Recent Discoveries Attributed to Early Man in America

By Ales Hrdlicka | Go to book overview

RECENT DISCOVERIES ATTRIBUTED TO EARLY MAN IN AMERICA

By ALEŠ HRDLIČKA


INTRODUCTION

SINCE the publication by the writer of critical reviews of previous reports and evidence relating to early man in North and South America,1 only a few newer cases of this nature have accumulated, one or two of which at least demand serious attention.

From South America we have had the report of additional mineralized bones, by Dr. Juan B. Ambrosetti, for which, however, no definite claim of great antiquity has been made.2

There were also several newspaper and other reports, in the name of Carlos Ameghino and by other Argentinian observers, on the finding of a nicely shaped quartzite arrowpoint, of a type well known along the eastern coast, of Argentina, in a femur of "Toxodon chapalmalensis", an animal of Tertiary provenience. The arrowpoint, Ameghino concludes, "was without doubt introduced into the femur by the Tertiary man, contemporary of the Toxodon."3

A much more noteworthy report on the finding of remains of early man in South America was that of the Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911. This report, and that of the same expedition in 1912, resemble and contrast most instructively with the majority of the Argentina reports, and well deserve extended treatment.

From North America we have two remarkable reports relating to man's antiquity: One on the so-called Rancho La Brea man from the asphalt pits of California, pits known as the richest deposits of skeletal remains of Quaternary animals; and the other on the "Vero man" from Florida, whose bones were found in association with those of mastodons, tapirs, and other species from early Quaternary. Both of these finds will also be dealt with in detail in the following pages.

____________________
1
Skeletal Remains Suggesting or Attributed to Early Man in North America, Bull. 33, Bur. Amer. Ethn., 1907; Early Man in South America, Bull. 52, Bur. Amer. Ethn., 1912.
2
Compte-rendu XIV Congr. Intern. d'Anthropologie et d'Archélologie préhist., vol. II, Genéve, 1913; Proc. XVIII Intern. Cong. Americanists, London, 1914, pp. 5-8.
3
Physis, Communicaciones, No. 9, t. 11, pp. 36-39 (no place, no date). Also La Nacion, Nov. 22 and Dec. 27, 1917; and Annales del Museo d'Historia Natural de Buenos Aires, XXVI, pp. 417-450, 1915.

-9-

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Recent Discoveries Attributed to Early Man in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Letter of Transmittal 3
  • Contents 5
  • Illustrations 7
  • Recent Discoveries Attributed to Early Man in America 9
  • The "Ancient Man of Cuzco," Peru 10
  • The la Brea Skeleton, California 17
  • The "Fossil" Man of Vero, Flortda 23
  • Addenda 61
  • Index 67
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