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clined to attribute them even to a much later period than the deluge; and certainly there is not a single fact connected with them, that should lead us to date their origin from any more ancient era.
VII. The total impossibility of referring any one of these appearances to the effect of ancient or modern rivers, or any other causes, that are now, or appear ever to have been, in action, since the retreat of the diluvian waters.
VIII. The analogous occurrence of similar phænomena in almost all the regions of the world that have hitherto heen scientifically investigated, presenting a series of facts that are uniformly consistent with the hypothesis of a contemporaneous and diluvial origin.
IX. The perfect harmony and consistency in the circumstances of those few changes that now go on (e.g. the formation of ravines and gravel by mountain torrents; the limited depth and continual growth of peat bogs, the formation of tufa, sand-banks, deltas, coral reefs, and streams of lava; and the filling up of lakes, estuaries, and marshes, with the hypothesis which dates the commencement of all such operations, at a period not more ancient than that which our received chronologies assign to the deluge.”
In the collection and arrangement of the foregoing facts, we discern the operations of a mind laborious in research; and so logically constituted as to be enabled to separate the strong proofs from the weaker and lesser important matter with which they are mixed up; but we have now to view the labours of Dr. Buckland in a very different light; we have to regard him no longer as the
able reasoner upon known phænomena, but as the original discoverer of new facts, highly important in their inferences, and calculated to furnish additional support to the theory, of which he is so powerful an advocate.
In the year 1822, Dr. Buckland read a memoir before the Royal Society, announcing the discovery of a singular cave at Kirkdale in Yorkshire, containing an assemblage of fossil teeth and bones of the elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, bear, tiger, and hyæna, and sixteen other animals; with a comparative view of five similar caverns in various parts of England, and others on the continent. For this important paper the society awarded to its author their Copley medal ; and it constitutes the basis of a later and much more extended work, entitled “ RELIQUIÆ DILUVIANÆ; or Observations on the Organic Remains contained in Caves, Fissures, and Diluvial Gravel; and on other Geological Phenomena, attesting the Action of an Universal Deluge. By the Rev. W.BUCKLAND, B. D. F. R. S. &c.”
Kirkdale is situated about 25 miles N. N. E. of the city of York, between Helmsley and Kirby Moorside, near the point at which the east base of the Hambleton hills, looking towards Scarborough, subsides into the vale of Pickering, and on the south extremity of the mountainous district known by the name of the Eastern and Cleveland moorlands. ,
The substratum of this valley is a mass of stratified clay, identical with that which at Oxford and Weymouth reposes on a similar limestone to that of Kirkdale, and containing, subordinately, beds of inflammable bituminous shale, like that of Kimeridge in Dorsetshire. Its south
boundary is formed by the Howardean hills, and by the elevated escarpement of the chalk, that terminates the Wolds towards Scarborough. Its north frontier is composed of a belt of limestone, extending eastward 30 miles from the Hambleton hills, near Helmsley, to the sea at Scarborough, and varying in breadth from four to seven miles ; this limestone is intersected by a succession of deep and parallel valleys (called dales,) through which the following rivers from the moorlands pass down southwards the vale of Pickering, viz. the Rye, the Rical, the Hodge Beck, the Dove, the Seven Beck, and the Costa; their united streams fall into the Derwent above New Malton, and their only outlet is by a deep gorge, extending from near this town down to Kirkham, the stoppage of which would at once convert the whole vale of Pickering into an immense inland lake; and before the excavation of which, it is probable that such a lake existed, having its north border nearly along the edge of the belt of limestone just described, and at no great distance from the mouth of the cave at Kirkdale.
The position of the cave is at the south and lower extremity of one of these dales (that of the Hodge Beck), at the point where it falls into the vale of Pickering. It occurs in that species of limestone rock which is usually perforated by irregular holes and caverns intersecting them in all directions. The abundance of such cavities in the limestone of the vicinity of Kirkdale is evident from the fact of the engulfment of several of the rivers above enumerated, in the course of their passage across it; and it is important to observe, that the elevation of the Kirkdale cave above the bed of the Hodge Beck,
being nearly 80 feet, excludes the possibility of qur attributing the muddy sediment we shall find it to contain to any land flood, or extraordinary rise of the waters of this, or of any other river in the neighbourhood.
But let us explore the interior of this cavern. It was not till the summer of 1821, that the existence of any animal remains, or of the cavern containing them, was suspected. At this time, in continuing the operations of a large quarry, the workmen accidentally intersected the mouth of a long hole, closed externally with rubbish, and overgrown with grass and bushes. As this rubbish was removed before any competent person had examined it, it is not certain whether it was composed of diluvial gravel and rolled pebbles, or was simply the debris that had fallen from the softer portions of the strata that lay above it; the workman, however, who removed it, and some gentlemen who saw it, assured Dr. Buckland that it was composed of gravel and sand. In the interior of the cavern, our indefatigable geologist could not find a single rolled pebble, nor has he ever seen one bone, or fragment of bone, that bore the slightest mark of having been rolled by the action of water.
The original entrance is said to have been very small, and having been filled up as above described, there could not have been any admission of external air through it to the interior of the cavern. Nearly 30 feet of its outer extremity have now been removed, and the present entrance is a hole in the perpendicular face of the quarry, about three feet high and five feet broad, which it is only possible for a man to enter on his hands and knees, and which expands and contracts itself irregularly from two to
seven feet in breadth, and two to fourteen feet in height. It is unnecessary to enter into farther details; the reader, if he wishes more minute information, may consult Dr. Buckland's work.
On entering the cave, the first thing observed was a sediment of soft mud or loam, covering entirely its whole bottom to the average depth of about a foot, and concealing the subjacent rock, or actual floor of the cavern. Not a particle of mud was found attached either to the sides or roof; nor was there a trace of it adhering to the sides or upper portions of the transverse fissures, or anything to suggest the idea that it had entered through them. The mud was covered by a stalagmytic crust, which had been formed by the dripping of water impregnated with calcareous matter, as is common in all the cavities of limestone; but it is important to remark, that there was not any alternation of mud with any repeated beds of stalagmyte, but simply a partial deposit of the latter on the floor beneath; so that the mud was encased, like meat in a pie, with an upper and under crust. It was chiefly in the lower part of the earthy sediment, and in the calcareous matter beneath it, that the animal remains were found.
In the whole extent of the cave, only a very few large bones have been discovered that are tolerably perfect ; most of them are broken into small angular fragments and chips, the greater part of which lay separately in the mud, whilst others were wholly or partially invested with stalagmite; and others again mixed with masses of still smaller fragments. In some few places, where the mud was shallow, and the heaps of teeth and bones consider