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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PUBLICATIONS 

IN 

AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY 

Vol. 7 No. 2 



RECENT INVESTIGATIONS BEARING ON 
THE QUESTION OF THE OCCURRENCE 
OF NEOCENE MAN IN THE AURIF- 
EROUS GRAVELS OF THE 
SIERRA NEVADA 



BY 

WM. J. SINCLAIR 



BERKELEY 

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS 

FEBRUARY, 1908 



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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PUBLICATIONS 



AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY 
VOL. 7 NO. 2 



RECENT INVESTIGATIONS BEARING ON 
THE QUESTION OF THE OCCURRENCE 
OF NEOCENE MAN IN THE AURIF- 
EROUS GRAVELS OF THE 
SIERRA NEVADA 

BY 

WM. J. SINCLAIR. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 
Introduction 108 

Evidence Favoring the Occurrence of Human Remains in the Gravels.... 109 

Human Remains from Hydraulic Mines 110 

Human Remains in Place in Undisturbed Gravels 110 

Human Remains from Drift Mines 110 

Review of the Evidence in Detail 110 

Human Remains from Gold Springs, Kincaid Flat, and Shaw's Flat 111 

Human Relics from Murphys 113 

The King Pestle 113 

Human Relics from the Table Mountain Drift Mines 114 

The Neale Discoveries 117 

The McTarnahan Mortar 120 

Implements from the Marshall Mine 121 

The Clay Hill Skeleton 122 

The Calaveras Skull 123 

Negative Evidence of a General Character 129 

Conclusions 130 

Principal Papers on the Occurrence of Early Man in the Auriferous 
Gravels of California .. .. 131 



108 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Etlm. [Vol. 7 



INTRODUCTION. 

The question of the early existence of man in California, and 
of the occurrence of his remains in the gold-bearing gravels be- 
neath the lava flows on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, 
originated from the work of the Geological Survey of California 
under Professor J. D. Whitney. A large part of the evidence on 
which the affirmative view is based is presented in Whitney's 
memoir on the auriferous gravels. 1 Several writers have con- 
tributed to the discussion since the publication of that work, but 
a comparatively small amount of geological evidence has been 
presented either for or against specific instances of man's occur- 
rence in these deposits. 

In working on the general problem of the time of man's 
appearance in the Californian region, the Department of Anthro- 
pology of the University of California has taken up, as a neces- 
sary part of the investigation, a review of the evidence relating 
to the so-called auriferous gravel relics. The writer was com- 
missioned to visit the localities where the discoveries of human 
remains reported by Whitney and others were made, and to com- 
pare the geological conditions found there with such intrinsic 
evidence as is presented by the artifacts and bones preserved. 
Several months were spent during the summer of 1902 in study- 
ing the various occurrences of auriferous gravels in Tuolumne, 
Calaveras, and Eldorado counties, which comprise the majority 
of the classic localities where human remains are said to have 
been discovered. Though the results of the writer's work are 
largely of a negative character, it is considered advisable to pre- 
sent them as a portion of the general report on the studies on the 
antiquity of man in this region now being carried on by the 
department. 

The excellent maps of the United States Geological Survey 
render any general discussion of the distribution and stratigraphy 
of the gold-bearing gravels unnecessary. As pointed out by 
Lindgren, 2 the gravels mapped as Neocene by the survey, on the 



1 The Auriferous Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California. Mem. Har- 
vard Mus. Comp. Zool. Vol. VI, 1880. 

2 U. S. Geol. Atlas, Coif ax Folio, Descriptive Text. 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 109 

atlas sheets of the California gold belt, are of several quite dis- 
tinct ages with reference to the rhyolitic and andesitic lava flows. 
"The auriferous gravels proper may be divided into (1) the deep 
gravels, (2) the bench gravels, (3) the gravels of the rhyolitic 
epoch, (4) the gravels of the intervolcanic erosion epoch, (5) the 
gravels of the andesitic tuff. ' ' The bench gravels ' ' often contain 
a predominating amount of quartz pebbles, but no andesite or 
rhyolite. " Those of the intervolcanic erosion epoch "contain 
pebbles of the Bed-rock series and of andesite and rhyolite." 3 
To these may be added a sixth division, the post-andesitic stream 
gravels which contain pebbles of the Bed-rock series and of all 
the lavas rhyolite, andesite, and latite. 

It is to be noted that Whitney, while recognizing that the 
gravels described by him differed in age and in their relation to 
the intercalated volcanic flows, made no attempt to specify from 
which gravel the human remains reported by him were obtained, 
grouping all under the general term auriferous gravels. Some 
such division of the gravels as that proposed by Lindgren must 
be kept in mind in the treatment of the question of man's occur- 
rence in these deposits. The lithological characters of the gravels 
are important in a discussion of the rock types represented in the 
various implements reported from them. 

In examining the region the writer studied the majority of 
the classic localities mentioned by Whitney and others. Little 
could be gained by attempting an investigation of all the local- 
ities, as in most cases the description is given in such general 
terms that an identification of the exact localities is impossible. 
This is particularly applicable to regions of hydraulic mining. 

EVIDENCE FAVORING THE OCCURRENCE OF HUMAN REMAINS IN 

THE GRAVELS. 

The evidence favoring the occurrence of man in the auriferous 
gravels may be subdivided into three classes: (1) human remains 
reported from hydraulic mines; (2) human remains found in 
place in undisturbed gravel; (3) human remains from drift 
mines. 



* Lindgren, loc. cit. 



110 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

Human Remains from Hydraulic Mines. Various stone relics 
are said by Whitney to have been found in placer mines in dif- 
ferent parts of the gravel region. Several of these implements 
are said to have been associated with bones of the mastodon and 
other extinct vertebrates. Most of them were found at consid- 
erable depths and in one or more instances are said to have been 
covered by a deposit of calcareous tufa several feet thick. 

Human Remains in Place in Undisturbed Gravel. A broken 
pestle was found by Clarence King, the geologist, in 1869, in place 
in a gravel bank exposed by a recent wash, close beneath the 
latite cap of Table Mountain in Tuolumne County. The imple- 
ment was firmly imbedded and when dislodged left the impression 
of its shape in the gravel matrix. 

Human Remains from Drift Mines. There is a large amount 
of evidence based on the reported occurrence of human remains 
in the gravels buried beneath the basaltic, andesitic, and rhyo- 
litic lava flows. These gravels are reached by vertical shafts and 
by horizontal and inclined tunnels termed drifts. The published 
evidence consists of statements and affidavits by persons who were 
either operating the mines and made the discoveries, or who were 
more or less cognizant of the facts in the case at the time when the 
relics were found. The relics recovered and preserved consist of 
stone implements and human bones. To one of the latter finds, 
the so-called Calaveras skull, great interest attaches because the 
bone has lost its organic material and has taken on the appearance 
of a true fossil. It has been claimed that the matrix investing the 
skull is of the same character as the gravel of the mine where the 
specimen was found. 

REVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE IN DETAIL. 

The vast majority of occurrences reported from placer mines 
can no longer be verified. In addition to the confusion arising 
from lack of classification as to age of beds involved, Professor 
W. H. Holmes 4 has shown that there is a strong probability that 
a large proportion, if not all, of the stone implements reported 



4 Keview of the Evidence Relating to Auriferous Gravel Man in Califor- 
nia. Am. Anthropologist Jan. and Oct., 1899; Smithsonian Kept, for 1899,, 
pp. 419-472, Plates 1-16, Washington, 1901. 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. Ill 

from gravels worked by the hydraulic method have fallen into the 
mine from recent Indian village sites situated on bluffs above the 
mine pits, owing to the recession of the gravel bank under the 
attack of the hydraulic giant. There should also be kept in mind 
the possibility of accidental burial in the flood plain of a recent 
stream working over gravels of all ages. Wood's Creek near 
Jamestown may be taken as an example, from which Whitney 
reports implements at depths of from twenty to forty feet. 

Human Remains from Gold Springs, Kinkaid Flat, and 
Shaw's Flat. Whitney reports a number of implements from 
these localities. Of these, the following from the Voy collection 
preserved in the museum of the University of California may be 
mentioned : 

(a) Original No. 12 5 Voy coll. (1-4205.)* A mortar with 
diagonal groovings said to have been found in 1863, "near other 
relics and animal remains imbedded in auriferous gravel mixed 
with calcareous tufa, at a depth of about sixteen feet beneath the 
surface" in the vicinity of Gold Springs. The material of this 
mortar is a pinkish hornblende andesite. 

( b ) Orig. No. 13 9 Voy coll. ( 1-4197. ) An oval dish or meal- 
ing stone of hornblende andesite, said to have been found in 1862 
in Gold Spring Gulch, Tuolumne County, "in auriferous gravel 
beneath an accumulation of about twenty feet of calcareous 
tufa." 

(c) Orig. No. 16 Voy coll. (1-4204AB.) A mortar and pestle 
said to have been found in 1863, associated with other stone relics 
and bones of the mastodon, etc., in auriferous gravel about sixteen 
feet below the surface, in Gold Springs Gulch. The mortar is of 
hornblende andesite. 

(d) Orig. No. 10 Voy coll.f A mortar of diorite porphyry 
said to have been found at Shaw's Flat in 1863, in auriferous 
gravel about fourteen feet below the surface. 

"Referred to by Whitney, Aurif. Grav. p. 263, figured by Holmes, loc. 
cit. Am. Anth. PI. VI. 

* The numbers in parentheses are the catalogue numbers of the Museum 
of the Department of Anthropology of the University of California. The 
original Voy numbers have been employed in this paper since they have 
already been cited by other authors. 

6 Referred to by Whitney, Aurif. Grav. p. 263, figured by Holmes, loc. 
cit. Am. Anth. PI. VI. 

t This specimen has not been located in the Museum. 



112 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

(e) Orig. No. 9 7 Voy coll. (1-4208AB.) A mortar of pinkish 
hornblende andesite, and a pestle of amphibolite schist, said to 
have been found in 1861 in auriferous gravel at a depth of sixteen 
feet, at Kincaid Flat. 

The gravels at Springfield and Columbia, which are also given 
as localities affording human remains, are similar to those at 
Gold Springs, Shaw 's Flat, and Kincaid Flat, and one description 
will apply to all. Usually they are not well-worn stream-washed 
pebbles like those characterizing the Neocene channels, but sub- 
angular fragments largely of vein quartz or quartzite. The 
underlying Carboniferous lime-stone has been eroded into fantas- 
tic shapes by percolating waters during or after the deposition of 
the auriferous wash. The mammalian fauna listed by Whitney 
from these localities (mastodon, elephant, bison, and the horse E. 
occidentalis) indicates a Pleistocene age for at least a part of the 
deposit, although some of it is certainly older. In a limestone 
region with underground drainage, it is quite apparent that im- 
plements of human manufacture which happened to be scattered 
on the surface would stand an excellent chance of reaching deeper 
levels through the many sink holes affording drainage ways to 
surface waters. That this is true for some of the animal remains 
is shown by Leidy's 8 identification of teeth of the recent horse 
from depths of twenty-five and twenty-nine feet in the gravels at 
Kincaid Flat. Before mining was begun, these flats were covered 
with a growth of oaks and were probably advantageous village 
sites. 

The calcareous tufas on the Grant ranch at Gold Springs are 
all of Pleistocene or recent origin. They have been deposited by 
large springs, one of which has at present a steady discharge of 
fifty miner's inches. The tufa deposit conforms to the drainage 
slopes possessed by the present topography. It is sometimes fine 
and powdery, but may assume a radiate crystalline and a shelly 
facies. Intercalated with and underlying the tufa are shallow 
deposits of subangular gravels which have been worked for gold. 
These gravels appear to have been formed by the waters from the 



7 Eef erred to by Whitney, Aurif . Grav. p. 263, figured by Holmes, loc. 
cit. Am. Anth. PI. VI. 

8 Aurif. Grav. p. 257. 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada, 113 

same springs which deposited the tufas. There is no available 
means for determining the rate of accumulation of these deposits. 
The springs have shifted their points of discharge since the tufas 
were formed and are not now depositing this substance at a rapid 
rate. It is of course impossible to determine the nature of the 
association of the implements with these tufas and gravels, or to 
locate the place where they were found. The only available in- 
formation is that conveyed by Whitney and by the labels on Voy 's 
collection. It is known however that Voy obtained his specimens 
from this localit} 7 " at second hand, from persons who probably 
claimed to have found them as described. 

The implements from these localities afford no inherent evi- 
dence of antiquity. They are of the same type and material as 
those found on old Indian sites. 

Human Relics from Murphys. The detrital material filling 
crevices in the limestone in the vicinity of Murphys is also a 
reputed source of human relics. "While some of this material is 
Pleistocene, other portions are recent and some of it may ante- 
date the Pleistocene. In the absence of detailed information 
regarding the exact localities where the implements were found, 
these occurrences may be passed without further comment. 

