Research Items


    EARLY MAN IN AMERICA.—In the Scientific American for August, Mr. Harold J. Cook returns once more to the question of the antiquity of man in America. He recepinates the circumstances of the discovery of the Nebraska tooth in the tertiary deposits of the divide between the North Platte and Niobrara Rivers near the Agate Spring Fossil Quarries. These de posits were discovered by the writer and Dr. W. D. Matthew in 1908 and have proved rich in mammalian remains of tertiary age, some showing distinct re lationship with Asiatic forms. Fresh discoveries were made year by year until the owner of the land ordered the work to stop. Work by Mr. Albert Thompson, of the American Museum of Natural History, on an adjacent ranch produced from among the remains of a characteristic pliocene fauna evi dences of human culture in the form of artefacts of green bone of contemporary animals. Of these implements some are drilled, many shaped or sharp ened in various forms, while others have been used for pounding. Such is the result of a preliminary critical study by Prof. Fairfield Osborn and Mr. Thompson. The resemblance of these implements to those of modern Indian workmanship has already been pointed out. In January last investigations were begun on a site farther south at Frederick, Oklahoma, on a ridge of sand and gravels lying on the eroded surface of Permian Period Red Beds. The geological evidence shows that the top of the highest hill in this area was once the bed of a river. It is now one hundred feet above valley level and two hundred and eighty feet above the present Red River. Three periods of deposition on the old Red Bed floor are shown. In Bed A, associated with typical pleistocene animal remains were stone implements made by man, showing a degree of culture comparable with that of the modern Indian nomads of the plains. This evidence would, therefore, support the view that the Indian has changed little over a very long period of time, and meet the arguments of those who refuse a high antiquity to the Indian on account of the modern character of the remains, skeletal or other. This discovery is dated tentatively at a period of 365,000 years ago and affords the most conclusive evidence of Glacial Age man yet found in America.

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    Research Items. Nature 120, 273–275 (1927).

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