De Perthes' (1788-1868) geological and archaeological excavations in the Somme Valley contributed to the scientific discussion on human evolution. 1600 b/w illus.
Amateur geologist and archaeologist, Boucher de Perthes (1788-1868) was the first to establish the existence of man in Europe in the Pleistocene period. Although his three-volume work resulted from over ten years of excavations in the gravel pits of the Somme Valley, Boucher de Perthes' assertions were doubted by contemporaries. His conclusion was based on the simultaneous discovery of flint tools and human remains. These doubts appeared justified when a human jaw uncovered during one of his excavations turned out to be a hoax. De Perthes' findings later received support from the British Royal Society, sparking an explosion of scientific research on evolution. De Perthes was elected an officer of the Legion d'Honneur, and served as President of the Societe d'Emulation d'Abbeville (Competitiveness Society) for seventeen years. Volume 1 reports the findings of excavations from 1837 to 1846. Published in Paris in 1847, it includes 80 illustrative plates.
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