The Earliest Times

By Frantz Funck-Brentano; E. F. Buckley | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER I
THE PREHISTORIC PERIOD

The territory of Gaul in the primary, secondary and tertiary era: the appearance of man. The divisions of the quaternary era. The quaternary era: the Chellean, Acheulean, Mousterian, Solutrean, Aurignacian, and Magdalenian epochs. The features of each of these epochs. The capital of the prehistoric period, the Eyzies in Dordogne. These six epochs make up the palæolithic, or the chipped stone age, succeeded after a long interval called the hiatus by the neolithic or the polished stone age. The palafittes or lake dwellings. The bronze age followed by the iron age which inaugurated the historic era.

THE territory to-day occupied by France, the boundaries of which have for centuries been unanimously considered to be the Rhine, the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic, has from the earliest times undergone certain transformations which geologists have made it their task to describe. This long period of formation has been divided by them into four epochs, each of which lasted several milleniums, and which they called the primary era, in which the continents first appeared and outside Europe a few chains of mountains were formed; the secondary era, characterised by a great extension of the sea in southern Europe and the emergence of the northern regions out of the waters; and the tertiary era when the waters once more covered the soil of Gaul, but when the central mountain mass stood out like an island, extending from the Morvan mountains in the north to the Montagne Noir and the Lacaune mountains in the south, and from west to east from the Limousin to the Cevennes. In the south, the Pyrenees reared their crests, and the Alps arose in the east. A second island then came to light--Brittany, to which were added the islands of Normandy, followed by a third, the Vosges. What we know

Prehistoric Gaul.

B

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