A literary genre? Publication statistics, and such phenomenal success stories as Jean Auel's Earth's Children series suggest that it may be so. (A recent article reported that the first printing of Auel's The Mammoth Hunters was one million copies. Could that be true? Read on...)
NEW! Bulletin Board
The Roots of Prehistoric Fiction
The Earliest Prehistoric Fiction
Types of Prehistoric Novel
Publication by Decade (chart)
Publication by Year (chart)
J.-H. Rosny Aîné
Bandelier and Waterloo
Conan Doyle and C.G.D. Roberts
Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Deluge Begins...
Prehistoric Series Novels
Prehistoric fun, fact, and fiction
Human Origins / Anthropology Online
On-line Texts and Author Pages
The roots of Prehistoric Fiction"Until the 19th century, man's first appearance on earth was treated on a historical basis as a matter of record... On the whole, the scheme of Archbishop Usher, who computed that the earth and man were created in 4004 BC, was the most popular... However... the first appearance of man ... is positively so remote, that an estimate between twenty and a hundred thousand years may fairly be taken as a minimum."So states the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Anthropology in the 11th (1910) edition, some fifty years after the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species (1859).
Until the 19th century, the concept "prehistoric man" did not exist. Not until the mixture of geological discovery and Darwinian evolutionary theory had come together was the conception of "earlier stages of man" one which could be popularly entertained. In fact, the earliest use of the term "prehistoric" itself, as recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary, is in the title of a book published in 1851, D. Wilson's "The Archæology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland," in which he speaks of "the prehistoric races of Northern Europe."
Discoveries in Scandinavia in the earlier part of the 19th century had already given rise to the ideas of Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age tool-making. In 1868, in a shallow cave at Cro-Magnon, in southern France, human skeletons were discovered which proved to be 10,000 to 35,000 years old, providing evidence for Cro-Magnon man: "modern" humans have been around for a long time!
(see Robert Silverberg's The Valley of Neander for additional background.)
Cave ManThe earliest citation for "caveman" in the OED is from 1865, in Lubbock's Prehistoric Times (x. 255) "These ancient Cave-men..." Another reference from the same year as Waterloo's 1897 novel, (below) is M. Kingsley, W. Africa (x. 208): "These pots have a cave-man look about them; they are unglazed unlidded bowls." The Century Dictionary (1914) cites under "caveman": Same as cave-dweller, with an undated quote from John Fiske (1842-1901) from Evolutionist (p.45), "The bones and implements of the Cave-men are found in association with remains of the reindeer and bison, the arctic fox, the mammoth, and the wooly rhinocerous." The entry for cave-dweller is:"One who dwells in a cave; a troglodyte; specifically, a member of the prehistoric race of men who dwelt in natural caves, subsisting on shell-fish and wild animals. Many of the caves which they inhabited contain their rude implements and sculptured drawings, together with animal and sometimes human bones, in superimposed layers, separated by limestone or other deposits."The accompanying citation is from Science III, 489: "Our knowledge of primitive man in Europe, during the paleolithic age, is mainly confined to what has been learned in regard to the life and habits of the so-called cave-dwellers."
It was therefore virtually impossible for "prehistoric fiction" to arise until the ground was fertile enough to support it, at the end of the 19th century.
The earliest prehistoric fictionThe apparently earliest example of prehistoric fiction, and in fact most of the early examples, comes from France. Marc Angenot, (in "Science Fiction in France Before Verne," Science-Fiction Studies no. 14 [Vol. 5, Part 1], March 1978): "The first Darwinian narrative, and in it the pre-historical ape-man makes his appearance" ... "probably the first prehistoric novel"
Hints of prehistoric fiction appear in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, published in French in 1864. During the fabulous journey the travelers discover a prehistoric version of the earth far beneath the earth's surface, where they briefly spy a giant keeping watch over a herd of mastodons, "His height was above twelve feet. His head, as big as the head of a buffalo, was lost in a mane of matted hair. It was indeed a huge mane, like those which belonged to the elephants of the earlier ages of the world." The voyagers wisely decide to quickly depart the scene, and so ends the first fictional glimpse of prehistoric man.
There are a few more, but the earliest series of prehistoric novels are Rosny's (1887...) 1892 Vamireh, roman des temps primitifs, discussed below. A novel of the Pueblo Indians, The Delight Makers (1890) by Bandelier, and Stanley Waterloo's The Story of Ab: A Tale of the Time of the Caveman (1897), bring the genre into English. Waterloo accused Jack London of plagiarism in his 1907 Before Adam, which in fact hardly seems similar.
