Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/775

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climate throughout Europe, in which man would have found conditions most favorable to his development. When, however, we undertake to establish his existence there, we have in evidence only a deposit of sandstone mixed with silicious pebbles, partly disaggregated, which have been submitted to subsequent erosions and atmospheric influences that sufficiently explain the numerous fragments scattered over the ground from which those believed to have been intentionally cut have been sifted after a long search. M. Cazalis de Fondouce, who was a member of the Prehistoric Congress at Lisbon in 1880—a man of acknowledged competence in such matters—visited the miocene beds of Monte Redondo, and justifies his reservation of opinion on the character of the very few flints which it is possible to assimilate with those of the Moustier period, by reference to the denudations and disturbances the beds have suffered. It is not impossible that the stones were cut by man. One of them appears to have been taken from a bed that had not been disturbed; but, if this is admitted, is it not better to wait, than to attempt to solve so great a problem at once and without direct proof? M. de Mortillet is himself wise enough not to affirm directly anything but the authenticity of the instruments. He adds that their small size leads him to believe that the beings that made them, if of proportionate dimensions, were not and could not have been real men. The doubt which he admits respecting the creatures whose intervention he invokes, we extend to the instruments, and wait for the results of future discoveries to resolve it.

Acceptation of these relics as evidences of a tertiary man is made more difficult by the bright light of the following period, which M. de Mortillet calls "Chellean," from the station of Chelles, near Paris, which he regards as typical of it. Man reveals himself in this epoch with an evident industry—primitive, for it presents only a single category of instruments, which are, however, so clearly characterized by their form and size that the most prejudiced mind could not fail to recognize them at once as belonging to the same race. The deposit of Chelles is even more characteristic than that of St. Acheul, where similar instruments have been found in so great numbers. The Elephas antiquus of Falconer, the probable ancestor of the Indian elephant, and the predecessor of the mammoth in Europe, is found exclusively at Chelles, associated with human implements, while at St. Acheul the mammoth is more frequently found, although the other species is not absent. Thus, Chellean man saw two species of elephants merge one into the other. Probably, also, the climate changed insensibly and became colder, without disturbance to his habits or his industry. In the long run, however, the action of the physiological and biological events of which Europe became the theatre had an influence on quaternary man; and the Chellean race, passing into that of Moustier, gradually changed its habits, while it learned to fashion other instruments. There need have been nothing abrupt in this evo-