The Creation Concept | Controversy About the Glacial Theory


Could some fossil human bones and teeth that occur in caves be the remains of people who lived before the flood, who were destroyed in the great catastrophe? It seems unlikely that these cave sites all represent deliberate burials, or that whole races of man actually lived in caves in the past; the deeper recesses of cave systems are generally inhospitable places for man. It also seems implausible to say people kept falling down crevices and potholes, to become trapped inside caves, an explanation sometimes invoked to explain the presence of animal fossils in caves, which often include creatures that do not normally inhabit caves.

Many of the human fossils in European caves are Neanderthal types, a race which has become extinct. These were powerful, muscular people, such as Genesis 6:4 suggests was characteristic of at least some of the races of the antediluvians.

Most accounts of the human fossils mention stone implements associated with the fossil remains, which, if true, seems incompatible with an interpretation of these fossils as those due to drowning and burial in sediments of the flood, but perhaps there are other possible explanations for these objects. One suggestion is that investigators have mistaken naturally broken pebbles and stones of flint for tools worked by man. Dr Chris Stringer of Britain's Natural History Museum is quoted as saying:

"The argument is that these things may not be human artifacts at all. If you look at enough pebbles, you'll see some that look as if they have been artificially shaped." (The Times, 21 June 95, page 16. Cited in Britain's 'Oldest' Man.)

Genesis 4:22 indicates that the use of  iron and brass was known to man before the flood, so, from a creationist viewpoint, it would seem that the evolutionary ideas of a "stone age" in man's early history may be simply misguided. Yet there are tribes still around, or that existed until quite recent times, that used primitive "stone age" technology, such as the Australian aborigines.

Some human fossils occur without alleged "tools" associated with them, but occur along with bones of extinct animals, which appears to fit the idea of these being the remains of antediluvian people. Some finds may represent reburials of fossil remains of flood victims. However, probably not all human remains from the caves are those of antediluvian man; some could represent burials of those who died since the flood, as suggested in the story in Genesis 25:9 about the burial of Abraham in a cave in Palestine. Where fossils occur lying in a fetal position, it seems to be a good indication of a deliberate burial.

The table below presents a list of some of the human fossils. Since about 6,000 human fossils are known, this is only a representative sample. In this list, the evolutionary sequence that is usually imposed on the fossil data has been discarded; references to dating schemes and associated implements, etc. have been dropped, as these involve interpretation. Other data that may possibly be appropriate for a proper interpretation may have been omitted. I encourage comments and suggestions for additions to the list and about any further details that may be relevant. I suggest that for a Creationist understanding of the human fossils, one should perhaps start with bare data, stripped of interpretations, (which is sometimes difficult to do) and consider how it may best fit the information God has provided us in Genesis about human origins. This list attempts to present bare facts; the order of fossils listed is roughly that of discovery, not the evolutionary one seen in most text books.

The statements in Genesis 6:1-13 about the conditions in antediluvian times may be helpful for our interpretation of these fossil finds; a possible mechanism by which they came to be buried in the caves is suggested by my disintegration theory of the drift. It is interesting and significant to note how many of the fossils listed below are from caves. I would be interested in hearing about other significant fossils that could be added to the list, and especially about references to the details on particular circumstances of burial of the fossils, as this seems especially relevant to the proper interpretation.

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Summary of data on typical human fossils

