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latest update: August 13, 2000
Prehistoric Fiction

Prehistoric fiction
A literary genre.
A novel set in prehistoric times, or in which the principal characters are members of a prehistoric society.

Stone Age Image
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...)

The Books:
covers, summaries

NEW!   Bulletin Board

PREHISTORIC NEWS

The Roots of Prehistoric Fiction
Cave Man
The Earliest Prehistoric Fiction
Types of Prehistoric Novel
Publishing Trends
Publication by Decade (chart)
Publication by Year (chart)
J.-H. Rosny Aîné
Bandelier and Waterloo
Jack London
Conan Doyle and C.G.D. Roberts
Edgar Rice Burroughs
William Golding
The Deluge Begins...
Jean Auel...
Prehistoric Series Novels

Prehistoric fun, fact, and fiction
Human Origins / Anthropology Online
On-line Texts and Author Pages
Book Reviews


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 Man

The 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 fiction

The 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.

Some Readings:
"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 Novel

In 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 Trends

How 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:

decadejuvnovtot
1880-89033
1890-99066
1900-09066
1910-19156
1920-2921820
1930-39347
1940-49055
1950-596612
1960-6910515
1970-7920727
1980-89253055
1990-994286128
total109181290
Titles Published per decade

Publication by 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 by Year Graph
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 novel

J.-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 photoJack 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]

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle portraitIn 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]

Edgar Rice Burroughs photoThe 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]

William Golding photo 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 Auel photo

Jean Auel

Soon 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...

Kathleen and Michael Gear photoOther 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.

Series

Here'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)

On-Line Authors
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.

On-Line Texts
(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.

Book Reviews

Clan of the Cavebear dustjacket The Mammoth Hunters dustjacket Pleiades Reviews of Earth's Children...
from POOR...
to EXCELLENT!
Valley of the Horses dustjacket The Plains of Passage dustjacketreviews of the Ayla series
from the SF Archive
Les Anthropoides dustjacket Eyas dustjacket In the Morning of Time cover Short synopses of three novels by Canadian authors: Bessette's Les Anthropoides, Kilian's Eyas, and Roberts' In the Morning of Time.
Dance of the Tiger dustjacketA favorable review of
Björn Kurtén's Dance of the Tiger
by Danny Yee.
Reindeer Moon dustjacket a review of Elizabeth
Marshall Thomas' Reindeer Moon
by Anne Louise Gockel
"highly recommend"
Animal Wife dustjacketa glowing review of
Reindeer Moon
and The Animal Wife
by Danny Yee.
Kimberly Borrowdale's
review

of Patricia Rowe's
Children of the Dawn


PREHISTORIC NEWS
from The Japan Times

2000

-Cave replica takes heat off mankind's first art8/13/00
-780,000Scientists say Israeli site dates back 780,000 years8/12/00
-Evolution wins Kansas Board of Education vote8/3/00
-Evolution debate heats up Kansas7/31/00
-'Music gene' may have helped cavemen to sing7/27/00
-29,000Neanderthals likely were skilled hunters6/14/00
-2,100Urn reveals oldest image of whaling6/1/00
-1,400Asuka sluice find backs H20 theories5/25/00
-17,000Proven: Man in America by 15,000 B.C.5/22/00
-1,700,000Skulls offer clue to man's first steps out of Africa5/13/00
-28,000World's Oldest Hats Discovered?5/9/00
-1,000Unearthed pillar suggests 48-meter shrine4/29/00
-2,000,000Researchers discuss ape-man fossil find4/28/00
-24,000Relic believed to represent female form4/26/00
-4,800China writing pushed back 2,000 years4/21/00
-1,500Pristine clay carving hints at ancient funerary rites4/11/00
-17,000Remains point to 'pre-Clovis' Americans4/6/00
-4,000Queen's pyramid found in Egypt4/4/00
-4,000Old texts discovered3/30/00
-3,500Ancient Egyptian art displayed for first time3/30/00
-28,000Neanderthal DNA shows no close link to humans3/30/00
-1,800Nara tomb discovery may stir debate over site of Queen Himiko's realm3/29/00
-1,800Ancient burial chamber may be oldest in Japan3/28/00
-750First humans rapidly ate moa to extinction3/25/00
-3,000,000Study claims humans descended from knuckle-walkers3/24/00
-803,000803,000-year-old stone axes found in south China3/4/00
-9,300Contention rife over early population of Americas2/28/00
-1,400Saimei-era plaza found in Nara2/24/00
-500,000Dig yields trace of 500,000-year-old house2/22/00
-1,700,000Wolf fossil find dated to 1.7 million years1/19/00
-10,000Cereals tamed in ancient Cyprus1/17/00
-1,000Viking items in Ireland mystifying1/16/00
-9,300U.S. rules bones are of Asian descent1/15/00

