Page images
PDF
EPUB

heads, and more especially a bone needle, were definitely of the and sculptures have been found generally enough in France to cave class, so well represented in the caves of Dordogne. Again, demonstrate that such artistic power was fairly common, while below the cave-earth was a breccia formed of limestone and sand- the question of the authenticity and period of the discoveries stone pebbles cemented together by a calcareous paste. In has long since been satisfactorily settled. It is true that the chis also were found implements and bones of bears.

climatic conditions in pleistocene France were more favourable The succession of strata indicated above may be taken to man than was the case farther north, but even an agreeable as typical of the caverns used by palaeolithic man, the climate does not necessarily produce an artistic race; if it breccia and stalagmite flooring being in themselves proof of were so, the Polynesians would probably be the greatest artists a very considerable age, while the association in the former, or the world has ever seen.. The physical remains of palaeolithic under the latter, of remains of human handiwork, with bones of man, even when found under unquestionable conditions, are, extinct animals, may be safely taken to show contemporaneous however, so scanty, that it is unlikely that the important quesexistence.

tion of the race or races inhabiting central and northern Once the mind has fairly grasped the fact that man was living Europe will ever be settled by their means. The evidence at so remote a time, it is a simple and natural conclusion that he at present is in favour of two very different types, one dwarfish should have provided himself with weapons and tools more or and brutal (Canstadt), the other more advanced and noble in less rudely fashioned from the stones he found ready to his hand. physical character (Cro-Magnon). To the latter were due the The analogy of the recently extinct Tasmanian is sufficient to artistic productions, and until further physical evidence is forthshow that even the meanest savage is not without such aids. coming recourse must be had to the most minute examination But the caves of France, of the same palaeolithic period, and used of the objects themselves and to accurate observation of the by men theoretically in the same stage of culture, bring before conditions under which they are found. So far as our present us a race of artists of first-rate capacity, who for accuracy of materials go, these are the only means by which more light may be observation, and for skill in indicating the character and peculiar- thrown on the many problems of early man. ities of the animals around them, have never been surpassed. In spite of the unquestioned and unquestionable character of Such a statement sounds like a contradiction in terms. We are palaeolithic discoveries in general, it must not be assumed that dealing with human beings whose intellect, to judge by their there has been an absence of falsification, forgery, and what the physical characters, should be on a level with that of the Fuegian French call “mystification"; on the contrary, such attempts or the Australian black, and far below that of the Maori or the to meet the demand have been common enough. Apart from Sandwich Islander. Yet none of these gentle and relatively Edward Simpson, who was notorious as “ Flint Jack” in the cultured brown races produced anything in the nature of art middle of the 19th century, many others, both in England and on that can in any sense be compared with the masterly drawings the continent of Europe, have devoted themselves to this peculiar or sculptures of the cave-men of France. The best-known of the industry. Boucher de Perthes tried to conquer the scepticism engravings, that of the mammoth on a piece of ivory, is in the of some of his friends who doubted the human origin of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. It is evidently intended to be nothing Abbeville flints, by unwisely offering his workmen a reward for more than a sketch, the lines of the finely curved tusks being the discovery of human bones in the same beds. The Moulin repeated several times in the desire for accuracy. But the heavy Quignon jaw was accordingly produced, and became the subject lumbering walk of the ponderous beast, his attitude, and even the of much controversy; but the evidence finally showed that it had character of the hairy hide, are all shown or suggested with a originally come from elsewhere. The cave drawings also have skill and freedom that not only denotes daily familiarity with the found their imitators in modern times. One Meillet, a man of thing represented, but a most complete mastery of the art of education, took a special pleasure in the production of spurious translating the idea into simple line. This mammoth-drawing examples, and even published an account of his pretended is probably the most important and monumental of its class, discoveries. But here, as in all the attempts at imitation of but there are many others that possess artistic qualities not less the cave drawings, the modern efforts were betrayed by their remarkable, while they have in addition a grace and beauty of poor artistic quality, and a comparison of the new discoveries line not less astonishing. One of these, in the British Museum, with the old was generally enough to disclose the forgery. Two the head of an ibex-like creature, is outlined with a decision and drawings on bone of a wolf and a bear, declared to have been refinement that can scarcely be surpassed, and many other found in a cave at Thayingen in Switzerland, were afterwards sketches in horn or stone in the same collection show a keen shown to bave been copied from a child's picture book. In appreciation of the characteristic features of the different Switzerland also a brisk trade was carried on some years ago in animals as well as a masterly deftness in the handling of the false antiquities said to come from the Lake-dwellings; and graving-tool. If we are forced to marvel at the graphic skill fantastic types of tools and implements were placed on the of the cave-men, their sculptures in the round are on a still market. In Italy, too, a lively discussion has taken place higher plane, as may be seen in the figures of reindeer in ivory of late years over the authenticity of curiously shaped flint in the British Museum. While they are not highly finished, implements from the neighbourhood of Verona; while America they show a complete understanding of the animal's peculiar has provided similar food for discussion in the well-known forms and contours, which are rendered in a direct, unhesitating Lenapé stone and the Calaveras skull. The former bears way that should betoken a long period of artistic training and drawings of the French cave type, while the latter if genuine an executive power uncommon at any time. These drawings would carry back the story of man in the American continent and sculptures have always been appreciated and even regarded before Pliocene times. as being of a much more advanced style than was to be expected An apparent break in the continuity of man's history in among men who are always classed in the lower grades of culture. Europe occurs at the end of the palaeolithic period. Attempts But enough stress has not hitherto been laid on the artistic have been made to bridge the gap by means of a quality of the work, which would be considered fine at any time "mesolithic” period (uécos, middle); but it would in the world's history. This high artistic level was attained by not seem probable that the missing links will occur at a race of men whom we cannot credit with any great intellectual all events so far north as Britain. We leave palaeolithic man in equipment; men, moreover, who were engaged in a daily a cold climate, surrounded by a somewhat mixed fauna that struggle for the barest necessaries of life, in a trying climate and formed his prey. We know him as a hunter and artist, but the surrounded by a fauna whose means of attack and defence were remains show that he had no knowledge of pottery till towards infinitely superior to their own. There are many astonishing the close of the period. Among the humbler arts he practised at problems in archaeology, but none so badly in need of solution. least sewing, and lived in caves or took shelter at the base of Had the discovery been confined to a single drawing or even overhanging rocks; but like the Australian, he frequently to a single site, fraud or a misreading of the conditions might camped in the open. His successor of the later Stone Age have been alleged, but the case is very different. The drawings (neolithic) we find to be a very different character and with very

