that we should do in the case of a modern child. These conditions 
suggest a brain-case built more after the fashion of modern than of 
Neanderthal man. . . . The teeth of our specimen closely resemble 
in size and shape those usually associated with Neanderthal man. 
The face and jaws must therefore necessarily be close to the typical 
Neanderthal form. The brain-case is, however, different from the 
type form, because the underlying structure, the brain, was larger. 

The Spy Skeletons 

In the province of Namur, in Belgium, there is a steep 
wooded mountainside in the district of Spy, which is 
skirted by the little river Orneau. A great rock standing 
sentinel-like has at its base, sixty feet above the stream, 
a cave now called the cave of Spy, which opens toward 
the south. Several times during the last century the 
accumulations within the cave were searched by anti- 
quarians and yielded worked flints and bones dating from 
Late Stone Age cultures. 

In 1885 MM. Marcel de Puydt and Maximin Lohest, 
archeologist and geologist, respectively, examined the 
region of the cave more systematically. A terrace at its 




■ ^^^■■^'"f^- 

1 he rock (,upper) and cave (lower) of Spy, in Belgium, where in 1886 

were found two Neanderthal skeletons displaying certain features 

approaching those of modern man. Photograph by Hrdlicka 


5 .s 



front showed no signs of having been disturbed, and here 
they concentrated their efforts. Sinking a trench in a 
thick layer of brown earth mixed with numerous fragments 
of limestone, they came at a depth of four feet to a layer 
some twelve to sixteen inches thick containing fragments 
of bones and flints, debris of pottery, and several thou- 
sand implements of wood and stone, ornaments, and the 
like. The stone implements, of rather high-class work- 
manship, seemed of the Mousterian cultural type. 

Returning to their excavations in 1886, de Puydt and 
Lohest found in June two human skeletons, besides large 
quantities of bones of animals and flints and other arti- 
facts of the Mousterian type. Professor Fraipont, of the 
University of Liege, joined in the examination of the 
discovery and in its announcement in Bulletins of the 
Royal Academy of Belgium. According to this an- 
nouncement the human bones were found at a depth of 
thirteen feet below the surface, which here rose con- 
siderably higher than the floor of the cave. There was no 
evidence of previous disturbance of the superincumbent 
layers. The accumulation contained fallen rocks, earth, 
many traces of man's early occupation, and numerous 
remains of fossil animals. 

The skeletons, called Spy No. i and Spy No. 2, lay, 
respectively, twenty-eight and twenty feet to the south 
of the cave entrance. They were inclosed by an undis- 
turbed layer of argillaceous tufa, from which they were 
removed only with great difficulty and some damage. 

More in detail, a section of the deposits showed them 
to consist of: 

A. Brown earth and fallen rocks; thickness approxi- 
mately 2.90 m. (over 9 ft.). No paleontological or human 

B. Yellow argillaceous tufa, inclosing limestone blocks, 
0.80 m. {i}4 ft.) in thickness. This layer could be broken 
only with difficulty by the pick. It gave some bones of 
the mammoth and deer, and also some worked flints. 



C. A stratum 15 cm. (6 in.) thick, strongly colored red 
and containing many flint implements, rejects of stone 
industry, angular fragments of limestone, bits of charcoal, 
and debris of mammoth tusks. This layer formed a hard 
crust resistant to the hammer and covered the human 

The animal remains found in the hard layer C that 
overlay the two human skeletons were: 

Woolly rhinoceros Mammoth 

Horse Hare 

Wild boar Cave bear 

Stag Badger 

Wapiti (?) " Marten (Weasel?) 

Giant deer Fox 

Reindeer Wolf (Dog) 

Sheep Cave hyena 

Wild bull Cave lion 

Extinct bison Wild cat 

D. Yellow calcareous clay and rubbish, passing to a 
tufa of the same nature as that in layer B. Thickness 
15 cm. (6 in.), uneven. At base a streak of charcoal. 

E. The human skeletons and the worked flints. 

F. Brown clay, in places black, inclosing angular pebbles 
of limestone, numerous animal bones, and worked flints. 

The animal remains encountered at the level of the 
skeletons, or lower than these, comprised the tollowing: 

Woolly rhinoceros (abundant) Wild bull (rather abundant) 

Horse (very abundant) Mammoth (common) 

Stag (rare) Cave bear (rare) 

Reindeer (very rare) Badger (rare) 

Cave hyena (abundant) 

There were, therefore, distinguishable, aside from the 
surface material, three distinct fossil-bearing layers, 

B. This contained bones of the mammoth and deer; 
also some Mousterianlike flint implements of refined and 
rather peculiar type. 



C. This stratum, with the underlying few inches of 
earth, covered the human skeletons. Contents: Bones of 
many Quaternary animals; abundance of flint blades, 
Mousterian points, and other flint implements, in general 
of less refined make than those of layer B; also implements 
of bone and ivory. Among the bones were needles, awls, 
beads, and pendants, and a number of bones were deco- 
rated with linear designs. Some of the bone pendants 
evidently had once been colored red. 

D-F. The stratum of the two human skeletons. This 
gave also some bones of Quaternary animals, and some 
stone implements of Mousterian type but inferior in work- 
manship to those from the layers above. 

The human remains, the authors thought, were not 
burials but incidental inclusions. As the middle, hard- 
ened stratum was found undisturbed, the skeletons could 
not have been more recent than this stratum. 

Considering the animal and archeological remains as- 
sociated with the human skeletons, together with the 
absence of disturbance in the superimposed and more 
recent layers, Lohest believed himself justified in referring 
Spy remains to the Mousterian period. The deductions 
of Fraipont, based on the study of the skeletal remains 
themselves, were that they belonged to Neanderthal man. 
Since then the Spy remains have received more or less 
careful consideration by every student of early man, and 
the above classification was found to need no radical 

What remained of the Spy skeletons was preserved, up 
to the German invasion in 1914, in the collections of the 
University of Liege, where thanks to the courtesy of 
MM. M. Lohest, Charles Fraipont, and J. Servais, Doctor 
Hrdlicka was enabled to examine the originals for the 
first time (1912). During the invasion, the remains, 
the property of M. Lohest, were secreted by the latter in 
his home, at the bottom of an old chest, and, though 
searched for, remained safe. Here, in the presence of the 



regretted owner, Hrdlicka studied the remains the second 
time (1923); and finally in 1927, thanks to the courtesy 
of the sons of Lohest, he was enabled to examine the 
originals, still in their house, for the third time. At the 
time of his second visit, in 1923, Prof. A. Rutot and his 
assistant made it possible for him also to visit the cave. 

The skeletons are currently known as No. i and No. 2. 
To No. I (Plate 34) Fraipont and Lohest attributed: 

The vault of a skull 

Two portions of an upper jaw, 
with the three right molars, 
the two right premolars, the 
left canine and left lateral in- 

A nearly complete lower jaw, 
with all (16) teeth 

The left clavicle 

The right humerus, which has 
lost its upper epiphysis, and 
the shaft of the left humerus 

The left radius, without the 
lower epiphysis 

The proximal extremities of the 
two ulnae 

The nearly entire right femur 

The complete left tibia 

The right calcaneum 

The parts attributed by the two authors to the second 
subject are: 

The vault of a skull 

Two portions of the upper jaw 
with twelve teeth 

Two fragments of the lower jaw 
with the molar teeth 

Loose teeth belonging to the 
lower jaw 

Fragments of the scapulae of 
two humeri without upper 

The shaft of the right radius 

The proximal two-thirds of the 
left femur 

The left calcaneum 

The left astragalus 

Besides these parts, there are seven vertebrae, a right 
patella, twenty-four fragments of ribs, and eleven bones 

[ 100] 


of hands and feet, with some pieces of which it was 
impossible to say to which skeleton they belonged. 

Repeated critical examination of the specimens left a 
serious doubt in Doctor Hrdlicka's mind as to the ac- 
curacy of the above distribution. No photographs or 
sketches were made on the spot; the bones were not 
marked and have evidently become mixed up, their dis- 
tribution being decided upon later. The specimens indi- 
cate very strongly different relations. The right femur, 
the tibia, and the two stronger ulnae do not harmonize 
with the relatively weak arm bones and clavicle of No. i. 
They harmonize perfectly, on the other hand, with the 
bones of the male skeleton No. 2 and must, Hrdlicka feels, 
be attributed to this skeleton. The true identification 
of the parts appears to him as follows: 

Skeleton I 

Skeleton II 


Weak male or female 



About 35 years 

About 23 years 

Smaller skullcap 
Portion of right maxilla 

Larger skullcap 

Two portions of upper jaw 

Lower jaw (complete 


Two pieces of lower jaw 

for damage to rami) 

Sound loose teeth (prob 


Loose teeth 

The two weaker humeri 

The two strong humeri 

Two damaged radii 

Head of a weak ulna 

The proximal parts of 


strong ulnae 


Weak clavicle 

Parts of the two scapulae 


A nearly complete right 
proximal half of the 


Complete left tibia 

Two fragments of fibula 


Lower fifth of right fibula 


Left patella 
Right calcaneum 
Left astragalus 
Portion of sacrum 

Some small bones and fragments 

Fragments of small bones 



This identification removes many difficulties, making 
the material much more inteUigible and the deductions 
from it of more value. All the skeletal parts show an 
advanced state of mineralization. In color they range 
from brownish to grayish, skull No. i representing the 

Fig. ig. Profiles of the Neanderthal cranium (unbroken line) and of Spy No. i 

(dotted line) and Spy No. 2 (broken line). Note that although the two Spy 

skeletons are of the same period, the forehead and vault of No. 2 are much higher 

than those of No. i. After Fraipont and Lohest 

former and No. 2 the latter shading. The teeth, however, 
are white, with yellowish roots, much as in crania from 
late burials. 

The two skulls are plainly normal specimens, free from 
disease or deformation. In age. No. i was an adult of 
about thirty-five years. No. 2 had just reached the adult 
stage. As to sex, were it not for the heavy supraorbital 
arch, No. i would be identifiable as a female. Such 
identification would conform with the characteristics of 
all the bones that, may definitely be attributed to this 
subject, except the skull, and even this is rather feminine 
except in the lower frontal region. 

Morphologically the two skeletons, more particularly 
the two crania, show features of such interest and im- 

[ 102 ] 


portance to anthropology that they deserve all possible 
attention. The vault of skull No. i and the skeletal 
parts of both individuals are thoroughly Neanderthal in 
character; but the jaws, teeth, and the vault of skull No. 2 
represent nothing less than a bridge from the Neanderthal 
type of man to the recent. 

The Spy find is without question the most important 
ever made in relation to the problem of transition from 
the Neanderthal to the more modern forms of man. Here 
in practically one grave, certainly at the same level and 
under the same associations, are found two skeletons, one 
of which in many respects is still typically Neanderthal; 
but the jaws and the teeth of this skeleton, and the skull 
of the second subject are far in advance of the Neander- 
thal stage and correspondingly nearer to modern man. 
No better demonstration could have been furnished, or 
could reasonably be wished for, of the transitional poten- 
tialities among the later Neanderthal representatives, to 
which the skeletons evidently belong, toward the modern 
human type.^ 

In Spy skull No. i, the characteristic Neanderthaloid 
features — retreating forehead, heavy brows, large eye 
sockets, protruding jaws, retreating chin, and pronounced 
backward elongation of the cranium — are very plain in 
the profile (Plate 34). 

The Diluvial Man of Krapina 

One of the most important finds of the skeletal remains 
of Quaternary man is unquestionably that of the Krapina 
shelter, near Zagreb, in northern Croatia. The discovery 
comprises a whole series of human bones of well-deter- 
mined geological age, and the remains were not recovered 

' There exists a difference of opinion among anthropologists on the relationship 
between Neanderthal and modern man. While Doctor Hrdlicka is convinced that 
Homo sapiens developed gradually from Neanderthal man, other authorities believe 
that the Neanderthalers were a distinct species who died out leaving no descendants, 
while modern man sprang from some other rootstock outside of Europe and eventually 
spread there to take the place of Neanderthal man. 

[ 103 1 


accidentally or by laborers ignorant of their importance, 
but through prolonged, painstaking exploration. 

The bones themselves are for the most part fragmen- 
tary, which is much to be regretted; but they represent, 
as now estimated, over twenty individuals, and they show 
on the one hand such similarity and on the other such 
variation of structure that they are of great value to the 
student of ancient humanity. 

The Krapina rock-shelter is an ancient, not very deep 
hollow, worn in the basic sandstone by the Krapinica, 
now a small stream, and subsequently filled with water- 
worn stones, some alluvia, and much detritus resulting 
from the decomposing rock of the hollow. Since the 
formation of the latter, the Krapinica has cut its channel 
so that it now flows eighty-two feet, or twenty-five meters, 
below its floor level. 

Before and while the shelter was being filled it was uti- 
lized by the early men of the region, at first occasionally, 
later, for some time perhaps, continuously; and the ac- 
cumulations in the cave were augmented by the remains 
of fireplaces and by refuse, including many primitive stone 
implements and rejects as well as animal bones. These 
accumulations were found to contain numerous human 
bones in more or less fragmentary condition. 

The locality became known in 1895, after two Croatian 
teachers discovered in the superficial deposits of the cave 
some teeth of a rhinoceros and fragments of other fossil 
bones. These finds were brought to the attention of the 
scientific men at Zagreb (the capital of Croatia, formerly 
"Agram"), but no thorough examination of the site was 
undertaken until 1899. In that year the place was visited 
by K. Gorjanovic-Kramberger, professor of geology and 
paleontology of the University of Zagreb and Director of 
the Geological Division of the Narodni Muzej of the same 

The deposits in the shelter and their stratification were 
found well exposed. They were over twenty-six feet in 




c O 

U S 



Restoration of Neanderthal woman and child. Courtesy 
of the Field Museum ot Natural History 


thickness from top to base. The initial work showed ashes, 
charcoal, burnt sand, and rejects of stone industry, stone 
implements, and a human molar. 

The excavations proper, after a determination of nine 
distinct cultural layers, were begun from the top and carried 
very carefully downward. They proved from the start 
very fruitful, giving many bones of Quaternary animals, 
many rejects of stone industry with some implements, a 
portion of a human maxilla, eighty loose teeth, and many 
pieces of skulls, lower jaws, and other parts of skeletons. 

From 1900 to 1905 the painstaking exploration of the 
shelter was carried on, partly by Gorjanovic-Kramberger, 
partly by S. Osterman and D. Galijan, his assistants, 
until the deposits were exhausted. 

Notwithstanding the presence of numerous cultural 
layers and the evidently long-continued use and occupa- 
tion of the shelter, the whole represented apparently but 
one extended cultural period, and this during a fairly 
warm interglacial time. The fauna is not that of a cold 
climate. It consists, aside from a few snails, birds, and a 
turtle, of the following: 

Merck's rhinoceros (frequent) 


Cave bear (frequent) 


Wild bull (frequent) 


Beaver (fairly frequent) 



Wild boar 

Brown bear 


Wild cat 



Giant deer 

There were no traces of the mammoth or of the woolly 
rhinoceros. The remains found represent either com- 
pletely extinct forms or forms not hitherto known from 
Croatia or known only from diluvial times. As a whole 
the fauna resembles closely that of the diluvial station 
of Taubach, Germany. 

The total number of worked stones recovered from the 



Krapina shelter amounts to approximately i,ooo, but 
most of these are waste and rejects. They are mainly 
of flint but occasionally also of quartz, chalcedony, and 
jasper. The better-characterized specimens are "typi- 
cally Mousterian" (Obermaier), and this applies to all 

The collective human skeletal remains recovered from 
the Krapina shelter, though very fragmentary, are more 
numerous than those found in any other locality of similar 
age. They comprise many parts of the skull, numerous 
portions of the jaws ranging from fragments to nearly 
complete mandibles, many teeth, and numerous pieces of 
other parts of the skeleton. 

The bones represent, as already mentioned, the remains 
of at least twenty individuals of both sexes, ranging from 
childhood to ripe adult age. The fragmentation of the 
skulls, lower jaws, and some of the long bones is excessive 
and of such a nature as strongly to suggest that it was 
caused otherwise than by accidental breaking or crushing. 
A number of the fragments show also the effects of burn- 
ing, and one specimen, a portion of the supraorbital part 
of a frontal, presents some cuts. These different condi- 
tions, together with the absence of many parts of the skulls 
and bones, the total lack of association of the fragments, 
and the commingling of the human with the animal bones, 
led Gorjanovic-Kramberger to the opinion, now generally 
shared, that the remains represent the leavings of occa- 
sional cannibalistic feasts and are not burials. 

The Krapina bones are whitish, yellowish, or light 
brownish in color. They are not of great weight, but a 
chemical examination has shown that they are much 
altered in constitution, particularly in the fluorine-phos- 
phates proportions. 

The long bones and others of the skeleton show the 
Krapina man to have been, as compared with the central 
European white man of today, of moderate stature and, 
except for the powerful jaws, of strong though not exces- 



sive muscular development. Some individuals were very 
perceptibly weaker than others. As to form, particularly 
in the upper extremities, the bones in general are per- 
ceptibly more modern in type than those of the Neander- 
thal or Spy man; nevertheless they present, as is well 
shown by Gorjanovic-Kramberger, numerous and im- 
portant primitive features. 

The fragments of the skulls show that the bones of the 
vault were somewhat thicker than they are in the white 
man of today. The crania were of good size externally, 
but the brain cavities were probably below the present 
average. The vault of the skull was of good length and 
at the same time fairly broad, so that the cephalic index, 
at least in some of the individuals, was more elevated than 
usual in the crania of early man. They were also char- 
acterized, like the Neanderthal and other crania of the 
Mousterian epoch, by relative lowness of the vault, and 
in every instance among the adults by a pronounced, com- 
plete supraorbital arch. The last-named feature, though 
less marked, is plainly distinguishable even in the children. 
Its invariable presence is a definite proof of the fact, not 
quite well established before, that this arch was, up to a 
certain stage ot the Quaternary period, a regular char- 
acteristic of the early men of a large part of Europe. 

The lower jaws in particular are very interesting. The 
symphysis or fore part of these bones, while in some 
possessing already a faint trace of the future chin emi- 
nence, slopes invariably more or less downward and back- 
ward, thus approaching the form of the mandible in apes. 
The mandibles are massive and in males high. Except 
in this height, they are akin to the lower jaws of the La 
Quina and La Chapelle skulls, and represent decidedly 
more primitive forms than the mandibles of any man 
of historic times, though they are rather nearer to the 
modern type than is the jaw of Mauer. 

The teeth of the Krapina man offer numerous peculi- 
arities, most of which point to a lower stage of differentia- 

[ 107 ] 


tion. They are in general very perceptibly larger than 
those of the modern white man; their roots, especially, 
are longer; and there are some details of form, particu- 
larly in the crowns of the incisors and molars, which are 
related to anthropoid features. Notwithstanding these 
facts, the Krapina teeth, and particularly the canines, 
are on the whole fairly near those of present-day man. 

In spite of their defective condition, the numerous frag- 
ments of the Krapina skulls show clearly that the crania 
they represent belong in general to the Neanderthal race 
of early man. Many of the distinguishing characteristics 
of the latter are here repeated — the supraorbital torus, 
the sloping forehead, the peculiar occipital, the planes of 
the orbits, the stout nasal and malar processes (the effects 
of powerful masticatory apparatus), a relatively lower posi- 
tion of the zygomatic arches, small mastoids, etc. 

All these features show, however, considerable variation 
and that of a rather progressive tendency. Thus some of 
the foreheads approach closely those of some recent men; 
even the vaults of these skulls differ individually, in 
height, breadth, and other characters; and there is much 
significance, in this connection, in the jaws and the teeth. 

Of particular interest is the evident tendency of the 
Krapina crania toward brachycephaly, which thus far 
has not been known in early skulls. There have been 
some objections to the restoration of these specimens, but 
these appear unjustified. Thus the pieces that compose 
skull C appear clearly to belong to that skull, and those 
of D fit too well to involve any serious errors. An inde- 
pendent examination of the Krapina remains leaves no 
doubt but that they represent skulls both broader and 
shorter than those of the western Neanderthalers. 

Gorjanovic-Kramberger's opinion that more than one 
race of men is represented at Krapina can not, however, 
be sustained; the low jaws and weak bones are plainly 
those of females. 

If we add to the variations and peculiarities of the 



Krapina skulls, jaws, and teeth those of the skeletons, 
and then contrast the whole with what is known of the 
corresponding parts in the western Neanderthalers, it is 
plain that the Krapina man, while of the same general 
family, differs sufficiently to be regarded as a subtype, 
and that, too, a subtype which on the whole was morpho- 
logically somewhat more advanced toward later man. 
This is difficult to harmonize with the supposed greater 
age of the Krapina remains. Possibly this individual 
lived later than we have supposed; or he may have be- 
longed to a more progressive group. 





Remains of Early Man Near Weimar 

The little village of Ehringsdorf, in the Ilm valley, three 
kilometers from Weimar and about the same distance 
from Taubach, has become quite famous within the last 
two decades, on the one hand for its quarries, which yield 
a very. pure limestone (travertine), and on the other hand 
for the highly interesting animal and especially for the 
human remains that are constantly being found there. 

The travertine deposits, of diluvial origin, extend from 
Weimar to beyond Ehringsdorf. At the latter they are 
found in a low broad hill on the slope of which is the 
village. For many years past a portion of the hill over- 
looking the valley of the river Ilm has been exploited for 
the limestone, the works being known as Kaempfer's 
Quarry. Herr Kaempfer was in fact still the owner of the 
place during Doctor Hrdlicka's visits (1921, 1923) and is 
largely to be credited for the intelligent preservation of 
the paleontological as well as the human remains from 
his extensive workings. 

By 1914, the exposed rocky wall approximated forty 
feet in height. It showed gross horizontal stratification. 
A little below the middle could be seen a belt, about three 
feet thick, known as the "Pariser," a largely consolidated 
loess formation; and beneath this in the left part of the 
quarry were the remains of a flat pocket of more or less con- 
solidated looser material in whichstone implementshad been 
discovered with numerous evidences of human occupation. 



It was in this layer or pocket, which lay about ten feet 
below the "Pariser," that workmen began to discover in 
April, 19I4, various fossil animal bones and some worked 
flints; and it was here that on May 8, 1914, after a blast, 
there appeared, besides some animal bones, fragments of 
an adult human lower jaw which had been freed and 
partly shattered by the blast. Nearby were bones of 
various Quaternary animals identified later as a Merck's 
rhinoceros, a cave bear, an ox, a horse, and a deer; also 
some bones that had been partly burned, some charcoal, 
and numerous flints showing human work. 

Fortunately the value of the find was promptly recog- 
nized, and the pieces of the jaw were most carefully gath- 
ered by Herr Haubold, the overseer, with the aid of Herr 
Lindig, the able curator of the Weimar City Museum. 
The specimen was then most painstakingly repaired by 
Herr Lindig and not long after turned over to Gustav 
Schwalbe for study. Basing his opinion on its form and 
association, Schwalbe considered the specimen to be a 
very valuable one and referred it to the earlier period of 
Neanderthal man. 

After Schwalbe's death a more complete study of the 
jaw was undertaken by Hans Virchow, and its descrip- 
tion forms the main part of his masterly memoir on the 
human skeletal remains of Ehringsdorf. While Virchow 
was engaged in this study, however, there came to light, 
on November 2, 1916, under similar circumstances and 
from about the same horizon but about eighty feet to 
the right and inclosed in rock, portions of the skeleton 
of a child about ten years old. The specimen was badly 
damaged through the blast, but thanks once more to the 
most careful efforts of the quarrymen and Herr Lindig, 
all that could possibly be saved was secured and taken 
to the Weimar Museum. The parts consisted of six right 
and five left ribs, two vertebrae, the epistropheus, the 
right pelvic bone, half of the right humerus, part of the 
lower jaw, and five teeth from the maxilla. The thoracic 



parts lay in a block of the stone and were found, with the 
rest of the defective parts of the skeleton, to be of but 
secondary scientific importance; but the lower jaw with 
its nine well-preserved teeth was a document of value 
and as such was submitted also to Hans Virchow and is 
described with the adult mandible in his memoir. 

In addition to the preceding, several other finds of 
human remains were made in Fischer's Quarry, lying im- 
mediately behind Kaempfer's workings. They included a 
number of fine stone implements and two pieces of a 
human parietal, and were, like the child's skeleton, in- 
closed in the solid rock. About 1922, in the right-hand 
section of Kaempfer's Quarry, a blast in the travertine 
above its middle revealed, as Doctor Hrdlicka was told, a 
portion of a human femur. Fossil animal bones and worked 
flints were found on numerous other occasions. Finally, 
on September 21, 1925, a blast in the lower travertine of 
Fischer's Quarry, in a block 55 feet (16.7 m.) from the 
surface, brought to light pieces of a young adult human 
skull. Of these additional human skeletal remains, the 
skull, after being most carefully disengaged from the 
rock and reconstructed, has been thoroughly studied and 
the results published by Weidenreich. 

The origin of the travertine units at and near Weimar 
has been attributed to precipitation of lime from waters 
furnished by mineral springs. The formation of the de- 
posits was evidently very gradual, leaving an ample op- 
portunity for human habitation about the pools. As to 
their dates, German geologists ascribe the lower layers of 
the travertine to the last (Riss-Wiirm) interglacial; the 
upper limestone layers are doubtless more recent. 

The 1925 skull specimen presents some of the distinctly 
Neanderthaloid characteristics, such as a complete and 
still rather heavy torus and the somewhat protruding 
broad occiput, flattened from above and hollowed out 
below, typical of the Neanderthal crania. But with these 
inferior features there is a higher and well-arched forehead, 



a higher vault, a better developed mastoid, a less heavy 
zygoma, and a parietal with a central rather than posterior 
though still low-placed eminence. 

Doctor Hrdlicka's examination of the Ehringsdorf 
originals, coupled with the study of the most recent skull 
and implements of which there are able descriptions, led 
him to the following views: 

The originals in Weimar and the many fine illustrations 
of the artifacts in Schuster's report (1928) show plainly, 
especially in the knives and scrapers, Mousterian affini- 
ties. But the long and the fine points, including the re- 
markable double-point, the drills, and other objects, sug- 
gest further developments. There is certainly nothing 
very primitive about the culture, though a few of the 
worked stones are rather crude or simple. 

Similarly with the human skeletal remains — they are 
certainly not more primitive than those of the Neander- 
thalers. They are on the whole less primitive, in fact, 
than the Neanderthal remains proper, or those from 
La Chapelle or Le Moustier, or the adult from Gibraltar. 

The quarry work at Ehringsdorf proceeds, and with the 
intelligent interest of the owners, the overseers, and even 
the workmen, in the finds, and with the aid of Herr Lindig, 
it seems reasonable to hope that new discoveries will 
throw additional light on the highly interesting problems 
of the ancient Ilmstal population. 

The Fossil Man of La Chapelle-aux-Saints 

One of the most interesting, best authenticated, and, 
thanks to Marcellin Boule, now best-known skeletons 
of early man, is that of "the fossil man of La Chapelle- 

La Chapelle-aux-Saints is a small village in the De- 
partment of Correze, near the railroad station of Vayrac, 
south of the town of Brive, in southern France. Some 
200 yards from the village and beyond the left bank of 
the small stream, the Sourdoire, in the side of a moderate 



elevation, is a cave, now known as that of La Chapelle- 
aux-Saints. In 1905, archeological exploration of this 
cave was undertaken by three Correze priests, the Abbes 
A. and J. Bouyssonie and L. Bardon. These explorations, 
which from the beginning were successful, resulting in 
the recovery of numerous industrial and other vestiges of 
Paleolithic man, progressed gradually until the uniform 
archeological stratum was nearly exhausted, when, on 
August 3, 1908, in the floor of the cave, the excavators 
came across a shallow artificial fossa in which lay rem- 
nants of the bones of a remarkable human skeleton. 

The human bones were carefully gathered and sent to 
Professor Boule, at the Museum of Natural History, Paris, 
where they were cleaned and as far as possible restored. 
The following December Professor Boule demonstrated 
the skull, giving at the same time the first account of the 
find, before the Paris Academy of Sciences. One week 
later, MM. Bouyssonie and Bardon presented before 
the Academy their own observations, and these reports 
were followed at short intervals by several others before 
the same scientific body. 

Subsequently the skull and other parts of the skeleton 
were subjected by Professor Boule to a thorough study 
and comparison (Fig. 20). The results of his work were 
published in a series of communications extending through 
the sixth, seventh, and eighth volumes of the Annales de 
Paleontologies and in 19 13 they were issued in a large 
individual volume. 

These various reports show that the cave of La Chapelle- 
aux-Saints is a moderate-sized and rather low cavity, 
about 6 m. (19 ft.) long, 2 to 4 m. (6 to 13 ft.) broad, and 
I to 1.50 m. (3 to 4.5 ft.) high. When first approached 
it was seen to be nearly filled with old accumulations, 
which later disclosed numerous traces of man, and with 
debris of the rock from the roof and sides. 

The stratigraphy of the cave was found to be quite 
simple. There was but one fossiliferous layer, of Pleisto- 



cene age, laid down apparently after the excavation of 
the fossa that contained the skeleton. 
The worked flints and quartz gathered from this layer 

Fig. 20. Skeletons of Neanderthal man (from La Chapelle-aux-Saints) and 
of a modern Australian native, drawn to same scale. After Boule 

reached over 1,000 in number. They showed careful and 
able work. They comprised especially the two classical 
Mousterian types, points and scrapers, and their deriva- 



tives. There were also a few instruments of Acheulian 
type, and a number of well-chipped blades as well as other 
forms that presaged the Aurignacian. There was no 
trace, however, of any worked bone. 

The animal bones show generally signs of intentional 
breaking, for the marrow; some show also traces of fire 
or marks of implements. The following species have 
been identified: 

Woolly rhinoceros Fox 

Spotted hyena Badger 

Reindeer Horse 

Ibex Wild boar 

Extinct bison Marmot 

This is a cold fauna, referable to the last glaciation. 

Under the accumulations the floor of the cavern was 
found to be a whitish, hard, calcareous deposit. In this 
hard base, at a distance of a little over four meters from 
the entrance of the cave, was found a nearly rectangular, 
moderate-sized cavity, 1.45 m. long, i m. broad, and 30 
cm. deep, which lodged a fossil human skeleton. The de- 
pression, in the opinion of the explorers, had clearly been 
made for the body by the primitive inhabitants or visi- 
tors of the cave, and the whole represents a regular burial, 
the most ancient intentional burial thus far discovered. 

The body lay apparently on its back, with the head 
to the westward. The head reposed against the wall of 
the fossa in one corner and was surrounded by stones. 
The left arm was extended, the right bent probably so 
that the hand was applied to or lay near the head. The 
lower limbs were flexed. Above the head were found 
three or four large flat fragments of long bones of animals, 
and somewhat higher there lay, still in their natural rela- 
tion, the foot bones of a large ox or bison, suggesting that 
the whole foot of the animal may have been placed in that 
position, perhaps as an ofi^ering to the dead. About the 
body in the fossa were numerous flakes of quartz and 



flint, some fragments of ocher, broken animal bones, etc., 
much as in the rest of the archeological stratum above 
the skeleton. To the right of the fossa containing the 
skeleton were many large fragments of various animal 
bones, jaws, and vertebrae of the reindeer, and verte- 
brae of a large ox or bison, with some very well-made 
implements of flint. The last-named vertebrae and the 
flint implements were covered by two large blocks of stone; 
above these stones, at the side wall of the cave, the earth 
showed the efl^ects of fire, but it was not possible to de- 
termine whether this was of the same date as the deposits 
or the human burial beneath. There was no indication 
that the deposits in the cave had been moved in any way 
since the burial of the human body. 

On taking out the human bones, it was found that 
through decay or other causes many were defective and 
that some parts of the skeleton were lost. What remained 
comprised the skull, almost complete, with the lower jaw; 
twenty-one vertebrae or pieces of them; twenty ribs or 
their fragments; an incomplete left clavicle; the two 
humeri, almost complete; the two radii and the two ulnae, 
all more or less defective; a few bones of the hands and 
feet; portions of the pelvic bones; fragments of the right 
femur (from which it is possible to reconstruct the bone) 
and the lower half of the left femur; the two patellae; and 
parts of the tibiae. 

The state of preservation of the specimens is exactly 
like that of the animal bones recovered from the deposits 
about the burial fossa. They are ferruginous in color, 
heavier than any corresponding recent human bones, and 
very perceptibly mineralized. 

The skull, except for the sexual difl^erences, comes close 
in many respects to that of Gibraltar; it is also closely 
related to that of Neanderthal; but, except for the vault 
of No. I, it is distinctly more primitive than the Spy crania, 
particularly in its facial portions and the lower jaw. 

The characteristics that strike one most forcibly at 



first sight about the La Chapelle cranium are the lowness 
and the large size, especially the length, of the vault; the 
huge supraorbital arch; primitive features of the face; 
and the large and primitive lower jaw. 

The La Chapelle skull, as a whole, is plainly one of 
the more typical representatives of Neanderthal man. 
Its closest relations, particularly in the facial portion, are 
with the skull of Gibraltar. It approaches in many es- 
sentials the human skull of today; yet it carries still many 
remnants of the prehuman past. It belonged to a male 
of short stature but very muscular, massive frame, which 
doubtless accounts in great measure for the large brain 
(Plate 38). 

For the nontechnical reader, the most vivid impres- 
sions of the similarity of the La Chapelle skeleton to 
others of Neanderthal man, and of its differences, on the 
other hand, from skeletons of modern Europeans, will 
be gathered from the accompanying illustrations where 
these comparisons are displayed. 

The Remains of La Ferrassie 

"La Ferrassie" is the name of a rock-shelter close to a 
hamlet of that name, near Le Bugue, Dordogne, France. 
The locality belongs to the general region of the Vezere 
and Les Eyzies. 

In this rather exposed rock-shelter M. Peyrony with 
some associates discovered in September, 1909, a human 
skeleton of Neanderthal affinities. The discovery was 
announced by the Academy of Inscriptions on November 
10, 1909, and was shortly afterward published in the 
Revue de VEcole d'Anthropologie. 

M. Peyrony had been exploring the rock-shelter and 
its prehistoric deposits for ten years. The excavations 
showed that the spacious shelter had been inhabited for 
a very long time by successive prehistoric populations 
and that each group of these left behind a layer of its 
kitchen refuse with its special stone industry. 



Above, side view of skull of the Neanderthal man of La Chapelle-aux- 
Saints. Note the loss of most of the teeth during life, due principally 
to old age. Below, modern skull (left), compared with that of La 
Chapelle; brain-cases shaded to bring out the contrast. After Boule 


Almvc, skull of male sktrletcm tduntl at La Ferrassie. Note the ap- 
proach of the lower jaw and chin to the modern type. Below, skull 
of the youth of Le Moustier. After Boule 


From its top to the base it was possible to identify the 
following horizons: 

1. Upper Aurignacian 

2. Middle Aurignacian 

3. Lower Aurignacian 

4. Mousterian 

5. Acheulian 

After the Middle Aurignacian the roof of the shelter 
fell down, and on the rocks and between them accumu- 
lated the debris of the Upper Aurignacian. Above this, 
reaching to the surface, was a layer of over twelve feet 
of humus and gravel. 

The first skeleton was discovered by M. Peyrony in 
the lower part of the Mousterian deposits. The explorer, 
with Professor Capitan and another companion, removed 
just enough of the bones to satisfy themselves that they 
were human and then notified Professors Boule, Car- 
tailhac, and Breuil, besides several local prehistorians, 
of the find; and it was in the presence of these, on Sep- 
tember 27, that the skeleton was carefully uncovered and 
disengaged from its deposits (Plate 39 A). 

The several cultural layers of the shelter were easily 
distinguished at sight, owing to their different coloration, 
and definitely so by their fauna and industry. The 
Mousterian layer, besides its characteristic stone indus- 
try, yielded an abundance of the bones of the bison, the 
stag, and the horse, with occasional parts of other later 
Quaternary animals. 

As the explorers removed the upper layers and most of 
the Mousterian deposit, they found three flat stones, 
placed one above the skull and the two others over the 
shoulders or chest of the skeleton. Over the whole space 
inclosing the skeleton the deposits contained a consid- 
erably greater number of large fragments of animal 
bones than were found elsewhere. A piece of a bone 
lying just above the skeleton shows a series of fine inten- 



tional gravings reminiscent of the graved bones of the 
Aurignacian layers. 

The accumulations about the skeleton contained also 
a large number of very well-worked flints of the Mous- 
terian type. Such flints were found above, about, and 
even beneath the skeleton, those beneath being mixed 
up with flints showing Acheulian industry. 

The work uncovered a whole skeleton in position, 
though numerous parts, particularly of the thorax and 
the spine, had been destroyed or damaged by the pressure 
of the superimposed deposits. The skeleton lay on its 
back, slightly inclined to the left and in a contracted 
position, with the legs bent against the thighs and the 
thighs half flexed upon the body, the left arm extended 
by the side, the right flexed. The skull lay on its left 
side, and the lower jaw was considerably separated in 
front from the upper, as if the mouth had been wide open. 

All the bones of the skeleton, though damaged, " were 
still in their proper anatomical positions; only the smaller 
bones of the feet and the right hand had been displaced, 
probably by small animals. The bones were removed 
with all possible precautions, in some cases with blocks 
of the deposits, and were thus transferred to Professor 
Boule's laboratory in the Paris Museum of Natural His- 
tory, where eventually they were cleaned and studied 
and where they are now preserved. 

The consensus of opinion of those present was that the 
remains represented a regular intentional human burial. 
The three flat stones and the broken animal bones had 
probably been placed designedly over the skeleton. It 
was believed, however, that there had been no burial 
fossa, the body having been placed on the old (Acheulian) 
surface and covered with broken bones, debris, and per- 
haps skins and branches, to become in the course of time 
buried by kitchen refuse and newer accumulations. 

The explorations in the La Ferrassie rock-shelter con- 
tinuing, the work of M. Peyrony and his associates re- 



suited within the next year in additional discoveries of 
human remains. These consisted of another skeleton of 
an adult, in poorer condition; and of several burials of 
infants, in which, however, the bones have mostly dis- 

This second skeleton was discovered in September, 
1910. It lay in the middle of the same Mousterian layer, 
five feet from the rocky wall of the shelter, and with the 
head only twenty inches from that of the first skeleton. 
It lay at the same level and in the same axis as the latter, 
but in an inverse position, the heads approaching each 
other and the bodies extending in opposite directions. 
The second body had also been flexed and lay on its right 
side, the hands resting on the knees. 

The bones of the lower members were fairly well pre- 
served; those of the upper limbs, partially; but of the 
thorax there were but few remnants. 

The skull of No. i, relatively well preserved, is plainly 
that of a male; the skull of No. 2, defective, is that of a 
female. The male was about middle-aged, the female 
an adult of uncertain age. The brain portion of the male 
skull is striking because of its size, for it appears to be at 
least as large as that of La Chapelle. It belonged to a 
male taller but somewhat less muscular than the latter 
specimen. The second skull was evidently of but moder- 
ate proportions and belonged to a short female. 

In form the skull of La Ferrassie No. i resembles in 
many respects that of La Chapelle, but it also diflf"ers 
from the latter in some points, including a somewhat less 
primitive face. The vault is large and spacious, and in 
all important respects much like that of the La Chapelle 
cranium. The supraorbital arch, the forehead, the low 
vault, the occiput, the far-back position of the parietal 
fossae, all are close to those of La Chapelle. 

The face presents, below the heavy arches, similarly 
inclined orbits as in that of La Chapelle, similar relatively 
small and sloping malars with broad frontal processes 



and stout zygomata, and similar fullness of the suborbital 
(canine) surface. The nose is broad. The facial prog- 
nathism is not excessive. The dental arch is large, the 
palate approaches U shape. The teeth, all present, are 
stout; the crowns are worn, especially anteriorly, where 
the pulp cavities are exposed. The lower jaw, although 
large, is distinctly nearer to the modern type than are 
the other Neanderthal jaws with the exception of Spy 
No. I. It shows clearly the beginning of a chin. 

The intracranial cast of the male skull from La Fer- 
rassie is reported by M. Boule to be "at least as large as 
that of the specimen of La Chapelle-aux-Saints." 

The two skeletons show marked sexual differences. 
No. I being that of a fairly tall male (for a Neanderthaler), 
while No. 2 is that of a low-statured woman. Many parts 
of both skeletons are absent or more or less imperfect. 
The bones that remain resemble in essentials those of the 
La Chapelle, Neanderthal, and Spy skeletons; though 
there are also some differences in which some of the 
parts, such as the scapulae, are even a trace more primi- 
tive than the corresponding bones of other Neanderthalers, 
while others show more similarity to recent types. 

The La Quina Remains 

Two important skeletons and fragments of several 
others have been found by Dr. Henri Martin and his 
family at La Quina, Department of Charente, France. 
The first, discovered September 18, 191 1, was found 
in clayey sand near the ancient bed of the small river 
Voultron, among Mousterian deposits. The clayey sand 
contained worked stones and bones showing human 
touch, but none of the handsome pieces characteristic of 
the later Mousterian. Various bones of prehistoric ani- 
mals were found near by. The human remains appear 
to be those of a woman of Neanderthal type. 

While Doctor Martin was serving as surgeon in the 
French army, Mme. Martin and a young son supervised 

[ 122] 


further investigation of the deposits and discovered on 
August 23, 1915, a unique skull of a Neanderthal child 
about eight years of age. It belongs to the later Mous- 
terian period, and, though approaching the Neanderthal 
features with relatively low skullcap and with supra- 

La Qujna -^— — — 

Neanderthal ^Py {• 

LaChape/h •^Py '^ ■ --7 

Pilhecanthrope .♦.«..♦.♦. Arabe mod '+-»■» + 

Fig. 21. Outline of five Neanderthal skulls compared with Pithecanthropus, or 

Java man, and a modern Arab. Note close grouping in intermediate position 

of Neanderthalers. After Henri Martin 

orbital ridges already well marked in spite of the owner's 
youth, there is a good cranial capacity. The lower jaw 
is missing. 

Doctor Martin is one of the most persevering as well 
as able workers in French prehistory. His summer 
chateau is near La Quina; and for over twenty years, 
except during the war, he has spent most of his spare 
time in the exploration of the deposits and in the cleaning, 
repair, and study of both the cultural and the skeletal 
remains recovered. Of the cultural and faunal remains 

[ 123] 


there were vast quantities, reaching into the hundreds 
of thousands; yet every flint and every fragment has 
passed through Doctor Martin's hands and been examined 
by him, the only assistance he has had outside of labor 
being that furnished by members of his own family. And 
all this work at his personal expense. As Doctor Hrdlicka 
says, may prehistory have more Henri Martins! 

The excavations at La Quina have been visited by prob- 
ably more prehistorians than has any other site of primi- 
tive man, aside from those in the Vezere valley. The 
"station" is easily accessible and relatively easily worked, 
though all the work must be done in the open and is made 
difficult by the great quantities of fallen rock and debris 
from what were probably in olden times more or less over- 
hanging rock-shelters. 

The quantity of archeological material and of animal 
bones recovered from La Quina is such that it has sup- 
plied many European and even some American museums. 
The archeological material is clearly Mousterian, and 
in general shows much differentiation as well as improve- 
ment from below upwards; but the determination of 
definite strata, except in the case of the very lowest one, 
seems difficult. There was evidently a very long-con- 
tinued occupation attended with local developments. 

The fauna of the Mousterian layers of La Quina, as 
determined by Doctor Martin, consists essentially of the 
following forms: 

Mammoth (scarce) Cave bear 

Horse Wolf 

Wild boar Hyena 

Reindeer A large feline 

Deer (large) Blue fox 

Marmot Small rodents 
Birds (including vulture) 

It is throughout a cold fauna; there are no traces, even 
in or beneath the lowest cultural layer, of animals of a 
warm period. 

[ 124] 


The Moustier Man 

It is appropriate that the site which lends its name to 
the culture of Neanderthal times should at length have 
yielded a specimen of human remains, the so-called ''Homo 
mousteriensisy The skeleton is preserved in the addi- 
tion to the Ethnological Museum at Berlin, where Doctor 
HrdHcka saw it in 1923 and again in 1927. It was dis- 
covered in March, 1908, by O. Hauser, during archeo- 
logical excavations in what is known as "the lower 
Moustier cave," or "Paleolithic station No. 44," at Le 
Moustier, in the valley of the Vezere, Department of 
Dordogne, France, and was purchased from Herr Hauser 
for the Berlin Museum. 

The cave, or more properly rock-shelter, when exca- 
vated, gave numerous evidences of man's occupation but 
no human bones. The skeleton was discovered in the 
terrace in front of the cave, almost vertically below its 
entrance. It lay about three feet deep, and no disturbance 
in the superimposed deposits was noticeable. 

The human bones were uncovered with great care in 
the presence of responsible witnesses, then covered again 
with earth and left in situ for several months, though 
shown during this time to a number of visitors. On 
August 8 they were exposed for Virchow, von der Steinen, 
Klaatsch, and other scientific men, and finally, two days 
afterwards, in the presence of Professor Klaatsch, they 
were taken with the utmost precautions from the deposits. 

The skeleton, it appears, lay on its side in a natural 
extended position, with the right hand under the occiput, 
the left extended along the body. About the body and 
among the bones were found seventy-four worked flints, 
ten of which were of a well-defined form. On the skull 
rested a charred bone of a wild bull and in the neighbor- 
hood of the thorax lay a tooth of the same animal. Besides 
this, forty-five other fragments of animal bones were 
gathered in close vicinity to the human remains. 



The examination of the human bones was begun on 
the spot by Klaatsch and continued after the removal of 
the remains to Germany, resulting in the following con- 
clusions by this author: 

The skeleton belongs to an adolescent of perhaps six- 
teen years of age and probably of the male sex. The 
height of the boy, as estimated from the long bones, was 
probably 1,45 to 1,50 meters (4 feet 9 inches to 4 feet 
II inches). 

The skull, notwithstanding the youth of the subject, 
shows a number of characteristics which are peculiar to 
the Neanderthal group. While of good size, with the 
bones of the vault only moderately thick and of fair 
height, it shows nevertheless a rather low and sloping 
forehead; a well-marked complete supraorbital arch, or 
torus, which later in life would doubtless have become 
much more prominent; relatively large dental arches, 
with decidedly large and somewhat primitive teeth; a 
massive lower jaw with no chin eminence; and other 
interesting features (Plate 39 B). 

The long bones and others, as far as preserved, possess 
numerous primitive characteristics. Especially notice- 
able among these are the relatively large extremities, 
particularly the head of the femur; a strong development 
of the external condyle of the femur; the peculiar arching 
of the femur; and the very marked curvature of the 
radius. Klaatsch reached the conclusion that the skeleton 
belongs undoubtedly to the Homo neanderthalensis variety 
of early European man. 

The Galilee Skull 

In 1925 the British School of Archeology in Jerusalem 
decided upon the exploration of certain caves in Galilee, 
and the work was intrusted to Mr. F. Turville-Petre, 
who during a previous season had made a preliminary 
survey of the area. The main site explored by Mr. Petre 
during the year was what is now often referred to as the 



"Galilee Cave," and in this cave at a depth of 6>^ feet 
toward the lower limit of a Paleolithic horizon, were found 
parts of a Neanderthaloid human skull. The main details 
of the discovery, since published, are as follows: 

Entering the ravine of the Wadi el 'Amud and walking some 150 m. 
up stream, a cave known as the Mugharet-el-Zuttiyeh is to be seen 
high up in the cliffs to the north of the stream. The stream at this 
point is not more than 3 m. wide, and the width of the ravine from 
base to base of the cliffs might be estimated at about 15 m. The 
cave, a natural limestone formation, is situated at the base of a pre- 
cipitous wall of rock, facing south-west; the cliff, which rises to a 
height of some 20 m. above the entrance, renders it inaccessible from 
the plateau above; while from below, the cave, the modern floor of 
which lies some 40 m. above the level of the stream, is approached 
by a steep, rocky slope. . . . 

No flint implements, or other evidences of habitation, were to be 
seen either on the floor of the cave or on the slope which led up to it, 
but its size and convenience as a place of habitation, together with 
the impregnability of its situation, seemed to merit the digging of a 
trial trench through the debris which had accumulated during gen- 
erations of use as a stabling for goats. 

A preliminary trench was dug from the mouth of the cave inwards 
to the back wall, running some 2.5 m. north-west of the medial line 
of the cave. For the first 120 cm. the deposits were of comparatively 
recent origin, yielding fragments of bone and potsherds, among which 
Late Roman and Byzantine types predominated, but at a depth of 
120 cm., towards the front of the cave, a layer was reached composed 
of large blocks of rock apparently fallen from the roof, and from 
below these blocks some fragments of bone in a highly mineralized 
state were obtained; also a small coup-de-poing of Middle Paleolithic 
type and a few chert flakes of indeterminable form. 

The deposits of the cave showed eventually a number 
of distinguishable layers. The layers of approximately 
the upper four feet showed that the cave had served latest 
of all as a sheep stable; below this and up to about 3>2 
feet in depth were signs of human occupation extending 
to the Early Bronze or Neolithic Period. At a depth of 
about 3>^ feet a layer of fallen rock was found over the 
central area of the cave. 

[ 127] 


Below this layer of rock there was a marked change in the character 
of the deposits. They were here composed of a fine reddish, clayey 
earth, which was comparatively dry; the bone fragments which they 
contained were hard and heavy, reddish in colour, and gave out a 
sharp metallic sound when tapped. This layer averaged 90 cm. in 
thickness, and rested on another consisting of yellowish sand, con- 
taining water-rolled pebbles. Throughout the layer were blocks of 
fallen rock, but they never formed a continuous layer, as they had 
done at a depth of about 120 cm. . . . Fortunately only a small part 
of the deposits had thus become hardened, and throughout the layer 
numerous fragments of bone and many worked flints in good condi- 
tion were found. . . . No implements were found anywhere above 
the dividing layer of rock, showing conclusively that the deposits had 
undergone no serious disturbance since their deposition. 

Towards the bottom of this layer of Paleolithic occupation, at a 
depth of 2 m. below the modern floor level, were four fragments of a 
human skull. . . . They were lying in a shallow depression formed 
by irregularities in the cave floor, and were covered by two blocks of 
rock apparently fallen from the roof. The frontal bone has been 
separated from the skull to which it originally belonged along the line 
of suture, and there is nothing to indicate that the separation was 
produced by force, or least of all to suggest that the individual may 
have been killed by the fall of the rocks beneath which the fragments 
lay. Nor was there anything in the position of the bones and ar- 
rangements of the blocks of rock to suggest an intentional burial. It 
is difficult to surmise what may have become of the rest of the skull. 
Careful sieving of all the earth taken from the surrounding area and 
from numerous other parts of the layer failed to disclose any further 
human remains. The fact that the four fragments, namely, the 
frontal bone, part of the right zygomatic bone, and two fragments of 
the sphenoid, were all found together, indicating that they have be- 
come separated since reaching their final resting-place, seems to pre- 
clude the probability of their having been washed into the cave from 
outside, for in such a process the projecting sphenoid portions would 
almost inevitably have become detached; nor is it possible that they 
could have fallen through from a higher level, for if so, how did they 
come to lie beneath two large blocks of rock, themselves entirely 
covered by Paleolithic deposits? The bone itself is in a hard, highly 
mineralized state, extremely heavy and reddish in colour, in fact in 
every way similar to the other bone fragments found in the layer; 
it diflfers absolutely from the soft light pieces of a yellowish colour 
found in the superior layers. 