The King Pestle. The only account of the occurrence of 
human relics in the gravels which has gone practically unchal- 
lenged is that published by Dr. Becker 9 regarding the discovery 
by Clarence King of a broken pestle in the andesitic gravels and 
sands close beneath the latite cliff of Table Mountain. The local- 
ity is given as that part of the mountain lying a couple of miles 
southwest of Tuttletown. This would be above Rawhide. The 
implement was dislodged from hard gravel, leaving behind a cast 
of its shape in the matrix. The relic is a portion of a pestle of 
fine grained diabase, the end highly polished by wear in the 
hand. As a geologist, Mr. King was a reliable observer and able 
to determine whether or not the implement was in place and 
formed an integral part of the mass of gravel in which it was 
imbedded. Secondary cementation does not seem to have been 
taken into consideration. On many of the outcrops of andesitic 
sandstone in the vicinity of this locality, secondary cementation is 



Bull. Geol. Soc, Am. Vol. 2, p. 193. 



114 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

in progress, indurating the soft sands into a hard rock to the 
depth of at least an inch. It is unfortunate that the matrix con- 
taining the impression of this relic was not preserved. As it is, 
there is no way of confirming the discovery. We have nothing 
but the specimen and the published account to work from. An 
examination of the locality yielded little of value in this connec- 
tion. Immediately beneath the latite are coarse andesitic breccias 
with an occasional water-worn pebble. Farther down are gravels 
and sands. Holmes 10 reports finding "Digger" mealing stones 
scattered over the slope. 

Human Relics from the Table Mountain Drift Mines. The 
following occurrences of human implements and bones in the 
gravels pierced by deep tunnels extending beneath Table Moun- 
tain are mentioned by Whitney : 

(a) A human jaw and a stone muller in the collection of Dr. 
Snell. Both objects are said to have been taken from under Table 
Mountain. The exact localities are not stated. Both have prob- 
ably been, long since, lost or destroyed. 

(6) A fragment of a human skull from the Valentine shaft 
on the Columbia claim, a little south of Shaw's Flat. Portions 
of this specimen were given to the museums of the Boston Natural 
History Society and the Philadelphia Academy of Natural 
Science. The specimen is said to have come from a depth of one 
hundred and eighty feet, from beneath a series of strata compris- 
ing in descending order surface soil, pipe clay, "cement" with 
leaf impressions and gravel. It was taken from the sluice in 
which gravel from the mine was being washed. In addition to 
the bone, a mortar is said to have been found in these workings 
in the gravel. 

(c) A white marble bead from the Sonora tunnel. The speci- 
men was taken from a carload of gravel coming out of the tunnel. 
When found it is said to have been incrusted with pyrite. 

(d) A mortar from the Boston tunnel, found by Llewellyn 
Pierce. 

(e) A human skeleton from a tunnel under Table Mountain. 
No further particulars are given. 

(/") A perforated cutting implement and several stone mor- 



10 Loc. cit. Am. Anth., p. 622. 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 115 

tars from the Stanislaus Co.'s claim at O'Byrns' Ferry, Tuol- 
umne Co. The relics were found ' ' from sixty to seventy-five feet 
from the surface in gravel, under the basalt and about 300 feet 
in from the mouth of the tunnel." 

For several of these occurrences there are absolutely no data 
on which to base an investigation, nor any attendant circum- 
stances to establish their validity as evidence. The relics in the 
Snell collection are lost. No particulars are furnished regarding 
the skeleton. The implements from O'Byrns' Ferry have not 
been preserved. The geological features of the locality are essen- 
tially the same as those of the more northerly parts of Table 
Mountain. 

The position of the Valentine shaft was sought by the writer, 
but without success. Regarding the possibility of an external 
origin for the objects reported from this shaft, Whitney says: 
"The essential facts are, that the Valentine shaft was vertical, 
that it was boarded up to the top, so that nothing could have 
fallen in from the surface during the working under ground, 
which was carried on in the gravel channel exclusively, after the 
shaft had been sunk. ' ' In this connection it may be pointed out 
that many of the old drift mines south of Shaw 's Flat were con- 
nected and that this system of galleries was ventilated by air 
shafts, so that the possibilities are not limited to one shaft, how- 
ever securely that one may have been boarded. 

The Sonora tunnel is an incline starting in andesitic sands 
and pipe clay beneath the latite near the intersection of the roads 
to Tuttletown and to Sonora via Shaw's Flat. It is said to con- 
nect with some of the deeper workings under Table Mountain. 
Little dependence, as an evidence of antiquity, can be placed on 
the presence of pyrite in the hollow of the marble bead reported 
by Whitney from the gravels of this mine. The rapidity with 
which secondary pyrite forms is well known. Calcium carbonate 
might act as a precipitating agent in salts of iron dissolved in the 
mine water. 

The relics from the Valentine shaft and Sonora tunnel were 
not found in place in undisturbed gravel, but were taken in one 
case from the sluice in which gravel was being washed, and in 
the other from gravel brought out in the car. If this degree of 



116 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

association with the gravel is to be accepted as proof of antiquity, 
we would be justified in supposing that any object of recent 
manufacture acquired under similar circumstances was as old as 
the gravels. Neither of these occurrences can be accepted as a 
valid proof of the antiquity of man. 

Perhaps more importance has been attached to the mortar 
vouched for by Llewellyn Pierce, than to any of the preceding. 
The evidence for the antiquity of this relic is presented by 
Whitney in the following affidavit t 11 

Sonora, Tuolumne County, California, 

December 28th, 1870. 

"This is to certify that I, the undersigned, have this day given 
to Mr. C. D. Voy, to be preserved in his collection of ancient stone 
relics, a certain stone mortar, which has evidently been made by 
human hands, which was dug up by me, about the year 1862, 
under Table Mountain, in gravel, at a depth of about 200 feet 
from the surface, under the basalt, which was over sixty feet deep, 
and about 1,800 feet in from the mouth of the tunnel. Found in 
the claim known as the Boston Tunnel Company. In these claims 
at various times there have also been found numerous bones of 

different animals. ' ' 

(Signed) LLEWELLYN PIERCE. 

The label accompanying this specimen, which is No. 6 12 of 
Voy's coll. (1-4209), places the depth from the surface at 340 
feet, 140 feet of which is said to have been basalt. 

Mr. Pierce, who resides about a mile above Jeffersonville, 
Tuolumne Co., was interviewed by the writer. During the course 
of this interview the following information was furnished by 
Mr. Pierce. The mortar from the Boston claim was as large as a 
sixteen-gallon milk bucket and would weigh about seventy-five 
pounds. It was found in hard gravel under the cement, and was 
taken out by Mr. Pierce while he was sitting on a candle box, 
breasting out gravel. The writer was shown a small oval tablet 
of dark colored slate with a melon and leaf carved in bas-relief. 
Mr. Pierce claimed to have found this in the same gravels as the 
mortar, and, he thought, probably at the same time. This tablet 

"Aurif. Grav. p. 266. 

