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



IN the section of the valley of the Somme, given at p. 106 (fig. 7), the successive formations newer than the chalk are numbered in chronological order, beginning with the most modern, or the peat, which is marked No. 1, and which has been treated of in the last chapter. Next in the order of antiquity are the lower-level gravels No. 2, which we have now to describe; after which the alluvium, No. 3, found at higher levels, or about eighty and one hundred feet above the river-plain, will remain to be considered.

I have selected, as illustrating the old alluvium of the Somme occurring at levels slightly elevated above the present river, the sand and gravel-pits of Menchecourt, in the northwest suburbs of Abbeville, to which, as before stated, p. 94, attention was first drawn by M. Boucher de Perthes, in his work on Celtic antiquities. Here, although in every adjoining pit some minor variations in the nature and thickness of the superimposed deposits may be seen, there is yet a general approach to uniformity in the series. The only stratum of which the relative age is somewhat doubtful, is the gravel marked a, underlying the peat, and resting on the chalk. It is only known by borings, and some of it may be of the same age as No. 3; but I believe it to be for the most part of more modern origin, consisting of the wreck of all the older gravel, including No. 3, and formed during the last hollowing out and deepening of the valley immediately before the commencement of the growth of peat.