JOHN BEDDOE, M.D., LL.D., F.R.S
THE REPORT OF Dr. JOHN BEDDOE, M.D., LL.D., F.R.S.
note that in the following report, all osteometric dimensions are given
in the original metric units of millimetres, except where otherwise stated.
In arriving at the estimation of probable stature of the individuals, Dr.
Beddoe is offering values using the conventions of both the Pearson
Formula and the Manouvrier Formula as well as occasionally using
his own reckoning.]
START .... "ON
FROM A CAVE
bones have been described in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association
for 1887, by the late R.N. Worth, F.G.S.; and
to his report, drawn up with much care and minuteness by one who had himself
watched the progress of Mr Burnard's work, and had taken part in it, I
shall have occasion to refer from time to time, expressly or tacitly. In
many cases I have nothing of addition or comment to make on what Mr. Worth
has already well said.
puts the number of individuals represented by these remains at not less
From the opportunities he enjoyed of forming an opinion on the subject,
this may probably be correct: in any case there were a considerable number
of both sexes, and ranging from childhood to old age.
are specimens of all the long bones, but unfortunately very few of them
are perfect. I think it is possible that a few more might be put together
with care and patience. The bones contain little animal matter, and are
therefore very brittle: probably Mr. Worth may in a few instances have
been able to obtain measurements which are no longer practicable. I will
begin with the facial and cranial bones, using the same numbers that he
male adult, apparently.
now proceed to the estimation of the probable stature from the length of
in two fragments, with the greater portion of frontal bone, left pterion,
minimum breadth 48 x 2 = 96 mm.
ridge ill-marked; this is a high feature.
breadth not measurable; I think it would have been 110+ x.
of frontal arc also impracticable, as the centro-posterior part is broken
away - it has been 120+ x.
suture has an internal ridge strongly marked.
protuberant; supracilliaries much less so; maximum thickness at glabella,
including frontal sinus, about 12.; the sinus not very extensive.
orbit, 37.5 x 31.5.; index, 84., mesoseme; squarish.
breadth above dakryon (gone), 25.
breadth, centre to exterior of orbital process, 63.
measured in plane 54. (?)
external margins of orbits (Oldfield-Thomas), 55 x 2. (?)
98. (?) Strongly pro-opic.
length, nasion to alveolar border, 66. Orbito-alveolar height, 41.
measures, 49 and 22; Index, 44.9.; leptorrhine.
free from caries and not worn.
female(?). fully mature.
left molar, lower part of frontal. A small portion of the left zygoma
glabella is here also very prominent, and the supracilliaries not so. The
total thickness of the glabella, including the cavity of the sinus, is
no less than 15 mm., which fact adds much to the doubt one feels as to
the sex of the subject.
breadth above dakryon, 24.; orbit, 34.5 x 31.; index 90., megaseme; square.
measures, 41. and 22.; Index, 53.6., somewhat platyrrhine, owing
to shortness rather than to breadth of the nose.
zygomatic breadth not much over 60 x 2.
between lower extremities of malo-maxillary sutures, 89.
alveolar prognathism in this specimen only.
length, nasio-alveolar, 62.; orbito-alveolar height, 41.
well worn down, sloping from within outwards; no caries.
distinctly elliptic; length, 55.; breadth, maximum 37., posterior 35.
embedded in stalagmite, not measurable; something may possibly be gained
by careful stripping. Perhaps this was among the fragments which led Mr.
Worth to think the Cattedown people were neither dolicho nor brachy-cephalic.
are other fragments of maxillæ, with teeth, but I can say little about
them, except that the teeth vary as to degrees of down-wearing, doubtless
according to the age of the subject. In one of these there are indications
that the nasal aperture was narrow (leptorrhine).
Of these, two are nearly complete :-
side and right side almost to the angle. Chin very prominent; depth at
from symphysis to angle, 87.; from angle, 81., ascending ramus being
short and oblique. Not so wide bigonially, as the following specimen.
much worn on the outer side.
in two fragments: right side incomplete. Bigonial breadth large; I think
it must have been nearly 110., but Mr. Worth, I see, made it only 89 (3.5
from chin to angle, 91.; thence to tip of condyle, 74. Chin prominent,
rounded; depth of symphysis, 27.5.
Worth speaks of this mandible as corresponding in character with No. 2.,
but it would be a large one for a woman.
are other fragments of mandibles, in one
of which the chin is visible and is not prominent.
are two not much damaged; one of these, a right-side one, has a considerable
portion of the zygoma remaining; the skull to which it belonged was probably
are notable; one of these is nearly perfect, and has belonged to an adult
and yields some important indications. In it the muscular attachments are
strongly marked; the inion forms a drooping point or nook.
Length in sagittal line to ridge at base of inion =
But to drooping point of inion about =
From ridge to opisthion =
Total length to opisthion =
Greatest breadth, at or about asterion, about =
length of the receptaculum cerebelli is therefore not great, but it is
of considerable breadth and bulges laterally. Perhaps the asterial breadth
may have been what Worth relied on when he spoke of these skulls as probably
orthocephalic. There is indeed a correlation between brachycephaly and
great asterial breadth, but it is not a very marked one when one looks
for it in a wide field, such as Davis's Thesaurus affords. It is
curious, however, that the asterial breadth is greater (117) in Davis's
Ancient Britons and Romano-Britons than in any other one of his numerous
series, except one small one of Amsterdammers. In the rest it ranges between
114., (Germans, Finns, Russians, Eskimo of Greenland, Dahomans), and 101.
