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JACQUES BOUCHER DE CREVECEUR DE PERTH...

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Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 313 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JACQUES BOUCHER DE CREVECEUR DE PERTHES (1788-1868), French geologist and antiquary, was born on the loth of September 1788 at Rethel, Ardennes, France. He was the eldest son of Jules Armand Guillaume Boucher de Crevecceur, botanist and customs officer, and of Etienne-Jeanne-Marie de Perthes (whose surname he was authorized by royal decree in 1818 to assume in addition to his father's). In 1802 he entered government employ as an officer of customs. His duties kept him for six years in Italy, whence returning (in 1811) he found rapid promotion at home, and finally was appointed (March 1825) to succeed his father as director of the douane at Abbeville, where he remained for the rest of his life, being superannuated in January 1853, and dying on the 5th of August 1868. Hisleisure was chiefly devoted to the study of what was afterwards called the Stone Age, " antediluvian man," as he expressed it. About the year 183o he had found, in the gravels of the Somme valley, flints which in his opinion bore evidence of human handiwork; but not until many years afterwards did he make public the important discovery of a worked flint implement with remains of elephant, rhinoceros, &c., in the gravels of Menchecourt. This was in 1846. A few years later he commenced the issue of his monumental work, Antiquitfs celtiques et an ediluviennes (1847, 1857, 1864; 3 vols.), a work in which he was the first to establish the existence of man in the Pleistocene or early Quaternary period. His views met with little approval, partly because he had previously propounded theories regarding the antiquity of man without facts to support them, partly because the figures in his book were badly executed and they included drawings of flints which showed no clear sign of workmanship. In 1855 Dr Jean Paul Rigollot (1810-1873), of Amiens, strongly advocated the authenticity of the flint implements; but it was not until 1858 that Hugh Falconer (q.v.) saw the collection at Abbeville and induced Prestwich (q.v.) in the following year to visit the locality. Prestwich then definitely agreed that the flint implements were the work of man, and that they occurred in undisturbed ground in association with remains of extinct mammalia. In 1863 his discovery of a human jaw, together with worked flints, in a gravel-pit at Moulin-Quignon near Abbeville seemed to vindicate Boucher de Perthes entirely; but doubt was thrown on the antiquity of the human remains (owing to the possibility of interment), though not on the good faith of the discoverer, who was the same year made an officer of the Legion of Honour together with Quatref ages his champion. Boucher de Perthes displayed activity in many other directions. For more than thirty years he filled the presidential chair of the Societe d'Emulation at Abbeville, to the publications of which he contributed articles on a wide range of subjects. He was the author of several tragedies, two books of fiction, several works of travel, and a number of books on economic and philanthropic questions. To his scientific books may be added De l'homme antediluvien et de ses oeuvres (Paris, 186o). See Alcius Ledien, Boucher de Perthes; sa vie, ses ceuvres, sa correspondence (Abbeville, 1885) ; Lady Prestwich, " Recollections of M. Boucher de Perthes " (with portrait) in Essays Descriptive and Biographical (1901). A BOUCHES-DU-RHONE, a maritime department of south-eastern France situated at the mouth of the Rhone. Area, 2026 sq. m. Pop. (1906) 765,918. Formed in 1790 from western Provence, it is bounded N. by Vaucluse, from which it is separated by the Durance, E. by Var, W. by Gard, and S. by the Mediterranean, along which its seaboard stretches for about 12o m. The western portion consists of the Camargue (q.v.), a low and marshy plain enclosed between the Rhone and the Petit-Rhone, and comprising the Rhone delta. A large portion of its surface is covered by lagoons and pools (etangs), the largest of which is the Etang de Vaccares; to the east of the Camargue is situated the remarkable stretch of country called the Crau, which is strewn with pebbles like the sea-beach; and farther east and north there are various ranges of mountains of moderate elevation be-longing to the Alpine system. The Etang de Berre, a lagoon covering an area of nearly 6o sq. m., is situated near the sea to the south-east of the Crau. A few small tributaries of the Rhone and the Durance, a number of streams, such as the Arc and the Touloubre, which flow into the Etang de Berre, and the Huveaune, which finds its way directly to the sea, are the only rivers that properly belong to the department. Bouches-du-Rhone enjoys the beautiful climate of the Mediterranean coast, the chief drawback being the mistral, the icy north-west wind blowing from the central plateau of France. The proportion of arable land is small, though the quantity has been considerably increased by artificial irrigation and by the draining of marshland. Cereals, of which wheat and oats are the commonest, are grown in the Camargue and the plain of Arles, but they are of less importance than the olive-tree, which is grown largely in the east of the department and supplies the oil-works of Marseilles. The vine is also cultivated, the method of submersion being used as a safeguard against phylloxera. In the cantons of the north-west large quantities of early vegetables are produced. Of live-stock, sheep alone are raised to any extent. Almonds, figs, capers, mulberry trees and silk-worms are sources of considerable profit. Iron is worked, but the most important mines are those of lignite, in which between 2000 and 3000 workmen are employed; the department also produces bauxite, building-stone, lime, cement, gypsum, clay, sand and gravel and marble. The salt marshes employ many workmen, and the amount of sea-salt obtained exceeds in quantity the pro-duce of any other department in France. Marseilles, the capital, is by far the most important industrial town. In its oil-works, soap-works, metallurgical works, shipbuilding works, distilleries, flour-mills, chemical works, tanneries, engineering and machinery works, brick and tile works, manufactories of preserved foods and biscuits, and other industrial establishments, is concentrated most of the manufacturing activity of the department. To these must be added the potteries of the industrial town of Aubagne, the silk-works in the north-west cantons, and various paper and cardboard manufactories, while several of the industries of Marseilles, such as the distilling of oil, metal-founding, ship-building and soap-making, are common to the whole of Bouchesdu-Rhone. Fishing is also an important industry. Cereals, flour, silk, woollen and cotton goods, wine,. brandy, oils, soap, sugar and coffee are chief exports; cereals, oil-seeds, wine and brandy, raw sugar, cattle, timber, silk, wool, cotton, coal, &c., are imported. The foreign commerce of the department, which is principally carried on in the Mediterranean basin, is for the most part concentrated in the capital; the minor ports are Martigues, Cassis and La Ciotat. Internal trade is facilitated by the canal from Arles to Port-de-Bouc and two smaller canals, in all about 35 M. in length. The Rhone and the Petit-Rhone are both navigable within the department. Bouches-du-Rhone is divided into the three arrondissements of Marseilles, Aix and Arles (33 cantons, 11 r communes). It belongs to the archiepiscopal province of Aix, to the region of the XV. army corps, the headquarters of which are at Marseilles, and to the academie (educational division) of Aix. Its court of appeal is at Aix. Marseilles, Aix, Arles, La Ciotat, Martigues, Salon, Les Saintes-Maries, St Remy, Les Baux and Tarascon, the principal places, are separately noticed. Objects of interest elsewhere may be mentioned. Near Saint-Chamas there is a remarkable Roman bridge over the Touloubre, which probably dates from the 1st century B.C. and is thus the oldest in France. It is supported on one semicircular span and has triumphal arches at either end. At Vernegues there are re-mains of a Roman temple known as the " Maison-Basse." The famous abbey of Montmajour, of which the oldest parts are the Romanesque church and cloister, is 22 M. from Arles. At Orgon there are the ruins of a chateau of the 15th century, and near La Roque d'Antheron the church and other buildings of the Cistercian abbey of Silvacane, founded in the 12th century.
End of Article: JACQUES BOUCHER DE CREVECEUR DE PERTHES (1788-1868)
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