These were the keys which unlocked the treasures of the antediluvian world for me.
A little armadillo, the mulita, is the living representative of the antediluvian giants Mylodon, Megatherium, &c. The ostrich-Rhea americana-roams everywhere in the plains; and there are a few specimens of the vulture tribe, a native crow (lean, tall and ruffed), partridges and quails.
The authenticity of his list of 10 antediluvian kings who reigned for 120 sari or 432,000 years, has been partially confirmed by the inscriptions; but his 8 postdiluvian dynasties are difficult to reconcile with the monuments, and the numbers attached to them are probably corrupt.
LAMECH (19), the biblical patriarch, appears in each of the antediluvian genealogies, Gen.
The Babylonians, according to Berossus, supposed that there were ten antediluvian kings, who they declared had reigned for the portentous period of 432,000 years: 432,000 years, however, it has been ingeniously pointed out by Oppert (Gott.
(ii.) The ages to which the various patriarchs lived (Abraham, 175; Isaac, 180; Jacob, 147), though not so extravagant as those of the antediluvian patriarchs, or (with one exception) as those of the patriarchs between Noah and Abraham, are much greater than is at all probable in view of the structure and constitution of the human body.
The extracts containing the Babylonian cosmology, the list of the antediluvian kings of Babylonia, and the Chaldaean story of the Deluge, have been shown by the decipherment of the cuneiform texts to have faithfully reproduced the native legends; we may, therefore, conclude that the rest of the History was equally trustworthy.
A characteristic tone pervades the history, even of the antediluvian age, from the creation of Adam; or rather, the history of the earliest times has been written under its influence.
Regarded as an historical work there is a remarkable absence of proportion, and a loss of perspective in the relation between antediluvian, patriarchal, Mosaic and later periods.
As the Genesis begins with a line identical in meaning, though not in wording, with the opening of Cmdmon's Hymn, we may perhaps infer that the writer knew and used Cmdmon's genuine poems. Some of the more poetical passages may possibly echo Cmdmon's expressions; but when, after treating of the creation of the angels and the revolt of Lucifer, the paraphrast comes to the Biblical part of the story, he follows the sacred text with servile fidelity, omitting no detail, however prosaic. The ages of the antediluvian patriarchs, for instance, are accurately rendered into verse.
Rats, frogs and bats form actually the only animal life in the caves, but a great number of antediluvian animal bones have been found here, as well as human bones and numerous remains of prehistoric human settlements.