Let me congratulate you on the formation of this Society. It is high time that here in England we should begin to draw together, in one district at any rate, those who are interesting themselves in the absorbing but difficult study of the early ages of the human race before the dawn of history.
There can be no question but that of late years our country has dropped behind some of its neighbours in the attention paid to the subject, and it is time that we began to wake up. Forty years ago we were in the forefront. Evans was producing his immortal work on the “Ancient Stone Implements of Great Britain.” Christy, in collaboration with his great French confrere Lartet, was carrying out the investigations in the cave deposits of Dordogne which weie the principal foundation for the generalisations of Gabriel de Mortillet, that, with many additions due to French workers, hold their own to-day. Lartet and Christy's work was summed up in the important volume of “Reliquiae Aquitanicae,” published in 1875. Pengelley was carrying on his masterly investigation of the deposits in Kent's Cavern at Torquay; whilst Boyd Dawkins was, with others, digging in Hie caves of Derbyshire and Yorkshire, and proving the existence thus far North of the cave-men of Palaeolithic age, hitherto associated chiefly with the Dordogne district.