There is an interesting article in the Telegraph, an excerpt about the man who found the lost epic of Gilgamesh. As I was reading it, it struck me as to how this played with Darwin’s beginnings of evolutionary science. Then, I came to this paragraph near the end:
And finally, the horizon of natural history also retreated. Later in the period, the Epic became part of a new philosophy that postulated an even greater age for the Earth than had been hitherto estimated. The geologist Eduard Suess used the implications of the poem’s discovery as part of an introduction to his massive, four-volume, The Face of the Earth (1885-1901).
By positioning the tale as old as he did, it helped to dismantle intellectual resistance to Darwin’s theories — I think. This is why we should never say never to the help archeology can provide us in the search of human origins.