Meso-
Inhia

different surroundings. The configuration of the land in which The most trustworthy evidence with regard to this and the he lived is practically the same as we now see it. The severe succeeding archaeological periods is to be found in the gravearctic conditions with the appropriate fauna had entirely dis-mounds. For the earlier part of the neolithic age, however, appeared, and the introduction of new arts must have radically these are by no means fruitful of relics. From their shape they changed his daily life. The most important of these are the are called in England" long barrows" to distinguish them from training of domestic animals, agriculture, and the development the round barrows which belong to a succeeding time, though of pottery. What were the burial rites of palaeolithic man we evidence is being accumulated to show that this division is not of have at present no means of knowing, but for his neolithic universal application. Long barrows are by no means of such successor we know that these were matters of great moment. frequent occurrence in Britain as the round variety; they are The abundance of arrowheads of flint indicate the common use most common in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset, and of the bow and arrow as a weapon, while the art of weaving marks occur as far north as Caithness. Some of them contain within an immense stride in the direction of comfort and civilization. the mound a stone chamber, at times with a gallery leading to it, Of the form and construction of his dwelling we have only a and in the chamber the interment or interments took place. limited knowledge, derived with some uncertainty from the Similar barrows have been found on the continent of Europe, and analogy of the dwellings for the dead (barrows) and more cer- both in Britain and abroad have one feature in common, viz. tainly from the remains of the villages found erected on piles on that no metal, with possibly the exception of gold, has ever been the shores of lakes.