12 Figured by Holmes, loc. cit. Am. Anth., PI. VII. 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 117 

shows no signs of wear by gravel. The scratches are all recent 
defacements. The carving shows very evident traces of a steel 
knife blade and was conceived and executed by an artist of con- 
siderable ability. The mortar preserved in Voy's collection is 
an oval boulder of hornblende andesite into which a hole has been 
worked, about four and three-quarters inches in greatest width, 
and three and three-quarters inches deep, dimensions to which 
those of a sixteen-gallon bucket must be regarded as rather a 
liberal approximation. The deep gravels in the bottom of the 
Table Mountain channels, tapped by the Boston Tunnel and other 
workings, are largely inaccessible, but so far as known are not 
volcanic. 13 The incongruity of associating an andesitic mortar 
and a tablet engraved by steel tools, with the old prevolcanic 
gravels is at once apparent. The andesitic sands and gravels of 
Table Mountain lie above the auriferous channel gravels in which 
these relics were supposed to occur. 

The Neale Discoveries. Considerable information has been 
gathered by Becker 1 * and Holmes 15 regarding the reported dis- 
covery of implements by Mr. J. H. Neale of Sonora, in the Monte- 
zuma Mine. It is desired here to compare these published state- 
ments with the story as told to the writer by Mr. Neale, and with 
the testimony of the locality. It will be necessary to quote at 
some length from the paper referred to. The affidavit published 
by Dr. Becker is as follows : 

Sonora, August 2, 1890. 

"In 1877 Mr. J. H. Neale was superintendent of the Monte- 
zuma Tunnel Company, and ran the Montezuma tunnel into the 
gravel underlying the lava of Table Mountain, Tuolumne County. 
The mouth of the tunnel is near the road which leads in a souther- 
ly direction from the Rawhide Camp, and about three miles from 
that place. The mouth is approximately 1,200 feet from the 
present edge of the solid lava cap of the mountain. The course 
of the tunnel is a little north of east. At a distance of between 
1400 and 1500 feet from the mouth of the tunnel, or of between 
200 and 300 feet beyond the edge of the solid lava, Mr. Neale saw 



" Turner and Eansome, Sonora Folio. Explanatory text. 
14 Becker. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. Vol. 2, p. 191. 
" Holmes. Smithsonian Eept. for 1899, p. 450. 



118 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

several spear-heads, of some dark rock and nearly one foot in 
length. On exploring further, he himself found a small mortar 
three or four inches in diameter and of irregular shape. This 
was discovered within a foot or two of the spear-heads. He then 
found a large well-formed pestle, now the property of Dr. R. I. 
Bromley, and near by a large and very regular mortar, also at 
present the property of Dr. Bromley. 

' ' All of these relics were found the same afternoon, and were 
within a few feet of one another and close to the bed-rock, perhaps 
within a foot of it. 

"Mr. Neale declares it utterly impossible that these relics can 
have reached the position in which they were found excepting 
at the time the gravel was deposited, and before the lava cap 
formed. There was not the slightest trace of any disturbance of 
the mass or of any natural fissure into it by which access could 
have been obtained either there or in the neighborhood. 

"And Mr. J. H. Neale declares upon his oath that the fore- 
going statement is in every respect true. ' ' 

(Signed) JOHN H. NEALE. 

With this should be compared the statement published by 
Holmes : 

' ' One of the miners coming out to lunch at noon brought with 
him to the superintendent's office a stone mortar and a broken 
pestle which he said had been dug up in the deepest part of the 
tunnel, some 1500 feet from the mouth of the mine. Mr. Neale 
advised him on returning to w r ork to look out for other utensils 
in the same place, and agreeable to his expectations two others 
were secured, a small ovoid mortar, 5 or 6 inches in diameter, and 
a flattish mortar or dish, 7 or 8 inches in diameter. These have 
since been lost to sight. On another occasion a lot of obsidian 
blades, or spear-heads, eleven in number and averaging 10 inches 
in length, were brought to him by workmen from the mine. They 
had been found in what Mr. Neale called a ' side channel, ' that is, 
the bed of a branch of the main Tertiary stream about a thousand 
feet in from the mouth of the tunnel, and 200 or 300 feet verti- 
cally from the surface of the mountain slope. These measure- 
ments were given as estimates only, but at the same time they 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 119 

were, he felt sure, not far wrong. Four or five of the specimens 
he gave to Mr. C. D. Voy, the collector. The others also had been 
given away but all trace of them had been lost. Mr. Neale spoke 
enthusiastically of the size and perfection of these implements, 
and as he spoke drew outlines of long notched blades in the dust 
at our feet. Some had one notch, some had two notches, and 
others were plain leaf-shaped blades. ' ' 

"Desiring to find out more concerning these objects, he went 
on to say, he showed them to the Indians who chanced to be 
present, but, strangely enough, they expressed great fear of them, 
refusing to touch them or even speak about them; but finally, 
when asked whether they had any idea whence they came, said 
they had seen such implements far away in the mountains, but 
declined to speak of the place further or to undertake to procure 
others." 

The following statements by Mr. Neale regarding the dis- 
covery of these implements were taken down by the writer in the 
course of the interview: A certain miner (Joe), working on the 
day shift in the Montezuma tunnel, brought out a stone dish or 
platter about two inches thick. Joe was advised to look for more 
in the same place. At the time, they were working in caving 
ground. Mr. Neale went on the night shift and in excavating to 
set a timber, ' hooked up ' one of the obsidian spear points. With 
the exception of the one brought out by Joe, all the implements 
were found personally by Mr. Neale, at one time, in a space about 
six feet in diameter on the shore of the channel. The implements 
were in gravel close to the bed-rock and were mixed with a sub- 
stance like charcoal. 

The large pestle and mortar mentioned by Becker are in the 
United States National Museum. The material of the mortar is 
andesite. 

The geological conditions in the vicinity of the Montezuma 
mine are similar to those at other points along Table Mountain. 
The detrital deposits beneath the latite are not well exposed, but 
wherever seen are found to be andesitic breccias, gravels, sands, 
and pipe clay. The deep gravels lying in the center of the 
channel are believed to be prevolcanic, so that there is involved 
the anomaly of two late volcanic rock types, andesite and ob- 
sidian, occurring in the prevolcanic gravels. 



