Archaeology (Gr. ancient things, and discourse), the science of antiquities, and especially of human antiquities in general. The primeval period of man has been divided into the stone, the bronze, and the iron ages. Sir John Lubbock, in his " Introduction " to Nilsson's " Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia," subdivides the stone age into the palaeolithic and neolithic, the former the older and the one in which the stone implements are not polished, as they are in the latter. The antiquities of this epoch are found in beds of loam and gravel extending along the river valleys of central Europe (the loess), sometimes 200 feet above the present water level; they were evidently deposited by existing rivers, which ran then as now and drained the same areas; they contain no marine remains, and each valley is characterized by fragments of the rocks in its special area. The geography of western Europe was very much the same as now, the only variations being in the ever-changing coast line and the depths of the river valleys. The animals then living were the hairy mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and most of the existing mammals, especially tigers, hyaenas, and bears, ruminants and rodents, of very great size.
The climate was then colder than now, as the musk ox, woolly pachyderms, reindeer, and lemming extended to the south of France. It must have taken a very long time for the extinction of these large mammalia; there is not the most vague tradition of their presence in western Europe, and there are no marks of sudden destructive cataclysms. It must have required many centuries for rivers to excavate their valleys more than 200 feet. The presence of. man is indicated at this period in western Europe by his bones and implements of un polished flint, without pottery or any of the metals; similar implements have been found in the caves of France and Spain. (See Bone Caves.) From all the evidence collected by the above-named authors, it would seem that the people then living in the south of France resembled the Esquimaux of the present day, their chief food being the flesh of the reindeer; they were ingenious workers in flint, bone, and horn, and fond of making rude drawings, on the horn of the mammoth and other existing animals. A cold climate is also indicated by their habit of allowing bones and offal to, accumulate in and near their cave dwellings.
The cave period is probably less ancient than," the gravel epoch, and, from the abundance of, their remains, is often called the "reindeer" period. In the Reliquiae Aquitanicœ, by Messrs. Lartet and Christy, there is a full account of the archaeology of the old stone age, as exhibited in the south of France, especially in the caves in the valley of the Dordogne and of Cro-Magnon and Moustier. These caves belong to the age of simply worked stone, without the accompaniment of domestic animals or implements of polished stone; bones of the reindeer are abundant, and the coexistence of man with this animal in latitudes so much lower than its present habitat implies a certain degree of elevation above savages, as not only food, clothing, and implements, but materials for ornamentation were obtained from it. In the earlier gravel period, the mammoth, rhinoceros, horse, and ox predominate, the reindeer prevailing in the Dordogne caves, but in neither are found remains of the dog, goat, and sheep; the same is true of the gravels and caves in' England, in central France, and in South Wales. Birds and fishes, especially the salmon, were eaten; and everything shows that food was not so scarce as to demand any struggle for existence.
The domestic economy of these early races is shown by their hearths, boiling stones, rough hammers, and hollowed dish-like pebbles; there is a total absence of pottery. The remarkable similarity of the stone implements from different parts of the world is worthy of notice; this form of primitive industry has been traced in Europe from Greece to Scandinavia, and from the Atlantic coast to the steppes of Russia; in Asia, it appears from Palestine to the Malay archipelago, in India and Japan, and on the shores of the Arctic ocean; in America, from Behring strait to the plateau of Mexico, from Colombia to the Atlantic, from Peru to Tierra del Fuego, along the valley of the Amazon and its tributaries, in central Brazil, and in the West Indies; and the ancient weapons resemble those now used by the natives of New Caledonia and the Esquimaux. M. Pruner-Bey, from the examination of skeletons found in the cave of Cro-Magnon, maintains that the crania of the reindeer age, which he calls Mongoloid, belong to a double series, one approaching the Lapp and the other the Finn of the present day; the skulls of the Dordogne caves, different from both these, he refers to the Esthonian type.
From the low and projecting bony palate, he thinks the language of the cave dwellers was neither Aryan nor Semitic, but analogous to that of the Finnish races. He concludes that they had massive bones, long and flat feet, comparatively short arms and long forearms, with powerful muscles, greatly developed jaws, widely opened nostrils, and were of unbridled passions. Prof. Broca found the human thigh bones in their width approaching those of the highest apes, and a remarkable transverse flattening of the tibia; the ascending branch of the lower jaw was very wide, and the cranial capacity equal to that of high races of the present day. In reply to M. Broca, M. Quatre-fages cautions anthropologists against too hastily giving undue significance to assumed agreements between fossil man and apes, from any preconceived views of the origin and descent of the human race. - The neolithic or polished-stone age was separated by a considerable in-terval of time from the old stone age. Many thousand polished-stone implements are collected in the museums of northern Europe and America; they are not found in the river-drift gravels, and are especially abundant in Denmark and Sweden, while the ruder implements of the palaeolithic age are unknown there, in dicating that these northern countries were not inhabited during the earlier period.