found in them. This similarity of burial custom, though it may A much-debated question arises here that cannot be passed conceivably indicate intercourse, certainly does not prove over. The changes just mentioned are not such as would be identity of race, as has been sometimes claimed. The type of produced by internal causes alone. Much of the evidence is in skulls found in the interment is clear evidence against such an favour of neolithic man being an immigrant, coming into northern assumption. and central Europe long after palaeolithic man and his character In Britain, the burials werc at times by inhumation only, and istic fauna had disappeared. Where did the earlier race go and occasionally a great number of bodies were interred in the same who are its modern representatives, if any? The answers to barrow: at others, cremation had preceded burial. Another this question are many. W. Boyd Dawkins is of opinion that remarkable feature is that in many instances it is certain from the reindeer was followed by man in its journey to the north the relative position of the bones of the unburnt burials that the after the retreating glaciers, and that the modern representative corpse had been allowed to decay before the burial took place. of palaeolithic man is the Eskimo. His arguments are ingenious This curious practice is known among many savage tribes of the but unconvincing; they mainly consist in the similarity of the present day. Its occurrence in Britain has been adduced in habits of both races in using harpoons and implements of similar favour of the prevalence of cannibalism at this time, and not form and make, their power of carving and drawing on bone, the altogether without reason. While metal is entirely absent in the absence of pottery, disregard of the dead, &c. As to the positive long barrows (and in fact relics of any kind are very rarely found), evidence, it is almost enough to say that the Eskimo, like the it is significant that in the succeeding round barrows also metal cave-men, used the material nearest to hand that served their occurs but seldom, and then always of the types attributed to the purpose, and that nothing is more remarkable than the similarity earliest part of the Bronze Age. When, therefore, the mound of primitive weapons used by widely separated peoples; while pottery is of a class that may well be anterior to metal, and no the negative evidence as to the absence of pottery is of little metal is found with the burial, it is not unrcasonable to assign such value; their conditions of life would allow them neither to make barrows to the Stone Age. A similar argument may be applied to it nor keep it. Till recently we had no evidence at all of the the stone implements, but in the posite direction. Many stone treatment of the dead by palaeolithic man, but this is no longer implements are found either isolated, or perhaps with no other the case; the discoveries in the Grottes de Grimaldi, Monaco, relics that serve to fix their period. The material alone is often show several methods of burial, near a hearth, or in rude stone considered sufficient evidence of their being before the age of cists (see Dr Verneau in L'Anthropologie, xvii. 291). A stronger metals; but it is at any rate quite certain that a large number of argument would be furnished if it could be shown that by his stone axes, more particularly those with a socket for the handle, physical character the Eskimo is an intruder in his present belong really to the Bronze Age. This uncertainty makes any home, and is unrelated to his neighbours. But this has not yet account of the neolithic age difficult, unless the material is taken been done, and the skulls of the Eskimo do not resemble any of as the main basis. those hitherto found in the caves. In fact, what evidence there Neolithic man, like his forerunners, still recognized that flint is on the subject is rather against than in favour of the wanderings and allied stones provided the best material for his cutting northward of the inhabitants of the caves. There are indications, and piercing implements, though he made use to a great extent on the other hand, that in the south of France, in the Pyrences, of other hard stones that came ready to his hand. The mining the reindeer was in existence, with man, at a later period than of Aint was undertaken on a large scale, and great care was taken that of the caves, while the type of skull is that of Cro-Magnon. to get down to the layer containing the best quality. In Norfolk, Here, therefore, it may be that something like a bridging of the at Grime's Graves, and in Sussex, at Cissbury near Worthing, gap between palaeolithic and neolithic times may be forthcoming. the flint shafts have been carefully explored by William GreenBut it still remains to be found, and for the present we must be well, General Pitt-Rivers and others. The system was to sink content with uncertainty.

two shafts some little distance apart and deep enough to reach The neolithic period has often been loosely called the age of the desired flint-bed, and the two shafts were then joined by a polished stone, from the fact that in no case has a polished or gallery at the bottom. · At Grime's Graves large numbers of Neolithic ground stone implement been found in a palaeolithic deer's horns were found, which had evidently been used as picks,

