The Empress Column is a stalagmite 35 ft.
Above this and below the stalagmite there is in one part of the cave a black band from 2 to 6 in.
The succession of beds in descending order is as follows: - (1) Shingle consisting of pebbles of limestone, slate and other local rocks, with fragments of stalagmite and containing a few bones and worked flints.
Each stalactite, stalagmite and pilaster was measured, numbered, and removed in sections.
The traces of human occupation are pieces of charcoal, flints, moccasin tracks and a single skeleton embedded in stalagmite in one of the chasms, estimated, from the present rate of stalagmitic growth, to have lain where found for not more than five hundred years.
(2) Below this is a stalagmite floor, varying in thickness from 1 to 3 ft., and covering (3) the red earth which contained bones of the hyaena, lion, mammoth, rhinoceros and other animals, in association with flint implements and an engraved antler, which proved man to have been an inhabitant of the cavern during its deposition.
In the lower sanctuary the natural pillars of stalagmite had been used as objects of worship, and bronze votive objects thrust into their crevices (Halbherr, Museo di antichitd classica, ii.
About the same time P. C. Schmerling of Liege was exploring the ossiferous caverns of the valley of the Meuse, and satisfied himself that the men whose bones he found beneath the stalagmite floors, together with bones cut and flints shaped by human workmanship, had inhabited this Belgian district at the same time with the cave-bear and several other extinct animals whose bones were imbedded with them (Recherches sur les ossements fossiles decouverts dans les cavernes de la province de Liege (Liege, 1833-1834)).
(6) Stalagmite with a few bones and antlers of reindeer, the thickness varying from one to fifteen inches.
At a later period the fall of angular fragments at the entrance finally closed the cave, and it ceased to be accessible except to a few burrowing animals, whose remains are found above the second and newer stalagmite floor.