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Title: Primitive Man
Author: Figuier, Louis, 1819-1894
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Primitive Man" ***

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[Illustration: A Family of the Stone Age (Frontispiece).]



  Revised Translation.


  "Arma antiqua manus, ungues, dentesque fuerunt.
  Et lapides, et item silvarum fragmina rami.
  Et flamma atque ignes, postquam sunt cognita primum.
  Posterius ferri vis est ærisque reperta;
  Et prior æris erat quam ferri cognitus usus."

      _Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, lib. V., v. 1281-5._




The Editor of the English translation of 'L'Homme Primitif,' has not
deemed it necessary to reproduce the original Preface, in which M.
Figuier states his purpose in offering a new work on pre-historic
archæology to the French public, already acquainted in translation with
the works on the subject by Sir Charles Lyell and Sir John Lubbock. Now
that the book has taken its position in France, it is only needful to
point out its claims to the attention of English readers.

The important art of placing scientific knowledge, and especially new
discoveries and topics of present controversy, within easy reach of
educated readers not versed in their strictly technical details, is one
which has for years been carried to remarkable perfection in France, in
no small measure through the labours and example of M. Figuier himself.
The present volume, one of his series, takes up the subject of
Pre-historic Man, beginning with the remotely ancient stages of human
life belonging to the Drift-Beds, Bone-Caves, and Shell-Heaps, passing
on through the higher levels of the Stone Age, through the succeeding
Bronze Age, and into those lower ranges of the Iron Age in which
civilisation, raised to a comparatively high development, passes from
the hands of the antiquary into those of the historian. The Author's
object has been to give within the limits of a volume, and dispensing
with the fatiguing enumeration of details required in special memoirs,
an outline sufficient to afford a reasonable working acquaintance with
the facts and arguments of the science to such as cannot pursue it
further, and to serve as a starting-ground for those who will follow it
up in the more minute researches of Nilsson, Keller, Lartet, Christy,
Lubbock, Mortillet, Desor, Troyon, Gastaldi, and others.

The value of the work to English archæologists, however, is not merely
that of a clear popular manual; pre-historic archæology, worked as it
has been in several countries, takes in each its proper local colour,
and brings forward its proper local evidence. It is true that much of
its material is used as common property by scientific men at large. But,
for instance, where an English writer in describing the ancient cave-men
would dwell especially on the relics from the caves of Devon and
Somerset as worked by Falconer and Pengelly, a French writer would take
his data more amply from the explorations of caves of the south of
France by De Vibraye, Garrigou, and Filhol--where the English teacher
would select his specimens from the Christy or the Blackmore Museum, the
French teacher would have recourse to the Musée de Saint-Germain. Thus
far, the English student has in Figuier's 'Primitive Man' not a work
simply incorporated from familiar materials, but to a great extent
bringing forward evidence not readily accessible, or quite new to him.

Some corrections and alterations have been made in the English edition.
The illustrations are those of the original work; the facsimiles of
pre-historic objects have been in great part drawn expressly for it, and
contribute to its strictly scientific value; the page illustrations
representing scenes of primitive life, which are by another hand, may
seem somewhat fanciful, yet, setting aside the Raffaelesque idealism of
their style, it will be found on examination that they are in the main
justified by that soundest evidence, the actual discovery of the objects
of which they represent the use.

The solid distinctness of this evidence from actual relics of
pre-historic life is one of the reasons which have contributed to the
extraordinary interest which pre-historic archæology has excited in an
age averse to vague speculation, but singularly appreciative of
arguments conducted by strict reasoning on facts. The study of this
modern science has supplied a fundamental element to the general theory
of civilisation, while, as has been the case with geology, its bearing
on various points of theological criticism has at once conduced to its
active investigation, and drawn to it the most eager popular attention.
Thus, in bringing forward a new work on 'Primitive Man,' there is
happily no need of insisting on the importance of its subject-matter, or
of attempting to force unappreciated knowledge on an unwilling public.
It is only necessary to attest its filling an open place in the
literature of pre-historic archæology.

E. B. T.



  INTRODUCTION                                                        1





  The earliest Men--The Type of Man in the Epoch of Animals of
  extinct Species--Origin of Man--Refutation of the Theory which
  derives the Human Species from the Ape                             25


  Man in the Condition of Savage Life during the Quaternary
  Epoch--The Glacial Period, and its Ravages on the Primitive
  Inhabitants of the Globe--Man in Conflict with the Animals of the
  Quaternary Epoch--The Discovery of Fire--The Weapons of Primitive
  Man--Varieties of Flint Hatchets--Manufacture of the earliest
  Pottery--Ornamental objects at the Epoch of the Great Bear and
  the Mammoth                                                        39


  The Man of the Great Bear and Mammoth Epoch lived in Caverns--
  Bone Caverns in the Quaternary Rock during the Great Bear and
  Mammoth Epoch--Mode of Formation of these Caverns--Their
  Division into several Classes--Implements of Flint, Bone, and
  Reindeer-horn, found in these Caverns--The Burial Place at
  Aurignac--Its probable Age--Customs which it reveals--Funeral
  Banquets during the Great Bear and Mammoth Epoch                   56


  Other Caves of the Epoch of the Great Bear and Mammoth--Type
  of the Human Race during the Epochs of the Great Bear and the
  Reindeer--The Skulls from the Caves of Engis and Neanderthal       72




  Mankind during the Epoch of the Reindeer--Their Manners and
  Customs--Food--Garments--Weapons, Utensils, and Implements--
  Pottery--Ornaments--Primitive Arts--The principal Caverns--
  Type of the Human Race during the Epoch of the Reindeer            85




  The European Deluge--The Dwelling-Place of Man during the
  Polished-stone Epoch--The Caves and Rock-Shelters still used as
  Dwelling-Places--Principal Caves belonging to the Polished-stone
  Epoch which have been explored up to the present time--The Food
  of Man during this Period                                         125


  The _Kjoekken-Moeddings_ or "_Kitchen-middens_" of Denmark--Mode
  of Life of the Men living in Denmark during the Polished-stone
  Epoch--The Domestication of the Dog--The Art of Fishing during
  the Polished-stone Epoch--Fishing Nets--Weapons and Instruments
  of War--Type of the Human Race; the Borreby Skull                 129


  Tombs and Mode of Interment during the Polished-stone Epoch--
  _Tumuli_ and other Sepulchral Monuments formerly called
  _Celtic_--Labours of MM. Alexander Bertrand and Bonstetten--
  Funeral Customs                                                   184





  The Discovery of Metals--Various Reasons suggested for explaining
  the origin of Bronze in the West--The Invention of Bronze--A
  Foundry during the Bronze Epoch--Permanent and Itinerant
  Foundries existing during the Bronze Epoch--Did the Knowledge
  of Metals take its Rise in Europe owing to the Progress of
  Civilisation, or was it a Foreign Importation?                    205


  The Sources of Information at our Disposal for reconstructing
  the History of the Bronze Epoch--The Lacustrine Settlements of
  Switzerland--Enumeration and Classification of them--Their Mode
  of Construction--Workmanship and Position of the Piles--Shape
  and Size of the Huts--Population--Instruments of Stone, Bone,
  and Stag's Horn--Pottery--Clothing--Food--_Fauna_--Domestic
  Animals                                                           215


  Lacustrine Habitations of Upper Italy, Bavaria, Carinthia and
  Carniola, Pomerania, France, and England--The _Crannoges_ of
  Ireland                                                           227


  Palustrine Habitations or Marsh-Villages--Surveys made by
  MM. Strobel and Pigorini of the _Terramares_ of Tuscany--The
  _Terramares_ of Brazil                                            232


  Weapons, Instruments, and Utensils contained in the various
  Lacustrine Settlements in Europe, enabling us to become
  acquainted with the Manners and Customs of Man during the
  Bronze Epoch                                                      240


  Industrial Skill and Agriculture during the Bronze Epoch--The
  Invention of Glass--Invention of Weaving                          258


  The Art of War during the Bronze Epoch--Swords, Spears and
  Daggers--The Bronze Epoch in Scandinavia, in the British Isles,
  France, Switzerland and Italy--Did the Man of the Bronze Epoch
  entertain any religious or superstitious Belief?                  271


  Mode of Interment and Burial-places of the Bronze Epoch--
  Characteristics of the Human Race during the same Period          284




  Essential Characteristics of the Iron Epoch--Preparation of Iron
  in Pre-historic Times--Discovery of Silver and Lead--Earthenware
  made on the Potter's Wheel--Invention of Coined Money             297


  Weapons--Tools, Instruments, Utensils, and Pottery--The Tombs
  of Hallstadt and the Plateau of La Somma--The Lake-Settlements
  of Switzerland--Human Sacrifices--Type of Man during the Iron
  Epoch--Commencement of the Historic Era                           312

  PRIMITIVE MAN IN AMERICA                                          333

  CONCLUSION                                                        343


  FIG.                                                             PAGE

     A Family of the Stone Age (Frontispiece).

  1. Human Jaw-bone found at Moulin-Quignon, near Abbeville,
        in 1863                                                      18

  2. Skull of a Man belonging to the Stone Age (The _Borreby
        Skull_)                                                      27

  3. Skull of the Gorilla                                            28

  4. Skull of the Orang-Outang                                     _ib._

  5. Skull of the Cynocephalus Ape                                   29

  6. Skull of the _Macacus_ Baboon                                 _ib._

  7. The Production of Fire (whole page engraving).

  8. _Dendrites_ or Crystallisations found on the Surface of
        wrought Flints                                               46

  9. Section of a Gravel Quarry at Saint-Acheul, which contained
        the wrought Flints found by Boucher de Perthes               47

  10. Hatchet of the _Almond-shaped_ type from the Valley of the
        Somme                                                        48

  11. Flint Hatchet from Saint-Acheul of the so-called
        _Almond-shaped_ type                                         49

  12. Wrought Flint (_Moustier_ type)                              _ib._

  13. Flint Scraper                                                  50

  14. Flint Knife, found at Menchecourt, near Abbeville            _ib._

  15. Flint Core or Nucleus                                          51

  16. Man in the Great Bear and Mammoth Epoch (whole page

  17. The First Potter (whole page engraving).

  18. Fossil Shells used as Ornaments, and found in the Gravel at
        Amiens                                                       54

  19. Theoretical Section of a Vein of Clay in the Carboniferous
        Limestone, _before_ the hollowing out of Valleys by
        Diluvial Waters                                              56

  20. Theoretical Section of the same Vein of Clay converted
        into a Cavern, _after_ the hollowing out of Valleys by
        Diluvial Waters                                              57

  21. The Cave of Galeinreuth, in Bavaria                            59

  22. Section of the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac                     62

  23. Flint Knife, found in the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac          63

  24. Implement made of Reindeer's or Stag's Horn, found in the
        Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac                                _ib._

  25. Series of Perforated Discs of the _Cardium_ Shell, found
        in the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac                           64

  26. Fragment of the Lower Jaw of a Cave-Bear found in the
        Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac                                _ib._

  27. Upper Molar of a Bison found in the Ashes of the Fire-Hearth
        of the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac                          65

  28. Arrow-head made of Reindeer's Horn, found in the Sepulchral
        Cave of Aurignac                                            66

  29. Bodkin made of Roebuck's Horn, found in the Sepulchral Cave
        of Aurignac                                                _ib._

  30. Truncated Blade in Reindeer's Horn bearing two Series
        of transversal Lines and Notches, probably used for
        numeration                                                   67

  31. Funeral Feast during the Great Bear and Mammoth Epoch (whole
        page engraving).

  32. Carved and perforated Canine Tooth of a young Cave-Bear        69

  33. Head of a Cave-Bear found in the Cave of Aurignac              70

  34. Head of the _Rhinoceros tichorhinus_, found in the Cave of
        Aurignac                                                   _ib._

  35. Head of a great Stag (_Megaceros hibernicus_), found in the
        Cave of Aurignac                                             71

  36. Sketch of the Great Bear on a Stone, found in the Cave of
        Massat                                                       75

  37. Portion of the Skull of an Individual belonging to the Epoch
        of the Great Bear and the Mammoth, found in the Cave
        of Engis                                                     80

  38. Portion of the so-called Neanderthal Skull                   _ib._

  39. Man of the Reindeer Epoch (whole page engraving).

  40. Rock-Shelter at Bruniquel, a supposed Habitation of Man
        during the Reindeer Epoch (whole page engraving).

  41. A Feast during the Reindeer Epoch (whole page engraving).

  42. Flint Bodkin or Stiletto for sewing Reindeer Skins, found
        in the Cave of Les Eyzies (Périgord)                         92

  43. Bone Needle for Sewing                                       _ib._

  44. The Canine Tooth of a Wolf, bored so as to be used as an
        Ornament                                                     93

  45. Ornament made of the bony part of a Horse's Ear              _ib._

  46. Spear-head, found in the Cave of Laugerie-Basse (Périgord)     95

  47. Worked Flint from Périgord (Knife)                             96

  48. Worked Flint from Périgord (Hatchet)                         _ib._

  49. Chipped Flint from Périgord (Knife)                            97

  50. Chipped Flint from Périgord (Scraper)                        _ib._

  51. Small Flint Saw, found in the Rock-Shelter at Bruniquel        98

  52. The Chase during the Reindeer Epoch (whole page engraving).

  53. Barbed Arrow of Reindeer Horn                                  99

  54. Arrow of Reindeer Horn with Double Barbs                     _ib._

  55. Animal Bone, pierced by an Arrow of Reindeer Horn             100

  56. Tool made of Reindeer Horn, found in the Cave of
        Laugerie-Basse (Stiletto?)                                 _ib._

  57. Tool made of Reindeer Horn, found in the Cave of
        Laugerie-Basse (Needle?)                                   _ib._

  58. Spoon of Reindeer Horn                                        101

  59. Knuckle-bone of a Reindeer's Foot, bored with a hole and
        used as a Whistle                                           102

  60. Staff of authority, in Reindeer's Horn, found in the Cave
        of Périgord                                                _ib._

  61. Another Staff of authority in Reindeer's Horn                _ib._

  62. A Geode, used as a Cooking Vessel(?), found in the Cave
        of La Madelaine (Périgord)                                  103

  63. Earthen Vase, found in the Cave of Furfooz (Belgium)          104

  64. Sketch of a Mammoth graven on a Slab of Ivory                 106

  65. Hilt of a Dagger carved in the Shape of a Reindeer            107

  66. Representation of a Stag drawn on a Stag's Horn               108

  67. Representation of some large Herbivorous Animal on a
        Fragment of Reindeer's Horn                                _ib._

  68. Arts of Drawing and Sculpture during the Reindeer Epoch
        (whole page engraving).

  69. Representation of an Animal sketched on a Fragment of
        Reindeer's Horn                                             109

  70. Fragment of a Slab of Schist bearing the representation of
        some Animal, and found in the Cave of Les Eyzies           _ib._

  71. A kind of Harpoon of Reindeer's Horn carved in the Shape of
        an Animal's Head                                            110

  72. Staff of Authority, on which are graven Representations of
        a Man, two Horses, and a Fish                               111

  73. Skull, found at Furfooz by M. Édouard Dupont                  114

  74. Skull of an Old Man, found in a _Rock-shelter_ at Bruniquel   115

  75. A Funeral Ceremony during the Reindeer Epoch (whole page

  76. Man of the Polished-stone Epoch (whole page engraving).

  77. Bone Skewers used as Fish-hooks                               134

  78. Fishing-net with wide Meshes                                  136

  79. Stone Weight used for sinking the Fishing-nets               _ib._

  80. Fishing during the Polished-stone Epoch (whole page

  81. Flint Knife from one of the Danish Beds                       138

  82. Nucleus off which Knives are flaked                          _ib._

  83. Flint Hatchet from one of the Danish Beds                    _ib._

  84. Flint Scraper from one of the Danish Beds                    _ib._

  85. Refuse from the Manufacture of wrought Flints                 139

  86. Weight to sink Fishing-nets                                  _ib._

  87. Danish Axe of the Polished-stone Epoch                        140

  88. Double-edged Axe                                             _ib._

  89. Danish Axe-hammer drilled for handle                          141

  90. Ditto                                                        _ib._

  91. Spear-head from Denmark                                       142

  92. Ditto                                                        _ib._

  93. Toothed Spear-head of Flint                                   143

  94. Flint Poniard from Denmark                                   _ib._

  95. Type of the Danish Arrow-head                                _ib._

  96. Another Type of Arrow-head                                   _ib._

  97. Arrow-head                                                    144

  98. Arrow-head from Denmark                                      _ib._

  99. Flint Chisel from Denmark                                    _ib._

  100. Small Stone Saw from the Danish Deposits                     145

  101. Another Stone Saw from Denmark                              _ib._

  102. Bone Harpoon of the Stone Age, from Denmark                 _ib._

  103. Bone Comb from Denmark                                       146

  104. Necklace and various Ornaments of Amber                     _ib._

  105. Nucleus in the Museum of Saint-Germain, from the Workshop
        of Grand-Pressigny                                          148

  106. Polisher from Grand-Pressigny, both faces being shown        150

  107. The earliest Manufacture and Polishing of Flints (whole
        page engraving).

  108. Polisher found by M. Leguay                                  154

  109. Spear-head from Spiennes                                     158

  110. Polished Jade Hatchet in the Museum of Saint-Germain         159

  111. Polished Flint Hatchet with a Sheath of Stag's Horn fitted
        for a Handle                                                161

  112. Flint Hatchet fitted into a Stag's-horn Sheath having an
        Oak Handle, from Boucher de Perthes' Illustration           162

  113. Hatchet Handle made of Oak                                   163

  114. Stag's-horn Sheath open at each end, so as to receive two
        Hatchets                                                   _ib._

  115. Polished Flint Hatchet, from Belgium, fitted into a
        Stag's-horn Sheath                                         _ib._

  116. Gardening Tool made of Stag's Horn (after Boucher de
        Perthes)                                                    164

  117. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  118. Ditto                                                        165

  119. Flint Tool in a Bone Handle                                  166

  120. Flint Tool with Bone Handle                                 _ib._

  121. Ornamented Bone Handle                                      _ib._

  122. Necklace made of Boars' Tusks longitudinally divided         167

  123. Flint Knife from the Peat Bogs near Antwerp                  168

  124. Primitive Corn-mill                                          170

  125. The Art of Bread Making in the Stone Age (whole page

  126. The Earliest Navigators (whole page engraving).

  127. The Earliest regular Conflicts between Men of the Stone Age;
        or, The Entrenched Camp of Furfooz (whole page engraving).

  128. Flint Arrow-head from Civita-Nova (Italy)                    180

  129. The Borreby Skull                                            182

  130. Danish _Dolmen_                                              185

  131. _Dolmen_ at Assies (department of Lot)                      _ib._

  132. _Dolmen_ at Connéré (Marne)                                  186

  133. Vertical Section of the _Dolmen_ of Lockmariaker, in
        Brittany. In the Museum of Saint-Germain                   _ib._

  134. _Tumulus-Dolmen_ at Gavr'inis (Morbihan)                     187

  135. A Portion of the _Dolmen_ of Gavr'inis                      _ib._

  136. General Form of a covered Passage-Tomb                       188

  137. Passage-Tomb at Bagneux, near Saumur                        _ib._

  138. Passage-Tomb at Plauharmel (Morbihan)                        189

  139. Passage-Tomb, the so-called _Table de César_, at
        Lockmariaker (Morbihan)                                    _ib._

  140. A Danish _Tumulus_ or chambered Sepulchre                    190

  141. Usual Shape of a _Menhir_                                    191

  142. The Rows of _Menhirs_ at Carnac                             _ib._

  143. _Dolmen_ with a Circuit of Stones (_Cromlech_), in the
        Province of Constantine                                     192

  144. Group of Danish _Cromlechs_                                 _ib._

  145. Position of Skeletons in a Swedish Tomb of the Stone Age     194

  146. A _Tumulus_ of the Polished Stone Epoch (whole page

  147. A Founder's Workshop during the Bronze Epoch (whole page

  148. Section of the _Ténevière_ of Hauterive                      220

  149. A Swiss Lake Village of the Bronze Epoch (whole page

  150. Vertical Section of a _Crannoge_ in the Ardakillin Lake      230

  151. Vertical Section of the _Marniera_ of Castione               233

  152. Floor of the _Marniera_ of Castione                          234

  153. Plan of the Piles and Cross-beams in the _Marniera_ of
        Castione                                                   _ib._

  154. The Chase during the Bronze Epoch (whole page engraving).

  155. Stone Hatchet from the Lacustrine Habitations of
        Switzerland                                                 241

  156. Stone Chisel with Stag's-horn Handle, from the Lacustrine
        Habitations of Switzerland                                  241

  157. Flint Hammer fitted with a Stag's-horn Handle                242

  158. Stone Hatchet with Double Handle of Wood and Stag's Horn    _ib._

  159, 160. Serpentine Hatchet-Hammers from the Lacustrine
        Habitations of Switzerland                                  243

  161. Another Hatchet-hammer from the Lacustrine Habitations of
        Switzerland                                                _ib._

  162. Flint Saw fitted into a Piece of Stag's Horn                 244

  163. Flint Spear-head from the Lacustrine Settlements of
        Switzerland                                                _ib._

  164. Various Shapes of Flint Arrow-heads from the Lacustrine
        Settlements of Switzerland                                 _ib._

  165. Arrow-head of Bone fixed on the Shaft by means of Bitumen    245

  166. Stone Arrow-head fixed on the Shaft by means of Bitumen     _ib._

  167. Arrow-head fixed on the Shaft by a Ligature of String       _ib._

  168. Bone Bodkin, from the Lacustrine Habitations of Switzerland  246

  169. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  170. Carpenter's Chisel, from the Lacustrine Habitations of
        Switzerland                                                _ib._

  171. Bone Needle                                                 _ib._

  172. Pick-axe of Stag's Horn                                      247

  173. Harpoon made of Stag's Horn, from the Lacustrine
        Habitations of Switzerland                                 _ib._

  174. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  175. Vessel made of Stag's Horn                                  _ib._

  176. Bronze Winged Hatchet, from the Lacustrine Habitations of
        Switzerland                                                 249

  177. Winged Hatchet (front and side view), from the Lacustrine
        Habitations of Switzerland                                 _ib._

  178. Socketed Hatchet, from the Lacustrine Habitations           _ib._

  179. Knife Hatchet (front and side view) from the Lacustrine
        Habitations                                                _ib._

  180. Carpenter's Chisel, in Bronze                                250

  181. Hexagonal Hammer                                            _ib._

  182. Knife with a Tang to fit into a Handle, from the Lacustrine
        Settlements of Switzerland                                 _ib._

  183. Socketed Knife, from the Lacustrine Settlements of
        Switzerland                                                 251

  184. Bronze Sickle, found by M. Desor at Chevroux                _ib._

  185. Bronze Fish-hook, from the Lacustrine Settlements of
        Switzerland                                                 252

  186. Double Fish-hook, from the Lacustrine Settlements of
        Switzerland                                                _ib._

  187. Hair-pin, found by M. Desor in one of the Swiss Lakes        253

  188. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  189. Hair-pin with Cylindrical Head                              _ib._

  190. Hair-pin with Curled Head                                   _ib._

  191. Bronze Bracelet, found in one of the Swiss Lakes             254

  192. Another Bronze Bracelet                                      255

  193. Bronze Ring                                                 _ib._

  194. Bronze Pendant, from the Lacustrine Habitations of
        Switzerland                                                 256

  195. Another Bronze Pendant, from the Lacustrine Habitations
        of Switzerland                                             _ib._

  196. Bronze Ring, from the Lacustrine Habitations of Switzerland _ib._

  197. Another Ornamental Ring                                     _ib._

  198. Earthenware Vessel with Conical Bottom, from the Lacustrine
        Habitations of Switzerland                                  259

  199. Earthen Vessel placed on its Support                        _ib._

  200. Fragment of an Earthen Vessel with a Handle                  259

  201. Vessel of Baked Clay, from the Lacustrine Settlements of
        Switzerland                                                 260

  202. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  203. Cloth of the Bronze Age, found in the Lacustrine Settlements
        of Switzerland                                              262

  204. The First Weaver (whole page engraving).

  205. Spindle-whorls, made of Baked Clay, found in the Lacustrine
        Settlements of Switzerland                                  263

  206. Principal Designs for the Ornamentation of Pottery during
        the Bronze Epoch                                            264

  207. The Cultivation of Gardens during the Bronze Epoch (whole
        page engraving).

  208. A Feast during the Bronze Epoch (whole page engraving).

  209. Bronze Sword in the Museum of Neuchâtel                      272

  210. Bronze Dagger, found in one of the Swiss Lakes              _ib._

  211. Bronze Spear-head, found in one of the Swiss Lakes           273

  212. Bronze Arrow-head, found in a Lacustrine Settlement of
        Switzerland                                                _ib._

  213. Scandinavian Sword                                           274

  214. Hilt of a Scandinavian Sword                                _ib._

  215. Mode of fixing the Handle to a Scandinavian Hatchet         _ib._

  216. Another Mode of fixing the Handle to a Scandinavian Hatchet _ib._

  217. Danish Bronze Knife of the Bronze Epoch                      275

  218. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  219. Blade of a Danish Razor of the Bronze Epoch                  276

  220. Woollen Cloak of the Bronze Epoch, found in 1861, in a Tomb
        in Denmark                                                  277

  221. Woollen Shawl, found in the same Tomb                       _ib._

  222. Woollen Shirt, taken from the same Tomb                      278

  223. First Woollen Cap, found in the same Tomb                   _ib._

  224. Second Woollen Cap, found in the same Tomb                  _ib._

  225. Bronze Comb, found in the same Tomb                         _ib._

  226. Warriors during the Bronze Epoch (whole page engraving).

  227. Bronze Hatchet Mould, found in Ireland                       279

  228. Stone Crescent, found in one of the Swiss Lakes              280

  229. Skull found at Meilen, Front View                            289

  230. Skull found at Meilen, Profile View                         _ib._

  231. Primitive Furnace for Smelting Iron (whole page engraving).

  232. Bronze Coin, from the Lake of Neuchâtel                      310

  233. Sword, from the Tombs of Hallstadt (with a Bronze Hilt and
        Iron Blade)                                                 313

  234. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  235. Dagger, from the Tombs of Hallstadt (Bronze Handle and Iron
        Blade)                                                      314

  236. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  237. Funeral Ceremonies during the Iron Epoch (whole page

  238. A Skeleton, portions of which have been burnt, from the
        Tombs of Hallstadt                                          315

  239. A Necklace with Pendants, from the Tombs of Hallstadt        316

  240. Bracelet, from the Tombs of Hallstadt                        317

  241. Ditto                                                       _ib._

  242. Bronze Vase, from the Tombs of Hallstadt                    _ib._

  243. Bronze Vase, from the Tombs of Hallstadt                     317

  244. Warriors of the Iron Epoch (whole page engraving).

  245, 246. Fore-arm encircled with Bracelets, found in the Tombs
        of Belleville (Savoy)                                       319

  247. Iron Sword, found in one of the Swiss Lakes                  321

  248. Sword with Damascened Blade, found in one of the Swiss
        Lakes                                                      _ib._

  249. Sheath of a Sword, found in one of the Swiss Lakes           322

  250. Lance-head, found in one of the Swiss Lakes                  323

  251. Head of a Javelin, found in the Lacustrine Settlement of La
        Tène (Neuchâtel)                                            324

  252. The Chase during the Iron Epoch (whole page engraving).

  253. Square-socketed Iron Hatchet, found in one of the Lakes of
        Switzerland                                                 325

  254. Sickle                                                      _ib._

  255. Scythe, from the Lacustrine Settlements of Switzerland       326

  256. Iron Point of Boat-hook, used by the Swiss Boatmen during
        the Iron Epoch                                             _ib._

  257. Horse's Bit, found in the Lake of Neuchâtel                 _ib._

  258. _Fibula_, or Iron Brooch, found in the Lake of Neuchâtel     327

  259. Iron Buckle for a Sword-belt, found in the Lake of Neuchâtel 328

  260. Iron Pincers, found in the Lake of Neuchâtel                _ib._

  261. Iron Spring-scissors, found in the Lake of Neuchâtel        _ib._

  262. Razor                                                        329

  263. Agriculture during the Iron Epoch (whole page engraving).



Forty years have scarcely elapsed since scientific men first began to
attribute to the human race an antiquity more remote than that which is
assigned to them by history and tradition. Down to a comparatively
recent time, the appearance of primitive man was not dated back beyond a
period of 6000 to 7000 years. This historical chronology was a little
unsettled by the researches made among various eastern nations--the
Chinese, the Egyptians, and the Indians. The _savants_ who studied these
ancient systems of civilisation found themselves unable to limit them to
the 6000 years of the standard chronology, and extended back for some
thousands of years the antiquity of the eastern races.

This idea, however, never made its way beyond the narrow circle of
oriental scholars, and did nothing towards any alteration in the general
opinion, which allowed only 6000 years since the creation of the human

This opinion was confirmed, and, to some extent, rendered sacred by an
erroneous interpretation of Holy Writ. It was thought that the Old
Testament stated that man was created 6000 years ago. Now, the fact is,
nothing of the kind can be found in the Book of Genesis. It is only the
commentators and the compilers of chronological systems who have put
forward this date as that of the first appearance of the human race. M.
Édouard Lartet, who was called, in 1869, to the chair of palæontology in
the Museum of Natural History of Paris, reminds us, in the following
passage taken from one of his elegant dissertations, that it is the
chronologists alone who have propounded this idea, and that they have,
in this respect, very wrongly interpreted the statements of the Bible:

"In _Genesis_," says M. Lartet, "no date can be found which sets a limit
to the time at which primitive mankind may have made its first
appearance. Chronologists, however, for fifteen centuries have been
endeavouring to make Biblical facts fall in with the preconcerted
arrangements of their systems. Thus, we find that more than 140 opinions
have been brought forward as to the date of the creation alone, and
that, between the varying extremes, there is a difference of 3194
years--a difference which only applies to the period between the
commencement of the world and the birth of Jesus Christ. This
disagreement turns chiefly on those portions of the interval which are
in closest proximity to the creation.

"From the moment when it becomes a recognised fact that the origin of
mankind is a question independent of all subordination to dogma, this
question will assume its proper position as a scientific thesis, and
will be accessible to any kind of discussion, and capable, in every
point of view, of receiving the solution which best harmonises with the
known facts and experimental demonstrations."[1]

Thus, we must not assume that the authority of Holy Writ is in any way
questioned by those labours which aim at seeking the real epoch of man's
first appearance on the earth.

In corroboration of M. Lartet's statement, we must call to mind that the
Catholic church, which has raised to the rank of dogma so many
unimportant facts, has never desired to treat in this way the idea that
man was created only 6000 years ago.

There is, therefore, no need for surprise when we learn that certain
members of the Catholic clergy have devoted themselves with energy
to the study of pre-historic man. Mgr. Meignan, Bishop of
Châlons-sur-Marne, is one of the best-informed men in France as respects
this new science; he cultivates it with the utmost zeal, and his
personal researches have added much to the sum of our knowledge of this
question. Under the title of 'Le Monde et l'Homme Primitif selon la
Bible,'[2] the learned Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne published, in 1869, a
voluminous work, in which, taking up the subjects discussed by Marcel de
Serres in his "Cosmogonie de Moïse, comparée aux Faits Géologiques,"[3]
and enlarging upon the facts which science has recently acquired as to
the subject of primitive man, he seeks to establish the coincidence of
all these data with the records of Revelation.

M. l'Abbé Lambert has recently published a work on 'L'Homme Primitif et
la Bible,'[4] in which he proves that the discoveries of modern science
concerning the antiquity of man are in no way opposed to the records of
Revelation in the Book of Moses.

Lastly, it is a member of the clerical body, M. l'Abbé Bourgeois, who,
more a royalist than the king--that is, more advanced in his views than
most contemporary geologists--is in favour of tracing back to the
tertiary epoch the earliest date of the existence of man. We shall have
to impugn this somewhat exaggerated opinion, which, indeed, we only
quote here for the sake of proving that the theological scruples which
so long arrested the progress of inquiry with regard to primitive man,
have now disappeared, in consequence of the perfect independence of this
question in relation to catholic dogma being evidently shown.

Thanks to the mutual support which has been afforded by the three
sister-sciences--geology, palæontology, and archæology,--thanks to the
happy combinations which these sciences have presented to the efforts of
men animated with an ardent zeal for the investigation of the
truth;--and thanks, lastly, to the unbounded interest which attaches to
this subject, the result has been that the limits which had been so long
attributed to the existence of the human species have been
extraordinarily extended, and the date of the first appearance of man
has been carried back to the night of the darkest ages. The mind, it may
well be said, recoils dismayed when it undertakes the computation of the
thousands of years which have elapsed since the creation of man.

But, it will naturally be asked, on what grounds do you base this
assertion? What evidence do you bring forward, and what are the elements
of your proof?

In the following paragraphs we give some of the principal means of
examination and study which have directed the efforts of _savants_ in
this class of investigation, and have enabled them to create a science
of the antiquity of the human species.