120 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

The mouth of the Montezuma tunnel lies below the road lead- 
ing south from Rawhide and as well as can be ascertained by 
rough measurements is about thirteen hundred and ninety feet 
from the base of the latite cliff, measured along the irregularities 
of the slope from the cliff to the mine. According to some ac- 
counts, it was intended as a drainage tunnel for the placer mines 
at Montezuma on the other side of the mountain. Both the old 
tunnel and the new one mentioned by Holmes 16 were found caved 
in and abandoned. There was every indication of a former In- 
dian camp site in this vicinity. Half an hour 's search resulted in 
the discovery of a pestle and a flat stone muller, a few yards north 
of the mine buildings. Similar discoveries were reported by 
Holmes. South of the tunnel, a large permanent mortar was 
found. The material of this mortar block is latite from the cliff 
above. It is quite possible that the implements mentioned by 
Mr. Neale came from this Indian camp site. 

The McTarnahan Mortar. In the discussion of Dr. Becker's 
paper, Rev. G. Frederic Wright mentioned the discovery of a 
mortar reported to him by Mr. C. McTarnahan, as follows:* 

"The discovery was made in October, 1887, in the Empire 
mine. . . . This mine is on the western side of Table Moun- 
tain. . . . This mine lies nearly westward from Shaw's Flat, 
and, from the opening, penetrates the rim underneath Table 
Mountain a distance of 742 feet. Mr. McTarnahan himself found 
the mortar in the gravel, as work was proceeding, 500 feet from 
the outside of the rim, which, from the direction of the drift, 
would make it 200 feet from the apex of the rim under the surface 
of the basalt. He described the mortar as a granite boulder about 
eight inches in diameter, and the hollow four inches in diameter 
at the surface and three inches deep." Mr. Frank McTarnahan, 
who resides not far from the Empire mine, was interviewed by 
the writer regarding this relic. Both he and Mr. Charles Mc- 
Tarnahan, his brother, worked in the mine together. The only 
mortar found was discovered back of the lagging during the work 
of retimbering. The mine had been idle at least two years before 
the McTarnahans began work. The mortar was not in the gravels, 
but thrust in back of the lagging, as large pieces of rock and 



16 Loc. cit. p. 451. 

* Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., Vol. 2, p. 199. 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 121 

boulders commonly are used to fill up space room between the 
timbers and the wall. It is evident that an implement lying loose 
behind the timbering of an old mine can not be accepted as 
indicating great antiquity. 

Implements from the Marshall Mine. Human relics are re- 
ported by Whitney from the Marshall mine near San Andreas, 
Calaveras County. The published statement 17 is in the form of 
an affidavit, as follows : 

San Andreas, Calaveras County, California, 

January 3rd, 1871. 

' ' This is to certify that we, the undersigned, proprietors of the 
gravel claims known as Marshall & Company's, situated near the 
town of San Andreas, do know of stone mortars and other stone 
relics, which had evidently been made by human hands, being 
found in these claims, about the years 1860 and 1869, under about 
these different formations : 

1. Coarse gravel 5 feet 

2. Sand and gravel 100 feet 

3. Brown gravel 20 feet 

4. "Cement" sand 4 feet 

5. Bluish volcanic sand 15 feet 

6. Pay gravel 6 feet 

150 feet 
The above (mentioned relics) were found in bed No. 6." 

(Signed) R. D. HUBBARD, 

JOHN SHOW ALTER. 

The writer visited this locality and talked with Mr. J. C. 
Marshall, who was a part owner in the mine with Hubbard and 
Showalter. The mine is situated on the top of a hill a few hun- 
dred feet northwest of the Calaveras County Hospital in the 
outskirts of San Andreas. The hill is capped by a gravel of the 
inter-volcanic epoch, partly overlain on the southwest side by a 
small area of andesitic breccia. There are no outcrops of rhyolite 
tuff visible, but the tuff appears on many of the old mine dumps 
and is probably the "bluish volcanic sand" of the section. The 
pay gravels are probably inter-rhyolitic. 

"Aurif. Grav. p. 274. 



122 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

According to Mr. Marshall, the implements were found by 
hired men at the time when he was employed as mine boss. He 
claimed to have seen them in place in the pay gravels close to the 
bed-rock. One of the mortars had several holes in it and would 
weigh, he thought, two or three hundred pounds. It was too 
heavy to hoist out by the whim and was left in the drift. He did 
not remember how far they were from the bottom of the shaft 
from which the drift started. The workings have caved in and 
are inaccessible. 

On the top of the hill, in the immediate vicinity of the old 
Marshall shaft, there are several large blocks of quartz and gra- 
nodiorite with one or more mortar holes worked in each. At 
least one of the mortars from the Marshall mine was of this recent 
type, although said to occur beneath the rhyolite tuff. There are 
a number of old shafts on the hill, all more or less caved in, so 
that it is quite possible that the implements, and especially the 
large permanent mortar fell down one of these shafts, to be after- 
ward struck by the Marshall drift. 

The Clay Hill Skeleton. The discovery of a human skeleton 
in the gravels on Clay Hill, in the vicinity of Placerville, Eldo- 
rado County, is vouched for by Dr. H. H. Boyce. The following 
extract is from a letter by Dr. Boyce published by Whitney : 

' ' Clay Hill is one of a series of elevations which constitute the 
water-shed between Placerville Creek and Big Canon, and is 
capped by a stratum of basaltic lava, some eight feet thick. Be- 
neath this there are some thirty feet of sand, gravel and clay. 
The country-rock is slightly capped on this, as on most of the 
elevations, the slope being toward the center of the hill. Resting 
on the rock and extending about two feet above it, was a dense 
stratum of clay. It was in this clay that we came across the 
bones. While emptying the tub, I saw some pieces of material 
which on examination I discovered were pieces of bones ; and, on 
further search, I found the scapula, clavicle, and parts of the 
first, second and third ribs of the right side of a human skeleton. 
They were quite firmly cemented together ; but on exposure to the 
air began to crumble. ' ' 

On examination the geological features of Clay Hill were 
found by the writer to differ in several respects from the above de- 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 123 

scription. No basalt capping appeared either on the hill or any- 
where in the vicinity. There is a small area of andesitic breccia 
on the top of the hill, but this is not very well exposed in the sec- 
tions afforded by the old placer mines. Most of the hill is capped 
by an andesitic gravel, beneath which there is, in some places, a 
light gray tuffaceous sand, containing frequent small andesite 
pebbles. The pay gravels beneath the sand are not remarkably 
quartzose and seem to grade into the andesitic material above 
mentioned. The lithology of the gravels resting on bedrock can 
not be satisfactorily studied owing to the heavy talus slopes. For 
this reason the position of the clay supposed to contain the bones 
can not be confirmed. 