1999

-2,000Solution in sight for mystery of star that led Magi to Jesus12/21/99
-3,200Archaeologists find buried treasures without digging12/21/99
-Mammoth resurrection eyed12/21/99
-5,400Amateur uncovers oldest Indian mounds in Americas12/14/99
-4,000Ancient graffiti may display oldest alphabet12/1/99
-2,000Egypt archaeologists make discovery12/1/99
-18,000Evidence grows N. America's first colonizers were European11/29/99
-Anthropologist Ashley Montagu dies11/29/99
-4,000Graffiti cast new light on alphabet's origins11/22/99
-7,500Ancient Black Sea coastline provides evidence of Noah's flood11/19/99
-3,000,000Fossil remains of hominid found, 3 million years old11/14/99
-5,000Remains of Jomon era village found11/12/99
-450,000Chimps more varied, older than humans are11/6/99
-2,000Miami Circle revealed to be 2,000-year-old town11/4/99
-18,000Scientists say Iberians 1st N. American settlers11/3/99
-28,000Scientists dispute time of Neanderthals' demise10/27/99
-23,000Woolly mammoth unearthed in Siberia10/22/99
-A dream to revive the woolly mammoth10/19/99
-40,000,000Tiny fossil could rewrite our history10/16/99
-1,800,000New skulls double history of humans in Europe10/5/99
-7,600Archaeologists probe Black Sea abyss10/4/99
-550Canadian glacier man's clothes are 550 years old9/30/99
-9,0009,000-year-old, still-playable flutes found in China9/24/99
-68,000Earliest Australian9/22/99
-11,500Skull alters theory on colonization of Americas9/22/99
-2,200Remains of human sacrifices found in Mexican pyramid9/21/99
-1,800Archaeologists say mound may hold third century king9/16/99
-Traveling along ancient routes to modern theories9/15/99
-Canadian iceman research begins9/15/99
-Fossilized skull sold to N.Y. curio shop9/9/99
-2,400Japanese roots surprisingly shallow8/31/99
-15,000,000Ground-dwelling ape fossil found8/28/99
-3,000Chinese may have gone to Americas 3,000 years ago8/27/99
-Centuries-old iceman found in Canada8/26/99
-1,900,000Veggies first thing on human fires8/23/99
-30,000Ancient virus maps migration of our ancestors8/17/99
-3,000Picking the bones of Fiji's lost giants8/1/99
-9,000Kennewick Man debate heats up8/1/99
-1,2008th century enjoyed 15 rice strains7/27/99
-23,000Siberian mammoth found frozen7/24/99
-7,000Paintings, tools found in Egypt cave7/17/99
-6,700Grassy Sahara turned to desert in a few centuries7/16/99
-800Did cannibalism kill Anasazi civilization?7/13/99
-840,000Man may have sailed 840,000 years ago: study7/8/99
-2,500China unearths ancient tombs6/29/99
-30,000Caveboy left footprints in the clay of time6/21/99
-350,000Discovery of tools puts primitive man in Saitama6/17/99
-2,300Classical mummies to debut in Egypt6/15/99
-Geographer suggests Neanderthals were just Cretins6/1/99
-300,000Ancestors of Neanderthals had more brawn, less brain5/22/99
-2,200Mold for bronze tools thought to be oldest found5/11/99
-2,340,000Ancient hands were skilled but whose?5/10/99
-Homo sapiens, chimps share unique brain cells4/30/99
-2,500,000New hominid species may be link to ape-man4/23/99
-5,000Mount Sinai in Israel, archaeologist claims4/21/99
-25,000Skeleton said to be mix of Neanderthals, moderns4/19/99
-2,000Mummy of baby found in Argentine cave4/17/99
-13,000Did America's first migrants use boats?4/12/99
-500500-year-old mummies found in Andes4/8/99
-15,000,000First upright apes may have walked in 15 million B.C.4/6/99
-2,500Jomon smile at Tosa dig3/27/99
-1,300Coin found in Nagano confirmed as Fuhonsen3/24/99
-2,000Yayoi linked to Yangtze area3/19/99
-Tar pits still slowly releasing victims3/1/99
-Neanderthal Man type site rediscovered3/1/99
-Researchers doubt claim Neanderthals could talk2/17/99
-6,000Oldest oar unearthed from Ishikawa ruins2/10/99
-3,000Dogs suspected as Jomon-era pets2/10/99
-5,500Lizard provides clues to Pacific colonization patterns1/25/99
-2,500Wooden hoes may be nation's oldest1/21/99
-1,300Old currency prompted by Tang threat1/21/99
-1,300Ancient coins alter Japan's cash history1/20/99
-2,000Yayoi remains found in Tohoku1/20/99
-5,000,000Human forebears nibbled meat1/16/99
-5,000,000Humanoid fossils found, dated at 5 million years1/12/99
-5,000,0005-million-year-old fossils double Nepal's elusive trove1/11/99
-50,000Bush fires set by early settlers burned out Australian animals, study says1/9/99