In 1926 the work in the cave was finished, without fur- 
ther discoveries of note. Sections through the water-laid 





The Galilee skull. This fragment shows that Mousterian man was 
not confined to the continent of Europe. After Keith 


Restoration of Neanderthal man, showing especially the shape and 
carriage of the head. Courtesy of the Field Museum of Natural 



deposits below the Paleolithic layer showed no earlier 
traces of occupation, human or animal. 

The fauna recovered from the Paleolithic layer, as de- 
termined by Miss Bate, was in the main as follows: 

Hippopotamus Leopard (?) 

Bison or ox Wild Cat (?) 

Horse Lynx 

Brown bear (?) Porcupine 

Striped hyena (?) Deer 

Spotted hyena Fallow deer 

Pig Gazelle (2 kinds) 

Fox Extinct goat (2 kinds) 

The stone implements, of flint and chert, show essen- 
tially Mousterian affinities. There are also, however, 
some short and some long blades and a few other imple- 
ments that resemble somewhat later types. 

One of the most interesting facts disclosed by the study of the 
animal remains from the Emireh and Zuttiyeh Caves is the definite 
association of Hippopotamus with a Middle Palaeolithic culture, and 
the probable association of Rhinoceros hemitoechus with a slightly later 
culture. This seems to point to the fact that there has not been any 
great faunal change in this region between the Mousterian and the 
following period. The fact that this rhinoceros is R. hemitoechus and 
that this species also occurs in Syria is highly important, emphasizing 
the absence of evidence of a so-called cold fauna. 

Below the Middle Palaeolithic occupation layers of the Zuttiyeh 
Cave "African" types are represented by the spotted hyaena {H. 
crocuta} and perhaps by a river hog {Potamochoerus)\ these were as- 
sociated with a large form of brown bear (Ursus arctos), a typically 
Palaearctic animal. 

There can be no doubt that the Galilee skull belongs to 
the Neanderthal group; but many points, including the 
accompanying industry as well as fauna, indicate that it 
belongs probably well forward in this group. Morpho- 
logically, the shape of the forehead, the height of the vault, 
the size and form of the orbits, and other characteristics, 
as well as the general features of the brain, point toward 
later man, while there is still enough to connect the speci- 
men with the far past (Plate 41). 

[ 129] 


Explorations In Palestine, thus auspiciously initiated, 
will continue; some new undertakings are in fact now 
(early in 1929) under way; and Palestine, with other parts 
of Asia Minor, may give much that will complement, 


Fio. 22. Profile views of the skulls of a modern European, a modern Australian, 
a Neanderthaler (the man of La Chapelle-aux-Saints), and a chimpanzee. After 


and perhaps improve, our understanding of conditions in 
western Europe. 

Such are some of the most important discoveries of 
human remains of Neanderthal type associated with the 
Mousterian culture. They have been found over a wide 
range in Europe and Asia. Animals of cold or arctic habit 
accompany them. 

Though displaying certain variations of anatomy, the 
Neanderthal remains present on the whole so well-marked 
a type as fully to deserve assignment to the species Homo 
neanderthalensis rather than to the modern Homo sapiens. 
Indeed it has been remarked by several zoologists that, 
if characters so different occurred in animals other than 
man, they would warrant assignment to a different genus. 

[ 130] 


Prof. Marcellin Boule has concisely summed up the 
anatomical peculiarities of Neanderthal man as follows 
(Plate 42): 

Body of short stature, but very massive. Head very large, with 
facial region much developed in comparison with cerebral region. 
Cephalic index medium. Skull much flattened; orbital arches enor- 

Fic. 23. Modern (left) and Neanderthaler (right) head forms compared. The 
Gibraltar skull was used as a basis for the drawing of the Neanderthal type, a 
lower jaw being modeled from one of those found at Spy. Modified from Keith 

mous, forming a continuous ridge; forehead very receding; occiput 
protuberant and compressed in a vertical direction. 

Face long and projecting, with flat and receding malar bones, upper 
jaw lacking canine fossae and forming a kind of muzzle. Orbits very 
large and round. Nose prominent and very large. Subnasal space 

Lower jaw strong and chinless, with large ascending rami, and 
truncated in the region of the angle. Dentition massive, structure 
of back molars retaining certain primitive characters. 

Vertebral column and limb bones showing numerous simian char- 
acters and indicating a less perfect bipedal or upright carriage than 
in modern man. Legs very short. 

Brain capacity averaging about 1,450 cubic centimeters. Brain 
formation presenting numerous primitive or simian characters, espe- 
cially in the relatively great reduction of the frontal lobes and the 
general pattern of the convolutions. 



A comparative study of the morphology of various living 
human groups confirms the idea that we are here con- 
cerned with an altogether special type, very different not 
only from the so-called superior races but also from the 
Eskimo, the Fuegians, the Bushmen, the Pygmies, African 
or Asiatic, the Veddas, the Polynesians, the Melanesians, 
and even from the Australians, with whom attempts at 
comparison have often been made. 

The skeleton of the last-mentioned racial type is as dis- 
similar as possible to that of Neanderthal man. It can no 
longer be asserted that the Australians are descended from 
our Mousterians; indeed, the idea of this relationship 
would probably not have occurred to the mind of the 
early observers, if in place of having only a skullcap they 
had had the opportunity of examining a complete skull 
with its facial portion. All that can be admitted in this 
respect is that the x'\ustralian group of men, certainly one 
of the least developed groups of modern mankind, is less 
far removed than other races from the primitive forms, 
and that in consequence, it ought to have certain char- 
acteristics in common with the Neanderthal type. Per- 
chance our Mousterians led the same wandering life as 
the modern Australians. 


In this and the preceding chapter we have described at 
some length various discoveries of remains of Neanderthal 
man. We have been more particular regarding these 
skeletal remains because, in contrast to earlier periods, 
numerous Neanderthal specimens have already been dis- 
covered and exhaustively studied, so that the Neander- 
thalers represent the earliest race of men to disclose for 
us in any degree of thoroughness the anatomical charac- 
teristics of man. 

Neanderthal man, as we have intimated, was closely, 
if not indeed exclusively, associated with the Mousterian 
type of human culture. This seems to have spread over 

[ 13^] 


Europe and certain other portions of the Old World, 
probably toward the close of the third interglacial epoch, 
when the climate was growing colder and more moist. 
With the advent of the last great glacial stage, that of 
the Wiirm, Neanderthal man was compelled to take up 
the life of a cave dweller. 

Of the Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal cave dwellers, 
we have a number of more or less complete skeletons, but 
for still earlier culture stages, the Acheulian and others, 
human skeletal remains almost fail us, for the reasons 
given in Chapter VI, Even so, intensively studied as they 
have been, they throw no little light on the remoter past 
of our race and deserve our attention. 



The Piltdown Remains 

We have already mentioned the Piltdown race in connec- 
tion with Sir x'^rthur Keith's interesting experiment. The 
race to which this individual belonged has been named 
Eoanthropus dawsoni^ or "Dawson's dawn man," in honor 
of its discoverer, Charles Dawson. Between 1908 and 
19 1 2, laborers, digging in the ancient gravels of the river 
Ouse, at Piltdown, in southeastern England, found the 
fossil remains of a human skull of most unusual character. 
Not realizing the importance of their find at first, how- 
ever, they permitted the fragments to be scattered about. 
At length it was brought to the attention of Mr. Dawson, 
and his careful and painstaking researches brought to light 
at various times several fragments. These consisted of 
certain portions of the skull itself, a pair of nasal bones, a 
portion of a lower jaw, and a canine tooth. Mr. Dawson 
kept up his search for additional remains. Early in 1915 
he discovered, some two miles from the first site, two 
fragments of a skull of similar type and a lower left molar 

With the earlier remains were found worn fossils of 
mastodon, rhinoceros, and Stegodon, evidently washed out 
of Pliocene formations, as well as others probably of early 
Pleistocene age, among them hippopotamus, beaver, and 
elk. From the same gravels came also water-worn 



"eoliths," which may likewise have been washed out from 
an older formation; and rare flints with "obvious signs of 
human workmanship," representing a very old type of 
Paleolithic implements. There was also found a large 
crude tool made of the 
femur of an extinct ele- 
phant — by far the earli- 
est bone implement thus 
far known (Fig. 24). 

The discoverers, as well 
as English anthropolo- 
gists in general, regard 
the first group of finds as 
those of a single indi- 
vidual and all of them 
together as belonging to 
one very early form of 
man, the Eoanthropus^ or 
"dawn man." 

Taking all the circum- 
stances of the find into 
consideration. Sir A. 
Smith Woodward, of the 
British Museum, who had 
been associated with the 
discovery almost from 
the very first, decided 
that the skull and mandi- 
ble could not safely be 
"described as being of 
earlier date than the first 
half of the Pleistocene Epoch. The individual probably 
lived during a warm cycle in that age." In 1922, in his 
Guide to the Fossil Remains of Man, the same authority 
states: "So far as can be judged from present evidence, it is 
therefore reasonable to suppose that Piltdown man dates 
back to the beginning of the Pleistocene period." It is 


Fig. 24. Bone implement from Piltdown, 
England, made from the thigh bone of an 
elephant. A is the inner surface; B, the 
rounded outer surface; and C, the edge; b, 
an accidentally broken hollow; c, a natural 
break due to pressure in the gravel; p, the 
inner wall of a perforation from which the 
outer wall has been broken away; and x, 
the beginning of another perforation never 
completed. After Smith Woodward 


only fair to say, however, that there has been much 
divergence of opinion among EngHsh, French, and Amer- 
ican scientists as to the period to which the Piltdown re- 
mains are to be assigned. But all are agreed that they 
are extremely ancient and date from a very early period in 
the Ice Age, or Pleistocene period, if not indeed from the 
still earlier Pliocene. 

The Piltdown skull is plainly that of an adult, probably 
a female, of over thirty years of age. One of the most 
striking things about it is its extraordinary thickness; its 
walls measure from eight to twelve millimeters, or roughly 
twice the thickness of an average modern European 

From the fragments of the cranium, together with the 
portion of the lower jaw and the loose canine, a number of 
prominent authorities have attempted with infinite pains 
to reconstruct the whole skull. The principal efforts of 
this sort are those of Sir A. Smith Woodward, of Dr. Elliot 
Smith, of Sir Arthur Keith, and of J. H. McGregor of 
New York. These reconstructions differ somewhat in size 
and in details, but all agree in regard to certain char- 

In the opinion of Smith Woodward, a detailed examina- 
tion of the bones of the skull as far as preserved "proves 
the typically human character of nearly all the features 
they exhibit." Keith believes that "except for the thick- 
ness of the skull bones, the head was shaped and balanced 
as in us." It is a skull that "in its general conformation 
does not differ materially from human skulls of the modern 
type" (Fig. 25). 

The capacity of the skull has been estimated by the 
different authors who attempted its reconstruction as 


Second Smith Woodward 1.300 c.c. 

Elliot Smith 1,200 c.c. 

Keith 1 ,400 c.c. 



Restoration of Piltdown man (the "Dawn Man"); shown using 
an eolith. Modeled by Mascre under the direction of Rutot 


The various 
show that: 

1. The skull, 
taken as female, 
was in size above 
rather than below 
the present aver- 
age of fern ale 

2. T h e skull 
cavity, and hence 
the size of the 
brain, were about 
the average of the 
ordinary white fe- 
males of today. 

3. The vault of 
the skull was not 
low as in all the 
other known early 
forms of man. 

In addition it 
is certain that 
the forehead 
was well arched 
and filled out; 
the parietal, 
temporal, and 
occipital re- 
gions were fash- 
ioned practi- 
cally as they 
are in modern 
skulls; the 
ridges were 
very moderate 
and did not 
form a con- 

Fig. 25. Two reconstructions of the Piltdown skull. 

Upper, by Sir Arthur Keith; lower, by John I. Hunter. 

After Elliot Smith 



Fig. 26. Piltdown (A), La Chapelle-aux- 
Saints (B), and modern (C) skulls con- 
trasted. In some ways Piltdown man 
seems nearer the modern type than Nean- 
derthal man (B). After Smith Woodward 

nected arch; there were 
no occipital or other 
crests; the glenoid fossa 
and the mastoids were 
well developed. 

In short this skull, 
though it may have shown 
some secondary inferiori- 
ties, if it were not for 
the exceedingly primitive 
lower jaw and canine 
tooth found near it, would 
inevitably have had to be 
classed with those of 
modern man. 

It is the lower jaw, to- 
gether with the subse- 
quently found canine, 
that has become the great 
"bone of contention" in 
the case. The reason is 
that, as tersely stated by 
Smith Woodward, "while 
the Piltdown skull is thus 
completely human, the 
half of the lower jaw, so 
far as preserved, is almost 
precisely that of an ape." 
And in another place the 
same authority expresses 
the uncertainty thus 

It may next be questioned 
whether this apelike mandible 
belongs to the skull. We can 
only state that its molar teeth 
are typically human, its mus- 



cle-markings are such as might be expected, and it was found in the 
gravel near the skull. The probabilities are therefore in favor of its 
natural association. If so, it is reasonable to suppose that the skull 
will prove to be that of a very primitive type, not that of a highly 
civilized man. 

No other such jaw or anything even approaching it has 
ever been found with such a skull. The two at first sight 
do not belong to the same being or even the same species. 
In other early remains, especially one of the Spy skulls, 
in the La Quina and La Ferrassie specimens, it was the 
jaw rather than the skull that showed a form advancing 
toward the modern. While the probabilities of the 
discovery itself seem overwhelmingly in favor of an 
organic association of the skull with the jaw, the 
morphological features of the specimen, on the other hand, 
are all against it. 

Doctor Hrdlicka sums up his own views on the primi- 
tive mandible in the following words: 

The first strong impression which the specimen conveys 
is that of normality, shapeliness, and relative gracility of 
build rather than massiveness. When, after studying the 
specimen for a good part of two days, the observer took 
in hand the thick Piltdown skull, there was a strong feeling 
of incongruity and lack of relationship, and this feeling 
only grew on further study. As a rule there exists a 
marked correlation between the massivity of the skull — 
particularly if as in this case the upper facial parts were 
involved in the same — and the lower jaw. A finely 
chiseled mandible of medium or submedium strength 
belongs as a rule to a skull that is characterized in the 
same way, and vice versa. To connect the shapely, 
wholly normal Piltdown jaw with the gross, heavy Pilt- 
down skull in the same individual, seems very difficult. 
After prolonged handling of both the jaw and the skull 
there remained in the writer a strong impression that the 
two may not belong together, or that if they do the case 
is totally exceptional. 

[ ^39 ] 


The next important question in connection with the jaw 
was whether or not it was human. All possible pains 
were taken to determine this point, regardless both of the 
skull and of previously expressed opinions. It may as 
well be said at once that all the results of the study point 
to the specimen being a very early man or an advanced 
human precursor, and not an anthropoid ape. 

The jaw is more primitive than any other known jaw 
relating to early man. It still had a marked submentoneal 
shelf, in all probability a large canine, and teeth of ances- 
tral prehuman form. It resembles more or less in a num- 
ber of points the jaws of the chimpanzee, but it differs 
from these in a whole series of points of importance, such 
as the form of the notch; type of coronoid process; sub- 
dued musculature; markedly reduced internal massive- 
ness of body, especially near symphysis; and the most 
important characteristics of the teeth, namely, height of 
crown, height of enamel, nature of "cingulum" and stout- 
ness of cusps — in all of which features it is more nearly if 
not actually human. 

Thus most authorities feel, in view of all this, that it is 
no longer possible to regard the jaw as belonging to a 
chimpanzee or any other anthropoid ape; but that it is 
really the jaw either of man's precursor or of very early 
man himself. Hence Smith Woodward's designation of 
this form as Eoanthropus — a being from the dawn of the 
human period— seems entirely appropriate. 

Portions of at least one other skull of similar type were 
found, it will be recalled, two miles away. These included 
a fragment of the frontal bone and another of the occipital, 
both probably belonging to the same cranium. 

This second specimen makes it certain that in the Pilt- 
down gravels, within a few feet of the surface, there occur 
fossilized skulls nearly if not wholly of modern form, 

[ 140] 


though some, at least, are markedly thicker; and that 
with them are associated very primitive human imple- 
ments, as well as animal fossils of early Pleistocene and 
Pliocene age. The problem is this: Are the skulls, the 
implements, and the animal fossils contemporaneous; or, 
in other words, may the skulls not be intrusive? 

The probabilities all seem to point to the specimens 
being of the same age; but in view of the history of the 
deposition of the gravels, together with some of the un- 
certainties of the find and the apparent incongruity of 
the parts, there is room for no little disagreement. 

The original main problem, the genetic and chronologi- 
cal association of the jaw and the teeth with the two 
skulls, remains much as it was soon after their discovery, 
and no amount of thought, discussion, or even reexamina- 
tion of the specimens can promise, it seems, for the pres- 
ent, definite conclusions. The only hope, as in so many 
other cases of this sort, lies in new and sufficient dis- 

Doctor Hrdlicka concludes: 

In view of all this it must be plain that any far-fetched 
deductions from the Piltdown materials are not justified. 
This applies particularly to the superficially attractive 
conclusion that the Piltdown remains demonstrate the 
existence in the early Pleistocene, and long before the 
Neanderthal and even the Heidelberg forms, of men with 
practically modern-sized and modern-formed skulls and 
brains and directly ancestral to Homo sapiens, or recent 
man. This hypothesis is a proposition that would change 
the whole face and trend of human prehistory, and that 
against all other better substantiated evidence in this 
line. Such a theory, all science will agree, could only 
be established as a fact by the most ample and satisfac- 
tory material demonstration, which is quite impossible 
in the present case. 



The Heidelberg Man 

If so many apparent contradictions and uncertainties 
surround the Piltdown discoveries, nothing of the sort 
attaches to that other extremely ancient specimen, the 
lower jaw of Heidelberg man. 

The Heidelberg, or more properly, Mauer jaw is one 
of the oldest relics of early man. For its preservation and 
thorough description we are indebted to Dr. Otto Schoe- 
tensack, at the time of the discovery professor of anthro- 
pology at Heidelberg University, who for years had been 
watching for human remains in the sand pits near Mauer 
which eventually yielded the specimen. Much credit is 
due also to Herr Joseph Rosch, of Mauer, the owner of 
the sand pits, who saved the jaw from destruction, im- 
mediately brought it to Professor Schoetensack's atten- 
tion, and eventually donated it unselfishly to science. 

The specimen, the lower jaw of an adult male, was dis- 
covered accidentally on October 21, 1907. On the date 
of the find, two of the laborers were working in undis- 
turbed material at the base of the exposure, over eighty 
feet below the surface, when one of them suddenly brought 
out on his shovel part of a massive lower jaw which the 
implement had struck and cut in two. As the men realized 
the importance of carefully preserving all fossils, the 
specimen was handled with some care. The missing half 
was dug out, but the crowns of four of the teeth broken 
by the shovel were not recovered. The men were struck 
at once with the remarkable resemblance of the bones to 
a human lower jaw; but it seemed to them too thick and 
large to be that of man. They called Herr Rosch and he 
also was puzzled; but he saw at once that the specimen 
might be of considerable interest to Professor Schoeten- 
sack, and so took charge of it. Returning to the village he 
telegraphed to the professor, who came the next day; 
and "once he got hold of the specimen, he would no more 
let it out of his possession." He took it to Heidelberg, 



cleaned it, repaired it, and in 1908 published its descrip- 
tion in an exemplary fashion (Plate 45). 

Shortly following the discovery of the jaw a most care- 
ful examination and study were made of the Mauer de- 
posits. They were found to range from recent accumu- 
lations on the surface to Tertiary deposits in the lowest 
layers. The jaw lay a little less than three feet (0.87 
meter) above the floor of the excavation and seventy-nine 
feet (24.1 meters) from the surface. The same level, as 
well as some of the higher layers, yielded fossil bones of the 
straight-tusked elephant, Etruscan rhinoceros, an extinct 
lion, and various other animals. The age of the human 
jaw has been determined by these and later explorations 
to be of the early Quaternary, or Glacial Period, though 
there is still some uncertainty as to the exact subdivision 
of that period to which it should be attributed. 

The original specimen, when seen, impresses one at 
once and strongly with its remarkable character. So com- 
pletely mineralized is it that it resembles limestone rather 
than bone. It is an enormous lower jaw, which presents 
at one and the same time both human and apelike char- 
acteristics (Fig. 27). 

There is no indication of abnormality or any diseased 
condition which might have altered it in shape; on the 
contrary it may be regarded as a perfectly normal repre- 
sentative of its type. The bone is dull yellowish-white 
to reddish in color, with numerous small and large black- 
ish spots. The crowns of the teeth are dirty creamy 
white, with blackish discolorations on the somewhat 
worn-off chewing surfaces of the canines and incisors, 
and a few similar spots over the molars; while all the parts 
of the teeth beneath the enamel are dull red, as if espe- 
cially colored. 

The jaw is considerably larger and stouter than any 
other known human mandible. The ascending rami are 
exceedingly broad, and the coronoid processes, thin and 
sharp in modern man, are thick, dull, broad, and markedly 



Fig. 27. Development of the lower jaw. 
Chimpanzee (A), Piltdown man (B), Heidel- 
berg or Mauer man (C), and modern man (D), 
compared. Note especially the canine teeth 
and the region of the chin. After Smith 

everted. The chin 
slopes backward as in 
no human being now 
known or thus far dis- 
covered, and there are 
other primitive fea- 
tures. The total effect 
of the characteristics of 
the bone is such that, 
had the teeth been 
lost, it would surely 
have been regarded as 
the mandible of some 
large ape rather than 
that of any human 

The teeth of the 
Mauer jaw, however, 
are perfectly preserved, 
and though large and 
provided with great 
roots, and in various 
other ways primitive, 
they are unquestion- 
ably human teeth. 
They show no crowd- 
ing, nor diastemata. 
The labial cusp of the 
anterior premolar was 
decidedly pointed, the 
lingual cusp moderate. 
The teeth force the 
conclusion that their 
possessor, while of 
heavy protruding face, 
huge muscles of masti- 
cation, wide and thick 




zygomatic arches, thick, skull, probably heavy brows, and 
possibly not yet quite erect posture, had nevertheless 
already crossed the line dividing man from the ape. His 
food and probably his mode of life were related to those of 
primitive man, and he was already far removed from his 
primate ancestors with huge canine teeth resembling tusks, 
like those of the gorilla. 


This celebrated discovery was made by Dr. Eugene 
Dubois, distinguished as anatomist, paleontologist, and 
prehistorian. x'\t his own request Doctor Dubois was 
appointed to the Dutch military service in Java, in order 
that he might find some opportunity to search for pre- 
historic human remains in the East Indies. He arrived 
in Java in April, 1889, and carried on his researches, by 
permission of the Colonial Government, until 1895. Pale- 
ontological work was not new in Java and had already 
led to the discovery of Pliocene and Pleistocene strata rich 
in fossil plant and animal remains along the Solo or 
Bengawan River and its tributaries. 

In his report of 1898, Doctor Dubois describes the cir- 
cumstances of his discovery in part as follows: 

By order of the Netherlands Indian Government I conducted in 
Java, from 1890 to 1895, explorations for a fossil vertebrate fauna, 
of which already some remains had been discovered, many years ago, 
by Junghuhn and others, and later extensively described by Professor 
K. Martin, of Leiden. I found a very large quantity of remains of 
mammals and reptiles, for the most part derived from extinct species, 
which show, as might be expected, an unmistakable relation to the 
later Tertiary and Pleistocene faunae of India. 

The chief localities of these finds are in the southern slope of a range 
of low hills, the Kendengs, which extend between the residencies of 
Kediri, Madiun, and Surakarta on one side, and of Rembang and 
Samarang on the other, over a distance of about sixty miles. The 
area in which these vertebrate remains are abundantly found, in many 
places, may have on an average a breadth of from one to three miles. 

... It can be said, in accordance with geological circumstances, 
and the relations which this fauna has with the Post-Tertiary and 



Pleistocene vertebrate faunae of India, that most probably it is young 
Pliocene; in no case, however, can it be younger than the oldest Pleisto- 
cene. For, whilst on the one hand the species surely belong almost 
exclusively to living genera — only the genus Leptobos and the sub- 
genera Stegodon and Hexaprotodon are extinct — and it must therefore 
be younger than the principal part of the Upper Miocene or Lower 
Pliocene Siwalik fauna, including not a few extinct genera; on the 
other hand, the number of the extinct species seems to be in propor- 
tion somewhat greater than that of the Narbada fauna, which is put 
in the early Pleistocene. Further, the inclination which the strata show 
does not well agree with a Pleistocene age. . . . 

From Trinil to Ngawi the steep banks of the Bengawan or Solo 
river, for an extent of seven and a half miles, consist exclusively of 
volcanic sands and lapilli, cemented into soft rocks, very much like 
the rocks which I saw in the Siwalik hills. The strata have in this area 
a general dip S. of about 5°, and are only concealed by a thin covering 
of vegetable soil. In these strata the Solo river has cut its channel, 
12 to 15 metres deep, near Trinil. North and west of Trinil the Plio- 
cene marl and limestone appear under them. 

It was near Trinil, in the left bank of the river, at the foot of the 
Kendengs, that I came, in August, 1891, upon a place particularly 
rich in fossil bones, and found there, in that and the following year, 
among a great number of remains of other vertebrates, bones and 
teeth of a great manlike mammal, which I have named Pithecanthropus 
erectus, considering it as a link connecting together Apes and Man. 

Among hundreds of other skeletal remains, in the lapilli bed on the 
left bank of the river, the third molar tooth was first found in Sep- 
tember; then, the hole having been enlarged, the cranium a month 
later, at about one metre distant from the former, but in the very 
same level of that bed. The species of mammals, of which remains 
were found in the same bed, are, for the greater part at least, extinct 
ones, and almost certainly none of them are at present living in Java. 
Among these remains we find a great number of the . . . small species 
of Cervus, which certainly is not extant in the Malayan isles. Also 
many bones of Stegodon were found. One or two Bubalus species 
seem to be identical with Siwalik species; a Boselaphus undoubtedly 
differs from the known species, living and fossil; further on there were 
found the extinct genus Leptobos^ the genera Rhinoceros, Sus, Felis, 
Hyaena, and others; a Garial and a Crocodile, differing little from the 
existing species in India, but which cannot be classed among them. 

Of the animals found in the same strata in other places, the most 
interesting species are a gigantic Pangolin (Manis), three times as 
large as the existing Javanese species, and a Hippopotamus belonging 
to an extinct Siwalik subgenus. Further a Tapir and an Elephas. 



The work having been brought to an end that year on account of 
the setting in of the rainy season, it was taken up again at the begin- 
ning of the dry season in May, 1892. A new cutting was now made 
in the left rocky bank, which comprised the still unfinished part of 
the old excavation. Thereby bones were again found in great num- 
bers, especially in the deeper beds; and among these, again in the 
same level of the lapilli bed, which had contained the skull-cap and 
the molar tooth, the left femur was found in August, at a distance of 
about 15 metres from the former; and at last, in October a second 
molar, at a distance of 3 metres at the most from the place where the 
skull-cap was discovered, and in the direction of the place where the 
femur had been dug out. This tooth I did not describe, because I 
only found it later among a collection of teeth derived from the place 
stated above. 

Thus altogether Doctor Dubois's finds, eventually at- 
tributed by him to Pithecanthropus, comprise a lower jaw, 
two molar teeth, a skullcap, and a femur. With these is 
associated another tooth, a premolar, discovered in the 
Trinil deposits several years later. 

Toward the end of the year 1895, Doctor Dubois re- 
turned to Europe. His discovery was universally ac- 
knowledged as one of great importance; but his views were 
soon combated. The case presented two main problems. 
The first was the question whether the several parts, i.e., 
the skull, the two teeth, and the femur, belonged to the 
same individual or at least to the same form; the other, 
that of the identification of this form. 

Dubois believed, as has been seen, that all four speci- 
mens, namely the skull, the two teeth, and the femur, be- 
longed to one stratum, one age, and one individual, a 
female Pithecanthropus erectus. To this there were soon 
many objections, and for several years the question was 
debated, not wholly without bitterness. Of some of its 
later aspects Doctor Hrdlicka speaks as follows: 

In the summer of 1923, the writer visited Europe in 
the temporary role of Director of the American School 
for Prehistoric Studies in Europe. The first visit was to 
Professor Smith Woodward at the British Museum of 



Natural History. Before meeting we had had some cor- 
respondence in which I had expressed my great desire to 
see once the Pithecanthropus originals. These wishes 
had most kindly been communicated to Professor Dubois 
at Amsterdam. Upon my arrival, to my great astonish- 
ment and joy, Sir A. Smith Woodward handed me a tele- 
gram from Professor Dubois inviting me most courteously 
to the Teyler Museum in Haarlem, his home town, where 
he would show me all the originals in his possession. This 
great privilege was taken full advantage of by me and my 
class on July 15. It was the first time the precious speci- 
mens were shown to a scientific man after their long 
seclusion. We found Professor Dubois a big-bodied and 
big-hearted man, who received us with a cordial simplicity. 
He had all the specimens in his possession brought out 
from the strong boxes in which they are kept, demon- 
strated them to us personally, and then permitted me to 
handle them to my satisfaction. Besides the four speci- 
mens attributed originally to the Pithecanthropus there 
was the additional tooth (a premolar), the fragment of a 
curious fossilized lower jaw, and two interesting, Austra- 
loid-like mineralized skeletons from Wadjak. The in- 
terior of the skullcap of the Pithecanthropus had now 
been completely freed from the consolidated tufa that 
filled it before; a cast of it was made, and this revealed a 
very remarkable brain of an unexpectedly humanlike 

The examination of the originals made a deep im- 
pression. It was seen that none of the casts of the skull 
that have been seen in different institutions were wholly 
faithful, and the same was felt to be true of the hitherto 
published illustrations. The originals were seen to be 
even more important than they had seemed hitherto. 
Professor Dubois told us he had about finished a final 
study of the specimens, which was soon to be published; 
and we left, truer and profounder prehistorians than we 
had been before. 



Above, the Pitheccvithropus skullcap, side view. Alter Dubois, 1924. 
Below, reconstruction of the Pithecanthropus skull. The darker shad- 
ing indicates those portions of the skull (the brain-case and some teeth) 
which were actually found. After Weinert 


Later during the same summer the specimens were 
shown also to Professor McGregor, of Columbia University. 
Since then they have been demonstrated on a number of 
occasions, including that of the Twenty-first International 
Congress of Americanists at the Hague, 1924. 

Finally, during this same year (1924), there appeared 
in the Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences, Amsterdam, 
three new important publications on the Pithecanthropus 
remains by Professor Dubois: The first, on the skull and 
brain, with which the author now definitely associates the 
fossil mandible, all three teeth, and the thigh bone; the 
second showing eleven excellent plates of the specimens; 
and the third dealing with the femur; with a final exhaus- 
tive work on the whole of the remains promised for a not- 
far-distant future. 

In these latest and ripest communications on the Java 
remains are found the following statements of special 

The bones are in a state of perfect mineralization. Their specific 
gravity, Hke that of the bones of other mammals dug up at Trinil, has 
risen to about 2.7. They contain only traces of organic matter in the 
form of human substances, which give them a chocolate-brown color. 
The skull-cap has been greatly corroded on the outer surface by 
sulphuric acid, formed from pyrites in the volcanic tufa; the femur 
appears to be free of such corrosions. 

The physical and chemical characters of the bones are 
such, in Dubois's opinion, that they "stamp the remains of 
Pithecanthropus as Pliocene"; which possibility is further 
strengthened by the somatological characteristics of the 
specimens. Dubois, therefore, is still inclined to regard 
the Pithecanthropus remains as late Pliocene rather than 

Ventrally, the skullcap, particularly in the frontal 
region, shows strong impressions of the cerebral convolu- 
tions. In details of its conformation it agrees partly 
with man, partly with the gibbon. "The form of the 



skull of the Pithecanthropus is on the whole not human; 
nor is it a transition of any type of manlike apes to the 
human type. The agreement with the anthropoid cranial 
type, particularly that of the small gibbon species of the 
genus Hylobates^ may on the other hand be called perfect." 
It extends to many features such as the arching of the 
vault, the receding forehead, the precerebral part of the 
frontal bone, the constriction behind the orbits, etc. 
"In all these points Pithecanthropus is distinguished no less 
strongly than the Anthropoid Apes from the Neanderthal 
Man." The detailed characteristics of the skull indicate 
now to Dubois that the erect posture of the body of the 
Pithecanthropus^ "which clearly appears from the shape 
of the femur, was not such a perfect one as in Man; the 
correlation, at least, did not extend to the skull." 

Nor can the skull, however, have belonged to an Anthropoid Ape, 
because the relatively very large skull as regards shape presents a 
close, nay striking resemblance with the skull of a small Hylobates 
species, the smallest of the Anthropoid Apes, whereas judging not only 
from the femur and the molar teeth, but also from the skull itself. 
Pithecanthropus must have surpassed the size of a large chimpanzee, 
and was very much that of a middle-sized man. 

As to the size of the brain, "it may be assumed that with 
equal body weight Pithecanthropus possessed double the 
brain quantity of the Anthropoid Apes." The endo- 
cranial cast in its side view "presents a striking resem- 
blance with the endocranial cast of a small Hylobates 
species reproduced at the same size. There is on the other 
hand a great difference — and a difference of great im- 
portance between the profile of the endocranial cast and 
that of the Neanderthal Man of La Chapelle-aux-Saints." 
(Fig. 28.) 

To which Dubois adds: 

It seems to me that it is evident, at least, from all this that Man and 
Pithecanthropus both descend from a common primitive Simian an- 
cestor. From this, among the living species, the Hylobatidae, though 
greatly differentiated by their long arms and sabre-shaped canines, 
depart least, several fossil Simiidae still less. Also through his mandi- 



ble and teeth Pithecanthropus deviated less from this common stock 
type than the three living Gigantanthropoidea and the Hylobatidae. 
. . . The approach of the mandible and the teeth, as also of the femur, 
to the human type, and the large cranial capacity, added to consider- 

FiG. 28. Profile view of the Pithecanthropus brain-case (heavy black line) com- 
pared with those of Neanderthal man, the chimpanzee, and the gibbon; all drawn 
to the same scale 

ations on the brain-quantities in nearly allied mammalian genera, all 
this leads me to the conclusion that Pithecanthropus should be con- 
sidered as a member, but a distinct genus, of the family of the Ho- 

The resemblance of the fossil femur to that of man, in 
contrast to the apes, is very marked in the knee joint, 
which was adapted for perfect extension of the leg. 

A discussion of the characters of the femur leads Doctor 
Dubois to remark: 

. . . Pithecanthropus cannot have possessed a human-shaped pelvis, 
but as the femur could to all appearance be extended to a human 
degree, the pelvis may have been comparatively more human than 
that of //y/oi^fl/^j and chimpanzee. . . With such an unhuman pelvis 
the locomotion of Pithecanthropus cannot have been exclusively, per- 



haps not even chiefly, on the ground. The erect type was not per- 
fectly developed. 

The characteristics of the hip joint and also the knee 
joint "render it probable that Pithecanthropus was less 
ground-walker than tree-climber, but did not climb with 
a prehensile foot, in the way of Apes. . . . The femur of 
Pithecanthropus was, therefore, also fit for locomotion on 
the ground, but by no means adapted so exclusively for 
it as in Homo sapiens and Homo yieanderthalensis'' 
(Plate 48.) 

Doctor Hrdlicka finally concludes: 

But all this is not the pivotal essential of the find, and 
diminishes in no wise its high interest and value, both of 
which are universally acknowledged, particularly since the 
endocranial cast has become available. Neither should 
the student allow himself to be confused by the seeming 
flood of discrepancies of opinion on the remains. The 
differences are often more apparent than real, and even 
where real they by no means discredit the find, but are 
only so many trials, under all the great limitations of our 
present collections and knowledge, to reach a true con- 

The Trinil skull alone is sufficient to establish the pres- 
ence in what is now Java, somewhere during the early 
Quaternary and possibly earlier, of a class of beings that 
so resembled the anthropoid apes, on the one hand, and 
came so far in the direction of man, on the other, that if it 
was to be named today we could hardly find a more ap- 
propriate name for it than Pithecanthropus . 

It really is of little moment whether one student calls 
these beings giant gibbons, another, human precursors or 
intermediary forms, and a x\(\rdi^ proto-homo or even a very 
low man; unless one is led astray from the truth by a lack 
of sufficient contact with the remains, they all mean a 
form somewhere between the status of all the known apes 
and of all except perhaps the earliest man. Who can say 


Thigh bune of ritheainthropus (left) and of a white American, on the 

same scale; both show abnormal growth of bone near the upper end. 

The straightness of the bone shows that Pithecanthropus had already 

acquired an erect posture. Photograph by Hrdlicka 


just where we could class a being with such an apelike 
skullcap but within it such a near-human brain, if he ap- 
peared in life today? Witness the able discoverer alone, 
who moreover has had the originals at hand now for thirty- 
six years. First they represent for him a great chimpanzee; 
then a human precursor and direct ancestor; and then 
they are of an intermediary but not human ancestral form. 

The brain form of Pithecanthropus^ which, due to the 
filling of the skull cavity with a hard mass, did not become 
available until three years ago, is exceedingly important. 
Its size and form and gyration appear to remove it at 
once from the brains of all known apes and bring it cor- 
respondingly close to that of man. It is inconsistent with 
and morphologically superior to its own skull. The female 
brain cavity measured in capacity at least 900 c.c. A 
corresponding male brain cavity would measure some- 
where about 1,100 c.c. These dimensions connect already 
with the human (see Fig. 29). In my collections in the 
United States National Museum, I have thirty-two 
American Indian skulls, of small-statured but otherwise 
apparently normal individuals, ranging in capacity from 
910 to 1,020 c.c. In the largest gorilla this capacity does 
not exceed, so far as known, and mostly is well below, 
600 c.c; and in the chimpanzee or orang-utan it never 
reaches even this proportion. The frontal lobes of the 
Java specimen, while still low, approach in their form the 
human, lacking the pointed keel-shaped appearance they 
have in all the apes; and the rest of the brain is of a 
higher type than that of the apes. Had this form advanced 
in size and shape of brain by as much again as it already 
stood above those of the known apes, it would be wholly 
impossible to exclude it from the human category, unless 
it was done by the establishment of a separate genus of 
creatures equivalent in brain mass and brain differentia- 
tion to Homo. 

With all this it would not be legitimate to assert that 
the Pithecanthropus was either a form of early man or one 


that eventually evolved into man. Either of these con- 
clusions would demand decisive supporting material, 
which does not exist. The most that appears justifiable 
until further and conclusive evidence appears, is to con- 
sider the Pithecanthropus^ as represented by the skullcap, 
to have been a high primate of as yet uncertain ancestry 
and no known progeny, far advanced in what may be 
termed a humanoid direction. 

Taking everything into consideration the indications are 
that the Pithecanthropus erectus was a being that well de- 
served the name of "a human transitional form from Java" 
which, not in single specimens but as a type, can show us 
the way followed in human evolution from the lower 


Rhodesian Man 

Another extremely important discovery of recent years 
is that of the fossil man of Rhodesia, in South Africa. 
This is discussed here, not because it is earlier than those 
of Piltdown, of Heidelberg, and of Java, but because there 
is even less certainty regarding the period to which it 
belongs than is the case with these others. Of Rhodesian 
man Doctor Hrdlicka writes as follows: 

On June seventeenth, 1921, a very remarkable human 
skull was discovered in the Broken Hill Mine, northern 
Rhodesia (Plate 49). It was the skull of a man whose 
features were in many ways so primitive that nothing 
quite like it had been seen before; and coming from a part 
of the world which hitherto had given nothing similar and 
in which nothing of that nature was ever suspected, it 
aroused much scientific attention. 

Fortunately the specimen was saved, with but a minor 
damage, and later in the same year was brought by the 
manager of the mine to the British Museum of Natural 
History, where, safely preserved, it constitutes one of the 
scientific treasures of that institution. 



The sparse data about the Rhodesian find left a desire 
for more details about the position of the skull, about its 
surroundings, about the cave itself and its fillings, about 
the nature of the animal bones in the cave, about the 
general region in which the "broken hill" with its cave 
existed, and about other possible remains, as well as the 
native types of the territory. The skull was so remarkable 
that every view of it and every further word published 
upon it served only to intensify the feeling of need for 
more complete answers to the above questions. It was 
this motive, together with the recent discovery of the skull 
of a highly interesting anthropoid ape near Taungs, 
Bechuanaland, that induced the writer to extend his late 
journey to South x-^frica. 

Upon arrival at Broken Hill the writer was rather 
astonished to find the whole region for many miles in 
every direction to be a great, level, loosely forested plateau, 
barren of hills with one slight exception. This exception 
is a small "kopje" situated near the railway tracks as one 
nears the Broken Hill mine and settlement. This little 
hill, only about ninety feet high, is said to resemble closely 
the former "broken" hill which gave us the Rhodesian 
man and which has now, through mining, been removed. 

The plateau of the town of Broken Hill is 3,874 feet 
above sea level. Up to the time of the commencement of 
mining operations it was a part of a vast, featureless, more 
or less openly forested region. But the minerals in the 
two "kopjes" — lead and zinc — may have been known to 
the natives in earlier times. At all events, in digging 
ditches and in other surface excavations about the mines 
and in the town, there are being found, buried up to eight 
feet in depth from the present surface, old primitive native 
smelters, with here and there some Negro pottery, indi- 
cating probably former burials. 

The "broken" kopje consisted of hard dolomitic lime- 
stone impregnated with lead, zinc salts, and vanadium. 
It was originally full of crevices and holes, and as shown 


in the course of mining, at least two large caves led deeply 
into the interior. 

The cave of special interest became known as the bone 
cave. This cave in the course of time had become filled 
with sand, soil, bones of animals, and detritus of various 
kinds, which in turn were impregnated by seepage carry- 
ing in solution mineral matter. This matter formed 
incrustations on the walls, here and there formed new ore 
deposits, and in general consolidated most of the con- 
tents, bones included, into a "paying ore." 

The kopje that yielded the "Rhodesian skull" was situ- 
ated approximately northwest to west of the present 
railroad station and measured about 50 feet in height 
by 250 feet in its longer diameter. This entire elevation 
has now disappeared, and where there was a hill there is 
now a deep hole, in and about which mining operations 
are still energetically proceeding. 

Before mining began in this craggy "broken" kopje 
there was nothing to indicate the presence of any human 
habitations about the hill, or at least nothing sufficiently 
conspicuous to be noticed. Mining was carried on from the 
side, but due to the condition of the mineral deposits 
work was later commenced also from the top proceeding 
downward. During the earlier operations from the side, 
a good-sized cave or fissure was reached and found to 
contain dirt, ore, and numerous bones. The bones were 
those of animals; if any others were present they were not 
noticed. They were for the most part so mineralized that 
they were smelted with the rest of the ore and, after the 
first flurry occasioned by their discovery, received little 
further attention. 

When the excavations from the top reached in the cen- 
ter to approximately ninety feet below the surface of the 
ground surrounding the kopje, a large inclined plane was 
opened to the central funnel from near the side at which 
the original work began. At some distance this plane 
once more encountered the large bone crevice that had 










been discovered before. The crevice passed here obliquely 
across part of the incline and, as in the portion seen earlier, 
was filled with detritus, bones of bats or rodents, ore, and 
more or less mineralized bones of larger animals. The 
extent and contents of this cave or crevice were only- 
learned gradually in the course of the prolonged work 
of mining. 

After the inclined plane reached the bottom of the cen- 
tral excavation, some of the workmen were directed to 
turn back and work on the ore and stone exposed by the 
plane; and it was in these parts, not long after, at a level of 
approximately sixty feet below the surface, that a Swiss 
miner, Mr. T. Zwigelaar, working with his black "boy" in 
some softer fillings, was confronted, after a stroke of the 
boy's pick, with the Rhodesian skull (Plate 50). 

As good fortune would have it, before the writer's de- 
parture from Broken Hill he was able to locate and inter- 
view five of the men concerned from the beginning in the 
discovery, including Mr. Zwigelaar, who actually found the 
skull; and a sixth one was reached later by a letter. Each 
of these men was most willing to tell all he knew, but their 
memories regrettably were no longer clear as to the par- 
ticulars. However, what was obtained is not without 
importance. At the British Museum the writer was very 
kindly furnished with copies of all the official entries 
relating to the find and to an earlier collection from the 
same cave. 

As the collective sifted result of the information ob- 
tained from all quarters, as the result of the personal in- 
spection of the mine and of what remains of the bone 
cave, and with the impressions left by the different men 
associated with the finds, the conclusion is that the real 
conditions had probably been somewhat as follows: 

The "bone cave" was an extensive irregular crevice 
running for 120-150 feet inward and downward from near 
the base of the hill and reaching the maximum depth 
below the surface of about 70 feet. 



There is no recollection of the mouth of the "cave" and 
this may have been covered or obstructed. Inside, the 
crevice enlarged to a cavern which at its maximum meas- 
ured probably over thirty feet in breadth and twice as 
much in height. 

For some distance from the mouth of the cavern the 
floor of the latter was nearly level or but moderately 
inclined, then there was a steeper descending slope, and 
after that the crevice ran irregularly downward and 

The outer part of the cavern was largely filled with 
more or less mineralized and consolidated bones of 
animals, cave detritus, large quantities of bones of bats 
or small rodents, and nondescript earthy material, the 
walls being covered with crystals of the ores of zinc and 
vanadium. The larger bones were distributed unequally 
through the filling of the cave, in some places there being 
large quantities of them, in others few or none. They 
extended to and beyond the descent in the floor. 

The lowest and innermost part of the cavern was filled 
by detritus, some bones, and by a considerable layer, or 
rather layers, of very pure and more or less crumbly lead 
ore. The ore contained no bones or foreign substance; 
but it is not absolutely known whether the contents of the 
farther part of the cavern had a direct connection with the 
materials in the large outer portion through or under- 
neath this lead ore. 

The skull was found at some distance beneath a layer — 
according to Mr. Zwigelaar's recollection, about ten feet 
thick — of this ore. It was not itself embedded in the ore 
but in a detrital material not mineralized to any extent 
and containing a quantity of "bat" bones. 

The skull was an isolated object. It lay upright. There 
was no lower jaw, nor any other bone in apposition. Be- 
neath it was something which looked like a large, flattened 
skin bundle, thoroughly mineralized. This may or may 
not have been merely a natural laminar formation of 



the lead ore. Barring a few fragments, it was smelted. 

Somewhere in the vicinity of the lower portion of this 
"bundle" was found a remarkably straight but otherwise 
not peculiar, full-sized human male tibia, and lower, at 
some distance, were portions of a mineralized lion's skull. 
In the vicinity there may have been found also one or two 
other human fragments, but here much is uncertain. 

The larger part of the bony cont-ents of the main part 
of the cave was so mineralized that it passed for a good 
grade of zinc ore and was smelted as such. Various por- 
tions of the cave fillings, however, were poorer and were 
brought out and thrown on a dump where, covered by 
poor rock and debris thrown out subsequently, they still 
repose. The ground and the debris in the dump are still 
full of fragments and pieces of bone, teeth, chips of 
quartz, etc. 

Only traces of the great cave now remain in the mine, 
and as the work progresses they will disappear. The 
opposite wall of the mine shows an even larger old cavern, 
completely filled with less consolidated and somewhat 
darker materials than the surrounding rock. This cave 
has yielded no bones. 

The main part of the bone cavern was for a long time a 
habitat or a feasting place of the ordinary Africans, Bush- 
men or Negroes. The larger bones were none of them 
brought in by animals, but were the remains of the repasts 
of the black men. A very large majority were broken for 
the marrow. Similarly broken human bones suggest 
cannibalism. There were apparently no human burials 
in the cave. How the strange Rhodesian skull got in is 

The skull was found alone in the lowest and most re- 
mote part of the cave, some distance beneath consider- 
able accumulations of soft, pure lead ore. There was no 
lower jaw. There was no skeleton. One human bone, the 
tibia, and parts of a lion's skull, it is well established, lay 
within ten feet of the skull, but at a lower level. 



As to the other human bones deposited at the British 
Museum with the slcull and those now added, all that may 
be said is that they proceed from several skeletons of 
modern size and form; that some of them, at least, prob- 
ably came from other parts of the cave; and that there is 
no proof, and but a remote possibility, of any of them 
belonging to the skull. 

The skull itself is positively not the skull of any of the 
now known African types of man or their normal variants. 
Neither is it a pathological monstrosity, such as might 
be due to gigantism or leontiasis. It is a most remark- 
able specimen of which the age, provenience, history, and 
nature are still anthropological puzzles. 

Morphologically the skull is frequently associated now 
with the Neanderthal type of Europe. This may be 
fundamentally correct, but only to that extent. In its 
detailed characteristics the specimen in some respects is 
inferior, in others superior to anything known as yet of 
the Neanderthal man. 

The skull is monstrous, its frontal and most of the facial 
parts exceeding in primitiveness every other known speci- 
men of early man. The skullcap, on the other hand, from 
behind the frontal ridges is of a decidedly higher grade, 
equaling in many respects, and in some even exceeding, 
those of the more typical Neanderthal crania. 

The subject was plainly a very powerful male, of prob- 
ably over forty years of age. The skull is in no way 
pathological, though showing some diseased conditions; 
and it can not be conceived as a near-reversion. It 
represents a distinct, crude variety of man, which strange- 
ly combines many ancient, even pre-Neanderthal condi- 
tions, with others that are relatively modern. It could 
represent conceivably a very brutish individual develop- 
ment of the upper Neanderthal or the post-Neanderthal 

The most striking features of the skull are its huge 
supraorbital ridges. They are not far from twice as stout 



The Rhodcsian skull, front and side. Notice the enormousilevelop- 
nient of the bony ridges over the eyes. After Pycraft 


Mr. Zwigelaar, the discoverer of the Rhodesian skull, shortly 

after the find was made. Photograph presented to Doctor 

Hrdlicka by Mr. Zwigelaar 


as in the Neanderthalers. No such immense welts have 
ever been seen in any other human specimen, nor even, if 
their thickness alone is considered, in the anthropoid 
apes. They constitute a huge exaggeration of this ancient 
characteristic of male primates. Yet these ridges are 
already human rather than anthropoid in character. 

The slope of the forehead is as great as it is in some of 
the apes. In this quality, in its marked metopic ridges, 
its narrowness, and also in its anterior flare and relative 
smallness as a whole, posteriorly the Rhodesian frontal 
approaches closer to the frontal of the Pithecanthropus; 
though the ridges of the Rhodesian skull are much the 

The study of the specimen leaves an impression of 
anamorphism. It is a combination of pre-Neanderthaloid, 
Neanderthaloid, and recent characters. It is not a 
Neanderthaler; it represents a different race or at least 

The specimen does not seem to belong in its surround- 
ings. It does not fit with any of the other human remains, 
skeletal or cultural, saved from the cave. It does not fit 
with anything, the Negro in particular, found thus far 
in Africa. 

