Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/607

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NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

mankind in the Nile Valley was going through the same slow progress from the period when, standing just above the brutes, he defended himself with implements of rudely chipped stone.

But in 1881 came discoveries which settled the question entirely. In that year General Pitt-Rivers, a Fellow of the Royal Society and President of the Anthropological Institute, and J. F. Campbell, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of England, found implements not only in alluvial deposits, associated with the bones of the zebra, hyena, and other animals which have since retreated farther south, but, at Djebel Assas, near Thebes, they found implements of chipped flint in the hard, stratified gravel, from six and a half to ten feet below the surface; relics evidently, as Mr. Campbell says, "beyond calculation older than the oldest Egyptian temples and tombs." They certainly proved that Egyptian civilization had not issued in its completeness, and all at once, from the hand of the Creator in the time of Menes. Thus was ended the contention of Mr. Southall.

Still another attack upon the new scientific conclusions came from France, when in 1883 the Abbé Hamard, Priest of the Oratory, published his Age of Stone and Primitive Man. He had been especially stirred up by the arrangement of prehistoric implements by periods at the Paris Exposition of 1878; he bitterly complains of all these as having an anti-Christian tendency, and rails at science as "the idol of the day." He attacks Mortillet, one of the leaders in French archæology, with a great display of contempt; speaks of the "venom" in books on prehistoric man generally; complains that the Church is too mild and gentle with such monstrous doctrines; bewails the concessions made to science by some eminent preachers, and foretells his own martydom at the hands of men of science.

Efforts like these accomplished little, and a more legitimate attempt was made to resist the conclusions of archæology in Egypt by showing that knives of stone were used in obedience to a sacred ritual in Egypt for embalming and in Judea for circumcision, and that these flint knives might have had this later origin. But the argument against this view was triple: First, as we have seen, not only stone knives, but axes and other implements of stone similar to those of a prehistoric period in western Europe were discovered; secondly, these implements were discovered in the hard gravel drift of a period evidently far earlier than that of Menes; and, thirdly, the use of stone implements in Egyptian and Jewish sacred functions, so far from weakening the force of the arguments for the long and slow development of Egyptian civilization from the men who used rude flint implements to the men who built and adorned the great temples of the early dynasties, is really an argument in favor of that long evolution. A study of