The impression conveyed by the part of the letter quoted is 
that the skeleton found by Dr. Boyce was at a depth of thirty- 
eight feet, in undisturbed strata under eight feet of so-called 
basalt. There is nothing, however, in the letter to show that this 
was the section passed through in sinking the Boyce shaft. The 
skeleton may have been found in such a place and at such a depth 
in the clay that the possibility of recent interment would have 
to be considered. As the evidence is presented, we are not justi- 
fied in regarding the skeleton from Clay Hill as of great an- 
tiquity. 

The Calaveras Skull. The history of this famous relic is so 
well known that it is not necessary to repeat at length the details 
regarding it. The nature of the matrix and filling of the skull 
present evidence of a geological nature sufficient to settle once 
for all that it did not come from the gravel as had been supposed. 

The skull first came into prominence in 1866 when it was for- 
warded by Dr. Jones to the office of the state geologist in San 
Francisco. Regarding its discovery by Mr. Mattison and its 
subsequent history, Whitney made the following statement :* 

"Mr. Mattison, on being questioned, stated that he took the 
skull from his shaft in February, 1866, with some pieces of wood 
found near it, and, supposing that it might be something of in- 
terest, carried it in a bag to the office of Wells, Fargo & Co. 's Ex- 
press, at Angels, and gave it to Mr. Scribner, the agent. 

"Mr. Scribner 's clerk cleaned off a portion of the encrusting 

* Aurif . Grav., p. 268. 



124 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

material, discovered that the article in question was a human 
skull, and, shortly after, gave it to Dr. Jones, .... and in 
his possession it remained for some months before it was placed in 
the writer 's hands. ' ' 

Bald Hill (plate 13) is a rather prominent hill rising a little 
more than one hundred feet above its base. It forms part of 
a ridge extending about half a mile toward the northeast, where 
it merges with a table-like expanse capped by an andesite flow. 
The top of the entire ridge to the contact with the andesite 
is occupied by a mass of gravel containing andesite pebbles as 
well as numerous pebbles of vein quartz, quartzite, granodiorite, 
various porphy rites, etc. Beneath these gravels are rhyolite 
tuffs, shown in the photograph, on the lower slopes, as white 
patches among the trees. The upper gravels lie unconformably 
on the tuff, occupying depressions eroded in the latter. To the 
northeast, they disappear beneath the andesite flow. These par- 
ticulars can be gained, in part only, from the Jackson Folio of 
the United States Geological Survey Atlas, which does not show 
the gravels lying above the rhyolite. These upper gravels be- 
long to the intervolcanic epoch. They are thoroughly water- 
worn. 

The pay gravel which has been worked by various cuts, shafts 
and tunnels lies beneath the rhyolite tuff, and may be seen in 
place in the walls of a cut at the southwest end of the hill. The 
pebbles are largely quartz, amphibolite and schists of the Cala- 
veras formation with an occasional porphyrite, and with the ex- 
ception of the quartz are quite thoroughly decomposed. They 
are inclosed in a fine clayey matrix composed largely of rhyolitic 
ash. In color they are a pale greenish tint. These gravels be- 
long to the rhyolitic epoch. They are exposed in the cut to a 
thickness of about a foot. Bedrock may be seen a few yards to 
the southwest, but the contact of the gravel with the bedrock is 
concealed in the cut by mine dump and talus. There is no trace 
of calcareous or ferruginous cementation. The pebbles are flat- 
ter than those of the upper gravel, but are equally water-worn. 

The following section is given by Whitney, 18 as that passed 
through by Mattison in sinking the shaft on Bald Hill : 



"Aurif. Grav. p. 269. 




*" fl 

S-'S 
- & 







88 2 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 125 

1. Black lava 40 feet 

2. Gravel 3 Teet 

3. Light lava 30 feet 

4. Gravel 5 feet 

5. Light lava 15 feet 

6. Gravel 25 feet 

7. Dark brown lava 9 feet 

8. Gravel 5 feet 

9. Eed lava 4 feet 

10. Eed gravel 17 feet 



Total 153 feet 

The various "lavas" are difficult to identify, and are prob- 
ably not correctly determined. The "black lava" is a rhyolite 
darker in color and harder than the common white tuff. The 
shaft was started in this rock a few feet below the contact of the 
rhyolite tuff and the overlying gravels. The skull is said to have 
been found ' ' in bed No. 8, just above the lowest stratum of lava. ' ' 

The matrix of the skull is described by Whitney 10 as follows : 

"When delivered into the writer's hands its base was im- 
bedded in a conglomerate mass of ferruginous earth, water-worn 
pebbles of much altered volcanic rock, calcareous tufa, and frag- 
ments of bones. This mixed material covered the whole base of 
the skull and filled the left temporal fossa, concealing the whole 
of the jaw. A thin calcareous incrustation appears to have cov- 
ered the whole skull when found ; portions of it had been scaled 
off, probably in cleaning away the other material attached to the 
base. 

"Nothing was done to the skull to alter its condition in any 
way, after it came into the writer's hands, until it had been 
examined by Dr. Wyman, when we together carefully chiselled 
off the foreign matter adhering to its base 

"In cutting away the mixed tufa and gravel which covered 
the face and base, several fragments of human bones were re- 
moved; namely one whole and one broken metatarsal; the lower 
end of a left fibula, and fragments of an ulna, as well as a piece 
of a sternum. These bones and fragments of bone might have 
belonged to the same individual to whom the skull had apper- 
tained ; but, besides these, there was a portion of a human tibia 

"Aurif. Grav. p. 268. 



126 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

of too small size to be referred to the same person. There were 
also some fragments of the bones of a small mammal. Under 
the malar bone of the left side a small snail shell was lodged, 
partially concealed by one of the small human bones which was 
wedged into the cavity. This shell was recognized by Dr. J. G. 
Cooper as Helix mormonum, a species now existing in the Sierra 
Nevada. Cemented to the fore part of the roof of the mouth 
was found a circular piece of shell four tenths of an inch in 
diameter, with a hole drilled through the center, which had prob- 
ably served as an ornament. Several very small pieces of char- 
coal were also found in the matter adhering to the face of the 
skull." 