It seems impossible to conceive of the specimen as a 
reversion. Reversions tend as a rule to manifest them- 
selves in a single character or in a small group of asso- 
ciated characters. The primitive conditions of the 
Rhodesian skull are more comprehensive. 

It seems equally impossible to regard the strain of man 
represented by the skull as a survival to recent time. 
There is nothing in anthropological knowledge that 
would support such an assumption. Yet the diminishing 
third molars, the shape and size of the other teeth, 
the extensive caries, and other points, speak against hoary 

The Rhodesian skull is a tantalizing specimen to the 
student, who is wholly at a loss as to just where it be- 



longs taxonomically or chronologically. It is a comet 
of man's prehistory. 

Professor Elliot Smith shows the volume of the brain 
of the Rhodesian skull to have been but 1,280 c. c, which 
is markedly smaller than in any of the Neanderthalers 
with the probable exception of the Gibraltar female. 

The cast, very successful, shows the brain to have been 
in general very definitely human, related to that of the 
Neanderthalers, and superior to both that of the Pithecan- 
thropus and Eoanthropus. 

Mr. Hopwood has identified the mammals of the Broken 
Hill cave, of which he has the following to say: 

The study of the mammalian bones found at Broken Hill was under- 
taken in the hope that they might afford some evidence as to the age 
of the human remains found in the cave. It seemed reasonable to 
suppose that, if the contents of the cavern were of any degree of 
antiquity, there might be found portions of animals which are ex- 
tinct, or, at any rate, of species which are not at present represented 
in the fauna of Rhodesia. This hope has been realized only in part. 
The cave fauna is composed of living forms with the exception of 
Rhinoceros whitei Chubb and a new species of Serval cat. 

It is also well to remember that the African continental plateau 
is of extraordinary stability, and that it has been a land area from very 
early times. Furthermore, the climate has always been tropical, or 
sub-tropical, at least to the south of Egypt. Hence, apart from possi- 
ble change in the rainfall, conditions of life have been comparatively 
fixed and the fauna is not likely to have altered in character so rapidly 
as in- other regions, Europe and North America for instance, where 
great changes in the climate and geography have taken place in com- 
paratively recent times. For these reasons it is practically impossible 
at present to estimate the age of African cave deposits by means of 
the fossil mammals. The fact that two extinct forms are known 
proves nothing. It is becoming ever more apparent that the mammal- 
bearing horizons of Central Africa are not comparable in age with those 
of Europe, and that in dealing with them it is useless to apply Euro- 
pean standards. On the evidence of the associated mammalian fauna 
there is no reason to suppose that the human remains are of anything 
but recent date. 

f 162I 



Accounts given in the last four chapters by no means 
cover all the finds of ancient human remains made thus 
far in various parts of 
the globe. But they 
cover briefly the more 
important discoveries 
and will perhaps suf- 
fice to make clear the 
nature of the steadily 
growing evidence 
upon which is based 
our knowledge of the 
remote past of man- 

We have now dis- 
cussed the physical 
side of man's develop- 
ment including both 
the world in which he 
found himself and 
also his own bodily 
structure. In doing 
this, we have pro- 
ceeded step by step 
from the known to 
the unknown, from 
the comparatively re- 
cent past back into 
an antiquity almost 
inconceivably remote 
(Fig. 29), reaching a 
point at last where 
man or manlike creatures are indistinguishable from the 
anthropoids. The table on page 165 summarizes this 
panorama of man's physical history. 


Fig. 29. Diagrams showing the top and side 
views of the outlines of the brains of chim- 
panzee, Pithecanthropus, Piitdown, Neander- 
thal, and modern man, to illustrate the pro- 
gressive increase in size. After Osborn 


In the remainder of this book we shall deal with the 
achievements of man's brain as distinguished from the de- 
velopment of his body. Beginning with the earliest known 
traces of his handiwork, we shall follow his rise stage by 
stage, from the first dawnings of his intelligence to the 
time when, in both the Old and the New World, he had 
laid the foundations of the civilization of today. 













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We can say with a fair degree of assurance that Cro- 
Magnon man appeared in Europe something like 25,000 
or 30,000 years ago. With not quite so much certainty we 
can assign the beginning of the Mousterian culture, so 
closely associated with Neanderthal man, to a period some- 
where around 50,000 years ago, more or less. But before 
that, we recall, there stretched away behind us, ever fur- 
ther back in the mists of the past, the Acheulian, the 
Chellean, the Pre-Chellean, and, earliest of all, the Eolithic 
or "Dawn Stone" Age. The last seems to have begun 
very far back in the Ice x^ge, or Pleistocene period, if not 
indeed earlier still, in the geological period known as the 

Dr. Albrecht Penck estimated that the Ice Age began 
somewhat more than half a million years ago. There is 
reason for believing that, long before that, man had de- 
veloped enough intelligence to employ sticks and stones in 
various ways, though without doing anything toward 
shaping them into more convenient forms. 

How long ago he began to do this, we can not say. But 
let us assume, for the sake of illustration, that it was a 
million years ago. At this figure, at least seventy or 
eighty per cent of man's total existence as a tool-using 
creature had already gone by before he reached even the 
beginning of the Old Stone Age — the Pre-Chellean epoch. 
By the opening of the cave-dwelling epoch, when he took 
to living in grottoes, at the approach of the Wiirm glacia- 



tion, ninety-five per cent of his culture history thus far 
had been completed. When Cro-Magnon man appeared 
in Europe, ninety-seven and one-half per cent or more of it 
had elapsed. By the time the Ice Age had at last come to 
an end in Europe, ninety-nine per cent was already a 
thing of the past. The beginning of the Age of Metals and 
of the knowledge of writing in the most advanced por- 
tions of the globe occurred only something like 5,000 or 
6,000 years ago. Hence the entire historical portion of 
man's existence, the only part which we know through 
written records, amounts to but one-half of one per cent 
of his whole career up till now. It is this fraction of one 
per cent that has witnessed the blossoming of civilization 
in Babylonia, in Egypt, in India, in China, and elsewhere. 
It represents the time between the building of the Pyra- 
mids and the invention of the aeroplane and the radio. 
Of course, the precise figure of 1,000,000 years for the total 
length of man's existence as a tool user is an arbitrary one. 
It may have to be cut in two on the one hand or doubled 
on the other, in the light of future discoveries. But for 
the time being it will serve its purpose of helping us to 
realize what a very brief space of time is allotted to the 
historical epoch by contrast with the long prehistoric 
period that went before. 

Recent discoveries have shown that during the earlier 
and by far the greater part of the life history of our race, 
more than one kind of man existed. The human species of 
today, in all its various races and subraces, represented at 
first but one among several different forms of which re- 
mains are already known. Moreover, there were almost 
certainly others not yet discovered, or which died out 
without leaving any traces of themselves in the form of 
fossils. How long any of these now extinct forms sur- 
vived we do not yet know. Some may have lingered on in 
out-of-the-way regions until comparatively recent times, 
as that strange monster, Rhodesian man, may possibly 
have done in South Africa. The existing type has achieved 



the mastery of the globe, slowly and patiently and under 
conditions of hardship and danger such as we now can 
scarcely imagine, only because it was on the whole the form 
best adapted to win in the struggle for existence. 

Perhaps we can picture to ourselves something of the 
appearance of primeval man. From the earliest human 
remains found thus far, we know that very far back man 
already stood nearly if not quite upright. He was prob- 
ably covered fairly thickly with hair, of which indeed we 
still find traces on our own bodies. No doubt it tended to 
grow longer and thicker on the head and jaws, and it must 
have been shaggy and matted. In texture we may be 
pretty sure that it was neither coarse and straight, like 
that of the Mongol or the American Indian, nor kinky 
like that of the Negro, but something in between. Prob- 
ably, too, it was not black but brownish in color. How 
man came to lose his body hair to such an extent remains 
an unanswered question. One of the most plausible ex- 
planations suggests that some connection exists between 
this loss of hair and the wearing of clothing. But even this 
theory has a weak spot, for it seems to imply that all 
existing races, even those which go about naked today, 
must have worn clothes at some period of their develop- 

Regarding the skin color of primitive man, we have 
reason to believe that it was neither the pale white of the 
North European nor the sooty black of the darkest Negro, 
but again something in between — some shade of brown. 

We have few clues to the features of man earlier than the 
Neanderthaler, about whose facial structure we know a 
good deal, but who comes on the stage rather late in the 
long drama of human progress. It is clear that true chins 
had not yet developed, for the more primitive lower jaws 
already found are in this respect quite apelike. The teeth, 
on the other hand, seem early to have acquired definitely 
human form, indicating that primeval man was depending 
more and more on his hands and less and less on his jaws 



for self-defense and the performance of various tasks. 

Some of the early races had brows that projected far 
over the eyes, especially among the old males, to whom 
they must have imparted a scowling and malignant ex- 
pression; others, however, almost if not entirely lacked 
this feature. Noses at first probably resembled those of 
babies today in flatness and shapelessness, while full and 
prominent lips such as characterize most modern races 
can hardly have developed very early. Among apes, true 
lips are almost wholly lacking, so that the mouth consists 
of little more than a straight slit across the lower part of 
the face. In this respect, the white man of today differs 
widely from the gorilla, and the Negro even more so. In 
primitive man resemblance to the anthropoid apes must 
have been considerably greater than in any existing race. 

In the last chapter we saw that man, or perhaps his 
forerunner, had begun to develop a comparatively big 
brain very far back in his career. The famous Trinil 
skullcap, for example, indicates that the brain it once 
covered stood almost exactly halfway in size between 
that of the highest ape and the lowest human form of 
today. Piltdown man's brain was larger still, following 
well within the human limit. Scientists long debated 
whether man acquired a nearly erect posture and conse- 
quent freer use of his hands before he developed a big 
brain, or whether increase in brain capacity preceded these 
other anatomical changes. But now there seems to be 
pretty general agreement that growth of intelligence came 
first, that the brain led the way in man's development. 

The determining factor in man's success was, of course, 
this growth of his brain. Physically he was less well fitted 
for the battle of existence than many other creatures. The 
wild bull far surpassed him in strength, as did the wild 
horse and various other animals which he in time domesti- 
cated and made his obedient servants. The lion, the tiger, 
and many other species which he has either exterminated 
or driven to take refuge in the depths of the wilderness, 



exceeded him in ferocity. But thanks to his superior 
intellect, he asserted his supremacy first over the animal 
world and then over inanimate nature. The struggle goes 
on, though the tiger and the mammoth as man's most 
dangerous enemies have given place to insects like the 
fruit fly and the boll weevil and to small mammals like 
the rat. His conquest of inanimate nature has gone on 
much more slowly; in fact even today it has only barely 

This increase in brain power and the consequent growth 
of ideas would, however, have profited early men as a 
group but little if they had not had some means of com- 
municating with one another. Language in the broadest 
sense, including gesture as well as sound, began long before 
man himself first appeared; but only he, of all living crea- 
tures, was able to develop it and be developed by it. It 
constitutes the earliest as well as the greatest of the 
achievements of his genius, none the less important be- 
cause achieved unconsciously. 

For untold ages, however, man had to depend wholly 
on word of mouth and on signs for the communication of 
ideas, and on the unaided memory alone for their preser- 
vation, limitations which account, in part, for the ex- 
tremely slow progress made by mankind in early ages. 
Only within the last few thousand years has mankind 
slowly been learning to preserve the results of past ex- 
perience by putting them down in writing. The keeping of 
records is even yet far from universal, or even general. 
The greater portion of mankind, outside of America and 
western Europe, remains illiterate, although nearly every- 
where it has come more and more under the control and 
direction of ruling elements, native or alien, familiar with 
the art of writing. In fact, largely by this very knowledge 
have these classes gained the ability to control and exploit 
their fellow men. 

The mechanical problems involved in the struggle for 
existence, of course, far antedate the human race. At first 



man had no better means of solving them than had the 
lower animals. For ages he prowled about, naked and 
shaggy, depending for his food and his safety solely upon 
his own hands and teeth and muscles. But there came a 
time when his dawning intelligence suggested to him that 
he might make use of tools other than those with which 
nature had equipped him. The discovery that he could 
strike his enemy a heavier blow with a broken bough than 
with his unaided fist, or crack nuts and shellfish more 
easily with a pebble than with his own back teeth, or hurl 

Fig. 30. Eoliths from Cantal, France, of the Tertiary Period (preceding the Ice 

Age) showing how marginal chipping was done on one face only. At left, two 

views of a scraper: at right, two views of a spokeshave. After Verworn 

a stone and thus bring down small animals out of the reach 
of his arm, marked a great step in advance in his age-long 
struggle to master his environment. He had at last be- 
come a tool user. 

At first, of course, after learning this lesson, primitive 
man merely used such sticks and stones as came handy, 
throwing them away when the momentary need was over. 
But through long experience he discovered that certain 
forms were so much more useful than others as to be worth 
keeping and carrying about. Then he found that they 
could be still further improved by a little shaping and 
trimming. A club was easier to wield if twigs and irregu- 
lar projections were broken off; a straight, slender branch 
scraped down to a point made a fairly effective dart; a few 
chips knocked off the sides of a flint pebble gave it a 
rough edge with which raw meat could be cut up instead of 
being torn with hands and teeth. But how infinitely slow 



this process of self-education was, the very long duration 
of the earlier stages of man's existence shows. When it 
was completed, however, man had at last attained to the 
Eolithic or Dawn Stone Age. He had become not merely 
a tool user, but actually a tool maker as well, even though 
on the humblest imaginable scale. 

Sometime during this same early period that other 
epoch-making discovery, the use of fire, took place. How 
long ago this happened we do not exactly know as yet. 
In the Acheulian epoch, during the third interglacial 
stage, fire was certainly already known and used, as we 
know from layers of burnt wood and charred bones un- 
covered on AcheuHan sites. But the practice appears to 
go very much further back still. At Foxhall, near Ipswich, 
in the east of England, burnt flints, along with bones, 

flint implements, etc., have 
come to light, which may be- 
long to the Eolithic Period. If 
so, it carries us back, not merely 
into but actually before the Ice 
Age itself. 

All authorities seem agreed 
that man knew fire and under- 
stood how to utilize it and keep 
it going long before he learned 
how to kindle it. Many natu- 
ral phenomena may start a fire, 
lightning, for example, or vol- 
canic eruptions with their ac- 
companiment of white-hot lava. 
Sometimes, during long dry 
spells, two interlocking branches 
rubbed together by the wind may burst into flame. But 
how man found that fire, hitherto only a source of danger 
and superstitious awe, could be made useful, we can but 
guess. In any case he knew this ages before he learned to 
make it. In fact, a quick and easy way of starting a fire 


Fic. 31. Primitive method of 
starting a fire by twirling a 
stick between the palms of the 
hands. Northeast Australia. 
After Frobeniiis 


is a very recent discovery, the invention of the first really 
practical matches dating only from 1827. 

The discovery of the usefulness of fire is one of man's 
greatest achievements, without which progress would have 
been utterly impossible. But at first he must have put it 
to a very limited number of uses, probably to give warmth 
and protection against wild animals, and later to prepare 
food. The primitive camp fire was the first gathering point 
around which men could meet, so that it wielded enormous 
influence in encouraging social activities and the inter- 
play of ideas. For long man looked upon it as something 
mysterious and uncanny, as a living being with an in- 
satiable appetite. Even today we are voicing ideas handed 
down from our remote prehistoric ancestors when we 
speak of "feeding" the fire to "keep it alive." Nowadays 
such expressions are regarded only as figures of speech; 
but there was a time when they were meant literally. 
Because fire had to be tended constantly, while the men 
were often away hunting or on the warpath, its care fell 
naturally to the women. Out of this practice arose in 
later ages the institution of vestal virgins, keepers of the 
undying fire, found not only among the Romans but 
among many other peoples both ancient and modern. 

We have, then, the three basic inventions — speech, 
tools, and fire — by which man first raised himself definitely 
above the animals about him and which in time led to 
further advance. 

Along with these three basic inventions, although com- 
ing much later and possessing nothing like equal impor- 
tance, we may consider the origin of clothing. Funda- 
mentally this had for its motive the desire for protection, 
mainly from cold but partly, too, from injuries, whether 
real or imaginary, that is, of a magical sort. Thus its de- 
velopment has tended to vary with climatic conditions. 

In cold countries, the use of animal skins for warmth 
must date back pretty far. The natives of Tierra del 
Fuego, at the extreme lower tip of South America, appar- 

[ 173] 


ently represent a very primitive branch of the American 
Indian stock. Although they occupy an extremely cold 
and wet region, until recently they wore only a piece of 
sealskin slung about their necks, which they shifted about 

so as to keep 
it on the side 
from which 
the wind, 
sleet, and 
snow came. 
This repre- 
sents only a 
slight im- 
upon primi- 
ti ve total 
nudity (Fig. 
32). Cutting 
and fitting 
skins and sew- 
ing them to- 
gether to 
form fur gar- 
ments, such as 
the Eskimo 
wear, repre- 
sents a much 
greater ad- 
vance. This 
stage must 
have been reached in some countries before the close of the 
Old Stone Age, for well-finished bone needles have been 
found in deposits of that period. Skins remained the 
material for clothing until the invention of weaving; the 
buckskin garments of our own North American Indians 
furnish an example. Such clothing belongs more especially 
to cold regions, or at least to those having cold winters. 

Fic. J2. Native of Tierra de! Fuego wearing only a piece of 

sealskin slung around his neck as a protection from the cold 

and rain. After Deniker 



Skins have, it is true, been worn in warm countries; but 
the original motive there seems to have been mainly magi- 
cal. They were thought to confer upon the wearer the 
qualities of the animals to which they once belonged, just 
as did necklaces and bracelets of teeth and claws (Fig. 23)- 
It seems to have been for this reason that a leopard skin 
came to be an emblem of rank and power among the 
Egyptian Pharaohs. The lion's skin, which distinguished 

Fig. ;i2- Necklace of the later Old Stone Age, from the Grimaldi caves, com- 
posed of deer teeth, fish vertebrae, and shells. It was found with the skeleton 
of a young man. After Verneau 

Hercules, doubtless originated in a similar idea, when lions 
still existed in the lands about the eastern Mediterranean. 
Another great idea which must have dawned upon prim- 
itive man pretty far back in his career was that of fasten- 
ing things together by tying them. The invention of 
string enabled man to do countless things he otherwise 
could not have done, though, no doubt, he realized only 
very gradually the full extent of its usefulness. The earli- 
est and for a very long time the only string must have been 
that provided by nature, in the form of tough vines and 
tendrils of various sorts. With these, tools and weapons 
and objects of magic could be more conveniently carried 
about; for they might now be slung from the waist or over 
the shoulder or about the neck. With them, too, bundles 
could be made of firewood, edible roots, and the like, for 
convenience in transporting or keeping. 



Later, man came to employ strips of fibrous bark, the 
sinews of animals, and thongs cut from skins. These made 
it possible to lash stone axes and spearheads to their han- 
dles, and to sew together fitted garments. In time some 
genius also found that lines of almost any length and 
strength might be made by twisting fibers together, thus 
providing cords for fishhooks of shell or bone and har- 

FiG. 34. Central Australian churinga or sacred object, decorated with totemic 

devices. It is unlawful for women and uninitiated males even to look on these. 

After Spencer and Gillen 

poons of deer antler, as well as ropes for towing canoes up- 
stream against currents too swift for the pole or paddle. 
Without the knowledge of string, too, the invention of that 
most important appliance, the bow and arrow, would have 
been impossible. The varied uses of cords, ropes, cables, 
and hawsers in the rigging of ships, or of thread, yarn, and 
twine in connection with the weaving of cloth, will occur 
to everyone. Consideration of these things will, perhaps, 
indicate the vast though often hardly recognized impor- 
tance of string in the history of human progress. 

On these bases man's later achievements rest; what were 
some of the obstacles which he had to overcome? Among 
these, perhaps, disease and the fears, beliefs, and prac- 
tices to which disease gave rise stand first. We make a 
great mistake if we suppose that perfect health blessed the 
primeval savage. His fossil remains show that in many 
cases he suffered severely from pyorrhea and other ail- 
ments that affect the bone. He was a prey to bacterial 
and zymotic diseases. Epidemics doubtless occurred; and 
changes for the worse in diet, caused by alterations in 
climate, perhaps helped to bring about the extinction of 
some of the early species of man. 



The modern man finds it difficult to realize how com- 
pletely early man was a slave to magic. No matter what 
happened to him, he immediately laid it to some super 
natural influence, usually evil. Injuries, whether due to 
accident, to attacks by wild beasts, or to struggles with 
his fellows, were the result of his being bewitched. Failure 
in hunting meant that some enemy's "medicine" was 
more powerful than his own and was working against him. 
Nowhere was this belief stronger than in the case of dis- 
ease, which mankind has ascribed during by far the greater 
part of its existence to the action of mysterious and malig- 
nant forces, at first vague, formless, and invisible, but 
later personified as spirits which might at times appear 
in bodily shape. The belief in witchcraft by no means first 
acquired importance during the Middle Ages. 

The dominance of magic over the life of early man can 
not be overestimated. It represented his first attempts 
to inquire into the secret workings of nature and to con- 
trol and exploit them for his own benefit. It played the 
part with him that religion, philosophy, and science oc- 
cupy with us. It shaped and influenced all his thoughts, 
and it lies at the root of all his various slow, blundering, 
and halting steps upward — his gropings toward the light. 
The primitive medicine man, because of the mysterious 
knowledge and consequent power attributed to him, was 
the first ruler and director of mankind. He could, and 
often did, terrorize whole communities; but woe to him 
if his magic failed or if he was suspected of imposture, 
for then nothing could save him from the fury of his dupes. 

This way of thinking still persists among many peoples, 
and did until recently among many more. In the struggles 
of that remarkable Indian, Tecumseh, against the en- 
croachments of the whites, his followers drew their in- 
spiration not only from his genius as a leader, but fully as 
much from the claims to magical powers put forth by his 
brother, "the Prophet." When these were discredited 
by the loss of the battle of Tippecanoe, all Tecumseh's 

[ 177] 


efforts to unite the Indian race against the whites proved 

And so with disease; only the most enlightened peoples 
deal with its prevention and cure along scientific lines. 

Everywhere else, even to- 
■'^■v«-H. — day, it is the medicine 

man and the witch doc- 
tor, with their drums and 
their charms and their 
incantations, who are 
called upon in case of 

From bad habits, as we 
understand them, early 
man seems to have been 
comparatively free. These 
have come largely with a 
higher civilization, with 
increasing knowledge of 
the various processes by 
which nature may be con- 
trolled. Alcoholic drinks 
of any sort, for example, 
were discovered only com- 
paratively late in man's history, toward the close of the 
prehistoric period. And even then, at first, man knew 
none but comparatively mild fermented beverages. He 
made these from various substances, such as honey, grain, 
and the juice of different fruits, especially grapes. They 
were thus analogous to the "light wines and beer" of which 
so much has been heard in recent years in connection with 
the prohibition controversy. 

Moreover their use was for long almost wholly confined 
to ceremonial and sacramental occasions. Primitive man 
thought that they were imbued with a mysterious divine 
influence which they could impart to the worshiper. The 
expression "to drink to one's health" contains a last linger- 


Fic. 35. African witch doctor or medicine 
man, wearing mask and other parapher- 
nalia of his profession. After Frobenius 


ing trace of this once general belief. Owing both to their 
low alcoholic content and to their limited use, they did 
relatively slight, if any, harm. 

But when, during the past thousand years or so, man 
learned to subject various fermented fluids to distillation 
and thereby first produced spirituous or "hard" liquor, 
containing a high percentage of alcohol, the question be- 
came vastly more serious. By a strange irony of fate, it 
seems to have been the Muhammadan Arabs, themselves a 
temperate people, who spread the knowledge of this 
process through the Old World during the Middle Ages, 
from Europe on the one hand to China on the other. 

At first distilled drinks were regarded and used as 
medicines. We still see a trace of this in our word "cor- 
dial" as applied to certain alcoholic beverages. Readers of 
Robinson Crusoe will recall that hero's satisfaction upon 
finding a "case of cordials." Later, particularly in Europe, 
as distilled liquors became common and cheap, they began 
to be consumed in enormous quantities. The frightful 
ravages wrought by the unrestricted drinking of gin 
among the poorer classes in England during the eighteenth 
century are an example. Then for the first time the 
"liquor problem" really became a serious menace to the 
welfare of mankind. It was distinctly a product of 

Certain practices which we now regard with abhorrence, 
such as infanticide or the putting to death of the old and 
decrepit, were usually based on economic causes. So long 
as man remained ignorant of any means of growing his 
food, and so had to depend entirely for his living upon 
what he could gather or capture, famine remained an 
ever-present danger. Just as savages try, almost in- 
stinctively, to kill or chase away intruders upon their 
special hunting grounds, so they have also felt obliged to 
restrict their own numbers by doing away with an excess 
of newborn infants and those whom age or infirmity have 
rendered useless as food providers. In this respect 



savage man, constrained by his environment, has been 
mercilessly logical. 

Regarding the effects of war upon man's progress in 

primitive just as in 
later times, it is impos- 
sible to make any 
sweeping statement. 
Some wars have ush- 
ered in striking ad- 
vances in civilization 
on the part of one or 
even both combatants; 
for example, the con- 
quest of the Persian 
Empire by Alexander 
the Great, and the 
spread of the Arab 
power from Spain to 
Turkestan. Others 
have resulted in deso- 
lation, the blasting of 
cultures, and the re- 
tarding of progress for 
generations, as did the 
Mongol onslaught upon 
western Asia and east- 
ern Europe. War has 
also been a valuable, 
if stern, school of social 
discipline, teaching 
loyalty, self-sacrifice, 
and cooperative effort 
on a large scale. As 
long as it consisted of hand-to-hand contests involving 
actively the entire adult male population of any com- 
munity, it resulted in the survival of those best fitted to 
perpetuate themselves in their offspring. The weak and 


Fig. 36. African chief armed with shield and 

javelins and wearing plumes, necklaces, skin 

about the waist, and leg-rings; he stands on 

the bow of his war canoe. After Frobenius 


stupid perished, while the strong and inteUigent survived 
to transmit their qualities to their descendants. This 
weeding out of the unfit, going on without ceasing for tens 
of thousands of generations, could only have a beneficial 
effect on the quality of the race as a whole. 

Only in very much later times did war become a struggle 
between organized armies whose success depended mainly 
on the possession of means of wholesale destruction. 
Since then it has been the brave, the patriotic, and the 
physically fit who have perished, usually before they have 
had time to found families, while the weak and timid 
have stayed at home to carry on the race. No intelligent 
stock breeder would dream of trying to improve his herd 
in any such way. Yet that is exactly what modern war 
does. As in so many things, here, too, civilization has 
checked and even reversed natural tendencies. 



Much uncertainty still exists regarding the Eolithic or 
Dawn Stone phase of man's cultural development, al- 
though such a stage must have preceded the Old Stone 
Age. This long and important period is usually con- 
sidered to have begun with the Pre-Chellean, already men- 
tioned more than once. Regarding the steps by which 
that culture period gradually developed out of the pre- 
ceding Eolithic, or the region where it did so, we as yet 
know little, though it probably took place elsewhere than 
in Europe. 

Nor have scholars reached full agreement regarding the 
relation of the earlier culture stages to the different phases 
of the Ice Age. That the Pre-Chellean falls early in the 
third interglacial stage is Osborn's view. He pointed 
out, for example, that Pre-Chellean implements are never 
found in the sands and gravels of the higher river terraces, 
which, as we saw, were laid down earlier in the course of 
the Ice Age. Other authorities, however, date the Pre- 
Chellean as early as the second interglacial, while a few 
even ascribe it to the first. 

The Pre-Chellean Epoch 

The Pre-Chellean culture seems to have reached Europe 
from Africa, although this, of course, by no means implies 
that it was the work of Negroes. In fact at that time, and 
for ages after, the various human races had not yet ac- 
quired their present-day distinguishing characteristics. 
Whoever he was, whether of Piltdown or Heidelberg or 



still another stock, Pre-Chellean man appears to have 
wandered from northern Africa by way of the ancient 
land-bridges into western Europe. But traces of his pres- 
ence, in the shape of flint implements in the river gravels, 
occur so rarely that the population of the time must have 
been extremely sparse. Into central Europe the Pre- 

FiG. 37. Pointed types of eoliths, from southeastern England, made by man 

or his ancestor who hved 500,000 to 1,000,000 years ago, and probably used 

for boring or punching holes. After Harrison 

Chellean culture seems not to have penetrated at all, its 
place there being taken by a form known as pre-Mousterian. 
This may indicate that different races or even species of 
men inhabited the two regions; but of this there is so far 
no positive proof. 

The climate of Europe then, in marked contrast to that 
of the glacial stages, was in the main a genial one, even 
the winters being very mild. Hence both the vegetation 
and the animal life were rich and varied. In the forests 
and meadows and along the river banks ranged at least 
one form of now extinct elephant, if not two; the hippo- 
potamus; two species of ancient rhinoceros; a primitive 
horse; deer; wild cattle; hyenas; and apparently the saber- 



toothed tiger, Man then found food, both animal and 
vegetable, plentiful, and he had little need for protection 
from cold. He may have known and used fire, although we 
have little actual evidence thereof. Probably he wore no 
clothing, and it is extremely unlikely that Pre-Chellean 
man had learned to erect even the simplest sort of shelter 
against inclement weather. His chief if not only need of 
defense, indeed, must have been against the dangerous wild 
animals of the time. The wandering life of the primitive 
hunter and food gatherer of those far distant days, unlike 
that of later Mousterian man, was surely on the whole an 
easy one, entailing little in the way of real hardship, 
privation, or peril. 

The stone implements of the Pre-Chellean epoch are 
very roughly chipped; and the number of different types is 
extremely limited, their forms, indeed, being apparently 
determined mainly by accident. Pre-Chellean man made 
them almost exclusively from the cores of pebbles or nod- 
ules and not from the flakes chipped off from the latter. 
This distinction between a core and a flake industry is an 
important one. The Pre-Chellean flint worker clumsily 
left much of the crust or original surface of the pebble on 
his implements — something that the more expert tool 
makers of later periods rarely if ever did. The true coup- 
de-poing^ or "fist-ax," so characteristic of the Chellean and 
Acheulian epochs which were to follow, was not yet fully 
developed (Fig. 38), and it is most unlikely that the idea of 
providing an implement with any sort of handle or haft 
had yet occurred to man. In fact this device, which seems 
perfectly obvious to us, appears to have been beyond the 
inventive powers of so recent a people as the now extinct 
Tasmanians, who when they first became known to Euro- 
peans, less than 300 years ago, were still actually living in 
the lower Old Stone Age. 

The Pre-Chelleans probably used wood for clubs and 
perhaps spears, although of such objects we have no actual 
remains. However, at Piltdown, in the same deposit in 



which the famous skull came to light, there was also dis- 
covered a strange implement (see Fig. 24), made of a great 
slab of bone, sixteen inches long, taken from the leg of an 
extinct elephant. This had been shaved down to an irregu- 
lar point at one end and also had a hole 
bored through it. Men who could do all 
this with bone must have been familiar 
with the idea of working in wood. 

The Chellean Epoch 

Directly out of the Pre-Chellean arose 
the true Chellean. This advance also 
seems to have taken place mainly in 
Africa, whence it spread both into Europe 
and into Asia. The climate continued 
genial, as indeed it seems to have been 
during all three earlier cultural periods. 
Hence Chellean man, like his predecessors, 
lived in the open. Vegetation flourished, 
and animal life continued with but few 
changes of species, though the lion had 
now largely if not entirely replaced the saber-toothed tiger 
and one form of rhinoceros seems to have died out. Fire 
was probably known, but there is little reason to suppose 
that Chellean man, any more than his forerunners, erected 
shelters or wore any sort of clothing. In fact even the 

Fig. 38. Pre-Chel- 
lean type of stone 
implement. From 
St. Acheul, north- 
eastern France. 
Note clumsy and 
incomplete chip- 
ping. After Com- 

Fic. 39. Tasmanian stone implements, typical of the lower Old Stone -Age. 

Tasmanian culture was by far the most primitive that has survived down to 

recent times. .After Ling Roth 



lowest of existing or recent savages have probably known 
far more of the arts of primitive life than he. 

A considerable improvement in the making and a much 
greater variety in the forms of its flint implements marked 
the period. In all there have been distinguished seven or 
eight types, each apparently adapted primarily to some 
one particular purpose, though not a few seem to have been 
"combination tools." The uses to which they were put 
included cutting, scraping, piercing, and boring (Fig. 40). 
The Chellean continued in the main a core and not a flake 
industry, although occasionally the flakes knocked ofi^ 
from the cores of pebbles were themselves shaped into 

Fic. 40. Chellean flint tools for cutting, scraping, piercing, and boring. After 
Commont and Obermaier 

tools or weapons. The uniformity displayed by these im- 
plements over large areas shows that as various improve- 
ments developed they gradually spread far and wide, from 
one nomadic hunting group to another. Possibly, too, 
even then race and culture were not coextensive, any more 
than they are today. That is, two or more races may have 
used the same types of flint implements; or, on the other 
hand, branches of one and the same race may have had 
different "industries." Thus it is not impossible that 
both the Piltdown race and that of Heidelberg possessed 
the Chellean form of culture, though it may be that 
Heidelberg man was pre-Mousterian. More than one in- 
vestigator has come to look upon the Neanderthal race, 
with its Mousterian type of culture, as descended from 
him, and he seems to have lived in central Europe where 
the pre-Mousterian culture has been found. 



Of the various types of stone implements made during 
the Chellean, that known as the coup-de-poing.or "fist-ax" 
(because it was almost certainly held in the hand and not 
hafted), now appears in a much more highly developed 
form than that which it had in the Pre-Chellean. It oc- 
curs in several shapes, probably denoting a variety of uses. 
Perhaps the most typical is a rough, heavy, almond- 
shaped utensil which must have been used for hacking 
with the edge and striking with the pointed end. It is 
sometimes of large size, indicating that it was wielded by a 
muscular and vigorous race. 

Chellean implements are found in the river gravels, for 
their makers and users had no reason to resort to caves for 
shelter but lived in the open. They may have erected 
simple windbreaks of hides or bark, but this is purely 
matter for conjecture. The utmost that can be said is 
that Chellean man employed some of the tools known as 
"scrapers" in dressing down the skins of animals pre- 
paratory to tanning them; on the other hand he may have 
designed them for fashioning various objects out of wood. 

It can not be emphasized too often in this connection 
that what we have today in the way of remains of early 
cultures necessarily represents but a small fraction of their 
original total content. Only those objects composed of the 
most durable substances have survived; and this means, 
for the earlier periods at least, almost exclusively stone. 
Yet ancient man must have made even greater use of 
wood, bone, skins, sinews, vegetable fibers, and many 
other materials, which have decayed without leaving a 
trace and whose existence we can therefore only infer. 

The Acheulian Epoch 
Following the Chellean, at any rate in western Europe, 
came the culture stage known, from its type station of St. 
Acheul, in northern France, as the Acheulian. This ap- 
pears to be a direct development from the Chellean, a fact 
which implies that there was no break of continuity, such 



as might have been caused by the intervention of a glacial 
stage or the intrusion of a different race. It seems pretty 
clearly to have occurred during the third interglacial 
stage, and has been divided by archeologists into two 
phases, an earlier and a later. 

During the Early Acheulian, the climate of Europe re- 
sembled that of the Chellean, the chief differences being, 
apparently, that it was rather cooler, drier, and perhaps 
more dusty. The animal life of the preceding periods con- 
tinued with but little change. It included the southern 
mammoth, the straight-tusked or "ancient" elephant, 
Merck's rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, lion, hyena, deer, 
wild bull and horse, bison, wolf, beaver, and many other 

Man still continued to live in the open; and it is now 
that we come upon the first absolute proof of his use of fire, 
in the layers of charred wood and bones found on his 
ancient camp sites. Little direct evidence bears on his 
physical characteristics and indeed there may have been 
more races than one occupying western Europe then. For 
some have regarded the Piltdown race as belonging to the 
Acheulian, while there may have been also a Neanderthal 
element, or at all events one ancestral to the latter. 

It seems to have been during the Late Acheulian that the 
chill of the approaching Wiirm glaciation began seriously 
to be felt. Conditions in western Europe now slowly 
underwent radical changes. Forms of animal life that had 
survived all the vicissitudes of the three earlier glacial 
stages now commenced to disappear, replaced by species 
better adapted to withstand severe cold, including the 
hairy northern form of mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, 
and the reindeer. But even yet the roving bands of hunters 
and food gatherers still preferred to pitch their camps in 
the open and only occasionally sought the protection of 
overhanging cliffs and the mouths of caves. 

Despite these changes in the physical environment, a 
great improvement in the forms of its stone implements 



Fig. 41. Acheulian coups de poing or "fist 
axes." After de Mortillet 

characterized the Acheulian type of culture. These were 
now much more skillfully made and far more symmetrical 
in shape than those of the Chellean. They had also come 
to be smaller and lighter and included a far greater 
variety of types. 
Acheulian man still 
used mainly the cores 
of the nodules, but he 
also occasionally em- 
ployed flakes. Dur- 
ing this period the 
coup-de-poi?jg or fist- 
ax reached the acme 
of its development, 
being care fully 
chipped over its en- 
tire surface as well as 
along all its edges; 
perhaps man had even learned to attach a handle of some 
kind to it (Fig. 41). Nevertheless even the finest Acheu- 
lian artifacts, far in advance as they are of anything that 
had gone before, appear coarse and clumsy by contrast 
with those of later periods. 

Certain of the stone implements of Acheulian times 
would have been well adapted for scraping and dressing 
hides, and this has led some observers to infer that the 
people of that day used skins in various ways. There 
can hardly as yet have been any question of regular 
clothing, but the increasing cold of the Late Acheulian 
may have forced upon man the idea of using furs for 
simple wraps. 

It is not impossible that during this same Late Acheulian 
phase burial of the dead began to be practiced. How this 
custom might have arisen, we have, of course, no means of 
knowing; but it may have been connected in some way 
with the growing concentration of the population in cer- 
tain sheltered localities, owing to the increase of cold. 



The Mousterian Epoch 

Toward the close of the Acheulian epoch the climate 
grew increasingly severe, as the Wiirm glacial stage drew 
on. The changes in animal forms to which this led have 
already been noted. A similar alteration manifests itself 
clearly in the human life of the time. To whatever race 
Acheulian man may have belonged, the type of culture 
which he had steadily been developing during the latter 
portion of the third interglacial now gave way to an- 
other, that known as the Mousterian. This change, of 
course, did not take place all at once throughout the whole 
of western Europe. It may very well have required 
hundreds if not thousands of years for completion, and 
no doubt it occurred earlier in some places than in others. 
Thus in certain regions, like the valley of the Garonne, in 
southwestern France, the Mousterian culture seems to 
have appeared even before the advent of the full Wiirm 

Some students have thought that this developed directly 
though gradually from the Acheulian, in western Europe 
itself. But fundamentally there seems to have been in the 
long run an actual replacement of one type of culture by 
another which had grown up in some different part of the 
world; for pretty clear evidence exists that the Mousterian 
culture appeared in western Europe as an intruder from 
central Europe, out of which the advent of the Great Cold 
had probably driven it. In other words, while the Acheuli- 
ans were dwelling in what is now France and the neighbor- 
ing regions, the Mousterians had been living in Germany 
and thereabouts. However, men of Neanderthal type may 
have existed in western Europe also during the Acheulian 
and even earlier periods. We have as yet far too few 
actual skeletal remains from the latter to enable us to say 
definitely to what type, or types, of men the cultures pre- 
ceding the Mousterian are to be ascribed. 

Some investigators have thought that there is evi- 



dence of a "warm" as well as a "cold" Mousterian; that 
that particular culture existed in Europe during a milder as 
well as a more severe climatic phase. But Obermaier, 
perhaps our leading authority on this point, emphatically 
denies this. He says: 

We must strongly insist that in western and central Europe there 
is no true Mousterian with warm fauna. Such a fauna is found only 
in the Pre-Chellean, the Chellean, and the Early Acheulian, for, from 
the Late Acheulian on, we find a cold fauna which lasts through the 
final Magdalenian. Indubitable Mousterian with warm fauna is found 
only in southern Europe — as in Italy (Mentone) and Spain — where 
then and ever since the climate and fauna naturally would be diflFerent. 

To state the length of the Mousterian epoch in terms of 
years with anything like accuracy is still impossible; but, 
thanks mainly to the Swedish investigations of the last 
glaciation, we can make a far better guess than we can for 

Fig. 42. Mousterian implements from the north of France. At left, a scraper; 
center, a flint carefully dressed on both faces; right, a long, narrow point. After 


the still earlier periods. Thus it seems fairly safe to say 
that in western Europe the Mousterian epoch began some- 
where between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago, and con- 
tinued down to something like 25,000 or 30,000 years ago. 



We have now arrived at the cave-dwelling period in 
human history. No doubt man had in earlier times re- 
sorted to caves occasionally for shelter from the weather 
or protection from enemies, human or animal; but the first 
real cave man was the Neanderthaler, whom we find so 
closely associated with the Mousterian type of culture. 
Unlike his predecessors of the Acheulian and still earlier 
periods, he camped in the open very rarely, and then per- 
haps only during the summer months. But it is a mistake 
to suppose that he ever permanently occupied the depths 
of caverns. He lived, on the contrary, only in the portions 
near their mouths — in their "vestibules," so to speak; for 
it is invariably in or just outside the latter that remains of 
his old camp fires are found. 

Fire, as we have seen, man had known and used for ages, 
and it seems likely that even before the Mousterian epoch 
he had learned to kindle it himself. In fact, without 
this knowledge it is hard to see how the Neanderthalers 
could ever have survived the terrible damp cold which 
we know oppressed and desolated Europe during the last 
great glacial stage. 

The shapes of certain types of implements of the Mous- 
terian epoch suggest that they were used for scraping and 
preparing skins for curing (Fig. 42). It appears certain 
that man employed pelts and furs in some way as protec- 
tive coverings during the bitterly cold weather of the time. 
Probably he did not cut them out or fit them to the body 
in any way, but wore them merely as loose wraps. It is 
not impossible that Mousterian man regularly wore a skin 
around his waist; but if he did we may be sure that it was 
not from motives of what we nowadays call "modesty"; 
for the latter feeling is one that has appeared in the world 
only very late in man's history, and far from universally at 
that. It arises only from teaching and habit, and not out 
of any deep-seated or fundamental instinct. 

Mousterian man, unlike his forerunners, manufactured 
his stone implements mainly out of flakes struck off from 

[ 192] 



the pebbles he selected for working, and not out of their 
cores (Fig. 43). This practice, as already stated, forms 
one of the fundamental points of difference between the 
Mousterian "industry" and those which preceded it. At 
first, it is true, the fist- 
ax, or coup-de-poingy a 
"core" implement, con- 
tinued to be made, but 
only in degenerate form; 
and it gradually disap- 
peared altogether. The 
instruments especially 
typical of the Mousterian 
culture were formed from 
large flakes of flint struck 
off from a nodule. The 
inner surface of a flake 
thus detached from the 
parent core is of glassy 
smoothness and slightly 
bulging form, and re- 
quires no further treat- 
ment to render it fit for 
use. Only its outer side 
needs to be chipped or 
"retouched" until the 
flake assumes the desired 
shape. These flake im- 
plements, therefore, com- 
bined greater ease of 
manufacture with un- 
doubtedly much greater effectiveness. They took different 
forms, designed for chopping, hacking, scraping, boring, 
drilling, piercing, cutting, and sawing, so that Mousterian 
man had a tool kit of no mean proportions. 

During this period, also, we find the first indications of 
the regular use of implements made of bone. The latter 


Point of percussion 
Bulb of percussion 

Concentric waves 


Fig. 43. The core of a flint nodule (above), 
and flakes detached from it (below) by 
means of sharp blows at the point of per- 
cussion indicated. After Schmidt 



substance seems to have been occasionally employed be- 
fore, although the only example known thus far is the 
artificially shaped fragment of an elephant's leg bone 
from Piltdown, already mentioned. Now, however, among 
the instruments employed by Neanderthal man we find 
bone "anvils," or chopping blocks, and leg bones of the 
cave bear worked down at one end, apparently for use in 
helping to remove the hides from large animals. 

Undoubtedly the Neanderthalers also utilized wood in 
many ways, among others in the manufacture of spears, 
clubs, and perhaps throwing-sticks. They seem to have 
used a certain type of notched scraper of flint, somewhat 
after the manner of a modern spokeshave, for dressing 
down cylindrical wooden objects such as spear shafts. At 
Claxton-on-Sea, in the east of England, there has actually 
been found the point of a wooden spear which almost 
surely belongs to the Mousterian epoch. 

Quite possibly, too, by this time man had learned the 
secret of arming spears, and perhaps clubs also, with flint 
points, to secure greater power of penetration. To us 
nowadays, the working parts of any tool — the head of an 
ax, the point of a spear, or the tines of a pitchfork — seem 
the essential and primary ones. But that was not at all 
the way in which primitive man looked at it. With him 
the spear, for example, made entirely of one straight and 
pointed shaft of wood, came first. Only very long after- 
ward did the idea dawn on him that if he fastened one of 
his piercing implements of flint to the end of his spear he 
could increase its effectiveness. Similarly with implements 
designed for striking, the plain wooden club must have been 
used for ages before anybody thought of improving it by 
fastening to it such things as flint flakes, sharks' teeth, or 
fragments of volcanic glass, as various peoples have done. 
The shapes of some of the flint implements of the Mous- 
terian epoch make it hard to see how they could have 
been used with any effect unless fitted with handles of 
some sort. 



But even so, it still remains something of a puzzle how 
Neanderthal man, with such primitive weapons, could 
have hunted large and dangerous animals like the mam- 
moth, the woolly rhinoceros, the cave bear, the wild bull, 
and numerous others whose bones we find among the 
refuse of his ancient "garbage piles." It must have been 
through recourse to superior intelligence and cunning that 
he was able to overcome them at all. For he did not know 
the bow and arrow, that most effective of early hunting 
devices; and the structure of his skeleton shows that he was 
a slow and clumsy runner, supporting his weight mainly 
on the outer edges of his feet, and incapable of straighten- 
ing his knee joints fully. He may have stampeded his prey 
into running over cliffs (see Plate 21) or into boggy ground 
or deep snow; or he may have lurked in the underbrush and 
behind rocks at water holes, so as to take it by surprise. 
He may have used pitfalls, fire, and possibly poison. 
Round stone balls have been found which seem to have 
been used for throwing, perhaps at the end of a thong or 
even from a sling. x'\s these balls sometimes occur in sets 
of threes, they may have been attached to one another by 
skin cords and hurled so as to entangle the legs of running 
animals, like the well-known belas used by the Gauchos 
of South America. But whatever the hunting methods 
used by the Mousterians, they must certainly have been 
accompanied by a considerable degree of social organiza- 
tion and discipline, with well-directed cooperation and 
loyal, intelligent teamwork. 

Possibly during the summer months, when freer to wan- 
der about in pursuit of game or to visit localities where 
especially fine qualities of workable flint occurred, the 
Neanderthalers erected temporary shelters, of bark or 
leafy boughs or even skins, against wind and rain; but we 
have no proof. For the rest of the year we know that they 
lived in the vestibules of caverns, under the most crowded, 
unsanitary, and comfortless conditions imaginable. The 
caves were in general excessively damp and draughty, and, 

[ 195 1 


of course, there was no such thing as "keeping out the 
cold," which was often bitter. Doubtless the Neander- 
thalers accepted as a matter of course hardships which we 
should regard as unbearable; and the inexorable weeding 
out of the weak and unfit, particularly in infancy, must 
have kept the racial capacity for endurance at a very high 
pitch. Nevertheless, some of the known Mousterian 
skeletons show unmistakable signs of very severe arthritis, 
pyorrhea, and other ailments. There are also instances 
in which bones have sloughed away as the result of injury 
or disease. 

Naturally we can infer little regarding the social organ- 
ization of Neanderthal man. He must have had some- 
thing of the sort, however, in order not only to hunt the 
larger animals but even to survive at all under the con- 
ditions of hardship, discomfort, and danger which were 
his daily portion. Nor can we expect to know very much 
regarding the nature of his religious beliefs, although it is 
safe to say that he, like so many present-day savages, 
made no distinction between the "natural" and the 
"supernatural." For everything must have seemed to him 
perfectly natural and at the same time imbued in varying 
degrees with magical potentialities. Strong or ferocious 
animals in particular were undoubtedly thought, in the 
language of our own Great Plains, to be "big medicine." 
In the Drachenloch cavern in Switzerland and at Peters- 
hole in Franconia there have come to light specially ar- 
ranged skulls and other bones of the cave bear, indicating 
the existence of some sort of bear cult. 

Man of the late Acheulian may have practiced burial, 
occasionally at least, but its indications become unmis- 
takable early in the Mousterian. Already we find red 
mineral pigment which may, as in later times, have been 
used in connection with burials. Vestiges of the custom 
exist even today in China. Judging from analogies among 
more modern peoples, the Neanderthalers may have 
reasoned that life was closely associated, if not actually 



Restoration of Neanderthal man. Note carriage of 

head; his skeleton shows that he could not quite 

straighten his knee joints. Courtesy of the Field 

Museum of Natural History 


Restoration of a Neanderthal woman scraping a hide. The large 

number of flint scrapers found indicates that the skins of animals 

were cured in Mousterian times. Courtesy of the Field Museum 

of Natural History 


identical, with the blood, and that any substances resem- 
bling the latter in color possessed, therefore, life-giving, 
strengthening, and auspicious power. The Neander- 
thalers also buried with their dead an abundance of finely 
worked flint implements, shells, and joints of meat from 
such animals as they most depended on for food. 

The original motive inspiring these grave-offerings, rep- 
resenting Neanderthal man's richest treasures, was prob- 
ably the desire to keep the dead man or his ghost from 
suffering the pangs of want and so returning in an angry 
frame of mind to terrorize his survivors. The same wish 
to prevent the return of the ghost led in some cases to 
doubling up the body, with its knees close under its chin, 
and then tying it securely in that position before con- 
signing it to the grave. For thus it would be impossible 
for the dead to walk. 

We have mentioned (see Chapter VII) the finding in a 
cave in Croatia of deposits of Mousterian age, including 
the charred and broken bones of about a score of individ- 
uals, both adults and children, of a local type of the 
Neanderthal race. One theory of some plausibility explains 
these as the remains of a cannibal feast of perhaps a 
religious nature. But unless further discoveries of a simi- 
lar sort are made elsewhere, it would hardly be fair to 
stigmatize the Neanderthalers as habitual cannibals. 

