Description of Parts of a Human Skeleton from Pleistocene (Paleolithic) Bed, Tilbury, Essex

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                                Par) Bones which have parted with a proportion of their original 
gelatine and have received additions in a degree which has 
led to their being termed ‘fossil’, have, it is true, been associated 
with the oldest forms of stone tools: but such bones have been 
of extinct kinds of <u>Carnivora <\u>, of <u>Ruminantia <\u>, of <u>Proboscidia <\u>,
quadrupeds which roamed over the land since insulated as Britain,
and which were the chief sources of food to the savages who
made and wielded those palaeolithic implements; but not
the only sources. The evidence yielded by the present skeleton of the great share taken by 
the teeth in comminuting the food and fitting it for deglutition 
and digestion, begets speculation as to the kinds of nutriment 
necessitating this exercise of the natural instruments. The best 
of these, viz., the true grinders with their multiplied roots 
crowns, and square, ridged, triturating surfaces, have been worn out, ground 
down to the stumps, and these, with their sockets, were, at last, as we 
[have] seen, removed by absorption. The smooth unbroken surface of the 
[ma]ndibular molar tract tells us plainly that <s>the <\s> our old palaeolithic Man went 
on labouring for his subsistence after the loss of his grinders; and 
that he put such teeth as remained to their utmost triturating 
powers. The tools he manufactured enabled him to kill the 
big beasts, bisons and musk-oxen, &c. which came to the bank of his river to quench their 
thirst. He may have obtained the prize of a Mammoth by 
artificial pitfalls, such as the lowest tribe of Negros which Living-
stone tarried awhile with on the banks of the Zambesi, practised 
to entrap the African <u>Loxodon <\u>, which they then attacked & slew 
with 
                            
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Manuscript details

Author
Richard Owen
Reference
AP/62/6
Series
AP
Date
1883
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Description of Parts of a Human Skeleton from Pleistocene (Paleolithic) Bed, Tilbury, Essex, 1883. From The Royal Society, AP/62/6

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