On 27 September 1926 the learned world was startled by a letter from Monsieur Salomon Reinach, published in The Times. The writer expressed the opinion that the Palaeolithic period (the last phase of which is represented in France by La Madelaine) might have lasted up to 5000 B.C. M. Reinach is Director of the National Museum of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris; his reputation as a savant stands very high, and he is listened to with respect. The discoveries which prompted him to express this unorthodox opinion were, he says “ascertained last summer at Glozel near Vichy. In the same stratum, no doubt a deposit of a religious character, have been found—(1) objects akin to the Neolithic culture of the Aegean, one of them being an idol in the shape of a violin; (2) inscriptions closely related to those found in 1894 in an early Portuguese dolmen; (3) numerous engravings of animals on pebbles, the style of which is degenerate Magdalenian. As the objects classified under (1) and (2) date from about 4000–3500, degenerate Magdalenian outlines (3) cannot possibly be earlier, and we thus have a proof, which I think is conclusive, that the Magdalenian should be dated about 5000 B.C.” Thus from the outset the discussion of the issues has been confused by questionable fact and faulty inference.
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