Signs of any sort of artistic feeling in Mousterian times 
are almost wholly wanting. The Neanderthalers seem to 
have worn certain shells, and possibly they smeared them- 
selves with the red pigment already mentioned in connec- 
tion with their burial customs. But if so, they can scarce- 
ly have had any idea of enhancing their own personal 
charms. Rather they, like more recent savages, regarded 
such practices simply as "good medicine," sure to place 
them in a more favorable relation to their environment. 

From time to time scientists have attempted to recon- 
struct the bodily appearance of Neanderthal man from his 
skeletal remains (see Plates 28, 42, and 54), often with 



great care and with close attention to measurements of the 
originals. Hence, so far as the restoration of the fleshy- 
covering of the bones is concerned, they may be accepted 
as fairly accurate portrayals. But when it comes to 
questions of skin color, of the amount of hair- covering the 
body, and other £xternal features, to say nothing of such 
purely artificial ones as the mode of hairdressing and the 
wearing of amulets or skins, we can be guided only by 
inference, analogy, and probability drawn from modern 
savage life. 

The Aurignacian Epoch 

Neanderthal man and his Mousterian culture, as already 
stated, gave way, in western Europe at least, to the splendid 
Cro-Magnon race, with its vastly superior culture known 
as the Aurignacian. This seems to have developed in 
Africa from another and earlier "industry" known as the 
Capsian. The early Cro-Magnon invaders of Europe ap- 
pear to have advanced from northern Africa toward their 
new homes by way of the land-bridge which then ex- 
tended across the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia to Italy. 
Their movements apparently began while the Wiirm or 
last great glaciation still held much of Europe in its grip. 
But it is unlikely that they made any great mass migra- 
tions across wide stretches of country. That was not the 
way in which primitive man gradually occupied the earth. 
Rather, the Cro-Magnons and others advanced slowly, 
season by season, in whatever direction they found the 
hunting good and general living conditions favorable. 
The direction in this particular case happened to be one 
which eventually carried them up through Italy and so into 
southern France; but the movement undoubtedly occu- 
pied many hundreds if not thousands of years before the 
Aurignacians began to spread out over western Europe. 
For they do not seem to have done so until well on in the 
final periods of the Wiirm glacial stage. 

The climate at this time was becoming drier and more 



bracing. Great glaciers still covered what are now Norway 
and Sweden, as well as the Alps; but the plains in time 
became ice-free, and though the winters continued very 
severe, the summers had become mild, if not actually warm. 
The animal life changed little from that of Mousterian 
times, retaining its northern or arctic character, and in- 
cluding such forms as the hairy mammoth, the woolly 
rhinoceros, the reindeer, and the arctic fox. Among other 
species, more adapted for life on the open steppes, were the 
horse, the wild ass, and a gigantic form of rhinoceros with 
an enormous single horn situated, unlike that of any exist- 
ing type, on the forehead above the eyes. Forest- and 
meadow-loving animals included the brown bear, the wolf, 
the bison, the wild bull, the stag and the giant deer, some- 
times miscalled the "Irish elk." The cave lion and the 
cave hyena were also present, as well as many other forms, 
some now extinct, while others still survive, in Europe or 
elsewhere. In time there also appeared the mountain 
sheep and the musk ox. 

The Aurignacians were cave dwellers, but cave dwellers 
of a type in every way superior to the lowly Mousterians 
whom they replaced. It is clear, however, that, as we saw 
in Chapter VI, the two races influenced each other to some 
extent. Very recent finds in East Africa have made this 
even more evident, for here, too, the Mousterian and the 
Aurignacian cultures have lately appeared; but instead of 
the former preceding the latter, as it does in Europe, both 
forms prove to have existed together during a very long 
period. In one case, indeed, a Mousterian deposit overlay 
an Aurignacian one and therefore actually came after it. 
Eventually the two cultures become fused into one. So 
far, lack of skeletal material prevents us from saying 
whether or not the African Mousterian and Aurignacian 
were the handiwork of different types of man, as they were 
in Europe. But the existing evidence points that way. 

These very recent African discoveries thus render it 
practically out of the question that the Aurignacian cul- 



ture, connected in Europe with the advent of Cro-Magnon 
man, could have been developed out of the Mousterian, 
associated closely as it is with the Neanderthal race. On 
the contrary, the Aurignacians, on their arrival in Europe, 
appear to have exchanged a few cultural elements with the 
Mousterians, and even, perhaps, to have mingled with 
them racially to an extremely limited degree, but finally to 
have replaced them entirely. 

The situation may very well have paralleled the case of- 
the American Indian and the European settler, although 
with far less diflFerence in degree of culture. When two 
peoples come into close and prolonged contact, it is not the 
less civilized which does all the borrowing of ideas; the 
more advanced one also almost invariably adopts some 

culture elements from its 
humbler rival. Thus to the 
American Indians, for ex- 
ample, we owe not only vari- 
ous food plants, such as 
\^^//rWM potatoes and maize, but also 
such things as tobacco pipes, 
^gjjijjgjj^ hammocks snowshoes, can- 
vas canoes (modeled after the 
birch-bark craft of the abo- 
rigines), and the game of la- 

Authorities have divided 
the xAurignacian epoch into a 
Lower, a Middle, and an 
Upper phase, during all of 
which it underwent a steady 
development. Like the Mous- 
terian but unlike the earlier 
Pre-Chellean, Chellean, and Acheulian industries, the 
Aurignacian based its flint-working mainly on the utiliza- 
tion of flakes and not of cores. Indeed it used far fewer 
core implements than did even the Mousterian, while the 


Fig. 44. Aurignacian implements. 
No. I is a flint point; 2, a scraper 
seen from the side and end; J, a 
bone point with a cleft base; 4, a 
borer. After de Morgan 


flake tools and weapons were longer, narrower, thinner, and 
more delicately worked. Cro-Magnon man made flint 
knife blades, points, borers, scrapers, and planing tools. 
He used stones both as hammers and anvils and also for 
throwing, while from horn and bone he made javelin points, 
drills, and polishers (Fig. 44). He undoubtedly utilized 
wood to a great extent; indeed many of the flint imple- 
ments found evidently were meant to be used in working 
up that material into various objects. 

Yet the Aurignacians, far ahead as they were of any of 
their predecessors of the Old Stone Age, still depended 
wholly for their livelihood upon hunting, fishing, and the 

Fic. 45. Baton lie iommandement of reindeer antler, with engravings of 
wild horses. After Lartet and Christy 

gathering of such vegetable foods as they found growing 
wild. They had no domestic animals, not even the dog; 
nor had they grasped the idea of making pottery, even the 
crudest. Nothing exists to show that they had canoes, and 
they seem not to have known the bov/ and arrow. Yet 
they probably built huts or wigwams of saplings covered 
with sheets of bark or with skins, at least for their summer 

During the Late Aurignacian we begin to find a curious 
object consisting of a section of reindeer antler with a 
rounded hole bored through it, generally at the point where 
the main shaft, or "beam," and the brow-tine join. At first 
they ornamented this with rude engravings, but in later 
times with elaborate carvings. It is commonly called a 



baton de commandement^ or staff of office, but this is merely 
guesswork (Fig. 45). Was it a sort of war-club, ceremonial 
or otherwise, or the badge of a medicine man? Was it a 
toggle used to hold the edges of a fur cloak together? Was 
it a shaft straightener, or was its purpose that of taking 
the kinks out of a length of rawhide rope ? As yet we can 
not tell. 

In the Late Aurignacian also there begin to appear bone 
needles, at first without eyes; these indicate a considerable 
advance in the working up and stitching together of skins, 
probably for clothing. 

But perhaps the outstanding technical achievement of 
the Aurignacian epoch was the invention of the burin, or 
engraving tool, a flint with a sharp angulate point used for 
incising figures of various sorts on the walls of caves. Their 
remarkable artistic genius constitutes the most notable 
thing about the Cro-Magnon race, although, like all art in 
its beginnings, theirs was inextricably bound up with 
magical ideas and practices. 

The Cro-Magnon hunter, like many savage races since, 
believed unshakably that, if he drew a representation of an 
animal and then performed over it magical ceremonies of 
the right sort, he could cause animals of that species to 
become more numerous or easier to capture, as the case 
might be. So far as we know now, this represents man's 
earliest scheme to increase his own food supply by assist- 
ing or coercing nature to be more liberal. To us the notion 
of producing food through the growing of crops or the 
rearing of animals seems perfectly obvious. It was not so, 
however, to the primitive hunter and food gatherer, and 
he must have endured long and painful experiences of 
scarcity before he finally grasped the idea that he himself 
could do anything at all to make food more plentiful. 

When this idea first dawned on him, however, Auri- 
gnacian man did not set to work right away planting and 
tending various wild seeds and tubers or catching and 
domesticating certain wild animals. Such a line of conduct 

[ 202 ] 


would have been entirely beyond his reasoning powers, 
based as these were upon a very limited fund of accumu- 
lated experience. He first attempted to control his food 
supply by resort to magic, the only means that he knew. 
That it was a mistaken method does not lessen the funda- 
mental importance of the step for the future of mankind, 
for once he had grasped the idea that he himself could in- 
crease the food available, it was only a question of time 
until he hit upon the right way of realizing it. 

In their efforts for the benefit of the larder the Cro- 
Magnon medicine men performed ceremonies in the deep- 
est recesses of the caves whose entrances they inhabited. 
The kinds of animals which they wished to render more 
plentiful they represented by drawings, images, or masks, 
with the aid of which they performed rites and incanta- 
tions. Some of the more backward races of the earth, like 
the Australian natives for instance, have never progressed 
beyond this stage, while traces of its former existence sur- 
vive among many more advanced peoples. 

The wonderful representations of animals, which the 
Cro-Magnon artists incised and painted on the walls of 
caves and molded in the damp clay of their floors (Plate 56) 
during the latter part of the Old Stone Age, have attracted 
attention and admiration the world over. Until a genera- 
tion or two ago modern man did not even suspect their ex- 
istence, and their discovery and study form one of the most 
fascinating and romantic chapters in the story of man's 
recent inquiries into his own past. 

Many of these sketches are crude and roughly executed; 
but in others both drawing and workmanship are of a won- 
derfully high quality. The animals portrayed include the 
mammoth, wild bull, bison, cave bear, reindeer, stag, and at 
least two species of wild horse, as well as many others. 

Many reasons force us to believe that these works of art 
— for such they are — were executed mainly for magical 
purposes and not merely to satisfy a budding esthetic sense 
or to record incidents in the life of early man. In the first 

[ 203 ] 


place a great number, including some of the finest of them, 
occur in the innermost recesses of caves, almost inaccessi- 
ble even today and quite invisible without the aid of 
artificial light. Evidently the artists did not intend them 
primarily to be seen and admired by their fellow tribes- 
men. Again, the animals represented include almost ex- 
clusively those upon which men placed their chief reliance 
for food; others, whose flesh was too tough or too unpal- 
atable even for the strong teeth and stronger stomachs of 
the cave people, are very rarely seen. Occasionally the 
artist represented the subject of his drawing or painting 
with a dart sticking in it (see Figs. 13 and 62). The motive 
here was undoubtedly the same which, handed down 
through the ages, caused the medieval witch to thrust pins 
into a wax image of the person whose death she desired to 
bring about. 

But although the cave artist had as his primary and per- 
haps only conscious purpose the insuring of a plentiful 
supply of food animals, his work is often so fine, so sure of 
itself, so full of energy and life and the close observation of 
nature, that in many cases genuine artistic feeling evi- 
dently inspired it (Fig. 46). The cave art foreshadowed in 
the development of this quality the great art of Greece 
many thousand years later; in the latter, too, the primary 
motive was magico-religious, yet it embodied the finest 
expressions of sheer beauty that the world has ever seen. 

The Aurignacian artists depicted other classes of objects 
on the walls of caves, such as representations of human 
hands, either in silhouette or in outline. The noteworthy 
thing about these is the frequency with which they reveal 
mutilation through the cutting off of one or more fingers 
(see Plate 16). As we have seen, the same practice has been 
found to occur among certain uncivilized peoples of more 
modern days, the motive being to express grief or to secure 
the favor of the Unseen Powers. It may be that similar 
ideas induced the ancient Aurignacians thus to mutilate 

[ 204 ] 


Hand in hand with this great art of the caverns went 
that of engraving and carving, in Hmestone, soapstone, 
ivory, bone, reindeer antler, and doubtless in wood. 
Among the works thus executed occur those statuettes of 

- 'JLi'Ii. 

Fig. 46. Gracing reindeer engraved on a baton de commandement. The 

lines in the foreground have been doubtfully interpreted as signifying a pool 

with vegetation. After Merck 

very corpulent naked women, already mentioned m 
Chapter VI, which, in some of the physical peculiarities 
represented, recall the very ancient Bushman race of South 
Africa. These statuettes seem certainly to have had a 
religious significance. Perhaps they represent the first 
faint beginnings of the belief in a Great Mother Goddess of 
fertility and life and death which we find so widespread in 
much later times. 

Generally speaking, in his attempts at delineating the 
human form the Aurignacian artist fell far short of the 
brilliant success which he achieved in the realm of animal 



Though we find a certain similarity between the burial 
customs of the Cro-Magnons and those of the Neander- 
thalers whom they replaced, the former made far greater 
use of red pigment, which they appear to have deemed ab- 
solutely essential to a properly arranged interment. They 
likewise buried with the dead circlets, necklaces, gorgets, 
and coronets of perforated shells; tools and weapons of 
finely worked flint; and supplies of food. Such funeral 
furnishings would appear to imply a lively faith in the sur- 
vival of the ghost of the dead man, for a time at least. 

Sometimes, it would seem, the Aurignacians painted the 
corpse itself red with mineral pigments which, as tne body 
decayed, eventually worked through to the bones. At 
other times, like so many later peoples, they laid the dead 
away temporarily until the fleshy parts of the body de- 
cayed, after which they carefully cleansed, painted red, 
and once more buried the bones, this time for good. 

This custom of painting the dead or their bones suggests 
that the living Aurignacians also probably painted them- 
selves. If so, the practice undoubtedly had a magical basis, 
as did the war paint of the American Indians, for example. 

The Solutrean Epoch 

What finally became of the culture of the Aurignacian 
hunters and artists which we have briefly sketched in the 
foregoing paragraphs ? In certain areas, especially in Italy, 
sheltered as it is against invasion from the north by the 
great rampart of the Alps, it seems to have survived with- 
out radical change for a long period. There it shows no 
sign of having been influenced by the Solutrean and 
Magdalenian cultures, and was ultimately replaced only 
by the Azilian type of human industry. The valleys of the 
Pyrenees and of northeastern Spain also probably served as 
refuges for some of the Aurignacian bands who fled thither, 
apparently before the Solutrean intruders slowly drifting in 
from the east. 

The climate during the Solutrean epoch was in the main 



cold and dry, and much of the surface of Europe then con- 
sisted of treeless grassland over which swept in summer 
thick dust storms obscuring the sun, and in winter terrible 
cold winds and blizzards. Nevertheless, the Solutreans 
seem to have lived mainly in the open. Possibly they had 
developed some sort of habitation of skins stretched on 
poles, akin in principle to the tepee of the Plains Indians 
or the yurt of the Mongols. Of this, however, we can ex- 
pect to find no direct evidence. 

During the Solutrean epoch the animal life differed 
comparatively little, at least in the generality of its forms, 
from that of the Aurignacian. 

In eastern Europe, especially in Poland and Hun- 
gary, remains of the Mousterian epoch, as already stated, 
are followed directly by those of the Solutrean. This 
rather indicates that the latter type of culture appeared in 
those regions before the Aurignacians had had time to 
work their way that far east. There seems, at least, to be 
no doubt that the Solutrean culture originated in the east 
and gradually extended westward, improving its technique 
of flint-working as it went. Its impetus, from whatever 
cause it arose, spent itself before reaching the lands border- 
ing upon the Mediterranean Sea; for in these it does not 

At the beginning of the Solutrean epoch the new method 
of shaping implements which forms its special character- 
istic, that known as "pressure flaking," was rare and un- 
important. Later on, however, it developed to a pitch 
never excelled during the Old Stone Age. 

The flint implements of this period fall into two distinct 
classes. The first occurs in one form or another throughout 
the entire Upper Paleolithic and consists of single and 
double scrapers, drills, burins, retouched flakes, and the 
like. The second consists of the "leaf" types of flint 
blades, which characterize the Solutrean epoch alone and 
disappear entirely at its close. These, from their shapes, 
have been aptly called by the French archeologists the 




"willow-leaf" (narrow) and "laurel-leaf" (broad) forms 
(Fig. 47). The latter especially occur in great perfection 
during the Middle Solutrean, when they attain a marvel- 
ous perfection both of form and of technique — perfectly 

symmetrical, some- 
times a foot or more 
in length, and 
worked down on 
both sides until in 
some instances they 
are actually trans- 
lucent. The process 
by which the Solu- 
treans achieved this 
result was that 
known as pressure 
or ripple flaking, 
whereby long, thin, 
parallel flakes were 
taken off right across 
both faces of the 
blade. As weapons, 
nothing else that 
man of the Old 
Stone Age achieved 
approached these 
leaf points, and 
they may well have 
played a large if not 
decisive part in the 
spread of Solutrean culture across Europe from east to west. 
In its more eastern and presumably earlier aspects, the 
Solutrean culture displays no implements of bone; but 
farther to the west, perhaps as a result of Aurignacian 
contacts, objects of that material, such as awls and smooth- 
ers, and others of reindeer antler, like the baton de com- 
mandement^ become numerous. 

Fig. 47. Solutrean flint implements and 
weapons of fine laurel-leaf type. Above, two 
forms of shouldered point, perhaps earliest 
tvpe of barbed weapon. After de Mortillet 



Above, a mammotli carved from ivory from a Solutrean layer at Pfed- 
most, Moravia. After Maska. Below, a reconstruction drawing 
designed to bring out the details. From the Illustrated London News 


During the Late Solutrean there appeared, more es- 
pecially in southwestern France, a new type of flint im- 
plement known as a "shouldered point," which was made 
with a projection on one side. This is the first sign that 
man had come to realize the efficacy of a barb in holding 
a weapon in the flesh of a hunted animal. In the Late 
Solutrean we find, too, bone javelin points, and also bone 
needles pierced at one end, exactly like our own save in 
the material of which they are made. These show pretty 
conclusively that the art of fitting and sewing skin cloth- 
ing had made still further progress by this time. In fact 
it is quite likely that during the greater portion of the 
Later Paleolithic, including the Solutrean epoch, man 
wore fur garments not unlike those of the modern Eskimo. 

While the Solutreans far surpassed the Aurignacians in 
flint working, in art they fell far behind, so much so that 
some have doubted whether the Solutrean culture itself 
had any art at all. They suggest that the examples of 
artistic achievement belonging to this epoch represent 
rather the work of surviving Aurignacians who had 
mingled with the Solutrean intruders. 

But whoever the artists were, the Solutrean epoch wit- 
nessed a considerable development of animal sculpture. 
A noteworthy example is a figure of a mammoth carved 
out of a fragment of ivory, found at Pfedmost, in Moravia, 
several feet beneath the surface of the loess soil, in an 
undoubtedly Solutrean layer (Plate 57). The carving of 
animal figures on the batons de commandement also under- 
went a great advance during this period. It is just possi- 
ble that statuettes of naked fat women, usually regarded 
as peculiar to the Late Aurignacian, may also have been 
executed during the beginning of the Solutrean, If so, 
they, too, may well have been the work of x-^urignacian 
survivors rather than of the Solutreans themselves. The 
latter may possibly have been primarily responsible for 
at least one class of decorative designs, namely, those 
of geometric and highly conventionalized type (Fig. 48). 



Ornamentation of this va- 
riety, as opposed to the more 
purely naturalistic designs of 
Aurignacian times, is dis- 
tinctly east European. But 
whether they were Solutrean 
or not, undoubtedly these de- 
signs also possessed a magical 

As we have seen, the Solu- 
trean culture appears to have 
reached western Europe from 
the east, perhaps as a result 
of actual invasion by a new, 
more warlike, and more ef- 
ficiently armed people from 
the steppes of southern 
Russia or southwestern Si- 
beria. The possessors of this 
culture seem throughout their 
history to have sought the 
lowlands rather than moun- 
tainous regions; also they de- 
pended for food chiefly upon 
plains-loving species of ani- 
mals, notably the steppe type 
of wild horse. 

Yet abundant signs indi- 
cate that the respec.tive cul- 
tures of the Aurignacians and 
the Solutreans reacted upon 
each other in many ways. Maybe wherever the Solutreans 
penetrated, they constituted themselves a sort of ruling 
class or tribe exacting tribute from their predecessors, the 
Aurignacians, as the Iroquois Indians did from the Algon- 
kins in America. Or they may simply have driven the 
Aurignacians into hilly or densely forested regions where 


Fig. 48. Geometrical design rep- 
reserkting a woman, engraved in 
ivory. The triangular head, the 
breasts, hips, and legs are indi- 
cated. From Predmost, Moravia. 
After Kriz 


they themselves, accustomed to life on the open treeless 
plains, did not care to penetrate. Numerous illustrations 
of a closely similar state of affairs might be drawn from the 
contacts between the Plains Indians and their mountain- 
dwelling neighbors. 

In Solutrean times, also, men evidently revered, or at 
least feared, the spirits of their dead, for among the few 
interments of that period which have thus far come to 
light we find instances of stone coverings protecting bodies, 
which in some cases are specially prepared for burial and 
accompanied by numerous grave-offerings. One of the 
Briinn skeletons, for example, was colored with red pig- 
ment, as were many of the objects buried with it. These 
included perforated stone disks, ornaments of shell and 
bone and mammoth teeth, and a fragmentary ivory 
statuette, apparently of a man. 

The Solutrean culture is usually considered to have per- 
sisted in Europe for perhaps a couple of thousand years, 
after which it came to an end, somewhat abruptly. The 
total disappearance of the Solutrean technique of flint- 
working suggests the withdrawal of a race rather than the 
decline of a culture. It seems probable that this disap- 
pearance resulted, in the main at least, from a change in 
climate. For there appears to have been an increase in 
humidity toward the close of Solutrean times which in- 
duced the growth of forests. These spread gradually over 
much of the steppe, rendering it impossible for the Solu- 
treans any longer to continue their accustomed methods 
of hunting in western Europe, even had the troops of wild 
horses and other plains-loving animals been able to remain. 

But as the forests slowly crowded out the latter, the 
bands of hunters who depended on them for a livelihood 
seem to have accompanied them farther and farther east- 
ward, back toward the regions whence they had originally 
come. Probably the change in any one man's lifetime was 
hardly great enough to be noticed; and we must remember 
that in those days man possessed no means of recording 



past events save by oral tradition — literally through 
"grandfathers' tales." 

Here we may recall the theory, already touched upon in 
Chapter VI, that the Solutrean hunters were the remote 
ancestors of the tall, narrow-skulled, fair people whom we 
know as Nordics and who in far later times overran, devas- 
tated, and conquered great portions of Europe and western 
Asia. Much further work needs to be done, however, 
before this hypothesis can be shown to be either true or 

The Magdalenian Epoch 

The Solutrean epoch, all investigators are agreed, 
formed only an interlude, although a fairly lengthy one as 
man looks on time. Immediately on its heels came the 
Magdalenian culture, whose rise seems fundamentally to 
have been connected with the re-emergence from obscurity 
of the Cro-Magnon race. It represents, however, by no 
means merely a revival of Aurignacian culture, but had a 
very distinctive character of its own. It has left traces 
from Spain to central Siberia, but does not occur, at least 
in its typical form, in Africa, in Italy, or in southern Spain. 
For these reasons some have thought that it originated in 
Asia. Others, however, like Obermaier, regard it, perhaps 
with better reason, as having arisen in the French Pyre- 
nees, mainly out of the Aurignacian, but modified and 
stimulated by other cultural influences, including eastern 

Of two things at any rate we may be sure. One, that 
the Magdalenian did not develop out of the Solutrean, 
which it closely followed; the other, that it is associated 
principally with the Cro-Magnon race. The latter no 
longer attained the splendid physical proportions of early 
Aurignacian times. Osborn very plausibly suggests as a 
cause of this decrease in bodily size the severe climatic 
conditions which prevailed during Magdalenian times. 

The Magdalenian culture appears to have arisen during 




V V' t^"^^--- i^^ ill 

Fig. 49. Upper: Painted engraving of a horse from the cavern of Niaux, in 
southwestern France. Wedge-shaped mark behind right shoulder may indicate 
a spear or an arrow by which horse was "killed" as part of the magical ceremony. 
After Cartailhac and Breuil. Lower: The Mongolian wild horse, closely akin to 
those of the Old Stone Age, now in the National Zoological Park 



the first of those three minor advances of the ice which 
occurred at intervals after the close of the last or Wiirm 
glacial stage. Osborn regards it as beginning about 
18,000 years ago, although others have put it rather later. 
All agree, however, in regarding it as a comparatively long 

Fig. 50. Magdalenian flint implements, including a graving tool. After de 


epoch, considerably longer than the Solutrean, and lasting 
altogether not less than 3,000 or 4,000 years. Most pains- 
taking study, mainly by French investigators, has led to 
its division into three phases; the Lower or oldest, the 
Middle, and the Upper. Of these the first seems to have 
been at least as long as the other two combined. 

With the gradual increase of both cold and humidity at 
the end of the Solutrean, the glaciers of the Alps, of 
Scandinavia, and of Great Britain once more advanced, 
although not by any means as far as they had done during 
the Wiirm or last really great glaciation. Nevertheless the 
cold and the heavy falls of wet snow compelled mankind 
to seek shelter in the mouths of caves or at least under 
overhanging cliffs. Forests gradually overgrew the low- 
lands of western Europe, interspersed with meadows and 
swamps, and around the borders of the greatly expanded 
ice fields bleak tundra conditions prevailed. This phase 
of the Magdalenian epoch is that of the Biihl postglacial 



stage in the Alps. During Middle Magdalenian times, a 
temporary retreat of the ice fields followed, and somewhat 
more genial climatic conditions returned. Finally, the 
second postglacial advance, known as the Gschnitz stage 
in the Alpine region, -seems to have coincided fairly closely 
with the closing period of Mag- 
dalenian culture, bringing with 
it a cold, wet climate, although 
the snow line did not descend 
as far down the mountain- 
sides as during the Biihl ad- 

These climatic fluctuations 
naturally affected the animal 
life, although not in any radi- 
cal way. Both tundra and 
steppe forms existed, including 
the reindeer and the horse, 
upon which the Magdalenians 
depended largely for food; 
although, of course, they only 
hunted them and did not bring 
them under domestication. 
The Magdalenians also knew 
the saiga antelope, distinctly 
a steppe animal; the musk ox, 
now a denizen of arctic North 
/\merica; the bison and the 
moose, both closely related to 
existing forms; the ibex, the 
beaver, the wolverine, the lion, 
the wolf, the fox, and many 
others. The mammoth and 
the woolly rhinoceros still occurred in western Europe at 
the beginning of the epoch, although they disappeared 
before it was over. Thus the fauna was of a typical cold- 
loving type; for even the lion, which we think of today as 


Fig. 51. Magdalenian bone and 

ivory points and harpoons. After 

de Morgan 


a native of Africa and southern Asia, can become habitu- 
ated to very cold weather, just as the tiger is nowhere so 
large and fine as in Manchuria and Siberia. 

During the Magdalenian that loss of skill in stone-work- 
ing, which seems to have begun with the increased utiliza- 
tion of other materials during the Aurignacian, further 
manifested itself. The period had none of the beautiful 
pressure or ripple flaking which characterized the Solu- 
trean; but an extraordinary development of skill and 
artistic taste took place in the manufacture of all kinds of 

implements from bone, mam- 
moth ivory, reindeer antler, and 
probably also from more perish- 
able materials, such as wood and 
the horns of bison and wild cat- 
tle. The simple bone harpoon 
with ridges and notches, of the 
Early Magdalenian, evolved in 
time into a most effective weapon 
with rows of recurving barbs 
along both edges. Sharp javelins 
of reindeer antler bore deep 
grooves, whether to hold poison 
or merely to let the blood flow 
more freely we do not know. 
Scrapers for dressing skins, as 
well as awls, hammers, chisels, 
and stone and horn polishers, 
were made in profusion. The 
Magdalenians also produced the 
so-called baton de commandement, 
often richly carved, no doubt in 
order to increase its magical 

Late in the Magdalenian epoch appeared the spear- 
thrower, exactly similar in principle to those still used by 
savage peoples in many parts of the world (Fig. 52). This 


Fig. 52. Magdalenian spear- 
thrower of reindeer antler 
partly restored. Believed to 
represent a grouse or ptarmi- 
gan. After Piette and Breuil 


-2 o 
"? O 

Z N 




IS o 




Magdalenian bone needles, awls, and fishhooks, with material and 

tools used in their manufacture. Double-ended points like Nos. 205 

and 206 seem to have been used in fishing. After de Mortillet 


marked a decided advance in armament. It is possible, 
too, that the bow and arrow were known, although the 
evidence for this is necessarily indirect, since materials so 
little durable as those from which these weapons are made 
could scarcely be expected to survive. Very significant of 
the clothing habits of the Magdalenians is the abundance 
of finely made bone or ivory needles (Plate 59), pierced 
with eyes, which occur in deposits of this period. 

Up to this point in our study of early man we have been 
able at the most only to infer the existence of artificial 
habitations of any kind. We know that during certain 

F'lG. 53. Tectiform or hiitlike designs from the caves of southern France and 
Spain, of uncertain interpretation; perhaps wild animal traps. After Breuil 

cold periods he lived in the mouths of caves; and we can 
guess that under milder climatic conditions he may even- 
tually have erected windbreaks, or even huts of some sort, 
in the open. But during the Magdalenian the evidence 
for the existence of such constructions becomes much 

Thus the type station of La Madeleine, from which the 
Magdalenian epoch takes its name, is merely a long, shal- 
low rock-shelter which of itself could hardly have afforded 
protection from the elements to such large populations 
as evidently camped there then. The inference is well- 
nigh irresistible that they must have built, along the shel- 
tered area at the foot of the cliff, long lines of habitations 
of some kind. Moreover on the walls of certain caves, 
like those of Font-de-Gaume, in southwestern France, and 
of Castillo and Pasiega, in the extreme north of Spain, we 
find depicted designs which many investigators regard as 
representations of huts or cabins (Fig. ^2)-> though others 
have interpreted them as pictures of traps for capturing 



wild animals.. But in either case they afford pretty clear 
evidence that so advanced a people as the Magdalenians 
were quite intelligent enough to erect buildings of some 
sort. For that matter, they very likely knew how to con- 
struct both huts and animal traps. 

The great artistic ability of the Cro-Magnon race which 
achieved such remarkable results during the Aurignacian 
epoch underwent a partial eclipse during the Solutrean. 
But in the Magdalenian it again shone forth more bril- 
liantly than<^ever and reached a degree of excellence un- 
equaled before, although sometimes foreshadowed during 
the Late Aurignacian. It culminated in the Middle 
Magdalenian. After that there came a sudden decline and 
eventual disappearance, for which various explanations 

have been offered. 

Like the Aurigna- 
cian, the Magdalenian 
art falls into two dis- 
tinct but nearly re- 
lated divisions. The 
more impressive of the 
two is that found on 
the walls, ceilings, and 
floors of caverns. The 
other appears often as 
elaborate decorations 
on various objects, 
such as tools and weap- 
ons, particularly of 
bone and antler (Fig. 
54). Nor can we doubt that carving in wood must also 
have been highly developed. It is quite possible, too, 
that the Magdalenians painted designs on animal skins, 
just as the Plains Indians did on buffalo robes. 

The beginning of this great artistic development co- 
incided, as we have seen, with a climatic phase in which 
life conditions were again very severe, driving people to 

f2i8 1 

Fig. 54. Conventionalized designs carved on 

fragments of bone. From the cave of Espe- 

lugues, southwestern France. After Piette 


rock-shelters and the vestibules of caves for protection 
from the increased cold and dampness. Thus, during the 
winters at least, there must have been much crowding 
together, and this invariably leads to active exchange of 
ideas and consequent rapidity of progress. This has 
always been so. Cities are invariably progressive, some- 

Fio. 55. A hunters' feast engraved on a bone pendant. The dead bison is 

shown partly dismembered, exposing the spinal column. From the cave of 

Raymonden, southwestern France. After Breuil 

times even radical; while rural regions, where people are 
more scattered, are conservative and slow to change. 
Thus the words "pagan" and "heathen" meant originally 
nothing more than "villager" {paganus in Latin) and 
"dweller on the heath," for belief in the old gods still 
survived in the country districts long after the great 
centers of population had become Christian; hence, also, 
"rustic" or "countryman" became equivalent to "non- 

Similarly in Magdalenian days, when people lived 
crowded together, and blizzards and deep, wet snow en- 
forced long periods of physical inactivity, minds as gifted 
as those of the Cro-Magnons must have been stimulated 
to an exceptional degree. This would lead, as indeed we 
know it did, to progress in many directions, one of which 
was in the field of art. 

This is not at all to imply that the Magdalenians were 
ever "artists" in the present-day sense. Like the Auri- 



Fig. 56. Stone lamp from cave of La Mouthe, 
in southwestern France; perhaps it provided 
Hght for the cave artists. After de Mortillet 

gnacians, they usually executed their engravings and paint- 
ings in the remotest depths of caverns, in places almost 
incredibly difficult of access and in darkness hardly to be 
dispelled by the smoking torches and crude stone lamps 
of the ancient artists (Fig. 56). Such inaccessible recesses 

were never picture gal- 
leries or show places, 
but rather Cro-Mag- 
non man's cathedrals 
and temples, where, 
far from the abodes of 
his fellows, he carried 
on his most sacred and 
awesome rites. 
Great differences exist in the artistic merits of the vari- 
ous pictures, showing that some individuals had far greater 
talent than others. Nevertheless, the changes of style in 
this cave art follow exactly the same course wherever it 
occurs, even in the most widely separated regions. This 
can only mean that active communication and inter- 
change of ideas was going on at this time throughout much 
of western Europe, at least among the medicine men. 

One of the striking things about this cave art is the ap- 
parently purposeless way in which one picture is drawn 
over another, exactly as though the latter had not existed 
(Plate 60). Here we have one of the surest proofs that the 
motive underlying it all was magical and not merely 
esthetic, for it shows that after a given design had served 
its purpose in helping "make magic" it lost its interest. 
Earlier drawings meant nothing to later artists. Evidently 
Cro-Magnon man, like most savages to whom the ceaseless 
quest for food is the great problem of life, was a strict 
utilitarian. And like them, too, he doubtless hunted dif- 
ferent animals at different seasons. 

The cave artists employed several of the graphic arts — 
engraving, carving in low relief, painting in one or more 
colors, and modeling or sculpture. Not infrequently they 

[ 220 ] 


Superposed mural frescoes representing horse, reindeer, bison, and 
mammoth. The designs were first engraved as above and then panned; 
the lower picture gives the final effect. After Capitan, Breuil, and 



combined two or more methods. They showed great abil- 
ity in modeling figures in clay, like the two bisons in the 
cavern of Tuc d'Audoubert or the clay bear with a real 
bear's skull in the cave of Montespan. In fact they prob- 

A 1 <^ 

Fig. 57. Design of a herd of reindeer, engraved on the wing bone of an eagle. 
From the cave of La Mairie, southwestern France. After Capitan and Breuil 

ably employed this method a good deal more commonly 
than its few surviving examples would indicate; for Cro- 
Magnon man had not learned to bake his clay figures, 
which therefore must usually have soon gone to pieces. 

Of these various arts, engraving and painting especially 
characterized the Middle Magdalenian, when the latter 

Fk;. 58. A mammoth engraved on ivory, from the station of La Madeleine. One 

of the earliest and most spirited specimens of the later Old Stone Age art found. 

After Lartet 

method in particular reached its height. The artist used 
ocher and oxide of manganese for pigments, grinding them 
fine in stone mortars and mixing them with some such 

I221 1 


medium as animal fat. They kept these paints in shells or 
in tubes made of the hollow leg bones of animals. What 
they used for brushes we have no means of knowing, but 
perhaps some sort of fibrous wood frayed out at the end. 
They painted mainly in red or black, or in both, but also 
occasionally used other colors. 

Sculpture, which began in the Aurignacian, developed 
continuously to the Middle Magdalenian. That of 
animals, which seems to have had its rise in the Solutrean, 
reached its height in the Early Magdalenian. Nude 
human figurines were also executed, although these now 
tended to be naturalistic and comparatively free from the 
gross exaggeration of the Aurignacian sculptors. But 
representations of the human form during the Magda- 
lenian epoch are rather rare and never rival the excellence 
of contemporaneous portrayals of animal life. 

Of the different animals depicted, the mammoth, while 
it lasted, furnished a favorite subject, as did the reindeer, 
the horse, and the bison. Of the last-named creature it 
has been estimated that fifty representations occur for one 
of the wild bull. Birds are rarely shown, but fish are not 
infrequent (Fig. 59). 

Representations of masked or otherwise disguised hu- 
man figures point inevitably to the existence of some sort 
of ritual. They recall in particular the "hunting dances" 
of certain latter-day savages, in which the performers put 
on skins of animals of the kind about to be hunted and 
imitate their characteristic movements. Perhaps the 
most noteworthy design of this class so far found is one 
known as "The Sorcerer," or, as our frontiersmen would 
have said, "The Medicine Man." This was discovered a 
few years ago, deep in the cavern of the Trois Freres, in 
southwestern France (Fig. 60). It is placed high on the 
end wall in a most inaccessible position, from which it 
dominates the entire chamber, and is engraved, certain of 
its features being emphasized by the application of black 
paint. The figure, about two and a half feet long, is that 

[ 222 ] 




of a man leaning forward and apparently dancing. Long 
hairy ears and the horns of a stag adorn his head, and a 
pointed beard seems to be indicated, while he also wears 
a horse's tail. We have here, no doubt, a representation 
of a witch doctor, or shaman, tricked out in all his savage 

Fig. 59. Red deer and salmon, engraved on a piece of rein- 
deer antler; scene may represent a herd crossing a stream as 
indicated by the fish. Marks in the upper right-hand corner 
may be the artist's signature. After Piette 

regalia and stamping and shuffling about in some hunting 
dance. Since even back in the Aurignacian epoch man 
seems already to have conceived of supernatural beings as 
possessing human form, possibly we have here something 
of the same sort. The figure may not be the representation 
of any earthly medicine man but of some mythological 
concept — some "Divine Huntsman," invoked for aid in 
the chase. At all events it indicates that Magdalenian 
man had reached a point in the development of his re- 
ligious beliefs quite equal to that of many modern peoples 
and in advance of some. 

The care which he bestowed upon the burial of his dead 
further indicates this. Again we see the persistence of 
customs originating in Aurignacian times, if not indeed 
earlier still. Bodies were provided with necklaces, girdles, 

f ^23 ] 


and pendants of pierced shells or the perforated and en- 
graved teeth of various animals, among them the lion and 
the bear. Evidence of the custom of "secondary inter- 
ment" already described is to be seen in the manner of 

Fig. 6o. The famous figure known as "The Sorcerer," 

partly engraved and partly painted in black, from the 

cavern of the Trois Freres in southwestern France. From 

photograph by Count Begouen 

putting the disarticulated bones of the dead together 
again before this final burial. Thus the skeleton found in 
1894 in the grotto of Les Hoteaux, in eastern France, had 
its thigh bones reversed, perhaps so that its ghost could not 
"walk." Often the remains are found covered with red 



ocher and accompanied by various implements. Some- 
times the head is entirely separated from the body and 
buried by itself. In not a few cases, the leg bones have 
been found doubled up so tightly that they must have 
been held in this position by bandages of some kind, 
doubtless of skin thongs or strips. In the great cave of 
La Placard, in southwestern France, there came to light 
in a Lower Magdalenian layer several human skull-tops 
which had been cut off with some sharp implement. As 
these when found were carefully arranged in order, with 
the concavities turned upward, the inference is that they 
had been fashioned from the heads either of enemies or of 
loved ones, to serve as ceremonial cups or bowls (Fig. 6i). 

Evidently the Magdalenians had a well-established cult 
of the dead, perhaps even an actual ancestor worship, 
which undoubtedly exerted a profound influence on the 
life and thought of the time. Some modern investigators, 
indeed, believe that all religion may be traced back ulti- 
mately to beliefs and practices connected with the dead. 

What caused the rapid decline of culture in the Late 
Magdalenian has not yet been fully explained. Perhaps, 
as Osborn suggests, the Cro-Magnon race had reached the 
end of a long cycle of psychic development — had, in other 
words, arrived at a point beyond which it could progress 
no further, and decline was therefore inevitable. Some- 
thing of this sort has occurred repeatedly in the history of 
various civilized races, for no reason as yet apparent. 

On the other hand, we know that, coincident with the 
close of Magdalenian times, great changes came over 
Europe. The ice fields once more retreated far up the 
sides of the mountains. Tundra conditions gradually dis- 
appeared, save in the far north. Although the climate was 
still somewhat colder and damper than now, forests once 
again won back the tundra land. Cold-loving species of 
animals, on which the Magdalenians had depended so 
largely for a living, withdrew as the conditions favoring 
their existence slowly changed. And the forms which did 



remain became more difficult to hunt successfully as the 
forests kept on increasing in density. 

Indications, indeed, exist that at this time fishing slowly 
replaced hunting as the principal means of gaining a liveli- 
hood. From being an active, courageous hunter of large 

and often highly 
dangerous wild 
animals, Cro- 
Magnon man 
seems to have be- 
come a fisherman 
and a gatherer of 

It is likely, too, 
that about this 
time the ances- 
tors of the wide- 
spread "Mediter- 
ranean" race of 
today began to 
invade southern 
and western 
Europe, coming 
from northern 
Africa. These people appear to have brought with them a 
type of culture more advanced in some ways than that of 
the Magdalenians. Perhaps they had a more closely knit 
social organization that enabled them to use their armed 
strength to greater advantage. Or, on the other hand, 
they may merely have appeared in larger numbers and 
simply swamped their predecessors. Their undoubted use 
of bows and arrows, perhaps with poison, may have had 
something to do with their superiority. 

The Cro-Magnon race, however, did not die out entirely. 
Here and there, as skeletal peculiarities clearly show, it 
still survives, in a more or less mixed form, as an element 
of the populations of the present day. 


Fig. 61. Human skul!-tops made into cups or bowls, 

probably for ceremonial use. From the cave of Le 

Placard, in southwestern France. After Rreuil and 



The Capstan Culture of Spain 

We must not close this brief account of the Old Stone 
Age without making some reference to human activities 
in Spain during that period. Enough has already come 
to light in that country to show that it played a part in the 
story of early man no less important than that of France 
itself. Nor is this at all surprising, for the Spanish penin- 
sula has always served as a highway for the migrations 
back and forth between Africa and Europe of both races 
and cultures. This has been true throughout historical 
times, and now research is showing that it was also the 
case in the prehistoric period. 

During the Ice Age the lowlands of Spain, owing to their 
more southern position, escaped burial under great ice 
fields like those which spread over so much of the North- 
ern Hemisphere. Glaciers were formed in the mountains, 
but they did not flow very far down the valleys before they 
reached their melting point. Obermaier, our leading au- 
thority in this field, believes that the interglacial stages in 
Spain included phases when the climate was more humid 
and others when it was drier than that of the present. He 
thinks, too, that the vast accumulations of sand and clay 
which cover the lower slopes of many of the Spanish moun- 
tain chains were not laid down during the glacial stages 
but during the more humid interglacial periods. 

Owing to its milder climate the older "warm" types of 
animal life, like the southern and the straight-tusked ele- 
phants, the Etruscan and Merck's rhinoceros, the hippo- 
potamus, and the striped hyena, were able to survive far 
longer in Spain than in most parts of Europe. For the 
same reason the northern or "cold" fauna, including forms 
like the hairy mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, the rein- 
deer, and the musk ox, succeeded in getting no farther 
down than the extreme north of the peninsula. 

So far Spain has revealed no traces of the Pre-Chellean 
culture, but Chellean and Acheulian remains occur in all 



parts of the peninsula, being traceable probably to an 
ultimate African origin. Mousterian implements, as- 
sociated in Spain, too, with Neanderthal man, are also 
widespread. It will only be necessary in this connection 
to recall the various finds at Gibraltar already described 
(see Chapter VII). 

In Spain, as elsewhere in western Europe, the Aurigna- 
cian followed the Mousterian. In northern Africa a cul- 
ture already mentioned as very closely resembling, if not 
actually identical with, the Aurignacian, viz., that known 
as the Early or Lower Capsian, followed. The lack as yet 
of actual skeletal evidence leaves us uncertain whether to 
ascribe the latter culture to the Cro-Magnon race, but 
several reasons suggest that it should be so ascribed. In 
the first place, the Capsians developed a style of art very 
distinctive in character, but unquestionably derived 
originally from the same source as that of the Aurignacians 
and Magdalenians; and the latter, as we know, has been 
found closely associated with the bones of Cro-Magnon 
man. Further, it has been stated that the Cro-Magnon 
type still appears among the Tuareg, an ancient "white" 
race now inhabiting the western and central Sahara 
Desert. It is also thought to have occurred among the 
Late Stone x-^ge people known as the Guanches, whom 
Europeans found occupying the Canary Islands, off the 
northwestern coast of Africa, when they conquered that 
group some four or five hundred years ago. If these obser- 
vations should prove well founded, they would establish 
a presumption that there was a Cro-Magnon strain, at 
least, in the blood of the Capsian invaders of Spain. 

But the latter seem also to have included in their racial 
composition a very large element ancestral to the Medi- 
terrean race already mentioned in connection with the 
Magdalenian decline. This stock was destined to form the 
basis of the population of western and southern Europe, 
during the Middle and New Stone Ages; and indeed, it 
still predominates in many regions of that area. A round- 

f 228 1 


headed or broad-skulled element, coming apparently from 
Asia, was just beginning to appear here and there in west- 
ern Europe at the very end of the Old Stone Age. 

After the Aurignacian culture in most of Europe, as we 
know, came first the Solutrean and then the Magdalenian. 
In Spain, however, the two latter cultures appear only in 
the extreme north. In the rest of the peninsula matters 
took a different course. Somewhere about the close of 
the Aurignacian epoch in Europe, the Lower Capsian of 
northern Africa developed into the Upper Capsian, dis- 
tinguished by its very small stone implements of geometri- 
cal shapes, its large bone needles, and its curved blades 
made from the shells of ostrich eggs. This Upper or Late 
Capsian spread over into southern and eastern Spain, 
where it succeeded the Spanish Aurignacian and flour- 
ished during the same period as did the Solutrean and the 
Magdalenian farther north. 

The Upper Capsian seems to have brought with it a 
realistic and very animated style of art, in many respects 
strikingly like some of that which has been found in vari- 
ous parts of Africa in very recent vears. It differed from 
the Upper Paleolithic art of the rest of western Europe in 
attaching great prominence to representations of human 
beings, and from these we can learn a good deal about 
the dress and weapons and the customs of the time. The 
men went about practically naked, although occasionally 
they are shown with what appear to be short breeches or 
trunks. They also sometimes wear fringed bands just 
below the knee and around the arms, as well as tall head- 
dresses, apparently of feathers. Figures of women occur 
very rarely, and are almost invariably clad in rather long 
skirts, no doubt of buckskin. 

The male figures frequently carry bows and arrows 
(Fig. 62), giving us the first indisputable evidence of the 
existence of that weapon, which was destined to play 
such an important part in the future history of mankind. 
Certain jackal-like animals portrayed in the rock-shelter 

[ 229 ] 


of Alpera, in southwestern Spain, may possibly represent 
half-domesticated dogs; but this is exceedingly doubtful. 

Despite certain dissimilarities, this Upper Capsian art 
of southern and eastern Spain seems to have been de- 
veloped from the same sources which produced the Auri- 

FiG. 62. A stag hunt. Capsian or Spanish art of the Late Paieohthic. Note 

bows and arrows and apparent feathering of latter. Painted in dark red in the 

"Cave ot the Horses." After Obermaier 



gnacian and Magdalenian art, and in response to the same 
psychological stimuli. That is, the animal figures were 
undoubtedly designed to obtain aid in the hunt or to 
bring about an increase in the number of food animals. 
Scenes in which human figures occur appear to have had 
as their motive the imparting of strength, swiftness, and 

Fig. 6^. Wounded warrior running away at top speed, probably drawn to bring 

about an enemy's defeat; painted in light red. From the rock-shelter of La 

Saltadora, eastern Spain. After Obermaier 

courage to the warriors of the artist-magician's own tribe, 
or the weakening through spells and incantations of their 
enemies. The latter were accordingly depicted as running 
away, sometimes riddled with darts (Fig. 6^), in the belief 
that when the actual combat took place the same results 
would be obtained through the power of magic. 

This eastern Spanish art, as it is sometimes called, is 
usually found in shallow and relatively open rock-shelters; 
for deep caverns, like those in which so much of the 
Aurignacian and Magdalenian art has been found, very 

[231 ] 


rarely occur in this region. It came to an end with the 
close of the Old Stone Age itself, when the Capsian culture 
gradually developed into what is known as the Tardenoi- 
sian, belonging to that phase of human progress called the 
Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age, to be discussed in the next 

With the end of the Old Stone Age, climatic conditions 
in Europe became more nearly what they have been ever 
since. Once again, after the close of the Magdalenian 
epoch, a minor advance of the glaciers took place, known 
in the Alpine region as the Daun, but it was far less severe 
than that of the Gschnitz, and still less so than the Buhl. 
Since then the changes seem to have been not so much in 
respect of temperature as in that of humidity; certain 
periods have been less moist and rainy than others. 

But on the whole, conditions in western Europe once 
again became favorable to the growth of trees, which, 
undisturbed by man through long ages, often attained a 
very great size. From the end of the Old Stone Age down 
to comparatively recent times, much of Europe was cov- 
ered with dense, impenetrable forest, the dark and awe- 
some Urwald, or "Ancient Wood," of Germanic myth and 

With the comparative amelioration of the climate, many 
of the animals familiar to the men of the Old Stone Age 
disappeared from western Europe. Some, like the mam- 
moth and the woolly rhinoceros, had perhaps already 
found a temporary haven in northern Siberia, only in the 
end to die out altogether. Others, such as the reindeer, 
the musk ox, and the wolverine, still survive in far north- 
ern regions, where the climate today resembles that of 
Europe during the Ice Age. Doubtless these migrations 
of the accustomed food animals played a great, perhaps a 
decisive, part in the movements and modifications of the 
human populations of the time. For food habits of long 
standing are particularly stubborn things, and rapid and 
compulsory adjustments to changed conditions are ex- 



ceedingly difficult to make. Witness the swift degeneracy 
and partial extinction of our Plains Indian tribes, due in 
no small measure to the extermination of the vast herds 
of bisons or "buffaloes," upon which they had been wont 
to depend. 

We have come now to the end of the Old Stone Age in 
Europe. Its story outside of Europe is still a very dis- 
connected one, rendered more difficult of interpretation, 
perhaps, by the absence in the warmer portions of the 
globe of the great time-scale of the Ice Age, with its alter- 
nating colder and warmer periods. 

In discussing epochs subsequent to the Old Stone Age 
the mass of material forces us to lay greater stress on 
topical than on regional or racial studies, a course per- 
missible in an attempt to describe the processes by which 
civilization has been attained. 



