Nebraska Loess Man
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NKBHASKA MOUND BUILDER,
2.000 Years Old.
ARE SKULLS jJFANCIENT MEN
Robert F. Gilder Presents Interest
ing Find to State University.
DATE IS TOLD BY EARTH STRATA
ArrharoloRlttta Arc Altle to Approxl-
nintrl)’ Urfcrntlnr. Wlirn Men
Lived by Deposit In Which
Honrs Arn I’ound.
If clay and sotl depusita In their various
layers did not read IIko nn open book to
the archaeologist on points of time, spec
ulations as to the oca of skulls found
deep In tho earth could not be made with
any degree of accuracy. But strata of
clay, gravel, glacial deposit and locos are
on open pago to those who know how to I
read them. Thus skulls found In various ‘
deposits nre placed In the ago In which
that particular deposit was deposited
whore tho akull Is found. Thesu facts
are what give significance to three akuila
just presented to the University of Ne
braska school of medicine In Omaha by
Robert F. Gilder, archaeologist In the
field for tho University of Nebraska.
Air, Glider has made a collection nf
archaeological and anthropological speci
mens for years. Ho has dug hundreds of
old skulls from the depths of Nebraska
soil and has unearthed many of tho
secrets of the Nebninkn, mound builders,
who probably thrived here tnanv hundrnlal
of years before the Americun Indians
evor drew a bow on a bison.
One Antedates Other Two.
But one of these three skulls antedates
the other two, not by hundreds of years,
but by thousands, in tho optnlon of some
ot tho leading geologists who have placed
It In the history ot the world by the loess
clay In which It was found on tho farm
of Kmnnnucl Cong, three miles north of
Florence, a few years ago. A dozen skulls
were taken from the same excavation by
Mr. Ullder at that time. The one he now
presents to the University ot Nebraska
school ot modlclno has been named “Ne
braska Loess Man No, 8.” This because
it was the eighth skull removed from this
Ir. George EX Condra ot the department
of geography and geology ot the Univer
sity of Nebraska and E. II. ‘ Barbour,
head of the department of geology of the
University of Nebraska, both examined
tho loess clay In the pit where the skulls
were found and havo estimated that the
clay was deposited there nbout 20,000 years
agA. This is taken to mean that tho man
upon whose shoulders this fierce skull
once rested lived 39,000 years ago.
Mica That of an Ape.
Now to evolutionists this Is very Inter
esting, for a glance at the skull will sug
gest the skull ot an ope or orang-outang
rather than that of a man.
And why not? ray the archaeologist,
for that was a long time ago, and we all
know that, civilization had not made very
big leaps at that time. We had no
trust bosses then to sit In swivel chairs
and manipulate finances, making millions
with the nod of their head, It was not a
matter of making minions then. It was
a matter of capturing a hind quarter of
some wild boast of the forest for food.
AVhen game was scarce it was a matter
of batting the brains out of your neigh
bor with a stone cudgel to get him out
of the way so that you might have the,
hunk of meat l?e had killed.
As the old frontiersman says, “It took
a man to live in them days;” so did it re
quire a combination of fighting flesh and
bone to walk the earth then and survive.
Skull Was Thick.
So Nebraska Loess Man No. $, being
one who was fit to survive In those hardy
times, had a superciliary ridge over each
eye, that would ward off a lick from
ball bat swung by some of the league
players of the present day. He had al
most no forehead at all. The supercil
iary ridge over eachVye is as pronounced
as a flange on a car wheel, while back
of this ridge his skull slopes back to the
rear of his head. This ms,n expected to
take knocks. Nature fitted him to receive
jolts from rocks and clubs hurled at him
by his enemies. The bone ridge over eanh
eye would protect his eyes from the blows
of his enemies while the sloping head
from there backward would allow all
missiles to glance off harmlessly.
There was not much room for brains
In this skull. Likewise there was not
much need for brains In this man’s time.
The other fellow was no smarter than
Loess, man Nd. 8, and so Instead ot
matching brains they matched cudgels
and frontal bones, and nature’s supercll
Found Under Monad.
I These skulls were found In undisturbed
clay about seven feet beneath an otd
mound north of Florence. Scientist have
come here from France, Germany and
Russia to view these skulls for the
anthropological Interest they hold. They
have been pronounced the best specimens
of ancient man, next to the famous Nean
derthal akull, which was discovered In
Germany some years ago and which is
looked upon as Just a small step removed
; from the ape stage.
‘ Along with this skull in Mr. Glider’s
i gift to the medical school goes his skull
. of the Nebraska mound builder, esti
mated to be S.000 yearm old. This
found in a mound just south ot Coffin
Springs In’ Sarov countr. Nh.lt.
Seventy-two skulls Mr. Gilder took out
or this mound In on excavation about
CxSt feet. Pottery, stone Implements
and shell beads were found also in the
This skull has a much more pronounced
forehead than the Loess skull. In fact,
there Is almost no comparison, although
the mound builder has no forehead to
compare favorably with the average In
telligent American cltlxen of today. Also
the superciliary or supraorbital ridge
over the eye is no longer so pronounced.
The ridg can, of course, be son, tut It
100 Years Old.
Nil 11 HA SKA LOESS MAN 20,000 YEARS
la growing thinner than that of the Loess
man, and not ndarly so prominent.
Indian Ik JS’rxt.
Then comes the American Indian. This
skull Is the third In Mr. Glider’s gift to
the school. It was taken from an exca
vation he made on Ponca creek on the
farm of Frank” Parker, two miles north
of Florence. The Indian to whom this
skull belonged Is thought to have been
burled about 100 years ago. Metal fringe
nnd glass beads wcro found in tho grave,
which would Indlcato a comparatively
modern Indian, and would also Indicate
contact with tho whites. .
Here Is a skull, the frontal bone of
which Is painted red. lint as the In
dians painted It be’foro the skull was
buried. It is thought that the body was
attowed to Ho out until the flesh was
picked off by birds and until the bones
were bleached before It was burled. Then ,
tho forehead was painted before burial. ‘
Hero Is a forehead also that has no
such superciliary ridges as has that ot
tho Loess man. The ridges over the eyes
are even less pronounced than those of
the mound builders, but they can be seen
even as they may be seen still In many
civilized men of today. But this Indian
hnd little uso for strong bony fortifica
tion over the eyes. He fought his battles
with bows and arrows. Also with knives.
His enemies used similar weapons. So
bony ridges over the eyes, were not as
useful as dexterity of arms, nlmbleness
In tho feet, and brains for cunning In
the skull. So this Indian has a greater
brain capacity than either the Loess Man
or the mound builder. His forehead la
better developed, and his head Is wider.
Omaha daily bee., November 16, 1913, PART ONE, Page 14-A, Image 14
~Chris L Lesley/GAWMuseum