The Antiquity of Man

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BEFORE your readers accept the statements of Messrs. Evans and Hughes respecting my discovery of flint tools beneath the great chalky boulder-clay, as announced in NATURE last year, may I ask them to remember that as yet I have not published the evidence upon which I founded my statement? The delay has arisen from official and other causes; and although my paper is now written, it is, I have just learned, too late for reading during the present session at the Geological Society. Neither of the two gentlemen named is aware of the extent of my evidence, for I have not, as yet, told any one about it, except the two geolists mentioned below. As I shall show, there are now known to me about forty localities in which the brick-earths in question occur, and in most of them their relation to the boulder-clay is very clear; and even in the two or three spots in which that rock is not seen in the actual section, it overlies the implement beds near by on the same outcrop. The brick-earths have naturally suffered much denudation by the boulder-clay, and I have a splendid series of sections showing every phase from almost undisturbed material beneath the boulder-clay to small fragments (boulders, in fact) in that deposit. I wish, also, to state, that instead of four implements from two localities, as originally announced, I know at present nearly 150 from six different spots. The evidence is so clear and overwhelming when seen en masse, that it must be convincing to all who carefully weigh it. The boulder-clay which overlies the brick-earths in question is part and parcel of the great mass of the chalky boulder-clay, a formation which I have spent eight years in examining in the field almost daily, of which I have mapped about 2,000 square miles, and upon which I feel quite competent to form an opinion.

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SKERTCHLY, S. The Antiquity of Man. Nature 16, 142 (1877) doi:10.1038/016142a0

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