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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/91

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EARLIEST EVIDENCES OF MAN IN FRANCE.

faces, showing a set of primary and secondary drippings or flakings. Their edges are sharp, not water-worn, and, as Ameghino states, they were evidently shaped by the early paleolithic workmen on the bed where they occur. Probably several hundred of these axes have been taken from these pits. Ameghino states that he possessed over a hundred of them.

With these axes sometimes occur long rude flakes ('lames'), knife-like, sharp on one edge, struck off from the flint core by percussion. No skin-scrapers (racloirs and grattoirs) or rude spear-points have ever occurred in these beds. No human bones or teeth have ever been found in these deposits, either here or at St. Acheul, and apparently nowhere else, unless we except the human molars claimed by Nehring to be of Chellean type. These are two very large molar teeth resembling in some respects those of the chimpanzee and found in the mid-Pleistocene drift of Taubach near Weimar.

At all events man as man lived here, and what manner of beasts were his contemporaries? They were in nearly every case representatives of species now extinct. Bones and teeth of the straight-tusked elephant (Elephas antiquus) and of the megarhine or big-nosed rhinoceros, are not infrequent; we obtained fragments from the workmen, and picked up some in the debris at the bottom of the pit.

The remains of other mammals are less common. Ameghino enumerates besides those mentioned, the bones and teeth of the hippopotamus, of a beaver-like rodent (Trogontherium, also found in the preglacial beds of St. Prest, Durfort, etc.), of an ox, of a horse (perhaps Equus sienonis), and an extinct deer different from the reindeer. This deer is probably the same as Cervus belgrandi found in beds of the same age and nature at Montreuil, where its bones are associated with the straight-tusked elephant (E. antiquus) and Rhinoceros merckii. Ameghino also found at Chelles two canine teeth of the cave bear. As to the numerous molars of the horse (we found two) Ameghino states that they differ from those of the modern horse (Equus caballus) frequently occurring in the later Quaternary and are allied to the Tertiary species called Equus stenonis. Since the date when his paper appeared Steno's horse has been referred to the lower Pleistocene, a time of transition to the Pliocene Tertiary, and most probably, according to Osborn, represented by the forest beds of Norfolk, England, and the equivalent beds of St. Prest, Durfort, and other localities in France. In fresh-water beds of this horizon occur also remains of the cave-bear, cave-hyaena, saber-toothed tiger, musk ox, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros etruscus, Trogontherium cuvieri, of an otter, and of two species of elephant, Elephas meridionalis, supposed to have been the ancestor of the mammoth (E. primigenius) and Elephas antiquus.