PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plate 12 from J. Prestwich, 'On the Occurrence of Flint-Implements, Associated with the Remains of Animals of Extinct Species in Beds of a Late Geological Period, in France at Amiens and Abbeville, and in England at Hoxne', Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. The paper that broke the geological time barrier and put men among the mammoths! In 1859 Prestwich followed a lead by Hugh Falconer to check the claims of Boucher de Perthes that the Somme gravels contained human artefacts associated with an extinct megafauna. With friend John Evans he found handaxes in situ and presented his detailed work in this landmark paper. The work rapidly won acceptance (though the details and exact age of the tools long remained unknown). In 1863 the influential geologist Sir Charles Lyell published his book on Human Antiquity supporting the case for a long human chronology.
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