"Allan & the Ice-Gods," David Pringle's article on early prehistoric fiction, at Jessica Salmonson's Violet Books site.
"Origin of Man," Brian Stableford's article on the genre in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1995).
"An International Bibliography of Prehistoric Fiction," Marc Angenot and Nadia Khouri: the introduction to their (1981) bibliography, from Science-Fiction Studies.
Types of Prehistoric NovelIn his introduction to Romans Préhistoriques Baronian distinguishes between "true" prehistoric novels, and what might be called "semi-" prehistoric novels. Basically, the pure prehistoric takes place completely in prehistory, and is told from the point of view of the characters of the time, like Rosny's Quest for Fire or Auel's Earth's Children series. One frequently occuring variant might be called the "time travel" type, including Rosny's miniature La Grande Énigme, below, or Doyle's Lost World, and London's Before Adam. In this type, there is contact between modern man and prehistoric society, but the prehistoric "point of view" may not be presented at all.
(The most extreme examples of this latter type can probably best be called "prehistoric-related," and kept separate from the main list. These are essentially stories of prehistoric individuals who have somehow found their way into modern novels. One example is Michael Bishop's Ancient of Days, in which a Homo habilis man finds himself in a modern setting. Other possible candidates for this group are Canter's Ember from the Sun and Hanlon's Circle Home.
A third type is somewhat problematical, and might be called the "Native American" type, like so many of the Gears, or Sarabandes, and Bandelier's 1890 Delight Makers. In these novels, the culture is somewhat more archaeologically understood, and often the setting is actually A.D. These novels differ in one sense in that they are slightly less speculative, as often they are based on "considerable" anthropological research. The human actors themselves are "modern man," even if their societies aren't.
Another distinction I've made is between "juveniles" and "novels"; I use the "novels" to represent books intended for adult readers, as opposed to children or teenagers. The "young adult" novel is a grey area, but I've grouped them with the juveniles. In many cases I've used the publisher, or size (number of pages) and percentage of illustrations to make the "juvenile" designation.
Publishing TrendsHow many prehistoric novels are there, and when were they published? Baronian (1985) felt that there were few if any others besides Rosny worthy of being considered representive of the genre. This trend seems to have changed in the 80s and 90s. I've so far been able to locate 290 titles [Jan. 2000], 181 adult and 109 juvenile. (The bibliography also includes an additional 57 "prehistoric-related" titles.) The table and graph below show the distribution by decade of publication, number of titles of each type published:
decade juv nov tot 1880-89 0 3 3 1890-99 0 6 6 1900-09 0 6 6 1910-19 1 5 6 1920-29 2 18 20 1930-39 3 4 7 1940-49 0 5 5 1950-59 6 6 12 1960-69 10 5 15 1970-79 20 7 27 1980-89 25 30 55 1990-99 42 86 128 total 109 181 290 Titles Published per decade
This displays a fairly dramatic "landscape." Juvenile prehistoric fiction might be said to have started in the 60s, with a fairly steady publication rate since then, and "adult" prehistoric fiction seems to have started in the 80s, and been growing at a much faster rate. And the total has about doubled every decade since the 50s, with the 90s showing the greatest increase.
Here the same data is shown graphed by number of titles per year for the second half of the century: (note that these graphs show the totals -- the juveniles are not "in front" of the novels, but "below" them -- no part is "hidden".)
Titles Published per year
These books, found by searching on-line bookstores and libraries, are arranged alphabetically by author, categorized into adult and juvenile, prehistoric, bronze age, iron age, and "related", in the Prehistoric Fiction Bibliography, including where possible, a description from the book jacket or cover, or library synopsis. Please let me know about others, or any on the list that "don't belong.".
Details of the chronological breakdown can be seen in the Bibliography Chronological Index. The very earliest listings are difficult to find information about: 1861, Pierre Boitard: Paris avant les hommes; 1876, Lafcadio Hearn: The Mound Builders (short story); 1886, Andrew Lang: The Romance of the First Radical; 1887, Henry Curwen: Zit and Xoe.
J.-H. Rosny Aîné: The father of the prehistoric novelJ.-H. Rosny is the joint pseudonym of the Belgian brothers Joseph-Henri-Honoré Boëx [1856-1940], and Séraphin-Justin-François Boëx [1859-1948], known respectively as J.-H. Rosny aîné, and J.-H. Rosny jeune, who wrote in collaboration until 1909. J.-H. Rosny Aîné was clearly the major writer: after their split, the younger brother produced little of note.