If man existed at any very remote epoch, he must have left traces of his
presence in the spots which he inhabited and on the soil which he trod
under his feet. However savage his state may be assumed to have been,
primitive man must have possessed some implements of fishing and
hunting--some weapons wherewith to strike down any prey which was
stronger or more agile than himself. All human beings have been in
possession of some scrap of clothing; and they have had at their command
certain implements more or less rough in their character, be they only a
shell in which to draw water or a tool for cleaving wood and
constructing some place of shelter, a knife to cut their food, and a
lump of stone to break the bones of the animals which served for their
nutriment. Never has man existed who was not in possession of some kind
of defensive weapon. These implements and these weapons have been
patiently sought for, and they have also been found. They have been
found in certain strata of the earth, the age of which is known by
geologists; some of these strata precede and others are subsequent to
the cataclysm of the European deluge of the quaternary epoch.

The fact has thus been proved that a race of men lived upon the earth at
the epoch settled by the geological age of these strata--that is, during
the quaternary epoch.

When this class of evidence of man's presence--that is, the vestiges of
his primitive industry--fails us, a state of things, however, which
comparatively seldom occurs, his existence is sometimes revealed by the
presence of human bones buried in the earth and preserved through long
ages by means of the deposits of calcareous salts which have petrified
or rather _fossilised_ them. Sometimes, in fact, the remains of human
bones have been found in quaternary rocks, which are, consequently,
considerably anterior to those of the present geological epoch.

This means of proof is, however, more difficult to bring forward than
the preceding class of evidence; because human bones are very liable to
decay when they are buried at shallow depths, and require for any length
of preservation a concurrence of circumstances which is but rarely met
with; because also the tribes of primitive man often burnt their dead
bodies; and, lastly, because the human race then formed but a very
scanty population.

Another excellent proof, which demonstrates the existence of man at a
geological epoch anterior to the present era, is to be deduced from the
intermixture of human bones with those of antediluvian animals. It is
evident that if we meet with the bones of the mammoth, the cave-bear,
the cave-tiger, &c.,--animals which lived only in the quaternary epoch
and are now extinct--in conjunction with the bones of man or the relics
of his industry, such as weapons, implements, utensils, &c., we can
assert with some degree of certainty that our species was
contemporaneous with the above-named animals. Now this intermixture has
often been met with under the ground in caves, or deeply buried in the

These form the various kinds of proof which have been made use of to
establish the fact of man's presence upon the earth during the
quaternary epoch. We will now give a brief recital of the principal
investigations which have contributed to the knowledge on which is based
the newly-formed science which treats of the practical starting-point of

Palæontology, as a science, does not count more than half a century of
existence. We scarcely seem, indeed, to have raised more than one corner
of the veil which covers the relics of an extinct world; as yet, for
instance, we know absolutely nothing of all that sleeps buried in the
depths of the earth lying under the basin of the sea. It need not,
therefore, afford any great ground for surprise that so long a time
elapsed before human bones or the vestiges of the primitive industry of
man were discovered in the quaternary rocks. This negative result,
however, always constituted the chief objection against the very early
origin of our species.

The errors and deceptions which were at first encountered tended perhaps
to cool down the zeal of the earlier naturalists, and thus retarded the
solution of the problem. It is a well-known story about the fossil
salamander of the Oeningen quarries, which, on the testimony of
Scheuchzer, was styled in 1726, the "human witness of the deluge" (_homo
diluvii testis_). In 1787, Peter Camper recognised the fact that this
pretended _pre-Adamite_ was nothing but a reptile; this discomfiture,
which was a source of amusement to the whole of scientific Europe, was
a real injury to the cause of antediluvian man. By the sovereign
ascendancy of ridicule, his existence was henceforth relegated to the
domain of fable.

The first step in advance was, however, taken in 1774. Some human bones,
mingled with remains of the great bear and other species then unknown,
were discovered by J. F. Esper, in the celebrated cavern of Gailenreuth,
in Bavaria.

Even before this date, in the early part of the eighteenth century,
Kemp, an Englishman, had found in London, by the side of elephants'
teeth, a stone hatchet, similar to those which have been subsequently
found in great numbers in various parts of the world. This hatchet was
roughly sketched, and the design published in 1715. The original still
exists in the collection at the British Museum.

In 1797, John Frere, an English archæologist, discovered at Hoxne, in
Suffolk, under strata of quaternary rocks, some flint weapons,
intermingled with bones of animals belonging to extinct species. Esper
concluded that these weapons and the men who made them were anterior to
the formation of the beds in which they were found.

According to M. Lartet, the honour of having been the first to proclaim
the high antiquity of the human species must be attributed to Aimé Boué,
a French geologist residing in Germany. In 1823, he found in the
quaternary loam (loess) of the Valley of the Rhine some human bones
which he presented to Cuvier and Brongniart as those of men who lived in
the quaternary epoch.

In 1823, Dr. Buckland, the English geologist, published his 'Reliquiæ
Diluvianæ,' a work which was principally devoted to a description of the
Kirkdale Cave, in which the author combined all the facts then known
which tended in favour of the co-existence of man and the antediluvian

Cuvier, too, was not so indisposed as he is generally said to have been,
to admit the existence of man in the quaternary epoch. In his work on
'Ossements Fossiles,' and his 'Discours sur les Révolutions du Globe,'
the immortal naturalist discusses the pros and cons with regard to this
question, and, notwithstanding the insufficiency of the data which were
then forthcoming, he felt warranted in saying:--

"I am not inclined to conclude that man had no existence at all before
the epoch of the great revolutions of the earth.... He might have
inhabited certain districts of no great extent, whence, after these
terrible events, he repeopled the world; perhaps, also, the spots where
he abode were swallowed up, and his bones lie buried under the beds of
the present seas."

The confident appeals which have been made to Cuvier's authority against
the high antiquity of man are, therefore, not justified by the facts.

A second and more decisive step in advance was taken by the discovery of
shaped flints and other implements belonging to primitive man, existing
in diluvial beds.

In 1826, M. Tournal, of Narbonne, a French archæologist and geologist,
published an account of the discoveries which he had made in a cave in
the department of Aude, in which he found bones of the bison and
reindeer fashioned by the hand of man, accompanied by the remains of
edible shell-fish, which must have been brought there by men who had
made their residence in this cave.

Three years afterwards, M. de Christol, of Montpellier, subsequently
Professor in the University of Science of Grenoble, found human bones
intimately mixed up with remains of the great bear, hyæna, rhinoceros,
&c., in the caverns of Pondres and Souvignargues (Hérault). In the last
of these caverns fragments of pottery formed a part of the relics.

All these striking facts were put together and discussed by Marcel de
Serres, Professor in the University of Science at Montpellier, in his
'Essai sur les Cavernes.'

The two bone-caverns of Engis and Enghihoul (Belgium) have furnished
proofs of the same kind. In 1833, Schmerling, a learned Belgian
geologist, discovered in these caverns two human skulls, mixed with the
teeth of the rhinoceros, elephant, bear, hyæna, &c. The human bones were
rubbed and worn away like those of the animals. The bones of the latter
presented, besides, traces of human workmanship. Lastly, as if no
evidence should be wanting, flints chipped to form knives and
arrow-heads were found in the same spot.

In connection with his laborious investigations, Schmerling published a
work which is now much esteemed, and proves that the Belgian geologist
well merited the title of being the founder of the science of the
antiquity of man. In this work Schmerling describes and represents a
vast quantity of objects which had been discovered in the caverns of
Belgium, and introduced to notice the human skull which has since become
so famous under the name of the _Engis skull_. But at that time
scientific men of all countries were opposed to this class of ideas, and
thus the discoveries of the Belgian geologist attracted no more
attention than those of his French brethren who had brought forward
facts of a similar nature.

In 1835, M. Joly, at that time Professor at the Lyceum of
Montpellier--where I (the author) attended on his course of Natural
History--now Professor in the Faculty of Sciences at Toulouse, found in
the cave of Nabrigas (Lozère) the skull of a cave-bear, on which an
arrow had left its evident traces. Close by was a fragment of pottery
bearing the imprints of the fingers of the man who moulded it.

We may well be surprised that, in the face of all these previous
discoveries, Boucher de Perthes, the ardent apostle in proclaiming the
high antiquity of our species, should have met with so much opposition
and incredulity; or that he should have had to strive against so much
indifference, when, beginning with the year 1836, he began to maintain
this idea in a series of communications addressed to the Société
d'Emulation of Abbeville.

The horizontal strata of the quarternary beds, known under the name of
_diluvial_, form banks of different shades and material, which place
before our eyes in indelible characters the ancient history of our
globe. The organic remains which are found in them are those of beings
who were witnesses to the diluvial cataclysm, and perhaps preceded it by
many ages.

"Therefore," says the prophet of Abbeville, "it is in these ruins of the
old world, and in the deposits which have become his sole archives, that
we must seek out the traditions of primitive man; and in default of
coins and inscriptions we must rely on the rough stones which, in all
their imperfection, prove the existence of man no less surely than all
the glory of a Louvre."

Strong in this conviction, M. Boucher de Perthes devoted himself
ardently to the search in the diluvial beds, either for the bony relics
of man, or, at all events, for the material indications of his primitive
industry. In the year 1838 he had the honour of submitting to the
Société d'Emulation, at Abbeville, his first specimens of the
antediluvian hatchet.

In the course of the year 1839, Boucher de Perthes took these hatchets
to Paris and showed them to several members of the Institute. MM.
Alexandre Brongniart, Flourens, Elie de Beaumont, Cordier, and Jomard,
gave at first some encouragement to researches which promised to be so
fruitful in results; but this favourable feeling was not destined to
last long.

These rough specimens of wrought flint, in which Boucher de Perthes
already recognised a kind of hatchet, presented very indistinct traces
of chipping, and the angles were blunted; their flattened shape, too,
differed from that of the polished hatchets, the only kind that were
then known. It was certainly necessary to see with the eyes of faith in
order to discern the traces of man's work. "I," says the Abbeville
archæologist, "had these 'eyes of faith,' but no one shared them with
me." He then made up his mind to seek for help in his labour, and
trained workmen to dig in the diluvial beds. Before long he was able to
collect, in the quarternary beds at Abbeville, twenty specimens of flint
evidently wrought by the hand of man.

In 1842, the Geological Society of London received a communication from
Mr. Godwin Austen, who had found in Kent's Hole various wrought objects,
accompanied by animal remains, which must have remained there since the

In 1844, appeared Lund's observations on the caverns of Brazil.

Lund explored as many as 800 caves. In one of them, situated not far
from the lake of Semidouro, he found the bones of no less than thirty
individuals of the human species, showing a similar state of
decomposition to that of the bones of animals which were along with
them. Among these animals were an ape, various carnivora, rodents,
pachyderms, sloths, &c. From these facts, Lund inferred that man must
have been contemporaneous with the megatherium, the mylodon, &c.,
animals which characterised the quarternary epoch.

Nevertheless, M. Desnoyers, librarian of the Museum of Natural History
at Paris, in a very learned article on 'Grottos and Caverns,' published
in 1845 in the 'Dictionnaire Universel d'Histoire Naturelle,' still
energetically expressed himself in opposition to the hypothesis of the
high antiquity of man. But the discoveries continued to go on; and, at
the present time, M. Desnoyers himself figures among the partisans of
the antediluvian man. He has even gone beyond their opinions, as he
forms one among those who would carry back to the tertiary epoch the
earliest date of the appearance of our species.

In 1847, M'Enery found in Kent's Hole, a cavern in England, under a
layer of stalagmite, the remains of men and antediluvian animals mingled

The year 1847 was also marked by the appearance of the first volume of
the 'Antiquités Celtiques et Antédiluviennes,' by Boucher de Perthes;
this contained about 1600 plates of the objects which had been
discovered in the excavations which the author had caused to be made
since the year 1836.

The strata at Abbeville, where Boucher de Perthes carried out his
researches, belong to the quaternary epoch.

Dr. Rigollot, who had been for ten years one of the most decided
opponents of the opinions of Boucher de Perthes, actually himself
discovered in 1854 some wrought flints in the quaternary deposits at
Saint Acheul, near Amiens, and it was not long before he took his stand
under the banner of the Abbeville archæologist.

The _fauna_ of the Amiens deposits is similar to that of the Abbeville
beds. The lower deposits of gravel, in which the wrought flints are met
with, have been formed by fresh water, and have not undergone either
alteration or disturbance. The flints wrought by the hand of man which
have been found in them, have in all probability lain there since the
epoch of the formation of these deposits--an epoch a little later than
the diluvial period. The number of wrought flints which have been taken
out of the Abbeville beds is really immense. At Menchecourt, in twenty
years, about 100 well-characterised hatchets have been collected; at
Saint Gilles twenty very rough, and as many well-made ones; at
Moulin-Quignon 150 to 200 well-formed hatchets.

Similar relics of primitive industry have been found also in other
localities. In 1853, M. Noulet discovered some in the Infernat Valley
(Haute-Garonne); in 1858, the English geologists, Messrs. Prestwich,
Falconer, Pengelly, &c., also found some in the lower strata of the
Baumann cavern in the Hartz.

To the English geologists whose names we have just mentioned must be
attributed the merit of having been the first to bring before the
scientific world the due value of the labours of Boucher de Perthes, who
had as yet been unsuccessful in obtaining any acceptation of his ideas
in France. Dr. Falconer, Vice-president of the Geological Society in
London, visited the department of the Somme, in order to study the beds
and the objects found in them. After him, Messrs. Prestwich and Evans
came three times to Abbeville in the year 1859. They all brought back to
England a full conviction of the antiquity and intact state of the beds
explored, and also of the existence of man before the deluge of the
quaternary epoch.

In another journey, made in company with Messrs. Flower, Mylne, and
Godwin Austen, Messrs. Prestwich, Falconer, and Evans were present at
the digging out of human bones and flint hatchets from the quarries of
St. Acheul. Lastly, Sir C. Lyell visited the spot, and the English
geologist, who, up to that time, had opposed the idea of the existence
of antediluvian man, was able to say, _Veni, vidi, victus fui!_ At the
meeting of the British Association, at Aberdeen, September the 15th,
1855, Sir C. Lyell declared himself to be in favour of the existence of
quaternary man; and this declaration, made by the President of the
Geological Society of London, added considerable weight to the new

M. Hébert, Professor of Geology at the Sorbonne, next took his stand
under the same banner.

M. Albert Gaudry, another French geologist, made a statement to the
Academy of Sciences, that he, too, had found flint hatchets, together
with the teeth of horses and fossil oxen, in the beds of the Parisian

During the same year, M. Gosse, the younger, explored the sand-pits of
Grenelle and the avenue of La Mothe-Piquet in Paris, and obtained from
them various flint implements, mingled with the bones of the mammoth,
fossil ox, &c.

Facts of a similar character were established at Précy-sur-Oise, and in
the diluvial deposits at Givry.

The Marquis de Vibraye, also, found in the cave of Arcy, various human
bones, especially a piece of a jaw-bone, mixed with the bones of animals
of extinct species.

In 1859, M. A. Fontan found in the cave of Massat (department of
Ariége), not only utensils testifying to the former presence of man, but
also human teeth mixed up with the remains of the great bear (_Ursus
spelæus_), the fossil hyæna (_Hyæna spelæa_), and the cave-lion (_Felis

In 1861, M. A. Milne Edwards found in the cave of Lourdes (Tarn),
certain relics of human industry by the side of the bones of fossil

The valleys of the Oise and the Seine have also added their contingent
to the supply of antediluvian remains. In the sand-pits in the environs
of Paris, at Grenelle, Levallois-Perret, and Neuilly, several
naturalists, including MM. Gosse, Martin, and Reboux, found numerous
flint implements, associated, in certain cases, with the bones of the
elephant and hippopotamus. In the valley of the Oise, at Précy, near
Creil, MM. Peigné Delacour and Robert likewise collected a few hatchets.

Lastly, a considerable number of French departments, especially those of
the north and centre, have been successfully explored. We may mention
the departments of Pas-de-Calais, Aisne, Loire-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire,
Vienne, Allier, Yonne, Saône-et-Loire, Hérault, Tarn-et-Garonne, &c.

In England, too, discoveries were made of an equally valuable character.
The movement which was commenced in France by Boucher de Perthes, spread
in England with remarkable rapidity. In many directions excavations were
made which produced excellent results.

In the gravel beds which lie near Bedford, Mr. Wyatt met with flints
resembling the principal types of those of Amiens and Abbeville; they
were found in company with the remains of the mammoth, rhinoceros,
hippopotamus, ox, horse, and deer. Similar discoveries were made in
Suffolk, Kent, Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, &c.

Some time after his return from Abbeville, Mr. Evans, going round the
museum of the Society of Antiquaries in London, found in their rooms
some specimens exactly similar to those in the collection of Boucher de
Perthes. On making inquiries as to their origin, he found that they had
been obtained from the gravel at Hoxne by Mr. Frere, who had collected
them there, together with the bones of extinct animals, all of which he
had presented to the museum, after having given a description of them in
the 'Archæologia' of 1800, with this remark: ... "Fabricated and used by
a people who had not the use of metals.... The situation in which these
weapons were found may tempt us to refer them to a very remote period
indeed, even beyond that of the present world."

Thus, even at the commencement of the present century, they were in
possession, in England, of proofs of the co-existence of man with the
great extinct pachyderms; but, owing to neglect of the subject, scarcely
any attention had been paid to them.

We now come to the most remarkable and most characteristic discoveries
of this class which have ever been made. We allude to the explorations
made by M. Édouard Lartet, during the year 1860, in the curious
pre-historic human burial-place at Aurignac (Haute-Garonne).

Going down the hill on the road leading from Aurignac, after proceeding
about a mile, we come to the point where, on the other side of the dale,
the ridge of the hill called _Fajoles_ rises, not more than 65 feet
above a rivulet. We then may notice, on the northern slope of this
eminence, an escarpment of the rock, by the side of which there is a
kind of niche about six feet deep, the arched opening of it facing
towards the north-west. This little cave is situated forty-two feet
above the rivulet. Below, the calcareous soil slopes down towards the

The discovery of this hollow, which is now cleared out, was made
entirely by chance. It was hidden by a mass of _débris_ of rock and
vegetable-earth which had crumbled down; it had, in fact, only been
known as a rabbits' hole. In 1842, an excavating labourer, named
Bonnemaison, took it into his head one day to thrust his arm into this
hole, and out of it he drew forth a large bone. Being rather curious to
search into the mystery, he made an excavation in the slope below the
hole, and, after some hours' labour, came upon a slab of sandstone which
closed up an arched opening. Behind the slab of stone, he discovered a
hollow in which a quantity of human bones were stored up.

It was not long before the news of this discovery was spread far and
wide. Crowds of curious visitors flocked to the spot, and many
endeavoured to explain the origin of these human remains, the immense
antiquity of which was attested by their excessive fragility. The old
inhabitants of the locality took it into their heads to recall to
recollection a band of coiners and robbers who, half a century before,
had infested the country. This decidedly popular inquest and decision
was judged perfectly satisfactory, and everyone agreed in declaring that
the cavern which had just been brought to light was nothing but the
retreat of these malefactors, who concealed all the traces of their
crimes by hiding the bodies of their victims in this cave, which was
known to these criminals only.

Doctor Amiel, Mayor of Aurignac, caused all these bones to be collected
together, and they were buried in the parish cemetery. Nevertheless,
before the re-inhumation was proceeded with, he recorded the fact that
the skeletons were those of seventeen individuals of both sexes. In
addition to these skeletons, there were also found in the cave a number
of little discs, or flat rings, formed of the shell of a species of
cockle (_cardium_). Flat rings altogether similar to these are not at
all unfrequent in the necklaces and other ornanments of Assyrian
antiquity found in Nineveh.

Eighteen years after this event, that is in 1860, M. Édouard Lartet paid
a visit to Aurignac. All the details of the above-named discovery were
related to him. After the long interval which had elapsed, no one, not
even the grave-digger himself, could recollect the precise spot where
these human remains had been buried in the village cemetery. These
precious relics were therefore lost to science.

M. Lartet resolved, however, to set on foot some excavations in the cave
from which they had been taken, and he soon found himself in possession
of unhoped-for treasures. The floor of the cavern itself had remained
intact, and was covered with a layer of "made ground" mixed with
fragments of stone. Outside this same cave M. Lartet discovered a bed of
ashes and charcoal, which, however, did not extend to the interior. This
bed was covered with "made ground" of an ossiferous and vegetable
character. Inside the cave, the ground contained bones of the bear, the
fox, the reindeer, the bison, the horse, &c., all intermingled with
numerous relics of human industry, such as implements made of stag or
reindeer's-horn, carefully pointed at one end and bevelled off at the
other--a pierced handle of reindeer's-horn--flint knives and weapons of
different kinds; lastly, a canine-tooth of a bear, roughly carved in the
shape of a bird's head and pierced with a hole, &c.

The excavations, having been carried to a lower level, brought to light
the remains of the bear, the wild-cat, the cave-hyæna, the wolf, the
mammoth, the horse, the stag, the reindeer, the ox, the rhinoceros, &c.,
&c. It was, in fact, a complete Noah's ark. These bones were all broken
lengthwise, and some of them were carbonised. _Striæ_ and notches were
found on them, which could only have been made by cutting instruments.

M. Lartet, after long and patient investigations, came to the conclusion
that the cave of Aurignac was a human burial-place, contemporary with
the mammoth, the _Rhinocerus tichorhinus_, and other great mammals of
the quarternary epoch.

The mode in which the long bones were broken shows that they had been
cracked with a view of extracting the marrow; and the notches on them
prove that the flesh had been cut off them with sharp instruments. The
ashes point to the existence of a fire, in which some of these bones had
been burnt. Men must have resorted to this cavern in order to fulfil
certain funereal rites. The weapons and animals' bones must have been
deposited there in virtue of some funereal dedication, of which numerous
instances are found in Druidical or Celtic monuments and in Gallic

Such are the valuable discoveries, and such the new facts which were the
result of the investigations made by M. Édouard Lartet in the cave of
Aurignac. In point of fact, they left no doubt whatever as to the
co-existence of man with the great antediluvian animals.

In 1862, Doctor Felix Garrigou, of Tarrascon, a distinguished geologist,
published the results of the researches which he, in conjunction with
MM. Rames and Filhol, had made in the caverns of Ariége. These explorers
found the lower jaw-bones of the great bear, which, with their sharp and
projecting canine-tooth, had been employed by man as an offensive
weapon, almost in the same way as Samson used the jaw-bone of an ass in
fighting with the Philistines.

"It was principally," says M. Garrigou, "in the caves of Lombrives,
Lherm, Bouicheta, and Maz-d'Azil that we found the jaw-bones of the
great bear and the cave-lion, which were acknowledged to have been
wrought by the hand of man, not only by us, but also by the numerous
French and English _savants_ who examined them and asked for some of
them to place in their collections. The number of these jaw-bones now
reaches to more than a hundred. Furnished, as they are, with an immense
canine-tooth, and carved so as to give greater facility for grasping
them, they must have formed, when in a fresh state, formidable weapons
in the hands of primitive man....

"These animals belong to species which are now extinct, and if their
bones while still in a fresh state (since they were gnawed by hyænas)
were used as weapons, man must have been contemporary with them."

In the cave of Bruniquel (Tarn-et-Garonne), which was visited in 1862 by
MM. Garrigou and Filhol, and other _savants_, there were found, under a
very hard osseous _breccia_, an ancient fire-hearth with ashes and
charcoal, the broken and calcined bones of ruminants of various extinct
species, flint flakes used as knives, facetted nuclei, and both
triangular and quadrangular arrow-heads of great distinctness, utensils
in stags' horn and bone--in short, everything which could prove the
former presence of primitive man.

About three-quarters of a mile below the cave there was subsequently
found, at a depth of about twenty feet, an osseous _breccia_ similar to
the first, and likewise containing broken bones and a series of ancient
fire-hearths filled with ashes and objects of antediluvian industry.
Bones, teeth, and flints were to be collected in bushels.

At the commencement of 1863, M. Garrigou presented to the Geological
Society of France the objects which had been found in the caves of Lherm
and Bouicheta, and the Abbé Bourgeois published some remarks on the
wrought flints from the _diluvium_ of Pont-levoy.

This, therefore, was the position of the question in respect to fossil
man, when in 1863, the scientific world were made acquainted with the
fact of the discovery of a human jaw-bone in the diluvial beds of
Moulin-Quignon, near Abbeville. We will relate the circumstances
attending this memorable discovery.

On the 23rd of March, 1863, an excavator who was working in the
sand-quarries at Moulin-Quignon brought to Boucher de Perthes at
Abbeville, a flint hatchet and a small fragment of bone which he had
just picked up. Having cleaned off the earthy coat which covered it,
Boucher de Perthes recognised this bone to be a human molar. He
immediately visited the spot, and assured himself that the locality
where these objects had been found was an argilo-ferruginous vein,
impregnated with some colouring matter which appeared to contain
organic remains. This layer formed a portion of a _virgin_ bed, as it is
called by geologists, that is, without any infiltration or secondary

On the 28th of March another excavator brought to Boucher de Perthes a
second human tooth, remarking at the same time, "that something
resembling a bone was just then to be seen in the sand." Boucher de
Perthes immediately repaired to the spot, and in the presence of MM.
Dimpré the elder and younger, and several members of the Abbeville
_Société d'Emulation_, he personally extracted from the soil the half of
a human lower jaw-bone, covered with an earthy crust. A few inches from
this, a flint hatchet was discovered, covered with the same black patina
as the jaw-bone. The level where it was found was about fifteen feet
below the surface of the ground.

After this event was duly announced, a considerable number of geologists
flocked to Abbeville, about the middle of the month of April. The Abbé
Bourgeois, MM. Brady-Buteux, Carpenter, Falconer, &c., came one after
the other, to verify the locality from which the human jaw-bone had been
extracted. All were fully convinced of the intact state of the bed and
the high antiquity of the bone which had been found.

Boucher de Perthes also discovered in the same bed of gravel two
mammoth's teeth, and a certain number of wrought hatchets. Finally, he
found among the bones which had been taken from the Menchecourt quarries
in the early part of April, a fragment of another jaw-bone and six
separate teeth, which were recognised by Dr. Falconer to be also human.

The jaw-bone found at Moulin-Quignon is very well preserved. It is
rather small in size, and appears to have belonged to an aged individual
of small stature. It does not possess that ferocious aspect which is
noticed in the jaw-bones of certain of the existing human races. The
obliquity of the molar-tooth may be explained by supposing some
accident, for the molar which stood next had fallen out during the
lifetime of the individual, leaving a gap which favoured the obliquity
of the tooth which remained in the jaw. This peculiarity is found also
in several of the human heads in the collection of the Museum of Natural
History in Paris.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Human Jaw-bone found at Moulin-Quignon, near
Abbeville, in 1863.]

The jaw-bone of the man of Moulin-Quignon, which is represented here
(fig. 1) in its natural size, and drawn from the object itself, which is
preserved in the Anthropological Gallery of the Museum of Natural
History of Paris, does not show any decided points of difference when
compared with those of individuals of existing races.

The same conclusion was arrived at as the result of the comparative
examination which was made of the jaw-bones found by MM. Lartet and De
Vibraye in the caves of Aurignac and Arcy; the latter remains were
studied by M. Quatrefages in conjunction with Pruner-Bey, formerly
physician to the Viceroy of Egypt, and one of the most distinguished
French anthropologists.

On the 20th of April, 1863, M. de Quatrefages announced to the institute
the discovery which had been made by Boucher de Perthes, and he
presented to the above-named learned body the interesting object itself,
which had been sent from Abbeville.

When the news of this discovery arrived in England it produced no slight

Some of the English _savants_ who had more specially devoted their
attention to the study of this question, such as Messrs. Christy,
Falconer, Carpenter, and Busk, went over to France, and in conjunction
with Boucher de Perthes and several members of the Académie des Sciences
of Paris, examined the exact locality in which the hatchets and the
human jaw-bone had been found; they unanimously agreed in recognising
the correctness of the conclusions arrived at by the indefatigable
geologist of Abbeville.[5]

This discovery of the hatchets and the human jaw-bone in the quaternary
beds of Moulin-Quignon completed the demonstration of an idea already
supported by an important mass of evidence. Setting aside its own
special value, this discovery, added to so many others, could not fail
to carry conviction into most minds. From this time forth the doctrine
of the high antiquity of the human race became an acknowledged idea in
the scientific world.

Before closing our historical sketch, we shall have to ask, what was the
precise geological epoch to which we shall have to carry back the date
of man's first appearance on this our earth.

The beds which are anterior to the present period, the series of which
forms the solid crust of our globe, have been divided, as is well known,
into five groups, corresponding to the same number of periods of the
physical development of the earth. These are in their order of age: the
_primitive rocks_, the _transition rocks_, the _secondary rocks_, the
_tertiary_ and _quaternary rocks_. Each of these epochs must have
embraced an immense lapse of time, since it has radically exhausted the
generation both of animals and plants which was peculiar to it. Some
idea may be formed of the extreme slowness with which organic creatures
modify their character, when we take into consideration that our
contemporary _fauna_, that is to say, the collection of animals of every
country which belong to the geological period in which we exist, has
undergone little, if any, alteration during the thousands of years that
it has been in being.

Is it possible for us to date the appearance of the human race in those
prodigiously-remote epochs which correspond with the primitive, the
transition, or the secondary rocks? Evidently no! Is it possible,
indeed, to fix this date in the epoch of the tertiary rocks? Some
geologists have fancied that they could find traces of the presence of
man in these tertiary rocks (the miocene and pliocene). But this is an
opinion in which we, at least, cannot make up our minds to agree.

In 1863, M. Desnoyers found in the upper strata of the tertiary beds
(pliocene) at Saint-Prest, in the department of Eure, certain bones
belonging to various extinct animal species; among others those of an
elephant (_Elephas meridionalis_), an animal which did not form a part
of the quaternary _fauna_. On most of these bones he ascertained the
existence of cuts, or notches, which, in his opinion, must have been
produced by flint implements. These indications, according to M.
Desnoyers, are signs of the existence of man in the tertiary epoch.

This opinion, however, Sir Charles Lyell hesitates to accept. Moreover,
we could hardly depend upon an accident so insignificant as that of a
few cuts or notches made upon a bone, in order to establish a fact so
important as that of the high antiquity of man. We must also state that
it is a matter of question whether the beds which contained these
notched bones really belong to the tertiary group.

The beds which correspond to the quaternary epoch are, therefore, those
in which we find unexceptionable evidence of the existence of man.
Consequently, in the quaternary epoch which preceded the existing
geological period, we must place the date of the first appearance of
mankind upon the earth.

If the purpose is entertained of discussing, with any degree of
certainty, the history of the earliest days of the human race--a subject
which as yet is a difficult one--it is requisite that the long interval
should be divided into a certain number of periods. The science of
primitive man is one so recently entered upon, that those authors who
have written upon the point can hardly be said to have properly
discussed and agreed upon a rational scheme of classification. We shall,
in this work, adopt the classification proposed by M. Édouard Lartet,
which, too, has been adopted in that portion of the museum of
Saint-Germain which is devoted to pre-historic antiquities. Following
this course, we shall divide the history of primitive mankind into two
great periods:

1st. The Stone Age;

2nd. The Metal Age.

These two principal periods must also be subdivided in the following
mode. The "Stone Age" will embrace three epochs:

1st. The epoch of extinct animals (or of the great cave-bear and the

2nd. The epoch of migrated existing animals (or the reindeer epoch).

3rd. The epoch of domesticated existing animals (or the polished-stone

The "Metal Age" may also be divided into two periods:

1st. The Bronze Epoch;

2nd. The Iron Epoch.

The following synoptical table will perhaps bring more clearly before
the eyes of our readers this mode of classification, which has, at
least, the merit of enabling us to make a clear and simple statement of
the very incongruous facts which make up the history of primitive man:

                 { 1st. Epoch of extinct animals (or of the great bear
                 {       and mammoth).
  THE STONE AGE. { 2nd. Epoch of migrated existing animals (or the
                 {       reindeer epoch).
                 { 3rd. Epoch of domesticated existing animals (or the
                 {       polished-stone epoch).

  THE METAL AGE. { 1st. The Bronze Epoch.
                 { 2nd. The Iron Epoch.


[1] 'Nouvelles Recherches sur la Coexistence de l'Homme et des grands
Mammifères Fossiles réputés charactéristiques de la dernière période
Géologique,' by Éd. Lartet, 'Annales des Sciences Naturelles,' 4th ser.
vol. xv. p. 256.

[2] 1 vol. 8vo., Paris, 1869; V. Palme.

[3] 2 vols. 12mo., 3rd edit., Paris, 1859; Lagny frères.

[4] Pamphlet, 8vo., Paris, 1869; Savy.

[5] It should rather have been said, that the ultimate and
well-considered judgment of the English geologists was against the
authenticity of the Moulin-Quignon jaw.--See Dr. Falconer's
'Palæontological Memoirs,' vol. ii. p. 610; and Sir C. Lyell's
'Antiquity of Man,' 3rd ed. p. 515. (Note to Eng. Trans.)