(Hindus, Papuans, Negritos); 121 would therefore be an unusually
large measurement, supposing that this occipital had not been distorted
by pressure, of which I see no particular sign. I find the asterial diameter
in twenty-three male skulls from long barrows to be 115, and in twenty-two
ancient British having cranial indices of 80 and upwards, 119.6.
There is a theory, by the way, originated, I believe, by Boyd-Dawkins,
that our Palaeolithic men were akin to the Eskimo, but the facial aspect
of our men is nowise Eskimoid.
a young person, thin. The occiput had been very prominent (spitz).
Curiously, there is a tuberosity very like an inion on the lower transverse
ridge, but no distinct one in the proper place on the upper.
Length, 72 + 20 + 20. Total to opisthion, 112.
3., as usual
imperfect at distal extremity. The largest a right one; length 130;
may have been 145 or more; circumference about 40; of the others,
34, and length, 124. Nos. 2 and 3 probably female.
left, in two fragments, but complete. Slightly pilastered and bent.
Circ. of shaft, 88.
probably male. Circ., mid-shaft, 66.
probably female. Circ., mid-shaft, 62.
probably female. Circ., mid-shaft, 62. (?).
Slightly damaged). This
is the one which is perforated.
upper epiphysis not consolidated. Circ., mid-shaft, 47. Male
pair, upper extremity and shaft; lower end awanting.
Length of one, 230 + x. Circ., mid-shaft, 50.;
near lower extremity, 38.
The other much the same.
fragment, wanting malleolus and a small part of upper extremity.
Circ. about middle, 84.; diameters 31., and 21.; platyknemic.
fragment, 73, 25 x 17.5.
of shaft, 78, 31 x 18.
is also the femur of a young child, not
over 200 in length; circ., mid-shaft, 47. The ossification appears to me
unusually advanced for so small a bone.
of the ulnæ, so far as I can guess, might have been similar. Probably
enough the perfect femur and radius, the tibia and the ulnæ, may have
belonged to the same person.
Pearson 1,621 mm. =
Manouvrier 1,621 mm. =
Beddoe 1,620 mm. =
complete agreement is very satisfactory, the more so as the material whence
Manouvrier deduced his formula was not exactly identical with that used
by Pearson, while mine was altogether different.
No. 1. Max.
length, including trochlea, 300.
Pearson 1,574 mm. =
Manouvrier 1,551 mm. =
the projection of the trochlea, these figures might be 1,563 and 1,532.
Topinard would give a still smaller estimate. I doubt whether this humerus
belonged to the owner of the femur.
No. 2. Female.
Max. length 277.
Pearson 1,477 mm. =
Manouvrier 1,450 mm. =
No. 3. Female.
Max. length 280.
Pearson 1,486 mm. =
Manouvrier 1,477 mm. =
No. 1. Male.
Max. length 330 + (say) 30 =
Pearson 1,642 mm. =
1,634 mm. = 64.33
do not think this bone could have been less than 360 in length.
Pearson 1,628 mm. =
Manouvrier 1,627 mm. =
No. 1. is more likely, I think, to have belonged to another and a smaller
may conjecture therefore that we have here the remains of a man of about
1,625 mm. (5ft 4ins), a smaller man of (say) 1,560 mm. or 1,570 mm. (5ft
1½ins or more), and two females of (say) 1,475 mm. or more (4ft10ins or
a trifle more).
dimensions are rather less than the Neolithic average; to construct a palaeolithic
average we have not the material, and herein lies some of the value of
the Cattedown find.
the cranial and facial bones there are some of what we call high characters,
and some that are rather low; the former seem to preponderate.
people were, generally speaking orthognathous, and most of them were leptorrhine,
having probably a European nose and mouth and well-developed chin, and
well-formed jaws and palate, and the stephanic ridge was inconspicuous,
also a high character.
the other hand the head seems to have been rather low in the one specimen
that yields evidence on the point, and another single specimen indicates
phanerozygy, i.e. the appearance of the zygoma in the vertical aspect.
prominence of the glabella is a marked feature, occurring in both the relevant
would show cause for regarding this as a low feature, but there is something
to be said on the other side.
form of the occipital above described is adverse to the supposition of
marked dolicokephaly. Further than that, one cannot go with certainty.
is nothing to show that they were very robust; it must have been mental
superiority that enabled them successfully to cope with the rhinoceros
and the bison. The platytenemy of the tibiæ, a result of muscular action,
is not extreme. (NB. see Mr Worth's paper for details on this point).
the whole (as said our great master, the noble Broca), if these primitive
hunters were indeed among our own ancestors, as perhaps they were, we have
no need to be ashamed of the men who, naked and almost unarmed, dared to
encounter the lion and the rhinoceros."....