For many years archeologists believed that when the Old 
Stone Age came to an end, not long after the close of the 
Glacial Period, there followed an interval during which 
mankind disappeared entirely from Europe. Only with 
the arrival of new races, bringing with them domestic 
animals, agriculture, pottery, and polished stone imple- 
ments, was the Neolithic Period, or New Stone Age, 
thought to have begun. We know better now, thanks to 
later discoveries. In various regions of Europe, both 
north and south, the remains of cultures have come to 
light, proving that Europe throughout this intermediate 
period was occupied by human beings, in most cases the 
direct descendants of the later Old Stone Age races. 
Moreover, the culture of this time forms in many respects 
a true connecting link between those of the Old and New 
Stone x'\ges. 

This transitional period is sometimes called Mesolithic — 
Greek for "Middle Stone." At its beginning, man seems 
yet to have lacked any implement capable of cutting down 
a tree. He still lived mainly by hunting and fishing and 
gathering wild berries and fruits. x'\t first sight it might 
appear that he had actually retrograded in culture; for 
his life seems to have been a wretched one, not unlike that 
led by the savages of Tierra del Fuego, for example, or 
others among the least advanced of present-day races. 
Nevertheless he was making progress, and that in several 
important directions. 

It appears, for example, that during this period he 



invented the stone ax, or rather hatchet, his first means 

of coping with the jungle (Fig. 65). We can in a measure 

reaHze the far-reaching importance of this invention if we 

pause to think what the ax 

meant to our own pioneer fore- 
bears in the settlement of this 

country. Man had not yet 

learned to grind and polish his 

stone implements but still 

chipped them out, although he 

gradually gave them better 

and more effective shapes. 

He accomplished the hafting 

often by splitting or boring 

the end of a stout stick or 

club and then inserting the 

stone blade in the cavity, 

where a binding of animal 

sinew or rawhide, by its nat- 
ural shrinkage, held it in place 

with a grip almost as strong as iron. The familiar Indian 

tomahawk was an implement of this description. 

To primitive man the added 
power which the ax gave him 
in his struggles with his en- 
vironment seemed absolutely 
supernatural. The stone ax 
was "big medicine" and, like 
everything else which early 
man thought much about, was 
regarded as having a life of 
its own. The owner must be 
careful not to offend or mis- 
use it in any way. He made 
offerings to it, talked to it, 
and handled it carefully and 


Fig. 64. Flat harpoons of red-deer 

antler, from the cave of Mas 

d'Azil. After Piette 

Fic. 65. Left, stone hatchet from 
eastern Australia, with polished 
cutting edge only. Right, iron 
hammer from the upper Congo 
River, retaining ancient hafting 
method. After Frobenius 



The superstitious beliefs inspired by the early stone 
hatchet persisted far down into later times, and the ax 
remained a symbol of power and authority among certain 
peoples, even into the historical period. Thus beautifully 
polished examples in jade were symbols of kingly authority 
in Bronze Age China, while the ax, especially in its double 
or two-edged form, retained great ceremonial significance 
in ancient religious observances in parts of the Mediter- 
ranean area. 

Throughout the long earlier periods, before and during 
the Old Stone Age, man sought refuge from the rain under 
overhanging cliffs, and from the cold inside the mouths of 
caves. Probably, too, he learned in time to erect simple 
windbreaks or lean-tos of bark or leafy boughs. And, as 
we have seen, certain designs of the later Old Stone Age 
in western European caves may represent huts or cabins; 
but with the advent of the stone ax it became a much 
simpler matter to cut down saplings and make huts roofed 
with leaves, bark, or skins, like those of so many savage 
tribes the world over, even today (Plate 63). Primitive 
man seems sometimes to have erected these for safety's 
sake among the branches of trees, on piles over water, or 
even on rafts moored a short distance from the shore. But 
further than this man hardly got during this middle period 
of transition. 

While Middle Stone Age man can not claim the in- 
vention of the bow and arrow, which, as we saw, first 
appeared with certainty in the Upper Capsian, its use 
probably became general during the Mesolithic Period. 

As with so many other discoveries of primary impor- 
tance, we do not know when or where or how the bow and 
arrow originated. Probably some accident suggested them. 
It has been held that the idea came from the instrument 
known as the bow-drill, an implement used even today for 
drilling holes, kindling fires (Fig. 67), and the like. The 
invention may also have been made more than once, 
though this seems unlikely. 


The use of the bow and arrow resulted in a vast exten- 
sion of man's power over his environment. He could now 
bring down his game or his enemy at much greater dis- 
tances and with far more precision than ever before. The 

Fig. 66. Negrito using bow and arrow, Philippine Islands. 
Afrer Frobenius 

crude new weapon was one susceptible of vast improve- 
ment in many ways. As the long bow, the weapon of the 
English yeomanry during the later Middle Ages, it proved 
scarcely less effective than gunpowder in bringing low the 
pretensions of the haughty feudal aristocracy. As the 
compound bow, the terribly efficient weapon of the hordes 
of central Asiatic light-horsemen, who for two thousand 
years threatened civilization in almost every part of the 
Old World, it has wielded power no less great and decisive. 



In the Mesolithic we begin to find the earliest crude ex- 
amples of pottery. Men, or perhaps women, apparently 
already knew how to weave baskets, and it has been sug- 
gested that the coating of these with clay, to render them 
water-tight, may have led to the molding of the first rough 

Fig. 67. Wooden fire-drill, Madagascar. A step in advance of this 
was to attach the ends of the cord to a bow. .After Frobenius 

pot. A stubborn, unreasoning conservatism, deeply im- 
bued with superstition, formed one of early man's leading 
characteristics. Thus we find on fragments of ancient 
pottery, in many parts of the world, the marks of matting 
or basketry, made while the clay was still soft. To the 
primitive potter, a pot must bear basketry marks, or it 
would be unlucky. Later, these marks came to be re- 
garded simply as decorations, and in time dispensed with 

During this same transitional period man seems to have 
taken the first steps toward the domestication of the animals 
which have contributed so much to his progress. For it 
is then that the dog, by far the earliest of all domestic 
animals, first clearly appears associated with man. 

We must not suppose, however, that early man caught 
and tamed the dog because he had reasoned out beforehand 



that that animal would be of any particular use to him. 
In order to take any conscious step in advance, man, both 
ancient and modern, must have the light of some previous 
experience to guide him. And hitherto he had known of 
animals only as something dangerous, to be avoided or else 
hunted and killed for their flesh and skins. 

So the likelihood that dogs might be of use to man 
could not by any possibility suggest itself to the lowly 
savages of the Middle Stone Age. In fact, to this day, 
among a great part of mankind, the dog is nothing more 
than an ownerless scavenger and hanger-on about refuse 
heaps, otherwise only useful for raising an alarm at the 
approach of strangers. And that is what he appears to 
have been at the beginning of his long association with 
man. Some have said, indeed, that it was not man who 
adopted the dog, but the dog which adopted man. In 
some region inhabited by man during this middle period, a 
species of wild dog seems to have found the pickings better 
about the haunts of men than elsewhere. In turn its 
human hosts doubtless ate the dog when they could catch 
it. Then litters of its young would be brought into camp, 
where, if not wanted at once for food, their presence would 
be tolerated for a time. Given this opportunity, the 
natural play instinct of both puppies and young boys 
would inevitably assert itself just as it does today. 

These habits of association once formed, in time groups 
of wandering hunters would naturally come to have their 
packs of half-domesticated dogs following them about 
from camp to camp. Valued at first merely as a source of 
food and for their usefulness in detecting the presence of 
lurking enemies, in time their aid in following game would 
be utilized. Thus man at length acquired a domestic 

Little if any evidence exists to indicate that the men of 
the later Old Stone Age had any means of traveling over 
the surface of the water. Their culture, in some respects 
so like that of the modern Eskimo, gives no hint that they 



had invented any form of canoe. It is true that they have 
left us drawings of various water-dwelling creatures, like 
the seal, the salmon, and the eel; but these are all such as 
could readily be speared from dry land or perhaps in some 
cases through the ice. 

But in this Middle Stone Age, again, we find clear proofs 
that man was learning how to support himself and control 
his movements on the water. No doubt he could always 

Fig. 68. Tasmanian "canoe" made of rolls of bark lashed together. After 

Ling Roth 

swim; but hitherto he had been essentially a land dweller. 
Thus his conquest of the water was a step as momentous 
in its way as the conquest of the air is to us nowadays. 

As with all the basic discoveries, we can only surmise 
the course of this one. Flood waters must often have 
carried off the camps of hunters and fishermen. The same 
floods undermined and floated away trees. His instinctive 
clutching of these would soon show early man that they 
could keep him from drowning, and even carry him with 
them for long distances. By pushing with a stick or spear 
in shallow water or by striking out with his hands and 
feet where it was deeper, he would learn that he could, in 
a measure, control their movements. Thus the idea of 
floats must have arisen. In time man learned to con- 
struct these for himself out of bundles of buoyant reeds, 
rolls of bark, and even tree trunks laid side by side and 
lashed together. Examples of the former have occurred 
in recent times among some of the more backward races, 
such as the now extinct Tasmanians; while the shores of the 
Baltic Sea have yielded traces of a raft big enough to sup- 
port a floating village and implying a long previous period 
of development. 


I'yj (u 

« o 


r3 i* 


C c 









^ ^ 

i "3 


The canoe proper, made by hollowing out a log, largely 
with the aid of fire, developed early, perhaps suggested by 
the accidental use of a hollow tree trunk. Such a dis- 
covery might conceivably be made more than once, wher- 
ever trees grew near water; at least the well-nigh world- 
wide distribution of the dugout canoe suggests this. From 

Fic. 69. Chinese dragon-boat today used only for ceremonial purposes, but 

employed in actual warfare in China, Burma, Siam, and neighboring regions 

until middle of 19th century 

this improvement we can trace, step by step, the evolu- 
tion of larger and larger craft, until we reach such tri- 
umphs of the shipbuilder's art as the ocean steamer and 
the battleship of the present day. 

We still have an intuitive feeling that boats and ships 
are living things with characters and personalities of their 
own. That is why we give them individual names. To 
early man this idea was very real. He felt that by carving 
the likenesses of a water monster's head and tail at the bow 
and stern of his war canoe, he could impart to it magically 
the swiftness and ferocity of such creatures in a very real 
sense. The dragon's head and tail that ornamented the 
extremities of the old Viking ships and of modern Chinese 
"dragon boats" have had this for their motive. 

To primitive folk in general, unfamiliar with the idea of 
traveling over the water, the sudden appearance of strange 
people, traders or enemies, skimming over the water in a 



fleet of canoes, must have brought the same feehngs of 
superstitious awe as did the ships of early European explor- 
ers to the uncivilized islanders among whom they came. 

As we have seen, man appears already in the Old Stone 
Age to have grasped the idea that he might increase his 
supply of food by his own efforts, although, so far as we 
know, he never got beyond the point of using magical 
means. The beginnings of true agriculture are most prob- 
ably to be sought in this transitional period to which we 
must ascribe so many inventions of primary importance in 
man's further development. Of course, no abrupt change 
in the practice took place, and but little, consciously at 
least, in theory. We have learned today that the best 
way to succeed is by assisting nature. Primitive man 
tried to control her, for he had not yet reached the con- 
cept of fixed and invariable natural laws. For a long 
time, in consequence, he placed much more dependence on 
magical rites than on actual planting and cultivation. 
Not so many years have passed since our own immediate 
ancestors fully believed that, in order to grow best, seeds 
must be planted while the moon was waxing and not 
waning. The student of ancient man must never forget that 
man has had only experience to teach him; and he has often 
been very, very slow in drawing the right conclusions. 

At first the primitive husbandman probably did little 
more than protect certain edible plants by clearing away 
weeds and keeping birds and animals from destroying 
them. Since man derived strength from eating them, 
they were thought to be imbued with "medicine" and 
therefore deserving of respect. 

Some edible plants are even today only half domesti- 
cated; water cress and various berries, nuts, and fruits, for 
example, are still often gathered wild. Progress in agri- 
culture, just as in everything else, has been so slow and 
uneven in different parts of the globe that we can still 
see today almost every one of its various stages in actual 
existence among this or that people. 



From the very first, agriculture seems to have been 
especially women's work, due perhaps to two causes, one 
practical, the other theoretical. The men of any given 
group long remained hunters, fishermen, and fighters, 
activities which often took them away from home, so that 
they had no time to look after the rude clearings where 
the earliest simple crops were grown. The same sound 
reasoning led early women everywhere to become the 
burden bearers and drudges of the group, in order that the 
men might be ready on the instant, weapon in hand, to 
repel an attack by human or animal foes. Among savage 
peoples to this day the women insist upon bearing the 
loads and doing the drudgery in order that their men- 
folk may have their hands free at all times to defend them. 

The other, theoretical motive which left the tending of 
the crops to women was that they, in some mysterious way, 
seemed to control all the vital processes. Just as they had 
the power of perpetuating the race, so, early man reasoned 
or rather felt, they must have power over all growing 
things. Not until long ages after, with the advent of the 
plow and of plow animals, whose management required a 
man's strength, did women really become emancipated 
from doing the bulk if not all of the field work. 

We can not tell as yet what plants early man first began 
to assist in growing and in time to domesticate. On the 
whole, it seems likely that they were those which had 
edible leaves and roots. The distant ancestors of our 
radishes, turnips, cabbages, lettuce, and spinach would 
come within this category. Root and leaf crops have one 
serious defect — they do not keep well; but the various 
cereals contain as much or more nourishment, while at the 
same time they can be kept for long periods. Nothing ap- 
proaching a real civilization could arise until man began 
to grow cereals, for only then could he lay up reserve 
stores of provisions and thus free himself from his ceaseless 
quest for daily food. 

At the beginning of the Mesolithic Period man had 



not yet learned to shape his stone implements by grinding 
and polishing. Just when and how the change from rough 
to polished stone took place, we do not yet know. Some 
have suggested that the origin of planting had something 
to do with it. Rough and heavy stone hoes are known to 
have come into existence in more than one part of the 
world. Examples from North x^merica are almost identical 
in form with others found in China. But wherever they 
occur they have one invariable trait in common — along 
their edges, where they have repeatedly come in contact 
with the ground, they have become highly polished. Man 
may have caught the idea of polishing and grinding stone 
tools from this, for some of the earlier stone hatchets have 
the edges polished, while the rest of the surface remains 
rough and merely chipped out. 

Thus we find ourselves on the brink of the period usually 
called the Neolithic — the Age of Polished Stone. But the 
manner of making stone tools is not that which alone, or 
even mainly, distinguishes this stage of man's progress 
above those vastly longer periods which had gone before. 
The accumulated experience of the race, gathered 
haltingly, painfully, and with almost infinite slowness, 
was beginning to bear its well-earned fruit in a thousand 

How far, then, have we come? We began with man a 
naked, hairy savage, unarmed save for the teeth and nails 
with which nature had provided him and a certain cun- 
ning and slyness which enabled him to think just a step or 
two ahead of his most intelligent animal foes. In this 
condition he remained, with only the faintest trace of 
progress, for hundreds of thousands of years. But slowly 
his brain was developing. He was becoming more and 
more human, less hairy, less bestial of appearance, able to 
stand more nearly erect. Unconsciously and through the 
working of natural laws, he acquired the power of speech — 
of exchanging ideas with his fellow men and handing 
down by word of mouth, as well as by example, the results 



of his own experience to his children and grandchildren. 
Then he learned to use tools — sticks and stones — and, still 
later, to shape them into more efficient forms. Then came 
the use of fire, of string, and of skins for clothing. 

These fundamentals comprised the sum of man's 
achievements up to the beginning of the Old Stone Age. 
During that period he made more noticeable progress, the 
tempo of advance increasing slightly toward its end, so 
that we see great improvements in the shape and variety 
of his tools and implements. During the Aurignacian and 
Magdalenian phases of his Old Stone Age life his artistic 
powers developed remarkably, though from different 
motives from those we understand. 

With the gradual close of the Old Stone Age, we lose 
sight of some of the advances in culture which took place, 
although probably most if not all of them survived in 
parts of the world as yet unexplored by the archeologist. 
For it is important to remember the very uneven rate of 
progress in civilization in different regions of the globe 
and among various peoples. 

Finally the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age witnessed 
the development of many inventions of primary impor- 
tance. Then, apparently, mankind first discovered effec- 
tive means of making clearings and building huts and 
canoes. Crude pottery, a rudimentary agriculture, and 
probably the domestication of the dog also then first 
appear. Man still remained in great part a hunter and a 
fisherman, such as he had been for hundreds of thousands 
of years. But he had at last escaped from total de- 
pendence upon natural products. Henceforth he was able 
in ever-increasing measure to produce food for himself, 
both animal and vegetable. 




To New Stone Age man we owe the development of true 
agriculture and especially of the growing of cereaU, the 
basis of all later civilization. Where this first occurred we 
do not know as yet. Doubtless many peoples, once they 
had reached a certain stage of culture, took to protecting 
and cultivating and finally to sowing certain wild plants 
about them which experience had shown to be especially 
valuable for food. The American Indians, for example, 
almost certainly entered the Western Hemisphere as mere 
food gatherers, hunters, and fishermen. Yet by the time 
they became known to Europeans they had domesticated a 
great number of plants, embracing such important forms 
as maize, sweet and "Irish" potatoes, pumpkins, squashes, 
Lima and kidney beans, tomatoes, and tobacco, to men- 
tion only a few. 

We have emphasized the great part which magic played 
in the life of early man and how its influence spread into 
the vast field of food production. We no longer think it 
necessary to fertilize our fields with the life-blood of 
human beings, but primitive man did so through many 
thousands of years. Only in the nineteenth century was 
this cruel practice stamped out in British India, and it 
still persists in certain backward regions not yet under 
effective civilized control. The custom seems to have 
arisen through that false association of ideas so common 
to the emergent human mind. Primitive man observed 
very far back in his history that life in some mysterious 
way depended upon the blood. The idea persisted even 


^ "X/V. 


u ^ 

g E 




among a people so comparatively high in the culture scale 
as the ancient Hebrews. 

Especially when the spirits of cultivated plants, and 
particularly of certain cereals, came to be thought of as 
having human form, did the ceremonial shedding of human 
blood, often in very cruel ways, seem essential to primitive 
man. Sometimes the victim was regarded as the in- 
carnation of the god himself. Many peoples had the idea 
of a dying god who gives his life for his people, and traces 
of it still persist in the folk tales and beliefs and customs 
of the peasant population of Europe and Asia. The Aztecs 
of Mexico carried it to an exceptionally high pitch of 
dramatic intensity, characterized by the most brilliant 

The offering of human sacrifices in connection with 
agricultural operations belongs essentially to the Neolithic 
stage of man's development. One of the causes which 

led to its abandon- 
ment in more ad- 
vanced regions was 
the domestication of 
animals which could 
be substituted for 
human beings in these 
bloody rites. We see 
a reflection of this in 
the familiar account 
of Abraham and Isaac 
and the "ram caught 
in a thicket by his 
horns." The persist- 
ence of the custom 
in certain regions, like 
Mexico, probably resulted in no small part from the lack 
of suitable domestic animals. 

Among many of the more advanced planting peoples of 
the New Stone Age grew up the idea of a divinity called 

[ 248 ] 

Fig. 71. Staghorn pickaxes used for mining 

flint in Neolithic times; that on the right was 

used with both hands. After Rutot 


Neolithic warrior, with tomahawk and dagger of stone, flint-tipped 

arrows, necklace, and plaited cap. Modeled by Mascre under the 

direction of Rutot 


in later times the Great Mother Goddess, patroness of fer- 
tility and growth and bounteous harvests. Primitive man 
thought of her as having the power both to give life and to 
take it. Usually he associated with her in his worship her 
Divine Son, the latter very often one of those "dying 
gods" just mentioned. The Mother Goddess in those 
early times was commonly represented by crude images in 
which, to judge from later analogy, she was induced to 
dwell through the action of spells or prayers. It is of one of 
her more developed manifestations that the prophet Jere- 
miah speaks when he rebukes the people for burning in- 
cense and pouring out drink offerings to the "queen of 

We used to think that mankind everywhere had passed 
through the same successive stages of development, first 
the hunting, then the pastoral, and finally the agricultural. 
We now know that this was not the case. Man began as 
a hunter and food gatherer, certainly, and in that condi- 
tion he remained for much the greater part of his exist- 
ence, until, in fact, a very recent era in his history. But 
he did not develop next into a herdsman or a shepherd. On 
the contrary, he be- 
came a primitive 
farmer or gardener, or 
rather his women did, 
while he himself re- 
mained a hunter, a 
fisherman, a tool 
maker, and a fighter. 

The development of 
planting resulted, of 

course, in attaching man to the soil, to definite localities, 
and finally to specific plots of ground to an extent never 
found among savages in the pure hunting stage. Still 
clinging closely to the edges of the forest — for cutting down 
or even girdling trees with a stone hatchet was by no 
means an easy task (Fig. 72) — the primitive farmer finally 

Fio. 72. Prehistoric stone hatchet from a 
Swiss lake village. The stone blade inserted 
in a sleeve of staghorn greatly reduced the 
liability of the wood to split. After Keller 



acquired domestic animals in addition to the dog he had 
already had so long. 

We do not know what animals other than the dog man 
first tamed, or how he did it, but we can make several 
pertinent deductions. First a set of conditions must have 
arisen which brought man and certain species of animals 
susceptible of domestication into especially close contact 
with each other. The plausible suggestion has been made 
that, as the west-central portions of Asia slowly dried out 
after the close of the Ice Age, both men and animals 
tended to be crowded more and more closely together in 
those areas which still remained well watered. Finally 
even these shrank until they became mere oases — islands 
of vegetation surrounded by vast expanses of desert and 
semidesert. Not only does drought tend to crowd all 
living creatures together about the water holes; it also robs 
animals of much of their wildness and instinctive timidity 
toward man. Thus, among the rest, those wild animals 
upon which man had largely preyed became less wild. 
Some such state of affairs may have led to the beginnings 
of domestication. 

The process implies first a sufficient degree of intelligence 
to enable man to appreciate the advantages of having 
domestic animals at all. Then there must exist animals 
of species which can be domesticated. The lack of these 
over a great part of the New World supplies us with a 
fundamental explanation for the backwardness of the 
American Indian as compared to the European four hun- 
dred years ago. Finally, conditions must be such that 
the animals, after being half tamed and in a measure 
accustomed to the presence of man, can not easily escape 
from under his control and become once more truly wild. 

The more we study early man, the oftener do we find 
instances in which he was governed by reasons totally 
different from those which cause us to do some of the very 
same things that he did. If asked why man domesticated 
cattle, we should doubtless reply without hesitation, "For 



their meat and milk and hides and for their labor as pack 
and draught animals." We should probably say also that 
chickens were domesticated for the sake of their flesh and 
especially their eggs. 

But can we imagine primitive man, on seeing a herd of 
wild cattle crashing through the underbrush, at once 
grasping the possibility of using their milk for human food 
or their strength in helping his womenfolk to till the little 
garden plots in the forest? Or can we conceive of him as 
able to foresee the development of the wild jungle fowl, in 
the course of hundreds or perhaps even thousands of 
years, into the egg-laying strains that exist today? Such 
possibilities were not in the faintest degree apparent to 
any one on this earth in the days before the domestication 
of animals began or for long centuries later. Many of 
the most important qualities for which we now value 
animals did not exist at all when they were first domesti- 
cated and have been developed only by long-continued 
selective breeding. 

Superstition, the great driving force in the shaping of 
man's actions in early times, played a very large and 
probably the leading part in the domestication of animals. 
Its influence in this direction had already begun to appear 
at least as far back as the later portions of the Old Stone 
Age. Those animals which played the most important 
roles as sources of food came in time to be the objects of 
many ceremonial observances and eventually to be re- 
garded as themselves sacred and especially fitted for 
sacrifice. From time to time man would capture in- 
dividuals of these species and keep them in confinement 
to be slain at certain festivals, just as the ancient Mexicans 
used to keep prisoners of war, or as some of the peoples of 
northeast Siberia keep captive bears, for the same purpose. 

Moreover, our distant predecessors felt that the pos- 
session of sacred animals brought good fortune to the 
group, and on this theory sacred bulls were kept in the 
temples of ancient Egypt, sacred horses in those of modern 



Japan, and sacred white elephants in Siam. Sometimes 
early man regarded such an animal both as divinity and as 
victim — as a god dying for the benefit of his people- — the 
idea that we found so widespread in connection with early 
agriculture. Such animals were eaten at the sacrificial 
feasts that their qualities might be communicated to the 
worshipers. To omit such sacrifices was regarded as an 
unspeakable calamity, portending terrible things. 

And yet, as cultivation extended and the originally 
plentiful supply of wild animals decreased, it happened 
again and again that the capture of victims as they were 
needed became more and more uncertain, and sacrifices 
sometimes failed. To guard against this danger, man 
probably began to set aside the necessary animals, perhaps 
even in actual inclosures where he could protect them 
and prevent them from wandering, until in time they 
became half domesticated. As their numbers increased 
under these sheltered conditions, their sacred character 
came to have less importance and was finally confined only 
to particular individuals or to certain occasions. By that 
time we might regard the species as to all intents and pur- 
poses fully domesticated, although even then the chief 
uses to which they were put might differ widely from those 
of later times. 

We can see this process of domestication at work among 
the stock-raising peoples of antiquity; and we can also 
detect its various stages actively going on today among 
certain peoples. Thus every one of the great peoples of 
ancient times — the Babylonians, Egyptians, Cretans, 
Greeks, and Romans, to mention but a few — regarded 
cattle as sacred. They are still held holy in India and 
to a less extent in China. Very many superstitious 
beliefs center about the herds of the great cattle-raising 
tribes of East and South Africa. Even the bull fight, now 
the national sport of Spain and her daughter countries, 
clearly had its origin in association with religion and 
especially with rites to insure plentiful harvests. 



The Naga tribes northeast of the head of the Bay of 
Bengal furnish an excellent example of the steps in domes- 
tication. These still somewhat wild people have an 
animal of the ox kind, known as the gayal, or mithan, 
which they permit to roam and feed by day in the forests 
but which returns at night to the villages. They never 
employ it for labor, nor do they use its milk. But at re- 
ligious feasts at which it is sacrificed ceremonially they eat 
its flesh. Thus we find the gayal now in a stage through 
which the ox proper passed thousands of years earlier on 
its road to complete domestication by the peoples of the 
New Stone Age, probably in western Asia. 

The peoples dwelling about the great grasslands of the 
Old World, not unlike our own western prairies, hunted 
herds of wild horses for the sake of their flesh and prob- 
ably their skins, just as the Indians used to hunt the 
bison. The finding at Solutre, in southeastern France, of 
the bones of something like 100,000 horses leaves no 
doubt of this use of the horse. To some of the nomadic 
grassland horse eaters, especially the ancestors of the 
primitive Aryan or Indo-European speaking peoples, the 
horse quite naturally became the one animal sacred above 
all others. It grew in time to be associated with the sun 
and with running water, and was sacrificed to these. Quite 
possibly, also, the custom of keeping individuals in cap- 
tivity arose from the desire to insure a steady supply of 
horses for such sacrifices. Later the practice of milking 
the mares sprang up, probably suggested by the use of 
milk among neighboring agricultural peoples who already 
had cattle or goats. 

At first, of course, man used the herds of half-domesti- 
cated horses only for food and ritual practices, just as he 
had used their wholly wild ancestors during the Old Stone 
Age. Their utilization in other ways, such as carrying or 
hauling loads and, much later, for riding, still lay very 
far in the future. We find traces of this earlier use of the 
horse as food animal, as tribal mascot or luck bringer, and 


as sacrificial victim, among nearly all the original horse- 
using peoples of antiquity, as well as among many of more 
modern times. 

The feeling of repugnance to eating horse-meat that 
many people feel arose in a very curious way out of such 
early associations. So far as its natural qualities go, horse- 
meat is little if at all inferior to beef, and various races 
have habitually eaten it. It formed the principal food of 
some of the peoples of the Old Stone Age, and the later 
Huns, Mongols, and Tartars also ate it. Before Europe's 
conversion to Christianity, horse-meat was much eaten 
at religious festivals held in honor of the old pagan gods. 
Because of these associations with heathenism the early 
Christian missionaries forbade its use, as "meat offered to 
idols." Hence people gradually came to feel that there 
must be something repulsive in horse-meat itself, and many 
still have this feeling without in the least knowing why. 

With all our machinery we moderns are in danger of 
underestimating the importance of domestic animals in 
earlier days. We think of them today mainly as sources 
of food, leather, and wool; and in large measure certain 
forms, such as the pig, the sheep, and the goat, have 
always been so. But others, especially the ox, the horse, 
and the camel, became chiefly important to man as ani- 
mated machines, capable of doing his work for him far 
more effectively than he himself could do it unassisted. 

Man's treatment of animals finds several rather inter- 
esting parallels in his treatment of man, whom perhaps it is 
not altogether incorrect to call also a domestic animal. 
All but the more backward races have passed through the 
institution of slavery. Before its development prisoners 
of war were killed, often with frightful tortures. Then it 
occurred to the more advanced peoples that they might 
do better to spare some and make them do the hard and 
disagreeable work. Thus slavery in its origin marked a 
great step in advance in the direction of humanity and 
belongs probably to the New Stone Age. 



But man has also sacrificed human beings and even 
eaten them in connection with magical or religious cere- 
monies, just as he has done with animals. Mankind has 
rarely practiced cannibalism solely for food, however, but 
almost always has had the idea of deriving strength and 

' *' ' .«." -11; >l'<'/ii 


Fig. 73. Dog rravois used by the American Plains Indians before they acquired 
the horse from the whites. After Wissler 

courage from the flesh of the victim, or of propitiating cruel 
gods by offering human sacrifices and then partaking of 
their bodies in a communal feast. 

Man's first step in the use of animals for other than food 
or sacrificial purposes probably took place when he slung 
a burden over the back of an ox or a horse while shifting 
camp. It may indeed have been that some tired youngster 
laid his burden across his dog's back and thus first demon- 
strated that animals could be used for this purpose. The 
dog, in fact, was regularly used as a pack animal by certain 
American Indian tribes before they obtained horses from 
the Spaniards. 

From early times man utilized various animals for car- 
rying loads, among them, especially, donkeys, cattle, and 



camels, in the Old World, and llamas, distant cousins of the 
camel, in the New, Then some inventive genius, perhaps 
inspired by his own tendency to drag things he could not 
pick up, found that an animal could haul a great deal more 
behind him than he could carry on his back. This great 
discovery led step by step to the utilization of animals for 
drawing plows and carts. 

Out of this idea grew that of the wheeled cart, the origin 
of which, however, fades out in prehistoric darkness. Prob- 
ably some sort of sledge came first, some contrivance like 
the travois of the North American Indians — two poles 
lashed to the animal's sides, with the load placed on the 
part that trailed along the ground. From something of 
this sort must have developed a sledge on the order of the 
"stone boat" used by farmers for hauling loads of stones. 

The inventive powers of Neolithic man in most portions 
of the world seem to have been unequal to producing the 
wheel in even its simplest form. The most advanced 
peoples of the New World, like the Incas, the Mayas, and 
the Aztecs, remained wholly ignorant of it before the white 
man came. Even the ancient Egyptians appear to have 
acquired it late — long after they knew the plow; and 
it did not reach southern Africa, northern Asia, and the 
Pacific area till late historic times. 

In all probability the wheel was invented only once, 
most likely in southeastern Asia, and from that region it 
has gradually spread over the whole earth as we see it to- 
day. We may surmise that it developed out of the log 
roller which we still see placed under heavy burdens to 
ease them over the ground. To save himself the trouble 
of having to pick up rollers after the load had passed over 
them and then run around and place them on the ground 
in front of it again, some prehistoric inventor hit on the 
scheme of driving pegs into the under surface of his sledge 
to keep the roller dragging along between them as it 
turned. Next, to lessen the friction against the ground, 
the middle section of the log was cut away all around, 



|r-'"- ' ■ 




•«*J i- **^ £ / 


Upper: Primitive Chinese cart with two soHd wheels and basketwork 

top, drawn by two bullocks yoked tandem 
Lower: Chinese two-wheeled cart with built-vip wheels, widespread 
before the invention of true spokes. Photographs by C. W. Bishop 


forming an axle, and the primitive cart appeared in all its 
essentials — body, axle, and wheels. Even today we see in 
various parts ot the world carts of this type, where a round 
axle, held in place between pairs of wooden pins, turns 
with the wheels (Plate 66). 

In time man cut away part of the solid wheels to lighten 
the weight, and from this he advanced to the step of as- 
sembling them from separate pieces, although they still 

Fig. 74. Primitive Mexican cart, introduced from Spain. From specimen in 
the National Museum 

remained attached firmly to the axle so that the latter 
revolved with them (Fig. 74). Long generations passed 
before true spokes, all radiating outward from the hub, 
were invented. In many parts of China today, for ex- 
ample, one sees a type of wheel in which the axle passes 
through a massive wooden construction something in the 
shape of a capital H, instead of true spokes as in Plate 66. 

From the beginning man seems to have associated the 
wheel, and along with it the cart, with religious beliefs and 
practices. One of the earliest uses to which he put wheeled 
vehicles was to carry symbols or representations of the 
gods, on the march or into battle. We see proof of this 
practice in prehistoric rock drawings, ancient models of 
sacred cars, in the folklore and mythology of many 
peoples, and in the historical records of some ancient races. 

Probably the use of chariots in war began in this way. 



For the early rulers were priests and medicine men, that is, 
powerful magicians, as well as kings. We find them some- 
times even regarded as gods, or sons of a god, and so too 
holy to set foot on the ground. Before carts were known 
attendants carried such rulers about in 
litters, both in the Old World and the 
New. Their presence was necessary at 
battles in order to insure good fortune 
to their own side. Their subjects did not 
expect them to take active part in the 
fighting, but to devote themselves to 
beating a drum or otherwise "making 
medicine," just as Tecumseh's brother, 
the Prophet, did at the battle of Tippe- 
canoe already mentioned. The modern 
descendant of the primitive witch doc- 
tor's drum still remains part of the 
paraphernalia of war and until very 
recently was actually carried into battle. 

Man of the New 
Stone Age took a 
great step forward 
when he yoked his 
animals to a plow. 
F.c 75- South African j^^ carrying on the 

Bushman woman s . ^ " 

digging stick, weighted rudimentary agri- 
with a perforated ^ulture of the catly 

stone. After Katzel xt r i • • 

Neolithic Period, 
he used the digging-stick, a pointed 
implement sometimes weighted with 
stone, for turning up the soil (Fig. 
75), and a crude hoe, at first merely 
a forked branch, but later equipped 
with a blade of stone, shell, or bone. 

Because of the superficial resemblances in shape be- 
tween the hoes (Fig. 76) and the plows shown on the 
Egyptian monuments, people have deduced that the plow 


Fig. 76. Ancient Egyp- 
tian wooden hoe. After 


developed from the hoe. This, however, seems not to have 
been the case, for the working of the two implements 
differs fundamentally in principle. The hoe is dragged 
toward the operator, while the plow is thrust a,way from 

Fig. 77. Caschrom, or foot-plough, used in the Isle of Skye, off the west coast 
of Scotland. Reproduced from a photograph by courtesy of Mr. E. Cecil Curwan 

him. In its use, therefore, the latter recalls the primitive 
digging-stick, and the existence of several intermediate 
links seems to prove it the true ancestor of the plow. 

An implement, called a caschrom^ for turning up the 
ground (Fig. 77), is used in the islands of Skye and the 

[ 259 ] 


Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. This somewhat 
resembles a primitive plow in shape but is operated by 
one man, who uses it in much the same way as a spade. 
Closely similar implements have been reported from 
various other regions, both in ancient and modern times. 
These clearly constitute developments of the primitive 

Fig. 78. Korean three-man spade, still occasionally used in remote parts of the 


digging-Stick on the one hand and forerunners of the plow 
on the other. They need, in fact, to make them plows, only 
the addition of a beam. 

Apparently a still further step in the evolution of the 
plow is the so-called "three-man spade," still used in re- 
mote districts in Korea (Fig. 78). This consists simply of 
a heavy spade of crude form, with ropes attached by means 
of which two extra men add their strength to that of the 
wielder in thrusting it into the ground. What must have 
been a closely similar instrument, but worked by half a 



Fig. 79. Ancient Egyptian man-drawn plough. 
After Moret and Davy 

dozen men and probably coming nearer to making a con- 
tinuous furrow, is shown on the Egyptian monuments 

(Fig- 79)- 

Apparently, then, certain peoples, still in the Neolithic 
phase of culture, had developed a crude sort of plow, 
drawn or jerked 
along by men or 
women. Perhaps 
their close asso- 
ciation with the 
ideas of fertility 
and growth led 
man to use sa- 
cred animals, es- 
pecially cattle, 
to help drag 
these early implements through the ground. In some 
such way the true ox-drawn plow of the earliest historical 
times must have developed. 

Man had probably learned to make string, including 
thread and yarn of various degrees of fineness, well back 
in the Old Stone Age. Possibly then, and certainly during 

the following Mesolithic, 
he had learned to weave 
fibers of various sorts 
into matting and basket- 
work. From this it was 
but a step to the weaving 
of textiles. He had long 
since grasped the idea of 
cutting and fitting animal 
skins for garments, so 
when the superiority of 
cloth for this purpose became apparent, he could make the 
change without difficulty. 

Different parts of the world used different fibers for 
weaving: Europe, western Asia, and ancient Egypt used 


Fig. 80. Prehistoric Swedish rock en- 
graving of plough and oxen. After de 



linen and wool; India, cotton; and southeastern Asia, hemp 
and silk. Some reason exists for the supposition that the 
cocoons of the silkworm were at first torn up and shredded 
and then twisted into thread before it was found that 
much longer and stronger fibers could be had by simply 
unwinding them. In most parts of the New World where 
clothing was necessary at all, skins continued to be used; 
but even there, in certain regions, weaving became known 
and reached finally a high degree of excellence. 

Art had its beginning far back in the Old Stone Age. 
The earlier of the paintings and carved work found in the 
caves of southwestern Europe, authorities agree, date at 
least from 20,000 to 25,000 years ago. And doubtless even 
before that men and women adorned their bodies with 
strings of shells and teeth and bright berries, with various 
painted designs and possibly tattoo marks as well, to say 
nothing of bright feathers and the skins and even horns 
of various animals. But primitive man designed none of 
these primarily for decoration. He meant them for 
charms, to ward off evil or bring good luck. Every man 
throughout those long, dark ages doubtless had his "medi- 
cine bag" containing odds and ends of all sorts — bits of 
crystal, curiously shaped stones and knots of wood, dried 
portions of the bodies of animals and men — anything, in 
short, that drew his attention for any reason and seemed 
to him endowed with mysterious power. The virtue still 
attached by some people to a rabbit's foot or to the 
"hand of glory" — the dried hand of a man who has been 
hanged — is a last lingering trace of this very primitive 

Man made an advance upon this when he began to shape 
his charms artificially. At first, probably for long ages, 
he confined himself to selecting objects that bore a chance 
or fancied resemblance to a bird, an animal, or a human 
face, eventually increasing the likeness by a little pecking 
and chipping here and there. But during the Aurignacian 
and Magdalenian epochs of the Old Stone Age artists did 



real carving, much of it of a very high order, in stone, 
bone, mammoth ivory, and reindeer antler, and probably, 
too, in wood. 

During the New Stone x'\ge, also, men undoubtedly did 
much carving in 
wood, at least in 
certain regions. 
The Maoris, the 
Polynesian na- 
tives of New 
Zealand, when 
discovered by 
European navi- 
gators, were in a 
phase of the New 
Stone Age; and 
in the carvings 
on their canoes, 
the beams of 
their houses, and 
many of their 
wooden weapons 
and utensils, 

they had attained extremely high artistic merit. Doubt- 
less New Stone Age man of prehistoric times likewise 
carved in wood. 

We must not forget that many — probably the great 
bulk — of the materials used as a base for decoration in 

Fig. 8i. Necklace of leopard's teeth, Congo region, 
Africa. After Frobenius 

Fig. 82. Wooden ladle, from a Swiss lake village. After Keller 

all ages have been of a perishable nature. How many, for 
example, of the wonderful Hawaiian feather cloaks, or the 
painted buffalo robes of the Plains Indians, or the carved 



totem poles of the Northwest Coast, will be left after the 
lapse of a few centuries? Hence, concerning the art of the 
New Stone Age in such regions as Europe, western Asia, 
and China, which left that stage of civilization behind 

Fig. 83. Reconstruction of ^roup of Swiss lake dwellings built out over the 
water on piles. After Schmidt 

several thousand years ago, we can know only the com- 
paratively little executed in such exceptionally durable 
materials as stone, ivory, or baked clay. 

Real architecture first appeared during this same Neo- 
lithic phase of man's development. Men then learned to 
build not mere windbreaks or even huts, but groups of 
substantial timber houses with walls of bark or wattle- 
work daubed with clay. For defense, they built their 
villages over the water (Fig. S^) or surrounded them with 
strong stockades made of logs set on end, side by side, in 
the earth. They also began to erect earthworks ot various 
sorts — foundation platforms for temples and other im- 


platt: 6" 

Simple type of loom used by certain American Indians 





portant public buildings, earthen ramparts, and mounds 
in the shape of various living or mythological creatures, 
like the famous serpent mound of Ohio — these last, of 
course, connected with religious ceremonials. Then they 
commenced to make use of stone also for architectural 
purposes, first probably in the form of sacred emblems and 
symbolic pillars often connected with the worship of an- 
cestors and with fertility cults; then for platforms, ter- 
races, and tombs; and finally for actual buildings, often 
elaborately carved and decorated. 

In the New Stone Age we must seek also for man's first 
employment of metals, destined later to play such a tre- 
mendously important part in human development. At 
first, he merely picked up nuggets of "native" gold and 
perhaps copper, and hammered and worked them into 
shape cold, treating them exactly like lumps of some sort 
of tough, soft stone. True metal-working, with all that it 
implies, came much later. 

At the beginning of the New Stone Age man had ad- 
vanced but little beyond pure savagery — the life of the 
food gatherer, hunter, and fisherman. Before its close he 
had learned, in the more advanced regions, to grow large 
and regular crops; to rear herds of domestic animals; to 
employ human labor, both free and slave, on a large and 
well-organized scale; to make excellent pottery; to weave 
fine fabrics; to erect stone palaces and temples; and, 
finally, to make the first tentative attempts in the working 
of metals. After remaining almost wholly at the mercy 
of its environment for many hundreds of thousands of 
years, man's genius was at last coming into its own. 



We divide the story of man's progress into successive 
"ages" for convenience only. In reality no sharp breaks 
separated one period from another. What actually hap- 
pened was that somewhere, among some particular group 
of people, a new discovery, a new invention, would occur 
and then slowly spread until it became a permanent fea- 
ture of man's heritage. Thus, during the New Stone Age, 
men began to notice and work with such metals as they 
found occurring naturally — nuggets of gold and lumps of 

Gold proved too soft and too scarce to serve as a suitable 
material for implements of everyday use. From the be- 
ginning man held it too precious ever to use for anything 
but ornaments, and, later on, as a medium of exchange. 
But copper, though not so widely distributed as gold, 
occurs in far larger deposits and is harder, two reasons 
which better adapt it for shaping into tools and weapons. 
Copper occurs "native," that is, in the metallic form, in 
different places both in the Eastern and the Western 
Hemispheres; for example, in the Lake Superior region of 
North America. We find accordingly that various tribes 
of Indians already made copper objects, including orna- 
ments, axes, and spearheads, hammered out cold, before 
the white man came. Some areas, like Mexico, Central 
America, and Peru, had made still further progress, and 
there we find the ancient peoples practicing a true, albeit 
simple, metallurgy, including melting and casting. 

In the Old World, a similar process seems to have begun 



earlier and developed much faster. This transitional 
period from the use of stone to that of bronze is some- 
times called the Chalcolithic, from the Greek words for 
"copper" and "stone." Only very slowly did conserva- 
tive man give up stone tools and weapons in favor of those 
made of metal, and for a long time he used both together, 
just as today we see the horse and wagon still employed 
side by side with the motor truck. 

Mining began long before the use of metals. Even back 
in the Old Stone Age man dug for suitable lumps of flint 
out of which to shape his various tools and implements. 
During the New Stone Age he went much further, and 
learned to sink regular shafts and tunnels in the chalk 
deposits where flint occurs, using as his chief tool a pick 
made of a deer's antler with one tine or prong left on. 
Examples of 
these primitive 
ancestors of the 
modern pickax 
are not uncom- 
mon in ancient 
workings (Fig. 
84). The devel- 
opment of min- 
ing for metals, 
once man had 
realized that 
they, too, could be obtained from the ground, presented 
therefore no difficulties, and we find ancient mines and 
heaps of slag in various parts of the world, to bear witness 
to the activities of the primitive miner and metal worker. 

x-^t first man classed the new material as a kind of stone, 
as the earliest implements of copper, especially the axes 
and daggers, clearly show; for long after they had come 
not merely to be hammered out cold, but actually cast in 
simple molds, they still kept the shapes of their stone 

[ 267 ] 

Fig. 84. Pick made of deerhorn, used by flint miners in 

the New Stone Age. From Grime's Graves, Norfolk, 



Probably some accident led to the great discovery that 
heat would turn these curious stones soft and even make 
them run. A piece of gold fell into the fire and was 
melted; or a lump of copper ore was used along with other 
stones to make a fireplace, and turned soft in the heat. 
Nor should we ignore the probability that man, once he 
had reached a certain stage o\ intelligence, would deliber- 
ately make all sorts of experiments, just to "see what 
would happen." 

Pure copper is much more difficult to melt and cast 
successfully than when alloyed with certain other sub- 

FiG. 85. Flint-bladed dagger from the Neolithic village of Vinelz, Switzerland. 
From MacCurdy, after Tschumi 

stances. It happens that copper ores sometimes contain 
small quantities of arsenic, antimony, or tin, which when 
reduced will form natural alloys; so that chance no doubt 
led man to the discovery of how to make bronze. As one 
of the earliest alloys, man employed lead. Then he found 
that tin made a better one, and finally that the most satis- 
factory proportions were ninety per cent of copper and 

Fig. 86. Late Bronze Age sword, Switzerland. After Keller 

ten per cent of tin. This discovery ushered in the true 
Bronze Age, and it led to more far-reaching developments 
than the making of superior weapons and tools. For tin 
occurs in quantity in only a few places, and the demand 
for it perceptibly furthered the great extension of trade 
and migration and war, both by land and by sea, which we 
now know took place during the Bronze Age. 



The first metal workers used shallow open stone molds 
for the reception of the molten metal; but, with improve- 
ment in the technic of casting and the development of 
better alloys, they employed molds of earthenware and 
even of bronze itself, the forms and designs at the same 
time becoming much more elaborate. The "lost wax" 
process represents one of the later improvements in cast- 
ing. z'\n exact model of the desired object was made in 
wax, and coated thickly with clay. After the latter had 
dried and hardened, it was heated until the wax melted 
and ran out. Molten bronze was then poured in, and 
naturally took the shape of the wax, down to the smallest 
detail. This method obtained some very beautiful and 
striking effects. 

Simple triangular daggers and axes and the halberd 
characterized the earlier part of the Bronze Age. The 
halberd consisted of a dagger blade mounted crosswise 
at the end of a wooden handle, and was essentially a sort 
of tomahawk with a pointed blade. In certain regions it 
came to be made of bronze throughout, handle and all, 
and sometimes with elaborate decorations. But more 
efficient weapons, the bronze battle-ax and sword and 
spear, eventually replaced it. 

Out of the primitive flint-bladed dagger (Fig. 85), about 
as ugly and ineffective a weapon in a fight as the neck of a 
broken bottle, there evolved, first, the simple and short- 
bladed triangular copper dagger. With the invention of 
bronze this was lengthened and in time became a short, 
straight, double-edged thrusting and stabbing sword, 
ornamented in various ways characteristic of different 
localities. Also, the method of hafting — of joining blade 
and hilt — improved, until finally the ancient armorers cast 
the entire sword, including the hilt, in one piece. The 
earlier bronze swords were used only for thrusting and not 
for chopping, a stroke reserved for the ax. In time, how- 
ever, the blade was widened toward its point to make a 
"leaf-shaped" sword, which could be used for slashing as 



well as thrusting (Fig. 86). By the time man had devised 
all these improvements he had learned the use of iron, 
which gradually crowded out bronze for the manufacture 
of weapons. 

In hafting his spears at the opening of the Bronze Age, 
the armorer naturally copied the method in use with flint 

spears; that is, he 
split the end of the 
spearshaft and in- 
serted and lashed 
fast the spearhead. 
Later on he fas- 
tened it with rivets. 
Eventually the 
bronze heads were 
provided with sock- 
ets into which was 
thrust the end of the 
shaft. We still re- 
tain both these an- 
cient methods of 
hafting in some of 
our modern tools; 
for example, we use 
chisels with tangs and others with sockets, the latter es- 
pecially for types of work where hammering on the end of 
the handle would be apt to cause it to split. 

Bronze axes served both as tools and weapons; with 
them one might split either firewood or the heads of one's 
enemies. In the beginning they were hafted much as 
stone axes had been. Later in certain regions a sort of 
socket back of the blade was gradually developed (Figs. 
87 and 88). Finally the plan of passing the helve through 
the ax head, just as we still do, was devised, apparently in 
southwestern Asia pretty early in the Bronze Age. 

The men of some regions of scarce metal copied bronze 
battle-axes in stone — shape, perforation, and all. Some- 


Fig. 87. Bronze axes cast with loops for lash- 
ing to the helve. After Keller 


Fig. 88. Bronze ax with wooden helve; to illus- 
trate the manner of hafting. From Switzerland 
After Keller 

times, no doubt, it was just a case of the poor man copying 
the rich man's bronze battle-ax in a cheaper and more 
easily obtainable material. But from the beginning man- 
kind regarded axes as mysterious weapons imbued with 
magical virtues, so 
they might easily 
have attributed the 
superior power and 
efficacy of the 
bronze battle-ax as 
a weapon to its 
shape rather than 
to the material of 
which it was made. 
Thus they would 
try to copy the 
former when they 
could not obtain 
the latter. 

During the New 
Stone Age men had to content themselves with armor 
made of leather, wickerwork, slats of wood or bone, and 
the like. But the introduction of bronze weapons brought 
with it both the need and the material for better shields, 

helmets, and 
At first defen- 
sive armor con- 
sisted of little 
more than a 
shield, just as 
with many 
modern tribes 
of savages. 
„ o „ , ,■ ■ J c this was round 

I'lG. 89. Copper axes and combination ax-adz. brom , 

Hungary. After Keller and made of 



boards covered with leather, with a ls:nob or spilce of 
bronze in the center, a type of shield especially charac- 
teristic of the British Isles and Scandinavia. 

