1860 Perthes handaxes, Abbeville, Amiens

1860 Perthes handaxes, Abbeville, Amiens

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fine lithographic plate with tinting according to the text, of "Predominant forms of flint implements found in the valley of the Somme" from "Artefacta Antiquissima - Geology in its Relation to Primeval Man" by Henry Duckworth, Liverpool printer, 1860. This is one of the first publications to consider Boucher de Perthes, Evans and Prestwich's argument for human antiquity on the basis of their discoveries of in-situ handaxes with extinct megafauna in the drift gravels of the Somme. While Boucher de Perthes' illustrations were poor, and Evan's rather too stylized, this print gave the best impression of what the flints actually looked like. On the question of men among the mammoths, Duckworth himself concludes here, "that the wiser course by far is to exercise that habit of mind which a reviewer of Mr. Darwin's work 'on the Origin of Species' has recommended - doubt".

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Keywords: abbeville, amiens, antiquity, artwork, biface, boucher, de perthes, discovery, evans, first, flint implement, france, handaxe, human antiquity, illustration, man, prestwich, somme, stone tools

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