The Creation Concept
| Controversy About the
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
6:4 suggests was characteristic of at least some of the races of the
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
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
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
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
Return to Contents
Summary of data on typical human
|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,
" ...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
|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
|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
|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.
the World of Anthropology
Hominids - The talk.origins FAQ written by Jim Foley.
- Origins of Humankind
for Pleistocene Burials
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.
Science FAQ - by Darren ('Gordo') Gordon.
- Response by Jim Foley:
Hominids: Response to Gordon's FAQ
- The Arthur C. Custance
Online Library - The Doorway Papers.
origins, archaeology and chronology - by David J. Tyler.
"Ape-men" Fallacy - by Malcolm Bowden.
- Piltdown Man
- Richard Harter's page about the infamous Piltdown hoax.
article on the identity of the Piltdown hoaxer.
Links - Is there really evidence that man decended from apes? -
evolutionary ancestory coexisted with modern humans - by Marvin L.
- The True
History of Mankind - by J. H. John Peet
Scientific Evidence For the Origin of Man - by David N. Menton.
- Strange Relics
from the Depths of the Earth - by Ken Clark.