deposit. The term is not only loose but inaccurate. as is proved by the marks found in the chalk walls; and the In the first place, there is no reason why the cave-men should horn had been trimmed for the purpose. Cups of chalk were not be found to have polished a stone implement on occasion, also found in the galleries and were believed to have been used as for they habitually polished their weapons of bone. Secondly, lamps. At Cissbury great quantities of unfinished and defective neolithic man was by no means uniform in his methods; he implements were found in the work, as well as horn tools, as in polished or ground the surfaces of such tools or weapons as would Norfolk. At such factories the primitive appliances correspond be improved by the process; but to take a common instance, he very closely with those in use among existing savages. The found that the efficacy of his arrow-point was sufficient when pebble was used as a hammer or an anvil, and the more delicate chipped only, and polishing is only occasionally found, as in Aaking was done by pressure with a piece of horn rather than by Ireland. Many other implements also are found in neolithic blows. Naturally enough the number of completed implements times with no trace of grinding and yet with every appearance of found in these factories is small; the finished tools would be being complete.

bartered at once and carried away from the factory. All the

and America.

animal remains found in these pits belong to present geological | able signs of human workmanship, but he described them conditions, thus emphasizing what has been stated above, that merely as of “ palaeolithic type," and deplored the absence of the absence of polished implements is no evidence for great mammalian remains in the gravels. At the same time he pointed age. Many other factories have been found in Britain, in Ireland out that the bulk of the implements claimed as palaeolithic (and, and on the continent of Europe: at Grovehurst in Kent, at it may be, correctly) are found on the surface, and therefore Stourpaine near Blandford, at Whitepark Bay, county Antrim, cannot be dissociated from the surface types; hence form alone and in Belgium at Spiennes. Among the North American cannot be trusted to determine age. Further, we are by no means Indians the method would seem to have been somewhat different. well informed as to the value of patination in flints found on After journeying to the site of a suitable quality of stone, they the surface in Egypt. The depth and intensity of the patinadid not always complete the implements on the spot, but made tion would no doubt have a direct relation to the age of the a number of oval chipped disks of good stone which they carried implement, if only it could be proved that all of them had been away and worked up into the required implements at their equally subjected to the conditions that produced the discoloraleisure. These disks bear a strong likeness to some of the tion. But this is clearly impossible. Some implements may ovate implements from the Drift in Europe; in fact, but for conceivably have been continuously on the surface of the desert the difference of surface condition or patina, they would be from the time they were made, and have been acted upon by the identical.