Then the leather or basketwork cap gave place to a hel- 
met of bronze, often ornamented in various ways with^ 
horns, wings, or crests of horsehair. Bronze breastplates 
or cuirasses also were devised, first merely as overlapping 
bands or scales of metal sewed onto the leather jerkin, 
but later as complete suits of armor. Probably the de- 
mand for protection against the improved slashing swords 
introduced toward the end of the Bronze Age produced 
these. Greaves, or "shin-guards," of bronze completed 
the armor of the typical Bronze Age man-at-arms. 

Goliath of Gath, whom David overcame, was such a 
warrior; the Bible story describes him as wearing a helmet, 
a coat of mail, greaves, and a "target," or shield, of brass, 

or as we should say today, 
bronze. His spearhead, how- 
ever, seems to have been of 
iron. His boastful challenge to 
his opponent, "Come to me, 
and I will give thy flesh unto 
the fowls of the air, and to the 
beasts of the field," was charac- 
teristic of the way in which 
the champions of opposing 
armies used to defy and insult 
each other before starting to 
fight. The practice is not un- 
known between combatants to- 

In some regions of cool cli- 
mate, people wore woolen gar- 
ments, consisting essentially of a tunic for both sexes, 
with trousers for the men and skirts for the women, while 
a long cloak served the purpose of the modern overcoat 
(Figs. 91 and 92). These articles were held in place by 


Fig. 90. Stone copies of bronze 

battle-axes, central t^urope. From 



girdles, belts, and fibulae, or "fasteners," usually of bronze, 
working on the same principle as our modern safety-pins. 
The types of fibulae differ in various regions and at dif- 
ferent periods and so help materially in identifying the 
age and source of Bronze Age deposits. 

The art ot making pottery began, as we have seen, soon 
after the close ot the Old Stone Age, perhaps as an out- 
growth of basketry. It underwent steady improvement 
during the Neolithic stage of culture, which probably 
witnessed the first crude beginnings ot that most useful 
implement, the potter's wheel. In making a clay pot by 
hand, the great difficulty was to turn it so that the potter 
— almost always in early times a woman — could shape it 
evenly all around. So someone had the clever idea of 
putting the ball of wet clay into a shallow basket or the 
hollow of a large piece of broken pottery, and then turning 
the latter around gradually as the vessel took shape. 
Later a disk of wood or stone, mounted on a vertical axis, 
replaced the shallow basket. The potter turned this with 
one hand while he molded the clay with the other, until 
it occurred to him to use his foot through the agency of a 
treadle. This lett both hands free to shape the bowl, en- 
abling him to produce truer and much more artistic forms. 
It is possible, indeed, that man invented the potter's 
wheel before the cart. At all events, it appears in ancient 
Egypt far earlier than the cart. 

With the change from making pottery by hand to 
making it on the wheel, men came to replace women as 
potters, a substitution which seems roughly to have co- 
incided with the beginning of the Bronze Age. 

Few classes of objects are of more importance to the 
archeologist than fragments of broken pottery. For clay, 
once baked, is almost indestructible, while different periods 
and countries and peoples all have their own distinctive 
styles of shaping and decorating earthenware vessels. The 
earlier pots and bowls often bore simply the impressions 
of mats, basketry, string, or even the finger-nail, stamped 



in while the clay was still soft. Later on greatly elabo- 
rated shapes appeared, sometimes with ornamental designs 
in clay, incised, molded, or stuck on the outside, some- 
times with smoothed or burnished surfaces. In certain 
areas, both of the Old and the New World, various de- 
signs, usually if not always of magical meaning, were 

painted on. Then vessels, in a 
few countries, were coated with 
glaze. The glazed earthenware 
dug out of old Chinese tombs, 
dating back to about the begin- 
ning of the Christian Era, often 
proves to have acquired wonder- 
ful iridescent hues much ad- 
mired by collectors. True porce- 
lain, the highest development of 
the potter's art, originated in 
China, where it was brought 
to perfection only during the past 
thousand years or so. 

The use of bronze gave such life 
to trade as it had never known 
before. It increased commerce 
and the intermingling of peoples 
directly and indirectly. By its 
contribution to the rise in the 
standards of living it helped in- 
spire the demand for new luxuries, 
which led enterprising and ener- 
getic peoples to branch out in all 
directions, trading, conquering, plundering, destroying. 
Homer tells us, for example, how the Bronze Age Greeks 
overthrew and burned the city of Troy. The demand for 
tin, essential to the manufacture of bronze, led to the 
establishment of peaceful trade relations with distant 
peoples. Amber, the fossil resin found especially around 
the Baltic Sea, held a prominent place in the luxury trade. 

Fig. 91. Male costume of 
the early Bronze Age. 
Note the bronze ax lashed 
to its helve. From Mac- 
Curdy, after Muller 



The peoples of more southern countries regarded it as a 
magic talisman possessing wonderful virtues and sought 
after it eagerly, as they did after gold, ivory, turquoise, 
pearls, fragrant herbs, and incense. The demand for such 
things, if it did not actually originate in the Bronze Age, 
at least greatly increased then, and 
in time resulted in drawing a large 
part of the ancient world into a 
single economic unit, linked to- 
gether by caravan trails and sea 
routes extending in all directions. 

The wheeled vehicle, though well 
known by this time, was used main- 
ly in ceremonials, for war, and in 
farm work, and to some extent in 
local transport. In many regions 
the almost total absence of roads 
rendered impossible its employment 
for long journeys. The "through 
freights" used pack animals — don- 
keys, horses, mules, and oxen. They 
made their way often in long trains, 
over mountain ranges and across 
plains, by means of the footpaths 
which had come to seam them in 
all directions from far back in the 
Stone Age, 

The camel, destined later on to 
become the most important caravan 
animal of all, was hardly known 
during the Bronze Age. Its use did 
not become general, and then only in certain countries, 
until the true historic period — about the beginning of the 
Iron Age proper. 

Commerce by water became during the Bronze Age 
almost as important as that by land. Beginning ap- 
parently in the transitional period between the Old and 


Fig. 92. Female costume 
of the Bronze Age found 
in an oak coffin in a grave- 
mound in Denmark. From 
MacCurdy, after Montelius 


the New Stone Age, man had developed different craft 
to support himself on the water. The simple dugout canoe 
occurred almost the world over. In the far north and in 
treeless regions, men learned to make canoes by building 
frames of wood and then stretching over them skins pf 
animals or birch bark. The inflated skins of oxen and 
goats have also been used in various ways as floats. 

Whatever the process of construction, however, the 
standard method of propulsion remained for a long time 

Fig. 93. So-called "bull-boat" of the American Plains Indians, used for 
crossing streams; a similar type of craft occurs in Tibet. From specimen in 
the National Museum 

the same — a paddle wielded by a paddler sitting or stand- 
ing with his face to the front. In this way considerable 
speed might be attained, especially for short spurts; but 
it wasted energy, for the paddler could not apply his 
strength to the best advantage. 



Outrigger sailing canoe; Caroline Islands, western Pacific. Model in 
National Museum 



Chinese deep-sea fishing junk. The "eye" on each bow is a 

vestige of the time when a ship was regarded as a hving 

thing. From a painting by I. A. Donnelly 


Of course, canoes were also poled and towed, or 
"tracked"; but paddling represented the best means of 
propulsion that man could devise for many thousands of 
years. At length, however, some bright mind hit upon the 
scheme of using the boat itself as a fulcrum, and the oar 
was born. A very primitive form of rowing, in some ways 
intermediate between paddling and true rowing as we 
understand it, still survives in parts of China. Here the 
oarsman stands up, facing forward, just as in paddling, 
and wields an oar slung to an upright peg on the edge or 
gunwale of the boat. He therefore pushes instead of pull- 
ing his oar, and so fails to exert his strength to the fullest 
advantage. Another method, very common in Far East- 
ern waters and also used by the gondoliers of Venice, is 
that of sculling. Here the oar, instead of being held more 
or less at right angles to the side of the boat, is nearly 
parallel to it, and is moved to and fro through the water 
somewhat as a hsh moves its tail in swimming. But, 
where the oarsman, facing backward, pulled at the oar 
instead of pushing it, he could "put his back" into his 
stroke, utilizing all his strength and weight to the best 

Before man reached this stage of propulsion, however, 
he had taken another epoch-making step forward which 
greatly increased his mastery over his environment. He 
had invented the sail. So long as he could progress over 
the water only by means of his own strength, sea travel 
labored under a serious handicap. A large canoe or boat 
had to carry a numerous crew of paddlers in order to 
secure enough man-power. This meant more mouths to 
feed and at the same time less room for provisions and 

But when some genius found that by raising a mat or 
piece of cloth on a pole he could sit at ease in his boat, 
guiding it by a stroke of the steering paddle now and then, 
while the breeze did all the work for him, the whole com- 
plexion of affairs changed. Then the crew could be greatly 



reduced, with a corresponding increase in the cruising 
radius and the space for goods of all sorts. Also men wore 
out, but the wind never did; the size of the sea alone limited 
the distance potentially traversable with the aid of the sail. 
To the Bronze Age we owe, then, the type of craft, pro- 
pelled by oar and sail, which remained in use until the ap- 
plication of steam to navigation, little more than a cen- 

FiG. 94. Roman coin of bronze about 300 b.c. In still earlier times oxen were 
themselves a medium of exchange. After Hill 

tury ago. Development in detail there was, of course, 
but the fundamental principle remained the same. 

With commerce came money, another great step for- 
ward made in the Bronze Age. Trade in its literal sense 
had existed, of course, from the earliest times, ever since 
men learned that exchanging articles sometimes afforded a 
better way of acquiring desired objects than hitting their 
owner over the head and taking them away from him. 
Barter remained long in vogue and exists even today in 
certain backward regions of the globe. Nevertheless, the 
need of a standard of values came in time to be recognized. 
This function was fulfilled commonly by the ox. Thus a 
slave or a wife might be said to be worth so many oxen or 



cows. We find a trace of this ancient practice in our word 
"pecuniary," which comes from the Latin pecus, meaning a 
herd or flock. Later, in early historic times, the Romans 
used as a crude sort of money a rough ingot of bronze, 
stamped with the figure of an ox, sheep, or pig, recalling 
the time when these animals were themselves the medium 
of exchange (Fig. 94). 

A fixed quantity of grain of 
one sort or another also served 
as a standard of values in some 
regions till recent times. The 
Japanese, down to the middle of 
the nineteenth century, com- 
puted incomes in bags of rice, 
each holding about five bushels. 

But the development of a 
true coinage resulted from the 
introduction of metal. Man 
soon realized that bronze ob- 
jects — rings, tools, and weap- 
ons — provided him convenient 
objects to trade with; they were 
much in demand and in their 
very nature they came to be 
more or less standardized in size 
and weight and quality. Their 
use, which extended wherever 
the knowledge of bronze ex- 
tended in late prehistoric times, 
represented, of course, only a 
special form of barter. You 
"swapped" a bronze ax or hoe 
or knife for so many furs or so 
much amber. But in time the weight of full-sized bronze 
tools and weapons presented difficulties, especially on a 
long trading expedition ; so small models of the objects were 
cast to take their place. Thus token money was devised. 


Fig. 95. Early Chinese knife- 
money of copper; about 650- 
250 B.C. After Lockhart 


The ancient Chinese cast coins of this sort — models of 
knives and spades (Figs. 95 and 96) — in extremely thin 
bronze and continued their use until well into the historic 
period. And in parts of Africa hoes made of iron are still 
employed as a medium of exchange. 

Likewise, expanding trade gradually developed systems 
of weights and measures whereby goods might be valued 
more exactly than by the rough-and-ready methods in 
vogue in earlier times. Often the unit of measurement 
was based upon the dimensions of some part of the human 
body; such were the foot, the span, the cubit, and the 
fathom. The feet or hands or arms of no two persons 
might be exactly alike, but this did not matter very much 
in those davs. Precision in measuring did not come until 
much later, and even yet has not been tully adopted, even 
in civilized lands, so that we still continue to sell eggs by 
the dozen and not by weight, the only exact method. 

But even with these improved means of buying and sell- 
ing, commerce in the Bronze Age remained in what we 

should today consider 
a very undev^eloped 
state. Owing to the 
primitive means of 
transport — the backs 
of slaves and animals 
on land and canoes or 
small ships on the 
water — only objects of 
high value and dura- 
bility in proportion to 
their weight and bulk 
could be carried far or 
made to cover the cost 
of transportation. Such were gold, tin, ivory, amber, 
furs, and the like. Bulkier and heavier freight, like lum- 
ber, stone, grain, oil, or wine, could be moved only in 
small quantity and for short distances, on barges or rafts. 

Fig. 96. Early Chinese hoe-money of copper; 
about 650-250 B.C. After Lockhart 


Thus we know that the ancient Egyptians, for example, 
pretty early brought cedar logs for building purposes from 
Lebanon across the southeast corner of the Mediterranean 
Sea to their own treeless land. And rafts floated blocks of 
stone for statues or columns down the Nile and the 
Euphrates from the quarries to the places where they 
were to be used. 

Man of the Bronze Age made remarkable progress also 
in art and architecture. He did not, apparently, accom- 
plish much with sculpture in stone except in a few favored 
regions, notably that along the lower Nile; but at casting 
in bronze and decorating bronze weapons he displayed 
great gilts both in Europe and in Asia. Certain regions 
favored "geometric" designs — the spiral, frets, triangles, 
and rows oi dots and circles. Others represented various 
animal and vegetable forms in certain characteristic 
ways. Sometimes the bronze was plated with gold or 
the objects themselves made of solid gold. The art of 
studding metal with precious stones was practiced and 
led in time to the development ot enameling on metal 
and finally to the wonderful cloisonne work brought 
to an especially high degree of excellence in medieval 

Of the so-called minor arts of the Bronze Age, the 
jewelry merits particular attention. This consisted largely 
of rings of various sorts — for the neck, arms, wrists, fingers, 
ankles, and ears — made not only of bronze, but of gold, 
silver, and even iron, at first very rare and regarded as a 
precious metal. People wore, too, necklaces of various 
materials, such as amber, ivory, and gold, as well as belt 
clasps, sometimes highly ornamented and studded with 
turquoise. For their hair they used combs of bronze, 
horn, ivory, bone, and wood. Also they lavished deco- 
rations on horse trappings. 

The more advanced groups of mankind had by now 
progressed very far indeed beyond the cave, the windbreak, 
or even the thatched hut of earlier days. Man had learned, 



for one thing, that earth and stone made far more durable 
building material than wood. The stockaded village, like 
those once built by many of the American Indians and 
still in active use in various backward parts of the world, 
now gave place in certain regions to the walled town. 

Doubtless this development was gradual. No one in- 
dividual, however gifted, could have conceived the idea, 
all at once, of making even adobe bricks and of piling them, 

Fic. 97. Bronze vase with geometrical ornamentation and with 

rims perforated for suspension; Denmark, late Bronze Age. 

After Neergaard 

one on top of another, to form a wall. We may surmise the 
probable course of events, beginning with the piling up 
of a little earth about the bases of the upright stakes form- 
ing the palisade, to give them a firmer support. Then it 
was found that by increasing the amount of earth, so as to 
form a mound with a stockade running along its top, an 
even better defensive work might be formed. Regions of 
scarce trees dispensed with the wooden fence and built the 
earthen mound high enough and steep enough on its outer 
surface to form an effective obstacle to marauders. In 
some cases, as at present in the villages of northern China, 



tangled masses of savage thorns surmounted the wall to 
make it still more difficult to scale. 

As a further step men found that, by ramming down 
successive layers of earth between retaining frames of 
planks, they could make the mound much stronger and 
more durable. Sometimes they embedded logs and 
bundles of sticks in the clay to give it additional rein- 
forcement. The original Great Wall of China, built 
about 2IO B.C., but now almost entirely destroyed, was 
constructed in this way. 

Finally someone hit on the expedient of making the clay 
into separate bricks and drying them in the sun, like the 
adobe bricks still so much used in our own Southwest. 
It seems curious, in view of the fact that the baking of 
pottery had long been known, that the hardening of bricks 
by baking them in kilns instead of by merely drying them 
in the sun should have remained so long undiscovered. 

People undoubtedly used unshaped stones for various 
purposes, including that of building, even before the in- 
vention of bricks. Already in the New Stone Age, in some 
regions, huge rough stones had come to be used in various 
ways, especially in connection with the worship of the 
dead. Circles, avenues, and monuments, composed of 
single standing stones, sometimes of gigantic size, occur 
in various parts of the world, along with dolmens — tombs 
constructed of three or more upright stones supporting 
another which formed the ceiling of the funeral chamber. 
A great mound of earth usually if not always covered the 
dolmens, though this in some cases has since disappeared. 
The most famous of all these stone constructions is the 
"circle" of Stonehenge in England, which seems to have 
been connected in some way with the worship of the sun 
and to date from the Bronze Age. Here some of the 
stones, weighing many tons, had been transported long 
distances and shaped, dressed down, and provided with 
sockets and tenons for securing the capstones, involving 
an enormous amount of work. But we know that even in 

[ 283 ] 


the New Stone Age man had learned to organize his labor 
and make the best possible use of the mechanical forces 
known to him. With endless patience and a large force of 
workers intelligently employed, he was capable of accom- 
plishing tasks that excite amazement even today. 

It seems to have been the development of brick construc- 
tion-work that led eventually, in certain regions, to the use 
of regularly squared stones for the erection of walls and 
buildings. Stone columns were developed from the inspi- 
ration of wooden supporting pillars; and sometimes rafters 
and other architectural features, originally of wood, were 
later imitated in stone. 

Wall decoration of various kinds began early, as far 
back, in all probability, as the New Stone Age, when men 
covered the "wattle-and-daub" walls of huts, plastered 
smooth, with designs of various sorts, mostly of a symbolic 
or magical nature, intended to bring good luck or to ward 
off evil. 

The Bronze Age carried this much further, developing 
wall painting into a regular art. When stone walls came 
into use, as in early Egypt, they were covered with carved 
designs, known as reliefs, which almost invariably had 
some connection with religion. Sometimes they repre- 
sented the triumphs of the kings, regarded as themselves 
actually gods, over their enemies. On the walls of the 
tombs of important people, they showed scenes of every- 
day life, intended through magical means to insure to the 
dead man the enjoyment in the next world of the same 
kind of existence he had known in this. Thus we find por- 
trayed on the walls of Egyptian tombs scenes of worship, 
of war, of labor, and of sport. The designers did not at 
all intend these for the eyes of the survivors or of poster- 
ity; unquestionably not, for they sealed them up in the 
darkness of the tomb, as they supposed, forever. 

The great number of new inventions which appeared in 
the Bronze Age found their application to war just as do 
ours today and with comparable results in the develop- 


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ment of warfare. Thanks to bronze weapons and tools, 
the desultory sort of skirmishing between relatively small 
bodies of warriors which characterized the New Stone /^ge 
both in the Old World and in the New, gave place to regu- 
lar armies, equipped and drilled in something approaching 
uniform fashion (Fig. 98). New means of waging war 

Fig. 98. Egyptian infantry, Eighteenth Dynasty (15-80-1350 B.C.)- The Bronze 

Age persisted in Egypt considerably longer than it did in southwestern Asia. 

After Moret and Davy 

came into being, methods of conducting sieges of walled 
towns, ways of raising, feeding, and maneuvering bodies 
of men. 

The most characteristic engine of war during the Bronze 
Age was the war chariot. We have already seen how the 
cart developed, and also how during the New Stone Age 
the peoples living about the wide-spreading grasslands of 
central xAsia and eastern Europe had begun to domesticate 
the horse. 

Now between these tribes, only a little more advanced 
than the Plains Indians of America, and the much more 
highly civilized peoples inhabiting the fertile river plains 
of southwestern Asia and Asia Minor, stood great barriers 
of mountains and forests and marshes, deserts and lakes 
and seas, such as man in the New Stone x'\ge could scarcely 
traverse, at least in any large numbers. A time came, 



however, when the slowly drying climate little by little 
thinned out the forests and dried up the swamps and lakes 
left behind at the close of the Age of Ice; and then, with 
improvements in transportation and organization, con- 
tacts between the two great cultural regions became 
easier and more frequent. 

Up to this time only the peoples of southwestern Asia 
and perhaps Asia Minor seem to have known wheeled 
vehicles. They do not appear in Egypt until much later, 
and they remained unknown in northern Asia, in Africa 
south of the Sahara, and throughout the Western Hemis- 
phere, until a few centuries ago. 

In the few regions where they were used carts and chariots 
long continued to be drawn by oxen — animals incapable of 
any great speed — so that the employment of these vehicles 
was restricted almost entirely to farm work and religious 
processions. Their only use in war was to carry to the 
field of battle images or symbols of the gods and the per- 
sons of the kings — themselves gods, priests, and medicine 
men combined. Unfortunately, the people who had in- 
vented the chariot did not as yet have the horse, the 
animal above all others fitted to draw it at high speed; 
and the people who had domesticated the horse remained 
ignorant of the chariot. 

But why did not the energetic and warlike people of the 
great grassy plains ride their horses in plundering raids on 
the more civilized peoples to the south, just as the Scyth- 
ians, Huns, Mongols, and Turks did far later.? Strange 
as it may seem, though they had known the horse for tens 
of thousands of years, they had not yet learned to ride 
him. Hence, until they learned to yoke their horses in 
pairs to the chariots they acquired from their more civi- 
lized neighbors, they had no means of utilizing these 
animals for anything practical except their flesh, their 
hides, and perhaps their milk. The utilization of the 
horse for hauling and riding changed the whole course of 
history. Many of the problems connected with it have not 



yet been solved; but at least we know in a general way 
what happened. 

Recent discoveries have shown that this use of the horse 
is connected very closely with the spread of the early 
Indo-European peoples, and that wherever they first ap- 
pear in history they are found employing the horse and 
chariot as their principal instrument of war. Just as the 
early Spaniards in Mexico and Peru owed some of their 

Fig. 99. Four-wheeled wagon. The two draft animals have been 

called horses but are more probably intended for oxen. Design 

incised on a clay vessel; Hungary, early Iron Age (900-500 b.c). 

After de Morgan 

greatest victories to their use of horses and the terror which 
the latter inspired among the Indians, so the early Indo- 
European peoples undoubtedly could ascribe much of 
their success to the speed with which they could maneuver 
on the battlefield in their war chariots, and perhaps even 
more to the panic which the latter inspired in their oppo- 
nents. To people who had never had to stand up before 
one, a charge of war chariots, with the galloping horses and 
the rumbling wheels, the yelling men and the flashing 
bronze weapons, must have seemed a terrible thing. Those 
of us who have seen automobiles or street-cars bearing 
swiftly down on us can appreciate something of their 

The grassland horse breeders, whom we can safely call 
Indo-Europeans — our own ancestors in speech and partly, 
too, in blood — must, through contact with their more 
civilized neighbors to the south, have gradually become 



familiar with the idea of using animals to draw carts of 
various sorts. Their long association with horses would in 
time suggest that these animals could pull a chariot far 
better and faster than the oxen or donkeys used until then. 
For lack of evidence we can not say as yet when this 
great idea was born, but we may be sure that to work it 
out fully took a long time. At length, however, armed 
with this new instrument of war, more effective in its way 
than the tank in modern times, the Indo-Europeans spread 
in all directions, conquering, organizing, and ruling as they 

Thus the spread of the war chariot, drawn by horses 
attached to it with a yoke, neckband, and girth, affords 
an important clue to the movements of peoples in late 
prehistoric times. It appears in southwestern Asia shortly 
after 2000 b. c. and in Egypt a few centuries later. It was 
already in common use in Greece and central Europe 
about 1200 B. c, so it must have arrived there at least a 
century or two earlier. Gradually it spread westward 
until it occupied almost the entire continent. The 
peoples of northern Italy and France still employed it in 
the third century b. c, but abandoned it soon after. 
Caesar found the Britons using it in the first century 
B, c, while in Ireland it survived still longer. 

In the Orient the history of the war chariot is much the 
same. The Aryans, who invaded India sometime in the 
second millenium b. c, had it. So had the Bronze Age 
population of southern Siberia. In China the war chariot 
and the knowledge of bronze had appeared sometime 
before 1000 b. c. 

During the second millenium b. c, the use of the chariot 
for fighting seems to have spread outward in all direc- 
tions from the grasslands of southeastern Russia and 
southwestern Siberia, until it had penetrated almost the 
whole of the North Temperate regions of the Old World. 
Then it gradually went out of use, unable to compete suc- 
cessfully with the later practice of fighting on horseback, 



a development which belongs mainly to the opening cen- 
turies of the Iron Age. 

Effective history begins with writing, to the discovery, 
or perhaps better development of which we have now 
come. To understand how fundamental was this achieve- 
ment we have only to imagine the situation today if read- 
ing and writing had never been invented. 

For one thing, we should be utterly unable to set down 
and work out any mathematical problems, but would have 
to do them all "in our heads," no matter how long or how 
complicated they might be. The record of all discoveries in 
physics, chemistry, astronomy, medicine, or any ot the 
other sciences, would have to be intrusted to our uncertain 
memories. If you were ill, the doctor would have to tell 
you by word of mouth what sort of prescription to get 
filled. Then you would have to tell the druggist what the 
doctor had told you, and the druggist would have to mix 
his medicines according to what he remembered of what 
you had told him. 

Again, suppose we had to depend entirely for our 
knowledge of the past upon what our fathers told us they 
had heard from their fathers and grandfathers. It is 
easy to see how the memory of even the most important 
events would become distorted, run together, and con- 
fused. Instead of being able to say that George Wash- 
ington, for example, lived in the eighteenth century and 
played a leading part in the founding of the United States, 
people, after a few thousands or even hundreds of years, 
would be wondering whether he lived in the eighteenth 
century or in the eighth. Was he a contemporary of 
Napoleon or of Charlemagne? And what was it that he 
did anyway? In time he would become a mythical figure, 
perhaps of supernatural power. Old bards and reciters of 
hero tales might even say that he caused the waters of the 
Delaware to divide and led his Continental troops across 
dry-shod. Finally he would be forgotten altogether. 

All this may sound extravagant. But it is exactly the 



sort of thing that went on, century after century and 
millenium after millenium, through the whole long course 
of man's existence on the globe, down to a relatively very 
short time ago. If events and discoveries and facts of all 
kinds are better remembered today than ever before, it is 
entirely due to the art of writing. 

To this day many peoples look upon writing as some- 
thing uncanny or magical. We may smile at the story of 
the native sent by a missionary to a friend, with a note and 
a basket of fruit, who sat on the former while he ate the 
latter, so that the mysterious "writing" could not see what 
he did and tell on him. But that is just how early man 
looked at it. 

Pictographs, or actual pictures of concrete objects, like 
men, animals, or plants, seem to have been the first step 
in the infinitely slow development of writing. Next came 
symbolic representation. A star, for example, might stand 
for a god; a battle-ax, for a king; three wavy lines, for 
water; and so on. Then the earlier pictures, gradually 
simplified out of all likeness to the things they originally 
stood for, became themselves symbols. Thus, to indicate 
an ox, people would no longer draw a picture of the whole 
animal but merely a sketch of its head — a triangle with 
two lines projecting from the upper corners for the horns. 
If a wild bull was intended, in the triangle would be drawn 
three sharp peaks, the symbol for a mountain, and it 
would then mean "a mountain bull," We call characters 
of this sort not pictographs but ideographs, because they 
are no longer pictorial, but represent ideas. 

The next great step was to make these symbols stand 
not only for ideas but also in some cases for sounds. This 
seems to have been accomplished through a method like 
that used in the rebuses which we used to solve as children. 
The sentence, "I see you," to take a very simple example, 
might be indicated by a picture of a human eye followed 
by one of the sea and then the letter U. In other words, a 
symbol which originally stood for one thing would be used 



to mean something else having a similar sound but an 
entirely different meaning. Some forms of writing never 
got much beyond this, but remained an inconsistent even 
though systematized combination of pictographs, ideo- 
graphs, and sound symbols. Chinese script is essentially 
an instance of this kind. 

In other forms the principle of indicating sounds instead 
of ideas or objects gained ground, until there resulted a set 
of signs, each standing tor a definite syllable — a vowel 
alone or a consonant and vowel. We call such a system 
a syllabary. The ancient Assyrians used it in part, as do 
also the modern Japanese. 

The best system, because the simplest and most flexible, 
is the alphabet. Here the symbols stand for sounds and 
sounds alone, every consonant and finally every vowel 
having its own separate sign. But this development came 
only comparatively late in man's history, after he had 
passed through an extended period of experimenting with 
picture-writing, with ideographs, and then with halting 
attempts at representing sounds alone. 

But long before the invention of the alphabet, man had 
begun to keep records. Although he had already long 
used a few very simple systems of writing, the dawn of 
history may be said to have occurred during the Age of 

The Mother Goddess of fertility and growth, the divin- 
ity characteristic of certain regions in the New Stone Age, 
gradually gave place during the masculine and warlike 
Bronze Age to the Sun or Sky God. The latter seems at 
first to have been represented only rarely if at all by im- 
ages in human form, but rather by symbols, particularly 
the wheel and the swastika, and also by forms of the cross 
and representations of ships and of chariots, sometimes 
themselves bearing the sacred symbol of the wheel. 

Human sacrifice, although still quite generally practiced, 
appears to have become less a magical rite to insure a 
plentiful harvest than an act of propitiation to turn away 



threatening calamity. Certain peoples during the Bronze 
Age seem to have substituted animals for human beings 
on such occasions; but there remained a sort of latent 
feeling that in so doing they were cheating the gods out 
of their just dues. Even in the early centuries of the his- 
torical period, in times of great national danger or dis- 

Fig. ioo. Sacrifice of a slave, Congo region, Africa. After Frobenius 

aster, terrified tribes sometimes sacrificed their children, 
their most precious possessions. 

Thus we are told in the Old Testament that the 
King of Moab, as a last resort, "took his eldest son that 
should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for 
a burnt offering upon the wall." Again, when the 
Greek fleet destined for the siege of Troy was, according 
to the legend, wind-bound at Aulis, King Agamemnon 
sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia in order to secure a 
favoring wind. 

The custom of burying or cremating with the important 
dead their wives and slaves and close companions also 
began to assume prominence, it seems, in the early Bronze 
Age. The victims sometimes freely offered themselves 
to accompany their beloved lord beyond the grave, to 
lead with him in the next world the life to which they had 
been accustomed in this. More often, in all probability, 
they had little choice, but followed their master to the 



tomb as a matter of course, like his chariot and horses, his 
weapons, and his other treasures. 

Mankind as a whole has never passed through an Age of 
Bronze. Over by far the greater part of the globe men 
have either remained in the Stone Age, which, unlike the 
Bronze Age, extended over the whole world, or else they 
have gone directly from the Stone to the Iron x'^ge. This 
statement applies to nearly all the peoples of Africa, of 
northern Europe and Asia, of the New World, and of the 
islands of the Pacific. The true Bronze Age, in fact, was 
practically confined to the North Temperate zone of the 
Eastern Hemisphere, where it occurred over a continuous 
area extending from Spain to China and from Egypt and 
northern India to Scandinavia and central Siberia. It 
began, apparently, in southwestern Asia, some six or 
seven thousand years ago; and in some regions, as for ex- 
ample in China, it lasted almost to the opening of the 
Christian Era. 




We have now reached that point in our story where the 
keeping of written records begins. Heretofore, the lack 
of these has made it impossible to speak of definite coun- 
tries or peoples, but at the most only of races and regions 
and general developments of culture. 

The effects of the Ice Age did not stop at those regions 
actually encroached upon by the vastly expanded glaciers 
and ice fields. The influence of the latter upon climatic 
conditions extended far beyond their borders. Because of 
them the "storm belt" of rain-bearing winds now blowing 
off the Atlantic over Europe was then deflected tar to the 
south, so that it blew across what is now the rainless 
Desert of Sahara. Future research will doubtless disclose 
the connection which must have existed between the glacial 
or interglacial stages ot the European Ice Age and the 
"pluvial periods" which seem to have occurred during the 
same epoch in Africa. Be that as it may, we know that the 
Sahara, now largely a burning waste of gravel and sand, 
once formed a pleasant, well-watered region, with abun- 
dant rain, streams, grass, and trees. Teeming with wild 
beasts of all sorts, it presented a hunters' paradise to the 
men of the Old Stone Age, who have left their tools and 
weapons scattered about over its surface. But as the 
climate grew slowly drier, this abundant human and animal 
life died out or moved away in quest of water. They mi- 
grated, among other places, to the valley of the Nile, des- 
tined in far later times to be the home of a wonderful 



Prehistoric Egypt 

Many students believe that civilization began in Egypt. 
Recent discoveries, however, appear to indicate that south- 
western /\sia had on the whole the priority, although in 
certain respects the predynastic Egyptians were prob- 
ably further advanced than any other people of their day. 

The truth is that human progress is a thing of such com- 
plexity that it advances very unevenly at various periods 
and in different localities. Furthermore, scarcely any- 
thing is so rare as a truly original idea or invention. 
People progress by borrowing, and isolated regions are 
practically certain to be backward. Egypt, while greatly 
favored by nature in many respects, was undeniably some- 
what isolated. For she had come, in the course of ages, 
to be hemmed in by deserts on both the east and the west; 
moreover, she lay a little to one side of the great cultural 
areas of the late prehistoric period, so far as we know them. 
The current impression of the precocity of early Egyptian 
civilization rests perhaps on the fact that we know far 
more about it than we do about the civilization of other 
countries because the wonderfully dry climate of Egypt 
has preserved early remains of all sorts far better than 
they have been preserved elsewhere. Also the Egyptians 
resorted largely to stone for building, for inscriptions, and 
for pictures of everyday life; and stone, of course, lasts 
almost indefinitely. 

The Nile, rising in equatorial Africa, flows in a general 
northerly direction through a narrow valley varying from 
ten to thirty miles in width, until at last it enters the 
Mediterranean Sea at the Delta. This, far back in the 
prehistoric period, formed a bay, a deep notch in the 
otherwise regular and almost featureless coast line. Long 
before the dawn of history, however, mud brought down 
by the Nile from the heart of Africa had filled it up. The 
great river at one time reached the sea through seven 
mouths; but these have gradually decreased in number as 



the filling-up process has continued, until now there are 
but two. The rest have dwindled into mere canals, not 
always navigable. 

Long after the Ice Age, when the country on both sides 
of the valley had assumed nearly the same desert charac- 
ter that it bears now, we find the banks of the Nile occu- 
pied by people physically pretty much like those living 
there today. They resembled the race inhabiting most of 
the countries around the Mediterranean at the present 
time — a race of medium stature, with oval faces, black or 
dark-brown hair and eyes, and complexions varying from 
brown to a rather light olive. 

These early Nile dwellers lived in scattered villages 
placed above the reach of the yearly inundations. They 
supported themselves partly by hunting the animals in the 
marshes along the river and in the jungles covering the 
higher ground, among others the elephant, hippopotamus, 
giraffe, okapi, wild bull, and various kinds of antelopes. 
But they carried on some planting, and in time began to 
make experiments in domesticating certain wild creatures 
about them, such as the cat, the greyhound, and the wild 
ass. The latter seems to occur only in northwestern 
Africa; the animals called "wild asses" which are found in 
other parts of the Old World are not really such at all. 
In time the donkey, or ass, became the common beast of 

At first the Nile dwellers seem to have been almost in- 
distinguishable from most of the other North African 
peoples — not Negroes in any sense, but "dark whites," 
like their descendants, the modern Moors — who occupied 
the lands stretching indefinitely to the westward, toward 
the Atlantic. But at some uncertain date in prehistoric 
times they came strongly under the influence of peoples 
from the eastern side of the Red Sea. Invasions of the 
Nile Valley from Palestine or perhaps Arabia may easily 
have occurred more than once in prehistoric times, as they 
have since the dawn of the historical period. 

[ 296 ] 























Probably through these contacts, the prehistoric people 
of the Nile Valley became possessed of certain other domes- 
tic animals, the ox, the goat, and the sheep. After their 
introduction into x-^frica, however, these animals quickly 
spread over almost the whole continent, profoundly alter- 
ing the lives of its people. 

These prehistoric or predynastic Egyptians grew barley, 
millet, wheat, and a wide variety of vegetables. They 
knew, too, the 
crafts of the pot- 
ter and the car- 
penter, as well as 
how to make 
stone weapons 
and tools of beau- 
tiful workman- 
ship. Vessels hol- 
lowed out of the 
hardest stone are 
characteristic of 
early Egyptian 
No other country, 
in fact, developed 
stone working to 
such a wonderful 
degree. The 
strong conservative spirit which dominated the Egyptians 
may have contributed to their preference for stone, but 
we find the main cause in the scarcity or total lack of 
most of the useful metals in Egypt itself. The country 
has no native copper, tin, iron, gold, or silver. And with- 
out at least copper and tin a native Bronze Age civiliza- 
tion could hardly spring .up. 

In time some copper was obtained from Sinai and more 
from the island of Cyprus, along with quantities of gold 
from the upper Nile. But copper displaced stone and bone 

Fig. ioi. Primitive Egyptian hoe, made from a 
forked branch. After Petrie 



very slowly in Egypt, which thus remained largely in the 
Stone Age long after Babylonia had begun to use bronze. 

It seems likely that a true agricultural civilization in 
Egypt first arose in the Delta, where intercourse with 
other countries was easiest and where new ideas as well as 
new materials could be most easily introduced. The 
Delta, for example, first adopted that important aid to 
agriculture, a regular calendar, in the year 424I b. c, which 
has therefore been called "the first fixed date in history." 
This calendar consisted of a year of twelve months, each 
containing thirty days, with five holy days added at the 
end, an arrangement in some ways even more convenient 
than our own. But the year actually exceeds 365 days by 
nearly six hours, so Egyptian dates revolved through a 
cycle of 1,460 years (6 X 1,460 = 8,760 hours = 1 year) 
before returning to their original astronomical position. 

During the Neolithic Period the scattered settlements of 
the dwellers along the Nile had gradually coalesced into 
small city states, of which there were roughly twenty in 
the Delta and as many others in the Valley. Later yet, al- 
though still in prehistoric times, these two regions came 
to form two kingdoms, known throughout history as 
Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt. Finally a king of Upper 
Egypt attacked and annexed Lower Egypt and united 
the two crowns, founding the First Dynasty. With this 
event history begins, although Egyptologists are not yet 
fully agreed as to the precise time when it occurred. 

The Nile dwellers, of course, had long had boats and 
canoes, and they seem to have been using regular sails even 
before the close of the predynastic period. Some believe 
that the sail as it has existed in historic time was an 
Egyptian invention and that it spread thence to surround- 
ing regions. Certainly the Egyptians very early had trade 
relations with countries across the Mediterranean and also 
far down the Red Sea. 

Stone seems to have come into use as a building material 
for temples toward the end of the Second Dynasty. But 



Egyptian portrait statues. In the Cairo Museum. Photograph in the 
Library of Congress 


Portrait statue of the scribe of an Egyptian king, indicative of the 

importance attached to education in ancient Egypt. Photograph in 

the Library of Congress from original in the Louvre 


stone implements did not definitely give way to copper 
ones until the Fourth Dynasty. This was the great pyra- 
mid age. The ancient Egyptians had come to believe 
their kings, originally glorified medicine men, to be gods — 
controllers of the weather, givers of harvests, and pro- 
tectors of the people — whose welfare, therefore, they con- 
sidered of first importance, both in life and after death. 
We miss the point entirely if we think of the pyramids 
merely as monuments to the pride and power of tyrannical 
rulers. They were meant to be eternal dwelling places 
provided for the spirits of the mighty dead, who in turn 
were expected to see to it that the security and prosperity 
of Egypt were assured. They were built, at enormous cost 
of time and effort, because the united feeling of the people 
demanded them as necessary to the common good. 

The same sort of thinking led to the development of 
early Egyptian sculpture. People believed that the spirit 
of the dead needed a body of some kind to live in, just as 
it had animated a body of flesh during life. Hence they 
took particular care to make the face of the stone image an 
accurate portrait, that the spirit might recognize it. 

At first the ancient Egyptians considered that only the 
spirits of the kings really mattered much, and they built 
for them alone such mighty works as the pyramids. But 
gradually the notion spread that the souls of other people 
might enjoy an after-life if properly cared for by their 
survivors. We can see this idea springing up first among 
the nobles, the landowners, and court officials; later on it 
becomes general. 

This steady widening of spiritual horizons led to the 
abandonment of such stupendous works as the pyramids 
and the gradual development of temples instead. But 
here, too, the genius of the Egyptians for the vast and the 
colossal asserted itself. In the ruins of Karnak and Luxor 
— the ancient Thebes — we have the greatest development 
of colonnaded architecture that the world has ever seen 
(Plate 78). 



Mummification, also, developed as a result of this same 
interest in the welfare of the dead, thought to be linked 
very vitally with that of the living. The dry sands of the 
desert, without other preservative agencies, have kept 
for us the bodies of many of the old predynastic Egyptians 
of Neolithic times. Later on, corpses were intentionally 
embalmed, but not until long after Egypt had passed her 
zenith as a great power do we find the highest develop- 
ment of mummifying — in the Twenty-First Dynasty, 
about I lOO B. c. 

The use of true bronze and of the horse and chariot 
seems to have been introduced into Egypt from Syria 
about 1500 B. c, probably by the conquering Hyksos, or 
"Shepherd Kings." In fact it seems likely that the ability 
of the latter to subdue the Egyptians and dominate them 
for a century or more sprang from their possession of these 
more effective means of waging war. The Egyptians very 
early knew iron, perhaps of meteoric origin like that used by 
certain of the Eskimo, but they did not make much use of 
it until later times, when Egypt, after falling a prey to the 
Ethiopians, Assyrians, Persians, and others, came to be 
ruled by the Macedonians, after x'\lexander the Great. 

Thus we see that, for all her mighty achievements in 
architecture, art, and in certain other fields of human en- 
deavor, Egypt lagged behind western Asia in many im- 
portant respects. She had hardly yet begun to emerge 
from the New Stone Age when the two crowns, of Upper 
and Lower Egypt, were united. She had but just reached 
the Copper Age when the pyramids were built. She owed 
to western Asiatics the introduction of bronze and horses 
and chariots, about the sixteenth century b. c. The 
camel, now so widely employed in Egypt, appears to have 
been brought into general use there by the Assyrians or the 
Persians. Iron, too, was a late adoption in Egypt, paral- 
leling its history in China, where, as already noted, the 
Bronze Age lasted almost down to the Christian Era. 
This, however, is no reflection on the ancient Egyptians. 



Example of Egyptian mummification. In the National Museum 


On the contrary, the greater is the honor due them for 
their ability to accompHsh so much with such compara- 
tively poor means. 

Southwestern Asia in Prehistoric Times 

The only other region which, so far as we now know, can 
compete with Egypt in priority of civilization is south- 
western Asia. Here, too, the Ice Age made its influence 
strongly felt, although the ice sheet itself seems not to 
have covered the extreme southern portions of the conti- 
nent. We are only just beginning to find out a little about 
the men who lived there then. But that they did exist 
is certain; for they have left behind them records of their 
presence in the shape of stone implements. And lately, 
as we have seen, there has been found in Galilee part of 
the skull of a member of the lowly Neanderthal race. 

When we come down to the period following the close 
of the Ice Age, our knowledge becomes slightly more 
definite. It now seems probable that the whole of southern 
Asia then contained a sparse population of hunting and 
food-gathering peoples belonging to the black-skinned 
races which we find today, in various forms, in Africa, 
India, and some of the islands stretching out to the south- 
east of Asia. Among them were in all likelihood both 
peoples of ordinary size and pygmies, or dwarf races, like 
those which today survive only in parts of Africa on the 
one hand and in the Malay Peninsula and the East Indies 
on the other. They seem never to have had to undergo 
the stern discipline of the Ice Age, and therefore retained 
many primitive traits, remaining essentially in the Old 
Stone Age. They were too few in number and too lowly 
in culture to influence later races very deeply. 

The great changes which took place both in the climate 
and in the character of the earth's surface as the Ice Age 
passed gradually away occurred in southwestern x-^sia just 
as they did in northern Africa. A great deal of the land 
that had been either actually covered deep with ice, or 

[301 ] 


else too cold and desolate for human habitation, became 
pleasant, fruitful, and inviting. Not only the Desert of 
Sahara, but also the deserts of Arabia and Persia were 
then fertile and able to support considerable populations. 

The country later known as Babylonia at that time lay 
largely under water, the Persian Gulf running much far- 
ther up into the land than it does now. xAs the climate 
grew warmer, the two great rivers, the Euphrates and the 
Tigris, began to carry down mud from the slopes of the 
mountain masses to the north and northeast, and to de- 
posit it as silt or sediment at their mouths, gradually 
building up the great alluvial plains later occupied by so 
many important peoples. This process has continued 
steadily down to the present, and the sites of several cities 
which we know were once on or near the water have been 
left far inland within historical times. 

So far, in addition to the primitive Negroid hunters, of 
whom we can conjecture little more than the mere ex- 
istence, we can distinguish three main groups among the 
peoples who in turn occupied ancient Babylonia. The 
first is that known, through one very characteristic type of 
remains found on their ancient sites, as the Painted Pottery 
People. They probably had some domestic animals, and 
they did a certain amount of planting; but they seem to 
have depended for their food chiefly upon hunting and to 
have made large use of the bow and arrow. They knew 
copper, at least, and so had already left the New Stone 
Age behind, though probably not very long before. It 
is thought that these Painted Pottery People entered 
Babylonia from the northeast, probably from the Persian 
uplands. What became of them we can not as yet say 
with any assurance; but they were most likely, in part at 
least absorbed by the Sumerians, the people who next 
appear on the scene. 

Some have thought that the Sumerians reached their 
historic home by migration from central Asia. In the past 
few years, however, there has come to light in northwestern 

I 302] 


India a hitherto entirely unknown civilization with some 
close resemblances to that of the Sumerians. Again, they 
may have come from southern Arabia, where kingdoms 
now forgotten existed in ancient days. 

At all events, when they first become known to us, we 
find the Sumerians already in possession of domestic cattle, 
asses, sheep, and goats, but without horses. They had 
a well-developed agriculture, carried on with the aid of the 
plow, and they used carts, both with four and with two 
wheels, drawn by oxen and asses. 

Unlike their predecessors, the Painted Pottery People, 
the Sumerians seem to have made little or no use of the 
bow and arrow at first. They did wage wars, but on the 
whole they were a peaceful folk, engaged mainly in agri- 
culture, cultivating especially the date palm, which sup- 
plied them with many of their simple wants in addition to 
food. This most useful tree made possible, in the opinion 
of some, their rise to comparative civilization. They lived 
in mud villages scattered about over the wide alluvial 
plains, often built on artificial mounds to be out of the 
reach of floods; partly, too, perhaps, to escape the swarms 
of insect pests that the marshes harbored. In time these 
villages with their surrounding lands united, as in Egypt, 
to form a number of small city states, ruled over by priest- 
kings who were often themselves regarded as in some sense 
gods or descended from gods. Objects of adoration in life, 
at their funerals large numbers of their guards and servants 
were slain and buried with them. 

Owing to the total lack of stone in the alluvial plains of 
Babylonia, mud formed the great building material and 
came to be made into bricks, simply dried in the sun at first 
and only in later times baked in the fire. Sometimes in 
place of mortar, bitumen was used; a reference to this oc- 
curs in Genesis, xi, 3, where we are told that the builders of 
the Tower of Babel "had brick for stone, and slime had 
they for mortar." The Sumerians also wrote upon tablets 
of soft clay and then baked them hard. 


Like the Painted Pottery People, the Sumerians learned 
to employ copper, and gold as well, very early, perhaps 
even before they arrived in Babylonia. Much of their 
work in these metals is of a high order and shows a well- 
developed knowledge of metallurgy. They made a sort 
of bronze by mixing the molten copper with lead; and they 
seem to have been the first to develop the socketed spear- 
head and the battle-ax with the helve passing through the 
ax-head. The Sumerians also early used regular troops, 
drawn up in ranks and equipped with huge shields and 
long spears, something like the famous Macedonian 
phalanx of much later times. The kings were carried to 
battle, probably as medicine men rather than fighters, in 
carts drawn by donkeys — the forerunners of the later 
horse-drawn war chariots. 

The development of agriculture naturally led to a great 
increase in population, which in turn gave rise to a need 
for more and more organization and joint action, directed 
by the priest-king rulers, in the defense of their fields and 
herds and in the making of canals, dykes, town walls, 
foundation mounds, and temples. Navigation, too, was 
developed; for water transport has always been easier 
and cheaper than that by land. For ages the peoples 
along the lower courses of the Euphrates and Tigris doubt- 
less used simple floats made of bundles of reeds, together, 
probably, with dugout canoes. But later they constructed 
craft of a larger size, with oars and sails. There was a 
tradition, indeed, that the Phoenicians, that great sea- 
faring people of antiquity who lived in historical times on 
the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, came origi- 
nally from the Persian Gulf. 

In time the Sumerians were absorbed by the Semites, 
peoples speaking tongues belonging to the same family of 
speech as ancient Hebrew and modern Arabic. There was 
much give and take in this process, and each people 
adopted many elements of civilization from the other. The 
Sumerian language, however, which belonged to a totally 



Assyrian troops besieging a city. An attendant lioljs a shield before each 
archer; a siege engine is battering against the walls; lower left, the 
casualties; above, three men impaled to terrify the besieged. Inscription 
below is in cuneiform writing. Photograph in the Library of Congress 
from original in the British Museum 


different family, gradually died out of everyday use, being 
employed in later times mainly for religious purposes, 
somewhat as the Church in medieval Europe employed 

The amalgamated peoples continued their progress in 
the civilized arts, and in time certain of their kings con- 
quered the first "world empires" of which history tells. 
But these were rather small affairs, although their found- 
ers gave themselves such lofty titles as "King of the Four 
Quarters of the World." x'\t the most they only occupied 
the valleys of the Two Rivers, occasionally extending 
from the Persian Gulf as far as the Mediterranean, And 
rarely did these early empires display any permanence, 
almost always falling to pieces soon after the death of their 

Man had not yet found out how to organize wide terri- 
tories occupied by different peoples into a harmonious 
whole on a basis of common interest. Usually ancient 
peoples very naturally met this need of something in 
common to weld subject races together by extending 
among them the worship of the conquering king, whom 
his own subjects had all along adored as divine. This was 
done not out of pride or vainglory, but for the very prac- 
tical purpose of making the head of the state a symbol of 
imperial unity. The various conquered peoples naturally 
had their own gods, to whom they continued to pay honor 
as of yore, but to the worship of these was added that of 
the ruler, as something in which all the peoples of the 
empire could unite. 

At some unknown epoch in the prehistoric past another 
important domestic animal, the donkey, was introduced 
into Babylonia, apparently from the valley of the Nile. 
But not until much later, about the year 2000 b, c, do we 
first find mentioned that other even more useful animal, 
the horse. It seems to have reached Babylonia from 
the mountainous regions to the east. In the course of two 
or three centuries it revolutionized the whole conduct of 

I 305] 


warfare no less than did the introduction of gunpowder in 
the Middle Ages. 