Their first prehistoric novel, Vamireh, roman des temps primitifs (1892), is actually the first of a cycle of five. Eyrimah appeared in 1895, and Rosny's most famous work, La guerre du feu, roman des âges farouches in 1911. Le Félin Géant was published in 1920, and finally, Helgvor du fleuve Bleu in 1930.
Jean-Jacques Annaud's highly acclaimed film, La guerre du feu, "Quest for Fire," appeared in 1981. (The earliest US publication under that title was in 1967, but presumably there was an earlier UK one.) Le Félin Géant (The Giant Cat) was translated (by Lady Whitehead) as "Quest of the Dawn Man" in 1924 (UK), and the introduction states that it ran to 40 editions in France.
Here is my translation of part of the jacket blurb by Jean-Baptiste Baronian to his (1985) edition, Romans Prehistoriques: J.-H. Rosny Aîné:Author of an extremely vast body of works, member of the Académie Goncourt since its foundation, and its president for numerous years, J.-H. Rosny Aîné is incontestably the father of two modern literary genres: Science Fiction and the Prehistoric Novel. But while science fiction has developed widely in the 20th century, the prehistoric novel has attracted less attention, and in this area there is no author to be found to rival J.-H. Rosny Aîné.Predating his novel Vamireh by five years is the short story Les Xipéhuz (1887), a combination of prehistory, adventure and science fiction. A similar combination is found in the stories La Grande Énigme (1920) and Les Homees sangliers (1929). Two other "pure" prehistoric short stories are Elem d'Asie (1896) (actually a shortened version of Valmireh), and Nomaï (1897).
La Grande Énigme
The Great Mystery (my translation)
Adolf Francis Alphonse Bandelier [1840-1914] and Stanley Waterloo [1846-1913]Adolf Bandelier's 1890 The Delight Makers and Stanley Waterloo's 1897 The Story of Ab: A Tale of the Time of the Caveman, are the remaining 19th century novels, the earliest written in English. Bandelier's is a story of the prehistoric Pueblo Indians, while Waterloo's has been described (Cohen-Williams) as "a pseudo-historical novel of prehistory." Waterloo accused Jack London of plagiarism in his Before Adam. His 1914 title A Son of the Ages, the reincarnations and adventures of Scar, the link; a story of man from the beginning is also a prehistoric offering.
Jack London [1876-1916]Jack London, (pseud. of John Griffith Chaney) was an American novelist and short story writer of some 50 books of fiction and non-fiction, including Call of the Wild and White Fang. He wrote romantically of elemental struggles for survival. Before Adam (1907), one of his earlier works, is presented as the retelling of the dream memories of the writer's Mid-Pleistocene ancestor, a member of a race without fire, language or organization. The fictional author struggles with the dilemma of presenting his impressions of the life of a being not quite human, but seen through the dream eyes and awake analysis of his modern descendant.
Sirs Arthur Conan Doyle [1859-1930] and Charles G.D. Roberts [1860-1943]In 1912 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World was published, a description of an expedition to a prehistoric world hidden in South America. While Rosny's novels were written from the "prehistoric" point of view, Doyle's is one of modern man thrust into a world of the past. A silent film version of The Lost World appeared in 1925, starring Wallace Beery, remade in color in 1960.
1922 saw the publication of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts' In the Morning of Time, which I have not yet read, but a reviewer comments, "he describes the beginning of human society and such discoveries as fire and the bow to a time when cave dwellers moved on to a more pastoral existence. This work is worth a comparison with William Golding's The Inheritors because of the similarity of tone and subject matter."
Edgar Rice Burroughs [1875-1950]The stories by Tarzan's creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs , make up the remainder of the early prehistoric fiction list: The Land that Time Forgot (The Land that Time Forgot, The People that Time Forgot, Out of Time's Abyss) (1924), The Eternal Lover (The Eternal Savage) (1925), The Cave Girl (1925), and Back to the Stone Age (1937), being the ones I can identify as such. A film version of The Land that Time Forgot appeared in 1975, followed by a sequel, The People that Time Forgot, in 1977.
