Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM
LYELL’S GEOLOGICAL EVIDENCES OF THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN: AN ICON BUT LESS THAN A MODEL
The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863) by Sir Charles Lyell (1797 – 1875) is frequently considered the iconic origin of the discipline of archaeological geology. In this volume Lyell marshaled the available evidence from recent discoveries in geology, archaeology, and ethnology linking human artifacts to extinct animals. This book achieved instant popularity as it became a center-piece in the fervent discussions surrounding Darwin’s recently published (1859) book on the origin of species. However, it did not please many of those who had made the critical discoveries of human artifacts in geological strata that also contained the bones of extinct animals. These geologists, paleontologists, and an archaeologist felt Lyell, a minor player in the discoveries in the field, had assumed an undeserved role in establishing a new understanding of human antiquity. Nevertheless Antiquity of Man has remained an icon in the discipline of archaeological geology (or geoarchaeology). It still is available in reprint editions.