Of the origin of the horse-drawn war chariot we have 
already spoken. That it came originally from the great 
grasslands far to the north and northeast and that it was 
connected in some way with the rise of the Indo-European 
speaking peoples, to whom we ourselves belong, there 
seems no doubt. Perhaps some of its users came through 
the passes of the Caucasus Mountains so often traversed 
by invading armies; for it first appears, and at about 
the same time, both in eastern Asia Minor and in Baby- 
lonia, where it quickly sprang into favor. Its wonderful 
efficiency as a new engine of war insured that; for war often 
serves as a great promoter of progress. We should not be 
nearly as far along as we are in the mastery of aviation, 
for example, had it not been for the stern incentive pro- 
vided by the World War. A couple of centuries or so 
after its introduction into southwestern Asia the use of the 
war chariot spread to Egypt, where, as we have seen, it 
thenceforth played a no less important part. 

Iron, although known earlier, seems to have begun to 
come into general use toward the year looo b, c. At first 
only domestic tools were made of it, while weapons con- 
tinued to be made of bronze; for bronze, as material for 
sword, dagger, or ax, is superior to untempered iron, which 
is too soft. Possibly the introduction or invention of 
effective iron weapons may have had something to do with 
the rise, about this time, of the kingdom of Assyria; for 
that country lay near some of the early great iron-working 
regions of what is now Asia Minor. 

For several centuries the kings of Assyria, among whom 
were some very able men, dominated a great part of the 
Near East, even for a few years establishing their sway 
over Egypt, then in its decadence. They introduced many 
improvements in warfare, especially for the capture of 
walled towns. The battering-ram was perhaps one of these. 
The Assyrians, although great organizers for their time, 


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were characterized by ruthless cruelty to the conquered, 
and they ruled almost entirely by terror. The atrocities 
described in their records, or portrayed in their art, are 
savage beyond words. Neither men nor women nor even 
children were spared from torture; dismembering, blind- 
ing, burning, impaling, and flaying alive were the regular 
accompaniments of their warfare. 

Yet in spite of their barbarity in war, in art their achieve- 
ments were far from primitive. The reliefs sculptured in 
stone or hammered in bronze on the walls and gates of 
their palaces throw a brilliant light on the life of the time 
and do not lack merit in drawing or even in composition. 
Probably the most widely known examples of the art of 
the Assyrians are the enormous and majestic winged bulls 
and lions of stone with which they flanked the approaches 
to the thrones of their kings. These, like the grotesque 
lions seen guarding Chinese gateways today, were not 
primarily decorative but were designed for the very prac- 
tical purpose of scaring away evil spirits (Plate 8i). 

About the time that most civilized races had left the 
Bronze Age far behind and iron had come into general use, 
the two great Semitic kingdoms, Assyria and Babylonia, 
were overthrown by Aryan-speaking peoples, the Medes 
and the Persians. A combination of causes explains the 
superiority in war of the newcomers over their older and 
much more civilized foes: Abler leadership; a better mili- 
tary organization; more homogeneous national armies, 
united in passionate devotion to their kings by ties of 
blood, language, and faith, all contributed. Considerable 
credit, however, should also be given to their more ex- 
tensive and efi^ective use of a new method of fighting — 
by companies of horse-archers. 

The Assyrians had such units, but they seem never to 
have developed them, depending rather on their infantry 
and the old and cumbrous war chariots. x'\bout such 
troops swarms of light and mobile mounted bowmen could 
hover, shooting them down from a distance until the sur- 

[ 307 ] 


vivors became so disorganized that a final charge could 
easily break and scatter them. Here again the Indo- 
Europeans, for such were the Medes and Persians, showed 
themselves preeminently horsemen. Herodotus tells us 
that they were taught, from their youth up, three things: 
to ride, to shoot, and to speak the truth. 

The Aryans still walled their cities mainly with sun- 
dried mud; but they learned to use glazed and colored 
burnt brick, with which they formed fagades depicting 
processions, warriors, and the like (Plate 83). From 
Egypt, which they also conquered, they seem to have 
borrowed the use of the column. From Asia Minor they 
learned the use of regular coined money, which the Baby- 
lonians and Assyrians had not known. Last, but very 
far from least, it appears to have been the Persians who 
popularized through the western world the humble but 
exceedingly valuable hen, originally a native of the East 

The Persians not only enormously extended the limits 
of the older empires which they had won; but they devised 
greatly improved systems of organization, communica- 
tion, and administration. Much of the older civilization 
they necessarily adopted; but there was little that they did 
not improve upon, and the debt which the modern world 
owes to the Persian Empire is incalculable, although often 

Ancient Crete 

The civilization that thrived so in the fertile valley of 
the Nile and the no less fertile river plains of Mesopotamia 
found an equally propitious soil on an island in the Medi- 
terranean, and it is to Crete that we must turn next. Here 
sprang up from simple Neolithic beginnings a civilization 
in many ways of a very high order, the first of those that 
can be called distinctively European, the forerunner of 
Grecian culture. 

Crete possessed an especially fortunate situation for such 







a development. Blessed with a climate on the whole de- 
lightful, and lying in the midst of the most beautiful of 
seas, it was within easy reach of the great civilized regions 
both of western Asia and of Egypt. In general moun- 
tainous, its highest peaks approach or even exceed 8,000 
feet above the Mediterranean. There are deep ravines, 
in some of whose clefts snow remains the year around; and 
caves, where religious ceremonies were once held. In 
ancient times there extended over the island forests of 
cypress and chestnut and oak, in which roamed wild 
cattle, goats, and other animals. 

Crete has thus far yielded no traces of the men of the 
Old Stone Age, nor of the transitional period which fol- 
lowed. The island seems to have been discovered and 
settled only during the New Stone Age, perhaps 7,000 or 
8,000 years ago, by men of the same physical type as the 
bulk of the Mediterranean races which we have already 

Neolithic man in Crete seems to have subsisted mainly 
on his herds and flocks, and only in a minor degree on agri- 
culture. However, he knew from the first how to make 
coarse pottery, and he used knives not of flint but of 
obsidian, or "volcanic glass," brought from the neighbor- 
ing island of Melos. 

Even during their New Stone Age the Cretans were in 
contact with Egypt, and it may have been from the latter 
that they learned the use of copper. Thanks to their posi- 
tion, they could rather easily procure tin from central 
Europe, and they were not long in developing a most re- 
markable Bronze Age civilization, based essentially upon 
their maritime trade with other lands. Hence they built 
up the earliest distinctively naval power known to us. The 
influence of the sea was strikingly reflected in their lives 
and particularly in their art. 

For the most outstanding characteristic of the Cretans 
was their artistic sense. Here they seem to have been far 
less rigidly bound by their religious ideas than were the 



Egyptians and others, and in consequence gave freer 
play to their feeling for the beautiful. This is clearly 
shown by the pottery, the bronze objects, the jewelry, 
the carved ivory, and especially the painted wall frag- 
ments that have been dug up on the sites of their buried 
towns and palaces and temples. On all these we see nat- 
uralistic representations of men and women, of bulls and 
goats, of dolphins, flying-fish, and tentacled octopuses, 
of the lily and crocus, the tulip and the rose (Plate 84). 
There are also graceful spirals, which seem to have come 
to the Cretans from the north or perhaps from the east. 

In architecture they betrayed an almost equal genius. 
They learned in time to build houses of adobe brick several 
stories in height, with windows and doors, the latter 
equipped with regular locks. To their palace-temples, 
for they were both, monumental stairways and rows of 
stately columns gave dignity and even grandeur. Their 
systems of drainage remained unequaled in any land until 
within the past century. 

The chief divinity of the Cretans was the Great Mother, 
who ruled over birth and love and death. The serpent 
and the dove were among her emblems, and in her worship 
priestesses and women in general played a predominant 
part. Scarcely second to the cult of the Mother Goddess 
were those of the Bull and the Double Ax. In connection 
with these, huge bulls were baited by unarmed youths and 
maidens, and legends told among the Greeks long after- 
ward seem to hint darkly of human sacrifice — of enforced 
tribute from conquered peoples of boys and girls to be 
gored to death by the savage sacred bull. 

Among the Cretans we find strong contrasts in the 
matter of dress. The women's costumes curiously re- 
sembled those of medieval Europe, with long skirts 
pleated and flounced, richly embroidered and gaily dyed 
(Plate 86). The men, on the other hand, wore only a kilt, 
as in the neighboring parts of Africa. Both sexes in cold 
or rainy weather wrapped themselves in long cloaks, and 


Ceremonial procession of Cretan women; from a decorated sarcophagus. 
Photograph in the Library of Congress 


Pair of gold cups from Vaphio, in southern Greece; among the most 

splendid of surviving remains of very early Greek art. Photograph 

in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City 


they were alike fond of jewelry, bracelets, and rings. 
Priestesses and priests wore skins, undoubtedly a survival 
from earlier days. 

The warriors protected their heads with conical helmets 
topped with plumes and sheltered themselves behind 
enormous leather shields which took the place of bodv 
armor. The latter, together with the small round buckler, 
was imported from Asia by way of Cyprus in the four- 
teenth century b. c, not very long after the introduction 
of the horse and chariot, apparently from the same quarter. 
For weapons the Cretan fighting man had the bronze 
sword and spear and the bow. The army, though small, 
was apparently well organized; but they placed their main 
reliance on the navy, which suppressed pirates and held 
invaders at bay. How secure the Cretans felt as long as 
their navy was kept up is shown by the fact that they 
stopped building substantial fortifications after the six- 
teenth century b. c. 

Although the Cretans seem to have traced their descent 
through their mothers and not their fathers, they came in 
time to be ruled over by priest-kings, who every nine years 
had to renew their "medicine" through secret and awful 
ceremonies. Earlier, perhaps, as among so many peoples, 
after ruling for a fixed period of years, possibly nine, they 
were put to death and replaced by a younger man whose 
magical force was as yet unexhausted. These priest-kings 
and their temple-palaces seem to have given rise to the 
legend of the famous labyrinth and its grizzly occupant, 
the Minotaur, part man and part bull, who devoured a 
yearly tribute of youths and maidens. 

As yet we are almost wholly dependent on archeological 
evidence for what we know about the wonderful Cretan 
civilization, whose very existence was almost unsuspected 
until a few years ago. Yet it has left an abundance of 
written records, mainly on clay tablets, if these could only 
be read. The way in which the old Babylonian, Egyptian, 
and Hittite records have been forced to yield up their 



secrets encourages us to hope that sooner or later the 
Cretan writing also will be deciphered. 

The Cretan civilization in time spread to the north — to 
Greece and the islands of the Aegean Sea. It represented 
the highest development, in most ways, to which the 

Fig. I02. Dagger or short sword with both blade and hilt of iron; early Iron 
Age (900-500 B.C.), from Hallstatt, Austria. After von Sacken 

Bronze Age ever attained in any land and was at its best 
about 1400 or 1500 b. c. But its downfall was already at 
hand. The Indo-European peoples were on their way. 

One branch of these, the Achaean Greeks, had already 
settled in Greece and adopted elements of Bronze Age 
civilization coming originally from Crete. But after them 
came another branch of the Greeks, known as the Dorians, 
also from unknown regions to the north. These, although 
apparently wielding stout iron swords (Fig. 102), were 
otherwise far ruder and more barbarous than their prede- 
cessors. They swept over the island, devastating it from 
end to end, destroying the capital of the Cretan sea-kings, 
Knossos, apparently by a surprise attack, toward the end 
of the second millenium b. c. The brilliant Bronze Age 
civilization of the Cretans disappeared, although portions 
of the people escaped to other lands. A related group, the 
Pelesati, probably from Asia Minor, known to us as the 
Philistines, found refuge in Palestine and gave that coun- 
try their name. 

But though the Cretan civilization was dead, its influ- 
ence still survived. Crete was in a very real sense the fore- 
runner of Greece, and through her of modern Western 



Early developments of civilized life did not take place 
only in the lands around the eastern end of the Medi- 
terranean Sea. Certain fertile river valleys of India and 
China also played a part in the same great movement. 
These areas shared with the former the fundamental ele- 
ments upon which their progress was based, including 
domestic animals, cereals, wheeled vehicles, the plow, and 

Ancient India 

Seas and the loftiest mountain ranges on earth mark 
India sharply off from the rest of Asia and the world in 
general. The northwestern corner has proved most often 
the contact point with the outside world. Here, in the 
regions on both sides of the Indus River, as recent excava- 
tions have shown, there had grown up, apparently before 
3000 B. c, a settled agricultural civilization closely re- 
sembling that of ancient Babylonia, with which, indeed, 
we know that it had at least trade relations. The men of 
this area used both stone and copper implements, the latter 
mostly hammered into shape but occasionally cast. They 
knew bronze though it was scarce, perhaps because the tin 
necessary to make it was hard to get. xAlso, they used 
silver, gold, and lead. That they were peaceful is sug- 
gested by the fact that few weapons have been found. 
They made both sun-dried and baked bricks and built 
regular towns, with houses, temples, and palaces. They 
manufactured pottery, plain, painted, and even blue- 
glazed, and they engraved seals on hard stone. 



This ancient Indus Valley people knew the elephant, the 
rhinoceros, the lion, and the tiger, although we do not yet 
know whether the first-named animal was tamed. Among 
domestic animals they had the ox, the water buffalo, the 
sheep, the pig, and, of course, the dog. They did not 
have the horse, which seems to have been brought in much 
later by the Aryans. The cart, apparently drawn by oxen, 
was in use, and almost certainly, too, some form of crude 
plow. Moreover, these people employed a form of writing 
on the whole not unlike that of earliest Babylonia. 

The discoverv during the past few years of this hitherto 
wholly unknown culture constitutes a triumph of archeo- 
logical research only second, perhaps, to that of the dis- 
covery of the Cretan civilization. We do not know its 
ultimate fate as yet, although the excellent Archeological 
Survev of India is yearly extending our knowledge of the 
ancient past of that wonderful land. It seems certain, 
however, that manv of the advances made five thousand 
years ago in the Indus Valley, especially those in agri- 
culture, still survive in the life of the present day. 

The next great factor known to have played a part in the 
development of civilization in India was the Aryan in- 
vasion, as to the date of which scholars are not yet fully 
agreed; but it probably took place at some time during the 
second millenium b. c. 

The Aryan-speaking people who pushed through the 
mountain valleys from central Asia into northwestern 
India were closely akin to the ancient Persians. Like 
all the Indo-European peoples wherever we first find them, 
they were warlike, energetic, and aggressive, and soon 
established themselves firmly in that part of the Indus 
Valley known as the Punjab, the "Land of the Five 
Rivers." When they arrived there, they already had come 
to use copper or perhaps even bronze, which they may have 
acquired from Alesopotamia before they invaded India. 
Again like all the early Aryan peoples, they were great 
horsemen, though they had not yet learned to fight on 



life ■ W' m 

Upper: Putter ut niodtrn India molding his wares. Note the primitive 

form of the potter's wheel 

Lower: Poorer-class habitation of modern India, built of rough stone 

against a huge bowlder. Photographs in the Library of Congress 


Upper: Elephant piling logs in Rangoon, Burma 
Lower: Inflated ox hides used as floats, northwestern India. Some 
Assyrian monuments show same use of skins. Photographs in the 
Library of Congress 


horseback, but used chariots. They also offered horses at 
their most solemn sacrifices. 

The original Aryan-speaking races who settled in north- 
western India in time became modified, partly through 
climatic selection and partly through mixture with the 
darker-skinned peoples they conquered. Yet there, as else- 
where, they succeeded in imposing their language upon 
their subjects. As a result, over nearly the whole vast 
region of northern India today, in sharp contrast to most 
of the south, Aryan languages are spoken, although the 
people remain almost wholly of pre-Aryan blood. 

Thus sprang up, in the valleys of the Indus and the 
Ganges, the type of civilization which grew in time to be 
distinctively Indian. Great cities arose, built for the most 
part of wood and defended by massive wooden stockades. 
Tame elephants came to be employed largely in war. The 
chariot, just as in other lands, went gradually out of use 
with the development of cavalry. Iron appears to have 
been introduced about the eighth or ninth century b. c. 
and to have spread rapidly. 

What became of the earlier type of writing in use in the 
ancient Indus Valley culture remains unknown, but an- 
other form seems to have been brought in from western 
Asia by traders somewhere around 500 or 600 b. c, and to 
have been gradually adapted to the writing of Sanskrit 
and other Aryan tongues. 

Meanwhile an active development of civilized life had 
been going on in western Asia. Great monarchies had 
arisen, accompanied by an intense activity of war and 
trade, some of whose influences we can trace in regions far 
removed from their source. Finally on the ruins of the 
earlier kingdoms, embracing all their former territories 
and much more besides, arose the mighty Persian Empire, 
extending from southeastern Europe and Egypt on the 
one hand to the confines of India and central Asia on 
the other. The organizer of this vast power, Darius the 
Great, invaded and annexed the Punjab region of north- 



western India toward the end of the sixth century b. c. 
The new province quickly became known as the richest 
in the Persian Empire. Herodotus tells us that it paid a 
yearly tribute of three hundred and sixty talents of gold- 
dust, equivalent to between five and six million dollars— 
an enormous sum for those days. 

The Persian Empire exerted a very great influence upon 
India. It inspired the Indians to use stone as well as 
wood in architecture and sculpture. The Indian courts 
borrowed much from the stately ceremonial and elaborate 
etiquette surrounding the Great King, as the Persian ruler 
was called. Trade was extended and the machinery of 
government developed. In a word, India underwent at 
this time a great advance in all that goes to make up what 
we call civilization. Persia lost political control over 
northwestern India in less than two centuries; but her in- 
fluence as a civilizing agent went on spreading. 

About two hundred years after Darius's time, north- 
western India again fell victim to invasion and conquest, 
this time by Alexander the Great (326 b. c). This event, 
however, although it had some little political effect, in- 
fluenced the civilization of the country but slightly. In 
the realm of sculpture, perhaps, it made the deepest im- 
pression. The Indians before that time undoubtedly had 
something in the way of carving, especially in wood, but 
not much exists to show that they had begun to represent 
their gods in realistic form, human or otherwise. They 
seem rather to have used symbols, like the wheel and the 
swastika. After Alexander's time, however, sculptors 
came from western Asia, trained according to Greek ideas, 
and they left a lasting impress on the later religious art 
not only of India, but of China, Japan, and various other 
Eastern lands as well. 

A few years after Alexander's death, a certain military 
adventurer named Chandragupta Maurya established in 
the valleys of the Ganges and the Indus the first great 
Indian Empire. Although undoubtedly influenced by the 


career of Alexander, the new ruler seems to have taken for 
his model the great Persian Empire which had been affect- 
ing Indian civilization so strongly for more than two hun- 
dred years. 

From various sources we learn a good deal regarding the 
organization of this realm, which from the surname of its 
founder is known as the Maurya Empire. It lasted for 
over a century, and its third ruler, Asoka, is remembered 
to this day as the great patron and supporter of Buddhism. 
His connection with the latter faith has often been com- 
pared to that of the Roman emperor Constantine with 
Christianity. Of the two men, however, Asoka seems to 
have possessed by far the finer character. For uprightness, 
sincerity, tolerance, and humanity, this Indian emperor 
who reigned twenty-two hundred years ago seems worthy 
to stand beside the noblest rulers of history. Buddhism, 
founded over two centuries before his time, had acquired 
a certain following among the peoples of northern India; 
but it was Asoka who enabled it to become a great world 
faith, penetrating far beyond the limits of the Indian 
peninsula. Under him India became a source of enlighten- 
ment and progress for a large part of Asia. 

Apparently the great extension of trade under the 
Maurya Dynasty first brought those countries comprising 
what we know as Indo-China into direct relations with 
the world civilization of antiquity. These contacts were 
no doubt mainly by land, but there exists some reason to 
believe that the use of sea-going ships, already long known 
in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the waters to the 
west of India, spread to the eastern shores of the Bay of 
Bengal and possibly to the islands of the East Indian 
Archipelago about this time. 

Ancient China 

There still remains to be described one other great civi- 
lizing center in the Old World, the region which we now 
call China. 



Very little archeological research has as yet been under- 
taken in that country, particularly in connection with its 
early periods. We know enough, however, to justify us 
in trying to reconstruct the main outlines of its story, 
which parallels closely the course of events in the other 
great river valleys we have been studying — those of the 
Euphrates and Tigris, the Nile, and the Indus. 

China proper falls naturally into two main divisions, 
a northern and a southern. The latter is rugged, in parts 
even mountainous, and covered with a network of per- 
ennial streams, while the former, on the other hand, con- 
sists of a great alluvial plain bordered by hilly regions. 
Here there extended, in recent geological ages, a shallow 
sea, which gradually filled up with the earth brought down 
by various streams, particularly the Yellow River, known, 
on account of its terrible floods, as "China's Sorrow." 
Over all of China, north and south alike, there once 
stretched a vast expanse of forest, interspersed, where the 
rivers had not yet completed their work of filling in, with 
wide marshes, swamps, and lakes. Remnants of these 
still exist. 

There is some reason to believe that southern China, in 
times much more recent than the Old Stone Age in 
Europe, was occupied by a race of Negritos — curly-haired 
pygmies like those still existing in out-of-the-way regions 
in the Philippines, New Guinea, and elsewhere. In time 
this race was exterminated or absorbed by successive 
waves of brown or yellow-skinned peoples coming from 
regions farther north — the ancestors of the present-day 
population — who brought with them a simple, undevel- 
oped form of New Stone Age culture akin in its main 
features to that which once overspread a large part of the 
globe. The invaders built huts, used implements of pol- 
ished stone, and made a coarse gray pottery marked with 
impressions of matting or basketry. They also practiced a 
sort of rudimentary agriculture, supplemented by hunting 
the game with which China at that time swarmed, and 



fishing in the streams well-filled with fish, turtles, and other 
creatures. These Neolithic Chinese seem to have been 
organized in clans tracing descent through mothers in- 
stead of fathers and to have practiced a sort of nature 
worship accompanied, as so often elsewhere, by human 

Near the very end of the New Stone Age there appeared 
in northern China a type of painted pottery quite differ- 
ent from the coarse kind already known. This type of 
ware occurs also in various other parts of the world. In 
some regions, as in the southwestern United States and 
in Peru, there can be no doubt of its independent develop- 
ment. In the Old World, however, painted pottery has 
been found, together with a whole group of other culture 
elements, along a belt extending from China on the east to 
Europe on the west. In this case an ultimate common 
origin seems possible. As one recent investigator has put 
it, the idea, at least, of painted pottery was in the air, al- 
though in each locality it underwent a largely independent 
development. Ancient man in China did not adopt it 
very widely and in time its use died out, while the older 
and much more widespread coarse gray ware continued 
to be made down into historic times. 

The agricultural peoples inhabiting central Asia be- 
tween 3,000 and 4,000 years ago had a well-developed 
Bronze Age culture, and it seems most likely that from 
them the ancient Chinese learned the use of that metal. 
The archeology of southern Siberia and Turkestan is only 
beginning to be investigated, mainly by Russian scholars 
and explorers; but these have already discovered enough 
to suggest, at least, how the ancient Chinese came to pos- 
sess a civilization so strikingly similar in its fundamentals 
to those which once flourished in western Asia. 

It seems clear that the Chinese, after independently de- 
veloping a high type of New Stone Age culture with a 
social organization composed of chiefs, nobles, and com- 
mon people, acquired from their neighbors to the northwest 



numerous elements of a still higher civilization. In many- 
cases, doubtless, they did not import the inventions them- 
selves (peacefully or otherwise) so much as the concepts 
underlying them. These, finding in the Chinese mind a 
fertile soil, took root easily and developed along inde- 
pendent lines. 

Thus we find many inventions, processes, and ideas, 
which we know underwent a long evolution in the West, 
appearing quite suddenly on Chinese soil, fully developed. 
An instance will illustrate this point. In the West we 
find a regular series of weapons, beginning with the Neo- 
lithic flint dagger and passing step by step, through vari- 
ous copper forms, into the fully developed Late Bronze 
Age sword. China contains no trace of this evolution. 
There we find appearing all at once highly finished swords 
cast in one piece with the hilt, as they were cast in the West 
only toward the very close of the Bronze Age. We must 
infer that the ancient Chinese did not invent bronze 
swords for themselves, but got the idea already fully de- 
veloped from their neighbors. 

The knowledge of bronze reached China as one element 
of a whole culture complex — a well-developed civilization. 
Far down into historical times, however, this type of cul- 
ture, although of extraordinary brilliance, remained almost 
exclusively the possession of the upper classes, who used 
bronze weapons and war chariots in fighting. A very rigid 
type of family organization headed by the father, through 
whom descent was traced, characterized their social sys- 
tem. Northern China came to be occupied by a multitude 
of little city-states not unlike those of earliest Babylonia, 
each of which was ruled over by a princely family, as its 
religious as well as its political head, whose ancestors were 
among the chief divinities worshiped. The land belonged 
to the princes and nobles, much as it did in medieval 

The masses, on the other hand, long remained in much 
the same condition in which they had existed during the 




iifct/ ■^''^ 


Stone hue and knives, neolithic China. Note how the pohshing of the 

hoe is confined to the lower portion of the blade. Photograph by 

courtesy of Mr. Peter J. Bahr 


Bronze sacrificial vessel of the Chinese Bronze Age, for use in the 

worship of ancestors among the feudal nobility. In the Freer 

Gallery of Art, Washington 


New Stone Age. They went on living in their own clan 
villages and tilling the soil, a large portion of the produce 
being turned over to their masters and landlords. Ancient 
Chinese writings state specifically that the common people 
had no part in the ancestor worship of the aristocracy. 
They undoubtedly kept up, however, the practice of their 
old nature worship, with its belief in magic, and we know 
that the far more civilized ruling classes put down human 
sacrifice only with difficulty. 

Again, just as in Babylonia, the numerous small city- 
states tended to coalesce into larger units which came in 
time to form in northern China a sort of loose confederacy, 
with a priest-king at the head regarded as in some way 
related to the Sky God. In fact, down to the very end of 
the Empire, in 191 1, the real title of the Chinese Emperor 
was "The Son of Heaven." 

The historical period in China only begins about 
1000 B. c, and records continue very scanty and full of 
gaps for some hundreds of years longer. Legendary ac- 
counts exist of early emperors and dynasties reaching 
back even before 2000 b. c, but the researches of modern 
scholars, largely Chinese themselves, have stamped these 
as unworthy of credit. Our first actual written accounts, 
of a very fragmentary nature, relate to certain kings of the 
Shang Dynasty who ruled about the end of the second 
millenium b. c. 

An invasion from the west overthrew this dynasty 
shortly afterward. Some of the new rulers seem to have 
been great conquerors who extended their authority be- 
yond the valley of the Yellow River. But the power of the 
royal house soon dwindled, and by the eighth century 
B. c, the country had come to be divided into a number 
of practically independent states. These states, held to- 
gether only loosely by a common culture and a vague 
allegiance, more religious than political, to the "Son of 
Heaven," waged incessant wars among themselves and 
against the surrounding barbarians. That part of China 



south of the Yangtse River remained uncivilized and al- 
most unknown. 

Most of the art of Bronze Age China is typified by geo- 
metric forms of a symbolic nature, which undoubtedly 
were based on designs already in existence in that coun- 
try during its New Stone Age. These seem to have been 
originally carved on wood or molded on pottery. Their 
sacred and magical character led to their retention for the 
decoration of weapons, ornaments, horse trappings, and 
the great bronze sacrificial vessels used in connection with 
the ancestor worship of the feudal aristocracy (Plate 91). 

During the earlier part of the Chinese Bronze Age, the 
ownership of land formed the basis of wealth. Trade was 
carried on by barter, eked out with the use of cowries as 
a medium of exchange. But in time true money, in the 
shape of copper models of hoes, spades, and knives, came 
into being. This helped, as elsewhere, to undermine the 
old social system through the possibilities which it offered 
for the accumulation of wealth other than that in land. 
Thus the nobles could no longer monopolize riches. 

A radical alteration in the method of fighting, which 
took place shortly after the middle of the first millenium 
B. c, contributed immensely to the overthrow of the old 
feudal organization. This change corresponds precisely 
to that which had already occurred in the West a few cen- 
turies earlier. 

The ancient Chinese records show us that the war 
chariot was the mark of a nobleman. Only despised peas- 
ants fought on foot. The story has come down to us of a 
battle of the Chinese against the barbarians to the north — 
the ancestors of the Tartars — which illustrates this clearly. 
The barbarians had not yet learned to fight on horse- 
back. In fact their tactics of guerilla warfare seem to have 
pretty much resembled those of the Indians of eastern 
America — the Iroquois and others. The Chinese com- 
mander saw the impossibility of contending successfully 
from chariots against such nimble foes, so ordered his 



nobles to dismount and fight on foot. This they refused to 
do as beneath the dignity of their class. The commander 
then had one of them beheaded, whereupon the rest 
obeyed and gained the victory. 

As we have seen, men probably learned to fight on horse- 
back, sometime before looo b. c, in the open grasslands of 
southeastern Russia and western Asia. At first mounted 

Fig. 103. Ancient rock engraving of a mounted warrior, Siberian Iron Age. 
From Laufer 

warriors appear to have been armed with spear and sword, 
like the footmen; and in the west this type of fighter de- 
veloped into the heavy-armored knight of the Middle 
Ages. But in northern Asia fighting on horseback was 
taken up by peoples who used the deadly composite bow 
made of strips of wood, horn, and sinew, glued tightly to- 
gether and often neatly covered with birch bark (Plate 92). 
This weapon, while it had to be kept dry, shot far harder and 
farther than the simple bow made of a stave of elastic 
wood alone. The difference between the two types of bow 



has been aptly compared to that between the old smooth- 
bore musket and the modern high-powered rifle. 

Companies of swift horsemen thus armed began early in 
the first millenium b. c. to make their influence felt in 
western Asia, where they terribly devastated wide regions. 
Gradually this method of fighting spread eastward across 
Asia, until sometime about 400 or 500 b. c, it appeared 
on the northern borders of China, and the Chinese had to 
adopt it in self-defense. 

Their doing so contributed in more ways than one to the 
overthrow of the whole feudal system. Not merely could 
bodies of light horse-archers ride rings around an old- 
fashioned army, composed only of infantry and chariots, 
and riddle it with arrows as they pleased. The social 
change involved was far more significant than this. 
Chariots had always been necessarily a mark of wealth, 
which under the feudal system meant high birth, but now 
almost everybody could get hold of a horse to ride and a 
bow to shoot. Very much in the same way did the intro- 
duction of gunpowder help to bring about the overthrow of 
the feudal nobility in medieval Europe. 

About this time, too, iron, already long used in northern 
China for domestic utensils and implements, began to 
be fashioned into weapons — especially long, straight 
swords, often with bronze or jade mountings. These 
proved far more effective in battle than the old bronze 
swords. Bronze continued, however, for a time to be used 
for armor; but here, too, iron eventually replaced it. 

Besides these material changes in Chinese civilization, 
ideas developed which proved scarcely less influential in 
undermining and eventually destroying the ancient feudal 
system. The period between 500 and 250 b. c. saw the 
rise of several great thinkers and teachers who founded 
difl^erent schools of philosophy. Their maxims exerted a 
powerful influence upon Chinese life in all its aspects. 
New ideas took possession of the minds of men. The time 
was ripe for changes of the most far-reaching nature. 









Asiatic archer and slingers; to illustrate the composite bow built up of 

different materials, typically wo(xi, horn, and sinew. After Forestier, 

The Roman Soldier 


Chinese bronze helmet. Used after the introduction of the long iron 
slashing sword. Photograph by courtesy of Mr. Peter J. Bahr 


The opportunity brought the man. In the latter half 
of the third century b.c, there arose in northwestern China 
a great conqueror. By a series of masterly campaigns he 
annexed first the Yangtse Valley, then the ancient Chinese 
states in the basin of the Yellow River, and finally the 
hitherto independent and barbarian south. He abolished 
the ancient line of priest-kings and swept away the old 
feudal aristocracy. In their place he appointed officials, 
with himself as "First Emperor" supreme over all. Thus 
was established the Chinese Empire, destined to last for 
over two thousand years (from 221 b.c. to a.d. 191 1). The 
man who founded it was Ch'in Shih Huang-ti. 



That North America has been joined to Asia at various 
times in the geologic past we know. A most striking proof 
of this is the very close resemblance between certain forms 
of animals living in the two hemispheres. Thus we find 
true alligators — not crocodiles — in the rivers both of China 
and of North xAmerica; while that curious animal, the tapir, 
occurs both in southern Asia and in tropical America, and 
the American bison, popularly miscalled the "buffalo," is 
much like his cousin of the Old World. The same is true 
of the moose, or true elk, which occurs in various closely 
similar forms from Scandinavia right across Siberia and 
Canada to Maine. The animal we call "elk" is not really 
the elk at all, but was mistakenly so named by the early 
settlers. This list of resemblances might be extended 
almost indefinitely. 

The same is true of humanity itself. The type of man 
living in the New World when it was discovered by Euro- 
peans is of the same species as that found everywhere else. 
It is especially close of kin to races still found in various 
parts of central and northeastern Asia. There, just as in 
the Americas, we find people with brown or copper-colored 
skin, dark eyes, and coarse, straight, black hair. If dressed 
alike, in many cases they could not be told apart. 

Just when man first entered the Western Hemisphere 
we can not yet say with any assurance. One thing, how- 
ever, is certain, that he originated in the Old World and 
only arrived much later in the New. It is possible, of 
course, that some of the earlier races of man may have 



wandered across into North x'\merica; but if so, they per- 
ished without leaving any traces that have so far been 
definitely identified. The American Indians, the only race 
known certainly ever to have lived in the Western Hemi- 
sphere before the white man came, seem not to have arrived 
there until toward, or perhaps even after, the close of the 
Ice Age. 

We must not suppose, however, that they invaded the 
New World all at once, in a large body. On the contrary, 
the process must have been a very gradual one, going on 
through several thousands of years. It was only after 
northeastern Siberia itself had been occupied by man that 
little groups began drifting over into North America. 
Whether the land connection between the latter and Asia 
was still in existence when this first occurred, or whether 
it had already sunk beneath the sea, we do not know. But 
however the first man in America arrived, whether on foot 
or by canoe, it seems quite certain that he reached his 
new home as a mere savage — a hunter and food-gatherer. 
He had learned how to make various forms of stone tools, 
but we can not say whether he yet had the bow and arrow. 
The dog also no doubt accompanied him to his new home. 

Once settled in the New World, the ancestors of the 
American Indians gradually multiplied and spread out 
over more and more territory. In this way the whole of 
the Western Hemisphere was slowly peopled. 

It was not, however, until long afterward that the first 
beginnings of settled agricultural life began to appear in 
various favorable localities. Several reasons render it 
practically certain that the ancestors of the American 
Indians did not bring with them any cultivated plants 
from the Old World. Those which we find grown later are 
of distinctively American species. 

Hunting and food-gathering first began to give place to 
food-growing and a more settled life probably in the high 
plateau areas of the western portions of both continents. 
In these regions, elevation and a somewhat dry climate 



prevented the dense growths of forest and bush which ren- 
der farming operations so difficult in many places even to- 
day. In parts of this plateau region, indeed, irrigation was 
found necessary in order to induce crops to grow at all. 
The ingenuity developed in meeting this need led in turn 
to still further advances in civilization. 

This Archaic culture, as it is called, included not merely 
food-planting but also the making of pottery and the 
weaving of baskets. The New World remained wholly 
ignorant of the plow until Europeans brought it in. The 
hoe, of stone, bone, or shell, and the planting-stick con- 
stituted the farming implements, and the women did most 
of the field work for the reasons given in Chapter XII. 
Great reliance was placed on magic and religious cere- 
monies in trying to assure an abundant harvest. Out of 
this developed in some regions the practice of human sacri- 
fice on a scale rarely if ever equaled. 

Doubtless much experimenting, conscious or otherwise, 
with different wild plants took place before these prehis- 
toric Americans determined the most useful ones. The 
plant destined to prove of the greatest value was maize, 
or Indian corn. ("Corn" properly means what we in 
America call "grain.") This seems most probably to have 
been developed very early by cultivation from a wild grass 
on the highlands of Mexico. It spread steadily both 
north and south, as more and more people came to recog- 
nize its value. This happened the more easily because in 
war, while the men prisoners were usually killed, the 
women were more apt to be carried off into captivity; and 
it was precisely they who knew and could teach their cap- 
tors the processes of primitive agriculture. In time maize 
thus spread over a great part of the Western Hemisphere, 
where, like wheat and rice in the Old World, it became the 
basis of civilization. 

Beans and squashes probably ranked next in importance 
among- American food plants. "Irish" potatoes were 
grown to some extent in Peru, and sweet potatoes seem to 





c c 
•n o 



have come from the Amazon Valley, as did manioc, or 
cassava, from which tapioca is made. 

This xArchaic culture — we can hardly speak of it as a 
civilization — eventually spread over a somewhat wide area. 
At length, probably sometime after looo b.c, it began to 
develop certain well-marked local varieties which gradu- 
ally assumed higher forms. 

The Civilization of the Mayas 

It is still too early to say where the first marked local 
variation took place. We find, for example, rough stone 
buildings of extremely early date on the Peruvian plateau, 
and there are other very ancient remains elsewhere; 
but we may safely say that the civilization developed 
by the Maya Indians of south- 
ern Mexico and Guatemala was 
among the first. They, like all 
other native American peoples, 
lacked several things without 
which we could hardly imagine 
a true civilization getting along 
at all. They had, for example, 
no work animals, no metal tools, 
and no wheeled vehicles of any 
sort. Yet even without these 
aids, the Mayas made remark- 
able progress. 

It would be a mistake to think 
of them, however, as a wholly 
civilized people. The masses, 
who did most of the hard work, 
lived pretty much as their ances- 
tors had lived, with very few of 
the luxuries or even comforts of life. Only a small upper 
class, composed of priests and war leaders, supported in 
leisure by the toil of the common people, had time to evolve 
a higher civilization. The Spaniards found it easy to 


Fig. 104. Maya sacred design 
of the Feathered Serpent. 
Note the human head in the 
distended jaws. After Spinden 


conquer them mainly for this reason. They had only to 
destroy the civilized ruling class, comparatively few in 
number, and the old culture was gone forever. 

It seems probable that the Mayas first developed in 
wood the remarkable art and architecture which they later 

Fig. 105. Maya wall painting of a human sacrifice 
(partially restored). Note that the scene is dominated 
by the Feathered Serpent. The original is strikingly 
colored. Courtesy of the Carnegie Institution of 

carried out in stone. Their art was extremely elaborate, 
symbolic, and, to us, grotesque, and its meaning is often 
difficult to interpret, though it undoubtedly had a magical 
or religious significance, as among other primitive peoples. 
A very frequent design was that of the Feathered Serpent 
(Fig. 104), depicted in all sorts of forms. The jaguar, the 
turtle, and the sacred bird known as the quetzal, or re- 



The quetzal, or resplendent trogon, prominent in the religious and 
esthetic life of the Central American peoples of antiquity. After 



splendent trogon, also occur often. Sometimes there ap- 
pear monstrous half-human figures with exaggerated noses 
suggesting the long, flexible snout of the tapir. Priests, 
chieftains, and warriors are shown decked out in the most 
elaborate costumes and feathered decorations imaginable. 
Again we see wretched captives, bound and kneeling, or 
being sacrificed to some god. 

The Mayas developed architecture to a point no less 
advanced. The dwellings of the common people, probably 
quite similar to the palm-leaf huts used by their modern 
descendants, have long since disappeared. The great 
structures of dressed stone and concrete that stand, ruined 
and deserted, in the depths of the tropical forests, were 
mainly religious in character, as their nature clearly shows. 
Among them we find huge pyramids, formed of solid masses 
of rubble and earth faced with cut stone or a sort of 
cement. A kind of limestone which can be split rather 
easily into rectangular blocks occurs over much of the 
Maya area, so that the labor involved in quarrying and 
shaping these with nothing better than stone tools was 
not so enormous as it seems at first sight. As the pyra- 
mids were not tombs like those of Egypt, but foundations 
for sanctuaries, they rarely contain passages or rooms. 
Sometimes they are "stepped," or built in successive ter- 
races, and on at least one side there always appears a 
great ceremonial staircase, often flanked by colossal stone 

On the flat summits of the pyramids stood temples, 
occasionally rising three stories in height, and topped 
sometimes with "roof-combs," or lofty ridges, to make 
them seem more imposing still. There were, too, long 
galleries in which the officiating priests probably had their 

The builders knew the corbeled or "false" arch, but did 
not often use it, the vaults being more commonly of solid 
concrete. Owing to the limitations imposed by the method 
of construction, rooms rarely measured more than twelve 



feet in width, and often much less. A sort of stucco, 
sometimes adorned with paintings of processions and 
other ceremonials, usually coated the walls; or wide spaces 
would be covered with dressed stone sculptured in relief 

Fig. io6. Diagrammatic cross-section of a Maya building, to show that the 
stones forming the facing of the vaults are not held in place by their own 
weight, as in the true corbeled arch, but by the concrete in which they are 
embedded. After Spinden 

with similar scenes. Both reliefs and paintings were tinted 
in vivid hues, among which green, orange, and red pre- 

Often the Mayas arranged their pyramids and buildings 
around the sides of a plaza paved with slabs of stone. We 
find also what have been called "ball courts," where a 
game somewhat like our basketball was played as a part 
of the religious ceremonial. Here and there about the 
sanctuaries stood tall stone slabs, known as stelae^ covered 
with elaborate carvings including brief inscriptions. 

For, as one of their great achievements, the Mayas de- 
veloped a system of writing very distinctive in character. 
This doubtless grew up out of primitive pictographs to 


; ; - ^^e\ ■ -. ^*;% \ 

















' ^ 









m S 



E S3 




which definite meanings came to be attached, and had 
apparently even reached the point where sounds as well 
as ideas had begun to be represented. So thoroughly, 
however, did the early Spanish conquerors do their work 
of destruction that the key to this writing has been lost. 
Many efforts have been made to regain it, but so far we 
can do little more than read the dates which the inscrip- 
tions often give. 

/\mong their other inventions, the Mayas included that 
of a calendar based in part on the changes of the moon. 
Although complicated and showing signs of gradual de- 
velopment, this was accurate and serviceable to an ex- 
ceptional degree. It says much for the astronomical and 
mathematical knowledge of its inventors. 

Of their social, political, and religious systems we know 
far less than we could wish. It is evident, however, that, 
as with all early cultures, no clear distinction was drawn 
between things sacred and things secular. Their whole 
civilization was closely interwoven with the religion which 
had inspired and shaped it. There were helpful gods and 
hurtful ones, and the essence of worship was to gain the 
good will of the former and keep in check the latter. To 
help achieve these ends, they threw into the cenotes^ or 
huge sink-holes in the limestone, which often held a pool 
of water at the bottom, precious offerings of gold and 
carved jade and living men and women. 

The Mayas were beginning to acquire some knowledge 
of metals, including both gold and copper, which were, 
however, rather rare and served almost or quite exclusive- 
ly for the manufacture of ornaments, probably all in- 
vested with a religious symbolism. Apparently they had 
begun to make no really useful tools or weapons of copper, 
but only ceremonial forms based on stone originals. 

The Mayas had also become expert potters and had 
developed weaving and basket-making to a high point. 
They cut jade and other semiprecious stones into gro- 
tesque and fantastic but often beautiful forms. Their 



sculptures and wall paintings show that they made great 
use, for decorative purposes, of the plumes of various 
brightly hued tropical birds. The gorgeous headdresses 
and other ornaments of feathers must have helped give 
their stately religious ceremonies an aspect of the utmost 

Thanks to the dates on the Maya monuments, we can 
reconstruct, if only in meager outline, the history of this 
most interesting people. According to tradition, they 
came from the north. Their civilization is now believed 
to have had its beginnings pretty far back in the first 
millenium b. c. It first reached its full bloom during the 
early centuries of the Christian Era, in what is known as 
the Old Empire, centering mainly in Honduras, Guatemala, 
and southern Mexico. Among ruins belonging to this 
early period are those of Copan, in western Honduras; 
Quirigua, Piedras Negras, and Tikal, in Guatemala; and 
Palenque, in the Mexican state of Chiapas. 

Between a.d. 600 and 960, a shift of the Maya center of 
civilization took place, for some unknown reason, from the 
comparatively hilly south to the wide, level, jungle-cov- 
ered plain of northern Yucatan. Here, between a. d. 960 
and 1 195 flourished the New Empire. Among the ruins 
found in this region, along with many others, are those 
of Uxmal, Chichen-Itza, Labna, and Tuloom. 

Then followed a period of decline, hastened if not indeed 
caused by civil war. The appearance of Toltec or Mexican 
influence, clearly visible in the architecture and sculpture 
of the time, characterizes this epoch. As we have pointed 
out, the civilization of the Mayas was never the possession 
of the whole people, but only of a very small upper class. 
Hence adverse conditions of any sort easily affected it, and 
it was already far gone in decay when the Spaniards ar- 
rived. A remnant, however, survived in the remote inte- 
rior of Guatemala, about Lake Peten, until the beginning 
of the eighteenth century, when it, too, was destroyed. 

It must be emphasized that the surviving Maya ruins 



are in reality only religious or, to use a modern expression, 
civic centers. The cities themselves, the homes of the 
common people, built of highly perishable materials, must 
have stretched for considerable distances about these 
groups of pyramids, sanctuaries, and so-called "palaces" 
of cut stone and concrete and stucco. Traces of these 
humbler dwellings, in the shape of vast numbers of low 
mounds, still occur in the depths of the tropical forests, 
which have long since resumed their primeval sway. There 
are also remains of boundary walls and even paved roads, 
suggesting a former numerous population and a lively 
commercial and social life. 

It is noteworthy that with few exceptions, as at Tuloom, 
on the eastern coast of Yucatan, no evidence exists to 
suggest that the Mayas ever fortified their cities. Nor do 
they bear any sign of having been destroyed by violence. 
They were not primarily commercial or military or even 
political communities in our sense, but were first and 
foremost religious centers, and their sacred character 
doubtless helped protect them from molestation. Further- 
more, during the greater part of their history there seem 
to have been no foreign foes capable of threatening them 

The civilization that produced them was essentially re- 
ligious, artistic, and intellectual in nature, rather than war- 
like. Nevertheless, as the Spaniards found to their cost, 
the Mayas could fight, and fight well, and it may be that 
in the days of their prime they felt their armies afforded 
them the protection which some people might seek in 

Be that as it may, their civilization perished, but its 
influence spread far and wide over the surrounding regions 
in somewhat the same way as did that of the Greeks in the 
Old World. And the Mayan people themselves remain, 
an industrious, cleanly, hospitable, and often highly 
talented race, forming a valuable element in the present- 
day population of Central x'\merica. 



The Toltec Civilizati 


The Mexican plateau advanced in civilization more 
slowly than the Maya region, although in Mexico maize 
(and through it the possibility of progress) seems to have 
developed. But in time a somewhat different although 
related civilization grew up there — that of the Toltecs. 

Among other structures, these people erected great 
pyramids, in some instances even larger than those of the 
Mayas, but in general of poorer construction and there- 
fore less well preserved. In their architecture the Toltecs 
made no use of the principle of the vault, so conspicuous 
in Maya buildings; and they differed in other respects as 
well. But although not quite so advanced, they seem to 
have been more aggressive and warlike than the Mayas. 
While the latter, early in the second millenium a. d., had 
begun to decline, at the same period the Toltec culture 
was thriving and expanding. It is accordingly at this 
time that we find traces of its influence in the Maya 

About the twelfth and thirteenth centuries a. d., the 
culture of the Toltecs, for reasons not yet fully under- 
stood, also began to decay, though it was very far from 
disappearing entirely. When the Spaniards arrived, under 
Cortes, in 15 19, certain of their cities and centers of wor- 
ship were still flourishing. Much of southern Mexico, in 
fact, was- then occupied by civilizations differing from one 
another to some extent in outward aspect, but essentially 
akin in their fundamentals. 

The Aztec Civilization 

We have come, however, to associate the history of the 
Mexican plateau especially with the people called the 
Aztecs. The latter, according to their own accounts, 
began as a barbarous and uncivilized tribe in a region to 
the north of that in which the Spaniards found them. 
Thence they moved gradually southward. About six 

[ 337 ] 


hundred years ago, finding themselves at war with their 
more civilized neighbors, they took refuge in certain 
swampy islands in the shallow lakes of the valley of 
Mexico. Here they lived a sort of amphibious life, partly 
on land and partly on the water, and steadily absorbed 
more and more of the higher culture of their neighbors. 

In their island refuge, approximately in a. d. 1325, 
they founded their capital city of Tenochtitlan, later 
called Mexico. In time they filled in and built over more 
and more ground, erecting palaces, temples, and pyramids, 
as well as great communal houses. Long causeways con- 
nected this island stronghold with the mainland, the sole 
other means of approach being by water. Here the Aztecs 
dwelt secure from attack and by degrees extended their 
power. About a. d. I430 they formed with the nearby 
cities of Tezcuco and Tlacopan a league in which the 
leading place was held by Tenochtitlan. The war-chief 
of the latter, who also possessed many priestly attributes, 
was its supreme head. The Spaniards called Montezuma 
an "emperor." He was in reality a priest-king of a very 
ancient type, such as the more advanced peoples of the 
Old World had outgrown thousands of years before. 

Aztec society, however, was far removed from simple 
savagery. It had a highly organized priesthood and what 
was tending to become a real hereditary aristocracy; it 
had warriors, craftsmen, laborers, peasants, and slaves. 
The upper classes kept the masses of the people under a 
severe social discipline, through which they learned habits 
of obedience and of submissiveness to superiors. 

The Aztecs had made great advances in farming, or 
more properly gardening. Most of the land belonged not 
to individuals but to the local village communities. They 
constructed floating islands, called chinampas, made of 
rafts covered with earth, where they grew not only vege- 
tables but also flowers, for which they showed much 
fondness. They possessed no domestic animals other than 
the dog, as no wild species suited for domestication then 





/■..'v -'V' 

( '^i^ 


.>.:^/ ; 




existed in that part of the New World. They did, how- 
ever, domesticate the turkey, later introduced by the 
Spaniards into Europe. 

Pottery was, of course, early known on the Mexican 
plateau. In time it came to be of high quality. Much 
interesting work was also done in the carving of jade and 
other hard stones, in the manufacture of mosaics, in weav- 
ing, and in the making of baskets. 

The Aztecs worked gold, silver, and copper to some 
extent, but the principal material for tools remained stone. 
For those requiring a cutting edge, such as the knives used 
by the priests in killing their victims, they employed 
obsidian, or volcanic glass. They armed heavy hardwood 
clubs with a double row of obsidian blades, making weap- 
ons capable of striking a frightful blow, and they used 
spears and bows and arrows. The warriors, brilliant with 
war paint, carried round shields adorned with feathers, 
while officers further protected themselves with helmets 
in the form of birds and beasts of prey, with tunics of 
quilted cotton which could stop a stone-tipped arrow, and 
with wooden greaves for the legs. Montezuma himself, on 
account of his sacred character, was carried into battle 
on a litter. 

There were many divinities, the chief being the war god, 
Huitzilopochtli. Worship consisted of pageants, dances, 
processions, and various ceremonies, in which flowers 
were lavishly used, incense was burned, and music was 
made on flutes and drums. 

