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works, a similar deposit of bones was discovered in the beginning of the year 1867. I found on examination that large oaken piles had been driven into the gravel which anciently formed the bottom of the Thames, and that a quantity of brushwood, principally of willow, had been pressed in between them. On the top was a large quantity of bones, broken more or less for food, and belonging principally to Bos longifrons. The whole was covered with alluvium from four to five feet in thickness. It is very probable in this case that the piles are the remains of dwellings somewhat similar to those in the Swiss lakes. There were, however, no fragments of pottery and no implements, the only human remains being some of the long bones.
We will now pass on to the consideration of the pre-historic caverns in Britain which have afforded traces of the abode of
In 1859 I explored a small cave at the head of Cheddar pass in Somersetshire. The mammalia found in it consisted of the wolf, fox, badger, wild boar, goat, roebuck, Bos longifrons, and horse. A human skull, also from this cave, is preserved in the Oxford Museum, which is very well developed, and may have belonged to a person of considerable capacity. During the exploration of caverns in Somersetshire by Mr. Sanford and myself, in 1863,* a second cavern of pre-historic age came before our notice, also in the mountain limestone of the Mendip range in Burrington Combe, abont twelve miles from Bristol. It was situated high up in the ravine, and was very nearly blocked up with earth mingled with charcoal. It contained a large quantity of the remains of Bos longifrons, reddeer, goat, wolf, fox, badger, rabbit, and hare. In the lower portion of the cave we disinterred fragments of a rude urn of the coarsest black ware, devoid of ornament, and with the rim turned at right angles, together with a piece of bent iron, which more closely resembles those found strengthening the angles of wooden chests in Roman graves on the banks of the Somme than anything else we have seen. The accumulation of bones and charcoal prove that the cave was inhabited by man for some considerable time. The interment is clearly of a later date than the occupation, because it is made in the mass of earth, bones, and charcoal which resulted from the latter. The interval between the two is of doubtful length. In the same year we explored another cavern in the same ravine, which consisted of two large chambers connected together by two passages not more than a few inches high. The natural entrance, but a little larger than a fox-hole, was in the roof of the first chamber, and through this we had to let ourselves down into the cave. Subsequently we blasted a second entrance. The first chamber was at least half full of broken rocks, covered with a mortar-like mass of decomposing stalagmite. Underneath them was a group of four skulls, one of which belonged to the Bos longifrons, two others were those of a species of the goat tribe, approaching more closely to the Aegoceros Caucasica of Asia, than any other recent species in the oval section of the horncores, in their parallelism to one another, and their slight backward curvature. We have met with a similar form in a refuse heap in Richmond in Yorkshire,* and in the disturbed soil on which London stands, and M. Lartét writes me that he has detected it in a cave in the Pyrenees. In the absence, however, of the necessary materials for comparison from the museums of London, Oxford, and Paris, I do not feel justified in proposing a new specific name. The fourth skull belonged to the pig, and had a round hole in the frontals rather larger than a forin, which had the appearance of being made by human hands.
* “Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archæological and Natural History Society.” 1864.
The presence of the lower jaws with the skulls indicates that they were deposited in the cavern while the ligaments still bound them together. They were all more or less covered with decaying stalagmite. The outer chamber was remarkable for the absence of earth of any kind, except underneath the hole in the roof, where there was a very little; while the inner one, running in the same slope, has its lower end entirely blocked up by a fine red earth, deposited by a stream which flows during heavy rains. Between the stones on the floor were numerous bones and teeth of wolf, fox, mole, arvicola, badger, bat, along with a metacarpal of red-deer and the remains of birds. How the animal remains were introduced, for they exhibit no marks of gnawing, and there are no frag. ments of charcoal in the cave, or any other traces of altogether a matter of conjecture: but the fact of finding the skulls in one group, coupled with the presence of the hole in the frontal of the pig, leads us to believe that they have been introduced by the hand of man. The entrance was far too small to admit of an ox falling into the cave by accident, and scarcely large enough for a goat or deer to squeeze themselves through ; had they been brought in by wolf or fox they would have exhibited marks of teeth.
In 1863 Mr. James Parker explored a cave in the limestone cliffs at Uphill, near Weston-super-Mare, and obtained human skulls and bones, along with rude pottery and charcoal. I have determined the presence of the following animals :the wild cat, wolf, fox, badger, Bos longifrons, pig, red-deer, dog, and water-rat.
Most of the remains belong to young Quarterly Geological Journal.” November, 1865.
animals, and some are gnawed by dogs, wolves, or foxes. The Heatheryburn cave, in Yorkshire, explored by Mr. John Elliot in 1862,* yielded, besides the remains of man, those of the otter, badger, goat, roe-deer, hog, and water-rat.
