Caves and Caverns: Their Interest for Chemists and Geologists

W. L. Havard

Abstract


Caves, whether they be holes in the ground, gapes in the mountain side, or wounds in the rocky face of a sea cliff, have always played a romantic part in the history and literature of the world ; mystery dwells about their thresholds, while their pitchy halls and hidden ways are the home of fairies, gnomes and sibyls, of dwarfs that toil at Vulcan's bidding. From caves, too, spake the oracles, voices of destiny heard beside the cradle and the death-bed of pagan nations. Primitive man made caverns his home, peoples of early civilization made then their burying places. In many parts of the world caves are natural museums which gathered through the ages relics not only of man and his tools and weapons, but of many varied kinds of animals and birds. Who would imagine the hyena, tiger, bear, rhinoceros, elephant or hippopotamus roaming in England? Yet English caves hold the bones of these animals besides those of a more familiar kind. Caves have been used successfully as hiding places, retreats and strongholds for bandits, smugglers, pilgrims, prophets, kings.

Full Text:

PDF