Sir William Gerald Golding [1911-1993]There is a hiatus of nearly twenty years before William Golding's 1955 The Inheritors appears, the immediate successor to his Lord of the Flies (1954). This seems to be the first "psychological" prehistoric fiction, for the focus is no longer on "adventures," as was mainly the case with Rosny and Burroughs (and certainly Doyle, who didn't attempt to "enter the primitive mind.") Golding's theme is the confrontation of the last of the Neanderthals with Homo sapiens, and his is possibly the first attempt to show a different kind of thinking from that of modern man.
The deluge begins...
Jean AuelSoon prehistoric juveniles begin to appear regularly, and they continue at a rate of a couple per year up through the end of the 70s. But it is certainly the appearance and success of Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear in 1980 (movie version, 1986, Warner Brothers) which set the "prehistoric fiction revolution" into motion. She continued the adventures of her heroine Ayla in Valley of the Horses (1982), The Mammoth Hunters (1985), and The Plains of Passage (1990), with two new titles promised for...
1997... 1998... 1999... 2000 (?!)
The Gears, Wm. Sarabande...Other authors have made successful prehistoric novel series. The husband and wife anthropological team of Kathleen O'Neal and W. Michael Gear have published ten books in their series about Native Americans since 1990, and started a new series with "The Visitant" in 1999. By 1998, William Sarabande's First Americans series had reached #10 (since 1987), with many others having series of three or four. Interestingly, the majority of the authors are women. Inspired by Jean Auel's success? Endowed with greater sensitivity to earlier stages of humanity?
Most of the novels are accurately researched, often including bibliographies, and so provide an overview of current anthropoligical research on earlier societies. Like the Gears, many of the authors are professional anthropologists themselves.
SeriesHere's a list of the major series novels: Prehistoric Series
Prehistoric fun, fact, and fiction: Links
Prehistoric Fiction Bibliography The books discussed at this site and more. (Thanks to David Pringle, Eli Eshed, and others for contributions and corrections!) Paleoanthropology Fiction by Jim Foley. "This is a list of fictional works of paleoanthropological interest. I only included books if they featured extinct hominids (so, no novels about prehistoric modern humans)." Matt's Paleo Pages including his Paleo Award Homepage and Paleo News Seventh European Prehistoric Bow and Spearthrower Championship: 1997. "The prehistoric weapons contests were created to improve our knowledge of certain hunting and/or war shooting weapons which were used in prehistory..." Flints and Stones: Real Life in Prehistory. Welcome to the Stone Ages... Cooking Clan of the Cave Bear Style! Boiling water in a skin pot over a fire (or not...) "Ayla was slicing pieces of yam to put into a skin pot that was boiling over a cooking fire..." Archaeology in Fiction Bibliography by Anita G. Cohen-Williams, Arizona State University, Summer 1994. Includes sections on Lost Worlds/Lost Races and Past Peoples. (At: UB Anthropology - Bibliographies & Research Documents) The Mammoth Trumpet, quarterly news magazine of the Center for the Study of the First Americans - Oregon State University - Corvallis, OR USA. paleobook, Dan Gallagher's offering of paleontological, archaeological and spiritual literature for sale (via Amazon); reviews and descriptions, including his just-published-in-May "The Pleistocene Redemption." École française de Rome, now in English, "its task is to lead and host research projects in history, archaeology, social sciences in Italy and the Mediterranean area from prehistory to our times, in any place where Rome was once the hub of the universe."
Human Origins / Anthropology Online
Fossil Hominids by Jim Foley. "These web pages are meant to refute creationist claims that there is no evidence for human evolution..." And his new Paleoanthropology Fiction page. Mirror site to Anita Cohen-Williams' original (August 1995) list: Anthropology/Archaeology WWW sites (Denmark) Nicole's AnthroPage Links to WWW Anthropology, Archaeology... Anth 1602: Prehistoric Cultures (University of Minnesota Deluth)
Shadow of the Serpent/ A Coyote Moon Story. New book by James Joseph, from Audenreed Press. Earth's Children Summer Meetings around the world. Homepage of author Patricia Rowe, Novels of Prehistoric America. Author of Children of the Dawn, Keepers of the Misty Time. Sue Harrison is currently working on volume three of her Storyteller triology, tentatively titled "Call Down the Stars." She has a webpage at www.sueharrison.com. Sue Harrison's previous "Ivory Carver Trilogy" included Mother Earth, Father Sky (1990), My Sister the Moon (1992), and Brother Wind (1994). Diane Rea-Bowie's Jean Auel's Earth's Children Jean Auel Homepage. Mammoth Trumpet Vol 10. No. 2 (1995) Includes interviews with Sue Harrison (Mother Earth, Father Sky) and Linda Lay Shuler (She Who Remembers). Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan Margaret Allan is a pseudonym used by W.T. "Bill" Quick, author of The Mammoth Stone, Keeper of the Stone, and The Last Mammoth. A new Margaret Allan novel, Spirits Walking Woman, tentatively set for publication in Jan. 1998, is set in the Mesoamerican neolithic cultures of ancient Mexico.