In the following table I have arranged the animals found associated with man with those found in the most modern of all the stratified deposits, the peat and alluvium, classing with the latter all those animals now living in Britain which have been found in pleistocene deposits, and which also must have lived, therefore, in the pre-historic period. I have also added a list of the animals living in Britain whilo it was a Roman colony and those alive now.
TABLE OF BRITISH PRE-HISTORIC MAMMALIA,
Geologist's Magazine.” 1862.
I have chosen these caverns as representing the pre-historie fauna of Great Britain. I might have quoted others, such as Kent's Hole, which, having been open during pleistocene and pre-historic times, contains the animals that were then alive, the former at a lower level than the latter; or the Paviland Cave, described by Dr. Buckland, in which the remains of both periods were mixed. I have, however, given a sufficient number of examples to prove how far the pre-historic differed from the post-glacial fauna. These pre-historie mammalia, associated with the remains of man, are also found along with others in the peat-bogs, so that by putting the two groups together we can form an adequate idea of the entire group of animals that inhabited Britain from the disappearance of the post-glacial mammals down to the time of the Roman invasion.
The correspondence of the animals found with man with those taken from the peat-bog and alluvium, and from certain of the more modern caverns, proves that geologically they belong to the same pre-historic epoch. The cave-bear, cavelion, and cave-hyæna had vanished away, along with the whole group of pachyderms, and of all the extinct animals, but one, the Irish elk, was still surviving. This animal, indeed, is much rarer in England than in Ireland, in which latter country it seems to have lingered after its extinction in the former
. According to some of the Irish savants it was destroyed by the hand of man. The reindeer still lived on; and its presence proves that the pre-historic climate was more severe in Britain than that under which we now live. As the pre-historic is remarkable for the absence of many of the animals of the preceding period, so is it characterized by the presence of others of a totally distinct character. The sheep, the goat, and the Bos longifrons appear for the first time; they are widely spread through and highly characteristic of all the deposits. With reference to the latter of these animals I am obliged to differ from the views of Professor Owen, who considers that it is also of post-glacial age. An analysis, however, of all the evidence that there is upon the subject, compels me to believe that the animal has not yet been found in any deposit of that age in Britain.* Before the invasion of the Romans it was kept in great herds by the pre-historic folk, and is found universally in their tumuli and places of habitation. During the Roman occupation it was not supplanted by any other breed of oxen, as Professor Owen suggests, for its broken bones, teeth, and horncores in the refuse heaps of every Roman town and station in Britian, prove that it alone of the oxen, was the food of the provincials. On the landing of the Saxons it disappeared
“Quart. Geol. Journal.” 1867. Brit. Foss. Oxen, Part. ii.
from the portion of the country conquered by them, and now lives in the smaller breeds of Wales and Scotland, where the Romanised Kelts took refuge.
About that time also it was supplanted by a larger breed probably brought over from Friesland, the home of the Saxon invader. Whence the sheep and goat and Bos longifrons came is a question I will not dare to enter upon ; but all of them appear simultaneously in Britain, and all are associated with man. It seems to be highly probable that they were introduced by him into our island. The true elk was very rare, and has left its remains only in one place—in Newcastle in a subturbary deposit. The red-deer had vastly increased in numbers since the post-glacial epoch, and very nearly replaced the rein-deer. Its remains, however, show the effect that a more limited range had on the development of the antlers. In post-glacial times, while England formed part of the mainland of Europe, they were very large; in pre-historic times after Britain became insulated they were smaller. A decrease of size is also noticeable in those used for food in the time of the Romans, while a minimum is reached in those which are now living in certain restricted parts of England and Scotland. The wolf and fox were very abundant, but the brown bear was by no means common.
We will now pass on to the comparison of the pre-historic animals with those living in Britain at the time it was subject to the Roman power, and with those which are living at the present day. The Irish and the true elk had disappeared from Britain before the landing of the Roman legions; with these exceptions all the animals still lived on. To the Romans we are probably indebted for a new species of deer, the fallowdeer; for it has never been found in any post-glacial or pre-historic deposit, while in refuse heaps of Roman age it is by no means uncommon. At all events its presence in Britain dates from the arrival of the Romans. After this time in proportion as civilization increased on the haunts of the wild animals, they disappeared one by one from before the face of man. The last historical notice we have of the beaver is that afforded by Geraldus Cambrensis in the year 1188, when he met with it in the river Teivy, in Cardiganshire, on his tour through Wales to collect volunteers for the first Crusade. The brown bear became extinct in the year 1037, if there be any truth in a legend of the Gordon family in Scotland. The wolf, which was sufficiently abundant in Sussex to eat up the corpses of the Saxons left on the field of Hastings by Duke William
“Vermibus atque lupis avibus canibusque voranda
Deserit Anglorum corpora strata solo," lingered on in England until 1306, in Scotland until 1680, and