Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/778

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

kind of legendary being, hidden in the deepest forests, an object of curiosity, abundant enough to furnish ivory, and to provoke the man of the time to execute drawings of him. In fact, the man of this age had made great progress. The division of industrial labor had become efficient. The cutting of the flints had attained great perfection and delicacy, and a new branch of industry had been added to it; bone was worked, with ivory and reindeer-horn. Both the instruments and the substances of which they were made were now specialized. We have seen points of javelins and darts artistically worked on both faces, and prepared for handles; the scrapers were no less appropriately fitted to the use to which they were exclusively applied. Of bone were made needles, harpoons, and at last purely ornamental articles, sculptures, and engravings. Some of the representations give us curious details concerning the man and the animals of the epoch. The reindeer, bear, and mammoth were figured. The man is always naked, or appears to be. We distinguish the figure of a woman, whose body seems covered with hair; but this may only indicate garments of skins. One of the figures represents a man walking with a club over his shoulder. Men also become differentiated by localization, and the Magdalenean man offers us one of the earliest instances in Europe of this effect. The Solutrean race, whose spear-heads are so finished, and the more recent and more artistic race of the caves of Perigord, whose simple designs and efforts in sculpture we admire, show us the first essays of that spirit of initiative and of relative progress, which, after localization, conducted some of them to material inventions and ideal conceptions, and by these to the region of that supreme culture of all our faculties which we call civilization.

As M. de Mortillet shows, the man of la Madeleine was a hunter, active, ingenious, and susceptible to sentimental impressions from living nature. He had a home, and joys and sorrows; he held his hunting-feasts, and knew how to procure a kind of enjoyment with the aid of the arts of imitation and ornamentation. He recognized rank and a hierarchy, for he possessed emblems of honor and insignia of command. But this was all. He had no agriculture, no domestic life; and, if those men had any particular way of disposing of their dead, it was by exposure in the open air; and this is probably the reason that so few of their remains are found.

Is there any way in which we can determine the physical traits and osteological structure of this Magdalenean race? The numerous remains found at Cro Magnon in connection with articles of the Magdalenean age were thought to belong to the artistic race of Perigord; but M. de Mortillet discredits this opinion by showing that the places where these remains occur were disturbed in the succeeding period, the Robenhausian, and that the burials, unknown to the Magdaleneans, were practiced by those who came after them.