(also accessible from the entries in the bibliography
as are additional short texts such as prefaces and introductions)
Edgar Pangborn's short story, The Singing Stick a prehistoric murder mystery from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine... August, 1952. J.-H. Rosny's 1920 short story, La Grande Énigme, and my translation, The Great Mystery. Jack London's 1907 Before Adam (from Mark Zimmerman's online etext of "Before Adam".)
1908 The Strength of the Strong (from Mark Zimmerman's online etext of "The Strength of the Strong".)
1910 When the World was Young (from Mark Zimmerman's online etext of "The Nightborn".)
1915 The Star Rover (from Mark Zimmerman's online etext of "The Star Rover (The Jacket)".)
Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Eternal Savage (The Eternal Lover), from The Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia. H.G. Wells' The Grisly Folk, from Storyteller Magazine, April, 1921. S. Fowler Wright's 1931. Dream, or The Simian Maid, and 1935 The Vengeance of Gwa, from the Sidney Fowler Wright website. Lafcadio Hearn's The Mound Builders, article from The Commercial, Cincinnati, April 24, 1876. Marc Angenot and Nadia Khouri's An International Bibliography of Prehistoric Fiction, from Science-Fiction Studies #23 (Vol. 8, Part 1), March 1981. Gordon B. Chamberlain's The Angenot-Khouri International Bibliography of Prehistoric Fiction: Additions, Corrections and Comments, from Science-Fiction Studies #27 (Vol. 9, Part 3), Nov. 1982, Notes and Correspondence. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 The Lost World: being an account of the recent amazing adventures...., (from Mark Zimmerman's online etext of "The Lost World".) Rudyard Kipling's 1902 How the first letter was written, and 1902 How the alphabet was made. from Jan Knowlton's online etext. David Pringle's Allan & the Ice-Gods, article on early prehistoric fiction, from Jessica Salmonson's Violet Books site. Brian Stableford's Origin of Man, article on prehistoric fiction from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1995). Robert Silverberg's The Valley of Neander, article from his 1964 Man Before Adam sketches the scientific background of Neanderthal man.
Pleiades Reviews of Earth's Children...
reviews of the Ayla series
from the SF Archive
Short synopses of three novels by Canadian authors: Bessette's Les Anthropoides, Kilian's Eyas, and Roberts' In the Morning of Time.
A favorable review of
Björn Kurtén's Dance of the Tiger
by Danny Yee.
a review of Elizabeth
Marshall Thomas' Reindeer Moon
by Anne Louise Gockel
a glowing review of
and The Animal Wife
by Danny Yee.
of Patricia Rowe's
Children of the Dawn
from The Japan Times
- Cave replica takes heat off mankind's first art 8/13/00 -780,000 Scientists say Israeli site dates back 780,000 years 8/12/00 - Evolution wins Kansas Board of Education vote 8/3/00 - Evolution debate heats up Kansas 7/31/00 - 'Music gene' may have helped cavemen to sing 7/27/00 -29,000 Neanderthals likely were skilled hunters 6/14/00 -2,100 Urn reveals oldest image of whaling 6/1/00 -1,400 Asuka sluice find backs H20 theories 5/25/00 -17,000 Proven: Man in America by 15,000 B.C. 5/22/00 -1,700,000 Skulls offer clue to man's first steps out of Africa 5/13/00 -28,000 World's Oldest Hats Discovered? 