     The earliest Men--The type of Man in the Epoch of Animals of
     extinct Species--Origin of Man--Refutation of the Theory which
     derives the Human Species from the Ape.

Man must have lived during the time in which the last representatives of
the ancient animal creation--the mammoth, the great bear, the
cave-hyæna, the _Rhinoceros tichorinus_, &c.--were still in existence.
It is this earliest period of man's history which we are now about to
enter upon.

We have no knowledge of a precise nature with regard to man at the
period of his first appearance on the globe. How did he appear upon the
earth, and in what spot can we mark out the earliest traces of him? Did
he first come into being in that part of the world which we now call
Europe, or is it the fact that he made his way to this quarter of our
hemisphere, having first seen the light on the great plateaux of Central

This latter opinion is the one generally accepted. In the work which
will follow the present volume we shall see, when speaking of the
various races of man, that the majority of naturalists admit nowadays
one common centre of creation for all mankind. Man, no doubt, first came
into being on the great plateaux of Central Asia, and thence was
distributed over all the various habitable portions of our globe. The
action of climate and the influences of the locality which he inhabited
have, therefore, determined the formation of the different races--white,
black, yellow, and red--which now exist with all their infinite

But there is another question which arises, to which it is necessary to
give an immediate answer, for it has been and is incessantly agitated
with a degree of vehemence which may be explained by the nature of the
discussion being of so profoundly personal a character as regards all of
us: Was man created by God complete in all parts, and is the human type
independent of the type of the animals which existed before him? Or, on
the contrary, are we compelled to admit that man, by insensible
transformations, and gradual improvements and developments, is derived
from some other animal species, and particularly that of the ape?

This latter opinion was maintained at the commencement of the present
century by the French naturalist, de Lamarck, who laid down his views
very plainly in his work entitled 'Philosophie Zoologique.' The same
theory has again been taken up in our own time, and has been developed,
with no small supply of facts on which it might appear to be based, by a
number of scientific men, among whom we may mention Professor Carl Vogt
in Switzerland, and Professor Huxley in England.

We strongly repudiate any doctrine of this kind. In endeavouring to
establish the fact that man is nothing more than a developed and
improved ape, an orang-outang or a gorilla, somewhat elevated in
dignity, the arguments are confined to an appeal to anatomical
considerations. The skull of the ape is compared with that of primitive
man, and certain characteristics of analogy, more or less real, being
found to exist between the two bony cases, the conclusion has been
arrived at that there has been a gradual blending between the type of
the ape and that of man.

We may observe, in the first place, that these analogies have been very
much exaggerated, and that they fail to stand their ground in the face
of a thorough examination of the facts. Only look at the skulls which
have been found in the tombs belonging to the stone age, the so-called
_Borreby skull_ for instance--examine the human jaw-bone from
Moulin-Quignon, the Meilen skull, &c., and you will be surprised to see
that they differ very little in appearance from the skulls of existing
man. One would really imagine, from what is said by the partisans of
Lamarck's theory, that primitive man possessed the projecting jaw of the
ape, or at least that of the negro. We are astonished, therefore, when
we ascertain that, on the contrary, the skull of the man of the stone
age is almost entirely similar in appearance to those of the existing
Caucasian species. Special study is, indeed, required in order to
distinguish one from the other.

If we place side by side the skull of a man belonging to the Stone Age,
and the skulls of the principal apes of large size, these
dissimilarities cannot fail to be obvious. No other elements of
comparison, beyond merely looking at them, seem to be requisite to
enable us to refute the doctrine of this debased origin of mankind.

The figure annexed represents the skull of a man belonging to the stone
age, found in Denmark; to this skull, which is known by the name of the
Borreby skull, we shall have to allude again in the course of the
present work; fig. 3 represents the skull of a gorilla; fig. 4 that of
an orang-outang; fig. 5 that of the _Cynocephalus_ ape; fig. 6 that of
the _Macacus_. Place the representation of the skull found in Denmark in
juxtaposition with these ill-favoured animal masks, and then let the
reader draw his own inference, without pre-occupying his mind with the
allegations of certain anatomists imbued with contrary ideas.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Skull of a Man belonging to the Stone Age (the
_Borreby Skull_).]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Skull of the Gorilla.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Skull of the Orang-Outang.]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--Skull of the Cynocephalus Ape.]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--Skull of the _Macacus_ Baboon.]

Finding themselves beaten as regards the skulls, the advocates of
transmutation next appeal to the bones. With this aim, they exhibit to
us certain similarities of arrangement existing between the skeleton of
the ape and that of primitive man. Such, for instance, is the
longitudinal ridge which exists on the thigh-bone, which is as prominent
in primitive man as in the ape. Such, also, is the fibula, which is very
stout in primitive man, just as in the ape, but is rather slender in the
man of the present period.

When we are fully aware how the form of the skeleton is modified by the
kind of life which is led, in men just as in animals, we cannot be
astonished at finding that certain organs assume a much higher
development in those individuals who put them to frequent and violent
use, than in others who leave these same organs in a state of
comparative repose.

If it be a fact that the man of the epoch of the great bear and the
mammoth had a more robust leg, and a more largely developed thigh-bone
than most of the races of existing man, the reason simply is, that his
savage life, which was spent in the midst of the wild beasts of the
forest, compelled him to make violent exertions, which increased the
size of these portions of his body.

Thus it is found that great walkers have a bulky calf, and persons
leading a sedentary life have slender legs. These variations in the
structure of the skeleton are owing, therefore, to nothing but a
difference in the mode of life.

Why is it, however, that the skeleton is the only point taken into
consideration when analogies are sought for between man and any species
of animal? If equal investigation were given to other organs, we should
arrive at a conclusion which would prove how unreasonable comparisons of
this kind are. In fact, if man possesses the osseous structure of the
ape, he has also the anatomical structure of many other animals, as far
as regards several organs. Are not the viscera of the digestive system
the same, and are they not organised on the same plan in man as in the
carnivorous animals? As the result of this, would you say that man is
derived from the tiger, that he is nothing but an improved and developed
lion, a cat transmuted into a man? We may, however, just as plausibly
draw this inference, unless we content ourselves with devoting our
attention to the skeleton alone, which seems, indeed, to be the only
part of the individual in which we are to interest ourselves, for what
reason we know not.

But, in point of fact, this kind of anatomy is pitiable. Is there
nothing in man but bones? Do the skeleton and the viscera make up the
entire sum of the human being? What will you say, then, ye blind
rhetoricians, about the faculty of intelligence as manifested in the
gift of speech? Intelligence and speech, these are really the attributes
which constitute man; these are the qualities which make him the most
complete being in creation, and the most privileged of God's creatures.
Show me an ape who can speak, and then I will agree with you in
recognising it as a fact that man is nothing but an improved ape! Show
me an ape who can make flint hatchets and arrow-heads, who can light a
fire and cook his food, who, in short, can act like an intelligent
creature--then, and then only, I am ready to confess that I am nothing
more than an orang-outang revised and corrected.

It is not, however, our desire to speak of a question which has been the
subject of so much controversy as that of the anatomical resemblance
between the ape and the man without thoroughly entering into it; we
have, indeed, no wish to shun the discussion of the point. On the
present occasion, we shall appeal to the opinion of a _savant_ perfectly
qualified in such matters; we allude to M. de Quatrefages, Professor of
Anthropology in the Museum of Natural History at Paris.

M. de Quatrefages, in his work entitled 'Rapport sur le Progrès de
l'Anthropologie,' published in 1868, has entered rather fully into the
question whether man is descended from the ape or not. He has summed up
the contents of a multitude of contemporary works on this subject, and
has laid down his opinion--the perfect impossibility, in an anatomical
point of view, of this strange and repugnant genealogy.

The following extract from his work will be sufficient to make our
readers acquainted with the ideas of the learned Professor of
Anthropology with regard to the question which we are now considering:

"Man and apes in general," says M. de Quatrefages, "present a most
striking contrast--a contrast on which Vicq-d'Azyr, Lawrence, and M.
Serres have dwelt in detail for some considerable time past. The former
is a _walking animal_, who walks upon his hind legs; all apes are
_climbing animals_. The whole of the locomotive system in the two groups
bears the stamp of these two very different intentions; the two types,
in fact, are perfectly distinct.

"The very remarkable works of Duvernoy on the 'Gorilla,' and of MM.
Gratiolet and Alix on the 'Chimpanzee,' have fully confirmed this result
as regards the anthropomorphous apes--a result very important, from
whatever point of view it is looked at, but of still greater value to
any one who wishes to apply _logically_ Darwin's idea. These recent
investigations prove, in fact, that the ape type, however highly it may
be developed, loses nothing of its fundamental character, and remains
always perfectly distinct from the type of man; the latter, therefore,
cannot have taken its rise from the former.

"Darwin's doctrine, when rationally adapted to the fact of the
appearance of man, would lead us to the following results:

"We are acquainted with a large number of terms in the Simian series. We
see it branching out into secondary series all leading up to
anthropomorphous apes, which are not members of one and the same family,
but corresponding superior _terms_ of three distinct families
(Gratiolet). In spite of the secondary modifications involved by the
developments of the same natural qualities, the orang, the gorilla, and
the chimpanzee remain none the less fundamentally mere _apes_ and
_climbers_ (Duvernoy, Gratiolet, and Alix). Man, consequently, in whom
everything shows that he is a _walker_, cannot belong to any one of
these series; he can only be the higher term of a distinct series, the
other representatives of which have disappeared, or, up to the present
time, have evaded our search. Man and the anthropomorphous apes are the
final terms of two series, which commence to diverge at the very latest
as soon as the lowest of the apes appear upon the earth.

"This is really the way in which a true disciple of Darwin must reason,
even if he solely took into account the _external morphological
characteristics_ and the _anatomical characteristics_ which are the
expression of the former in the adult animal.

"Will it be said that when the degree of organisation manifested in the
anthropomorphous apes had been once arrived at, the organism underwent a
new impulse and became adapted for walking? This would be, in fact,
adding a fresh hypothesis, and its promoters would not be in a position
to appeal to the organised gradation presented by the quadrumanous order
as a whole on which stress is laid as leading to the conclusion against
which I am contending: they would be completely outside _Darwin's
theory_, on which these opinions claim to be based.

"Without going beyond these purely morphological considerations, we may
place, side by side, for the sake of comparison, as was done by M.
Pruner-Bey, the most striking general characteristics in man and in the
anthropomorphous apes. As the result, we ascertain this general
fact--that there exists 'an _inverse order_ of the final term of
development in the sensitive and vegetative apparatus, in the systems of
locomotion and reproduction' (Pruner-Bey).

"In addition to this, this _inverse order_ is equally exhibited in the
series of phenomena of individual development.

"M. Pruner-Bey has shown that this is the case with a portion of the
permanent teeth. M. Welker, in his curious studies of the sphenoïdal
angle of Virchow, arrived at a similar result. He demonstrated that the
modifications of the base of the skull, that is, of a portion of the
skeleton which stands in the most intimate relation to the brain, take
place inversely in the man and ape. This angle diminishes from his birth
in man, but, on the contrary, in the ape it becomes more and more
obtuse, so as sometimes to become entirely extinct.

"But there is also another fact which is of a still more important
character: it is that this inverse course of development has been
ascertained to exist even in the brain itself. This fact, which was
pointed out by Gratiolet, and dwelt upon by him on various occasions,
has never been contested either at the _Société d'Anthropologie_ or
elsewhere, and possesses an importance and significance which may be
readily comprehended.

"In man and the anthropomorphous ape, _when in an adult state_, there
exists in the mode of arrangement of the cerebral folds a certain
similarity on which much stress has been laid; but this resemblance has
been, to some extent, a source of error, for the result is attained by
an _inverse course of action_. In the ape, the temporo-sphenoïdal
convolutions, which form the middle lobe, make their appearance, and are
completed, before the anterior convolutions which form the frontal lobe.
In man, on the contrary, the frontal convolutions are the first to
appear, and those of the middle lobe are subsequently developed.

"It is evident that when two organised beings follow an inverse course
in their growth, the more highly developed of the two cannot have
descended from the other by means of evolution.

"Embryology next adds its evidence to that of anatomy and morphology, to
show how much in error they are who have fancied that Darwin's ideas
would afford them the means of maintaining the simial origin of man.

"In the face of all these facts, it may be easily understood that
anthropologists, however little in harmony they may sometimes be on
other points, are agreed on this, and have equally been led to the
conclusion that there is nothing that permits us to look at the brain of
the ape as the brain of man smitten with an arrest of development, or,
on the other hand, the brain of man as a development of that of the ape
(Gratiolet); that the study of animal organism in general, and that of
the extremities in particular, reveals, in addition to a general plan,
certain differences in shape and arrangement which specify two
altogether special and distinct adaptations, and are incompatible with
the idea of any filiation (Gratiolet and Alix); that in their course of
improvement and development, apes do not tend to become allied to man,
and conversely the human type, when in a course of degradation, does not
tend to become allied to the ape (Bert); finally, that no possible point
of transition can exist between man and the ape, unless under the
condition of inverting the laws of development (Pruner-Bey), &c.

"What, we may ask, is brought forward by the partisans of the simial
origin of man in opposition to these general facts, which here I must
confine myself to merely pointing out, and to the multitude of details
of which these are only the abstract?

"I have done my best to seek out the proofs alleged, but I everywhere
meet with nothing but the same kind of argument--exaggerations of
morphological similarities which no one denies; inferences drawn from a
few exceptional facts which are then generalised upon, or from a few
coincidences in which the relations of cause and effect are a matter of
supposition; lastly, an appeal to _possibilities_ from which conclusions
of a more or less affirmative character are drawn.

"We will quote a few instances of this mode of reasoning.

"1st. The bony portion of the hand of man and of that of certain
anthropomorphous apes present marked similarities. Would it not
therefore have been possible for an almost imperceptible modification to
have ultimately led to identity?

"MM. Gratiolet and Alix reply to this in the negative; for the muscular
system of the thumb establishes a profound difference, and testifies to
an _adaptation_ to very different uses.

"2nd. It is only in man and the anthropomorphous apes that the
articulation of the shoulder is so arranged as to allow of rotatory
movements. Have we not here an unmistakable resemblance?

"The above-named anatomists again reply in the negative; for even if we
only take the bones into account, we at once see that the movements
could not be the same; but when we come to the muscular system, we find
decisive differences again testifying to certain special _adaptations_.

"These rejoinders are correct, for when _locomotion_ is the matter in
question, it is evident that due consideration must be paid to the
muscles, which are the active agents in that function at least as much
as the bones, which only serve as points of attachment and are only

"3rd. In some of the races of man, the arch of the skull, instead of
presenting a uniform curve in the transverse direction, bends a little
towards the top of the two sides, and rises towards the median line (New
Caledonians, Australians, &c.). It is asked if this is not a preliminary
step towards the bony crests which rise in this region in some of the
anthropomorphous apes?

"Again we reply in the negative; for, in the latter, the bony crests
arise from the walls of the skull, and do not form any part of the arch.

"4th. Is it not very remarkable that we find the orang to be
brachycephalous, just like the Malay, whose country it inhabits, and
that the gorilla and chimpanzee are dolichocephalous like the negro? Is
not this fact a reason for our regarding the former animal as the
ancestor of the Malays, and the latter of the African nations?

"Even if the facts brought forward were correct, the inference which is
drawn from them would be far from satisfactory. But the coincidence
which is appealed to does not exist. In point of fact, the orang, which
is essentially a native of Borneo, lives among the Dyaks and not among
the Malays; now the Dyaks are rather dolichocephalous than
brachycephalous. With respect to gorillas being dolichocephalous, they
cannot at least be so generally; as out of _three_ female specimens of
this ape which were examined, two were brachycephalous (Pruner-Bey).

"5th. The brains of microcephalous individuals present a mixture of
human and simial characteristics, and point to some intermediate
conformation, which was normal at some anterior epoch, but at the
present time is only realised by an arrest of development and a fact of

"Gratiolet's investigations of the brain of the ape, normal man and
small-brained individuals, have shown that the similarities pointed out
are purely fallacious. People have thought that they could detect them,
simply because they have not examined closely enough. In the last named,
the human brain is simplified; but this causes no alteration in the
_initial plan_, and this plan is not that which is ascertained to exist
in the ape. Thus Gratiolet has expressed an opinion which no one has
attempted to controvert: 'The human brain differs the more from that of
the ape the less the former is developed, and an arrest of development
could only exaggerate this natural difference.... The brains of
microcephalous individuals, although often less voluminous and less
convoluted than those of the anthropomorphous apes, do not on this
account become like the latter.... The idiot, however low he may be
reduced, is not a beast; he is nothing but a deteriorated man.'

"The laws of the development of the brain in the two types, laws which I
mentioned before, explain and justify this language; and the laws of
which it is the summary are a formal refutation of the comparison which
some have attempted to make between the _contracted human brain_, and
the _animal brain, however developed_.

"6th. The excavations which have been made in intact ancient beds have
brought to light skulls of ancient races of man, and these skulls
present characteristics which approximate them to the skull of the ape.
Does not this pithecoïd stamp, which is very striking on the Neanderthal
skull in particular, argue a transition from one type to another, and
consequently _filiation_?

"This argument is perhaps the only one which has been brought forward
with any degree of precision, and it is often recurred to. Is it, on
this account, more demonstrative? Let the reader judge for himself.

"We may, in the first place, remark that Sir C. Lyell does not venture
to pronounce affirmatively as to the high antiquity of the human remains
discovered by Dr. Fuhlrott, and that he looked upon them, at the most,
as contemporary with the Engis skull, in which the Caucasian type of
head was reproduced.

"Let us, however, admit that the Neanderthal skull belongs to the remote
antiquity to which it has been assigned; what, then, is in reality the
significance of this skull? Is it actually a link between the head of
the man and that of the ape? And does it not find some analogy in
comparatively modern races?

"Many writings have been published on these questions, and, as it
appears to me, some light has gradually been thrown upon the subject.
There is no doubt that this skull is really remarkable for the enormous
size of its superciliary ridges, the length and narrowness of the bony
case, the slight elevation of the top of the skull. But these features
are found to be much less exceptional than was at first supposed, in
default of any means of instituting a just comparison; very far, indeed,
from justifying the approximation which some have endeavoured to make,
this skull is, in all its characteristics, essentially human. Mr. Busk,
in England, has pointed out the great affinity which is established, by
the prominence of the superciliary ridges and the depression of the
upper region, between certain Danish skulls from Borreby and the
Neanderthal skull. Dr. Barnard Davis has described the still greater
similarities existing between this very _fossil_ and a skull in his
collection. Gratiolet forwarded to the Museum the skull of an idiot of
the present time, which was almost identical with it in everything,
although in slighter proportions, &c.

"The following appears to me to be decisive:

"In spite of its curious characteristics, the Neanderthal skull none the
less belonged to an individual, who, to judge by other bones which have
been found, diverged but little from the average type of the present
Germanic races, and by no means approximated to that of the ape.

"Is it probable, proceeding even on the class of ideas which I am
opposing, that in a being in a state of transition between man and the
anthropomorphous apes, the body would have become entirely human in its
character, whilst the head presented its simial peculiarities? If a fact
like this is admitted, does it not render the hypothesis absolutely

"Notwithstanding all the discussion to which these curious remains have
given rise, it appears to me impossible to look upon them in any other
light than as the remains of an individuality, exceptional, no doubt,
but clearly belonging to the human species, and, in addition to this, to
the Celtic race, one of the branches of our Aryan stock. M. Pruner-Bey
appears to me to have placed this fact beyond all question by the whole
mass of investigations which he has published on this subject. The most
convincing proofs are based on the very great similarity which may be
noticed in a Celtic skull taken from a tumulus in Poitou to the skull
which has become so well known and, indeed, so celebrated owing to the
writings of Doctor Schaaffhausen. This similarity is not merely
external. An internal cast taken from one skull fits perfectly into the
interior of the other. It was, therefore, the _brains_ and not merely
the _skulls_ which bore a resemblance to one another. The proof appears
to me to be complete, and, with the learned author of this work, I feel
no hesitation in concluding that the Neanderthal skull is one of Celtic

"After all, neither experience nor observation have as yet furnished us
with the slightest data with regard to man at his earliest origin.
Science, therefore, which pretends to solidity of character, must put
this problem on one side till fresh information is obtained. We really
approach nearer to the truth when we confess our ignorance than when we
attempt to disguise it either to ourselves or others.

"With regard to the simial origin of man, it is nothing but pure
hypothesis, or rather nothing but a mere _jeu d'esprit_ which everything
proves utterly baseless, and in favour of which no solid fact has as yet
been appealed to."

In dealing with this question in a more general point of view, we must
add that the most enlightened science declares to us in unmistakable
accents, that species is immutable, and that no animal species can be
derived from another; they may change, but all bear witness to an
independent creation. This truth, which has been developed at length by
M. de Quatrefages in his numerous works, is a definitive and scientific
judgment which must decide this question as far as regards any
unprejudiced minds.


     Man in the condition of Savage Life during the Quaternary
     Epoch--The Glacial Period, and its Ravages on the Primitive
     Inhabitants of the Globe--Man in Conflict with the Animals of the
     Quaternary Epoch--The Discovery of Fire--The Weapons of Primitive
     Man--Varieties of Flint-hatchets--Manufacture of the earliest
     Pottery--Ornamental objects at the Epoch of the Great Bear and the

After this dissertation, which was necessary to confute the theory which
gives such a degrading explanation of our origin, we must contemplate
man at the period when he was first placed upon the earth, weak and
helpless, in the midst of the inclement and wild nature which surrounded

However much our pride may suffer by the idea, we must confess that, at
the earliest period of his existence, man could have been but little
distinguished from the brute. Care for his natural wants must have
absorbed his whole being; all his efforts must have tended to one sole
aim--that of insuring his daily subsistence.

At first, his only food must have been fruits and roots; for he had not
as yet invented any weapon wherewith to destroy wild animals. If he
succeeded in killing any creatures of small size he devoured them in a
raw state, and made a covering of their skins to shelter himself against
the inclemency of the weather. His pillow was a stone, his roof was the
shadow of a wide-spreading tree, or some dark cavern which also served
as a refuge against wild beasts.

For how many ages did this miserable state last? No one can tell. Man is
an improvable being, and indefinite progress is the law of his
existence. Improvement is his supreme attribute; and this it is which
gives him the pre-eminence over all the creatures which surround him.
But how wavering must have been his first steps in advance, and how many
efforts must have been given to the earliest creation of his mind and
to the first work of his hands--doubtless some shapeless attempt in
which we nowadays, perhaps, should have some difficulty in recognising
the work of any intelligent being!

Towards the commencement of the quaternary epoch, a great natural
phenomenon took place in Europe. Under the influence of numerous and
varied causes, which up to the present time have not been fully
recognised, a great portion of Europe became covered with ice, on the
one hand, making its way from the poles down to the most southern
latitudes, and, on the other, descending into the plains from the
summits of the highest mountain chains. Ice and ice-fields assumed a
most considerable extension. As all the lower parts of the continent
were covered by the sea, there were only a few plateaux which could
afford a refuge to man and animals flying from this deadly cold. Such
was the _Glacial Period_, which produced the annihilation of so many
generations of animals, and must have equally affected man himself, so
ill-defended against this universal and sudden winter.

Man, however, was enabled to resist the attacks of revolted nature.
Without doubt, in this unhappy period, he must have made but little
progress, even if his intellectual development were not completely
stopped. At all events, the human species did not perish. The glacial
period came to an end, the ice-fields shrank back to their original
limits, and Nature reassumed its primitive aspect.

When the ice had gradually retired into the more northern latitudes, and
had become confined to the higher summits, a new generation of
animals--another _fauna_, as naturalists call it--made its appearance on
the globe. This group of animals, which had newly come into being,
differed much from those that had disappeared in the glacial cataclysm.
Let us cast an inquiring glance on these strange and now extinct

First we have the mammoth (_Elephas primigenius_), or the woolly-haired
and maned elephant, carcases of which were found, entire and in good
preservation, in the ice on the coasts of Siberia. Next comes the
rhinoceros with a complete nasal septum (_Rhinoceros tichorhinus_),
likewise clad in a warm and soft fur, the nose of which is surmounted
with a remarkable pair of horns. Then follow several species of the
hippopotamus, which come as far north as the rivers of England and
Russia; a bear of great size inhabiting caverns (_Ursus spelæus_), and
presenting a projecting forehead and a large-sized skull; the cave lion
or tiger (_Felis spelæa_), which much surpassed in strength the same
animals of the existing species; various kinds of hyænas (_Hyæna
spelæa_), much stronger than those of our epoch; the bison or aurochs
(_Biso europæus_), which still exists in Poland; the great ox, the Urus
of the ancients (_Bos primigenius_); the gigantic Irish elk (_Megaceros
hibernicus_), the horns of which attained to surprising dimensions.
Other animals made their appearance at the same epoch, but they are too
numerous to mention; among them were some of the Rodent family. Almost
all these species are now extinct, but man certainly existed in the
midst of them.

The mammoth, elephant, rhinoceros, stag, and hippopotamus were then in
the habit of roaming over Europe in immense herds, just as some of these
animals still do in the interior of Africa. These animals must have had
their favourite haunts--spots where they assembled together in
thousands; or else it would be difficult to account for the countless
numbers of bones which are found accumulated at the same spot.

Before these formidable bands, man could dream of nothing but flight. It
was only with some isolated animal that he could dare to engage in a
more or less unequal conflict. Farther on in our work, we shall see how
he began to fabricate some rough weapons, with a view of attacking his
mighty enemies.

The first important step which man made in the path of progress was the
acquisition of fire. In all probability, man came to the knowledge of it
by accident, either by meeting with some substance which had been set on
fire by lightning or volcanic heat, or by the friction of pieces of wood
setting a light to some very inflammable matter.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--The Production of Fire.]

In order to obtain fire, man of the quaternary epoch may have employed
the same means as those made use of by the American aborigines, at the
time when Christopher Columbus first fell in with them on the shores of
the New World--means which savage nations existing at the present day
still put in practice. He rubbed two pieces of dry wood one against the
other, or turned round and round with great rapidity a stick sharpened
to a point, having placed the end of it in a hole made in the trunk of a
very dry tree (fig. 7).

As among the savages of the present day we find certain elementary
mechanisms adapted to facilitate the production of fire, it is not
impossible that these same means were practised at an early period of
the human race. It would take a considerable time to set light to two
pieces of dry wood by merely rubbing them against one another; but if a
bow be made use of, that is, the chord of an arc fixed firmly on a
handle, so as to give a rapid revolution to a cylindrical rod of wood
ending in a point which entered into a small hole made in a board, the
board may be set on fire in a few minutes. Such a mode of obtaining fire
may have been made use of by the men who lived in the same epoch with
the mammoth and other animals, the species of which are now extinct.

The first rudiments of combustion having been obtained, so as to serve,
during the daytime, for the purposes of warmth and cooking food, and
during the night, for giving light, how was the fire to be kept up? Wood
from the trees that grew in the district, or from those which were cast
up by the currents of the rivers or sea; inflammable mineral oils; resin
obtained from coniferous trees; the fat and grease of wild animals; oil
extracted from the great cetaceans;--all these substances must have
assisted in maintaining combustion, for the purposes both of warmth and
light. The only fuel which the Esquimaux of the present day have either
to warm their huts or light them during the long nights of their gloomy
climate, is the oil of the whale and seal, which, burnt in a lamp with a
short wick, serves both to cook their food and also to warm and illumine
their huts.

Even, nowadays, in the Black Forest (Duchy of Baden), instead of
candles, long splinters of very dry beech are sometimes made use of,
which are fixed in a horizontal position at one end and lighted at the
other. This forms an economical lamp, which is really not to be

We have also heard of the very original method which is resorted to by
the inhabitants of the Faroe Isles in the northern seas of Europe, in
order to warm and light up their huts. This method consists in taking
advantage of the fat and greasy condition of the young Stormy Petrel
(Mother Carey's Chicken), so as to convert its body into a regular
lamp. All that is necessary is to draw a wick through its body,
projecting at the beak, which when lighted causes this really animal
candle to throw out an excellent light until the last greasy morsel of
the bird is consumed.

This bird is also used by the natives of the Isles as a natural fuel to
keep up their fires and cook other birds.

Whatever may have been the means which were made use of by primitive man
in order to procure fire, either the simple friction of two pieces of
wood one against the other, continued for a long time, the _bow_, or
merely a stick turning round rapidly by the action of the hand, without
any kind of mechanism--it is certain that the acquisition of fire must
be classed amongst the most beautiful and valuable discoveries which
mankind has made. Fire must have put an end to the weariness of the long
nights. In the presence of fire, the darkness of the holes and caverns
in which man made his first retreat, must have vanished away. With the
aid of fire, the most rigorous climates became habitable, and the damp
which impregnated the body of man or his rough garments, made of the
skin of the bear or some long-haired ruminant, could be evaporated. With
fire near them, the danger arising from ferocious beasts must have much
diminished; for a general instinct leads wild animals to dread the light
and the heat of a fire. Buried, as they were, in the midst of forests
infested with wild beasts, primitive men might, by means of a fire kept
alight during the night, sleep in peace without being disturbed by the
attacks of the huge wild beasts which prowled about all round them.

Fire, too, gave the first starting-point to man's industry. It afforded
means to the earliest inhabitants of the earth for felling trees, for
procuring charcoal, for hardening wood for the manufacture of their
rudimentary implements, and for baking their primitive pottery.

Thus, as soon as man had at his disposal the means for producing
artificial heat, his position began to improve, and the kindly flame of
the hearth became the first centre round which the family circle was

Ere long man felt the need of strengthening his natural powers against
the attacks of wild beasts. At the same time he desired to be able to
make his prey some of the more peaceable animals, such as the stag, the
smaller kinds of ruminants, and the horse. Then it was that he began to
manufacture weapons.

He had remarked, spread about the surface of the ground, certain flints,
with sharp corners and cutting edges. These he gathered up, and by the
means of other stones of a rather tougher nature, he broke off from them
pieces, which he fashioned roughly in the shape of a hatchet or hammer.
He fixed these splinters into split sticks, by way of a handle, and
firmly bound them in their places with the tendons of an animal or the
strong stalks of some dried plant. With this weapon, he could, if he
pleased, strike his prey at a distance.

When man had invented the bow and chipped out flint arrow-heads, he was
enabled to arrest the progress of the swiftest animal in the midst of
his flight.

Since the time when the investigations with regard to primitive man have
been set on foot in all countries, and have been energetically
prosecuted, enormous quantities have been found of these chipped flints,
arrow-heads, and various stone implements, which archæologists designate
by the common denomination of _hatchets_, in default of being able, in
some cases, to distinguish the special use for which they had been
employed. Before going any further, it will be necessary to enter into
some details with regard to these flint implements--objects which are
altogether characteristic of the earliest ages of civilisation.

For a long time past chipped stones of a somewhat similar character have
been met with here and there in several countries, sometimes on the
surface of, and sometimes buried deeply in, the ground; but no one
understood what their significance was. If the common people ever
distinguished them from ordinary stones, they attached to them some
superstitious belief. Sometimes they called them "thunder-stones,"
because they attributed to them the power of preserving from lightning
those who were in possession of them. It was not until the middle of the
present century that naturalists and archæologists began to comprehend
the full advantage which might be derived from the examination of these
chipped stones, in reconstructing the lineaments of the earliest of the
human race and in penetrating, up to a certain point, into their
manners, customs, and industry. These stone-hatchets and arrow-heads
are, therefore, very plentiful in the present day in collections of
antiquities and cabinets of natural history.

Most of these objects which are found in Europe are made of flint, and
this circumstance may be easily explained. Flint must have been
preferred as a material, on account both of its hardness and its mode of
cleavage, which may be so readily adapted to the will of the workman.
One hard blow, skilfully applied, is sufficient to break off, by the
mere shock, a sharp-edged flake of a blade-like shape. These sharp-edged
blades of silex might serve as knives. Certainly they would not last
long in use, for they are very easily notched; but primitive men must
have been singularly skilful in making them.

Although the shapes of these stone implements are very varied, they may
all be classed under a certain number of prevailing types; and these
types are to be found in very different countries. The flint hatchets
are at first very simple although irregular in their shape; but they
gradually manifest a much larger amount of talent exhibited in their
manufacture, and a better judgment is shown in adapting them to the
special uses for which they were intended. The progress of the human
intellect is written in ineffaceable characters on these tablets of
stone, which, defended as they were, by a thick layer of earth, bid
defiance to the injuries of time.

Let us not despise these first and feeble efforts of our primitive
forefathers, for they mark the date of the starting-point of
manufactures and the arts. If the men of the stone age had not
persevered in their efforts, we, their descendants, should never have
possessed either our palaces or our masterpieces of painting and
sculpture. As Boucher de Perthes says, "The first man who struck one
pebble against another to make some requisite alteration in its form,
gave the first blow of the chisel which has resulted in producing the
Minerva and all the sculpture of the Parthenon."