sun and air for many thousands of years, while others, though While the severe climatic conditions that preceded the neolithic of equal age, may have been covered by sand or otherwise age restricted the presence of man to the more temperate parts protected for a large part of the intervening centuries. Patinaof the globe, it may be assumed that in neolithic times there was tion, therefore, like form, can only claim a conditional value. nothing to prevent him from occupying the greater part of the It is at the best an uncertain indication of age, as great age carth's surface, short of the neighbourhood of the two poles. may be possible without it. Similarly, in Somaliland, the Thus it may be expected that an age of stone will be found, condition of the implements is very curious, and in some reif looked for, in every part of the globe. So far as our present spects puzzling, while their forms resemble those from the knowledge goes, all is in favour of the use of stone before metals, Drift in Europe. But as to the climatic conditions we know in all countries. The one material requires no special treatment nothing, and it is therefore useless to speculate on the condition before being adapted to man's use, while the other demands of the stones; as to the geology we know next to nothing, and considerable knowledge, even if reasoning power have but no mammalian remains give us a helping hand, while the form little place in the process. Thus the probabilities are here borne alone is a dangerous foundation for argument. out by the facts. In the extensive“ kitchen-middens" of Japan Investigations in the more remote parts of the world, though are found great numbers of chert implements mixed with pottery they may occasionally produce some startling novelty in the of a primitive type, recalling that of European early Bronze history of mankind, can scarcely be expected to Age barrows, while the succeeding periods of metal are equally furnish the same trustworthy continuous story as is to Europe clear. Even in the Far East, therefore, the same sequence is to be found in the European area. Here history provides be observed. In China, the conditions are more obscure. The us with a fairly truthful account of what has happened superstitious regard for ancestors has prevented the exploration for a period varying from two to three thousand years, or in of ancient tombs in that country, and thus systematic search some places even longer, and we are thus able to judge whether has been impossible, while the precise details of the discovery particular discoveries come into the historical stage or not. In of such relics as have come to light are difficult to obtain. In more primitive lands where history (if there be any) partakes spite of the assertion that China had no Stone Age, it is surely more of the character of mythical tradition, the task of defining more probable, in the absence of exact knowledge, that she fol- the period to which particular discoveries belong is rendered much lowed the normal course. Modern territorial divisions, more more difficult. In America, where history may be said to have especially if they are independent of the natural physical con- begun five hundred years ago, such a feat is of course impossible, ditions of the land, such as mountain ranges, great rivers and the until a great deal of work on comparative lines has been accomlike, have but little value in considering the race problems plished. The accounts of the civilization of Mexico and Peru at of remote ages. If, therefore, we find that, in the countries the time of the Spanish conquest show a state of culture which in bordering on what is now the Chinese empire, the ancient some respects must have put the Spaniards to shame, while in inhabitants followed the same broad lines of culture that are others it was primitive in the extreme. As regards internal evident elsewhere, it is easy to believe that China too was normal communications, the working of gold and copper, and the in this respect. The negroes and Bantu races of Africa also were manufacture and decoration of pottery, these American kingdoms thought to have passed direct to the use of iron, perhaps owing were on a level with all but the most advanced nations; but of to the existence on the Nile of a civilization of great antiquity, history in the true sense of the word they have none. In spite which enabled them to pass over the intervening stages. In- of this, it is by no means a hopeless task to disentangle the herently improbable, this is now known not to have been the apparent confusion of their archaeology. It is now fairly well case. Stone implements, whether ground or merely chipped, known what were the races or tribes that inhabited particular have been discovered on the Congo, and more recently on the districts, and it is thus easy to make a corpus of the types adopted Zambezi. It is quite true that in both cases they are found in by the various peoples. This is the first certain step in the superficial deposits, and may be of any age. But here again the application of archaeological method. By degrees, as these probabilities are greatly in favour of their having been in use types become familiar to the trained eye, it will not be difficult before iron was known. While stone tools, such as knives or to arrange them in a progressive series, from the earliest in style arrow-heads, may possess qualities that render them superior to to the latest. That this will be done by the archaeologists of the bronze or copper, it is certain that once the working of iron was American continent, even with the present scanty materials, understood, its superiority to stone would at once be perceived, there can be little doubt. Numbers of young and enthusiastic and the stone tools be discarded. There can be little doubt that workers have now had a good training in exploration in historical investigations in Central Africa will demonstrate that the same lands, and will usefully employ their experience on the antiquities course was followed there as elsewhere. In South Africa, in of their own country. But if once a key be found to the ancient Egypt and in Somaliland large quantities of stone implements Mexican inscriptions, so plentifully scattered through the have been discovered, and of the great age of most of them there ancient monuments, it may be that enlightenment will come can be no doubt. Some from the banks of the Nile have even even more suddenly and more surely. The one problem that is been claimed as “ eolithic "; but here, as in Europe, we can of the greatest interest still awaits solution, viz. whether there only say that the case is not proven: General Pitt-Rivers did is any relation, in culture or more remotely in race, between the good service in Egypt by discovering among the stratified inhabitants of ancient America and those of Europe or Asia. gravels near Thebes a number of rude flints bearing unmistake- One thing is certain, that if there be any counexion, it is of

Stone Age relics.

infinite remoteness. But it is at any rate noteworthy that the Among the most notable and obvious relics of pre-historic same designs, patterns and even games are found in ancient times, both in Britain and in many other countries such as Spain, Mexico and in India or China; and whether these resemblances Portugal, France and even India, are gigantic circles arise from relations between the peoples using them or from and avenues of stone and dolmens (see STONE MONUaccident, is a problem well worth investigation.