In the Aztec religion human sacrifice played an almost 
incredibly great part. The worshipers and often the vic- 
tims were decked out in brilliant costumes, feather orna- 
ments, and headdresses. In some instances they regarded 
the victim as the earthly personification of the god to 
whom he was destined to be sacrificed, and treated him 
accordingly with every honor up to the very day of his 
doom. When, about a generation before the coming of the 
Spaniards, the Aztecs completed the great central group 



of temple-pyramids at Tenochtitlan, they accompanied its 
dedication with a perfect orgy of human sacrifice. Accord- 
ing to the old chroniclers, tens of thousands of victims of 
both sexes had their hearts torn out and offered to the 
bloodthirsty gods. One of the principal aims in Aztec 

warfare, in fact, was the cap- 
ture of victims for the in- 
satiable altars. 

Like the Mayas, the Aztecs 
had a sort of writing, and 
they had also invented a kind 
of paper, whereon they re- 
corded events, made official 
reports, and even attained to 
the beginnings of true liter- 
ature. The predominant tone 
of their writings, especially 
of their poetry, was one of 
sadness and the inevitable 
approach of death. 

Fierce fighters as they were, 
the Aztecs offered the Span- 
iards a brave and determined 
resistance. It is doubtful if Cortes, with all his ability and 
energy, could have reduced their stronghold in the lake if 
smallpox had not broken out among them. Even so, he 
had to storm their great communal houses one by one 
before their resistance was finally crushed. History has 
rarely recorded a more savage struggle. When the Span- 
iards at last conquered, little remained of the once proud 
aboriginal city of Tenochtitlan but a smoking heap of 

The Civilization of the Incas 

Civilization, so far as we now know, began almost if not 
quite as early in South America as it did on the Mexican 
plateau. Just as everywhere else in the more advanced 


Fig. 108. Design from Aztec sac- 
rificial stone; the war god, Huitzil- 
opochtli, on left, in the costume 
of an Aztec warrior of high rank, 
seizes a captive, symbolizing the 
capture of the town of Tuxpan, 
"The Place of Rabbits," as indi- 
cated by the sign in the upper 
right-hand corner. After Spinden 


regions of the New World, it gradually developed out of an 
earlier "Archaic" culture and depended primarily on the 
growing of maize. High up in the Andes, a kind of buck- 
wheat known as quinoa came to be raised; and it was in 
Peru, as we have seen, that the "Irish" potato was domesti- 
cated. Other plants cultivated included beans, manioc, 
gourds, and the maguey. The Peruvians terraced the 
sides of the mountains to form fields, and built aqueducts 
and reservoirs for irrigation. 

Western South x4.merica has another claim to fame, also, 
in that it alone of all the regions of the New World ac- 
complished the domestication of animals other than the 
dog in aboriginal times. It possessed, fortunately, a wild 
animal, the guanaco, or huanaco, a distant relative of the 
camels of the Old World, which could be utilized in this 
way. From it in time two domestic forms developed — the 
llama, used mainly for carrying loads, and the alpaca, 
valued for its fleece. Another wild species, the vicuna, 
yielded an exceptionally fine wool, reserved in later times 
for the use of the Inca ruler alone. Such progress toward 
civilization implies many centuries of settled life, and 
undoubtedly had already been achieved long before the 
Incas appeared on the scene. 

For the Incas came into prominence comparatively 
late and founded their empire only a few hundred years 
before the discovery of America. They claimed to be 
"Children of the Sun" and formed a ruling nobility held 
in superstitious reverence by their subjects. The Inca 
ruler was a divine king-god, a good deal like the earlier 
Egyptian Pharaohs. In order to keep the sacred blood of 
the royal line absolutely pure, he was required by custom 
to make his full sister his chief wife. 

The Inca Empire, when the Spaniards arrived, had come 
to include not only what is now Peru but also Ecuador, 
Bolivia, northern Chile, and northwestern Argentina. It 
was organized in great detail on a basis of state socialism. 
The common people had almost every act of life from birth 



to death closely regulated. Practically no such thing as 
private property existed for them. The state was every- 
thing, the individual nothing. On the other hand the state 
guarded the people against foreign invasion, protected 
them from injustice, and looked after them in sickness 
and in health. It relieved them of all personal responsi- 
bility and freed them from worry about their care in old 
age. Under such conditions obedience became a habit 
and the common people little more than animated ma- 
chines, constantly directed and supervised by the officers 
of the state. Often whole groups of people were shifted 
about and settled wherever needed, even in regions far 
distant from their original homes. In this way, the Incas 
spread their civilization and rendered it more homo- 
geneous throughout the empire. 

They established this in the first place, of course, by 
force. They raised armies, organizing and handling them 
with the same attention to detail which marked the con- 
duct of affairs in peace. The warriors carried the bow, 
the javelin, the sling, the ax, and the club — practically all 
of them made of stone, copper weapons being mainly cere- 
monial and not for use in actual warfare. 

They had developed mining and metal-working to a cer- 
tain extent and knew gold, silver, and copper. Some of 
their recovered implements made of the last-named metal 
contain tin, and hence are in reality of bronze. It seems 
almost certain, however, that they did not add this alloy 
intentionally, but that it resulted from the accidental pres- 
ence of tin in the copper ore. At all events, Peruvian 
civilization fell far short of developing a true Bronze Age. 
At most it was only Chalcolithic — that is, using both stone 
and copper implements. 

The Peruvians had developed pottery to an extraordi- 
nary degree, even though they knew nothing of that useful 
contrivance, the potter's wheel. It consisted of plain, 
engraved, painted, and varnished ware (Fig. 109). Weav- 
ing was another art carried by the Peruvians to a very 



high pitch of excellence. They utilized both cotton and 
the wool of the alpaca and vicuna, designs being either 
woven into the fabric, embroidered, painted on, or dyed. 
Featherwork was also highly developed, as were wood- 
carving, inlaying, and the manufacture of jewelry studded 

Fig. 109. Section from design of a painted vase; ancient Peru. 
Interpreted as portraying a victorious war chief saluting his sov- 
ereign. After Squier 

with emeralds. The people regularly wore clothing, some- 
times of an elaborate character, along with caps, sandals, 
and necklaces. 

In architecture the Peruvians carried building in stone 
to a point in some respects scarcely ever equaled in any 
land. The Incas understood thoroughly how to handle 
and transport vast building blocks, with which they con- 

[ 343 ] 


structed not only temples but mighty fortresses, like that 
of Sacsahuaman protecting the ancient capital of Cuzco 
on the north. In building these, they cut enormous stones 
of irregular shape to fit one another so closely that the 
joints can scarcely be penetrated by a knife blade. Some- 
times they dispensed with mortar and occasionally fas- 
tened blocks together with T-shaped clamps of copper. 
Yet in all this only stone tools seem to have been em- 
ployed, for the Incas had no suitable metal ones. 

They knew the corbeled or "false" arch, but more often 
they covered buildings with extremely thick and elaborate 
roofs of thatch. Like the Mayas, they sometimes coated 
the walls with stucco; but those of the more important 
buildings, such as palaces and temples, they lined with 
plates of gold studded with jewels. 

The engineering feats of the Incas have aroused the 
admiration of later times. Some of them — the construc- 
tion of aqueducts, the terracing of fields, and the moving of 
blocks of stone weighing many tons — have already been 
mentioned. They also built bridges, sometimes of great 
stone slabs on masonry abutments, or suspended on cables 
of twisted osier. In certain cases mountain streams were 
crossed by means of a traveling basket slung from a single 
cable. The Incas also constructed a remarkable system of 
roads, even at the dizziest heights. These were not, in- 
deed, meant for wheeled vehicles, of which none existed; 
but they were perfectly well adapted to the passage of 
swift-marching companies of footmen or strings of laden 
llamas. Without them the Incas could hardly have kept 
their vast empire together. 

In transportation by water, on the other hand, they 
had remained in the canoe and raft stage. The principal 
type of craft was the balsa, made of bundles of reeds 
lashed together, and propelled by means of paddles or 
poles. The early Spanish narratives speak of a sort of 
rudimentary sail as occasionally used, but these state- 
ments all refer to a portion of the coast only a few hundred 



miles south of Panama, where the Spaniards had been for a 
generation before they seriously undertook the conquest 
of Peru. Hence it seems just possible that the Peruvians 
got the idea of a sail from the Spaniards. Thirty years 
would seem time enough for it to have spread along a 
few hundred miles of coast. They may, however, have 
developed it quite independently. 

Yet with all this high state of civilization, the Incas 
lagged behind the Mayas and the Aztecs in one important 
respect. They lacked a system of writing. There is a 
single assertion by an 
early Spanish chronicler 
that in ancient times they 
had had one which was 
later forgotten; but this 
statement lacks the sup- 
port of evidence of any 
kind, and may almost cer- 
tainly be disregarded. 

The place of writing was 
taken by the use of 
knotted cords with which 
records of all sorts were 
kept. These, however, had 
the disadvantage, like the 
wampum belts of the 
North American Indians, 
of being legible to- spe- 
cially trained men only. In 
other words the knotted 
strings, or quipus, were 
only exceptionally elaborate aids to memory. We some- 
times use a knotted handkerchief for the same purpose 
(Fig. no). 

That a people without writing should have a literature 
may seem strange. Yet the Incas had made great ad- 
vances in this direction. They composed elaborate his- 

FlG. no. Portion of a Peruvian quipu of 

knotted strings, by means of which records 

were kept, as writing was unknown. 

After Radin 



tories, dramas, poems, and other works, though these 
could only be memorized and were not written down until 
after the Spanish conquest. 

As might be expected among a people so devoted to the 
worship of the heavenly bodies, the Incas had made con- 
siderable progress in astronomy. A fairly accurate calen- 
dar had been worked out, based originally on the phases 
of the moon, but later corrected and modified by observa- 
tions of the sun. For the Incas, like other early agricul- 
tural peoples the world over, attached great importance 
to periodical ceremonies performed to insure an abundant 
harvest. And these must be held at the right time every 
year if they were to do the most good. The accurate 
dating of historical events, which seems so important to 
us, was only an afterthought with the peoples who 
originated calendars. 

Thus the civilization of the ancient Peruvians was 
bound up with acts of worship to an extent hard for us 
to realize. They drew no line between things secular 
and things religious. Everything centered about the 
adoration of the sun and of his earthly representative, the 
Inca sovereign. Temples existed in various places, the 
principal one, naturally, at Cuzco, the Inca capital, in its 
valley in the Andes over ii,ooo feet above the sea. Here 
solid gold and jewels covered the walls, and at one end 
shone a huge circular plate of the same metal, representing 
the sun. This disappeared at the time of the Spanish 
conquest and has never since been found. 

The Incas also worshiped the moon, the planets, the 
rainbow, the earth, and, along the coast, the sea, in addi- 
tion to many minor divinities. They held gorgeous festi- 
vals and occasionally offered human sacrifices, although 
to nothing like the extent that prevailed among the 

Attached to the temples were convents in which dwelt 
"virgins of the sun" — girls chosen for their beauty from 
all over the empire, some destined for the Inca ruler's 



harem, and others devoted permanently to a religious life, 
in which they spent much of their time weaving fine cloth, 
especially of vicuna wool, for the Inca's use. For noble 
youths, there were schools and a sort of order of knight- 

FiG. Ill Peruvian mythological design showing a combat between the "Man 
of the Earth," wearing a helmet of animal form with plumes, and the "Man 
of the Sea," symbolized as a crab. After Squier 

hood, the latter to be won only by passing successfully 
through severe ordeals. 

In theory, if not actually in practice, all gold and silver 
belonged to the great Inca. His wealth was almost 
fabulous. His palace utensils were made of precious 
metals, and some of his gardens contained full-sized 
models of plants and animals in gold, silver, and jewels. 
He himself was thought too holy to set foot to the ground, 



and hence was carried about on a litter covered with gold 
and precious stones (Plate loo). 

At the death of each Inca ruler, his whole palace, with 
all its contents, was left intact, an entire new equipment 
being provided for his successor. Thus there accumulated 
a stock of treasure of well-nigh inestimable value. The 
last of the Incas, Atahualpa, in his effort to ransom him- 
self from his Spanish captors, collected in a few days a 

Fig. 112. Peruvian concept of the God of the Air. .AfterSquier 

mass of gold objects amounting to between fifteen and 
twenty million dollars. The total loot gained from the 
conquest of Peru must have been vastly more than this. 
The Spanish monarch is said to have received, as his 
"royal fifth," fifty million dollars. If these figures are 
correct the sum total of the plunder gained by Pizarro and 
his handful of Spaniards must have equaled a quarter of a 
billion dollars in actual bullion. Whatever the amount, it 
was enormous, and its dumping all at once on Europe, 
until then rather poor in the precious metals, was un- 
doubtedly in part responsible tor the disturbances of all 
kinds which occurred there for a long time afterwards. 

[ 348 ] 

PLATE 100 

Atahualpa, called the last of the Incas, though he was a usurper. 

Below he is seen carried on his sacred litter, while at the top and 

sides are shown Peruvians engaged in mining operations. From 

an old print 



In marked contrast to the Old World, nowhere in the 
Americas at the time of their discovery had civilization 
developed to any extent in the great river valleys. That 
it would eventually have done so is hardly to be doubted, 
although the absence of domestic animals would have been 
a great handicap. The interesting and highly organized 
tribe known as the Natchez, for example, found on the 
lower Mississippi, might in time have developed a civiliza- 
tion in some ways comparable to those of prehistoric 
Babylonia and Egypt. So, too, might the mound-building 
Indians of the Ohio and elsewhere. And many other 
tribes had advanced far beyond primitive savagery. All 
these experiments, however, were doomed to failure; none 
of the tribes had reached the point where they could offer 
effective resistance to the white man. 

Before closing this sketch of the higher aboriginal cul- 
tures of America, we must consider the question of pos- 
sible borrowings from the Old World. Certain students, 
mainly Europeans, have thought that they could detect 
traces thereof. Most American specialists, on the other 
hand, are convinced that what civilization we find is the 
result of entirely independent progress under somewhat 
similar natural conditions 

Aside from all other considerations, it must be said that 
the supporters of the theory of Old World origins for the 
great American civilizations almost entirely ignore the 
historical problems involved. Of the latter, one of the 
most important is the development of sailing craft. The 
distance from southeastern Asia to the western coast of 
Central and South America is nearly half that around the 
whole world. A globe shows this even more strikingly than 
a map. For canoes driven by paddles alone, voyages of 
such enormous length, even allowing for stops at islands 
along the route, would be simply out of the question. 
Only by sailing craft, before the days of steam, could they 



have been performed. But no evidence whatever exists 
to indicate the presence of vessels using sails in the regions 
of southeastern Asia until about the beginning of the 
Christian Era. The evidence against it, on the other 
hand, is plentiful and, it would seem, decisive. 

The great Polynesian migration, from the East Indian 
Archipelago to the islands of the Pacific, is now thought 
to have begun sometime about a. d. ioo. It did not reach 
the eastern Pacific until some six centuries later. This 
movement depended wholly upon the use of sailing- 
canoes, and probably commenced not long after the latter 
had become known. 

Again, the Chinese began rather early to keep copious 
records of all sorts, yet these say nothing whatever of 
sailing craft until as late as the third century a. d. 

The Japanese, who have also been mentioned as possi- 
ble importers of the Old World culture to America, learned 
the use of the sail from the Chinese, but employed it very 
little until about the year a, d, iooo. 

The great American civilizations were founded ages 
before this. The Mayas and Peruvians had already 
reached a high degree of development long before the 
commencement of the Christian Era. 

It is true that Asiatic junks have been blown across the 
relatively narrow North Pacific more than once during 
the past two or three hundred years. Yet there is no sign 
that their crews ever succeeded in the slightest degree in 
spreading their civilization among the American Indians. 
There have been preserved a few traditions of invasions 
by sea along the northwestern coast of South America, 
just where, as we have seen, the early Spaniards found the 
sail in use. It is quite needless, however, to suppose that 
these were anything more than raids by canoe from other 
regions farther up or down the same coast. 

Statements in Polynesian legends, again, have been 
interpreted as referring to visits to the American continent. 
Also certain food-plants in the Pacific islands have been 



thought to be of American origin. But if the Polynesian 
canoe-men, expert and daring as we know they were, ever 
really reached America, it must have been long after 
civilization there had attained a high stage of develop- 
ment. The civilized portions of America, moreover, were 
not on the coast, where such voyagers would have had to 
land. On the contrary, their centers were far inland, in 
regions separated from the Pacific by long stretches of 
deserts and mountains and tropical forests. The civiliza- 
tion of the Incas, the Mayas, and the Aztecs was wholly 
of native American origin, and it is both needless and 
useless to look for its inspiration anywhere in the Old 

Most aboriginal American cultures are dead. Yet they 
still live in many elements of our own civilization of the 
present day. They have contributed to it many extremely 
valuable cultivated plants, among them such staples as 
Indian corn and the potato. To them we owe the domesti- 
cation of certain creatures like the llama, still used for 
transport over the lofty Andean passes; the guinea pig, 
invaluable for purposes of experiment in biological labo- 
ratories; and the turkey, in a far more intimate sense than 
the white-headed eagle the national bird of the United 
States. Without the gifts we have received from the 
ancient American peoples, our own civilization would 
lack much of value. 



The following list of books, arranged alphabetically by 
the authors' names under the various headings, makes no 
pretensions to completeness. It has, however, been select- 
ed with much care, and will serve as a guide to the reader 
who wishes to learn more about the subjects discussed in 
the present volume. 


Boas, Franz. Anthropology and modern life. New 

York, 1928. 
Dawson, Christopher. The age of the gods. London, 

Dixon, R. B. The building of cultures. New' York, 

Goldenweiser, a. a. Early civilization. New York, 

Hough, Walter. Fire as an agent in human culture. 

Washington, 1926. 
Kroeber, a. L. Anthropology. New York, 1923. 
Levy-Bruhl, L. Primitive mentality. New York, 1923. 
Ling Roth, H. The aborigines of Tasmania. Halifax 

(England), 1899. 
LowiE, R. H. Primitive religion. New York, 1924. 

Primitive society. New York, 1925. 

The origin of the state. New York, 1927. 

MacCurdy, G. G. Human origins. New York, 1924. 
Perrier, Edmond. The earth before history. New 

York, 1925. 
Wilder, H. H. Man's prehistoric past. New York, 

Wissler, Clark. Man and culture. New York, 1923. 




Abbot, C. G. The sun. New York, 1929. 

Jeans, Sir James. Astronomy and cosmogony. Cam- 
bridge, 1928. 

Russell, Dugan, and Stewart. Astronomy. Boston, 


Brooks, C. E. P. Evolution of climate. Edinburgh, 

Chamberlin and Salisbury. Geology. New York, 

Huntington, Ellsworth. The pulse of Asia. New 

York, 1907. 
JoLY, J. The surface history of the earth. Oxford, 

Wegener, A. The origin of continents and oceans. 

Wright, W. B. The Quaternary Ice Age. 19 14. 


Boule, M. Fossil man. Edinburgh, 1923. 

Fleure, H. J. The peoples of Europe. London, 1922. 

Foster and Shore. Physiology for beginners. New 
York, 1924. 

Haddon, a. C. The races of man and their distribution. 
Cambridge, 1924. 

Hrdlicka, a. The most ancient skeletal remains of 
man. Smithsonian Inst. Ann. Rep. 1913, pp. 49i-55^- 

Keane, a. H. Man past and present. Cambridge, 

Keith, Sir Arthur. Antiquity of man. London, 1928. 

MacBride, E. W. Invertebrata; a text-book of embry- 
ology, vol. i. New York, 1924. 

[353] . 


Peake and Fleure. Apes and men. New Haven, 

Prentiss and Arey. Laboratory manual and text- 
book of embryology, Philadelphia, 1920. 

Ripley, W. Z. The races of Europe. London, 1900. 


BuRKiTT, M. C. Our forerunners. London, 1924. 

Prehistory. Cambridge, 1925. 

Obermaier, Hugo. Fossil man in Spain. New Haven, 

OsBORN, H. F. Men of the Old Stone Age. New York, 

Peake and Fleure. Hunters and artists. New Haven, 

SoLLAS, W. J. Ancient hunters and their modern 

representatives. London, 1924. 


Frazer, Sir James George. Folklore in the Old Testa- 
ment. (Abridged edition.) London, 1923. 

The golden bough. (Abridged edition.) New York, 


Mackenzie, D. A. The migration of symbols. New 
York, 1926. 

Marett, R. R. Psychology and folklore. New York, 

Murray, Miss M. A. The witch cult in central Europe, 
Oxford, 1 92 1. 

Read, Carveth. Man and his superstitions. Cam- 
bridge, 1925. 

the domestication of animals 

Lydekker, R. The horse and its relatives. London, 

■ The ox and its kindred. London, 191 2. 

TozER, Basil. The horse in history. 




Burns, A. R. Money and monetary policy in early 

times. New York, 1927. 
Buxton, L. H. Dudley. Primitive labour, London, 

HoYT, E. E. Primitive trade. London, 1926. 
RiDGEWAY, W. The origin of metallic currency and 

weight standards. Cambridge, 1892. 


Anderson, Romola and R. C. The sailing ship: Six 
thousand years of history. London, 1927. 

Smyth, H. Warington. Mast and sail in Europe and 
x'\sia. London, 1906. 

ToRR, Cecil. Ancient ships. Cambridge, 1894. 


Breasted, J. H. A history of Egypt. New York, 191 2. 
Budge, E. A. Wallis. Babylonian life and history. 

London, 1925. 
Childe, V. Gordon. The most ancient East. London, 

Delaporte, L. Mesopotamia. New York, 1925. 
Erman, Adolf. Life in ancient Egypt. London, 1894. 
Hall, H. R. The ancient history of the Near East. 

New York, 19 13. 
HuART, Clement. Ancient Persia and Iranian civiliza- 
tion. New York, 1927. 
Jastrow, Morris. The civilization of Babylonia and 

Assyria. Philadelphia, 1915. 
King, L. W. A history of Sumer and Akkad. London, 

— — A history of Babylon. London, 1915. 
Moret, a. From tribe to empire. New York, 1926. 

The Nile and Egyptian civilization. New York, 1927. 

Peake and Fleure. Priests and kings. New Haven, 


[355 1 


Petri E, Sir W. M. Flinders. A history of Egypt. 
London, 1923. 

Social life in ancient Egypt. London, 1923. 

Smith, G. Elliot. The ancient Egyptians. London, 

WooLLEY, C. Leonard. The Sumerians. Oxford, 1928. 

ancient EUROPE 

Burkitt, M. C. Our early ancestors. Cambridge, 1926. 
Childe, V. Gordon. The dawn of European civilization. 
London, 1925. 

The Aryans. London, 1926. 

Glotz, G. The Aegean civilization. London, 1925. 
Hall, H. R. The civilization of Greece in the Bronze 

Age. London, 1928. 
Leaf, W. Homer and history. London, 1915. 
Macalister, R. a. S. The Philistines. London, 1913. 
Mosso, A. The dawn of Mediterranean civilization. 

New York [no date]. 
MuNRO, R. The lake dwellings of Europe. London, 


Paleolithic man and the Terramara settlements in 

Europe. Edinburgh, 19 12. 

Peake, H. The Bronze Age and the Celtic world. 

London, 1922. 
Rose, H. J. Primitive culture in Greece. London, 

Tyler, J. M. The New Stone Age in Europe. New York, 

Ure, p. N. The origin of tyranny. Cambridge, 1922. 
Wace and Thompson. Prehistoric Thessaly. Cambridge, 


THE grassland PEOPLES 

Borovka, G. L Scythian art. New York, 1928. 
Minns, E H. Scythians and Greeks. Cambridge, 1913. 



Parker, E. H. A thousand years of the Tartars. 

London, 1924. 
Peake and Fleure. The steppe and the sown. New 

Haven, 1928. 
Rostovtzeff, M. Iranians and Greeks in South Russia. 

Oxford, 1922. 


Laufer, Berthold. Chinese pottery in the Han Dy- 
nasty. Leiden, 1909. 

Mitra, P. Prehistoric India. Calcutta, 1927. 

Parker, E. H. Ancient China simplified. London, 

Ragozin, Zenaide a. Vedic India. New York, 1902. 

Smith, V. A. The early history of India. Oxford, 1914. 

Asoka, the Buddhist Emperor of India. Oxford, 1920. 

primitive AFRICA 

BuRKiTT, M. C. South Africa's past in stone and paint. 

Cambridge, 1928. 
Stow, G. W. The native races of South Africa. London, 



GuTHE, C. E. Pueblo pottery making. New Haven, 

Joyce, T. A. Mexican archeology. New York, 1914. 
Markham, Sir Clements R. The Incas of Peru. 

London, 191 1. 
Spence, Lewis. The gods of Mexico. London, 1922. 
Spinden, H. J. The ancient civilizations of Mexico and 

Central America. New York, 1917. 
Squier, E. G. Peru: Incidents of travel and exploration 

in the land of the Incas. New York, 1877. 
WissLER, Clark. The American Indian. New York, 





British Museum. How to observe in archeology. 
London, 1920. 

Lucas, Alfred. Antiques, their restoration and preser- 
vation. London, 1924. 

Petri e. Sir W. M. Flinders. Methods and aims in 
archeology. London, 1904. 

Rathgen, Friedrich. The preservation of antiquities. 
Cambridge, 1905. 






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Acheulian epoch, 43, 54, 65, 67, 

72, 187-189 
Age of Polished Stone see New 

Stone Age 
Agriculture, beginnings of, 243 
Egyptian, 297, 298 
New Stone Age, 246-249, 327 
Peruvian, 341 
Alcohol, use of, 178, 179 
Algae, fossil, 1 5 
Alligators, Old and New World, 

Alpaca, fleece of, 341 
Alphabet, invention of, 291 
Alpha Centauri, nearest star, i, 8 
Amber, use of, 274, 275 
American Indians, 327, 328 
Ammonites, 16 
Amphibians, rise of, 15 
Angiosperms, rise of, 17 
Animals, domestication of, 238, 
239, 250-254, 297, 314, 341 
draught, 256 
pack, 255, 341 
related, in Old and New World, 

sacred, 251, 252 
Antevs, E., on geologic time, 70 

on Ice Age, 62 
Apes, brain of, 45 
Arch, corbeled, 331 
Architecture, beginnings of, 264 
Bronze Age, 281 
Cretan, 310 
Egyptian, 298, 299 

Architecture, Mayan, 331, 332 
New Stone Age, 264, 265 
Peruvian, 343 
Toltec, 337 
Aztec, 339 
Armor, Bronze Age, 271, 272 
iron, 324 
Stone Age, 271 
Art, Assyrian, 307 

Aurignacian, 77, 203-205 

beginnings of, 262 

Bronze Age, 281 

Capsian, 228-232 

cave, 51, 52, 203-205, 217-223 

Chinese, 322 

Cretan, 309, 310 

Cro-Magnon, 75, 203-205, 218- 

eastern Spanish, 231 
Egyptian, 299 
Magdalenian, 74, 218-223 
Mayan, 330-335 
New Stone Age, 263 
Paleolithic, 75, 229 
Peruvian, 343 
Solutrean, 209 
Aryans, 307, 308, 314, 315 
Asia, prehistoric southwestern, 

Asoka, 317 
Assyria, 306, 307 
Atahualpa, 347 
Atomic gradation, law of, 5 
Atoms, annihilation of, 4, 7 
Aurignac, grotto of, 43 
human remains at, 77 



Aurignacian epoch, 43, ^2j 54)'7^> 
76-82, 198-206, 228 

Aurignacians see Cro-Magnon 

Ax, cult of the Double, 310 
invention of stone, 235 
symbol of authority, 236 

Azilian epoch, 43, 52 

Aztecs, 337-340 


Babylonia, ancient, 302-306 

Bacteria, fossil, 15 

Balsa rafts of Incas, 344 

Bate, Miss, on fauna associated 

with Galilee skull, 129 
Baton de commandement, 201, 202, 

208, 209-, 216 
Birds, age of, 17 
Boule, M., on Neanderthal man, 

Bow and arrow, 217, 229, 236, 237 

composite, 323 
simple, 323 
Brain, evolution of, 45 
of apes, 45 

Pithecanthropus, 153 
Rhodesian man, 162 
table of capacities, 165 
Brick making, development of, 

Bronze Age, 41 , 266-293, 309-3 1 2, 

Bronze, effect on civilization, 274 

invention of, 268 
Briinn, human remains at, 75 
Briix, human remains at, 75 
Buckwheat, cultivation of, 341 
Buddhism fostered by Asoka, 317 
Bull, cult of the, in Crete, 310 
Burial, 189 

Bronze Age, 292 

Cro-Magnon, 206 

Magdalenian, 223 

Mousterian, 196 

Burial, Neanderthal, 197 

Burin, 202 

Bushmen, 80 

Buxton on Neanderthal man, 96 

Calendar, of Egyptians, 298 

of Incas, 346 

of Mayas, 334 
Cambrian period, 13 
Camels, ancient, 18 
Camel, use of, 275 
Cannibalism, of Neanderthalers, 

sacrificial, 255 
Canoe, invention of, 241 
Capsian culture, 227-232 
Carboniferous period, 14 
Carving, art of, 205 
Carvings of Magdalenians, 218 
Caschrom, 259, 260 
Casting, development of, 269 
Cat, domestication of, 296 
Cats, ancient, 18 
Cave art, 51, 52, 203-205, 217-223 

dwellers, 192, 195, 196, 199, 214, 
217, 219 
Cells, living, 25-28 
Cenotes, 334 

Cephalopods, ancient, 13, 14, 16 
Cereals, importance of, 243 
Chalcolithic Period, 42, 267, 342 
Chamberlin and Moulton on 

origin of earth, 9 
Chancelade, man of, 74 
Chellean epoch, 43, 54, 65, 67, 72, 

Chelles, prehistoric site, 43, 54 
"Children of the Sun" see Incas 
China, ancient, 317-325 

Great Wall of, 283 
Chinampas, 338 
Chinese Empire, 325 
Ch'in Shih Huang-ti, 325 



Chromosomes, 26-28, 32 
Circles of upright stones, 283 
City-states of China, 320 
Civilization, Aztec, 337-339 
beginning of, 295 
Chinese, 319-324 
Crete first European, 308 
Egyptian, 298-301 
of ancient India, 313-317 
of Incas, 340-348 
spread of, 312, 317 
Toltec, 337 
Climate, of Acheulian, 188 
of ancient Spain, 227 
Aurignacian, 198, 199 
Chellean, 185 
Magdalenian, 212, 214, 215, 

219, 225 
Mousterian, 191 
Old Stone Age, 232 
Pre-Chellean, 184 
Solutrean, 206, 2ii 
Clothing, absence of, in Chellean, 

Clothing, in Acheulian, 189 
in Bronze Age, 272 

Capsian, 229 

Paleolithic, 209 
of Cretans, 310, 311 

Magdalenians, 217 

Peruvians, 343 

Solutreans, 209 
origin of, 173 
Coins, early Chinese, 280 
Continents, shifting of, lo, 63 
Copper Age, 42 
Copper, use of, 266 
Core industry, 184, 186, 189, 193 
Corn, Indian, see Maize 
Coup-de-poing, see Fist-ax 
Cretaceous period, 17 
Crete, ancient, 308-312 
Crocodiles, ancient, 17 

Croll on Ice Age, 56 

Cro-Magnon, human remains at, 

race, 73-82, 178-226, 228 

Crot-du-Charnier, human remains 

at, 75. 78 

Crustaceans, ancient, 14 

Cults, 225, 310 

Culture, Acheulian, 188, 189 

Archaic, 328, 329, 341 

Assyrian, 306, 307 

Aurignacian, 198-206 

Aztec, 338-340 

central Asian, 319 

Chinese, 318-320 

Cretan, 309-312 

Cro-Magnon, 198-226 

Egyptian, 297-301 

Magdalenian, 212-226 

Mayan, 330-336 

Middle Stone Age, 234-245 

Mousterian, 190-197 

Neanderthal, 192-197 

New Stone Age, 246-265 

north African, 228 

of ancient India, 313-315 
Heidelberg race, 186 
Incas, 341-348 
Piltdown race, 186, 188 

Old Stone Age, 184-232, 239- 

Persian, 308 

Peruvian, 341-348 

pre-Mousterian, 183 

Solutrean, 207 

Sumerian, 303, 304 

Tardenoisian, 232 

Tasmanian, 184 

Spanish, 227-232 
Cultures, of America, 338, 349-351 

of East Africa, 199 

remains of, 187 
Cuzco, 344 




Dawn Stone Period, 72 

Dawson, Charles, 134 

Dead, cult of the, 225 

Deer, ancient, 18 

Designs, conventionalized, 209 

Devil's Tower, human remains at, 

93. 94 
Devonian period, 14, 15 
Diluvial man of Krapina, 103-109 
Dinosaurs, 16, 17 
Diseases, of Neanderthalers, 196 

of primitive man, 176 
Divine Son, 249 
Dog, of Aztecs, 338 

the first domestic animal, 238, 

Dogs, ancient, 18 
Dolmens, 283 
Dolphins, ancient, 18 
Domestication of animals, 238, 
239, 250-254, 297, 314, 341 

of plants, 242, 243, 328 
Double Ax, cult of the, 310 
Drachenloch cavern, prehistoric 

site, 196 
Dubois, Eugene, 18 

on ancestry of man, 150 

on Pithecanthropus, 1 45-1 47 
Dwellings, Aurignacian, 201 

Bronze Age, 282 

Magdalenian, 217 

Middle Stone Age, 236 

Neanderthal, 195 

Solutrean, 207 

Earth, age of the, 2, 3, 8 

as building material, 264, 282, 

crust of the, 9 

distance from sun of the, i 

interior of the, 9 

origin of the, 8, 9 

Earth, size of the, i 
Eddington on solar energy, 4 
Education among Incas, 347 
Egypt, prehistoric, 295-301 
Ehringsdorf, human remains at, 

I lo-i 13 
Elephant, ancient, 18 

domesticated, 315 
Embryo, development of, 30, 31 
Eoanthropus dawsoni, 134, 135, 

Eocene period, 18 
Eolithic see Dawn Stone Period 
Eoliths, 135 
Eras, geologic, 12 
Evolution, recapitulated in indi- 
vidual, 31,32 

theory of, 21 

Fauna, Acheulian, 188 

associated with Galilee skull, 

Aurignacian, 199 
Chellean, 185 
Magdalenian, 215, 225 
Mousterian, 95, 98, 105, 124, 

of Spain, 227 
Old Stone Age, 232 
Pleistocene, 134 
Pliocene, 134 
Pre-Chellean, 183 
Quaternary, 1 1 1 
Rhodesian, 162 
Feldhofen Grotto, human re- 
mains in, 83 
Femur see Thigh bone 
Fighting on horseback, 288, 322 
Fire, first use of, 172 
"First Emperor" of China see 

Ch'in Shih Huang-ti 
Fischer's Quarry, human remains 
at, 112 



Fishes, age of, i 2, 14 

rise of bony, 17 
Fist-ax, 184, 187, 189, 192 
Flake industry, 184, 189, 192, 200, 

Floating islands see: Chiuampas 
Forbes Quarry, 89 
Fortifications of Incas, 344 
Fossils, 2, 10 

Fuhlrott on Neanderthal man, 84 
Furs as clothing, 189, 192, 2091 

Galaxies of stars, 2, 4, 6 
Galilee skull, 126-129 
Ganoids, ancient, 14 
Garrod, D. A. E., on Devil's 
Tower site, 94 

on Neanderthal man, 95 
Gayal, domestication of, 253 
Geer, G. de, on geologic time, 69 
Gilbraltar skull, 89-92 
Glacial Period see Ice Age 

stages, 66 

terraces, 72 
Glaciation see Glacial stages 
Glaciers, 57-61 
Gold, use ot, 266 

Goliath a Bronze Age Warrior, 272 

Goodspeed and Olson on effect of 

X-rays on plant development, 

Gorjanovic-Kramberger on Kra- 

pina remains, 108 
Grain as standard of value, 279 
Great Mother Goddess, 249 
Great Wall of China, 283 
Greek art, influence of, on East, 

Greeks, 312 
Grimaldi, caves of, 78 

human remains at, 79 
Grinnell, G. B., on mutilation, 51 

Grotte des Enfants, human re- 
mains in, 78 
Guanaco domesticated, 341 
Guanches, 228 
Gijnz glacial stage, 66 
Gymnosperms, ancient, 17 


Habitations see Dwellings 
Hatting, methods of, 270 
Handles, origin of, 194 
Hatchet see Ax 
Heidelberg, human remains near, 

Hen, domestication of, 308 
Heredity, mechanism of, 24 
History, beginning of, in Egypt, 

298, 320 
Hoe, invention of stone, 244 
Homo^ 153 

calpicus^ see Gibraltar skull 
mousteriensis, 125 
neanderthalensis, 152 

see also Neanderthal man 
sapiens, 152 
Hopwood on Rhodesian fauna, 162 
Horse, ancient, 18 
archers, 324 
as sacred animal, 253 
bones, deposit of, 53 
bred by Indo-Europeans, 287 
importance of, in Babylonia, 305 
introduced into India, 314 
meat, use of, 254 
milk, use of, 253 
used, for clothing, 253 
for food, 253 
for riding, 286 
in New Stone Age, 253 
Hrdlicka, A., on Ehringsdorf re- 
mains, 1 13 
on human variation, 21 

Piltdown skull, 139-140, 141 
Pithecanthropus, 147, 152-154 



Hrdlicka,Rhodesian man, 154-162 

Spy skeletons, loi 
Huanaco see Guanaco 
Huitzilopochtli, war god of Aztecs, 

Hunting, primitive, 195 


Ice Age, 56-70 
Ichthyosaurs, 16 
Ideographs, 290 

Implement, earliest bone, 135, 185, 

Implements, Acheulian, 188, 189 
Aurignacian, 201, 202 
Aztec, 339 
bone, 135, 185, 193, 194, 201, 

202, 208, 216, 217, 328 
bronze, 269, 270, 304, 320, 342 
Bronze Age, 269 
Chellean, 186 

copper, 269, 304, 339, 342, 344 
farming, 328 
horn, 201, 216 
iron, 306, 324 
ivory, 216, 217 
Magdalenian, 216, 217 
Middle Stone Age, 244 
Mousterian, 192-194 
Neolithic, 258, 259, 261 
obsidian, 194, 339 
Paleolithic, 135, 207-209 
Pre-Chellean, 184, 185 
reindeer antler, 201, 202, 208, 

shell, 328 

wooden, 184, 187, 194, 201, 216 
Solutrean, 207-209 
stone, 135, 180, 184, 186-189, 

192, 193, 201, 207-209, 216, 

235, 244, 269-271, 297, 328, 

339, 342 
Inca civilization, 340-348 
Empire, 341 

Inca, ruler, 341,347 
Incas, armies of, 342 
as engineers, 344 
astronomy of, 346 
state socialism of, 34 1, 342 
India, ancient, 313-317 
Indians see American Indians 
Indo-Europeans, 287, 308 
Industry of Acheulian, 189 
of Aurignacian, 200, 201 
Bronze Age, 269-286 
Chellean, 186, 187 
Egypt, 297 
Magdalenian, 216 
Middle Stone Age, 235-238, 

Mousterian, 94, 97, 99, 115, 
124, 129, 192-195 
Indus Valley civilization, 313 
Infanticide, origin of, 179 
Inhabited worlds, possibility of, 2 
Interglacial stages, 66 
Invertebrates, reign of, 12-14 
Iron Age, 41 
Iron, introduction of, 306 

useof, 315, 324 
Irrigation in New World, 328, 341 


Java, Pithecanthropus found in, 

Jaw, human lower, 47, 107, 138 
Jeans on solar energy, 4 
Jewelry of Bronze Age, 281 


Kaempfer's Quarry, human re- 
mains at, 112 

Keith, A., on Ice Age, 68 
on man's ancestry, 31 
on Piltdown skull, 49, 136 

Klause, human remains at, 75 

Knossos, destruction of, 312 



Kramberger, see Gorjanovic- 

Krapina, human remains at, 103- 



La Chapelle-aux-Saints, human 

remains at, 1 13-1 18 
La Ferrassie, human remains at, 

La Madeleine, human remains at, 


rock-shelter, 43 
Lampreys, ancient, 14 
Land-bridges, 63, 64 
Language, development of, 170 
Languages of India, 315 

of Sumerians, 304, 305 
La Quina, human remains at, 122 
Laugerie-Basse, human remains 

at, 74 
"Laurel-leaf" implements, 208 
"Laurel-leaf" points, 75 
Le Moustier, cave of, 43 

human remains at, 125, 126 
Lemurs, ancient, 18 
Les Evzies see Cro-Magnon 
Life, dawn of, 15 

geologic record of, 3, 10, 12 

of Permian period, 15 
Light, speed of, i 
Light-year, i 
Literature of Aztecs, 340 

oral, of Incas, 345, 346 
Lizards, ancient, 17 
Llama used for carrying loads, 341 
Loess, 61 

Lungfishes, ancient, 14 
Luxuries of Bronze Age, 275 


Magdalenian epoch, 43, 72, 73-75, 
man, 74 
Magic, belief in, 177, 242 

Maize, in New World, 328, 341 
Mammals, age of, 12 

rise of, 18 
Man, ancestry of, 32, 150 

brain of, 45. 73 . 

conditions essential for life of, 

4' 5 
development of individual, 

dominance of, 20 

first evidences of, 2 

in universe, 4 

modern, one species, 326 

origin of, 22, 326 

rise of, 12, 19 

primeval, 168 

variation in, 21 
Manatees, ancient, 18 
Mandible see Jaw 
Mas d' Azil, cave of, 43, 52 
Mastodon, 18 
Mauer jaw, 142-144 
Maurya, Chandragupta, 316 

Empire, 316, 317 
Maya ruins, 335, 23^ 
Mayas, civilization of, 329, 336 

history of, 335 

present-day, 336 
Medes, rise of, 307, 308 
Medicine bags, 262 

men, 177 
Mediterranean race, ancestors of, 
226, 228 

race, in Crete, 309 
Mesolithic Period see Middle 

Stone Age 
Metallurgy, development of, 

266-269, 281 
Metals, use of, 265, 279 
Middle Stone Age, 43, 67, 234-245 
Migrations of primitive man, 198 
Milky Way, 2 
Mindel glacial stage, (>6 
Mining, primitive, 267 



Minotaur, origin of legend of, 311 
Miocene Period, 18 
Mithan see Gayal 
Modesty, origin of, 192 
Mollusks, antiquity of, 13 
Money, early Roman, 279 

in China, 322 

inventi(3n of, 278 
Monkeys, ancient, 18 
Montezuma, 338 
Moseley, Henry Gwyn-Jeffreys, 

Mother Goddess see Great Mother 

Mountains, evolution of, 10 
Mousterian epoch, 43, 54, 67, 71, 

Mummification in Egypt, 300 


Naga tribes, 253 

Naval power, Crete first, 309, 311 

Neanderthal Gorge, 83 

man, 46, 67, 71, 72, 83-133, 197, 

Nebulae, spiral, 6 
Needles, 202, 217 
Negritos in southern China, 318 
Negroid races of southwestern 

Asia, 301 
Neolithic Period see New Stone 

New Stone Age, 42, 68, 244, 

Nile Valley civilization, 298-301 
Nordics, origin of, 212 
North America joined to Asia, 326 


Oar, evolution of the, 277 
Obercassel, human remains at, 74 
Obermaier on Mousterian fauna, 

on Spanish prehistory, 227 

Oceans, changes in, 10 

Old Stone Age, 43, 54, 65, 67, 72, 

75, 182-233 
Oligocene period, 20 
Ordovician period, 13 
Ostracoderms, ancient, 14 
Ox, ancient, 18 

as standard of value, 278 
Ozone, 5 


Painted Pottery People, 302 
Painting of body, 206 
Paleolithic Period see Old Stone 

Paleozoic Era, 13 
Pelesati see Philistines, 312 
Penck and Bruckner on Ice Age, 

Penck on Ice Age, 68 

Permian period, 15, 16 

Persian Empire, 308, 315, 316 

Persians, rise of the, 307, 308 

Peruvians see Incas 

Petershole, prehistoric site, 196 

Philistines, 312 

Philosophy in China, 324 

Pictographs, 290 

Pigment, use of, 196, 206 

Pigs, ancient, 18 

Piltdown, human remains at, 

Pithecanthropus erectus, 18, 145- 

Planets, i, 2 
Plants cultivated by American 

Indians, 328, 341 
Pleistocene period, 19, 65, 134, 135 
Plesiosaurs, 16, 17 
Pliocene period, 18, 134 
Plow, origin of, 258, 259 
Porcelain, 274 
Postglacial Period, 68, 73 
Posture, human, 46, 48 
Potato domesticated in Peru, 341 



Potter's wheel, invention of, 273 
Pottery, archeological importance 
of, 273 
beginnings of, 238 
development of, 274 
of Aztecs, 339 
Bronze Age, 273 
Mayas, 334 
Mesolithic, 238 
Peruvians, 342 
painted, 319 
Pre-Chellean epoch, 43, 65, 67, 

72, 182-185 
Predmost, human remains at, 81 
Pressure flaking, 207 
Priest-kings of Cretans, 311 
Primates, ancient, 18 
Pfoto-homo, 152 
Pterodactyls, 17 
Punjab region conquered by 

Persia, 316 
Pygmies of southwestern Asia, 301 
Pyramids, Egyptian, 299 
Mayan, 331,332 
Toltec, 337 


%iWoa, see Buckwheat 
^uipus, 345 


Rabbits, ancient, 18 

Radium in relation to earth's 

age, 3 
Raised beaches, 63 
Raymonden, human remains at, 74 
Religion, of Aztecs, 339 
of Chinese, 319 

Cretans, 310 

Cro-Magnon race, 202 

Egyptians, 299 

Incas, 346 

Mayas, 334 

Neanderthalers, 196 

New Stone Age, 248, 249 

Religion, of Solutreans, 211 

origin of, 225 
Reptiles, age of, 12, 16, 17 
Rhinoceros, ancient, 18 
Rhodesian man, 154-162 
Riss glacial stage, 66 
River terraces, 65 
Rock engravings, 52 
Rodents, ancient, 18 

Sacrifice, human, 246-248, 291, 
292, 3io> 3^9, 328, 339, 340> 
of animals, 248, 292 

Sail, invention of the, 277, 298 

used by Incas, 344, 345 
St. Acheul, France, 43 
Schwalbe on Ehringsdorf re- 
mains, 1 1 1 
Sculpture, early Egyptian, 299 

Magdalenian, 222 

Solutrean, 209 
Sea lions, ancient, 18 
Seals, ancient, 18 
Semites, rise of, 304 
Sex, determination of, 28 
Shang Dynasty, 321 
Sharks, ancient, 14 
"Shouldered-point" implements, 

Silhouettes of hands, 204 
Silk, early use of, 262 
Silurian period, 14 
Skeleton, human, 48 

Les Hoteaux, 224 

Neanderthal, 83-89 
Skeletons, Spy, 101 
Skull, Cro-Magnon, 73, 74 

Galilee, 126 

Gibraltar, 89-92 

La Chapelle, 117, 118 

Neanderthal, 86, 87 



Skull, Piltdown, 49-51, 136-141 

Rhodesian, 160-162 
Skulls, as drinking cups, 225 

Krapina, 108 

prehistoric, 46 
Slavery, origin of, 254 
Snakes, ancient, 17 
Social system of ancient China, 

of Aztecs, 338 

of Neanderthalers, 196 
Solar system, origin of, 8 
Solutrean epoch, 43, 52, 72, 75, 

76, 206-212 
Solutre, France, 43 

prehistoric site, 53 
"Son of Heaven," 321 
"Sorcerer, The," of Trois Freres, 

222, 223 
Sound symbols, 290, 291 
South America, ancient civiliza- 
tion of, 340-349 
Space, extent of, 4 
Spain, ancient, 227-232 
Spear-thrower, 216 
Species, origin of, 20 

number of, 20 
Spectrum of star, 7 
Spy, prehistoric site, 96 

skeletons, loi 
Squirrels, ancient, 18 
Star, nearest, i, 8 
Stars, I, 2, 4, 6-8 
State socialism of Incas, 341, 342 
Statuettes of women, 205, 209 
Steel Age, 41 
Steppes, 61 

Stone as building material, 283, 
284, 295, 298, 331, 332, 343, 
Stonehenge, circle at, 283 
Stones, groups of upright, 283 
String, uses of, 175, 345 
Sumerians, 302-305 

Sun, the, I, 3, 4 
Sunken rivers, 63 
Syllabary, 291 

Tardenoisian culture, 232 
Tasmanians, culture of, 184 
Teeth of man, 48 
Temple-pyramids of Aztecs, 340 
Temples of Crete, 311 
of Egypt, 299 

Incas, 346 

India, 313 

Mayas, 331,332 
Tenochtitlan, 338, 340 
Thigh bone of man, 49, 89 
"Three-man spade" of Korea, 260 
Time, calculation of geologic, 3, 

10, 69, 70 
Tin, in Bronze Age, 268 
Toltec civilization, 337 
Tools, first use of, 171 
Transportation, methods of, 275- 

278, 344-345 
Trees, fossil, 15 
Triassic period, 16 
Trilobites, 13, I4 
Trinil, Pithecanthropus, found at, 

Tuareg race, 228 
Tundras, 60 

Turkey, domestication of, 339 
Turtles, ancient, 17 


Ultra-violet rays, 5 
Universe, chemical composition 
of, 5 
structure of, 4 
Universes, number of island, 2 


Variation, mechanism of, 24 

Varves, 69 

Vegetation, heroic age of, 12, 14 

374 1 


Vertebrates, rise of, 12, 14 
Vicuna, wool of, 341 
"Virgins of the Sun," 346, 347 
Virgins, vestal, 173 


Wall decorations, 284 

War chariot, 285, 287, 288, 306, 

War, effects of, 1 80 
Warfare in Bronze Age, 284-288 
of Assyrians, 306, 307 
Cretans, 311 
Indo-Europeans, 287 
primitive, 180 
War god of Aztecs see Huitzilo- 

Water craft in Middle Stone Age, 

240, 241, 276-278,344 
Water, indispensable to life, 4 
Wealth of the Incas, 347 
Weapons, bronze, 324. 
Bronze Age, 269-271 
iron, 324 
of Aztecs, 339 
of Incas, 342 

Weaving, invention of, 261 

of Mayas, 334 

of Peruvians, 342, 343 

materials for, 261, 262 
Weights and measures, 280 
Whales, ancient, 18 
Wheel, invention of, 256, 257 
Wheeled vehicles in Bronze Age, 

"Willow-leaf" implements, 207 
Wood as building material, 264, 
282, 283, 330 

used by Mayas, 330, 331 
Wooden spear, 194 
Woodward, A. S., on Piltdown 

man, 135, 136, 138 
Women as farmers, 243, 328 
Writing, development of, 290 

importance of, 289 

in ancient India, 314, 315 

of Aztecs, 340 

of Mayas, ZZ'^-2>2>A 
Wiirm glacial stage, (>(), 67, 71 

Zwigelaar, T., 157