1998

-?Mystery stone circle found in Miami12/26/98
-5,300Egyptian writing dating to 3300 B.C. discovered12/17/98
-3,600,000S. Africa researchers claim ape-man skeleton discovery12/10/98
-DNA link claimed between America Indians, Siberians12/10/98
-5,300Ice Man used fungus to quell parasites: doctor12/5/98
-80,000,000Mongolian fossils give clues to evolution of marsupials12/4/98
-Taliban demands bus drivers hide female passengers12/3/98
-20,000Fossilized tusk unearthed in Shiga11/25/98
-1,800Ancient bell found in Kyushu11/20/98
-Study enhances theory linking America, Siberia11/10/98
-3,400Andean metalwork culture began over 3,000 years ago11/7/98
-600,000Tools may be oldest in Japan11/4/98
-French village considers suit over theft of Neolithic finds10/21/98
-Skull, ax looted from prehistoric French cave10/20/98
-4,000Road Crew Discovers Prehistoric Cave10/19/98
-12,000Earliest American settlers were fishermen, not hunters9/19/98
-30,000Did Neanderthals cave in or just get outnumbered?9/1/98
-5,000Ancient temple found in Iraq7/25/98
-15,000 Evidence of ancient earthquakes points to 'big one' in central L.A.7/18/98
-Afghan Taliban punishes violators of ban on music7/17/98
-500,000Study casts doubt whether Peking man used fire7/11/98
-11,000Oya skeleton may be Jomon Period's oldest7/7/98
-8,3008,000-year-old shoes show footwear fashion is nothing new7/4/98
-117,000S. African geologists safely rescue fossil footprints from tourist traffic6/27/98
-117,000S. Africa saves oldest human footprints6/25/98
-Taliban amputates thief's hand and foot6/21/98
-Taliban to close women's schools6/18/98
-2,700,000First humans less brainy than previous estimates6/13/98
-7,000Old dates questioned on Aborigine arrival6/1/98
-Bones reveal wanderers were healthier5/25/98
-One small bone key to 'modern' face5/18/98
-4,100,000Evidence dates earliest walking hominids5/18/98
-400,000Nerve canal size suggests Neanderthals could talk5/18/98
-300,000Neanderthals said capable of some spoken language4/29/98
-2,000Yayoi stone heaps found in Kagawa4/19/98
-72,00072,000-year-old Bulgaria settlement found4/16/98
-2,000Theory of early arrival n New Zealand boosted4/12/98
-7,000Egyptian observatory predates Stonehenge4/3/98
-3,200,000Little Lucy the prehuman walked like a woman4/2/98
-3,5003,500-year-old Chinese script found on bones3/31/98
-40,000Linguistics casts light on early Americans3/30/98
-Alps Iceman put inside chilly case at Italy museum3/30/98
-3,000Native Americans were farmers 3,000 years ago3/14/98
-Ancient artists not crude, just scared3/2/98
-117,000World's oldest human footprints set to relocate2/27/98
-40,000Americas possibly inhabited 40,000 years ago2/18/98
-2,000,000Canadian Tundra once forested, full of wildlife1/8/98
-Scientist planning to resurrect woolly mammoth is not joking1/4/98