MENTS). These enduring monuments have excited In countries like Scandinavia or Switzerland, the story of the the wonder of countless generations, and lent themselves to early ages is clear and comparatively free from complications. superstitious practices down to modern times. But the precise The one by its remoteness was left to develop with but little help purpose for which they were erected and even the period to from the rest of Europe up to historical times; the other, which they belonged, had never been definitely settled. They protected on so many sides by its mountain ranges, seems to had been called burial places of great chiefs, and not unnaturally have enjoyed a peaceful existence during the Stone and Bronze had been thought by others to have been temples or places of Ages. A community of fishermen and agriculturists, they led a primitive worship used by the Druids, who moreover were often calm domestic life on the edges of their many lakes where they credited with their erection. Obviously such a question called constructed dwellings on piles with only a gangway to the shore, for settlement, and the British Association in the year 1898 to prevent the attacks of predatory animals. The practice of appointed a committee to investigate these stone circles with a building houses in lakes was a common one not only in Switzerland, view to ascertaining their age. Operations were begun at the but also in Britain and in Ireland, as in modern times among well-known circle of Arbor Low, south of Buxton in Derbyshire; the natives of New Guinea. Besides securing the safety of the careful excavations were made through the ditch and the inhabitants, it had the not unimportant advantage of being more encircling mound and also within the circle, and although the healthy; all refuse of food and other useless matter could at evidence was not of the most complete kind, yet the committee once be thrown into the water where it would be harmless. A came to the conclusion that the circle belonged to the end of the similar form of dwelling is the Irish “crannog," constructed on neolithic age. At Arbor Low all the stones are now lying on the an island or shoal in a lake, in some cases artificially heightened ground (although, to judge from the other circles in England, so as to bring it above water. These crannogs were probably they were certainly once upright), and the opportunities for inhabited Ireland up to comparatively recent times, if one surveying were thereby much diminished. It is a fortunate may judge by the remains found on the sites.

circumstance, therefore, that the fall of one of the stones at It must not be forgotten that although the neolithic period had Stonehenge (2.0.) at the end of the 19th century, and the increas. many phases, yet its duration is in no way comparable to the ingly perilous state of some of the others, caused the owner, with incalculable length of the palaeolithic age. For a variety of the advice of the Society of Antiquaries of London, to undertake reasons it is thought that one of the earliest stages of neolithic the raising of the great leaning stone in the interior of the circle. times is represented by the now well-known kitchen-middens The work was superintended by W. Gowland, F.S.A., who made (refuse-heaps) of Denmark. These heaps are often of great size, special investigations during the necessary digging, for the sometimes reaching 10 ft. in height, and nearly 350 yds. in purpose of recovering any remains of man's handiwork that had length. Here along the coast line the natives of Denmark lived, been left by the builders of the monument. In this he was very apparently building their huts upon the mounds and cooking successful, finding in the course of the very limited excavation their food upon hearths of stone. The conditions of their daily at the base of the monolith, a great number of stone mauls or life would seem to have resembled those of the natives of Tierra hammers that corresponded so nearly with the bruised surfaces del Fuego. Their implements of flint seem to have been chipped of the monoliths, that there can be no doubt of their having been only, and it is conjectured that the few polished and more highly used to dress the standing stones. finished implements that have been found in the middens are From a review of all the evidence of an archaeological nature importations from more cultured tribes living inland. Their that was to be obtained, Gowland came to the conclusion that food was in very great part composed of shell-fish, though they the construction of Stonehenge belonged to the latter part of evidently caught and ate various kinds of deer, boar and a the neolithic age. No trace of a metal implement occurred variety of carnivorous animals. The race which made these in any of the debris