5/9/00 -1,000 Unearthed pillar suggests 48-meter shrine 4/29/00 -2,000,000 Researchers discuss ape-man fossil find 4/28/00 -24,000 Relic believed to represent female form 4/26/00 -4,800 China writing pushed back 2,000 years 4/21/00 -1,500 Pristine clay carving hints at ancient funerary rites 4/11/00 -17,000 Remains point to 'pre-Clovis' Americans 4/6/00 -4,000 Queen's pyramid found in Egypt 4/4/00 -4,000 Old texts discovered 3/30/00 -3,500 Ancient Egyptian art displayed for first time 3/30/00 -28,000 Neanderthal DNA shows no close link to humans 3/30/00 -1,800 Nara tomb discovery may stir debate over site of Queen Himiko's realm 3/29/00 -1,800 Ancient burial chamber may be oldest in Japan 3/28/00 -750 First humans rapidly ate moa to extinction 3/25/00 -3,000,000 Study claims humans descended from knuckle-walkers 3/24/00 -803,000 803,000-year-old stone axes found in south China 3/4/00 -9,300 Contention rife over early population of Americas 2/28/00 -1,400 Saimei-era plaza found in Nara 2/24/00 -500,000 Dig yields trace of 500,000-year-old house 2/22/00 -1,700,000 Wolf fossil find dated to 1.7 million years 1/19/00 -10,000 Cereals tamed in ancient Cyprus 1/17/00 -1,000 Viking items in Ireland mystifying 1/16/00 -9,300 U.S. rules bones are of Asian descent 1/15/00
-2,000 Solution in sight for mystery of star that led Magi to Jesus 12/21/99 -3,200 Archaeologists find buried treasures without digging 12/21/99 - Mammoth resurrection eyed 12/21/99 -5,400 Amateur uncovers oldest Indian mounds in Americas 12/14/99 -4,000 Ancient graffiti may display oldest alphabet 12/1/99 -2,000 Egypt archaeologists make discovery 12/1/99 -18,000 Evidence grows N. America's first colonizers were European 11/29/99 - Anthropologist Ashley Montagu dies 11/29/99 -4,000 Graffiti cast new light on alphabet's origins 11/22/99 -7,500 Ancient Black Sea coastline provides evidence of Noah's flood 11/19/99 -3,000,000 Fossil remains of hominid found, 3 million years old 11/14/99 -5,000 Remains of Jomon era village found 11/12/99 -450,000 Chimps more varied, older than humans are 11/6/99 -2,000 Miami Circle revealed to be 2,000-year-old town 11/4/99 -18,000 Scientists say Iberians 1st N. American settlers 11/3/99 -28,000 Scientists dispute time of Neanderthals' demise 10/27/99 -23,000 Woolly mammoth unearthed in Siberia 10/22/99 - A dream to revive the woolly mammoth 10/19/99 -40,000,000 Tiny fossil could rewrite our history 10/16/99 -1,800,000 New skulls double history of humans in Europe 10/5/99 -7,600 Archaeologists probe Black Sea abyss 10/4/99 -550 Canadian glacier man's clothes are 550 years old 9/30/99 -9,000 9,000-year-old, still-playable flutes found in China 9/24/99 -68,000 Earliest Australian 9/22/99 -11,500 Skull alters theory on colonization of Americas 9/22/99 -2,200 Remains of human sacrifices found in Mexican pyramid 9/21/99 -1,800 Archaeologists say mound may hold third century king 9/16/99 - Traveling along ancient routes to modern theories 9/15/99 - Canadian iceman research begins 9/15/99 - Fossilized skull sold to N.Y. curio shop 9/9/99 -2,400 Japanese roots surprisingly shallow 8/31/99 -15,000,000 Ground-dwelling ape fossil found 8/28/99 -3,000 Chinese may have gone to Americas 3,000 years ago 8/27/99 - Centuries-old iceman found in Canada 8/26/99 -1,900,000 Veggies first thing on human fires 8/23/99 -30,000 Ancient virus maps migration of our ancestors 8/17/99 -3,000 Picking the bones of Fiji's lost giants 8/1/99 -9,000 Kennewick Man debate heats up 8/1/99 -1,200 8th century enjoyed 15 rice strains 7/27/99 -23,000 Siberian mammoth found frozen 7/24/99 -7,000 Paintings, tools found in Egypt cave 7/17/99 -6,700 Grassy Sahara turned to desert in a few centuries 7/16/99 -800 Did cannibalism kill Anasazi civilization? 7/13/99 -840,000 Man may have sailed 840,000 years ago: study 7/8/99 -2,500 China unearths ancient tombs 6/29/99 -30,000 Caveboy left footprints in the clay of time 6/21/99 -350,000 Discovery of tools puts primitive man in Saitama 6/17/99 -2,300 Classical mummies to debut in Egypt 6/15/99 - Geographer suggests Neanderthals were just Cretins 6/1/99 -300,000 Ancestors of Neanderthals had more brawn, less brain 5/22/99 -2,200 Mold for bronze tools thought to be oldest found 5/11/99 -2,340,000 Ancient hands were skilled but whose? 