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Prehistoric stone tools, 1860s research

Prehistoric stone tools, 1860s research

C028/9513

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Prehistoric stone tools, 1860s research. Illustrations titled 'Flint implements' showing handaxes from Hoxne, Abbeville and Amiens. This is from the groundbreaking paper by British geologist Joseph Prestwich that pushed back the period of human ancestry to the time of 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 John Evans he found handaxes in situ and presented his detailed work in this landmark paper. The work rapidly won acceptance. In 1863 the influential geologist Sir Charles Lyell published his book on Human Antiquity supporting the case for a long human chronology. This is plate 14 from Prestwich's paper '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', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 150, 277–317 (1860).

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