THE GIANT FOSSIL CASTELNAU Translation from French


The legends of antiquity, even those of many modern peoples in various states of civilization, frequently mention the races of giants on which we have no positive indication. By the hand of the imagination in these stories, there is a high probability for the existence of old men who have elements with modern man in the same relative size as large animals quaternary with their descendants today. It is well known that almost all species quaternary Elephants, Felines, the Bears, Hyeana, Bos, Cervus, Meles, Fiber, etc.., To small mammals and birds, reached enormous proportions, and advocate for living conditions of their time. there would be nothing improbable in supposing that man also has a key greater. However, the two races quaternary well authenticated, that Neanderthal was at best of average size, and the Cro-Magnon did not exceed our great races today, the Polynesians, for example. We read this same argument made to establish the relatively recent origin of man and to argue that its type is still in the upswing of the physical evolution.

The footprints of giant sandstone quaternary Carson City (USA), who made so much noise there fifteen years and

implying by their size and spacing of men over 3 meters, are now regarded by American scientists as produced by a giant sloth, which we know nothing else.

Finally, if one leaves aside the bones of elephants presented several times as bones of giants, the earth has never fought above the bones of very large sizes of our time.

There is not anything to conclude the current giants. We do know, in fact, not one that seems to owe its size to atavism, and recent research on acromegaly even allow. wonder if we should not seek in disorders of innervation of the cause of the exaggeration of pace of growth in giants not just great individuals in a race of tall.

A shadow of hope has been, lately, given the anthropologists by various researchers who claim to have found in dolmens, and in particular those of Lozere, human bones of gigantic dimensions, but these pieces have never been produced it can be assumed that there was error. The Neolithic man introduced, indeed, sometimes in their graves the bones of large Pleistocene mammals, mammoth and rhinoceros (hole Chaleux Belgium).

The strange discovery I made in the prehistoric necropolis of Castelnau, near Montpellier, seems to me not expected to resolve the issue, but it reopens the debate, and it provides a positive solution.

The necropolis of Castelnau is a vast cemetery that I searched last winter, which included hundreds of graves from the period of polished stone and bronze, beneath a layer probably more recent. She provided a series of about forty well-preserved skulls and many others damaged. Among them is a huge skull base and without frontal, which requires an individual well above the height of 2 meters, and a common morphological type in the dolmens of Lozere. The piece is from a healthy subject, about eighteen years.

But I found even better. In the land of a vast mound, shaved since ancient times and containing cists of the Bronze Age more or less abused by the superposition of the first burials of Iron Age I found fragments of bone feature sizes much more unusual. I think it unnecessary to note that these bones are undeniably human, despite their enormous size, and the only doubt they can raise concerns about the significance of this unusual volume.

The first part is the middle part of shaft of femur. It distinguishes the hole feeder, and above a trace of injury healed. The circumference of the bone is 0m, 16, the length of the fragment, 0m, 14, almost cylindrical shape, the linea aspera strong enough no tendency to pilaster.

The second piece, the more marked is the middle and upper part of shaft of tibia. The epiphysis is destroyed, leaving only the anterior pons. The circumference of 0m, 13, the nutrient foramen, the length of fragment, 0m, 26. The cup is an equilateral triangle. The oblique line, very visible, reached 0m, 11, long.
The third, very singular, was regarded by good anatomists as the lower part of a humerus, by others as that of a femur, and indeed looks as little as one rather than another . The appearance is rather that of a distal femoral epiphysis without, but the bone is quite forlenient curved, cut, elliptical very regular and highly elongated, with an identical form throughout the length of the bone and if looks after the enlarged end, we recognize clearly the characteristic profile of the distal end of the humerus, the beginning of the trochlea and the ear-trochlea of the condyle and epicondyle. The bones also showed when I raised a protuberance very bruised and was soon to fall to pieces, having the shape of a condyle and no morphological analogy with the tibio-femoral .

But I believe rather femur teratological this paradoxical piece of normal size if it looks like the femur, but double the average if it is for the humerus. Placed next to a normal humerus from the same source, it gives an impression that its gigantic nature, in my opinion, does not justify. Otherwise, he should see a humerus amended by the necessity of supporting a weight of several hundreds of kilograms and adapted to the station, if not walking quadruped.

As his physical condition this piece suspect is not related to two others that may arise, however, a single individual. These volumes were more than double the normal pieces to which they correspond. Judging by the usual intervals of anatomical points, they also involve lengths almost double.

The three bones attributed to giant Casteliinu. In the middle humerus Perlora normal size.

The subject would have been a likely size of 3m, 50. We can therefore, by induction sufficiently probable, recognize the existence of a giant necropolis whose Castelnau we have preserved the remains. Its antiquity is beyond dispute: the conditions of deposit of debris, they should be older than the rock roses, and these have been reported by A. Mortillet of the inorganic-gian period, beginning the bronze, because of the presence of bronze wreaths on the heads of several skeletons. I even believe that these bone fragments have been brought from the valley floor with mounds of earth, and in a very advanced state of decomposition. They have entirely the appearance of fossil bones of Quaternary breccias Valley.

The giant likely Castelnau has been living during the Quaternary or the beginning of modern times. Remains whether it involves a population of giants.

The bones are in a state of conservation does not say if they come from an individual with general hypertrophy of the skeletal system (gigantism) or a young person still a race truly gigantic. The appearance is abnormal, but we realize that the first eoopd’œil irregular surfaces is mainly due to the action dissolvanted’unsol rich in carbonic acid and impressions roots. The bones of young mammals Quaternary often this aspect. Mr. Delage, professor of paleontology at the University of Montpellier, looks like weathered bones posl mortem and nonpathological M. Saba – tier, Professor of Zoology, is the condition for sure. The issue is so delicate that examination, histological itself has been able to provide the solution. – In summary, the discovery of Castelnau reopen once more the question of the giants of antiquity. It should be noted that traditions place, almost to the point of the valley where the bones have been taken, the cave of a giant. It is curious that the origin of the legend was discovered at this point a part of the skeleton with mounds of earth brought from Castelnau we have provided bone.

G. From Lapouge.

La Nature: revue des sciences et de leurs applications aux arts …, Volume 18 issue 888, pg 11-12
 By Gaston Tissandier  – 1890

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