In Belgium, a partial cranium of a 2.5 year old child was found in 1829. In 1936 it was identified as Neanderthal. (I am not sure if this one was in a cave.)
An adult cranium was found in cave on Gibraltar in 1848; it was identified as Neanderthal in 1864.
In 1856 the original 'Neanderthal' fossil bones were discovered during quarrying operations, in a cave, called Feldhofer Grotto, formed in Devonian limestone. The location was the Neander Valley, in the valley of the Dussel, Germany. He had a low vaulting skull, massive brow ridges and a prominent occipital bone. The fossil remains included thigh bones, part of a pelvis, some ribs, and some arm and shoulder bones. His limbs were stout and strong as can be inferred from the markings left on the bone by the once-attached muscle. The lower left arm had been broken in life, and as a result the bones of the left arm were smaller than those of the right. Estimates have put this individual at 50 years of age at the time of his death.
At Les Eyzies, France, in 1868, four human fossil skeletons of CroMagnon man were discovered accidentally when road builders broke into a cave in a cliff of Cretaceous limestone. Two of the skeletons were described as lying in a fetal position. Many other caves occur in the area. Bones of reindeer, bison and mammoth were also present. Among the CroMagnon people, women were shorter than the men. Fossils of the CroMagnon race are widely distributed in caves of Europe. 
A limestone cavern in Brazil, on the borders of the Lagoa do Sumidouro, near from Santa Lucia, was excavated by Dr. P.W. Lund; he uncovered the bones of more than thirty individuals (human) of both sexes and various ages. The skeletons lay buried in hard clay overlying the original red soil forming the floor of the cave and mixed together in great confusion. They were not only jumbled with one another but with the remains of the Megatherium and other Pleistocene mammals. This precludes the idea that they had been entombed by man. All the bones, whether human or animal, showed evidence of having been contemporary with one another. In other caves investigated by Lund, bones of ancient men were found alongside those of the formidable Smilodon, a giant feline which became extinct during the last Pleistocene times. Referring to the evidence from these and other Brazilian fossiliferous caves, the Marquis de Nadaillac wrote in 1870 [quoted in Hapgood, p. 290]: 
" ...Doubtless these men and animals lived together and perished together, common victims of catastrophes, the time and cause of which are alike unknown." 
In 1886, Marcel de Puydt and Max Lohest discovered 2 almost complete Neanderthal skeletons, in a cave at Spy d'Orneau, Belgium. Along with the human fossils were fossils of extinct cave bear, mammoth, and wooly rhinocerous.
In 1899, Dragutin Gorjanovic-Kramberger excavated the cave of Krapina in Croatia. Amongst thousands of animal fossils, there were many human fossils including the remains of at least 60 Neanderthals including children. The presence of children and adults together in the same cave suggests they died in some unusual way, rather than by natural causes.
The "Mauer Jaw", or "Heidelberg Man", was discovered in a gravel pit near Heidelberg, Germany, in 1907. It consists of a lower jaw with a receding chin and all its teeth. The jaw is extremely large and robust. [This fits the statement about the antediluvian period in Genesis 6:4: "There were giants in the earth in those days."]
In a limestone cave near La-Chapelle-aux-Saints, France, a fossil of a Neanderthal dubbed the "Old Man" was discovered by three French priests, Abbes A. Bouyssonie, J. Bouyssanie and L. Bardon, in 1908. It was a nearly complete skeleton; skull with a brain size of 1620 cc. The specimen was between about 30 and 40 when he died, but had a healed broken rib, severe arthritis of the hip, lower neck, back and shoulders, and had lost most of his molar teeth. He was found along with fossil bones of numerous animals such as wooly rhinoceroses, reindeer, hyenas and bison.
Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, was the site of the discovery in 1913 of a complete, anatomically modern human skeleton, by Hans Reck.
The fossil known as Rhodesian Man, from Broken Hill in Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe in Zambia), was discovered in 1921. It consists of a complete cranium, very robust, with large brow ridges and a receding forehead. The brain size about 1280 cc.
Peking Man; Homo erectus (Sinanthropus pekinensis) was found at Zhoukoudian (or Choukoutien), in caves near Beijing (formerly Peking), in China, between 1929 and 1937. Various skulls and skull fragments of adults and children were found in the Lower Cave; a number of fossils of modern humans were also discovered in the Upper Cave at the same site in 1933. The original fossils disappeared in 1941 while being sent to the United States during World War II. Since then, other Homo erectus fossils have been found at this site and others in China.
The brain case of an adult Neanderthal was found in a cave at Sterkfontein, South Africa by Robert Broom, in 1936.
Shanidar cave, Iraq, excavated by Ralph Solecki between 1951 and 1960, yielded 9 Neandertal skeletons. One was partially blind, one-armed and crippled.
At Petralona, Greece, a skull, known as Petralona 1, was found in 1960. The brain size was 1220 cc. It has some Neandertal characteristics, featuring a large face with particularly wide jaws.
Jebel Qafzeh, Israel, is a cave site where human remains include those of adults, infants and one small child; tools of Levallois-Mousterian type were present.
A gravel pit at Steinheim, Germany, yielded the skull of a young female Neanderthal. The cranial capacity was 1070 cc. The skull itself was long and narrow and was missing the mandible, and the left side of the face. The large brow ridges and powerful jaw were those of a Neanderthal while the rounded back of the skull was that of a modern hominid. The features were less specialized than those of the classic Neanderthals.
Paviland Cave, on the Gower peninsula, Wales, contained the remains of a young man (originally thought to be a woman) which became known as "The Red Lady of Paviland" because the bones had been stained with red ochre. They were buried in red clay along with stone, bone, and ivory tools, a necklace of shells, and many types of animal bones. [This was probably the tomb of an ancient warrior.]
Several skull fragments were found in the Thames Valley, at Swanscombe, England, in a layer of river sediment located two feet below the surface. The fragments consist of a left and a right parietal which were pieced together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. They were well preserved and indicate that the individual was a young adult, most possibly a female, with a cranial capacity of approximately 1325 cc. The pieces represent a modern-looking individual with the exception that the bone fragments found are thicker than in modern man. The human fossils were found with numerous remains of 26 animal species such as wolf, lion, and horse.
An almost complete fossil cranium of Homo erectus, known as KNM-ER 3733, was discovered at Koobi Fora, Kenya, in 1975. Brain size is about 850 cc. The skull is similar to the Peking Man fossils.
A fossil known as the "Saint-Cesaire Neandertal" was found in 1979 by Francois Leveque, at Pierrot's Rock, near the village of Saint-Cesaire in France. The site is situated along a small stream at the base of a limestone cliff.
In 1994 a human shin bone was found during excavations in a quarry at Boxgrove, near Chichester, West Sussex, South England. Boxgrove man is thought to have been powerfully built, and over 6 feet tall, possibly resembling Heidelberg Man. Two teeth have also been found, along with animal bones.


