Buckland, William; Reliquiae Diluvianae: or Observations on the Organic Remains Contained in Caves, Fissures, and Diluvial Gravel, and on other Geological Phenomena, Attesting the Action of an Universal Deluge. 1st edition, London, John Murray 1823. Quarto, pp. vii, errata, 303, folded table, 27 plates and hand colored maps and profiles.
The work is complete and in a modern full calf with raised spine bands, gilt panels and titles. The binding is very clean. Text is clean with very light foxing to a few plate margins, text and plates lightly trimmed. In very good condition.
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Buckland (1784-1856) an English cleric, geologist and vertebrate paleontologist was the first Reader of Geology at Oxford beginning in 1819. His contributions to English geology are numerous and include the first published description of dinosaurs which Buckland called Megalosaurus or Great Lizard. Amongst Buckland's contributions was the first studies of vertebrate remains in cave deposits. Buckland was a leading member of the geological community which tied theological doctrines to geological concepts. Within the above work; based in large part on his studies of cave deposits, he made his grand attempt at tying the two together. He demonstrates that the fossil remains found in caves and fissures belonged to the same genera and species as those found in surficial gravels and clays. The surficial deposits were divided into lower "diluvial" deposits and upper "alluvial" deposits which were lake or river deposits. The wide distribution of the diluvial deposits and the extinct animals within them along with bones of existing species were evidence to Buckland that these deposits had been laid down by a universal deluge no longer then 1000 years ago. The first edition is very rare.