If the Bible combines with archæology and geology to show that human civilization has passed through three more or less distinct stages, in Europe at least; and if man, both in America and Europe, as much as in Asia, dates from geological epochs – why should not the statements of the Secret Doctrine be taken into consideration? Is it more philosophical or logical and scientific too, to disbelieve, with Mr. Albert Gaudry, in Miocene man, while believing that the famous Thenay flints 1 "were carved by the Dryopithecus monkey"; or, with the Occultist, that the anthropomorphous monkey came ages after man? For if it is once conceded, and even scientifically demonstrated, that "there was not in the middle of the Miocene epoch a single species of mammal identical with species now extant" (Albert Gaudry "Les Enchainements du monde animal dans les temps géologiques" p. 240), and that man was then just as he is now, only taller, and more athletic than we are 2 – then where is the difficulty? That they could hardly be the descendants of monkeys, which are themselves not traced before the Miocene epoch, 3 is, on the other hand, testified to by several eminent naturalists.
"Thus, in the savage of quaternary ages who had to fight against the mammoth with stone weapons, we find all those craniological characters generally considered as the sign of great intellectual development." (de Quatrefages, "The Human Species", p. 312.)
Unless man emerged spontaneously, endowed with all his intellect and wisdom, from his brainless catarrhine ancestor, he could not have acquired such brain within the limits of the Miocene period, if we are to believe the learned Abbé Bourgeois (Vide infra, footnote 33).
As to the matter of giants, though the tallest man hitherto found in Europe among fossils is the "Mentone man" (6 ft. 8 in.), others may yet be excavated. Nilsson, quoted by Lubbock, states that "in a tomb of the neolithic age . . . . a skeleton of extraordinary size was found in 1807," and that it was attributed to a king of Scotland, Albus McGaldus.
And if in our own day we occasionally find men and women from 7 ft. to even 9 ft. and 11 ft. high, this only proves – on the law of atavism, or the reappearance of ancestral features of character – that there was a time when 9 ft. and 10 ft. was the average height of humanity, even in our latest Indo-European race.
But as the subject was sufficiently treated elsewhere, we may pass on to the Lemurians and the Atlanteans, and see what the old Greeks knew of these early races and what the moderns know now.
The great nation mentioned by the Egyptian priests, from which descended the forefathers of the Greeks of the age of Troy, and which, as averred, had been destroyed by the Atlantic race, was then, as we see, assuredly no race of Palæolithic savages. Nevertheless, already in the days of Plato, with the exception of priests and Initiates, no one seems to have preserved any distinct recollection of the preceding races. The earliest Egyptians had been separated from the latest Atlanteans for ages upon ages; they were themselves descended from an alien race, and had settled in Egypt some 400,000 years before, 4 but their Initiates had preserved all the records. Even so late as the time of Herodotus, they had still in their possession the statues of 341 kings who had reigned over their little Atlanto-Aryan Sub-race (Vide about the latter "Esoteric Buddhism," p. 66, Fifth Edition.) If one allows only twenty years as an average figure for the reign of each King, the duration of the Egyptian Empire has to be pushed back, from the day of Herodotus, about 17,000 years.
Bunsen allowed the great Pyramid an antiquity of 20,000 years. More modern archæologists will not give it more than 5,000, or at the utmost 6,000 years; and generously concede to Thebes with its hundred gates, 7,000 years from the date of its foundation. And yet there are records which show Egyptian priests – Initiates – journeying in a North-Westerly direction, by land, via what became later the Straits of Gibraltar; turning North and travelling through the future Phœnician settlements of Southern Gaul; then still further North, until reaching Carnac (Morbihan) they turned to the West again and arrived, still travelling by land, on the North-Western promontory of the New Continent. 5
What was the object of their long journey? And how far back must we place the date of such visits? The archaic records show the Initiates of the Second Sub-race of the Aryan family moving from one land to the other for the purpose of supervising the building of menhirs and dolmens, of colossal Zodiacs in stone, and places of sepulchre to serve as receptables for the ashes of generations to come. When was it? The fact of their crossing from France to Great Britain by land may give an idea of the date when such a journey could have been performed on terra firma.