. This would of itself be an interesting fact, mounds is believed to have been akin to the Lapps, and their but it became infinitely more interesting from researches in quite dwellings can hardly have been anything more than the rudest another direction, which brought corroborative evidence of a protection from the weather. The Swiss lake-dwellers were far curious kind. For many years Sir Norman Lockyer and Prof. more advanced, even in the Stone Age; their dwellings were Penrose were engaged in examining the orientation of temples elaborately planned and constructed, and remains of them have in Egypt and Greece, with a view to determining on what been plentifully found in the various Swiss lakes. Various forms astronomical principle, if any, the plans had been laid down. of construction were adopted: in one the foundations consisted with a rectangular plan, and with portions of the interior still of poles driven into the bed of the lake; in others a kind of well defined, they were able by elaborate calculation to deterframework simply rested on the bottom, and in a third, the mine that the temples had been definitely planned with relation substructure was formed of layers of sticks reaching from the to the rising or setting of the sun or of a particular star. Having bottom of the lake up to the surface. The walls were of wattle, been successful in these investigations they proceeded to apply closed up with clay to keep out the weather; the hearths were the test to Stonehenge. The experiment was made on the longest of stone slabs, and the floors of clay well trodden down. Practi- day in the year 1901. Owing to a gradual change in the obliquity cally the same type of dwelling seems to have continued through of the earth's orbit, the point of sunrise on corresponding days the Stone and Bronze Ages, though on some sites no metal of each year is not constant; and though the difference is whatever is found and it is therefore assumed that these are of hardly perceptible from year to year, in the course of centuries the earlier period. These people cultivated the land, growing it becomes great enough for use as a measure of time. Enough wheat and barley; they were also hunters and fishermen, remains of the monument to show the direction of sunrise at capable of manufacturing pottery without the aid of the wheel, the time that Stonehenge was erected, it being always assumed which had not yet come into use so far north; and they wove that the coincidence of the main axis with the central line of mats and garments, while ropes and netting are plentiful. Their the Avenue was designed with reference to sunrise on the longest tools and weapons were made of stone, and to a great extent of day of the year. At the date of the experiment it was found deer's horn. Human remains are hardly ever found on the sites that the sun had shifted nearly two diameters in the interval, of the lake-dwellings, and it is therefore uncertain what were the and this variation gives a date of about 1680 B.C., which practisocial affinities of the people; but the evidence of the sites is incally confirms the verdict of archaeology and seems to prove, favour of the same race being continuous into the Bronze Age, moreover, that Stonehenge was a temple of the sun. when their condition was more comfortable, as is shown by the Stonehenge therefore may be taken as marking for Britain abundant remains of domesticated animals.

the close of the neolithic period and heralding the dawn of a new

era, in which the inhabitants of the British Isles first acquired the weapons and other property of a dead man is, however, not the art of working metal.

always due to the belief that he may need them in some future There is reason to believe that the transition from the use of state. The reason may well be that it would be thought un. stone to that of bronze was not due to the peaceful advance lucky for a survivor to use them.

of civilization, but rather to the irruption of an Aryan Just as the neolithic age was immeasurably shorter than the Bronzo

race from the south-east of Europe into the countries palaeolithic, but was notable for great improvements in the Age.

