exploration of the cave of Brixham near Torquay in 1858 proved that man was coeval with the extinct mammalia, and in the following year additional proof was offered by the implements that were found in Wookey Hole. Similar remains have been met with in the caves explored since that time in Wales, and in England as far north as Derbyshire (Creswell), proving that palaeolithic man hunted the mammoth and rhinoceros and other extinct animals over the whole of southern and middle England.
The discoveries in Kent’s Hole and in the Creswell caves prove further that palaeolithic man was in two stages of civilization—the ruder or riverdrift man, with implements of the type found in the river gravels (see Archaeology; and Palaeolithic) being the older; and the more highly advanced, or the cave-man, mainly characterized by the better implements, and a singular facility in depicting animal life (as shown by the figure of a horse incised on the fragment of a bone found in the Creswell caves), being the newer. We may also conclude from the absence of palaeolithic implements from the glaciated regions in which most of these caves occur, that both riverdrift and cave-men dwelt in middle and northern Britain in the pre-glacial age, their remains being protected in the caverns from the denuding forces that removed all traces of their existence from the surface of the ground in glacial and post-glacial times. The riverdrift man is, however, proved to be post-glacial in southern and eastern England, by the occurrence of his implements in the river gravels of that age. Both these peoples inhabited southern England and the continent before and after the glacial period. The riverdrift man, whose implements occur in river deposits in middle and southern Europe, in Africa, Palestine and Hindustan, is everywhere in the same age of primitive barbarism, and has not as yet been identified with any living race. The cave-men are in a higher and more advanced stage, and led a life in Europe identical with that of the Eskimos in the Arctic regions.
The Pleistocene Caves of the European Continent.—The researches of Mortillet have proved that the same two groups of cave-dwellers occur in the caves of France, the older being represented by the Chelléen and Moustérien sections, and the newer by that of Solutré and La Madelaine. To the former belong the human remains found in the caverns of Spy and Neanderthal, which prove that the riverdrift man had “the most brutal of all known human skulls.” To the latter we must assign all the caves and rock-shelters of Périgord, with the better implements, explored by Lartet and Christy in 1863–1864 in the valleys of the Vézère and Dordogne. These offer as vivid a picture of the life of the cave-men as that revealed of Italian manners in the 1st century by the buried cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. The old floors of human occupation consist of broken bones of animals killed in the chase, mingled with rude implements and weapons of bone and unpolished stone, and with charcoal and burnt stones, which indicate the position of the hearths. Flakes without number, awls, lance-heads, hammers and saws made of flint rest pêle-mêle with bone needles, sculptured reindeer antlers, arrowheads and harpoons, and bones of the reindeer, bison, horse, ibex, Saiga antelope and musk sheep. These singular accumulations of débris mark the places where the ancient hunters lived, and are merely the refuse cast aside. The reindeer formed by far the greater portion of the food, and must have lived in enormous herds at that time in the centre of France. From this, as well as from the presence of the most arctic of the herbivores, the musk sheep, we may infer the severe climate of that portion of France at that time. Besides these animals the cave bear and lion have been met with in one, and the mammoth in five localities, and their remains bear marks of cutting or scraping which showed they fell a prey to the hunters. The most remarkable remains left behind in these refuse heaps are the sculptured reindeer antlers and figures engraved on fragments of schist and on ivory. A well-defined outline of an ox stands out boldly from one piece of antler; a second represents a reindeer kneeling down in an easy attitude with his head thrown up in the air so that the antlers rest on the shoulders, and the back forms an even surface for a handle, which is too small to be grasped by an ordinary European hand; in a third a man stands close to a horse’s head, and on the other side of the same cylinder are two heads of bisons drawn with sufficient clearness to ensure recognition by any one who has seen that animal. On a fourth the natural curvature of one of the tines has been taken advantage of by the artist to engrave the head and the characteristic recurved horns of the ibex; and on a fifth horses are represented with large heads, upright dishevelled manes and shaggy ungroomed tails. The most striking figure is that of the mammoth engraved on a fragment of its own tusk; the peculiar spiral curvature of the tusk and the long mane, which are now not to be found in any living elephant, prove that the original was familiar to the eye of the artist. These drawings probably employed the idle hours of the hunter, and hand down to us the scenes which he witnessed in the chase. They are full of artistic feeling and are evidently drawn from life. The mammoth is engraved in its own ivory, and the reindeer and the stag on their respective antlers. Further researches have revealed the fact that in Auvergne and in the Pyrenees the cave-men ornamented some of their caves with incised figures and polychrome frescoes of the wild animals. Rivière has discovered on the walls of the grotto of La Mouthe (Dordogne) three large hunting scenes, one with bisons and horses, a second representing a primitive hut, a bison, reindeer, ibex and mammoth, and a third with a mammoth, hinds and horses. In the Pyrenees similar frescoes have been described by Cartailhac and Breuil. They are on the walls of the cavern and roof of Altamira, and on the walls of Marsoulas. The outlines have been engraved first, and afterwards filled in with colour in brown and red ochre and black oxide of manganese.
The cave-men ranged over middle Europe as far south as the Pyrenees and the Alps, and inhabited the caverns of Belgium and Germany, Hungary and Switzerland. Their remains have not as yet been met with in southern Europe. They lived by hunting and fishing, they were fire users, and lit up the darkness of their caves with stone lamps filled with fat (Altamira). They were clad in skins sewn together with sinews of reindeer or strips of intestines. They used huts as well as caves for habitation. They had a marvellous facility for drawing animal figures. They possessed no domestic animals, nor were they acquainted with spinning or with the potter’s art. We have no evidence that they buried their dead—the interments, such as those of Aurignac, Les Eyzies and Mentone, most probably belonging to a later age.
If these remains be compared with those of existing races, it will be found that the cave-men were in the same hunter stage of civilization as the Eskimos, and that they are unlike any other races of hunters. If they were not allied to the Eskimos by blood, there can be no doubt that they handed down to the latter their art and their manner of life. The bone needles, and many of the harpoons, as well as the flint spearheads, arrowheads and scrapers, are of precisely the same form as those now in use amongst the Eskimos. The artistic designs from the caves of France, Belgium and Switzerland, are identical in plan and workmanship with those of the Eskimos, with this difference only, that the hunting scenes familiar to the Palaeolithic cave-dwellers were not the same as those familiar to the inhabitants of the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Each represented the animals which he knew, and the whale, walrus and seal were unknown to the inland dwellers of Aquitaine, just as the mammoth, bison and wild horse are unknown to the Eskimos. The reindeer, which they both knew, is represented in the same way by both. The practice of accumulating large quantities of the bones of animals round their dwelling-places, and the habit of splitting the bones for the sake of the marrow, are the same in both. The hides were prepared with the same sort of instruments, and the needles with which they were sewn together are of the same pattern. The stone lamps were used by both. In both there was the same disregard of sepulture. All these facts can hardly be mere coincidences caused by both peoples leading a savage life under similar conditions. The conclusion, therefore, seems inevitable that, so far as we have any evidence of the race to which the cave-dwellers belong, that evidence points only in the direction