Hapgood, Charles H., 1970. The Path of the Pole. Chilton Books, NY.
Lubenow, Marvin L. 1992. Bones of Contention, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Related Sites

Into the World of Anthropology
Fossil Hominids - The FAQ written by Jim Foley.
Origins of Humankind
Forbidden Archeology
Evidence for Pleistocene Burials
Where are all the human fossils? - This creationist interpretation of the human fossils, [from Creation Magazine, Dec 91-Feb 92, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 28-33], attempts to explain the lack of human fossils that can be attributed to the Flood. The author's Flood model assigns practically all human fossils to the post-flood era.
Creation Science FAQ - by Darren ('Gordo') Gordon.
Response by Jim Foley:
Fossil Hominids: Response to Gordon's FAQ
The Arthur C. Custance Online Library - The Doorway Papers.
Human origins, archaeology and chronology - by David J. Tyler.
The "Ape-men" Fallacy - by Malcolm Bowden.
Piltdown Man - Richard Harter's page about the infamous Piltdown hoax.
Nature article on the identity of the Piltdown hoaxer.
Missing Links - Is there really evidence that man decended from apes? - from ChristianAnswers.Net.
Alleged evolutionary ancestory coexisted with modern humans - by Marvin L. Lubenow.
The True History of Mankind - by J. H. John Peet
The Scientific Evidence For the Origin of Man - by David N. Menton.
Strange Relics from the Depths of the Earth - by Ken Clark.

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Copyright © 1997 by Douglas E. Cox

The Creation Concept | Controversy About the Glacial Theory