Publisher Information: Paris: Jung-Treuttel, 1860.
Boucher de Perthes, Jacques (1788-1868). De l’homme antédiluvien et de ses oeuvres. , 99, pp. Text illustrations. Paris: Jung-Treuttel; Derache; Dumoulin; Didron, 1860. 229 x 140 mm. Modern cloth; original printed wrappers bound in. Fore-edges a bit frayed, small split in inner margin of front wrapper, foxed, but very good. Presentation Copy, inscribed in Boucher de Perthes’s hand on the front wrapper: “De la part de l’auteur J. B. de Perthes.”
First Edition. Boucher de Perthes, a customs official in Abbeville, France, began excavating in the Somme Valley in the 1840s, discovering flaked stone tools and other artifacts in undisturbed strata that also contained the fossilized remains of extinct animals. He interpreted these findings as evidence that humans had coexisted with these animals, and in 1849 he published the first volume of his Antiquités celtiques et antédiluviennes, in which he laid forth his archeology-based arguments for man’s antiquity. His work was ignored at first, but in the late 1850s Sir Charles Lyell, Joseph Prestwich and a number of other British geologists corroborated Boucher’s findings and the value of his research was finally recognized.
The present work is an annotated version of a speech that Boucher de Perthes presented on 7 June 1860 to the Sociéte Impériale d’Emulation. It recounts the history of Boucher’s efforts to convince the world of the antiquity of man, the rejection of his ideas over many years and, beginning in 1859, the eventual acceptance of the antiquity of man by British and Continental scientists. Included is a record of visits to Abbeville in the spring and summer of 1859 by British geologists Hugh Falconer, Joseph Prestwich, John Evans, Robert Godwin-Austin, J. W. Flower, R. W. Milne and Sir Charles Lyell. De l’homme antédiluvien et de ses oeuvres was reprinted in Volume 3 of Boucher de Perthes’ Antiquités celtiques et antédiluviennes (1864).Book Id: 46325