1997

-35,000Prehistoric feces may shed light on human evolution12/19/97
-2,000,000Human bones of tots date back 2 million years12/18/97
-3,300Scientist links killer quakes to Bronze Age's end12/12/97
-Taliban jails 10 for eyeing dancer11/30/97
-5,000Stonehenge surpassed by new site11/16/97
-5,000Prehistoric temple traces discovered in Britain11/12/97
-30,900Ancient ruins rewrite Paleolithic theory10/29/97
-16,000America's Ice Age immigrants took West Coast route10/29/97
-6,000Sahara once had grasslands, researchers say10/18/97
-22,000Moscow area inhabited at least 22,000 years ago10/16/97
-18,000Stone Age relics found in Hokkaido10/15/97
-5,500Excavation illuminating Jomon life10/7/97
-25,000Stone knives date back 25,000 years10/3/97
-5,400Man-made mounds said oldest in North America9/20/97
-9,300Battle over Kennewick man's bones8/25/97
-6,0006,000-year-old Hokkaido farm? 8/21/97
-12,000Cannibalism an ancient human heritage8/18/97
-117,000Ancient footprints in Africa made by early human8/16/97
-6,000Archaeologists say 6,000-year-old tomb found in Hunan8/13/97
-10,000Ancient earthenware found 7/26/97
-15,000,000Skull gives clue to ape-monkey split7/25/97
-3,000,000Egalitarian chimps offer a glimpse of our erotic past7/22/97
-DNA test shows Neanderthals weren't ancestors of humans7/12/97
-10,000Remains of mammoth are found in Arizona 7/6/97
-China reports finding footprints of 'wild man' in woods6/27/97
-100,000Domestic dogs descended from wolves, researchers confirm6/14/97
-65,000,000New evidence for dinosaur-killing asteroid6/9/97
-800,000Fossils of unknown early ancestor found5/31/97
-9,500Early Jomon hamlet found5/27/97
-2,500Were ancient Amazons more than myth? 5/19/97
-10,000Farming started in Americas early, grew slowly5/10/97
-Taliban assault clean-shaven man, women without veil4/22/97
-20,000,000Tree-swinging apes lived earlier than scientists previously believed4/19/97
-1,000,000Earlier date set for human entry into S. Europe4/13/97
-DNA data back theory of humans evolving in Africa4/2/97
-300,000Modern humans may date to 300,000 years ago3/28/97
-65,000,000Scientists say dinosaurs dwindled before asteroid3/28/97
-4,600Ancient skull in Egypt shows signs of cancer3/26/97
-9,000Descendant of Stone Age skeleton found 3/9/97
-Taliban bans photos of 'living bodies'3/9/97
-400,000Spears prove early men crafty hunters3/3/97
-300,000Primitive human toolmakers hunted in Siberia3/1/97
-65,000,000Evidence of dinosaur-killing meteor found off Florida coast2/14/97
-12,500Scientists say habitation site in Chile is 12,500 years old2/12/97
-2,000Evidence of Amazons found in Russia steppes2/7/97
-35,000,000Thai fossil undermines human origin theories2/1/97
-20,000Beijing dig bares 20,000-year history1/4/97

1996

-27,000Hominid theory stretches definition of human identity12/15/96
-27,000Human ancestor may have coexisted with modern humans12/14/96
-African archaeologist Mary Leakey dies at 8312/10/96


Top image adapted from a photo by Roger-Viollet of "Age de pierre" by Paul Jamin [1899-].


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