5/10/99 - Homo sapiens, chimps share unique brain cells 4/30/99 -2,500,000 New hominid species may be link to ape-man 4/23/99 -5,000 Mount Sinai in Israel, archaeologist claims 4/21/99 -25,000 Skeleton said to be mix of Neanderthals, moderns 4/19/99 -2,000 Mummy of baby found in Argentine cave 4/17/99 -13,000 Did America's first migrants use boats? 4/12/99 -500 500-year-old mummies found in Andes 4/8/99 -15,000,000 First upright apes may have walked in 15 million B.C. 4/6/99 -2,500 Jomon smile at Tosa dig 3/27/99 -1,300 Coin found in Nagano confirmed as Fuhonsen 3/24/99 -2,000 Yayoi linked to Yangtze area 3/19/99 - Tar pits still slowly releasing victims 3/1/99 - Neanderthal Man type site rediscovered 3/1/99 - Researchers doubt claim Neanderthals could talk 2/17/99 -6,000 Oldest oar unearthed from Ishikawa ruins 2/10/99 -3,000 Dogs suspected as Jomon-era pets 2/10/99 -5,500 Lizard provides clues to Pacific colonization patterns 1/25/99 -2,500 Wooden hoes may be nation's oldest 1/21/99 -1,300 Old currency prompted by Tang threat 1/21/99 -1,300 Ancient coins alter Japan's cash history 1/20/99 -2,000 Yayoi remains found in Tohoku 1/20/99 -5,000,000 Human forebears nibbled meat 1/16/99 -5,000,000 Humanoid fossils found, dated at 5 million years 1/12/99 -5,000,000 5-million-year-old fossils double Nepal's elusive trove 1/11/99 -50,000 Bush fires set by early settlers burned out Australian animals, study says 1/9/99
-? Mystery stone circle found in Miami 12/26/98 -5,300 Egyptian writing dating to 3300 B.C. discovered 12/17/98 -3,600,000 S. Africa researchers claim ape-man skeleton discovery 12/10/98 - DNA link claimed between America Indians, Siberians 12/10/98 -5,300 Ice Man used fungus to quell parasites: doctor 12/5/98 -80,000,000 Mongolian fossils give clues to evolution of marsupials 12/4/98 - Taliban demands bus drivers hide female passengers 12/3/98 -20,000 Fossilized tusk unearthed in Shiga 11/25/98 -1,800 Ancient bell found in Kyushu 11/20/98 - Study enhances theory linking America, Siberia 11/10/98 -3,400 Andean metalwork culture began over 3,000 years ago 11/7/98 -600,000 Tools may be oldest in Japan 11/4/98 - French village considers suit over theft of Neolithic finds 10/21/98 - Skull, ax looted from prehistoric French cave 10/20/98 -4,000 Road Crew Discovers Prehistoric Cave 10/19/98 -12,000 Earliest American settlers were fishermen, not hunters 9/19/98 -30,000 Did Neanderthals cave in or just get outnumbered? 9/1/98 -5,000 Ancient temple found in Iraq 7/25/98 -15,000 Evidence of ancient earthquakes points to 'big one' in central L.A. 7/18/98 - Afghan Taliban punishes violators of ban on music 7/17/98 -500,000 Study casts doubt whether Peking man used fire 7/11/98 -11,000 Oya skeleton may be Jomon Period's oldest 7/7/98 -8,300 8,000-year-old shoes show footwear fashion is nothing new 7/4/98 -117,000 S. African geologists safely rescue fossil footprints from tourist traffic 6/27/98 -117,000 S. Africa saves oldest human footprints 6/25/98 - Taliban amputates thief's hand and foot 6/21/98 - Taliban to close women's schools 6/18/98 -2,700,000 First humans less brainy than previous estimates 6/13/98 -7,000 Old dates questioned on Aborigine arrival 6/1/98 - Bones reveal wanderers were healthier 5/25/98 - One small bone key to 'modern' face 5/18/98 -4,100,000 Evidence dates earliest walking hominids 5/18/98 -400,000 Nerve canal size suggests Neanderthals could talk 5/18/98 -300,000 Neanderthals said capable of some spoken language 4/29/98 -2,000 Yayoi stone heaps found in Kagawa 4/19/98 -72,000 72,000-year-old Bulgaria settlement found 4/16/98 -2,000 Theory of early arrival n New Zealand boosted 4/12/98 -7,000 Egyptian observatory predates Stonehenge 4/3/98 -3,200,000 