to the west and north. Of these people the Celts are to arts of life, so the Bronze Age in its turn was shorter than the some extent the representatives at a somewhat more recent period. neolithic age, and again witnessed even more marked advance Here, however, we are dealing with terms the precise meaning in culture. It is in fact an illustration of the truism that each of which is not yet generally admitted, and which, moreover, step in knowledge renders all that follow less laborious; but it have too intimate a relation to the problems of philology to be is not easy to understand how the transition from stone to fully discussed here (see INDO-EUROPEAN). The term Aryan (9.8.) metal came about, nor why bronze came to be the chosen metal itself is not free from objections. It was held by Max Müller rather than iron. Bronze, in the first place, is a composite to relate to a language and a civilization that took its rise in metal, a mixture of copper and tin, while iron can be at once Central Asia, while others now contend that, although it is the reduced from its ores; indeed, in the form of meteoric iron, it mother language of the Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Teutonic and is already metallic, and needs but a hammer to produce whatCeltic languages, it might equally well have originated in Europe. ever form may be wanted. From the archaeological point of However this may be, and even this brief statement shows view, there is, however, good reason for believing that bronze how wide a field the arguments would cover, there can be little preceded iron. The forms of axes that are without doubt the doubt that the Bronze Age Celts were of this stock, and that in earliest, are in outline much the same as the stone prototype, course of tiine they gradually spread their language and culture being only thinner in proportion. Then again, iron implements over a large part of Europe. Whether or no the knowledge of are never found on the earlier sites, and if they had been in bronze started from one or more centres, it gradually spread existence some of them certainly would remain: further, at from the south-east of Europe until it reached Scandinavia; the end of the Bronze Age it is found that the forms of weapons the dates being roughly in Crete, 3000 B.C.; in Sicily, 2500 B.C.; in that metal are exactly copied in iron, as, for instance, at Hall. in central France, 2000 B.C.; in Britain and in Scandinavia statt (q.v.) in the Salzkammergut, the famous cemetery which 1800 B.C. The appearance of the Celts in Britain is indicated best illustrates the passage from the use of bronze to that of iron. by the presence of the round barrows. They were a fairly tall, It has been claimed that bronze was preceded by copper, a short-headed race, using cremation and also inhumation in their sequence which seems inherently probable; and whether or no burials, skilful in the manufacture of pottery and of the simpler it was general enough or enduring enough to constitute a period, forms of bronze implements, and freely using bone, jet, and there can be no reasonable doubt that in the Mediterranean at times amber, while gold was well known and evidently area, and in central Europe, as well as in Ireland, great numbers greatly esteemed. In the early centuries of the Bronze Age, of implements were made of copper alone without any appreciswords, spears and shields were apparently quite unknown, able admixture of tin. The casting of pure copper presents the principal metallic products being flat axes, simple knives certain difficulties, in that the metal is not adapted for anything or daggers, and small tools or ornaments. In the burial places but a mould open to the air, and this would limit its utility, the bodies, if unburnt, are nearly always found in a crouching until the discovery that tin in a certain proportion (roughly 1:9) position, as if in the attitude of sleep; if cremated, the burnt not only made the resulting metal much harder and better fitted bones are generally enshrined in an urn under the tumulus, the for cutting-tools and weapons, but at the same time rendered burial being sometimes in a cist formed of large stones. The possible the use of closed moulds. pottery vessels are remarkable in more ways than one. In There are thus two problems in connexion with the history the first place they would seem to have been specially made of the Bronze Age. How was the metal discovered ? And for the burial rites, for whenever domestic pottery has been by whom or where? As to the first, it must be remembered found, it is of quite a different character, unornamented and that in some parts of the world, e.g. in China and in Cornwall, simple in outline. It must be confessed, however, that this copper and tin are found together, and it may well be that tin latter is by no means common. The sepulchral vessels are at was first accidentally included as an impurity, which, had it times highly decorated, and sometimes of great size. They are been noticed, would have been eliminated. Once it was found invariably hand made, and though they are by no means well to produce a more useful metal, the blend would be deliberately fired they are never sun-dried, as is often said to be the case. made, and repeated trials would eventually demonstrate the A common kind of decoration is produced by impressing twisted most suitable proportion of one metal to the other. The question cords in the damp clay, and this is believed with some reason of where it was first discovered is one that is not likely to be to have had its origin in the practice of winding cords round answered with certainty, but the one essential is the presence the unbaked vessel to prevent distortion before or during the of the two metals in one and the same locality. Tin does not process of firing. That operation would of course burn away exist in either Egypt or Mesopotamia, although bronze articles the cord and leave only its impression on the urn. Other forms from the fourth and third millennium respectively B.c. have been of ornament are also used, incised lines in rudely geometrical found in these countries. The tin to produce the mere metal designs, impressions of the end of a stick, and at times rows must have come from some foreign country, and the choice of hollows produced by the finger or thumb. The method of seems to be very small. Spain at the other end of the Mediterthe burial, beyond giving an insight into the art of the period, ranean is unlikely, and Britain still more so; central Asia, Asia also helps us to realize to some extent the ideas of primitive Minor, or China again seem too remote; for the spread of man. The underlying reason for careful and ceremonial burial metallurgy from these centres would imply a trade connexion is not always readily understood, apart from a knowledge of nearly 4000 B.C. In later times, later perhaps by 3000 years, the ritual, such as existed in ancient Egypt. But in the Bronze Spain and Britain were undoubtedly among the chief sources Age in Britain it was the custom to bury with the dead not only of the tin supply of Europe and of the Mediterranean generally; carefully made vessels which doubtless contained food for the but it will long remain a problem where bronze was first projourney to the lower world, but also the ornaments and weapons duced. There is indeed, no real necessity for confining its origin of the deceased. Often the bones of a pig have been found in to a single locality; it is easily conceivable that the invention the grave, doubtless representing part of the provender which occurred independently in more places than one. could not conveniently be placed in the so-called food-vessel. The history of early metallurgy has been carefully studied Such practices indicate with a fair amount of certainty a belief by W. Gowland, who communicated the results of his researches in a future life in another world, where probably the conditions to the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1899. In his opinion were thought to be much the same as in this. The burial of the ores from which copper was first obtained by smelting were

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »