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Worlds Before AdamThe Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform$
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Martin J. S. Rudwick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226731285

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226731308.001.0001

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Men among the mammoths? (1825–30)

Men among the mammoths? (1825–30)

Chapter:
(p.225) Chapter 16 Men among the mammoths? (1825–30)
Source:
Worlds Before Adam
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226731308.003.0017

This chapter considers the question of whether humans co-existed with the extinct “antediluvial” mammals. The discovery of human bones mixed with those of the unmistakably “antediluvial” species suggests that humans had indeed lived among the extinct mammals, but also that the human presence might have continued uninterrupted into historical times, while the fauna was changing by piecemeal extinction. However, although Buckland retained confidence in his diluvial theory, he was explicitly willing to see it modified by accepting that humans might have spread at an early date as far as Europe, before the putative diluvial event overwhelmed the megafauna. Georges Cuvier was more resistant to any modification of his long-standing claim that the event was not only real and decisive, but also that it marked a genuine and sharp boundary between the human world and an earlier one which had been wholly prehuman, at least in Europe.

Keywords:   humans, fauna, antediluvial species, William Buckland, Georges Cuvier, diluvial theory, fossils

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