The Discovery of a Skeleton of Palæolithic Man


DR. CAPITAN and M. Peyrony are to be congratulated on another important discovery of the remains of Palæolithic man on September 17, at Ferrassie, in Dordogne, a locality which has been made famous by the investigations of M. Peyrony during the past decade. Here he has discovered and studied five distinct layers, each containing the artifacts and animal remains of as many well-defined epochs. In ascending order these are:—(1) Acheulian, (2) Mousterian, (3) Lower Aurignacian, (4) Middle Aurignacian, and (5) Upper Aurignacian. The skeleton, which is described by Dr. Capitan in La Nature for December 25, 1909, was found between the layers 1 and 2, and as these and the three upper layers were absolutely intact, it is certain that the remains belong to the Mousterian epoch. The first bones seen were the ends of a tibia and femur, and before excavating further an invitation was sent to a number of French archæologists to witness the exhumation. With infinite care and precautions, an entire skeleton was revealed. It lay on its back, with the trunk turned slightly to the left; the legs were strongly flexed, the knees being turned to the right; the left arm was extended along the side, with the hand at the hip; the right arm was flexed, the hand being near the shoulder, and the head was turned to the left, the mouth being open.


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H., A. The Discovery of a Skeleton of Palæolithic Man . Nature 82, 492 (1910).

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