Archæologists who have devoted their energies to investigating the
earliest monuments of human industry, have found it necessary to be on
their guard against certain errors, or rather wilful deceptions, which
might readily pervert their judgment and deprive their discoveries of
all character of authenticity. There is, in fact, a certain class of
persons engaged in a deceptive manufacture who have taken a delight in
misleading archæologists by fabricating apocryphal flint and stone
implements, in which they drive a rather lucrative trade. They assert,
without the least scruple, the high antiquity of their productions,
which they sell either to inexperienced amateurs, who are pleased to put
them in their collections duly labelled and ticketed, or--which is a
more serious matter--to workmen who are engaged in making excavations in
fossiliferous beds. These workmen hide the fictitious specimens in the
soil they are digging, using every requisite precaution so as to have
the opportunity of subsequently extracting them and fingering a reward
for them from some too trusting naturalist. These imitations are,
moreover, so cleverly made, that it sometimes requires well-practised
eyes to recognise them; but they may be recognised with some degree of
facility by the following characteristics:--

[Illustration: Fig. 8.--_Dendrites_ or Crystallisations found on the
surface of wrought Flints.]

The ancient flints present a glassy surface which singularly contrasts
with the dull appearance of the fresh cleavages. They are also for the
most part covered with a whitish coating or _patina_, which is nothing
but a thin layer of carbonate of lime darkened in colour by the action
of time. Lastly, many of these flints are ornamented with branching
crystallisations, called _dendrites_, which form on their surface very
delicate designs of a dark brown; these are owing to the combined action
of the oxides of iron and manganese (fig. 8).

We must add that these flint implements often assume the colour of the
soil in which they have been buried for so many centuries; and as Mr.
Prestwich, a learned English geologist, well remarks, this agreement in
colour indicates that they have remained a very considerable time in the
stratum which contains them.

Among the stone implements of primitive ages, some are found in a state
of perfect preservation, which clearly bears witness to their almost
unused state; others, on the contrary, are worn, rounded, and blunted,
sometimes because they have done good service in bygone days, and
sometimes because they have been many times rolled over and rubbed by
diluvial waters, the action of which has produced this result. Some,
too, are met with which are broken, and nothing of them remains but mere
vestiges. In a general way, they are completely covered with a very
thick coating which it is necessary to break off before they can be laid
open to view.

They are especially found under the soil in grottos and caves, on which
we shall remark further in some detail, and they are almost always mixed
up with the bones of extinct mammalian species.

Certain districts which are entirely devoid of caves contain, however,
considerable deposits of these stone implements. We may mention in this
category the alluvial quarternary beds of the valley of the Somme, known
under the name of drift beds, which were worked by Boucher de Perthes
with an equal amount of perseverance and success.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.--Section of a Gravel Quarry at Saint-Acheul,
which contained the wrought Flints found by Boucher de Perthes.]

This alluvium was composed of a gravelly deposit, which geologists refer
to the great inundations which, during the epoch of the great bear and
the mammoth, gave to Europe, by hollowing out its valleys, its present
vertical outline. The excavations in the sand and gravel near Amiens and
Abbeville, which were directed with so much intelligence by Boucher de
Perthes, have been the means of exhuming thousands of worked flints,
affording unquestionable testimony of the existence of man during the
quaternary epoch.

All these worked flints may be classed under some of the principal
types, from which their intended use may be approximately conjectured.

One of the types which is most extensively distributed, especially in
the drift beds of the valley of the Somme, where scarcely any other kind
is found, is the _almond-shaped_ type (fig. 10).

[Illustration: Fig. 10.--Hatchet of the _Almond-shaped_ type, from the
Valley of the Somme.]

The instruments of this kind are hatchets of an oval shape, more or less
elongated, generally flattened on both sides, but sometimes only on one,
carefully chipped all over their surface so as to present a cutting
edge. The workmen of the Somme give them the graphic name of _cats'

They vary much in size, but are generally about six inches long by three
wide, although some are met with which are much larger. The Pre-historic
Gallery in the Universal Exposition of 1867, contained one found at
Saint-Acheul, and exhibited by M. Robert, which measured eleven inches
in length by five in width. This remarkable specimen is represented in
fig. 11.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.--Flint Hatchet from Saint-Acheul of the
so-called _Almond-shaped type_.]

Another very characteristic form is that which is called the _Moustier
type_ (fig. 12), because they have been found in abundance in the beds
in the locality of Moustier, which forms a portion of the department of
Dordogne. This name is applied to the pointed flints which are only
wrought on one side, the other face being completely plain.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.--Wrought Flint (_Moustier type_).]

To the same deposit also belongs the flint _scraper_, the sharp edge of
which forms the arc of a circle, the opposite side being of some
considerable thickness so as to afford a grasp to the hand of the

[Illustration: Fig. 13.--Flint Scraper.]

Some of these instruments (fig. 13) are finely toothed all along their
sharp edge; they were evidently used for the same purposes as our saws.

[Illustration: Fig. 14.--Flint Knife, found at Menchecourt, near

The third type (fig. 14) is that of _knives_. They are thin and narrow
tongue-shaped flakes, cleft off from the lump of flint at one blow. When
one of the ends is chipped to a point, these knives become scratchers.
Sometimes these flints are found to be wrought so as to do service as

The question is often asked, how these primitive men were able to
manufacture their weapons, implements, and utensils, on uniform models,
without the help of metallic hammers. This idea has, indeed, been
brought forward as an argument against those who contend for the
existence of quaternary man. Mr. Evans, an English geologist, replied
most successfully to this objection by a very simple experiment. He took
a pebble and fixed it in a wooden handle; having thus manufactured a
stone hammer, he made use of it to chip a flint little by little, until
he had succeeded in producing an oval hatchet similar to the ancient one
which he had before him.

The flint-workers who, up to the middle of the present century, prepared
gun-flints for the army, were in the habit of splitting the stone into
splinters. But they made use of steel hammers to cleave the flint,
whilst primitive man had nothing better at his disposal than another and
rather harder stone.

Primitive man must have gone to work in somewhat the following way: They
first selected flints, which they brought to the shape of those cores or
_nuclei_ which are found in many places in company with finished
implements; then, by means of another and harder stone of elongated
shape, they cleft flakes off the flint. These flakes were used for
making knives, scratchers, spear or arrow-heads, hatchets, tomahawks,
scrapers, &c. Some amount of skill must have been required to obtain the
particular shape that was required; but constant practice in this work
exclusively must have rendered this task comparatively easy.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.--Flint Core or Nucleus.]

How, in the next place, were these clipped flints fitted with handles,
so as to make hatchets, poniards and knives?

Some of them were fixed at right angles between the two split ends of a
stick: this kind of weapon must have somewhat resembled our present
hatchets. Others, of an oval shape and circular edge, might have been
fastened transversely into a handle, so as to imitate a carpenter's
adze. In case of need, merely a forked branch or a piece of split wood
might serve as sheath or handle to the flint blade. Flints might also
have been fixed as double-edged blades by means of holes cut in pieces
of wood, to which a handle was afterwards added.

These flint flakes might, lastly, be fitted into a handle at one end.
The wide-backed knives, which were only sharp on one side, afforded a
grasp for the hand without further trouble, and might dispense with a
handle. The small flints might also be darted as projectiles by the help
of a branch of a tree forming a kind of spring, such as we may see used
as a toy by children.

The mere description of these stone hatchets, fitted on to pieces of
wood, recall to our mind the natural weapons used by some of the
American savages, and the tribes which still exist in a state of freedom
in the Isles of Oceania. We allude to the tomahawk, a name which we so
often meet with in the accounts of voyages round the world. Among those
savage nations who have not as yet bent their necks beneath the yoke of
civilisation, we might expect to find--and, in fact, we do find--the
weapons and utensils which were peculiar to man in primitive ages. A
knowledge of the manners and customs of the present Australian
aborigines has much conduced to the success of the endeavours to
reconstruct a similar system of manners and customs in respect to man of
the quaternary age.

It was with the weapons and implements that we have just described that
man, at the epoch of the great bear and mammoth, was able to repulse the
attacks of the ferocious animals which prowled round his retreat and
often assailed him (fig. 16).

[Illustration: Fig. 16.--Man in the Great Bear and Mammoth Epoch.]

But the whole life of primitive man was not summed up in defending
himself against ferocious beasts, and in attacking them in the chase.
Beyond the needs which were imposed upon him by conflict and hunting, he
felt, besides, the constant necessity of quenching his thirst. Water is
a thing in constant use by man, whether he be civilised or savage. The
fluid nature of water renders it difficult to convey it except by
enclosing it in bladders, leathern bottles, hollowed-out stumps of
trees, plaited bowls, &c. Receptacles of this kind were certain
ultimately to become dirty and unfit for the preservation of water;
added to this they could not endure the action of fire. It was certainly
possible to hollow out stone, so as to serve as a receptacle for water;
but any kind of stone which was soft enough to be scooped out, and would
retain its tenacity after this operation, is very rarely met with.
Shells, too, might be used to hold a liquid; but then shells are not to
be found in every place. It was, therefore, necessary to resolve the
problem--how far it might be possible to make vessels which would be
strong, capable of holding water, and able to stand the heat of the fire
without breaking or warping. What was required was, in fact, the
manufacture of pottery.

The potter's art may, perhaps, be traced back to the most remote epochs
of man. We have already seen, in the introduction to this work, that, in
1835, M. Joly found in the cave of Nabrigas (Lozère), a skull of the
great bear pierced with a stone arrow-head, and that by the side of this
skull were also discovered fragments of pottery, on which might still be
seen the imprint of the fingers which moulded it. Thus, the potter's art
may have already been exercised in the earliest period which we can
assign to the development of mankind.

Other causes also might lead us to believe that man, at a very early
period of his existence, succeeded in the manufacture of rough pottery.

The clay which is used in making all kinds of pottery, from the very
lowest kitchen utensil up to the most precious specimens of porcelain,
may be said to exist almost everywhere. By softening it and kneading it
with water, it may be moulded into vessels of all shapes. By mere
exposure to the heat of the sun, these vessels will assume a certain
amount of cohesion; for, as tradition tells us, the towers and palaces
of ancient Nineveh were built entirely with bricks which had been baked
in the sun.

Yet the idea of hardening any clayey paste by means of the action of
fire is so very simple, that we are not of opinion that pottery which
had merely been baked in the sun was ever made use of to any great
extent, even among primitive man. Mere chance, or the most casual
observation, might have taught our earliest forefathers that a morsel of
clay placed near a fire-hearth became hardened and altogether
impenetrable to water, that is, that it formed a perfect specimen of
pottery. Yet the art, though ancient, has not been universally found
among mankind.

Ere long, experience must have taught men certain improvements in the
manufacture of pottery. Sand was added to the clay, so as to render it
less subject to "flying" on its first meeting the heat of the fire;
next, dried straw was mixed with the clay in order to give it more

In this way those rough vessels were produced, which were, of course,
moulded with the hand, and still bear the imprints of the workman's
fingers. They were only half-baked, on account of the slight intensity
of heat in the furnace which they were then obliged to make use of,
which was nothing more than a wood fire, burning in the open air, on a
stone hearth.

From these data we give a representation (fig. 17) of the _workshop of
the earliest potter_.

[Illustration: Fig. 17.--The First Potter.]

In the gravel pits in the neighbourhood of Amiens we meet with small
globular bodies with a hole through the middle, which are, indeed,
nothing but fossil shells found in the white chalk (fig. 18). It is
probable that these stony beads were used to adorn the men contemporary
with the diluvial period. The natural holes which existed in them
enabled them to be threaded as bracelets or necklaces. This, at least,
was the opinion of Dr. Rigollot; and it was founded on the fact that he
had often found small heaps of these delicate little balls collected
together in the same spot, as if an inundation had drifted them into the
bed of the river without breaking the bond which held them together.

[Illustration: Fig. 18.--Fossil Shells used as Ornaments, and found in
the Gravel at Amiens.]

The necklaces, which men and women had already begun to wear during the
epoch of the great bear and the mammoth, were the first outbreak of
the sentiment of adornment, a feeling so natural to the human species.
The way in which these necklaces were put together is, however, exactly
similar to that which we meet with during the present day among savage
tribes--a thread on which a few shells were strung, which was passed
round the neck.

It has been supposed, from another series of wrought flints, found at
Saint-Acheul by Boucher de Perthes, that the men of the epoch of the
great bear and mammoth may have executed certain rough sketches of
art-workmanship, representing either figures or symbols. Boucher de
Perthes has, in fact, found flints which he considered to show
representations, with varying degrees of resemblance, of the human head,
in profile, three-quarter view, and full face; also of animals, such as
the rhinoceros and the mammoth.

There are many other flints, evidently wrought by the hand of man, which
were found by Boucher de Perthes in the same quaternary deposits; but it
would be a difficult matter to decide their intention or significance.
Some, perhaps, were religious symbols, emblems of authority, &c. The
features which enable us to recognise the work of man in these works of
antediluvian art, are the symmetry of shape and the repetition of
successive strokes by which the projecting portions are removed, the
cutting edges sharpened, or the holes bored out.

The natural colour of all the wrought flints we have just been
considering, which bring under our notice the weapons and utensils of
man in the earliest epoch of his existence, is a grey which assumes
every tint, from the brightest to the darkest; but, generally speaking,
they are stained and coloured according to the nature of the soil from
which they are dug out. Argillaceous soils colour them white; ochreous
gravels give them a yellowish brown hue. Some are white on one side and
brown on the other, probably from having lain between two different

This _patina_ (to use the established term) is the proof of their
long-continued repose in the beds, and is, so to speak, the stamp of
their antiquity.


     The Man of the Great Bear and Mammoth Epoch lived in Caverns--Bone
     Caverns in the Quaternary Rock during the Great Bear and Mammoth
     Epoch--Mode of Formation of these Caverns--Their Division into
     several Classes--Implements of Flint, Bone, and Reindeer-horn found
     in these Caverns--The Burial-place at Aurignac--Its probable
     Age--Customs which it reveals--Funeral Banquets during the Great
     Bear and Mammoth Epoch.

Having given a description of the weapons and working implements of the
men belonging to the great bear and mammoth epoch, we must now proceed
to speak of the habitations.

Caverns hollowed out in the depth of the rocks formed the first
dwellings of man. We must, therefore, devote some degree of attention to
the simple and wild retreats of our forefathers. As the objects which
have been found in these caverns are both numerous and varied in their
character, they not only throw a vivid light on the manners and customs
of primitive man, but also decisively prove the fact of his being
contemporary with mammals of species now extinct, such as the mammoth,
the great bear, and the _Rhinoceros tichorhinus_.

But before proceeding any further, it is necessary to inquire in what
way these caverns could have been formed, in which we find accumulated
so many relics of the existence of primitive man.

M. Desnoyers, Librarian of the Museum of Natural History at Paris, is of
opinion that these caverns are crevices of the same class as
metalliferous _lodes_, only instead of containing metallic ores they
must have been originally filled by the deposits of certain thermal

[Illustration: Fig. 19.--Theoretical Section of a Vein of Clay in the
Carboniferous Limestone, _before_ the hollowing out of Valleys by
diluvial Waters.]

Fig. 19 represents, according to M. Desnoyers' treatise on _caverns_,
one of these primordial veins in the carboniferous limestone. At the
time of the diluvial inundation, these veins were opened by the
impetuous action of the water. When thus cleared out and brought to the
light of day, they assumed the aspect of caves, as represented in fig.

[Illustration: Fig. 20.--Theoretical section of the same Vein of Clay
converted into a Cavern, _after_ the hollowing out of Valleys by
diluvial Waters.]

The European diluvial inundation was, as we know, posterior to the
glacial epoch.

It is also likely that caverns were sometimes produced by the falling in
of portions of some of the interior strata, or that they were formerly
the natural and subterranean channels of certain watercourses; many
instances of this kind being now known in different countries.

We must also add that it is not probable that all caverns originated in
the same way; but that one or other of the several causes just
enumerated must have contributed to their formation.

Under the general denomination of _caverns_, all kinds of subterranean
cavities are comprehended; but it will be as well to introduce several
distinctions in this respect. There are, in the first place, simple
clefts or crevices, which are only narrow pits deviating but slightly
from the vertical. Next we have grottos (or _baumes_ as they are called
in the south of France), which generally have a widely opening inlet,
and are but of small extent. Lastly, we must draw a distinction between
these and the real bone caverns, which consist of a series of chambers,
separated by extremely narrow passages, and are often of very
considerable dimensions. Some of these caverns occupy an extent of
several leagues underground, with variations of level which render their
exploration very difficult. They are generally very inaccessible, and it
is almost always necessary to ply the pick-axe in order to clear a way
from one chamber to another.

In most of these grottos and caverns the ground and sides are covered
with calcareous deposits, known by the name of _stalactite_ and
_stalagmite_, which sometimes meet one another, forming columns and
pillars which confer on some of these subterranean halls an elegance
replete with a kind of mysterious charm.

These deposits are caused by the infiltrated water charged with
carbonate of lime, which, oozing drop by drop through the interstices of
the rock, slowly discharge the carbonic acid which held the carbonate of
lime in solution, and the salts gradually precipitating form the
crystalline or amorphous deposits which constitute these natural

The calcareous deposits which spread over the ground of the caverns are
called _stalagmite_, and the name of _stalactite_ is given to those
which hang down from the roof, forming pendants, natural decorations,
and ornaments as of alabaster or marble, producing sometimes the most
magnificent effects.

Under the stalagmite the largest number of animal bones have been found.
This crust, which has been to them a preservatory grave, is so thick and
hard that a pick-axe is required in order to break it. Thanks to the
protecting cover, the bones have been sheltered from all the various
causes of decomposition and destruction. The limestone formed a kind of
cement which, uniting clay, mud, sand, flints, bones of men and animals,
weapons and utensils into a compact mass, has preserved them for the
study and consideration of scientific men in our own days.

The soil called _bone-earth_ is, in fact, found under the crystalline
bed which covers the ground of the caverns.

Fig. 21, which represents a section of the cave of Galeinreuth, in
Bavaria, will enable us clearly to understand the position occupied by
the bones in most of these caverns.

[Illustration: Fig. 21.--The Cave of Galeinreuth, in Bavaria.]

Bone-earth consists of a reddish or yellowish clay, often mixed with
pebbles, which seem to have come from some distant beds, for they cannot
be attributed to the adjacent rocks. This stratum varies considerably in
depth; in some spots it is very thin, in others it rises almost to the
top of the cavern, to a height of forty or fifty feet. But in this case
it is, in reality, composed of several strata belonging to different
ages, and explorers ought to note with much attention the exact depth of
any of the organic remains found in their mass.

There are, however, in several bone-caverns certain peculiarities which
demand a special explanation. Caves often contain large heaps of bones,
situated at heights which it would have been absolutely inaccessible to
the animals which lived in these places. How, then, was it possible that
these bones could have found their way to such an elevated position? It
is also a very strange fact, that no cavern has ever produced an entire
skeleton or even a whole limb of the skeleton of a man, and scarcely of
any animal whatever. The bones, in fact, not only lie in confusion and
utter disorder, but, up to the present time, it has been impossible to
find all the bones which in times past formed an individual. It must,
therefore, be admitted, that the accumulation of bones and human remains
in most of the caves are owing to other causes than the residence of man
and wild animals in these dark retreats.

It is supposed, therefore, that the bones in question were deposited in
these hollows by the rushing in of the currents of diluvial water, which
had drifted them along in their course. A fact which renders this
hypothesis likely is that drift-pebbles are constantly found in close
proximity to these bones. Now these pebbles come from localities at
considerable distances from the cavern; often, indeed, terrestrial and
fluviatile shells accompany these bones. It may sometimes be remarked
that the femurs and tibias of large mammals have their points rubbed
off, and the smallest bones are reduced to rounded fragments. These are
all evident indications that these bones had been carried along by rapid
currents of water, which swept away everything in their course; or, in
other words, by the current of the waters of the deluge which signalised
the quaternary epoch.

During this period of the existence of primitive man, all these caverns
were not applied to the same purpose. Some were the dens of wild beasts,
others formed the habitations of man, and others again were used as

There is no difficulty in the idea that dens of wild beasts might very
readily be occupied by man, after he had killed or driven out the fierce
inhabitants; no discovery, however, has as yet confirmed this
supposition. It can hardly be doubted that primitive man seldom dared to
take up his abode in dens which had been, for some time, the refuge of
any of the formidable carnivora; if he did, it was only after having
assured himself that these retreats had been altogether abandoned by
their terrible inhabitants.

We shall now proceed to consider these three classes of caverns.

Caves which, during the quaternary epoch, have served as dens for wild
animals, are very numerous. Experienced _savants_ are enabled to
recognise them by various indications. The bones they contain are never
fractured; but it may be seen that they have been gnawed by carnivorous
animals, as they still bear the marks of their teeth. Into these
retreats the cave-lion (_Felis spelæa_) and the hyæna (_Hyæna spelæa_)
were accustomed to drag their prey, in order there to tear it to pieces
and devour it, or divide it into portions for their young ones. In fact,
in these caverns, excrements of the hyæna mixed with small and
undigested bones are often found. The cave bear retired into the same
retreats, but he probably only came there to pass the period of his
hibernal sleep. Lastly, the same dens no doubt offered a refuge to sick
or dying animals, who resorted thither in order to expire in peace. We
have a proof of this in the traces of wounds and caries on some of the
bones of animals found by Schmerling in the caverns of the Meuse; also
in the skull of a hyæna, the median ridge of which had been bitten and
appeared to be half healed.

Those caverns which formed a shelter for primitive man are, like the
preceding ones, to be recognised by a mere inspection of the bones
contained in them. The long bones of the ox, horse, stag, rhinoceros,
and other quadrupeds which formed the food of man during the quaternary
epoch, are always split; and they are all broken in the same way, that
is, lengthwise. The only cause for their having been split in this
manner must have been the desire of extracting the marrow for the
purpose of eating. Such a mode of breaking them would never have been
practised by any animal.

This apparently trivial circumstance is, however, of the highest
importance. In fact, it leads to the following conclusion: "That man,
having eaten large mammals of species now extinct, must have been
contemporary with these species."

We shall now proceed to examine the caverns which were used as
burial-places for man.

To M. Édouard Lartet, the celebrated palæontologist, the honour must be
ascribed of having been the first to collect any important data bearing
on the fact that caverns were used for burial-places by the primitive
man of the great bear and mammoth epoch. We have thus been led to
discover the traces of a funeral custom belonging to the man of these
remote ages; we allude to the _funeral banquet_. The source of this
information was the discovery of a pre-historic burial-place at Aurignac
(Haute-Garonne), of which we have given an account in the Introduction
to this work, which, however, we must again here refer to.

Near the town of Aurignac rises the hill of Fajoles, which the
inhabitants of the country, in their _patois_, call "_mountagno de las
Hajoles_" (beech-tree mountain), a circumstance showing that it was
formerly covered with beech-trees. As we have already stated, in the
Introduction to this work, it was on one of the slopes of this hill
that, in the year 1842, an excavator, named Bonnemaison, discovered a
great slab of limestone placed in a vertical position and closing up an
arched opening. In the cave closed up by this slab the excavator
discovered the remains of seventeen human skeletons!

We have already told how these skeletons were removed to the village
cemetery, and thus, unfortunately, for ever lost to the researches of

Eighteen years after, in 1860, M. Lartet, having heard of the event,
repaired to the spot, accompanied by Bonnemaison; he quite understood
how it had happened that, during a long course of centuries, the cave
had escaped the notice of the inhabitants of the country. The entrance
to it was concealed by masses of earth which, having been brought down
from the top of the hill by the action of the water, had accumulated in
front of the entrance, hiding a flat terrace, on which many vestiges of
pre-historic times were found. As no disturbance of the ground had taken
place in this spot subsequent to the date of the burial, this _talus_
had been sufficient to protect the traces of the men who were
contemporary with the mammoth, and to shield their relics from all
exterior injury.

[Illustration: Fig. 22.--Section of the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac.]

Fig. 22, taken from M. Lartet's article, represents a vertical section
of the sepulchral cave at Aurignac.

After a rapid inspection of the cave and its surroundings, M. Lartet
resolved to make complete and methodical excavations, aided by
intelligent workmen labouring under his superintendence; the following
are the results he obtained.

A bed of "made ground" two feet thick covered the ground of the cave. In
this were found some human remains which had escaped the first
investigations; also bones of mammals in good preservation, and
exhibiting no fractures or teeth-marks, wrought flints, mostly of the
_knife_ type (fig. 23), and carved reindeer horns, among which there was
an instrument carefully tapered off and rounded, but deprived of its
point (fig. 24), the other end being bevelled off, probably to receive a

[Illustration: Fig. 23.--Flint Knife found in the Sepulchral Cave at

[Illustration: Fig. 24.--Implement made of Reindeer's or Stag's Horn,
found in the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac.]

We must here add, that at the time of his discovery Bonnemaison
collected, from the midst of the bones, eighteen small discs which were
pierced in the centre, and doubtless intended to be strung together in a
necklace or bracelet. These discs, which were formed of a white compact
substance were recognised as sea-shells of a _Cardium_ species.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.--Series of perforated Discs of the _Cardium_
Shell found in the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac.]

The cavern of Aurignac was a burial-place of the quaternary epoch, for
M. Lartet found in it a quantity of the bones of the cave-bear, the
bison, the reindeer, the horse, &c.

In fig. 26, we give a representation of a fragment of the lower jaw of a
great bear as an example of the state of the bones found in this cavern.

[Illustration: Fig. 26.--Fragment of the Lower Jaw of a Cave-Bear, found
in the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac.]

The perfect state of preservation of these bones shows that they were
neither broken to furnish food for man nor torn by carnivorous animals,
particularly by hyænas, as is seen in a great many caverns. We must
therefore conclude from this peculiarity, that the stone which closed
the entrance to the cave was moved away for every interment and
carefully put back into its place immediately afterwards.

In order to explain the presence of so many foreign objects by the side
of the human skeletons--such as animals' bones--implements of flint and
reindeers' horn--necklaces or bracelets--we must admit as probable that
a funeral custom existed among the men of the great bear and mammoth
epoch, which has been preserved in subsequent ages. They used to place
in the tomb, close to the body, the weapons, hunting trophies, and
ornaments of all sorts, belonging to the defunct. This custom still
exists among many tribes in a more or less savage state.

In front of the cave, there was, as we have already said, a kind of flat
spot which had afterwards become covered with earth which had fallen
down from the top of the hill. When the earth which covered this flat
spot was cleared away, they met with another deposit containing bones.
This deposit was situated on a prolongation of the ground on which the
skeletons were placed in the interior of the cavern. Under this deposit,
was a bed of ashes and charcoal, 5 to 7 inches thick. This was,
therefore, the site of an ancient fire-hearth.

In other words, in front of the sepulchral cave there was a kind of
terrace upon which, after the interment of the body in the cavern, a
feast called the _funeral banquet_ was held.

[Illustration: Fig. 27.--Upper Molar of a Bison, found in the Ashes of
the Fire-hearth of the Sepulchral Cave at Aurignac.]

In this bed, situated in front of the cavern an immense number of the
most interesting relics were discovered--a large number of the teeth and
broken bones of herbivorous animals (fig. 27); a hundred flint knives;
two chipped flints, which archæologists believe to be sling projectiles;
a rounded pebble with a depression in the middle, which, according to
Mr. Steinhauer, keeper of the Ethnographical Museum at Copenhagen, was
used to flake off flint-knives; lastly, a large quantity of implements
made of reindeers' horn, which exhibit the most varied shapes. We may
mention, for instance, the arrow-heads fashioned very simply, without
wings or barbs (fig. 28); some of these heads appear to have been
subjected to the action of fire, as if they had been left in the body of
the animal during the process of cooking; a bodkin made of roebuck's
horn (fig. 29) very carefully pointed, and in such a good state of
preservation that it might still be used, says M. Lartet, to perforate
the skins of animals before sewing them; and this must, in fact, have
been its use; a second instrument, similar to the preceding, but less
finely pointed, which M. Lartet is inclined to consider as an instrument
for tatooing; some thin blades of various sizes, which, according to
Steinhauer, much resemble the reindeer-horn polishers still used by the
Laplanders to flatten down the seams of their coarse skin-garments;
another blade, accidentally broken at both ends, one of the sides of
which is perfectly polished and shows two series of transversal lines at
equal distances apart; the lateral edges of this blade are marked with
deeper notches at almost regular intervals (fig. 30). M. Lartet
considers that these lines and notches are signs of numeration, and Mr.
Steinhauer has propounded the idea that they are hunting-marks. Both
hypotheses are possible, and the more so as they do not contradict each

[Illustration: Fig. 28.--Arrow-head made of Reindeer's Horn, found in
the Sepulchral Cave of Aurignac.]

[Illustration: Fig. 29.--Bodkin made of Roebuck's Horn, found in the
Sepulchral Cave of Aurignac].

[Illustration: Fig. 30.--Truncated Blade in Reindeer's Horn, bearing two
Series of transversal Lines and Notches, probably used for numeration.]

Among the bones, some were partly carbonised, others, only scorched, but
the greater number had not been subjected at all to the action of fire.
All the bones having medullary hollows, and commonly called
marrow-bones, were broken lengthwise, a certain indication that this
operation had been effected to extract the marrow, and that these bones
had been used at a feast carried on according to the manners and customs
of that epoch, when the marrow out of animal bones was regarded as the
most delicious viand--many men of our own days being also of this

A certain number of these bones exhibited shallow cuts, showing that a
sharp instrument had been used to detach the flesh from them. Nearly all
those which had not been subjected to the action of fire bore the mark
of the teeth of some carnivorous animal. This animal, doubtless, came to
gnaw them after man had taken his departure from the spot. This
carnivorous animal could have been none other than the hyæna, as is
shown by the excrements left in the place.

The ossiferous mound situated immediately above the fire-hearth
contained, like the subjacent ashes, a large number of the bones of
certain herbivorous animals.

The discovery of the fire-hearth situated in front of the cave of
Aurignac, and the various remains which were found intermingled
underneath it, enable us to form some idea of the way in which funeral
ceremonies took place among the men of the great bear epoch. The parents
and friends of the defunct accompanied him to his last resting-place;
after which, they assembled together to partake of a feast in front of
the tomb soon to be closed on his remains. Then everyone took his
departure, leaving the scene of their banquet free to the hyænas, which
came to devour the remains of the meal.

This custom of funeral-feasts is, doubtless, very natural, as it has
been handed down to our days; though it now chiefly exists among the
poorer classes.

In accordance with the preceding data we here represent (fig. 31) a
_funeral feast during the great bear and mammoth epoch_.

[Illustration: Fig. 31.--Funeral Feast during the Great Bear and Mammoth

On a flat space situated in front of the cave destined to receive the
body of the defunct, some men covered merely with bears' skins with the
hair on them are seated round a fire, taking their part in the
funeral-feast. The flesh of the great bear and mammoth forms the _menu_
of these primitive love-feasts. In the distance may be seen the colossal
form of the mammoth, which forms the chief dish of the banquet. The
manner of eating is that which distinguishes the men of that epoch; they
suck the marrow from the long bones which have previously been split
lengthwise, and eat the flesh of the animals cooked on the hearth. The
dead body is left at the entrance of the cavern; the primitive
grave-stone will soon close on it for ever.

The relics found in the interior of the sepulchral cave of Aurignac have
led to a very remarkable inference, which shows how interesting and
fertile are the studies which have been made by naturalists on the
subject of the antiquity of man. The weapons, the trophies, the
ornaments, and the joints of meat, placed by the side of the
defunct--does not all this seem to establish the fact that a belief in a
future life existed at an extraordinarily remote epoch? What could have
been the use of these provisions for travelling, and these instruments
of war, if the man who had disappeared from this world was not to live
again in another? The great and supreme truth--that the whole being
of man does not die with his material body is, therefore, innate in the
human heart; since it is met with in the most remote ages, and even
existed in the mental consciousness of the man of the stone age.

An instinct of art also appears to have manifested itself in the human
race at this extremely ancient date. Thus, one of the articles picked up
in the sepulchral cave of Aurignac consisted of a canine tooth of a
young cave-bear, perforated so as to allow of its being suspended in
some way or other. Now this tooth is so carved that no one can help
recognising in it a rough outline of some animal shape, the precise
nature of which is difficult to determine, although it may, perhaps, be
the head of a bird. It was, doubtless, an amulet or jewel belonging to
one of the men interred in the cave, and was buried with him because he
probably attached a great value to it. This object, therefore, shows us
that some instincts of art existed in the men who hunted the great bear
and mammoth.

[Illustration: Fig. 32.--Carved and perforated Canine Tooth of a young

We shall close this account of the valuable discoveries which were made
in the sepulchral cave of Aurignac, by giving a list of the species of
mammals the bones of which were found either in the interior or at the
exterior of this cavern. The first six species are extinct; the others
are still living:--

The great cave-bear (_Ursus spelæus_); the mammoth (_Elephas
primigenius_); the rhinoceros (_Rhinoceros tichorhinus_); the great
cave-lion (_Felis spelæa_); the cave-hyæna (_Hyæna spelæa_); the
gigantic stag (_Megaceros hibernicus_); the bison, the reindeer, the
stag, the horse, the ass, the roe, the wild boar, the fox, the wolf,
the wild-cat, the badger, and the polecat.

We think it as well to place before the eyes of our readers the exact
forms of the heads of the three great fossil animals found in the cave
of Aurignac, which geologically characterise the great bear and mammoth
epoch, and evidently prove that man was contemporary with these extinct
species. Figs. 33, 34, and 35 represent the heads of the cave-bear, the
_Rhinoceros tichorhinus_, and the _megaceros_ or gigantic stag; they are
taken from the casts which adorn the great hall of the Archæological and
Pre-historic Museum at Saint-Germain, and are among the most curious
ornaments of this remarkable museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 33.--Head of a Cave-Bear found in the Cave of

[Illustration: Fig. 34.--Head of the _Rhinoceros Tichorhinus_ found in
the Cave of Aurignac.]

[Illustration: Fig. 35.--Head of a great Stag (_Megaceros hibernicus_)
found in the Cave of Aurignac.]

Of all these species, the fox has left behind him the largest number of
remains. This carnivorous animal was represented by about eighteen to
twenty individual specimens. Neither the mammoth, great cave-lion, nor
wild boar appear to have been conveyed into the cave in an entire state;
for two or three molar or incisive teeth are the only remains of their
carcases which have been found.

But still it is a certain fact that the men who fed on the _Rhinoceros
tichorinus_ buried their dead in this cavern. In fact, M. Lartet asserts
that the bones of the rhinoceros had been split by man in order to
extract the marrow. They had also been gnawed by hyænas, which would not
have been the case if these bones had not been thrown away, and left on
the ground in a fresh state.

The burial-place of Aurignac dates back to the earliest antiquity, that
is to say, it was anterior to the European diluvial period. Thus,
according to M. Lartet, the great cave-bear was the first of the extinct
species to disappear; then the mammoth and _Rhinoceros tichorhinus_ were
lost sight of; still later, the reindeer first, and then the bison,
migrated to the northern and eastern regions of Europe. Now, the
_diluvium_, that is to say, the beds formed by drifted pebbles and
originating in the great derangement caused by the inundation of the
quaternary epoch, does not contain any traces of the bones of the
cave-bear. It, therefore, belongs to an epoch of the stone age more
recent than the cave of Aurignac.[6] All this goes to prove that this
sepulchral cave, which has furnished the science of the antiquity of man
with so much valuable information, belonged to the great bear and
mammoth epoch, which preceded the diluvial cataclysm.


[6] 'Nouvelles Recherches sur la Coexistence de l'Homme et des grands
Mammifères fossiles.' ('Annales de Sciences naturelles, Zoologie,' vol.


     Other Caves of the Epoch of the Great Bear and Mammoth--Type
     of the Human Race during the Epochs of the Great Bear and the
     Reindeer--The Skulls from the Caves of Engis and Neanderthal.

With regard to the bone-caves, which have furnished us with such
valuable information as to the men who lived in the epoch of the great
bear and the mammoth, we have laid down a necessary distinction,
dividing them into caves which served as dens for wild beasts, those
which have afforded a refuge for man, and those which were used as his
burial-places. In order to complete this subject and set forth the whole
of the discoveries which have been made by science on this interesting
point, we will say a few words as to the principal bone-caves belonging
to the same epoch which have been studied in France, England and

We will, in the first place, call attention to the fact that these
caverns, taken together, embrace a very long period of time, perhaps an
enormous number of centuries, and that hence a considerable difference
must result in the nature of the remains of human industry which they
contain. Some certainly manifest a perceptible superiority over others
in an industrial point of view; but the reason is that they belong to a
period somewhat nearer our own, although still forming a part of the
epoch of the great bear and mammoth.

We shall divide the caves in France into three groups--those of the
east, those of the west and centre, and those of the south.

In the first group, we shall mention the _Trou de la Fontaine_ and the
_Cave of Sainte-Reine_, both situated in the environs of Toul (Meurthe).
These two caves have furnished bones of bears, hyænas, and the
rhinoceros, along with the products of human industry. That of
Sainte-Reine has been explored by M. Guérin, and especially by M.
Husson, who has searched it with much care.

The second group includes the grottos _des Fées_, of Vergisson,
Vallières, and La Chaise.

The Grotte des Fées, at Arcy (Yonne), has been searched and described by
M. de Vibraye, who ascertained the existence of two distinct beds, the
upper one belonging to the reindeer epoch, the lower one to the great
bear epoch. These two beds were divided from each other by matter which
had formed a part of the roof of the cave, and had fallen down on the
earlier deposit. In the more ancient bed of the two, M. de Vibraye
collected fractured bones of the bear and cave-hyæna, the mammoth, and
the _Rhinoceros tichorhinus_, all intermingled with flints wrought by
the hand of man, amongst which were chips of hyaline quartz
(rock-crystal.) His fellow-labourer, M. Franchet, extracted from it a
human _atlas_ (the upper part of the vertebral column).

The cave of Vergisson (Saône-et-Loire), explored by M. de Ferry,
furnished the same kind of bones as the preceding cave, and also bones
of the bison, the reindeer, the horse, the wolf, and the fox, all
intermixed with wrought flints and fragments of rough pottery. The
presence of this pottery indicated that the cave of Vergisson belonged
to the latter period of the great bear epoch.

The cave of Vallières (Loir-et-Cher), was worked, first by M. de
Vibraye, and subsequently by the Abbé Bourgeois. There was nothing
particular to be remarked.

The cave of La Chaise, near Vouthon (Charente), explored by MM.
Bourgeois and Delaunay, furnished bones of the cave-bear, the
rhinoceros, and the reindeer, flint blades and scrapers, a bodkin and a
kind of hook made of bone, an arrow-head in the shape of a willow-leaf
likewise of bone, a bone perforated so as to hang on a string, and, what
is more remarkable, two long rods of reindeer's horn, tapering at one
end and bevelled off at the other, on which figures of animals were
graven. These relics betray an artistic feeling of a decided character
as existing in the men, the traces of whom are found in this cave.

Among the caves in the south of France, we must specify those of
Périgord, those of Bas-Languedoc, and of the district of Foix
(department of Ariége).

The caves of Périgord have all been explored by MM. Lartet and Christy,
who have also given learned descriptions of them. We will mention the
caves of the _Gorge d'Enfer_ and _Moustier_, in the valley of the
Vézère, and that of _Pey de l'Azé_, all three situate in the department
of Dordogne (arrondissement of Sarlat).

The two caves of the _Gorge d'Enfer_ were, unfortunately, cleared out in
1793, in order to utilise the deposits of saltpetre which they contained
in the manufacture of gunpowder. They have, however, furnished flints
chipped into the shapes of scrapers, daggers, &c., a small pebble of
white quartz, hollowed out on one side, which had probably been used as
a mortar, and instruments of bone or reindeer's horn, three of which
showed numerous notches. Bones of the great bear clearly indicated the
age of these settlements.

The cave of Moustier, situated about 80 feet above the Vézère, is
celebrated for the great number and characteristic shapes of its stone
implements, which we have before spoken of. Hatchets of the
almond-shaped type, like those of the _diluvium_ of Abbeville and
Saint-Acheul, were very plentiful. Bi-convex spear-heads were also
found, of very careful workmanship, and instruments which might be held
in the hand, some of them of considerable dimensions; but no pieces of
bone or of reindeer's horn were discovered which had been adapted to any
purpose whatever. The bones were those of the great bear and cave-hyæna,
accompanied by separate _laminæ_ of molars of the mammoth, the use of
which it is impossible to explain. Similar fragments were met with in
some of the other Périgord settlements, and M. Lartet also found some at

Next to the cave of Pey de l'Azé, on which we shall not dwell, come the
caverns of Bas-Languedoc, which we shall only enumerate. They consist of
the caves of Pondres and Souvignargues (Hérault), which were studied in
1829 by M. de Christol, who recognised, from the data he derived from
them, the co-existence of man and the great extinct mammals; also those
of Pontil and La Roque, the first explored by M. Paul Gervais, the
second by M. Boutin.

We shall now consider the caves of the department of Ariége, some of
which furnish objects of very considerable interest. They consist of the
caves of _Massat_, _Lherm_, and _Bouicheta_.

Two caves, very remarkable on account of their extent, have been
explored by M. Fontan; they are situate in the valley of Massat, which
contains others of less importance. One is placed at the foot of a
limestone mountain, about 60 feet above the bottom of the valley; the
opening of the other is much higher up; only the latter belongs to the
great bear epoch.

From the results of his explorations, M. Fontan is of opinion that the
ground in them has been greatly altered by some violent inundation which
has intermingled the remains of various geological epochs. This _savant_
found in the cave of Massat the bones of the bear, the hyæna and the
great cave-lion, the fox, the badger, the wild boar, the roe, &c., two
human teeth, and a bone arrow-head. Two beds of ashes and charcoal were
also remarked at different depths.

In the upper cave of Massat was found the curious stone on which is
designed with tolerable correctness a sketch of the great cave-bear
(fig. 36). This singular record marks out for us the earliest trace of
the art of design, which we shall find developing itself in a more
decisive way during the pre-historic period which follows the one we are
now considering.

[Illustration: Fig. 36.--Sketch of the Great Bear on a Stone found in
the Cave of Massat.]

The caves of Lherm and Bouicheta were inspected by MM. Garrigou and
Filhol, who found in them bones of most of the great mammals belonging
to extinct species, and particularly those of the great bear, many of
which are broken, and still show the marks of the instruments which were
used for cutting the flesh off them. Some have been gnawed by hyænas, as
proved by the deep grooves with which they are marked. Lower jaw-bones
of the great bear, and of the great cave-lion, have been found
fashioned, according to a uniform plan, in the shape of hoes. MM.
Garrigou and Filhol were of opinion that these jaw-bones, when thus
modified, might have been used as offensive weapons.

The cave of Lherm contained also human bones; namely, three teeth, a
fragment of a _scapula_, a broken _ulna_ and _radius_, and the last
joint of the great toe; all these remains presented exactly the same
appearance and condition as those of the _Ursus spelæus_, and must,
therefore, have belonged to the same epoch.

We have stated that numerous caves have been explored in England,
Belgium, and several other countries. We shall not undertake to give
with regard to each details which would only be a reproduction of those
which precede. We therefore confine ourselves to mentioning the most
celebrated of the caverns belonging to the epoch of the great bear and
the mammoth.

In England we have the Kent's Hole and Brixham caverns, near Torquay in
Devonshire, the latter of which is many hundred yards in extent; the
caves of the Gower peninsula, in Glamorganshire (South Wales), which
have been carefully studied within the last few years by Messrs.
Falconer and Wood; in these were found flint instruments along with
bones of the _Elephas antiquus_ and the _Rhinoceros hemitæchus_, species
which were still more ancient than the mammoth and the _Rhinoceros
tichorhinus_; those of Kirkdale, in Yorkshire, explored by Dr. Buckland,
the geologist; those near Wells in Somersetshire, Wokey Hole, Minchin
Hole, &c.

We must mention, in the north of Italy, the caves of Chiampo and Laglio,
on the edge of the Lake of Como, in which, just as at Vergisson,
fragments of rough pottery have been discovered, indicating some degree
of progress in the manufacture; also the caves in the neighbourhood of
Palermo, and especially those of San Ciro and Macagnone.

In the last-mentioned cave, in the midst of an osseous _breccia_ which
rose to the roof, Dr. Falconer collected flint instruments, splinters of
bone, pieces of baked clay and wood charcoal mixed up with large
land-shells (_Helix vermiculata_), in a perfect state of preservation,
horses' teeth, and the excrements of the hyæna, all cemented together in
a deposit of carbonate of lime. In a lower bed were found the bones of
various species of the hippopotamus, the _Elephas antiquus_, and other
great mammals.

Lastly, Spain, Algeria, Egypt, and Syria also present to our notice
caves belonging to the Stone Age.

In the New World various bone-caverns have been explored. We must
especially mention Brazil, in which country Lund searched no less than
eight hundred caves of different epochs, exhuming in them a great number
of unknown animal species. In one of these caves, situated near the Lake
of Sumidouro, Lund found some human bones which had formed a part of
thirty individuals of different ages, and were "in a similar state of
decomposition, and in similar circumstances to the bones of various
extinct species of animals."

Thus far we have designedly omitted to mention the Belgian caves. They
have, in fact, furnished us with such remarkable relics of former ages
that, in dealing with them, we could not confine ourselves to a mere
notice. The caves in the neighbourhood of Liége, which were explored in
1833 by Schmerling, deserve to be described in some detail.

Schmerling examined more than forty caves in the Valley of the Meuse and
its tributaries. The access to some of these caves was so difficult that
in order to reach them it was necessary for the explorer to let himself
down by a cord, and then to crawl flat on his face through narrow
galleries, so as to make his way into the great chambers; there he was
obliged to remain for hours, and sometimes whole days, standing up to
his knees in mud, with water dripping from the walls upon his head,
while overlooking the workmen breaking up with their pick-axes the layer
of stalagmite, so as to bring to light the bone earth--the records on
which are inscribed the palpable evidences of the high antiquity of man.
Schmerling was compelled to accomplish a perilous expedition of this
kind in his visit to the cave of Engis, which has become celebrated by
the two human skulls found there by him.

Nearly all the caves in the province of Liége contain scattered bones of
the great bear, the cave-hyæna, the mammoth, and the rhinoceros,
intermixed with those of species which are still living, such as the
wolf, the wild boar, the roe, the beaver, the porcupine, &c. Several of
them contained human bones, likewise much scattered and rubbed; they
were found in all positions, and at every elevation, sometimes above and
sometimes below the above-mentioned animal remains; from this it may be
concluded that these caves had been filled with running water, which
drifted in all kinds of _débris_. None of them, however, contained any
gnawed bones, or the fossil excrement of any animal species, which puts
an end to the hypothesis that these caves had been used as dens by wild
beasts. Here and there bones were found belonging to the same skeleton,
which were in perfect preservation, and lying in their natural
juxtaposition; they were probably drifted into the cave by gently
flowing water, while still covered with their flesh, and no movement of
the ground had since separated them. But no complete skeleton has as yet
been discovered, even among the smaller species of mammiferous animals,
the disjunction of which is generally less complete.

In almost all the caves Schmerling met with flint implements chipped
into the form of hatchets and knives, and he calls attention to the fact
"that none of them could have been introduced into the caves at a
posterior epoch, as they were found in the same position as the animal
remains which accompanied them." In the cave of Clokier, about two and a
half miles from Liége, he picked up a polished bone in the shape of a
needle, having an eye pierced at the base; in the cave of Engis he
likewise found a carved bone, and also some worked flints.

We here close our enumeration of the various sources of the
archæological records which have served to reconstruct the history of
primitive man during that period of the stone age which we have
designated under the name of the epoch of the great bear and the
mammoth. Before concluding our remarks as to this period, there is one
question which we must enter upon, although there is a great deficiency
in any positive records by which it might be solved. What was the
organic type of man during this epoch? Could we, for instance, determine
what amount of intellect man possessed in this earliest and ancient date
of his history?

The answer to this question--although a very uncertain answer--has been
supposed to have been found in the caves of Engis and Engihoul, of which
we have just spoken as having been explored by Schmerling with such
valuable results.

The cave of Engis contained the remains of three human beings, among
which were two skulls, one that of a youth, the other that of an adult.
The latter only was preserved, the former having fallen into dust while
it was being extracted from the ground. Two small fragments of a human
skull were likewise found at Engihoul; also a great many of the bones of
the hands and feet of three individuals.

The Engis skull has been a subject of protracted argument to the
palæontologists and anatomists of the present day. Floods of ink have
been spilt upon the question; discussions without end have taken place
with respect to this piece of bone, in order to fix accurately the
amount of intellect possessed by the inhabitants of Belgium during the
epoch of the great bear and the mammoth. Up to a certain point the
development of the brain may, in fact, be ascertained from the shape of
the cranial envelope, and it is well known that a remarkable similarity
exists between the cerebral capacity and the intellectual development of
all mammiferous animals. But in a question of this kind we must
carefully avoid a quicksand on which anthropologists too often make
shipwreck; this danger consists in basing a theory on a too limited
number of elements, and of generalising conclusions which are perhaps
drawn from one special case. Because we find a portion of a skull--not
even a whole skull--belonging to a human being contemporary with the
great bear, we assume that we can determine the amount of intellect
possessed by man during this epoch. But what proof have we that this
skull is not that of an idiot, or, on the contrary, the skull of an
individual possessing a superior degree of intelligence? What deduction
can be logically drawn from the examination of one single skull? None
whatever! "_Testis unus testis nullus_;" and what is said by
jurisprudence, which is nothing but good sense in legal
matters--science, which is nothing but good sense in learned questions,
ought likewise to repeat. If we found ten or twelve skulls, each
presenting the same characteristics, we should be justified in thinking
that we had before our eyes the human type corresponding to the epoch we
are considering; but, we again ask, what arguments could be based on a
few fragments of one single skull?

These reservations having been laid down, let us see what some of our
great anatomical reasoners have thought about the Engis skull.

The representation which we here give (fig. 37) of the Engis skull was
taken from the cast in the Museum of Saint-Germain, and we may perceive
from it that the skull is not complete; the entire base of the skull is
wanting, and all the bones of the face have disappeared. Consequently it
is impossible either to measure the facial angle or to take account of
the development of the lower jaw.

[Illustration: Fig. 37.--Portion of a Skull of an Individual belonging
to the Epoch of the Great Bear and the Mammoth, found in the Cave of

We shall not, therefore, surprise any of our readers when we state that
the opinions on this subject differ in the most extraordinary degree.
In the eyes of Professor Huxley, the English anatomist, this skull
offers no indication of degradation; it presents "a good average," and
it might just as well be the head of a philosopher as the head of an
uncivilised savage. To others--for instance, to Carl Vogt--it indicates
an altogether rudimentary degree of intellect.

Thus Hippocrates-Huxley says _yes_, Galen-Vogt says _no_, and
Celsus-Lyell says neither _yes_ nor _no_. This causes us but little
surprise, but it induces us not to waste more time in discussing a
question altogether in the dark, that is, upon altogether incomplete

[Illustration: Fig. 38.--Portion of the so-called Neanderthal Skull.]

We will now turn our attention to another skull, equally celebrated,
which was found in 1857 by Dr. Fuhlrott, near Dusseldorf, in a deep
ravine known by the name of Neanderthal. This skull (fig. 38) was
discovered in the midst of a small cave under a layer of mud about 5
feet in thickness. The entire skeleton was doubtless buried on the same
spot, but the workmen engaged in clearing out the cave must have
inadvertently scattered a great portion of the bones, for the largest
only could be collected.

It is well to call attention to the fact that no animal remains were
found near these bones; there is, therefore, no certain proof that the
latter can be assigned to the epoch of the great bear: they might, in
fact, be either more recent or more modern. Most geologists are,
however, of opinion that they ought to be referred to the above-named
early date.

The Neanderthal skull, of which we possess even a smaller portion than
of the preceding, differs from the Engis skull. It is characterised by
an extraordinary development of the frontal sinuses; that is, by an
enormous projection of the superciliary ridges, behind which the frontal
bone presents a considerable depression. The cranium is very thick, and
of an elongated elliptical shape; the forehead is narrow and low.

These remarks were made by Professor Schaaffhausen, who also established
the fact of the identity in length of the femur, the humerus, the
radius, and the ulna, with the same bones of a modern European of equal
size. But the Prussian _savant_ was surprised at the really remarkable
thickness of these bones, and also at the large development of the
projections and depressions which served for the insertion of the

Fig. 38 represents this skull, which is drawn from the cast in the
Museum of St. Germain.

Professor Schaaffhausen's opinion with regard to this skull is, that it
manifests a degree of intelligence more limited than that of the races
of negroes who are least favoured by nature, in other words, it
approaches the nature of the beast more nearly than any other known
human skull. But, on the other hand, Mr. Busk and Dr. Barnard Davis look
upon this skull as very closely allied to the present race of men; and
Professor Gratiolet produced before the Anthropological Society of Paris
an idiot's head of the present day, which showed all the osteological
characteristics peculiar to the Neanderthal skull. Lastly, an
anthropologist of great authority, Dr. Pruner-Bey, has brought forward
all requisite evidence to prove that the Neanderthal skull is identical,
in all its parts, with the cranium of the Celt.

We see, therefore, that the opinion propounded by Dr. Schaaffhausen at
the commencement of his studies was not able to stand its ground before
the opposition resulting from subsequent labours on the point; and that
this head of a man belonging to the epoch of the great bear and mammoth,
which he regarded as manifesting the most limited amount of
intelligence, differed in no way from the heads belonging to Celts of
historic times, whose moral qualities and manly courage make Frenchmen
proud to call themselves their descendants.

We need scarcely add that the examination of this latter skull, which
dated back to the first origin of mankind, is sufficient to set at
naught all that has been written as to the pretended analogy of
structure existing between primitive man and the ape, and to wipe out
for ever from scientific phraseology the improper and unhappy term
_fossil man_, which has not only been the cause of so many lamentable
misunderstandings, but has also too long arrested the formation and the
progress of the science of the first starting-point of man.

Other remains of human skulls, appearing to date back to a very ancient
epoch, have been found in various countries, since the discovery of
those above-named. We will mention, a jaw-bone found by M. Édouard
Dupont in the cave of Naulette, near Dinant, in Belgium--a frontal and
parietal bone, extracted from the _Lehm_ in the valley of the Rhine, at
Eggisheim near Colmar, by Dr. Faudel--a skull found by Professor Bocchi,
of Florence, in the Olmo pass, near Arezzo--lastly, the celebrated
jaw-bone from Moulin-Quignon, near Abbeville, found in 1863 by Boucher
de Perthes, in the _diluvium_, of which bone we have given an
illustration in the introduction to this volume. It is acknowledged by
all anthropologists that this portion of the skull of the man of
Moulin-Quignon bears a perfect resemblance to that of a man of small
size of the present age.

From the small number of skulls which we possess, it is impossible for
us to estimate what was the precise degree of intelligence to be
ascribed to man at the epoch of the great bear and mammoth. No one,
assuredly, will be surprised at the fact, that the human skull in these
prodigiously remote ages did not present any external signs of great
intellectual development. The nature of man is eminently improvable; it
is, therefore, easily to be understood, that in the earliest ages of his
appearance on the earth his intelligence should have been of a limited
character. Time and progress were destined both to improve and extend
it; the flame of the first-lighted torch was to be expanded with the
lapse of centuries!




     Mankind during the Epoch of the Reindeer--Their Manners and
     Customs--Food--Garments--Weapons, Utensils, and Implements--
     Pottery--Ornaments--Primitive Arts--The principal Caverns--
     Type of the Human Race during the Epoch of the Reindeer.

We have now arrived at that subdivision of the stone age which we
designate by the name of the _Reindeer Epoch_, or the _Epoch of migrated
animals_. Many ages have elapsed since the commencement of the
quaternary geological epoch. The mighty animals which characterised the
commencement of this period have disappeared, or are on the point of
becoming extinct. The great bear (_Ursus spelæus_) and the cave-hyæna
(_Hyæna spelæa_) will soon cease to tread the soil of our earth. It will
not be long before the final term will be completed of the existence of
the cave-lion (_Felis spelæa_), the mammoth, and the _Rhinoceros
tichorhinus_. Created beings diminish in size as they improve in type.

To make up for these losses, numerous herds of reindeer now inhabit the
forests of western Europe. In that part of the continent which was one
day to be called France, these animals make their way as far as the
Pyrenees. The horse (_Equus caballus_), in no way different from the
present species, is the companion of the above-named valuable ruminant;
also the bison (_Biso europæus_), the urus (_Bos primigenius_), the
musk-ox (_Ovibos moschatus_), the elk, the deer, the chamois, the ibex,
and various species of rodents, amongst others, the beaver, the
hamster-rat, the lemming, the spermophilus, &c.

After the intense cold of the glacial period the temperature has become
sensibly milder, but it is still much lower than at the present day in
the same countries; as the reindeer, an animal belonging to a
hyperborean climate, can both enjoy life and multiply in the
comparatively southern part of Europe.

The general composition of the _fauna_ which we have just described is a
striking proof of the rigorous cold which still characterised the
climate of central Europe. Animals which then inhabited those countries
are now only met with in the high northern latitudes of the old and new
worlds, in close proximity to the ice and snow, or on the lofty summits
of great mountain-chains. To localities of this kind have now retired
the reindeer, the musk-ox, the elk, the chamois, the wild-goat, the
hamster-rat, the lemming and the spermophilus. The beaver, too, is at
the present day confined almost entirely to Canada.

Mr. Christy, an English naturalist, has remarked with much acuteness
that the accumulations of bones and other organic remains in caves
actually imply the existence of a rigorous climate. Under the influence
of even a merely moderate temperature, these accumulations of bones and
animal remains would, in fact, have given forth putrid exhalations which
would have prevented any human being from living in close contiguity to
these infectious heaps. The Esquimaux of the present day live, in this
respect, very much like the people of primitive ages, that is, close by
the side of the most fetid _débris_; but, except in the cold regions of
the north, they would be quite unable to do this.

[Illustration: Fig. 39.--Man of the Reindeer Epoch.]

What progress was made by the man of the reindeer epoch (fig. 39) beyond
that attained by his ancestors? This is the question we are about to
consider. But we must confine the sphere of our study to the only two
countries in which a sufficient number of investigations have been made
in respect to the epoch of the reindeer. We allude to that part of
Europe which nowadays forms France and Belgium.

During the reindeer epoch, man wrought the flint to better effect than
in the preceding period. He also manufactured somewhat remarkable
implements in bone, ivory, and reindeers' horn. In the preceding period,
human bones were found in caves, mixed up indiscriminately with those of
animals; in the epoch we are now considering, this promiscuous
intermingling is no longer met with.

We shall first pass in review man as existing in this epoch, in respect
to his habitation and food. We shall then proceed to speak of the
productions of his industry, and also of the earliest essays of his
artistic genius. Lastly, we shall briefly consider his physical

With respect to his habitation, man, during the reindeer epoch, still
took up his abode in caves. According to their depth and the light
penetrating them, he either occupied the whole extent of them or
established himself in the outlet only. About the centre of the cavern
some slabs of stone, selected from the hardest rocks, such as sandstone
or slate, were bedded down in the ground, and formed the hearth for
cooking his food. During the long nights of winter the whole family must
have assembled round this hearth.

Sometimes, in order the better to defend himself against the various
surprises to which he was exposed, the man of the reindeer epoch
selected a cavern with a very narrow inlet which could only be entered
by climbing.

A cave formed naturally in the deepest clefts and hollows of some rock
constituted, in every climate, the earliest habitation of man. In cold
climates it was necessary for him to find some retreat in which to pass
the night, and in warmer latitudes he had to ward off the heat of the
day. But these natural dwellings could only be met with in districts
where rocks existed which offered facilities for cover in the way of
clefts and holes. When man took up his abode in a level country, he was
compelled to construct for himself some place of shelter. By collecting
together stones, brought from various directions, he then managed to
build an artificial cavern. Choosing a spot where some natural
projection overhung the ground, he enlarged, as far as he was able, this
natural roof, and, bringing art to the assistance of nature, he
ultimately found himself in possession of a convenient retreat.

We must not omit to add that the spot in which he established his
dwelling was always in the vicinity of some running stream.

In this way, therefore, the inhabitants of the plains formed their
habitations during the epoch which we are considering.

We have, also, certain proofs that primitive tribes, during this period,
did not take up their abode in natural caverns exclusively, but that
they were able to make for themselves more convenient sheltering-places
under the cover of some great overhanging rock. In various regions of
France, especially in Périgord, numerous ancient open-air human
settlements have been discovered. They must have been mere sheds or
places of shelter, leaning against the base of some high cliff, and
protected against the inclemency of the weather by projections of the
rock which, more or less, hung over them, forming a kind of roof. The
name of _rock-shelters_ has been given to these dwellings of primitive

These wild retreats are generally met with in the lower part of some
valley in close proximity to a running stream. They, like the caverns,
contain very rich deposits of the bones of mammals, birds and fishes,
and also specimens of hatchets and utensils made of flint, bone, and
horn. Traces of hearths are also discovered.

One of the most remarkable of these natural shelters belonging to the
reindeer epoch has been discovered at Bruniquel, in the department of
Tarn-et-Garonne, not far from Montauban.

[Illustration: Fig. 40.--Rock-shelter at Bruniquel, a supposed
Habitation of Man during the Reindeer Epoch.]

On the left bank of the river Aveyron, under the overhanging shelter of
one of the highest rocks of Bruniquel and in close proximity to a
_château_, the picturesque ruins of which still stand on the brow of the
cliff above, there was discovered, in 1866, a fire-hearth of the
pre-historic period; this hearth and its surroundings have afforded us
the most complete idea of one of the rock-shelters of man during the
reindeer epoch.

This rock, known by the name of Montastruc, is about 98 feet high, and
it overhangs the ground below for an extent of 46 to 49 feet. It covers
an area of 298 square yards. In this spot, M. V. Brun, the Director of
the Museum of Natural History at Montauban, found a host of objects of
various descriptions, the study of which has furnished many useful ideas
for the history of this epoch of primitive humanity.

By taking advantage of the photographic views of the pre-historic
settlement of Bruniquel, which M. V. Brun has been kind enough to
forward to us, we have been enabled to compose the sketch which is
presented in fig. 40 of a rock-shelter, or an open-air settlement of man
in the reindeer epoch.

Men during the reindeer epoch did not possess any notion of agriculture.
They had not as yet subdued and domesticated any animal so as to profit
by its strength, or to ensure by its means a constant supply of food.
They were, therefore, like their forefathers, essentially hunters; and
pursued wild animals, killing them with their spears or arrows. The
reindeer was the animal which they chiefly attacked. This mammal, which
then existed all over Europe, in the centre as well as in the south
(although it has now retired or migrated into the regions of the extreme
north), was for the man of this period all that it nowadays is to the
Laplander--the most precious gift of nature. They fed upon its flesh and
made their garments of its skin, utilising its tendons as thread in the
preparation of their dress; its bones and its antlers they converted
into all kinds of weapons and implements. Reindeer's horn was the
earliest raw material in the manufactures of these remote ages, and to
the man of this epoch was all that iron is to us.

The horse, the ox, the urus, the elk, the ibex, and the chamois, all
formed a considerable part of the food of men during this epoch. They
were in the habit of breaking the long bones and the skulls of the
recently-killed animals, in order to extract the marrow and the brain,
which they ate all steaming with the natural animal heat, as is done in
the present day by certain tribes in the Arctic regions. The meat of
this animal was cooked on their rough hearths; for they did not eat it
raw as some naturalists have asserted. The animal bones which have been
found, intermingled with human remains, in the caverns of this epoch
bear evident traces of the action of fire.

To this animal prey they occasionally added certain birds, such as the
great heath-cock, willow-grouse, owl, &c. When this kind of game fell
short, they fell back upon the rat. Round the hearthstone, in the cave
of Chaleux, M. Dupont found more than twenty pounds weight of the bones
of water-rats, half roasted.

Fish is an article of food which has always been much sought after by
man. By mere inference we might, therefore, readily imagine that man
during the reindeer epoch fed on fish as well as the flesh of animals,
even if the fact were not attested by positive evidence. This evidence
is afforded by the remains of fish-bones which are met with in the caves
of this epoch, intermingled with the bones of mammals, and also by
sketches representing parts of fishes, which are found roughly traced on
a great number of fragments of bone and horn implements.

The art of fishing, therefore, must certainly have been in existence
during the reindeer epoch. We cannot assert that it was practised during
that of the great bear and the mammoth; but, as regards the period we
are now considering, no doubt can be entertained on the point. In an
article on the 'Origine de la Navigation et de la Pêche,' M. G. de
Mortillet expresses himself as follows:

"The epoch of the reindeer presents to our notice several specimens of
fishing-tackle. The most simple is a little splinter of bone, generally
about one to two inches long, straight, slender, and pointed at both
ends. This is the primitive and elementary fish-hook. This small
fragment of bone or reindeer horn was fastened by the middle and covered
with a bait; when swallowed by a fish, or even by an aquatic bird, it
became fixed in the interior of the body by one of the pointed ends, and
the voracious creature found itself caught by the cord attached to the
primitive hook. At the museum of Saint-Germain, there are several of
these hooks which came from the rich deposits of Bruniquel, near
Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne).

"Hooks belonging to the reindeer epoch have also been found in the caves
and retreats of Dordogne, so well explored by MM. Lartet and Christy.
Along with those of the simple form which we have just described, others
were met with of a much more perfect shape. These are likewise small
fragments of bone or reindeer's horn, with deep and wide notches on one
side, forming a more or less developed series of projecting and sharp
teeth, or barbs. Two of them are depicted in Plate B, VI. of the
'Reliquiæ Aquitanicæ.' M. Lartet is in possession of several of them;
but the most remarkable specimen forms a part of the beautiful
collection of M. Peccadeau de l'Isle, of Paris."[7]

There are strong reasons for believing that man during this epoch did
not confine himself to a diet of an exclusively carnivorous character,
for vegetable food is in perfect harmony with the organisation of our
species. By means of wild fruits, acorns, and chestnuts, he must have
introduced some little variety into his ordinary system of sustenance.

From the data which we have been considering, we furnish, in fig. 41, a
representation of _a feast during the reindeer epoch_. Men are engaged
in cleaving the head of a urus, in order to extract and devour the
smoking brains. Others, sitting round the fire in which the flesh of the
same animal is being cooked, are sucking out the marrow from the long
bones of the reindeer, which they have broken by blows with a hatchet.

[Illustration: Fig. 41.--A Feast during the Reindeer Epoch.]

It becomes a very interesting question to know whether the men of these
remote periods practised cannibalism or not. On this point we have as
yet no certain information. We will, however, state some facts which
seem to make in favour of this idea.

Human skulls have been found in Scotland mixed up promiscuously with
sculptured flints, remains of pottery, and children's bones; on the
latter, Professor Owen thinks that he can recognise the trace of human

At Solutré, in Mâconnais, M. de Ferry has discovered human finger-joints
among the remains of cooking of the epoch of the great bear and mammoth,
and of that of the reindeer.

The appearance of certain bones from the caves of Ariége, dug up by MM.
Garrigou and Filhol, has led both these _savants_ to the opinion "that
pre-historic man may have been anthropophagous."

The same conclusion would be arrived at from the explorations which have
been undertaken in the grottos and caves of Northern Italy by M. Costa
de Beauregard. This latter _savant_ found in the caves the small
shin-bone of a child which had been carefully emptied and cleansed,
leading to the idea that the marrow had been eaten.

At a point near Finale, on the road from Genoa to Nice, in a vast cave
which was for a long period employed as a habitation for our race, M.
Issel discovered some human bones which had evidently been calcined.
Their whitish colour, their lightness, and their friability left no room
for doubt on the point. Added to this, the incrustations on their
surface still contained small fragments of carbon. Moreover, many of the
bones showed notches which could not have been made without the help of
some sharp instrument.

It is, therefore, probable that men in the stone age practised
anthropophagy; we have, really, no cause to be surprised at this; since,
in our own days, various savage tribes are addicted to cannibalism,
under a considerable diversity of circumstances.

Not the least trace has been discovered of animals' bones being gnawed
by dogs in any of the human settlements during the reindeer epoch. Man,
therefore, had not as yet reduced the dog to a state of domesticity.

How did primitive man dress himself during this epoch? He must have made
garments out of the skins of the quadrupeds which he killed in hunting,
and especially of the reindeer's hide. There can be no doubt on this
point. A large number of reindeers' antlers found in Périgord have at
their base certain cuts which evidently could only have been produced in
flaying the animal.

It is no less certainly proved that these men knew how to prepare
animals' skins by clearing them of their hair, and that they were no
longer compelled, like their ancestors, to cover themselves with rough
bear-skins still covered with their fur. To what purpose could they have
applied the flint scrapers which are met with everywhere in such
abundance, except for scraping the hair off the skins of wild beasts?
Having thus taken off the hair, they rendered them supple by rubbing
them in with brains and the marrow extracted from the long bones of the
reindeer. Then they cut them out into some very simple patterns, which
are, of course, absolutely unknown to us; and, finally, they joined
together the different pieces by rough sewing.

The fact that man at this epoch knew how to sew together reindeer skins
so as to convert them into garments, is proved by the discovery of
numerous specimens of instruments which must have been used for this
work; these are--and this is most remarkable--exactly the same as those
employed nowadays by the Laplanders, for the same purpose. They consist
of bodkins or stilettoes made of flint and bone (fig. 42), by means of
which the holes were pierced in the skin; also very carefully fashioned
needles, mostly of bone or horn (fig. 43).

[Illustration: Fig. 42.--Flint Bodkin or Stiletto for sewing Reindeer
Skins, found in the Cave of Les Eyzies (Périgord).]

[Illustration: Fig. 43.--Bone Needle for sewing.]

The inspection of certain reindeer bones has likewise enabled us to
recognise the fact that the men of this age used for thread the sinewy
fibres of this animal. On these bones transverse cuts may be noticed,
just in those very spots where the section of the tendon must have taken

No metal was as yet known; consequently, man continued to make use of
stone instruments, both for the implements of labour, and also for
offensive and defensive weapons. The hatchet was but little employed as
a weapon of war, and the flint-knife was the arm most extensively used.
We must add to this, another potent although natural weapon; this was
the lower jaw-bone of the great bear, still retaining its sharp and
pointed canine tooth. The elongated and solid bone furnished the handle,
and the sharp tooth the formidable point; and with this instrument man
could in the chase attack and pierce any animal with which he entered
into a hand-to-hand conflict.

It may be noticed that this weapon is placed in the hand of the man in
fig. 39, which represents him during the reindeer epoch.

It must certainly be the case that the human race possesses to a very
high degree the taste for personal ornament, since objects used for
adornment are found in the most remote ages of mankind and in every
country. There can be no doubt that the men and women who lived in the
reindeer epoch sacrificed to the graces. In the midst of their
precarious mode of life, the idea entered into their minds of
manufacturing necklaces, bracelets, and pendants, either with shells
which they bored through the middle so as to be able to string them as
beads, or with the teeth of various animals which they pierced with
holes with the same intention, as represented in fig. 44.

[Illustration: Fig. 44.--The Canine Tooth of a Wolf, bored so as to be
used as an ornament.]

The horny portion of the ear of the horse or ox (fig. 45), was likewise
used for the same purpose, that is, as an object of adornment.

[Illustration: Fig. 45.--Ornament made of the bony part of a Horse's

It becomes a question whether man at this epoch had any belief in a
future life, and practised anything which bore a resemblance to
religious worship. The existence, round the fire-hearths of the
burial-caverns in Belgium, of large fossil elephant (mammoth's) bones--a
fact which has been pointed out by M. Édouard Dupont--gives us some
reason for answering this question in the affirmative. According to M.
Morlot, the practice of placing bones round caverns still survives, as a
religious idea, among the Indians. We may, therefore, appeal to this
discovery as a hint in favour of the existence of some religious feeling
among the men who lived during the reindeer epoch.

In the tombs of this epoch are found the weapons and knives which men
carried during their lifetime, and sometimes even a supply of the flesh
of animals used for food. This custom of placing near the body of the
dead provisions for the journey to be taken _post mortem_ is, as
remarked in reference to the preceding period, the proof of a belief in
another life.

Certain religious, or rather superstitious, ideas may have been attached
to some glittering stones and bright fragments of ore which have been
picked up in several settlements of these primitive tribes. M. de
Vibraye found at Bourdeilles (Charente), two nodules of hydrated oxide
of iron mixed with _débris_ of all kinds; and at the settlement of
Laugerie-Basse (Dordogne), in the middle of the hearth, a small mass of
copper covered with a layer of green carbonate. In other spots there
have been met with pieces of jet, violet fluor, &c., pierced through the
middle, doubtless to enable them to be suspended to the neck and ears.
The greater part of these objects may possibly be looked upon as
amulets, that is, symbols of some religious beliefs entertained by man
during the reindeer epoch.

The social instinct of man, the feeling which compels him to form an
alliance with his fellow-man, had already manifested itself at this
early period. Communication was established between localities at some
considerable distance from one another. Thus it was that the inhabitants
of the banks of the Lesse in Belgium travelled as far as that part of
France which is now called Champagne, in order to seek the flints which
they could not find in their own districts, although they were
indispensable to them in order to manufacture their weapons and
implements. They likewise brought back fossil shells, of which they made
fantastical necklaces. This distant intercourse cannot be called in
question, for certain evidences of it can be adduced. M. Édouard Dupont
found in the cave of Chaleux, near Dinant (Belgium), fifty-four of these
shells, which are not found naturally anywhere else than in Champagne.
Here, therefore, we have the rudiments of commerce, that is, of the
importation and exchange of commodities which form its earliest
manifestations in all nations of the world.

Again, it may be stated that there existed at this epoch real
manufactories of weapons and utensils, the productions of which were
distributed around the neighbouring country according to the particular
requirements of each family. The cave of Chaleux, which was mentioned
above, seems to have been one of these places of manufacture; for from
the 8th to the 30th of May, during twenty-two days only, there were
collected at this spot nearly 20,000 flints chipped into hatchets,
daggers, knives, scrapers, scratchers, &c.

Workshops of this kind were established in the settlements of
Laugerie-Basse and Laugerie-Haute in Périgord. The first was to all
appearance a special manufactory for spear-heads, some specimens of
which have been found by MM. Lartet and Christy of an extremely
remarkable nature; exact representations of them are delineated in fig.
46. In the second were fabricated weapons and implements of reindeers'
horn, if we may judge by the large quantity of remains of the antlers of
those animals, which were met with by these _savants_, almost all of
which bear the marks of sawing.

[Illustration: Fig. 46.--Spear-head found in the Cave of Laugerie-Basse

It is not, however, probable that the objects thus manufactured were
exported to any great distance, as was subsequently the case, that is,
in the polished stone epoch. How would it be possible to cross great
rivers, and to pass through wide tracts overgrown with thick forests, in
order to convey far and wide these industrial products; at a time, too,
when no means of communication existed between one country and another?
But it is none the less curious to be able to verify the existence of a
rudimentary commerce exercised at so remote an epoch.

The weapons, utensils and implements which were used by man during the
reindeer epoch testify to a decided progress having been made beyond
those of the preceding period. The implements are made of flint, bone,
or horn; but the latter kind are much the most numerous, chiefly in the
primitive settlements in the centre and south of France. Those of
Périgord are especially remarkable for the abundance of instruments made
of reindeers' bones.

The great diversity of type in the wrought flints furnishes a very
evident proof of the long duration of the historical epoch we are
considering. In the series of these instruments we can trace all the
phases of improvement in workmanship, beginning with the rough shape of
the hatchets found in the _diluvium_ at Abbeville, and culminating in
those elegant spear-heads which are but little inferior to any
production of later times.

We here give representations (fig. 47, 48, 49, 50), of the most curious
specimens of the stone and flint weapons of the reindeer epoch. Knives
and other small instruments, such as scrapers, piercers, borers, &c.,
form the great majority; hatchets are comparatively rare. Instruments
are also met with which might be used for a double purpose, for
instance, borers and also piercers. There are also round stones which
must have been used as hammers; it may, at least, be noticed that they
have received repeated blows.

[Illustration: Fig. 47.--Worked Flint from Périgord (Knife).]

[Illustration: Fig. 48.--Worked Flint from Périgord (Hatchet).]

[Illustration: Fig. 49.--Chipped Flint from Périgord (Knife).]

[Illustration: Fig. 50.--Chipped Flint from Périgord (Scraper).]

Sir J. Lubbock is of opinion that some of these stones were employed in
heating water, after they had been made red-hot in the fire. According
to the above-named author, this plan of procuring hot water is still
adopted among certain savage tribes who are still ignorant of the art of
pottery, and possess nothing but wooden vessels, which cannot be placed
over a fire.[8]

We must also mention the polishers formed of sandstone or some other
material with a rough surface. They could only be used for polishing
bone and horn, as the reindeer epoch does not admit of instruments of
polished stone.

There have also been collected here and there pebbles of granite or
quartzite hollowed out at the centre, and more or less perfectly rounded
on the edges. It has been conjectured that these were mortars, although
their small dimensions scarcely countenance this hypothesis. Neither is
it probable that they were used for pounding seed, as fancied by M. de
Vibraye. Nor does the idea which has been entertained of their being
used for producing fire seem to have any sufficient ground.

Among the most interesting specimens in the vast collection of flints
belonging to the reindeer epoch which have been found in the countries
of France and Belgium, we must mention the delicate and very
finely-toothed double-edged saws. The one we here represent (fig. 51) is
in the Archæological Museum of Saint-Germain. It does not measure more
than three-quarters of an inch in length, and about one-tenth of an inch
in width. It was found by M. V. Brun in one of the _rock-shelters_ at

[Illustration: Fig. 51.--Small Flint Saw, found in the Rock-shelter at

Saws of this kind were, no doubt, employed for fashioning the antlers of
the reindeer, and other ruminants that shed their horns. The antler was
cut into on each side, and the fracture was finished by hand.

The objects of bone and reindeer-horn found in the caves of Périgord
show a still greater variety, and a no less remarkable skilfulness in

We may mention, for instance, the arrow and javelin-heads. Some are
slender and tapering off at both ends; in others, the base terminates in
a single or double bevel. Among the latter, the greater part seem made
to fix in a cleft stick; some are ornamented with lines and hatching
over their surface. Others have notches in them, somewhat similar to an
attempt at barbing.

[Illustration: Fig. 52.--The Chase during the Reindeer Epoch.]

We now come to the barbed dart-heads, designated by the name of
_harpoons_. They taper-off considerably towards the top, and are
characterised by very decided barbs, shaped like hooks, and distributed
sometimes on one side only, and sometimes on both (figs. 53, 54). In the
latter case the barbs are arranged in pairs, and are provided with a
small furrow or middle groove, which, according to some naturalists, was
intended to hold some subtle poison. Like the present race of Indians
of the American forests, primitive man may possibly have poisoned his
arrows; and the longitudinal groove, which is noticed in so many
reindeer arrow-heads, may have served to contain the poison.

[Illustration: Fig. 53.--Barbed Arrow of Reindeer Horn.]

[Illustration: Fig. 54--Arrow of Reindeer Horn with double Barbs.]

We must not, however, fail to state that this opinion has been abandoned
since it has been ascertained that the North American Indians used in
former times to hunt the bison with wooden arrows furnished with grooves
or channels of a similar character. These channels are said to have been
intended to give a freer vent to the flow of the animal's blood, which
was thus, so to speak, sucked out of the wound. This may, therefore,
have been the intention of the grooves which are noticed on the
dart-heads of the reindeer epoch, and the idea of their having been
poisoned must be dismissed.

These barbed darts or harpoons are still used by the Esquimaux of the
present day, in pursuing the seal. Such arrows, like those of the
primitive hordes of the reindeer epoch which are represented above
(figs. 53, 54), are sharply pointed and provided with barbs; they are
fastened to a string and shot from a bow. The Esquimaux sometimes attach
an inflated bladder to the extremity of the arrow, so that the hunter
may be apprized whether he has hit his mark, or in order to show in what
direction he should aim again.

We give here (fig. 55) a drawing of a fragment of bone found in the cave
of Les Eyzies (Périgord); a portion of one of these harpoons remains
fixed in the bone.

[Illustration: Fig. 55.--Animal Bone, pierced by an Arrow of Reindeer

We must assign to the class of implements the bone bodkins or stilettoes
of different sizes, either with or without a handle (figs. 56, 57), and
also a numerous series of needles found in the caves of Périgord, some
of which are very slender and elegant, and made of bone, horn, and even
ivory. In some of the human settlements of the reindeer epoch, bones
have been found, from which long splinters had been detached, fitted for
the fabrication of needles. The delicate points of flint have also been
found which were used to bore the eyes of the needles, and, lastly, the
lumps of sandstone on which the latter were polished.

[Illustration: Fig. 56.--Tool made of Reindeer Horn, found in the Cave
of Laugerie-Basse (Stiletto?).]

[Illustration: Fig. 57.--Tool made of Reindeer Horn, found in the Cave
of Laugerie-Basse (Needle?).]

We must, likewise, point out the _smoothers_, intended to flatten down
the seams in the skins used for garments.

One of the most important instruments of this epoch is a perfect drill
with a sharpened point and cutting edge. With this flint point rapidly
twirled round, holes could be bored in any kind of material--bone,
teeth, horn, or shells. This stone drill worked as well as our tool made
of steel, according to the statement of certain naturalists who have
tried the effect of them.

The primitive human settlement at Laugerie-Basse has furnished several
specimens of an instrument, the exact use of which has not been
ascertained. They are rods, tapering off at one end, and hollowed out at
the other in the shape of a spoon. M. Édouard Lartet has propounded the
opinion that they were used by the tribes of this epoch as spoons, in
order to extract the marrow from the long bones of the animals which
were used for their food. M. Lartet would not, however, venture to
assert this, and adds: "It is, perhaps, probable that our primitive
forefathers would not have taken so much trouble." Be this as it may,
one of these instruments is very remarkable for the lines and ornaments
in relief with which it is decorated, testifying to the existence in the
workman of some feeling of symmetry (fig. 58).

[Illustration: Fig. 58.--Spoon of Reindeer Horn.]

In various caves--at Les Eyzies, Laugerie-Basse, and Chaffant, _commune_
of Savigné (Vienne)--whistles of a peculiar kind have been found (fig.
59). They are made from the first joint of the foot of the reindeer or
some other ruminant of the stag genus. A hole has been bored in the base
of the bone, a little in front of the metatarsal joint. If one blows
into this hole, placing the lower lip in the hollow answering to the
above-named joint, a shrill sound is produced, similar to that made by
blowing into a piped key. We ourselves have had the pleasure of
verifying the fact, at the Museum of Saint-Germain, that these primitive
whistles act very well.

[Illustration: Fig. 59.--Knuckle-Bone of a Reindeer's Foot, bored with a
hole and used as a Whistle.]

The settlements at Périgord have also furnished a certain number of
staves made of reindeer horn (figs. 60, 61), the proper functions of
which no one has succeeded in properly explaining. They are invariably
bored with one or more holes at the base, and are covered with designs
to which we shall hereafter refer. M. Lartet has thought that they were
perhaps symbols or staves of authority.

[Illustration: Fig. 60.--Staff of authority in Reindeer's Horn, found in
the Cave of Périgord.]

[Illustration: Fig. 61.--Another Staff of authority in Reindeer's Horn.]

This explanation appears the correct one when we consider the care with
which these bâtons were fashioned. If the hypothesis of their being
symbols of authority be adopted, the varying number of the holes would
not be without intention; it might point to some kind of hierarchy, the
highest grade of which corresponded to the bâton with the most holes.
Thus, in the Chinese empire, the degree of a mandarin's authority is
estimated by the number of buttons on his silk cap. And just as in the
Mussulman hierarchy there were pachas of from one to three tails, so it
may be fancied that among primitive man of the reindeer epoch there were
chiefs of from one to three holes!

We have already stated that in the epoch of the great bear and the
mammoth the art of manufacturing a rough description of pottery was,
perhaps, known in Europe. The men of the reindeer epoch made, however,
but little progress in this respect. Nevertheless, if certain relics
really belong to this period, they may have known how to make rough
vessels, formed of clay, mixed with sand, and hardened by the action of
fire. This primitive art was, as yet, anything but generally adopted:
for we very rarely find _débris_ of pottery in close contiguity with
other remains of the reindeer epoch.

The Archæological Museum of Saint Germain is in possession of a hollow
vessel, a natural geode, very large and very thick (fig. 62). It was
found in the cave of La Madelaine (department of Dordogne); on one side
it has evidently been subjected to the action of fire, and may therefore
be presumed to have been used as a large vessel for culinary purposes.

[Illustration: Fig. 62.--A Geode, used as a cooking Vessel (?), found in
the Cave of La Madelaine (Périgord).]

In a cave at Furfooz, near Dinant in Belgium, to which we shall
subsequently refer, M. Édouard Dupont found, intermingled with human
bones, an urn, or specimen of rough pottery, which is perhaps one of the
most ancient monuments of the ceramic art as practised by our primitive
ancestors. This urn (fig. 63) was partly broken; by the care of M.
Hauzeur it has been put together again, as we represent it from the work
of M. Le Hon.[9]

[Illustration: Fig. 63.--Earthen Vase found in the Cave of Furfooz

It is in the reindeer epoch that we find the earliest traces of any
artistic feeling manifested in man.

It is a circumstance well worthy of remark, that this feeling appears to
have been the peculiar attribute of the tribes which inhabited the
south-west of the present France; the departments of Dordogne, Vienne,
Charente, Tarn-et-Garonne, and Ariége, are, in fact, the only localities
where designs and carvings representing organised beings have been
discovered. The departments in the east have not furnished anything of a
similar character, any more than Belgium, which has been so thoroughly
explored by M. Édouard Dupont, or Wurtemburg, where M. Fraas has lately
described various settlements of this primitive epoch.

It is not sufficient to allege, in order to explain this singular
circumstance, that the caves in the south of France belong to a later
period of the reindeer epoch, and that the others go back to the
earliest commencement of the same age. Apart from the fact that this
assertion is in no way proved, a complete and ready answer is involved
in the well verified circumstance, that even in later ages--in the
polished stone, and even in the bronze epoch--no representation of an
animal or plant is found to have been executed in these localities. No
specimen of the kind has, in fact, been found in the _kitchen-middens_
of Denmark, or in the lacustrine settlements of the stone age, or even
of the bronze age.

It must, then, be admitted that the tribes which were scattered over
those portions of the European continent which now correspond to the
south-west of France, possessed a special talent in the art of design.
There is, moreover, nothing unreasonable in such a supposition. An
artistic feeling is not always the offspring of civilisation, it is
rather a gift of nature. It may manifest its existence in the most
barbarous ages, and may make its influence more deeply felt in nations
which are behindhand in respect to general progress than in others which
are much further advanced in civilisation.

There can be no doubt that the rudiments of engraving and sculpture of
which we are about to take a view, testify to faculties of an
essentially artistic character. Shapes are so well imitated, movements
are so thoroughly caught, as it were, in the sudden fact of action, that
it is almost always possible to recognise the object which the ancient
workman desired to represent, although he had at his disposal nothing
but the rudest instruments for executing his work. A splinter of flint
was his sole graving-tool, a piece of reindeer horn, or a flake of slate
or ivory, was the only plate on which primitive man could stamp his
reproductions of animated nature.

Perhaps they drew on stone or horn with lumps of red-chalk or ochre, for
both these substances have been found in the caves of primitive man.
Perhaps, too, as is the case with modern savages, the ochre and
red-chalk were used besides for painting or tatooing his body. When the
design was thus executed on stone or horn, it was afterwards engraved
with the point of some flint instrument.

Those persons who have attentively examined the interesting gallery of
the _Histoire du Travail_ in the International Exposition of 1867, must
have remarked a magnificent collection of these artistic productions of
primeval ages. There were no less than fifty-one specimens, which were
exhibited by several collectors, and were for the most part extremely
curious. In his interesting work, 'Promenades Préhistoriques à
l'Exposition Universelle,' M. Gabriel de Mortillet has carefully
described these objects. In endeavouring to obtain some knowledge of
them, we shall take as our guide the learned curator of the
Archæological Museum of Saint-Germain.

We have, in the first place, various representations of the mammoth,
which was still in existence at the commencement of the reindeer epoch.

The first (fig. 64) is an outline sketch, drawn on a slab of ivory, from
the cave of La Madelaine. When MM. Lartet and Christy found it, it was
broken into five pieces, which they managed to put together very
accurately. The small eye and the curved tusks of the animal may be
perfectly distinguished, as well as its huge trunk, and even its
abundant mane, the latter proving that it is really the mammoth--that is
the fossil--and not the present species of elephant.

[Illustration: Fig. 64.--Sketch of a Mammoth, graven on a Slab of

The second figure is an entire mammoth, graven on a fragment of reindeer
horn, from the rock-shelters of Bruniquel, and belongs to M. Peccadeau
de l'Isle. This figure forms the hilt of a poniard, the blade of which
springs from the front part of the animal. It may be recognised to be
the mammoth by its trunk, its wide flat feet, and especially by its
erect tail, ending in a bunch of hair. In point of fact, the present
species of elephant never sets up the tail, and has no bunch of hair at
the end of it.

A third object brought from the pre-historic station of Laugerie-Basse
(M. de Vibraye's collection) is the lower end of a staff of authority
carved in the form of a mammoth's head. The prominent forehead, and the
body of the animal stretching along the base of the staff, may both be
very distinctly seen.

On another fragment of a staff of authority, found at Bruniquel by M. V.
Brun, the cave-lion (_Felis spelæa_) is carved with great clearness. The
head, in particular, is perfectly represented.

Representations of reindeer, either carved or scratched on stone or
horn, are very common; we mention the following:--

In the first place the hilt of a dagger in reindeer's horn (fig. 65) of
the same type as that shaped in the form of a mammoth. This specimen is
remarkable, because the artist has most skilfully adapted the shape of
the animal to the purpose for which the instrument was intended. The
hilt represents a reindeer, which is carved out as if lying in a very
peculiar position; the hind legs are stretched along the blade, and the
front legs are doubled back under the belly, so as not to hurt the hand
of anyone holding the dagger; lastly, the head is thrown back, the
muzzle turned upwards, and the horns flattened down so as not to
interfere with the grasp.

[Illustration: Fig. 65.--Hilt of a Dagger, carved in the shape of a

This is, at all events, nothing but a rough sketch. The same remark,
however, does not apply to two ivory daggers found at Bruniquel by M.
Peccadeau de l'Isle. These objects are very artistically executed, and
are the most finished specimens that have been found up to the present
time. Both of them represent a reindeer with the head thrown back as in
the preceding plate; but whilst in one dagger the blade springs from the
hinder part of the body, in the same way as in the rough-hewn horn, in
the other it proceeds from the front of the body, between the head and
the forelegs. The hind legs are stretched out and meet again at the
feet, thus forming a hole between them, which was probably used as a
ring on which to suspend the dagger.

We must not omit to mention a slab of slate, on which is drawn in
outline a reindeer fight. It was found at Laugerie-Basse by M. de
Vibraye. The artist has endeavoured to portray one of those furious
contests in which the male reindeer engages during the rutting season,
in order to obtain possession of the females; he has executed his
design in a spirited manner, marked by a certain _naïveté_.

There are a good many other fragments on which reindeer are either drawn
or carved; we shall not dwell upon them, but add a few remarks as to
several specimens on which are representations of the stag, the horse,
the bison, the ibex, &c.

A representation of a stag (fig. 66) is drawn on a fragment of stag's
horn found in the cave of La Madelaine by MM. Lartet and Christy. The
shape of the antlers, which are very different to those of the reindeer,
leave no doubt as to the identity of the animal.

[Illustration: Fig. 66.--Representation of a Stag, drawn on a Stag's

The ox and the bison are represented in various fashions. We will
mention here a carved head which was found in the cave of Laugerie-Basse
by M. de Vibraye. It forms the base of a staff of authority.

[Illustration: Fig. 67.--Representation of some large herbivorous Animal
on a Fragment of Reindeer's Horn.]

We must, doubtless, class under the same category a fragment of
reindeer's horn, found at Laugerie-Basse, on which the hind-quarters of
some large herbivorous animal are sketched out with a bold and practised
touch (fig. 67). Various indications have led M. Lartet to think that
the artist has not endeavoured to represent a horse, as was at first
imagined, but a bison of rather a slender shape. Unfortunately the
fragment is broken at the exact spot where the bushy mane should begin,
which characterises the species of the bison sub-genus.

[Illustration: Fig. 68.--Arts of Drawing and Sculpture during the
Reindeer Epoch.]

In the same locality another fragment of reindeer's horn was found, on
which some horned animal is depicted (fig. 69), which appears to be an
ibex, if we may judge by the lines under the chin which seem to indicate
a beard.

[Illustration: Fig. 69.--Representation of an Animal, sketched on a
Fragment of Reindeer's Horn.]

In the cave of Les Eyzies, in the department of Dordogne, MM. Lartet and
Christy came upon two slabs of quartziferous schist, on both of which
are scratched animal forms which are deficient in any special
characteristics. In one (fig. 70), some have fancied they could
recognise the elk; but, as the front part only of the other has been
preserved, it is almost impossible to determine what mammiferous animal
it is intended to represent. An indistinct trace of horns seems to
indicate a herbivorous animal.

[Illustration: Fig. 70.--Fragment of a Slab of Schist, bearing the
representation of some Animal, and found in the Cave of Les Eyzies.]

On each side of a staff of authority made of reindeer's horn, found by
MM. Lartet and Christy in the cave of the Madelaine, may be noticed
three horses in demi-relief, which are very easily recognisable.

On a carved bone, found at Bruniquel by M. de Lastic, the head of a
reindeer and that of a horse are drawn in outline side by side; the
characteristics of both animals are well maintained.

Lastly, we may name a round shaft formed of reindeer's horn (fig. 71),
found at Laugerie-Basse by MM. Lartet and Christy, on which is carved an
animal's head, with ears of a considerable length laid back upon the
head. It is not easy to determine for what purpose this shaft was
intended; one end being pointed and provided with a lateral hook. It was
perhaps used as a harpoon.

[Illustration: Fig. 71.--A kind of Harpoon of Reindeer's Horn, carved in
the shape of an Animal's Head.]

Representations of birds are more uncommon than those of mammals.

There are, on the other hand, a good many rough delineations of fish,
principally on the so-called wands of authority, on which numbers may
often be noticed following one another in a series. We have one
delineation of a fish, skilfully drawn on a fragment of the lower
jaw-bone of a reindeer, which was found at Laugerie-Basse.

Also in the cave of La Vache (Ariége), M. Garrigou found a fragment of
bone, on which there is a clever design of a fish.

Very few representations of reptiles have come to light, and those found
are in general badly executed. We must, however, make an exception in
favour of the figure of a tadpole, scratched out on an arrow-head, found
in the cave of the Madelaine.

Designs representing flowers are very rare; in the _Galerie du Travail_,
at the Exposition, only three specimens are exhibited; they came from La
Madelaine and Laugerie-Basse, and were all three graven on spear-heads.

But did the men of the reindeer epoch make no attempts to portray their
own personal appearance? Have not the excavations dug in the settlements
of primitive man, found in Périgord, ever brought to light any imitation
of the human form? Nothing could exceed the interest of such a
discovery. Research has not been entirely fruitless in this respect, and
it is hoped that the first attempt in the art of statuary of this
primitive people may yet be discovered. In the cave of Laugerie-Basse,
M. de Vibraye found a little ivory statuette, which he takes to be a
kind of idol of an indecent character. The head and legs, as well as the
arms, are broken off.

Another human figure (fig. 72), which, like the preceding one, is long
and lean, is graven on a staff of authority, a fragment of which was
found in the cave of La Madelaine by MM. Lartet and Christy. The man is
represented standing between two horses' heads, and by the side of a
long serpent or fish, having the appearance of an eel. On the reverse
side of the same bâton, which is not given in the figure, the heads of
two bisons are represented.

[Illustration: Fig. 72.--Staff of Authority, on which are graven
representations of a Man, two Horses, and a Fish.]

On a fragment of a spear-head, found in the same settlement of
Laugerie-Basse, there is a series of human hands, provided with four
fingers only, represented in demi-relief. M. Lartet has called attention
to the fact, that certain savage tribes still depict the hand without
noticing the thumb.

In fig. 39, which represents man during the reindeer epoch, such as we
must suppose him to have been from the sum total of our present stock of
information on the point, we see a man clothed in garments sewn with a
needle, carrying as his chief weapon the jaw-bone of a bear armed with
its sharp fang, and also provided with his flint hatchet or knife. Close
to him a woman is seated, arrayed in all the personal ornaments which
are known to have been peculiar to this epoch.

The question now arises, what were the characteristics of man during the
reindeer epoch, with regard to his physical organisation?

We know a little of some of the broader features of his physiognomy from
studying the objects found in the Belgian bone-caves, of which we have
spoken in the introduction to this work. These caves were explored by M.
Édouard Dupont, assisted by M. Van Beneden, a Belgian palæontologist and
anatomist. The excavations in question were ordered by King Leopold's
Government, which supplied the funds necessary for extending them as far
as possible. The three caves, all situated in the valley of the Lesse,
are the _Trou des Nutons_, the _Trou du Frontal_, at Furfooz, near
Dinant, and the _Caverne de Chaleux_, in the neighbourhood of the town
from which its name is derived.

The _Trou des Nutons_ and the _Trou du Frontal_ have been completely
thrown into confusion by a violent inroad of water; for the _débris_
that they contained were intermingled in an almost incredible confusion
with a quantity of earthy matter and calcareous rocks, which had been
drifted in by the inundation.

In the _Trou des Nutons_, which is situated about 164 feet above the
level of the Lesse, M. Van Beneden recognised a great many bones of the
reindeer, the urus, and many other species which are not yet extinct.
These bones were indiscriminately mixed up with bones and horns of the
reindeer carved into different shapes, knuckle-bones of the goat
polished on both sides, a whistle made from the tibia of a goat, from
which sounds could still be produced, fragments of very coarse pottery,
some remains of fire-hearths, &c.

The _Trou du Frontal_ was thus named by M. Édouard Dupont, from the fact
of a human frontal-bone having been found there on the day that the
excavations commenced. This was not the only discovery of the kind that
was to be made. Ere long they fell in with a great quantity of human
bones, intermixed with a considerable number of the bones of reindeer
and other animals, as well as implements of all kinds. M. Van Beneden
ascertained that the bones must have belonged to thirteen persons of
various ages; some of them are the bones of infants scarcely a year old.
Among them were found two perfect skulls which are in good preservation;
these remains are also very valuable, because they afford data from
which deductions may be drawn as to the cranial conformation of the
primitive inhabitants of the banks of the Lesse.

M. Édouard Dupont is of opinion that this cave was used as a
burial-place. It is, in fact, very probable that such was the purpose
for which it was intended; for a large flag-stone was found in it, which
was probably used to close up the mouth of the cave, and to shield the
dead bodies from profanation. If this be the case, the animal bones
which were scattered around are the remains of the funeral banquets
which it was the custom to provide during the epoch of the great bear
and the mammoth.

