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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: August 2010
  • First published in: 1863

CHAPTER XIII - CHRONOLOGICAL RELATIONS OF THE GLACIAL PERIOD AND THE EARLIEST SIGNS OF MAN'S APPEARANCE IN EUROPE

Summary

THE chronological relations of the human and glacial periods were frequently alluded to in the last chapter, and the sections obtained near Bedford (p. 164), and at Hoxne, in Suffolk (p. 168), and a general view of the Norfolk cliffs, have taught us that the earliest signs of man's appearance in the British Isles, hitherto detected, are of post-glacial date, in the sense of being posterior to the grand submergence of England beneath the waters of the glacial sea. But long after that period, when nearly the whole of England North of the Thames and Bristol Channel lay submerged for ages, the bottom of the sea, loaded with mud and stones melted out of floating ice, was upheaved, and glaciers filled for a second time the valleys of many mountainous regions. We may now therefore inquire whether the peopling of Europe by the human race and by the, mammoth and other mammalia now extinct, was brought about during this concluding phase of the glacial epoch.

Although it may be impossible in the present state of our knowledge to come to a positive conclusion on this head, I know of no inquiry better fitted to clear up our views respecting the geological state of the northern hemisphere at the time when the fabricators of the flint implements of the Amiens type flourished. I shall therefore now proceed to consider the chronological relations of that ancient people with the final retreat of the glaciers from the mountains of Scandinavia, Scotland, Wales, and Switzerland.

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