It was —
"When the level of the Baltic and of the North Sea was 400 feet higher than it is now; when the valley of the Somme was not hollowed to the depth it has now attained; when Sicily was joined to Africa, Barbary to Spain," when "Carthage, the Pyramids of Egypt, the palaces of Uxmal and Palenque were not in existence, and the bold navigators of Tyre and Sidon, who at a later date were to undertake their perilous voyages along the coasts of Africa, were yet unborn. What we know withcertainty is that European man was contemporaneous with the extinct species of the quaternary epoch . . . . that he witnessed the upheaval of the Alps 6 and the extension of the glaciers, in a word that he lived for thousands of years before the dawn of the remotesthistorical traditions . . . . It is even possible that man was the contemporary of extinct mammalia of species yet more ancient . . . . of theElephas meridionalis of the sands of St. Prest . . . and theElephas antiquus, assumed to be prior to theelephas primigenius, since their bones are found in company with carved flints in several English caves, associated with those of theRhinoceros hemitæchus and even of theMachairodus latidens, which is of still earlier date . . . . M. E. Lartet is of opinion that there is nothing really impossible in the existence of man as early as the Tertiary period." 7
If "there is nothing impossible" scientifically in the idea, and it may be admitted that man lived already as early as the Tertiary period, then it is just as well to remind the reader that Mr. Croll places the beginning of that period 2,500,000 years back (See Croll's "Climate and Time"); but there was a time when he assigned to it 15,000,000 years.
And if all this may be said of European man, how great is the antiquity of the Lemuro-Atlantean and of the Atlanto-Aryan man? Every educated person who follows the progress of Science, knows how all vestiges of man during the Tertiary period are received. The calumnies that were poured on Desnoyers in 1863, when he made known to the Institute of France that he had made a discovery "in the undisturbed pliocene sands of St. Prest near Chartres, proving the co-existence of man and the Elephas meridionalis"–were equal to the occasion. The later discovery (in 1867) by the Abbé Bourgeois, that man lived in the Miocene epoch, and the reception it was given at the Pre-historic Congress held at Brussels in 1872, proves that the average man of Science will never see but that which he wants to see. 8
1 "The flints of Thenay bear unmistakable trace of the work of human hands." (G. de Mortillet, "Promenades au Musee de St. Germain," p. 76.)
2 Speaking of the reindeer hunters of Perigord, Joly says of them that "they were of great height, athletic, with a strongly built skeleton . . ." etc. ("Man before Metals," p. 353).
3 "On the shores of the lake of Beauce," says the Abbé Bourgeois, "man lived in the midst of a fauna which completely disappeared (Aceratherium, Tapir, Mastodon). With the fluviatile sands of Orleanais came the anthropomorphous monkey (pliopithecus antiquus); therefore, later than man." (See Comptes Rendus of the "Prehistoric Congress" of 1867 at Paris.)
4 "In making soundings in the stony soil of the Nile Valley two baked bricks were discovered, one at the depth of 20, the other at 25 yards. If we estimate the thickness of the annual deposit formed by the river at 8 inches per century (more careful calculations have shown no more than from three to five per century), we must assign to the first of these bricks 12,000 years, and to the second 14,000 years. By means of analogous calculations, Burmeister supposes 72,000 years to have elapsed since the first appearance of man on the soil of Egypt, and Draper attributes to the European man, who witnessed the last glacial epoch, an antiquity of more than 250,000 years." ("Man before Metals," p. 183.) Egyptian Zodiacs show more than 75,000 years of observation! (See further.) Note well also that Burmeister speaks only of the Delta population.
5 Or on what are now the British Islands, which were not yet detached from the main continent in those days. "The ancient inhabitant of Picardy could pass into Great Britain without crossing the Channel. The British Isles were united to Gaul by an isthmus which has since been submerged." ("Man before Metals," p. 184.)
6 He witnessed and remembered it too, as "the final disappearance of the largest continent of Atlantis was an event coincident with the elevation of the Alps," a master writes (See Esoteric Buddhism p. 70). Pari passu, as one portion of the dry land of our hemisphere disappeared, some land of the new continent emerged from the seas. It is on this colossal cataclysm, which lasted during a period of 150,000 years, that traditions of all the "Deluges" are built, the Jews building their version on an event which took place later in "Poseidonis."
7 The Antiquity of the Human Race in "Men before Metals," by M. Joly, Professor at the Science Faculty of Toulouse, p. 184.
8 The scientific "jury" disagreed, as usual; while de Quatrefages, de Mortillet, Worsaæ, Engelhardt, Waldemar, Schmidt, Capellini, Hamy, and Cartailhac, saw upon the flints the traces of human handiwork, Steenstrup, Virchow and Desor refused to do so. Still the majority, if we except some English Scientists, are for Bourgeois.
H. P. Blavatsky
The Secret Doctrine, ii 748-752