It is interesting to establish the existence of such a similarity
between the customs of men who were separated by vast tracts of land and
an interval of many thousands of years.

Immediately above the _Trou du Frontal_ there is a cave called _Trou
Rosette_, in which the bones of three persons of various ages were found
intermingled with the bones of reindeer and beavers; fragments of a
blackish kind of pottery were also found there, which were hollowed out
in rough grooves by way of ornamentation, and merely hardened in the
fire. M. Dupont is of opinion that the three men whose remains were
discovered were crushed to death by masses of rock at the time of the
great inundation, traces of which may still be seen in the valley of the

By the falling in of its roof, which buried under a mass of rubbish all
the objects which were contained in it at the time of the catastrophe
and thus kept them in their places, the cave of Chaleux escaped the
complete disturbance with which the above-mentioned caverns were
visited. The bones of mammals, of birds, and of fish were found there;
also some carved bones and horns of the reindeer, some fossil shells,
which, as we have before observed, came from Champagne, and were used as
ornaments; lastly, and chiefly, wrought flints numbering at least
30,000. In the hearth, which was placed in the middle of the cave, a
stone was discovered with certain signs on it, which, up to the present
time, have remained unexplained. M. Dupont, as we have previously
stated, collected in the immediate vicinity about twenty-two pounds'
weight of the bones of the water-rat either scorched or roasted; this
proves that when a more noble and substantial food failed them, the
primitive inhabitants of this country were able to content themselves
with these small and unsavoury rodents.

The two skulls which were found at Furfooz have been carefully examined
by MM. Van Beneden and Pruner-Bey, who are both great authorities on
the subject of anthropology. These skulls present considerable
discrepancies, but Pruner-Bey is of opinion that they are heads of a
male and female of the same race. In order to justify his hypothesis the
learned anthropologist says, that there is often more difference between
the skulls of the two sexes of the same race, than between the skulls of
the same sex belonging to two distinct races.

[Illustration: Fig. 73.--Skull found at Furfooz, by M. Édouard Dupont.]

One of these skulls is distinguished by a projecting jaw; the other,
which is represented in fig. 73, has jaws even with the facial outline.
The prominent jaw of the first, which is the indication of a degraded
race (like that of the negro), does not prevent its having a higher
forehead and a more capacious cranium than the other skull. We find here
an actual intermingling of the characteristics which belong to the
inferior races with those peculiar to the Caucasian race, which is
considered to be the most exalted type of the human species.

According to Pruner-Bey, the Belgian people during the reindeer epoch
were a race of small stature but very sturdy; the face was
lozenge-shaped, and the whole skull had the appearance of a pyramid.
This race of a Turanian or Mongolian origin was the same as the Ligurian
or Iberian race, which still exists in the north of Italy (Gulf of
Genoa), and in the Pyrenees (Basque districts).

These conclusions must be accepted with the highest degree of caution,
for they do not agree with the opinions of all anthropologists. M. Broca
is of opinion that the Basques have sprung from a North African race,
which spread over Europe at a time when an isthmus existed where the
Straits of Gibraltar are now situated. This idea is only reasonable;
for certain facts prove that Europe and Africa were formerly connected
by a neck of land; this was afterwards submerged, at the spot where the
Straits of Gibraltar now exist, bringing about the disjunction of Europe
and Africa. It will be sufficient proof, if we point to the analogy
subsisting between the _fauna_ of the two countries, which is
established by the existence of a number of wild monkeys which, even in
the present day, inhabit this arid rock, and are also to be met with on
the opposite African shore.

[Illustration: Fig. 74.--Skull of an old Man, found in a _Rock-shelter_
at Bruniquel.]

In the interesting excavations which were made in the _rock-shelters_ at
Bruniquel, M. V. Brun found a quantity of human bones, and particularly
two skulls--one that of an old man, the other that of an adult. We here
(fig. 74) give a representation of the old man's skull taken from a
photograph which M. V. Brun has been kind enough to send us.

If we measure the facial angle of this skull, we shall find that it does
not differ from the skulls of the men who at the present time inhabit
the same climates. From this fact, it may be gathered how mistaken the
idea may be which looks upon primitive man, or the man of the stone
epoch as a being essentially different from the men of the present day.
The phrase _fossil man_, we must again repeat, should be expunged from
the vocabulary of science; we should thus harmonise better with
established facts, and should also do away with a misunderstanding which
is highly detrimental to the investigations into the origin of man.

In concluding this account of the manners and customs of man during the
reindeer epoch, we must say a few words as to the funeral rites of this
time, or rather, the mode of burial peculiar to this period of primitive
man's history.

Those who lived in caves buried their dead in caves. It is, also, a fact
to be remarked, that man often uses the same type for both his
burial-places and dwelling-places.

The burial-places of the Tartars of Kasan, says M. Nilsson, are exact
likenesses, on a small scale, of their dwelling-places, and like them,
are constructed of beams placed close to one another. A Circassian
burial-place is perfectly similar to a Circassian dwelling. The tombs of
the Karaite Jews, in the valley of Jehoshaphat, resemble their houses
and places of worship, and the Neo-Grecian tombs, in the Crimea, are
likewise imitations of their churches.[10]

We shall not, therefore, be surprised to learn that man during the
reindeer epoch buried his dead in caves, just in the same way as was
done by his ancestors during the epoch of the great bear and the
mammoth, that is to say, the dead were interred in the same kind of
caves as those which were then generally used as places of abode.

Fig. 75 represents a funeral ceremonial during the reindeer epoch.

[Illustration: Fig. 75.--A Funeral Ceremony during the Reindeer Epoch.]

The corpse is borne on a litter of boughs, a practice which is still in
use among some modern savages. Men provided with torches, that is
branches of resinous trees, preceded the funeral procession, in order to
light the interior of the cavern. The cave is open, ready to receive the
corpse, and it will be closed again after it is deposited there. The
weapons, ornaments, and utensils which he had prized during his
lifetime, are brought in to be laid by the side of the dead.

We will sum up the principal facts which we have laid before our readers
in this account of the condition of mankind during the reindeer epoch,
by quoting an eloquent passage from a report addressed by M. Édouard
Dupont to the Belgian Minister of the Interior, on the excavations
carried on by this eminent Belgian geologist in the caves in the
neighbourhood of Furfooz.

"The data obtained from the fossils of Chaleux, together with those
which have been met with in the caves of Furfooz, present us," says M.
Dupont, "with a striking picture of the primitive ages of mankind in

"These ancient tribes and all their customs, after having been buried
in oblivion for thousands and thousands of years, are again vividly
brought before our eyes; and, like the wondrous bird, which, in its
ashes, found a new source of life, antiquity lives again in the relics
of its former existence.

"We may almost fancy that we can see them in their dark and subterranean
retreats, crouching round their hearths, and skilfully and patiently
chipping out their flint instruments and shaping their reindeer-horn
tools, in the midst of all the pestilential emanations arising from the
various animal remains which their carelessness has allowed to remain in
their dwellings. Skins of wild beasts are stripped of their hair, and,
by the aid of flint needles, are converted into garments. In our mind's
eye, we may see them engaged in the chase, and hunting wild
animals--their only weapons being darts and spears, the fatal points of
which are formed of nothing but a splinter of flint.

"Again, we are present at their feasts, in which, during the period when
their hunting has been fortunate, a horse, a bear, or a reindeer becomes
the more noble substitute for the tainted flesh of the rat, their sole
resource in the time of famine.

"Now, we see them trafficking with the tribes inhabiting the region now
called France, and procuring the jet and fossil shells with which they
love to adorn themselves, and the flint which is to them so precious a
material. On one side they are picking up the fluor spar, the colour of
which is pleasing to their eyes; on the other, they are digging out the
great slabs of sandstone which are to be placed as hearthstones round
their fire.

"But, alas! inauspicious days arrive, and certainly misfortune does not
seem to spare them. A falling in of the roof of their cave drives them
out of their chief dwelling-place. The objects of their worship, their
weapons, and their utensils--all are buried there, and they are forced
to fly and take up their abode in another spot.

"The ravages of death break in upon them; how great are the cares which
are now lavished upon those whom they have lost! They bear the corpse
into its cavernous sepulchre; some weapons, an amulet, and perhaps an
urn, form the whole of the funeral furniture. A slab of stone prevents
the inroad of wild beasts. Then begins the funeral banquet, celebrated
close by the abode of the dead; a fire is lighted, great animals are cut
up, and portions of their smoking flesh are distributed to each. How
strange the ceremonies that must then have taken place! ceremonies like
those told us of the savages of the Indian and African solitudes.
Imagination may easily depict the songs, the dances and the invocations,
but science is powerless to call them into life.

"The sepulchre is often reopened; little children and adults came in
turn to take their places in the gloomy cave. Thirteen times the same
ceremonial occurs, and thirteen times the slab is moved to admit the

"But the end of this primitive age is at last come. Torrents of water
break in upon the country. Its inhabitants, driven from their abodes, in
vain take refuge on the lofty mountain summits. Death at last overtakes
them, and a dark cavern is the tomb of the wretched beings, who, at
Furfooz, were witnesses of this immense catastrophe.

"Nothing is respected by the terrible element. The sepulchre, the object
of such care on the part of the artless tribe, is burst open before the
torrent, and the bones of the dead bodies, disjointed by the water, are
dispersed into the midst of the crumbling earth and stones. Their former
habitation alone is exempt from this common destruction, for it has been
protected by a previous catastrophe--the sinking in of its roof on to
the ground of the cave."

Having now given a sketch of the chief features presented by man and his
surroundings during the reindeer epoch; having described the most
important objects of his skill, and dwelt upon the products of his
artistic faculties; it now remains for us to complete, in a scientific
point of view, the study of this question, by notifying the sources from
which we have been able to gather our data, and to bring home to our
minds these interesting ideas. Under this head, we may state that almost
all the information which has been obtained has been derived from caves;
and it will, therefore, be best to make a few brief remarks on the
caverns which have been the scene of these various discoveries.

Honour to whom honour is due. In mentioning these localities, we must
place in the first class the settlements of Périgord, which have
contributed to so great an extent towards the knowledge which we possess
of primitive man. The four principal ones are, the cave of Les Eyzies
and the rock-shelters or caverns of La Madelaine, Laugerie-Haute, and
Laugerie-Basse. All of them have been explored by MM. Lartet and
Christy, who, after having directed the excavations with the greatest
ability, have set forth the results of their researches in a manner no
less remarkable.[11]

The settlement of Laugerie-Basse has also been explored by M. de
Vibraye, who collected there some very interesting specimens.

We have no intention of reverting to what we have before stated when
describing the objects found in these various localities. We will
content ourselves with mentioning the lumbar vertebral bone of a
reindeer found in the cave of Eyzies, of which we have given a
representation in fig. 55; it was pierced through by an arrow-head,
which may still be seen fixed in it. If any doubts could still exist of
the co-existence, in France, of man and the reindeer, this object should
suffice to put an end to them for ever.

We will mention, as next in importance, the cave and rock-shelters at
Bruniquel (Tarn-et-Garonne). They have been carefully examined by a
great many explorers, among whom we must specify M. Garrigou, M. de
Lastic (the proprietor of the cavern), M. V. Brun, the learned Director
of the Museum of Natural History at Montauban, and M. Peccadeau de

It is to be regretted that M. de Lastic sold about fifteen hundred
specimens of every description of the relics which had been found on his
property, to Professor Owen, for the British Museum. In this large
quantity of relics, there were, of course, specimens which will never be
met with elsewhere; which, therefore, it would have been better in every
respect to have retained in France.

The cave of Bruniquel has also furnished us with human bones, amongst
which are two almost perfect skulls, one of which we have previously
represented; also two half jaw-bones which resemble those found at
Moulin-Quignon. M. V. Brun has given, in his interesting work, a
representation of these human remains.[12]

We will now mention the _Cave of Bize_ near Narbonne (Aude); the _Cave
of La Vache_ in the valley of Tarascon (Ariége), in which M. Garrigou
collected an immense quantity of bones, on one of which some peculiar
characters are graven, constituting, perhaps, a first attempt in the art
of writing; the _Cavern of Massat_ in the same department, which has
been described by M. Fontan, and is thought by M. Lartet to have been a
summer dwelling-place, the occupiers of which lived on raw flesh and
snails, for no traces of a hearth are to be seen, although it must have
been used for a considerable time as a shelter by primitive man; the
_Cave of Lourdes_, near Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrénées), in which M.
Milne-Edwards met with a fragment of a human skull, belonging to an
adult individual; the _Cave of Espalungue_, also called the _Grotto of
Izeste_ (Basses-Pyrénées), where MM. Garrigou and Martin found a human
bone, the fifth left metatarsal; the _Cave of Savigné_ (Vienne),
situated on the banks of the Charente, and discovered by M.
Joly-Leterme, an architect of Saumur, who there found a fragment of a
stag's bone, on which the bodies of two animals are graven with
hatchings to indicate shadows; the _Grottos of La Balme and Bethenas_,
in Dauphiné, explored by M. Chantre; lastly, the settlement of Solutré,
in the neighbourhood of Mâcon, from which MM. Ferry and Arcelin have
exhumed two human skulls, together with some very fine flint instruments
of the Laugerie-Haute type.

These settlements do not all belong to the same epoch, although most of
them correspond to the long period known as the reindeer epoch. It is
not always possible to determine their comparative chronology. From the
state of their _débris_ it can, however, be ascertained, that the caves
of Lourdes and Espalungue date back to the most ancient period of the
reindeer epoch; whilst the settlements of Périgord, of Tarn-et-Garonne,
and of Mâconnais are of a later date. The cave of Massat seems as if it
ought to be dated at the beginning of the wrought stone epoch, for no
bones have been found there, either of the reindeer or the horse; the
remains of the bison are the sole representatives of the extinct animal

In concluding this list of the French bone-caves which have served to
throw a light upon the peculiar features of man's existence during the
reindeer epoch, we must not omit to mention the Belgian caves, which
have been so zealously explored by M. Édouard Dupont. From the preceding
pages, we may perceive how especially important the latter have been in
the elucidation of the characteristics of man's physical organisation
during this epoch.

France and Belgium are not the only countries which have furnished
monuments relating to man's history during the reindeer epoch. We must
not omit to mention that settlements of this epoch have been discovered
both in Germany and also in Switzerland.

In 1866 a great quantity of bones and broken instruments were found at
the bottom of an ancient glacier-moraine in the neighbourhood of
Rabensburg, not far from the lake of Constance. The bones of the
reindeer formed about ninety-eight hundredths of these remains. The
other _débris_ were the bones of the horse, the wolf, the brown bear,
the white fox, the glutton and the ox.

In 1858, on a mountain near Geneva, a cave was discovered about 12 feet
deep and 6 feet wide, which contained, under a layer of carbonate of
lime, a great quantity of flints and bones. The bones of the reindeer
formed the great majority of them, for eighteen skeletons of this animal
were found. The residue of the remains were composed of four horses, six
ibex, intermingled with the bones of the marmot, the chamois, and the
hazel-hen; in short, the bones of the whole animal population which, at
the present time, has abandoned the valleys of Switzerland, and is now
only to be met with on the high mountains of the Alps.


[7] 'Origine de la Navigation et de la Pêche.' Paris, 1867, p. 25.

[8] 'Pre-Historic Times,' 2d ed. p. 319.

[9] 'L'Homme Fossile.' Brussels, 1868 (page 71).

[10] 'The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia,' by Sven Nilsson, p.
155. London, 1868.

[11] 'Reliquiæ Aquitanicæ,' by Éd. Lartet and H. Christy. London, 1865,

[12] 'Notice sur les Fouilles Paléontologiques de l'Age de la Pierre
exécutées à Bruniquel et Saint-Antonin,' by V. Brun. Montauban, 1867.




     The European Deluge--The Dwelling-place of Man during the
     Polished-stone Epoch--The Caves and Rock-shelters still used as
     Dwelling-places--Principal Caves belonging to the Polished-stone
     Epoch which have been explored up to the present Time--The Food of
     Man during this period.

Aided by records drawn from the bowels of the earth, we have now
traversed the series of antediluvian ages since the era when man first
made his appearance on the earth, and have been enabled, though but very
imperfectly, to reconstruct the history of our primitive forefathers. We
will now leave this epoch, through the dark night of which science seeks
almost in vain to penetrate, and turn our attention to a period the
traces of which are more numerous and more easily grasped by our
intelligence--a period, therefore, which we are able to characterise
with a much greater degree of precision.

A great catastrophe, the tradition of which is preserved in the memory
of all nations, marked in Europe the end of the quaternary epoch. It is
not easy to assign the exact causes for this great event in the earth's
history; but whatever may be the explanation given, it is certain that a
cataclysm, caused by the violent flowing of rushing water, took place
during the quaternary geological epoch; for the traces of it are
everywhere visible. These traces consist of a reddish clayey deposit,
mixed with sand and pebbles. This deposit is called in some countries
_red diluvium_, and in others _grey diluvium_. In the valley of the
Rhone and the Rhine it is covered with a layer of loamy deposit, which
is known to geologists by the name of _loess_ or _lehm_, and as to the
origin of which they are not all agreed. Sir Charles Lyell is of opinion
that this mud was produced by the crushing of the rocks by early Alpine
glaciers, and that it was afterwards carried down by the streams of
water which descended from these mountains. This mud covers a great
portion of Belgium, where it is from 10 to 30 feet in thickness, and
supplies with material a large number of brickfields.

This deposit, that is the _diluvial beds_, constitutes nearly the most
recent of all those which form the earth's crust; in many European
countries, it is, in fact the ground trodden under the feet of the
present population.

The inundation to which the _diluvium_ is referred closes the series of
the quaternary ages. After this era, the present geological period
commences, which is characterised by the almost entire permanency of the
vertical outline of the earth, and by the formation of peat-bogs.

The earliest documents afforded us by history are very far from going
back to the starting-point of this period. The history of the ages which
we call historical is very far from having attained to the beginning of
the present geological epoch.

In order to continue our account of the progressive development of
primitive man, we must now turn our attention to the _Polished-stone
Epoch_, or the _Epoch of Tamed Animals_, which precedes the Metal Age.

As the facts which we shall have to review are very numerous, we will,
in the first place, consider this epoch as it affects those parts of our
continent which form the present France and Belgium; next, with
reference to Denmark and Switzerland, in which countries we shall have
to point out certain manners and customs of man of an altogether special

We shall consider in turn:--

1st. The habitation of man during the polished-stone epoch.

2nd. His system of food.

3rd. His arts and manufactures.

4th. The weapons manufactured by him, and their use in war.

5th. His attainments in agriculture, fishing, and navigation.

6th. His funeral ceremonies.

7th. Lastly, the characteristics of mankind during this epoch.

_Habitation._--In that part of the European continent which now forms
the country called France, man, during that period we designate under
the name of the polished-stone epoch, continued for a considerable time
to inhabit rock-shelters and caves which afforded him the best retreat
from the attacks of wild beasts.

This fact has been specially proved to have been the case in the extreme
south of the above-mentioned country. Among the investigations which
have contributed towards its verification, we must give particular
notice to those made by MM. Garrigou and Filhol in the caves of the
Pyrenees (Ariége). These two _savants_ have also explored the caves of
Pradières, Bedeilhac, Labart, Niaux, Ussat, and Fontanel.[13]

In one of these caves, which we have already mentioned in the preceding
chapter, but to which we must again call attention--for they belong both
to the polished stone, and also to the reindeer epoch--MM. Garrigou and
Filhol found the bones of a huge ox, the urus or _Bos primigenius_, a
smaller kind of ox, the stag, the sheep, the goat, the antelope, the
chamois, the wild boar, the wolf, the dog, the fox, the badger, the
hare, and possibly those of the horse. Neither the bones of the reindeer
nor the bison are included in this list of names; on account of the
mildness of the climate, these two species had already migrated towards
the north and east in search of a colder atmosphere.

The remains of hearths, bones split lengthwise, and broken skulls,
indicate that the inhabitants of these caves lived on much the same food
as their ancestors. It is probable that they also ate raw snails, for a
large quantity of their shells were found in this cave, and also in the
cavern of Massat,[14] the presence of which can only be accounted for in
this way.

These remains were found intermingled with piercers, spear-heads, and
arrow-heads, all made of bone; also hatchets, knives, and scratchers,
made of flint, and also of various other substances, which were more
plentiful than flint in that country, such as siliceous schist,
quartzite, leptinite and serpentine stones. These instruments were
carefully wrought, and a few had been polished at one end on a slab of

In the cave of Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées), which has been explored by M.
Alphonse Milne-Edwards, two layers were observed; one belonging to the
reindeer epoch, and the other to the polished-stone epoch.[15] The cave
of Pontil (Hérault), which has been carefully examined by Professor
Gervais,[16] has furnished remains of every epoch including the bronze
age; we must, however, except the reindeer epoch, which is not
represented in this cave.

Lastly, we will mention the cave of Saint-Jean-d'Alcas (Aveyron), which
has been explored, at different times, by M. Cazalis de Fondouce. This
is a sepulchral cave, like that of Aurignac. When it was first explored,
about twenty years ago, five human skulls, in good preservation, were
found in it--a discovery, the importance of which was then unheeded, and
the skulls were, in consequence, totally lost to science. Flint, jade,
and serpentine instruments, carved bones, remains of rough pottery,
stone amulets, and the shells of shell-fish, which had formed necklaces
and bracelets, were intermingled with human bones.

At Saint-Jean-d'Alcas, M. Cazalis de Fondouce did not meet with any
remains of funeral banquets such as were found at Aurignac and Furfooz;
he only noticed two large flag-stones lying across one another at the
mouth of the cave, so as to make the inlet considerably narrower.

This cave, according to a recent publication of M. Cazalis, must be
referred to a more recent epoch than was at first supposed, for some
fragments of metallic substances were found in it. It must, therefore,
have belonged to a late period of the polished-stone epoch.[17]

_Man's System of Feeding during the Polished-stone Epoch._--In order to
obtain full information on the subject of man's food in the north and
centre of Europe during the polished-stone epoch, we must appeal to the
interesting researches of which Denmark has been the scene during the
last few years; but these researches, on account of their importance,
require a detailed account.

[Illustration: Fig. 76.--Man of the Polished-stone Epoch.]


[13] 'L'Homme Fossile des Cavernes de Lombrive et de Lherm.' Toulouse,
1862. Illustrated. 'L'Age de Pierre dans les Vallées de Tarascon'
(Ariége). Tarascon, 1863.

[14] 'Sur deux Cavernes découvertes dans la Montagne de Kaer à Massat'
(Ariége). Quoted by Lyell, Appendix to 'The Antiquity of Man,' p. 247.

[15] 'De l'Existence de l'Homme pendant la Période quaternaire dans la
grotte de Lourdes' (Hautes-Pyrénées). ('Annales des Sciences
Naturelles,' 4th series, vol. xvii.)

[16] 'Mémoires de l'Académie de Montpellier' ('Section des Sciences'),
1857, vol. iii, p. 509.

[17] 'Sur une Caverne de l'Age de la Pierre, située près de
Saint-Jean-d'Alcas' (Aveyron), 1864. 'Derniers Temps de l'Age de la
Pierre Polie dans l'Aveyron', Montpellier, 1867. Illustrated.


     The _Kjoekken-Moeddings_ or "Kitchen-middens" of Denmark--Mode of
     Life of the Men living in Denmark during the Polished-stone
     Epoch--The Domestication of the Dog--The Art of Fishing during the
     Polished-stone Epoch--Fishing-nets--Weapons and Instruments of
     War--Type of the Human Race; the Borreby Skull.

Although classed in the lowest rank on account of the small extent of
its territory and the number of its inhabitants, the Danish nation is,
nevertheless, one of the most important in Europe, in virtue of the
eminence to which it has attained in science and arts. This valiant,
although numerically speaking, inconsiderable people, can boast of a
great number of distinguished men who are an honour to science. The
unwearied researches of their archæologists and antiquarians have
ransacked the dust of bygone ages, in order to call into new life the
features of a vanished world. Their labours, guided by the observations
of naturalists, have brought out into the clear light of day some of the
earliest stages in man's existence and progress.

There is no part of the world more adapted than Denmark to this kind of
investigation. Antiquities may be met with at every step; the real point
in question is to know how to examine them properly, so as to obtain
from them important revelations concerning the manners, customs, and
manufactures of the pre-historic inhabitants. The Museum of Copenhagen,
which contains antiquities from various Scandinavian states, is, in this
respect, without a rival in the world.

Among the objects arranged in this well-stocked Museum a great many
specimens may be observed which have come from the so-called

In the first place, what are these _kjoekken-moeddings_, or
kitchen-middens, with their uncouth Scandinavian name?

Immense accumulations of shells have been observed on different points
of the Danish coast, chiefly in the north, where the sea enters those
narrow deep creeks, known by the name of _fiords_. These deposits are
not generally raised more than about 3 feet above the level of the sea;
but in some steep places their altitude is greater. They are about 3 to
10 feet in thickness, and from 100 to 200 feet in width; their length is
sometimes as much as 1000 feet, with a width of from 150 to 250 feet. On
some of the more level shores they form perfect hills, on which, as at
Havelse, windmills are sometimes built.

What do we meet with in these heaps? An immense quantity of sea-shells,
especially those of the oyster, broken bones of mammiferous animals,
remains of birds and fish; and, lastly, some roughly-wrought flints.

The first idea formed with regard to these kitchen-middens was that they
were nothing but banks of fossil shells, beds which had formerly been
submerged, and subsequently brought to light by an upheaval of the earth
caused by some volcanic cause. But M. Steenstrup, a Danish _savant_,
opposed this opinion, basing his contradiction on the fact that these
shells belong to four different species which are never found together,
and consequently they must have been brought together by man. M.
Steenstrup also called attention to the fact that almost all these
shells must have belonged to full-grown animals, and that there were
hardly any young ones to be found amongst them. A peculiarity of this
kind is an evident indication of the exercise of some rational purpose,
in fact, of an act of the human will.

When all the _débris_ and relics which we have enumerated were
discovered in these kitchen-middens, when the remains of hearths--small
spots which still retained traces of fire--were found in them, the
origin of these heaps were readily conjectured. Tribes once existed
there who subsisted on the products of fishing and hunting, and threw
out round their cabins the remains of their meals, consisting especially
of the _débris_ of shell-fish. These remains gradually accumulated, and
constituted the considerable heaps which we are discussing; hence the
name of _kjoekken-moedding_, composed of two words--_kjoekken_, kitchen;
and _moedding_, heap of refuse. These "kitchen-middens," as they are
called, are, therefore, the refuse from the meals of the primitive
population of Denmark.

If we consider the heaps of oyster-shells and other _débris_ which
accumulate in the neighbourhood of eating-houses in certain districts,
we may readily understand, comparing great things with small, how these
Danish kitchen-middens were produced. I myself well recollect having
noticed in the environs of Montpellier small hillocks of a similar
character, formed by the accumulation of oyster-shells, mussels, and

When the conviction was once arrived at that these kitchen-middens were
the refuse of the meals of the primitive inhabitants, the careful
excavation of all these heaps scattered along the Danish coast became an
extremely interesting operation. It might be justly expected that some
data would be collected as to the customs and manufactures of the
ancient dwellers in these countries. A commission was, in consequence,
appointed by the Danish Government to examine these deposits, and to
publish the results of its labours.

This commission was composed of three _savants_, each of whom were
eminent in their respective line--Steenstrup, the naturalist,
Forchhammer, a geologist, and the archæologist, Worsaae--and performed
its task with as much talent as zeal. The observations which were made
are recorded in three reports presented to the Academy of Sciences at
Copenhagen. From these documents are borrowed most of the details which

Before proceeding to acquaint our readers with the facts brought to
light by the Danish commission, it will be well to remark that Denmark
does not stand alone in possessing these kitchen-middens. They have been
discovered in England--in Cornwall and Devonshire--in Scotland, and even
in France, near Hyères (Bouches-du-Rhône).[18]

MM. Sauvage and Hamy have pointed out to M. de Mortillet the existence
of deposits of this kind in the Pas-de-Calais. They may be noticed, say
these naturalists, at La Salle (Commune of Outreau) at certain parts of
the coast of Portel, and especially a very large heap at Cronquelets
(Commune of Etaples.) They chiefly consist of the _cardium edule_, which
appear to abound in the kitchen-middens of the Pas-de-Calais.

Messrs. Evans, Prestwich, and Lubbock observed one of these deposits at
Saint-Valery, near the mouth of the Somme. Added to this, they have been
described by various travellers as existing in different parts of the
world. Dampier studied them in Australia, and Darwin in Tierra del
Fuego, where deposits of the same character are now in the course of
formation. M. Pereira da Costa found one on the coast of Portugal; Sir
C. Lyell has testified to the existence of others on the coasts of
Massachusetts and Georgia, in the United States; M. Strobel, on the
coasts of Brazil. But those in Denmark are the only deposits of this
kind which have been the subject of investigations of a deliberate and
serious character.

Almost all these kitchen-middens are found on the coast, along the
_fiords_, where the action of the waves is not much felt. Some have,
however, been found several miles inland; but this must be owing to the
fact that the sea once occupied these localities, from which it has
subsequently retired. They are not to be met with on some of the Danish
coasts, as those of the western side; this, on the one hand, may be
caused by their having been washed away by the sea, which has there
encroached on the land, or, on the other hand, by the fact that the
western coast was much less sheltered than the other parts of the Danish
peninsula. They are not unfrequently to be found in the adjacent

These kitchen-middens form, in a general way, undulating mounds, which
sink in a gentle incline from the centre to the circumference. The spot
where they are thickest indicates the site of the habitations of man.
Sometimes, we may notice one principal hillock, surrounded by smaller
mounds; or else, in the middle of the heaps, there is a spot which must
have been the site of the encampment.

These refuse deposits are almost entirely made up of shells of various
kinds of molluscs; the principal species are the oyster, the cockle, the
mussel, and the periwinkle. Others, such as whelks, _helices_ (edible
snails), _nassa_, and _trigonella_, are also found; but they are
comparatively few in number.

Fishes' bones are discovered in great abundance in the kitchen-middens.
They belong to the cod, herring, dab, and eel. From this we may infer
that the primitive inhabitants of Denmark were not afraid of venturing
out to brave the waves of the sea in their frail skiffs; for the herring
and the cod cannot, in fact, be caught except at some little distance
from the shore.

Mammalian bones are also plentifully distributed in the Danish
kitchen-middens. Those most commonly met with are the remains of the
stag, the roe, and the boar, which, according to M. Steenstrup's
statement, make up ninety-seven hundredths of the whole mass. Others are
the relics of the urus, the wolf, the dog, the fox, the wild-cat, the
lynx, the marten, the otter, the porpoise, the seal, the water-rat, the
beaver and the hedgehog.

The bison, the reindeer, the elk, the horse, and the domestic ox have
not left behind them any trace which will permit us to assume that they
existed in Denmark at the period when these deposits were formed.

Amongst other animals, we have mentioned the dog. By various
indications, we are led to the belief that this intelligent creature had
been at this time reduced to a state of domesticity. It has been
remarked that a large number of the bones dispersed in these
kitchen-middens are incomplete; exactly the same parts are almost always
missing, and certain bones are entirely wanting. M. Steenstrup is of
opinion that these deficiencies may be owing to the agency of dogs,
which have made it their business to ransack the heaps of bones and
other matters which were thrown aside by their masters. This hypothesis
was confirmed, in his idea, when he became convinced, by experience,
that the bones which were deficient in these deposits were precisely
those which dogs are in the habit of devouring, and that the remaining
portions of those which were found were not likely to have been subject
to their attacks on account of their hardness and the small quantity of
assimilable matter which was on or in them.

Although primitive man may have elevated the dog to the dignity of being
his companion and friend, he was, nevertheless, sometimes in the habit
of eating him. No doubt he did not fall back upon this last resort
except in cases when all other means of subsistence failed him. Bones of
the dog, broken by the hand of man, and still bearing the marks of
having been cut with a knife, are amongst the remains found, and place
the fact beyond any question.

We find, besides, the same taste existing here which we have seen
manifested in other ages and different countries. All the long bones
have been split in order to extract their marrow--the dainty so highly
appreciated by man during the epochs of the reindeer and the mammoth.

Some remains of birds have been found in the kitchen-middens; but most
of the species are aquatic--a fact which may be readily explained by the
seaboard position of the men who formed these deposits.

As the result of this review of the various substances which were made
use of for food by the men of the polished-stone epoch, we may infer
that they were both hunters and fishermen.

Animals of rapid pace were hunted down by means of the dart or arrow,
and any more formidable prey was struck down at close quarters by some
sharp stone weapon.

Fishing was practised, as at the present day, by means of the line and

We have already seen that men, during the reindeer epoch, probably used
hooks fastened at the end of lines. These hooks, as we have before
remarked, were made with splinters of bone or reindeer horn. During the
polished-stone epoch this fishing instrument was much improved, and they
now possessed the real hook with a recurvate and pointed end. This kind
of hook was found by Dr. Uhlmann in one of the most ancient lacustrine
stations of Switzerland. But a curved hook was both difficult to make
and also not very durable; instead of it was used another and more
simple sort--the straight skewer fixed to serve as a hook. This is a
simple fragment of bone, about an inch long, very slender and pointed at
the two ends (fig. 77). Sometimes it is a little flattened in the
middle, or bored with a hole, into which the line was fastened.