Little Lucy the prehuman walked like a woman 4/2/98 -3,500 3,500-year-old Chinese script found on bones 3/31/98 -40,000 Linguistics casts light on early Americans 3/30/98 - Alps Iceman put inside chilly case at Italy museum 3/30/98 -3,000 Native Americans were farmers 3,000 years ago 3/14/98 - Ancient artists not crude, just scared 3/2/98 -117,000 World's oldest human footprints set to relocate 2/27/98 -40,000 Americas possibly inhabited 40,000 years ago 2/18/98 -2,000,000 Canadian Tundra once forested, full of wildlife 1/8/98 - Scientist planning to resurrect woolly mammoth is not joking 1/4/98
-35,000 Prehistoric feces may shed light on human evolution 12/19/97 -2,000,000 Human bones of tots date back 2 million years 12/18/97 -3,300 Scientist links killer quakes to Bronze Age's end 12/12/97 - Taliban jails 10 for eyeing dancer 11/30/97 -5,000 Stonehenge surpassed by new site 11/16/97 -5,000 Prehistoric temple traces discovered in Britain 11/12/97 -30,900 Ancient ruins rewrite Paleolithic theory 10/29/97 -16,000 America's Ice Age immigrants took West Coast route 10/29/97 -6,000 Sahara once had grasslands, researchers say 10/18/97 -22,000 Moscow area inhabited at least 22,000 years ago 10/16/97 -18,000 Stone Age relics found in Hokkaido 10/15/97 -5,500 Excavation illuminating Jomon life 10/7/97 -25,000 Stone knives date back 25,000 years 10/3/97 -5,400 Man-made mounds said oldest in North America 9/20/97 -9,300 Battle over Kennewick man's bones 8/25/97 -6,000 6,000-year-old Hokkaido farm? 8/21/97 -12,000 Cannibalism an ancient human heritage 8/18/97 -117,000 Ancient footprints in Africa made by early human 8/16/97 -6,000 Archaeologists say 6,000-year-old tomb found in Hunan 8/13/97 -10,000 Ancient earthenware found 7/26/97 -15,000,000 Skull gives clue to ape-monkey split 7/25/97 -3,000,000 Egalitarian chimps offer a glimpse of our erotic past 7/22/97 - DNA test shows Neanderthals weren't ancestors of humans 7/12/97 -10,000 Remains of mammoth are found in Arizona 7/6/97 - China reports finding footprints of 'wild man' in woods 6/27/97 -100,000 Domestic dogs descended from wolves, researchers confirm 6/14/97 -65,000,000 New evidence for dinosaur-killing asteroid 6/9/97 -800,000 Fossils of unknown early ancestor found 5/31/97 -9,500 Early Jomon hamlet found 5/27/97 -2,500 Were ancient Amazons more than myth? 5/19/97 -10,000 Farming started in Americas early, grew slowly 5/10/97 - Taliban assault clean-shaven man, women without veil 4/22/97 -20,000,000 Tree-swinging apes lived earlier than scientists previously believed 4/19/97 -1,000,000 Earlier date set for human entry into S. Europe 4/13/97 - DNA data back theory of humans evolving in Africa 4/2/97 -300,000 Modern humans may date to 300,000 years ago 3/28/97 -65,000,000 Scientists say dinosaurs dwindled before asteroid 3/28/97 -4,600 Ancient skull in Egypt shows signs of cancer 3/26/97 -9,000 Descendant of Stone Age skeleton found 3/9/97 - Taliban bans photos of 'living bodies' 3/9/97 -400,000 Spears prove early men crafty hunters 3/3/97 -300,000 Primitive human toolmakers hunted in Siberia 3/1/97 -65,000,000 Evidence of dinosaur-killing meteor found off Florida coast 2/14/97 -12,500 Scientists say habitation site in Chile is 12,500 years old 2/12/97 -2,000 Evidence of Amazons found in Russia steppes 2/7/97 -35,000,000 Thai fossil undermines human origin theories 2/1/97 -20,000 Beijing dig bares 20,000-year history 1/4/97
-27,000 Hominid theory stretches definition of human identity 12/15/96 -27,000 Human ancestor may have coexisted with modern humans 12/14/96 - African archaeologist Mary Leakey dies at 83 12/10/96
Top image adapted from a photo by Roger-Viollet of "Age de pierre" by Paul Jamin [1899-].
This Paleo Ring site is owned by
Want to apply for membership?