Through the kindness of Professor F. W. Putnam of Har- 
vard University, the writer has been able to examine a portion of 
the gravel removed by Professor Wyman from the skull, and also 
the skull itself. Both gravel and skull still bear traces of the wax 
with which the latter was coated as a preservative. The matrix 
is not strictly speaking a gravel nor does it show any trace of 
wear or rounding by stream action. It is composed of angular 
fragments of white marble (dolomite), decomposed diabase, am- 
phibolite and white vein quartz cemented by a ferruginous cal- 
careous deposit. Small masses of limonite and ochreous clay are 
present in vacuities in the stalagmite. Small grains of hematite 
were also detected. Fragments of charcoal and small portions 
of the shell of a land snail adhere to the stalagmite. The ma- 
terial is dissimilar in every respect to either of the gravels ex- 
posed on Bald Hill. In every respect it is comparable to a cave 
breccia. The association of rock species and the stalagmitic ce- 
mentation is the same as that found in the breccias on the floors 
of many caves in Calaveras county which the writer has exam- 
ined. The lack of agreement between the gravels on Bald Hill 
and the matrix of the skull effectually establishes the fact that 
the skull was not obtained in place, as claimed, in the gravels 
beneath the rhyolite, or from any other gravel of the rhyolitic 
epoch. None of these gravels exhibit any trace of stalagmitic 
cementation. 

The cave origin of the skull is strengthened by the animal 
remains and works of art associated with it. In addition to the 



UNIV. CALIF. PUBL. AM. ARCH, ETHN. 



VOL. 7 PL 14 




Mortuary rhainlier in a cave above Cave City, Calaveras County. The remains 
of several individuals arc shown. (Flashlight.) 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 127 

bones of a smaller human individual, there was with the skull a 
shell bead and the bones of a small mammal. Imbedded in the 
stalagmite investing fragments of the breccia received from Pro- 
fessor Putnam, the writer found the incisor tooth of some small 
mammal, possibly a bat or a mole, and an amphicoelous vertebra 
of a small amphibian. This material is not complete enough for 
generic determination, but there is no reason for regarding the 
remains as those of extinct forms. The shell bead has been ex- 
amined by several archaeologists, who state that it is similar to 
those found on many Indian sites of the coast region of California. 

The scarcity of vertebrate fossils in the auriferous gravels is 
well known to all geologists familiar with these deposits. The 
abundance of bones, human and animal, associated with the skull 
is remarkable in the light of the supposed career depicted by 
Whitney for this relic before it was finally imbedded in the grav- 
els of a Neocene river.* The effect of even a moderate amount 
of stream action would be to scatter rather than to collect the 
various parts of a skeleton. The smaller bones would inevitably 
be ground to powder. The larger bones should show traces of 
abrasion rather than fresh fracture as is the case. 

The caves of Calaveras County present conditions similar to 
those indicated by the matrix and remains associated with the 
Calaveras skull. Many of them have served as Indian mor- 
tuaries. A good illustration of one of these will be found on 
plate 14. A heterogeneous mixture of human remains similar to 
that shown in this photograph would account for the association 
of the bones of two individuals with the skull. The human bones 
found in these caves are often coated with stalagmite and have 
lost the greater part of their organic matter. Animal remains are 
commonly present in the earth and breccia on the cave floors. 
Shells of Epiphragmophora (Helix} are almost always present. 

It is supposed by some that the Calaveras skull came original- 
ly from Salt Spring Valley. Holmes 20 states on the authority of 
Mr. George Stickle of Angels, that the skull, together with a com- 
panion specimen, had been placed on exhibition in Stickle 's store 
by Dr. J. I. Boone, who obtained it in an Indian burial ground 



*Aurif. Grav. p. 272. 

20 Smithsonian Kept., 1899; Am. Anth., p. 634. 



128 University of California Publications in Am, Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

in Salt Spring Valley. There are no deposits in the Valley re- 
sembling the matrix of the skull. On the Tower-Bisbee ranch 
there are yellow gravels containing subangular and also well 
rounded pebbles derived from the rocks in the immediate vicinity 
(diabase, porphyrite, amphibolite and slate). More or less fer- 
ruginous cementation has taken place. These gravels are either 
very late Pleistocene or recent. No fragments of marble w r ere 
found in any of these deposits, nor are any limestones mapped 21 
in this vicinity. 

Most of those who regard Salt Spring Valley as the place of 
origin of the skull, agree in stating that it was found in Dead 
Man Spring. This is a large boggy hole from which between 
thirty and forty human skulls were taken by Mr. Hetic in 1854. 
The spring waters are largely alkaline. The mud filling the 
spring is black, deriving its color from decomposing vegetable 
matter. The soil about the spring where not in contact with the 
water, is red and contains angular fragments of amphibolite and 
vein quartz. The bones were imbedded in the spring mud and are 
described by Mr. Hetic as black. South of Dead Man Spring 
there is another alkaline spring in the vicinity of which angular 
blocks of quartz and amphibolite are coated with a small amount 
of calcareous tufa inclosing fragments of the same rocks. 

It is not the object of the present paper to determine certainly 
the original place of burial of the skull.* The writer has re- 

21 Jackson Folio, U. S. G. S. Atlas. 

* The following note which Professor Putnam has kindly furnished, 
brings out particularly the fact that the Calaveras skull described by Whit- 
ney is not certainly to be identified with any of the skulls which may have 
been used in attempts to deceive Mr. Mattison or others: 

"In 1897 the 'Calaveras Skull' came into the possession of the Peabody 
Museum from the estate of Professor Whitney, who had expressed the wish 
that the skull, with all the material pertaining to it, should be given to the 
Peabody Museum for permanent preservation. I soon realized the import- 
ance of making a comparison of the matrix taken from the skull by Profes- 
sors Whitney and Wyman with the gravel from the Mattison shaft. At my 
request, early in September 1900, Professor Eichard E. Dodge visited Bald 
Hill for the purpose of obtaining gravel from the layer in which the skull 
was said to have been taken by Mattison, but the shaft was full of water 
and the gravel could not be obtained. Mr. Dodge heard several stories re- 
lating to the skull such as those that have been reported by Professor Holmes 
and Mr. Sinclair. 

' ' On September 26-29, 1900, I was in Angels with the hope of making ar- 
rangements to have the water pumped from the shaft, but i soon found out 
that even if this were possible it would be a very long and expensive opera- 
tion and I therefore abandoned the attempt. While making my examination 
on Bald Hill I secured the assistance of a Mr. Lee, who had been employed 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 129 

ceived a letter from Rev. W. H. Dyer of Los Angeles inclosing 
a clipping from the ' ' Tuolumne Independent ' ' of September 14th, 
1901, in which it is stated, over Mr. Dyer's signature, that he was 
in Scribner's store in Angels, "probably near the year 1876 and 
found Dr. Walker and Mr. Scribner and another whose coming, 
after long absence, brought the three old friends together . . 
Prominent in interest was the story of the skull, which they had 
planted deep in the bottom of the shaft where it astonished the 
miner, the curious public and the wondering scientists. ' ' In his 
letter. Mr. Dyer states that he has received a communication from 
Mrs. Jamison, the sister of John C. Scribner, now living in Tarry- 
town, New York, to the effect "that they have long known as a 
joke of his, the planting of a skull in a mine." 

