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Both bespeak human industry. So does the sturdy little tug that is towing a barge laden with orange-coloured railroad-cars. Past them glides swiftly a white steamship, the Princess Charlotte, in her voyage from the terminal city of Vancouver to the capital city of Victoria, and thence to Seattle. To natural charm is added human interest. The scene is suffused with historic memories of the hardy navigators and intrepid traders that explored and developed the Northwest Coast, that sailed around Vancouver Island, and founded the Province of British Columbia.

To Mr. Willard E. The pen-and-ink drawings of the Nonsuch and of the old Fort Victoria were made by Mr. William Goodall from pictures on two Hudson's Bay calendars. Snow's book, In Forbidden Seas. Robert M. My friend, Mr. Charles Westcott, has revised my manuscript, and I am grateful to him for his careful editing. CHAPTER I prehistoric background It is an astounding fact that whereas the footsteps of man's oncoming down the corridors of time could be heard in the Old World Europe, Asia, Africa a million years ago, we have no conclusive evidence for the existence of man on the American continent much more than ten thousand years ago.

The most interesting of these are the fossil bones found by Eugene Dubois at Trinil, in Java, in He named his ancient man Pithecanthropus erectus, because he was pithecoid, or ape-like, and he stood erect. The bones were found in the stratum of a former geologic epoch known as the Pleistocene, which includes the Glacial period of North America.


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The ancestors of Pithecanthropus were the anthropoid apes that existed in the preceding geologic epoch, known as the Pliocene. These have been found fossilized in South Africa.

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Akin to the Javanese hominid is Sinan- thropus pekinensis, or Chinese man, discovered and investigated near Pekin in and by Dr. Davidson Black. The skull and other bones of this ancient creature were found in travertine of early Pleistocene age; so geologically, he was approximately contemporaneous with Pithecan- i Paul Rivet, 'Les Origines de l'homme Americain', p. Previously, in , Sir Arthur S. Woodward had found the fossil remains of a primordial Briton at Piltdown, in Sussex.

He, an ape-like creature, named Eoanthropus, or dawn man, probably was nearly contemporaneous with the Chinese and Javanese hominids. Professor G. Elliot Smith has stated that these remains belong to a time a million years ago. Mention may be made here of the fact that the scarcity of skeletal remains in ancient earth-mounds is due to bacterial action, which causes comparatively quick decay where moisture is available.


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No fossilized bones of man, nor of apes, that could be said confidently to be more than ten thousand years old have been unearthed in the New World. Moreover, the general lack of evidence of human industry in caves is noteworthy. On the American continent therefore man is a recent arrival. Artifacts, such as arrowheads, have been detected in association with the bones of extinct animals, such as the ground- sloth, the mammoth, and the sabre-tooth tiger. This evidence, however, does not carry us as far back in time as might be supposed at first thought, because some, if not all, of these animals became extinct not very long ago, in a historic sense.

In a human skull was found by Californian miners at the bottom of a shaft feet deep in Calaveras county, and a geologist so distinguished as Whitney pronounced4 it to be of Pliocene, if not actually Miocene, age.

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This would make it much more ancient than any similar human relic found anywhere in the world. The discovery provoked eager 2G. Elliot Smith, 'Early Man', p. VI, No. Prehistoric Background 3 discussion, and some ribaldry. The ridicule was warranted, for Holmes in proved that the position of the skull was due to a practical joke.

In it was made known that the bones of an extinct bison Bison taylori of the Ice Age had been uncovered in association with implements of human fabrication at Folsom, in New Mexico. The evidence, however, was inconclusive. It is probable that the bison today frequenting the woods of the Mackenzie River basin, known as Bison athabascae, which is bigger than those of the prairies, represents "the last of that Ice Age bison which early man had hunted in the western plains". One of these was discovered in between the ribs of the supposed extinct bison. Other stone points of the same type were discovered in in association with bones of the musk-ox in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico.

The musk-ox survives in northwestern Canada. The Folsom point, discovered in many localities since then, is an arrowhead that is fluted or grooved on both sides, probably to facilitate hafting.

The fragility caused by the fluting explains the rarity of complete blades. Holmes, Smithsonian Report for , p. Eiseley, The Scientific Monthly, Vol. XVI, p. A similar find was announced from Angus, in Nebraska, as well as at other localities in the States of Kansas and Texas. It must be noted that in none of these cases were human skeletal remains uncovered nor any indications of human existence, such as fire-hearths.

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In the skeleton of a young woman was found near Pelican Rapids, in Minnesota. It was claimed to be as old as the Pliocene bed of silt in which it lay, but Ernst Antevs believes its position to be due to land-sliding or gullying. It was stated that stone artifacts, labelled "knives", but more properly scrapers, had been found under a layer of pumice erupted from Mount Mazama. The deposition of the pumice was placed 10, to 14, years ago. One of them gives years ago as a reasonable estimate. He considers that the Folsom artifacts found at Lindenmeier in Colorado are in a geologic setting that indicates an antiquity of about 25, years.

Moreover, in the Sandia cave in New Mexico the existence of man, as shown by artifacts and hearths, is evident in a layer of breccia older than that containing Folsom artifacts. Thus an antiquity of more than 25, years is inferred. Professor Bryan concludes that "the problem of the antiquity of man has lost its heretofore hypothetical character". Grossman, The Scientific Monthly, January, Prehistoric Background continent is still "hypothetical", because the geologic evidence is either doubtful or inconclusive.

Other supposed evidences of man's antiquity on this continent might be mentioned, but they are all of about the same kind, and unconvincing. One can say that such discoveries of human artifacts "may not be as old as the associated faunal remains and the attending geological conditions would seem to indicate". Such is Nelson's opinion.

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The same distinguished anthropologist says also, after a careful review of the evidence available: "the only conclusion that now seems warranted is that man did not reach the American Continent until some time after, but probably incidental to, the general disruption caused by the last ice-retreat, somewhere between 5, and 10, years ago". The famous asphalt deposits at La Brea, near Los Angeles, from which several thousand skeletons of animals, many of them extinct, have been extricated, contain no spearpoints or other weapons of early man.

This remarkable deposit was described by William Denton in , although the existence of the pools of asphalt was detected by Gaspar de Portola in The deposits may be late Pleistocene, but more probably are Recent, in terms of geology. It is apparent that when an animal became mired in the asphalt it would cry and struggle, thereby luring other animals to the trap. The carnivorous mammals would try to get at the bait and themselves fall into the deadly grasp of the viscous oil. In their turn they would attract others, so that the pool became filled with the bodies of many animals now extinct.

These include the sabre-tooth tiger, the mastodon, the mammoth, and the ground-sloth. A sketch of an elephantine animal resembling a mastodon was found inscribed on a bone the humerus of a rodent in Jacob's cavern, near Pineville, Missouri, in Here apparently man was coeval with the mastodon. The fact that human bones and arrow-points have been discovered in close association with the skeletal remains of extinct animals such as the mammoth and mastodon has prompted many people to infer that man existed on this continent "thousands and thousands of years ago".

That is an unscientific inference.

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The mastodon is believed to have survived to within two or three milleniums of our own day. The bones and also the flesh of mammoths have been found plentifully at a shallow depth in the gold diggings of the Tanana Valley, near Fairbanks, in Alaska. The bones of the camel and the sabre-tooth tiger also have been taken from the overburden of these alluvial deposits.

XXI, p. Tozzer, p. Prehistoric Background 7 [tasted the mammoth flesh, and found it unpleasant. It was too highl Dogs enjoyed it.