Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cave-dwelling Palæolithic Man

This race was succeeded by another which dwelt in caves. They, as well as their predecessors, are known as Palæolithic men, as their weapons were still very rude. As, however, they had learnt to make handles for them, they could construct arrows, harpoons, and javelins. They also made awls and needles of stone; and, what is more remarkable, they possessed a decided artistic power, which enabled them to indicate by a few vigorous scratches the forms of horses, mammoths, reindeer, and other animals. Vast heaps of rubbish still exist in various parts of Europe, which are found to consist of the bones, shells, and other refuse thrown out by these later Palæolithic men, who had no reverence for the dead, casting out the bodies of their relations to decay with as little thought as they threw away oyster-shells or reindeer-bones.

Traces of Palæolithic men of this type have been found as far north as Derbyshire. Their descendants are no longer be met with in these islands. The Eskimos of the extreme north of America, however, have the same artistic faculty and the same disregard for the dead, and it has therefore been supposed that the cave-dwelling men were of the race to which the modern Eskimos belong.

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