NEGATIVE EVIDENCE OF A GENERAL CHARACTER. 

The occurrence in the older auriferous gravels of human re- 
mains indicative of a state of culture and a degree of physical 



on the latest working of the shaft, and he pointed out, on the old dump, the 
several layers of gravel through which the shaft was sunk, and samples were 
gathered from the different portions of the dump. 

"Again in September, 1901, I visited the place with Professor Merriam, 
but the water still prevented our entering the shaft. While at Angels and 
at Murphys I heard many stories, from various persons, and received several 
letters, to the general effect that a skull had been placed in the shaft for 
Mr. Mattison to find. To my mind the most interesting point of these stories 
is that two and possibly three distinct skulls were brought into the stories. 
One man said the skull was black and enclosed in black earth and that it 
came from Salt Springs valley, where a dozen or more were found. Mr. 
Stickle, on the contrary, told me that the skull was whole and white. When 
I showed Mr. Stickle the photograph taken by Mr. Rhodes of the skull that 
Professor Whitney received from Dr. Jones (showing the skull before the 
matrix was removed) Mr. Stickle was very emphatic in his statement that it 
was not the skull brought out of the shaft by Mattison. 

' ' It would seem therefore that there is a possibility that the skull given to 
Dr. Jones and by him to Professor Whitney was never in the shaft. Had 
it been taken from the shaft there probably would have been some trace of 
gravel, such as is found in the beds through which the shaft was sunk, mixed 
with the material taken from the skull by Professors Whitney and Wyman, 
but no such gravel has been found in the several examinations which have 
been made of the matrix. 

' ' When all the facts now known are carefully considered it seems probable 
that the skull which came into Professor Whitney's hands, through Dr. 
Jones, was from some cave or rock crevice in the vicinity of Bald Hill, and 
that, without any attempt at deception on the part of Dr. Jones, and with- 
out any intention on the part of any one to deceive the members of the Geo- 
logical Survey, the skull was sent to the Survey by Dr. Jones with the belief 
that it was the skull which, he had been told, Mattison found in his shaft." 

Department of Anthropology, R W ' PuTNAM - 

University of California, Dec. 5, 1907. 



.130 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 7 

development equal to that of the existing Indians of the Sierra 
Nevada would necessitate placing the origin of the human race 
in an exceedingly remote geological period. This is contrary 
to all precedent in the history of organisms, which teaches that 
mammalian species are short-lived. In North America, there are 
abundant remains of the lower mammals preserved in deposits 
ranging from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. In all these de- 
posits, excepting those of late Pleistocene age, the remains of 
man or any creature directly ancestral to man are conspicuously 
absent. No remains of the Anthropoidea (from which man is 
doubtless derived), are known on this continent. 

The age of the gravels antedating the latite flows can not be 
definitely fixed until their flora has been studied. According to 
Lindgren, 23 "the deep gravels are probably of Eocene or Eo- 
miocene age. The bench gravels and the rhyolite tuffs are prob- 
ably of late Miocene age. The age of the gravels of the inter- 
volcanic erosion epoch and of the andesite tuff is not established 
beyond doubt, but these probably belong to the early Oligocene 
or late Miocene." It has been shown on the preceding pages 
that a large proportion of the implements reported from the 
gravels are from those of the rhyolitic and intervolcanic epochs. 
This would mean that man of a type as high as the existing race 
was a contemporary of the three-toed horse and other primitive 
forms of the late Miocene and early Pliocene, a thesis to which 
all geological and biological evidence is opposed. 

CONCLUSIONS. 

A review of the evidence favoring the presence of the remains 
of man in the auriferous gravels, compels one to regard it as 
insufficient to establish the fact. On the preceding pages, it has 
been shown either that there have been abundant opportunities 
for the relics in question to be mixed with the gravels accidental- 
ly, or that the geological conditions at the localities are such as to 
render it improbable that the implements and bones have been 
associated in the gravels to the extent supposed. 



23 Colfax Folio, U. S. G. 8. Atlas. Descriptive Text, pp. 5 and 6. 



1908] Sinclair. Neocene Man in Auriferous Gravels of Sierra Nevada. 131 

PRINCIPAL PAPERS ON THE OCCURRENCE OF EARLY MAN IN 
THE AURIFEROUS GRAVELS OF CALIFORNIA. 

WlNSUHV, C. F. 

1856-59 Letter on finding human remains and those of elephant and 
mastodon in California. Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. VI, p. 278. 

1857 On human remains along with those of the mastodon in the 
drift of California. Am. Jour. Sci. (2) XLVI, pp. 407-408. 
Taken from Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., VI, 1857, p. 278. 

WHITNEY, J. D. 

1868 Notice of a human skull recently taken from a shaft near 

Angels, Calaveras Co. Cal. Acad. Sci. Proc. Vol. 3, pp. 277, 278. 

Am. J. Sci. 2nd Ser. Vol. 43, pp. 265-267, 1867. 
1880 The Auriferous Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California. 

Mem. Harvard Mus. Comp. Zool. Vol. VI, 1880. 

SKERTCHLEY, T. B. J. 

1888 On the Occurrence of Stone Mortars in the ancient (Pliocene f) 

River gravels of Butte County, California. Jour. Anth. Inst. 
May, 1888. 

BECKER, GEO. F. 

1891 Antiquities from under Tuolunme Table Mountain in Cali- 
fornia. Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer. Vol. 2, pp. 189-200. 

WRIGHT, GEO. F. 

1891 Prehistoric Man on the Pacific Coast, Atlantic Monthly, April, 

1891, pp. 501-513. 
1892 Discussion of Becker's paper. Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer. Vol. 2, 

p. 200. Man and the Glacial Period, pp. 294-297. 

BLAKE, WM. P. 

1899 The Pliocene Skull of California and the Flint Implements of 
Table Mountain. Jour, of Geol., Vol. 7, pp. 631-637. 

HOLMES, W. H. 

1899 Review of the Evidence Relating to Auriferous Gravel Man in 

California. American Anthropologist. Jan. and October. 
1901 Smithsonian Kept, for 1899, pp. 419-472. Plates I-XVI. 

HRDLlCKA, A. 

1907 Skeletal Remains suggesting or attributed to early Man in North 
America. Bureau Am. Eth. Bull. No. 33, 1907, pp. 21-28, Plate I. 

See also a department circular, "The Department of Anthropology," 
University of California, 1905, p. 16, where a statement is made of the 
results of studies in connection with the Calaveras skull. It was stated 
that the matrix surrounding the skull is unlike the auriferous gravel but 
is like material from caves. 

Issued February 15, 1908. 



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