[Illustration: Fig. 77.--Bone Skewers used as Fish-hooks.]

This little splinter of bone, when hidden by the bait and fastened to a
line, was swallowed by the fish and could not be disgorged, one of the
pointed ends being certain to bury itself in the entrails of the

Some of our readers will perhaps be surprised to learn that men of the
polished-stone epoch were in the habit of fishing with nets; but it is a
fact that cannot be called into question, for the very conclusive
reason, that the remains of these nets have been found.

How could it possibly come to pass that fishing-nets of the
polished-stone epoch should have been preserved to so late a period as
our times? This is exactly the question we are about to answer.

On the lakes of Switzerland and of other countries, there used to exist
certain habitations of man. These are the so-called _lacustrine
dwellings_ which we shall have hereafter to consider in some
considerable detail, when we come to the Bronze Age. The men who lived
on these lakes were necessarily fishers; and some traces of their
fishing-nets have been discovered by a circumstance which chemistry
finds no difficulty in explaining. Some of these lake-dwellings were
destroyed by fire; as, for instance, the lacustrine settlements of
Robenhausen and Wangen in Switzerland. The outsides of these cabins,
which were almost entirely constructed of wood, burnt, of course, very
readily; but the objects inside, chiefly consisting of nets--the sole
wealth of these tribes--could not burn freely for want of oxygen, but
were only charred with the heat. They became covered with a slight
coating of some empyreumatic or tarry matter--an excellent medium for
insuring the preservation of any organic substance. These nets having
been scorched by the fire, fell into the water with the _débris_ of the
hut, and, in consequence of their precipitate fall, never having come in
actual contact with the flame, have been preserved almost intact at the
bottom of the lakes. When, after a long lapse of centuries, they have
been again recovered, these _débris_ have been the means of affording
information as to the manufacture both of the fishing-nets, and also as
to the basket-work, vegetable provisions, &c., of these remote ages.

In one of Dr. Keller's papers on these _lacustrine dwellings_, of which
we shall have more to say further on, we find a description and
delineation of certain fishing-nets which were recovered from the lake
of Robenhausen. In the Museum of Saint-Germain we inspected with
curiosity several specimens of these very nets, and we here give a
representation of one of them. There were nets with wide meshes like
that shown in fig. 78, and also some more closely netted. The mesh is a
square one, and appears to have been made on a frame by knotting the
string at each point of intersection. All these nets are made of flax,
for hemp had not yet been cultivated.

[Illustration: Fig. 78.--Fishing-net with wide Meshes.]

These nets were held suspended in the water by means of floats, made,
not of cork, but of the thick bark of the pine-tree, and were held down
to the bottom of the water by stone weights. We give a representation
here (fig. 79), of one of these stone weights taken from a specimen
exhibited in the Museum of Saint-Germain.

[Illustration: Fig. 79.--Stone Weight used for sinking the

These stone weights, large quantities of which are to be seen in
museums, and especially in that of Saint-Germain, are, in almost every
case, nothing but pebbles bored through the centre. Sometimes, however,
they were round pieces of soft stone, having a hole made in the middle.
Through this hole the cord was passed and fastened by a knot on the
other side. By means of the floats and weights the nets were made to
assume any position in the water which was wished.

The large size of the meshes in the nets belonging to the polished-stone
epoch proves, that in the lakes and rivers of this period the fish that
were used for food were of considerable dimensions. Added to this,
however, the monstrous hooks belonging to this epoch which have been
found in the Seine tend to corroborate this hypothesis.

Thus, then, the art of fishing had arrived in the polished-stone epoch
to a very advanced stage of improvement.

In plate 80 we give a representation of fishing as carried on during the
polished-stone epoch.

[Illustration: Fig. 80.--Fishing during the Polished-stone Epoch.]

Returning to the subject of the ancient Danes, we must add, that these
men, who lived on the sea-coasts, clad themselves in skins of beasts,
rendered supple by the fat of the seal and marrow extracted from the
bones of some of the large mammals. For dwelling-places they used tents
likewise made of skins prepared in the same way.

_Arts and Manufactures._--What degree of skill in this respect was
attained by the men who lived during the polished-stone epoch? To give
an answer to this question, we must again ransack those same
kitchen-middens which have been the means of furnishing us with such
accurate information as to the system of food of the man of that period.
We shall also have to turn our attention to the remains found in the
principal caves of this epoch.

An examination of the instruments found in the kitchen-middens shows us
that the flints are in general of a very imperfect type, with the
exception, however, of the long splinters or knives, the workmanship of
which indicates a considerable amount of skill.

Fig. 81 represents a flint knife from one of the Danish deposits,
delineated in the Museum of Saint-Germain; and fig. 82 a _nucleus_, that
is, a piece of flint from which splinters have been taken off, which
were intended to be used as knives.

[Illustration: Fig. 81.--Flint Knife, from one of the Danish Beds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 82.--Nucleus off which Knives are flaked.]

We also give a representation of a hatchet (fig. 83) and a scraper (fig.
84), which came from the same source.

[Illustration: Fig. 83.--Flint Hatchet, from one of the Danish Beds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 84.--Flint Scraper, from one of the Danish Beds.]

Besides these instruments, bodkins, spear-heads, and stones for slings
have also been found in the kitchen-middens, without taking into account
a quantity of fragments of flint which do not appear to have been
wrought with any special purpose in view, and were probably nothing but
rough attempts, or the mere refuse of the manufacture.

[Illustration: Fig. 85.--Refuse from the Manufacture of wrought Flints.]

In the same deposits there are also found a good many pebbles, which,
according to the general opinion, must have been used as weights to sink
the fishing-nets to the bottom of the water. Some are hollowed out with
a groove all round them, like that depicted in fig. 86, which is
designed from a specimen in the Museum of Saint-Germain. Others have a
hole bored through the middle. This groove or hole was, doubtless,
intended to hold the cord which fastened the stone weight to the net.

[Illustration: Fig. 86.--Weight to sink Fishing-nets.]

_Weapons and Tools._--We shall now pass on to the weapons and tools
which were in use among the people in the north of Europe during the
period we are considering.

During the latter period of the polished-stone epoch working in stone
attained to a really surprising degree of perfection among the people of
the North. It is, in fact, difficult to understand how, without making
use of any metallic tools, men could possibly impart to flint, when
fashioned into weapons and implements of all kinds, those regular and
elegant shapes which the numerous excavations that have been set on foot
are constantly bringing to light. The Danish flint may, it is true, be
wrought with great facility; but nevertheless, an extraordinary amount
of skill would be none the less necessary in order to produce that
rectitude of outline and richness of contour which are presented by the
Danish specimens of this epoch--specimens which will not be surpassed
even in the Bronze Age.

The hatchets found in the north of Europe, belonging to the
polished-stone epoch, differ very considerably from the hatchets of
France and Belgium. The latter are rounded and bulging at the edges; but
the hatchets made use of by the people of the North (fig. 87) were
flatter and cut squarely at the edge. They were nearly in the shape of a
rectangle or elongated trapezium, with the four angles cut off. Their
dimensions are sometimes considerable; some have been found which
measured nearly 16 inches in length.

[Illustration: Fig. 87.--Danish Axe of the Polished-stone Epoch.]

Independently of this type, which is the most plentiful, the northern
tribes used also to manufacture the drilled hatchet, which is combined
in various ways with the hammer. In these instruments, the best
workmanship and the most pleasing shapes are to be noticed. The figs.
88, 89 and 90, designed in the Museum of Saint-Germain, from authentic
specimens sent by the Museum of Copenhagen, represent double-edged axes
and axe-hammers. They are all pierced with a round hole in which the
handle was fixed. The cutting edge describes an arc of a circle, and
the other end is wrought into sharp angular edges.

[Illustration: Fig. 88.--Double-edged Axe]

[Illustration: Fig. 89.--Danish Axe-hammer, drilled for handle.]

[Illustration: Fig. 90.--Danish Axe-hammer, drilled for handle.]

These hatchets are distinguished from those of the reindeer epoch by a
characteristic which enables us to refer them without hesitation to
their real date, even in cases in which they have not yet been subject
to the operation of polishing. The hatchets of the reindeer epoch have
their cutting edge at the narrowest end, whilst those of the
polished-stone epoch are sharp at their widest end. This observation
does not apply specially to the Danish hatchets; it refers equally to
those of other European countries.

The spear-heads are masterpieces of good taste, patience, and skill.
There are two sorts of them. The most beautiful (figs. 91, 92) assume
the shape of a laurel-leaf; they are quite flat, and chipped all over
with an infinite amount of art. Their length is as much as 15 inches.
Others are shorter and thicker in shape, and terminate at the base in an
almost cylindrical handle. Sometimes they are toothed at the edge (fig.
93). These spear-heads were evidently fixed at the end of a staff, like
the halberds of the middle ages and the modern lance.

[Illustration: Fig. 91.--Spear-head from Denmark.]

[Illustration: Fig. 92.--Spear-head from Denmark.]

The poniards (fig. 94) are no less admirable in their workmanship than
the spear-heads, from which they do not perceptibly differ, except in
having a handle, which is flat, wide, solid, and made a little thicker
at the end. This handle is always more or less ornamented, and is
sometimes covered with delicate carving. To chip a flint in this way
must have required a skilful and well-practised hand.

[Illustration: Fig. 93.--Toothed Spear-head of Flint.]

[Illustration: Fig. 94.--Flint Poniard, from Denmark.]

After these somewhat extraordinary instruments, we must mention the
arrow-heads, the shapes of which are rather varied in their character.

The arrow-heads most frequently found are formed in the shape of a
triangular prism, terminating at the lower end in a stem intended to be
inserted into a stick (fig. 95); others are deeply indented at the base
and quite flat. Many are finely serrated on the edges, and occasionally
even on the inside edge of the indentation.

Figs. 95, 96, 97, and 98 represent the various types of Danish
arrow-heads, all of which are in the Museum of Saint-Germain, and from
which these designs were made.

[Illustration: Fig. 95.--Type of the Danish Arrow-head.]

[Illustration: Fig. 96.--Another Type of Arrow-head.]

[Illustration: Fig. 97.--Arrow-head.]

[Illustration: Fig. 98.--Arrow-head from Denmark.]

The chisels and gouges equally merit a special mention.

The chisel (fig. 99) is a kind of quadrangular prism, chipped in a bevel
down to the base.

[Illustration: Fig. 99.--Flint Chisel from Denmark.]

The gouges are hollowed out on one of their faces, so as to act as the
tool the name of which has been applied to them.

We next come to some curious instruments, of which we have given designs
taken from the specimens in the Museum of Saint-Germain; the purpose
they were applied to is still problematical. They are small flakes, or
blades, in the shape of a crescent (figs. 100, 101). The inner edge,
which was either straight or concave, is usually serrated like a saw;
the convex side must have been fixed into a handle; for the traces of
the handle may still be detected upon many of them. These instruments
were probably made use of as scrapers in the preparation of skins for
garments; perhaps, also, they were used as knives or as saws.

[Illustration: Fig. 100.--Small Stone Saw from the Danish Deposits.]

[Illustration: Fig. 101.--Another Stone Saw from Denmark.]

We must now turn our attention to instruments made of bone or stag's
horn. They are much less numerous than those of stone, and have nothing
about them of a very remarkable character. The only implement that is
worthy of notice is the harpoon (fig. 102). It is a carved bone, and
furnished with teeth all along one side, the other edge being completely
smooth. The harpoon of the reindeer epoch was decidedly superior to it.

[Illustration: Fig. 102.--Bone Harpoon of the Stone Age from Denmark.]

On account of its singularity, we must not omit to mention an object
made of bone, composed of a wide flat plate, from which spring seven or
eight teeth of considerable length, and placed very close together;
there is a kind of handle, much narrower, and terminating in a knob,
like the top of a walking-stick. This is probably one of the first combs
which ever unravelled the thickly-grown heads of hair of primitive man.

[Illustration: Fig. 103.--Bone Comb from Denmark.]

It is a well-known fact that amber is very plentiful on the coasts of
the Baltic. Even in the Stone Age, it was already much appreciated by
the northern tribes, who used to make necklaces of it, either by merely
perforating the rough morsels of amber and stringing them in a row, or
by cutting them into spherical or elliptical beads, as is the case

Fig. 104 represents a necklace and also various other ornaments made of
yellow amber, which have been drawn from specimens in the Museum of

[Illustration: Fig. 104.--Necklace and various Ornaments of Amber.]

Although these northern tribes of the polished-stone epoch were such
skilful workmen in flint, they were, nevertheless, but poor hands at
pottery. The _débris_ of vessels collected from the Danish
_kitchen-middens_, and also from the peat-bogs and tombs, are in every
way rough, and testify to a very imperfect knowledge of the art of
moulding clay. They may be said to mark the first efforts of a
manufacturing art which is just springing into existence, which is
seeking for the right path, although not, as yet, able to find it. The
art of pottery (if certain relics be relied on) was more advanced at a
more ancient period, that is, during the reindeer epoch.

We have already stated that during the reindeer epoch there existed
certain manufactories of weapons and tools, the productions of which
were distributed all round the adjacent districts, although over a
somewhat restricted circle. In the epoch at which we have now arrived,
certain _workshops_--for really this is the proper name to give
them--acquired a remarkable importance, and their relations became of a
much more extensive character. In several of the Belgian caves, flints
have been found which must have come from the celebrated workshop of
Grand-Pressigny, situated in that part of the present France which forms
the department of Indre-et-Loire, and, from their very peculiar
character, are easily recognisable. Commerce and manufacture had then
emerged from their merely rudimentary state, and were entering into a
period of activity implying a certain amount of civilisation.

The great principle of division of labour had already been put into
practice, for there were special workshops both for the shaping and
polishing of flints.

The most important of all the workshops which have been noticed in
France is, unquestionably, that of Grand-Pressigny, which we have
already mentioned. It was discovered by Dr. Léveillé, the medical man of
the place; but, to tell the truth, it is not so much in itself a centre
of manufacture as a series of workshops distributed in the whole
neighbourhood round Pressigny.

At the time of this discovery, that is in 1864, flints were found in
thousands imbedded in the vegetable mould on the surface of the soil,
over a superficies of 12 to 14 acres. The Abbé Chevalier, giving an
account of this curious discovery to the _Académie des Sciences_ at
Paris, wrote: "It is impossible to walk a single step without treading
on some of these objects."

The workshops of Grand-Pressigny furnish us with a considerable variety
of instruments. We find hatchets in all stages of manufacture, from the
roughest attempt up to a perfectly polished weapon. We find, also, long
flakes or flint-knives cleft off with a single blow with astonishing

All these objects, even the most beautiful among them, are nevertheless
defective in some respect or other; hence it may be concluded that they
were the refuse thrown aside in the process of manufacture. In this way
may be explained the accumulation of so many of these objects in the
same spot.

There were likewise narrow and elongated points forming a kind of
piercer, perfectly wrought; also scrapers, and saws of a particular type
which seem to have been made in a special workshop. They are short and
wide, and have at each end a medial slot intended to receive a handle.

[Illustration: Fig. 105.--Nucleus in the Museum of Saint-Germain, from
the Workshop of Grand-Pressigny.]

But the objects which are the most numerous of all, and those which
obviate any doubt that Pressigny was once an important centre of the
manufacture of flint, are the _nuclei_ (fig. 105), or the remnants of
the lump of flint, from which the large blades known under the name of
knives were cleft off. Some of these lumps which we have seen in the
Museum of St. Germain were as much as 11 and 13 inches in length; but
the greater part did not exceed 7 inches. The labourers of Touraine, who
often turn up these flints with their plough-shares, call them _pounds
of butter_, looking at the similarity of shape. At the present day these
_nuclei_ are plentiful in all the collections of natural history and

A strange objection has been raised against the antiquity of the
hatchets, knives, and weapons found at Pressigny. M. Eugène Robert has
asserted that these flints were nothing else but the refuse of the
siliceous masses which, at the end of the last century and especially at
the beginning of the present, were used in the manufacture of

The Abbé Bourgeois, M. Penguilly l'Haridon, and Mr. John Evans did not
find much difficulty in proving the slight foundation there was for this
criticism. In the department of Loire-et-Cher, in which the gun-flint
manufacture still exists, the residue from the process bears no
resemblance whatever to the _nuclei_ of Pressigny; the fragments are
much less in bulk, and do not present the same constantly-occurring and
regular shapes. Added to this, they are never chipped at the edges, like
a great number of the flakes coming from the workshops of Touraine.

But another and altogether peremptory argument is that the flints of
Pressigny-le-Grand are unfitted, on account of the texture, for the
manufacture of gun-flints. Moreover, the records of the Artillery Depôt,
as remarked by M. Penguilly l'Haridon, librarian of the Artillery
Museum, do not make mention of the locality of Pressigny having ever
been worked for this purpose. Lastly, the oldest inhabitants of the
commune have testified that they never either saw or heard of any body
of workmen coming into the district to work flints. M. Eugène Robert's
hypothesis, which MM. Decaisne and Elie de Beaumont thought right to
patronise, is, therefore, as much opposed to facts as to probability.

Very few polished flints are found in the workshops of
Pressigny-le-Grand; it is, therefore, imagined that their existence
commenced before the polished-stone epoch. According to this idea, the
_nuclei_ would belong to a transitional epoch between the period of
chipped stone, properly so called, and that of polished stone. The first
was just coming to an end, but the second had not actually commenced. In
other words, most of the Pressigny flints have the typical shapes and
style of cutting peculiar to the polished-stone age, but the polishing
is wanting.

This operation was not practised in the workshops of Pressigny until
some considerable period after they were founded, and were already in
full operation. In the neighbourhood of this locality a number of
polishers have been found of a very remarkable character. They are large
blocks of sandstone (fig. 106), furrowed all over, or only on a portion
of their surface, with grooves of various depths, in which objects might
be polished by an energetic friction.

[Illustration: Fig. 106.--Polisher from Grand-Pressigny, both faces
being shown.]

Some polishers of the same kind, which have been found in various
departments, are rather different from the one we have just named. Thus,
one specimen which was found by M. Leguay in the environs of Paris, in
the burial-places of Varenne-Saint-Hilaire, of which we give a
representation further on, is provided not only with grooves but also
hollows of a basin-like shape, and of some little depth.

The polishing of the flints was carried into effect by rubbing them
against the bottom of these hollows, which were moistened by water, and
no doubt contained siliceous dust of a harder nature than the stone
which had to be polished.

We must here pause for a moment to remark that all these operations
which were carried out by our ancestors in fashioning the flint could
not fail to have presented certain difficulties, and must have required
a remarkable development of intelligence and skill.

Working flints into shape, which appears at first sight a very simple
matter, is, however, a rather complicated operation, on account of the
properties of this mineral substance and the beds in which it lies.

In its natural state the flint presents itself in the shape of nearly
round lumps, which are brittle, but nevertheless very hard, and which,
like glass, can be split in any direction by a blow, so as to furnish
scales with sharp edges. In consequence of this circumstance, all that
would be requisite in order to produce sharp objects is to cleave off
flakes in the shape of a knife or poniard, by striking a flint, held in
the left hand, with another and harder flint or hammer. Instead of
holding in the left hand the flint which was to be wrought, it might
also be placed on a rest and, being held fast with the left hand,
suitable blows might be applied to the stone.

We must not, however, omit to mention, that to enable the flint to be
cut up into sharp splinters and to be broken in any desired direction,
it is necessary for it to have been very recently extracted from the
bosom of the earth; it must possess the humidity which is peculiar to
it, with which it is impregnated when in its natural bed. If pieces of
flint are exposed to the open air they cannot afterwards be readily
broken with any degree of regularity; they then afford nothing but
shapeless and irregular chips, of an entirely different character from
that which would be required in fashioning them. This moisture was well
known to the workmen who used to manufacture the gun-flints, and was
called the _quarry damp_.

The necessity that the flint should be wrought when newly extracted from
the earth, and that the stones should only be dug just in proportion as
they were wanted, brought about as a proximate result the creation and
working of mines and quarries, which are thus almost as ancient as
humanity itself. Being unable to make use of flints which had been dried
in the air, and consequently rendered unfit for being wrought, the
workmen were compelled to make excavations, and to construct galleries,
either covered or exposed to the open air, to employ wooden battening,
shores, supports; in short, to put in use the whole plant which is
required for working a stone-quarry. As, in order not to endanger the
lives of the labourers, it was found necessary to prevent any downfalls,
they were induced to follow out a certain methodical system in their
excavations, by giving a sufficient thickness to the roofs of the
galleries, by sinking shafts, by building breast-walls, and by adopting
the best plan for getting out the useless _detritus_. When, as was often
the case, water came in so as to hinder the miners, it was necessary to
get rid of it in order that the workmen should not be drowned. It was
also sometimes requisite that the galleries and the whole system of
underground ways should be supplied with air.

Thus their labour in fashioning the flint must have led our ancestors to
create the art of working quarries and mines.

It has been made a subject of inquiry, how the tribes of the Stone Age
could produce, without the aid of any iron tool, the holes which are
found in the flints; and how they could perforate these same flints so
as to be able to fit in handles for the hatchets, poniards, and knives;
in fact, lapidaries of the present day cannot bore through gun-flints
without making use of diamond dust. We are of opinion that the _bow_,
which was employed by primitive man in producing fire by rubbing wood
against wood, was also resorted to in the workshops for manufacturing
stone implements and weapons for giving a rapid revolving motion to a
flint drill which was sufficient to perforate the stone. Certain
experiments which have been made in our own day with very sharp
arrow-heads which belonged to primitive man have proved that it is thus
very possible to pierce fresh flints, if the action of the drill is
assisted by the addition of some very hard dust which is capable of
increasing the bite of the instrument. This dust or powder, consisting
of corundum or zircon, might have been found without any great
difficulty by the men of the Stone Age. These substances are, in fact,
to be met with on the banks of rivers, their presence being betrayed by
the golden spangles which glitter in the sand.

Thus the flint-drill, assisted by one of these powders, was quite
adequate for perforating siliceous stones. When it is brought to our
knowledge that the workmen of the Black Forest thus bore into Bohemian
granite in less than a minute, we shall not feel inclined to call this
explanation in question.[19]

Fig. 107 attempts to give a representation of the workshop at

Pressigny for shaping and polishing flints--in other words, a
manufacturing workshop of the polished-stone epoch.

[Illustration: Fig. 107.--The earliest Manufacture and Polishing of

In this sketch we have depicted the polisher found by M. Leguay, of
which we give a representation in fig. 108. In this picture it was
indispensable for us to show the operation of polishing, for the latter
is a characteristic of the epoch of mankind which we are now describing,
that is, the polished-stone period. It must, in fact, be remarked that
during the epoch of the great bear and the mammoth, and the reindeer
epoch, stone instruments were not polished, they were purely and simply
flakes or fragments of stone. During the epoch at which we have now
arrived, a great improvement took place in this kind of work, and stone
instruments were polished. It is therefore essential to call attention
to the latter operation.

[Illustration: Fig. 108.--Polisher found by M. Leguay.]

We think we ought to quote here the brief account M. Leguay has given of
the polisher represented in our figure. In his 'Note sur une Pierre à
polir les Silex trouvée en Septembre, 1860, à la Varenne-Saint-Hilaire
(Seine),' M. Leguay thus writes:--

"Amongst the many monuments of the Stone Age which I have collected at
Varenne-Saint-Hilaire, on the site of the ancient settlement which once
existed there, there is one which has always struck me, not only by its
good state of preservation, but also by the revelations which it affords
us as to one of the principal manufactures of these tribes--the
fabrication of flint weapons and utensils.

"This object is a stone for polishing and fashioning the finest kind of
hatchets. I discovered it in September, 1860, at a spot called _La
Pierre au Prêtre_, along with several other monuments of primitive art
which I intend before long to make public. This stone is a rough
sandstone of cubical shape, showing no trace whatever of having been
hewn. It is 13 inches in its greatest thickness, and measures 37 inches
long by 21 wide, and, just as in many boulders, one of its faces is well
adapted to the use for which it was employed.

"This is the face which was used for many long years for rubbing and
polishing the weapons made in the place, the remains of which are still
found in small quantities in the neighbourhood, and abound in the
burial-places, where they have been deposited as votive offerings.

"Almost the whole of its surface is occupied. In the centre is a basin
presenting an oval surface 25 inches the long way, and 12 inches the
narrow way. The stone, which has been considerably worn away in
consequence of long use, has been rubbed off to a central depth of about
1 inch; this portion must have been used for rubbing the larger objects
after they had been roughly shaped by chipping. The length of the basin
allowed a motion of considerable length to be given to the stone which
was being worked, at the same time giving facilities to the workman for
the exercise of all his strength. Added to this, this cavity enabled the
almond-like shape to be given to the objects--a form which they nearly
all present.

"Either in front or to the right, according to the position in which the
observer stands, and almost touching the edge of this basin, there is a
hole deeply hollowed in the stone, being 30 inches long; it extends
along almost the whole length of the sandstone, with the maximum breadth
of about 1 inch, and presents the shape of a very elongated spindle
hollowed out to a depth of something less than half an inch in the
centre, which tapers off to nothing at the two ends.

"The wear of the stone and the shape of this groove point out its
intention. It must have been used to reduce the edges or the sides of
the hatchet, which after the chipping and flat polishing were left
either too thick or too sharp for a handle to be easily fitted to them.
Added to this, it smoothed down the roughnesses caused by chipping,
which it replaced by a round form of no great thickness, which was again
and again rubbed flatly on the stone to give it a square and sharp-edged
level. This last operation took place in a basin, and it gave to the
hatchet a curve in a lengthwise direction which is by no means

"The thinning off of the edges of the groove was not an immaterial
matter. It not only assisted in forming the above-named curve, but also
prevented the cutting edge being distorted, and avoided the need of
subsequent repolishing, which spoiled the object by rubbing it away too

"It must not be for a moment imagined that the edge of the hatchet was
made in this groove. Examination proves the contrary, and that it was
done flatwise while polishing the rest of the object; and if sometimes
its thickness did not allow this, it was preliminarily done, and then
finished in the general polishing.

"But although this basin, and its accompanying groove, on account of
their dimensions, acted very well for polishing the large hatchets, the
case was different with the smaller ones. This is the reason why two
other smaller basins, and also a small groove, were made on the flat
part of the stone by the side of the others.

"These two basins were placed at two corners of the face of the stone,
but still parallel to the larger basin and also to the larger groove, so
as to be convenient for the requirements of the workman engaged in
polishing without compelling him to shift his position; one is 10
inches, and the other 13 inches in length, with a mean breadth of about
2-1/2 inches. They are both in the shape of a rather narrow almond, and
end almost in a point, which seems to show that they also were used in
polishing somewhat narrow objects--perhaps to set right the edges of
hatchets, in which the rubbing in the larger basin had produced cavities
prejudicial to the perfection of the faces.

"The small groove, placed very near the larger one, is 9 inches long. It
is the same shape as the other, but is not so deep, and scarcely half an
inch wide.

"Not far from the end of this latter groove, at the point where it
approaches the larger one, there are traces of a groove scarcely

"Lastly, the flat portions of the stone which are not occupied by the
basins and grooves, were sometimes used for touching up the polish, or
even for smoothing various objects.

"Thus, as we see, this polishing-stone, which is one of the most
complete in existence, has on it three basins of different sizes, two
well-defined grooves, and one only just sketched out. It would serve for
finishing off all the instruments that could be required; but,
nevertheless, two other sandstones of moderate size were found near it;
one round, and the other of a spindle-like shape; these, which were worn
and rubbed all over their surfaces, must also have been used in
polishing objects.

"Finding these stones was, however, a thing of frequent occurrence in
several spots of this locality, where I often met with them; they were
of all sizes and all shapes, and perfectly adapted for polishing small
flints, needles, and the cutting edges of knives, deposited with them in
the sepulchres.

"This polishing-stone, which is thickly covered with _dendrites_ or
incrustations, must have been in use at the time it was abandoned. I
found it about 2 feet below the surface of the soil, in which it was
turned upside down; that is, the basin lay next the earth. The few
monuments that were with it--one among which I looked upon as an idol
roughly carved in a block of sandstone--were all likewise turned upside
down. There had been sepulchres in the neighbourhood, but they had been
violated; and the displaced stones, as well as the bones themselves,
only served to point out the presence of the former burial-place."

The polishing of stone instruments was effected by rubbing the object
operated upon in a cavity hollowed out in the centre of the polisher, in
which cavity a little water was poured, mixed with zircon or corundum
powder, or, perhaps, merely with oxide of iron, which is used by
jewellers in carrying out the same operation.

It is really surprising to learn what an enormous quantity of flints
could be prepared by a single workman, provided with the proper
utensils. For information on this point, it is requisite to know what
could be done by our former flint-workers in the departments of Indre
and Loire-et-Cher, who are, in fact, the descendants of the workmen of
the Stone Age. Dolomieu, a French naturalist, desired at the beginning
of the century to acquaint himself with the quantity which these
workmen could produce, and at the same time to thoroughly understand the
process which they employed in manufacturing gun-flints.

By visiting the workshops of the flint-workers, M. Dolomieu ascertained
that the first shape which the workmen gave to the flint was that of a
many-sided prism. In the next place, five or six blows with the hammer,
which were applied in a minute, were sufficient to cleave off from the
mass certain fragments as exact in shape, with faces as smooth, outlines
as straight, and angles as sharp, as if the stone had been wrought by a
lapidary's wheel--an operation which, in the latter case, would have
required an hour's handiwork. All that was requisite, says Dolomieu, is
that the stones should be fresh, and devoid of flaws or heterogeneous
matter. When operating upon a good kind of flint, freshly extracted from
the ground, a workman could prepare 1000 proper flakes of flint in a
day, turning out 500 gun-flints, so that in three days he would
perfectly finish 1000 ready for sale. In 1789, the Russian army was
furnished with gun-flints from Poland. The manufactory was established
at Kisniew. At this period, according to Dolomieu, 90,000 of these
gun-flints were made in two months.

Besides those at Grand-Pressigny, some other pre-historic workshops have
been pointed out in France. We may mention those of Charente, discovered
by M. de Rochebrune; also those of Poitou, and lastly, the field of
Diorières, at Chauvigny (Loire-et-Cher), which appears to have been a
special workshop for polishing flint instruments. There is, in fact, not
far from Chauvigny, in the same department, a rock on which twenty-five
furrows, similar to those in the polishing-stones, are still visible; on
which account the inhabitants of the district have given it the name of
the "Scored Rock." It is probable that this rock was used for polishing
the instruments which were sculptured at Diorières.

The same kind of open-air workshops for the working of flints have also
been discovered in Belgium.

The environs of Mons are specially remarkable in this respect. At
Spiennes, particularly, there can be no doubt that an important
manufactory of wrought flints existed during the polished-stone epoch. A
considerable number of hatchets and other implements have been found
there; all of them being either unfinished, defective, or scarcely
commenced. We here give a representation (fig. 109) of a spear-head
which came from this settlement.

[Illustration: Fig. 109.--Spear-head from Spiennes.]

Sometimes these workshops were established in caverns, and not in the
open air. We are told this by M. J. Fournet, a naturalist of Lyons, in
his work entitled, 'Influence du Mineur sur la Civilisation.'

"For a very long time past," says M. Fournet, "the caves of Mentone had
been known to the inhabitants of the district, on account of the
accumulation of _débris_ contained in them, a boxful of which were sent
to Paris, before 1848, by the Prince of Monaco; the contents of it,
however, were never subjected to any proper explanation. Since this
date, M. Grand, of Lyons, to whom I am indebted for a collection of
specimens from these caves, carefully made several excavations, by which
he was enabled to ascertain that the most remarkable objects are only to
be met with at a certain depth in the clayey deposit with which the soil
of these caves is covered. All the instruments are rough and rudimentary
in their character, and must, consequently, be assigned to the first
commencement of the art. Nevertheless, among the flints some agates were
found, which, in my opinion, certainly came from the neighbourhood of
Frejus; and with them also some pieces of hyaline quartz in the shape of
prisms terminated by their two ordinary pyramids. We have a right to
suppose that these crystals, which resembled the _Meylan diamonds_ found
near Grenoble, did not come there by chance, and that their sharp
points, when fixed in a handle and acting as drills, were used for
boring holes in stone."

Flint was not, however, the only substance used during this epoch in the
manufacture of stone-hatchets, instruments and tools. In the caves of
France, Belgium and Denmark a considerable number of hatchets have been
found, made of gneiss, diorite, ophite, fibrolite, jade, and various
other very hard mineral substances, which were well adapted to the
purpose required and the use to which they were put.

Among the most remarkable we may mention several jade hatchets which
were found in the department of Gers, and ornamented with small hooks on
each side of the edge. One of these beautiful jade hatchets (fig. 110),
the delineation of which is taken from the specimen in the Museum of
Saint-Germain, was found in the department of Seine-et-Oise; it has a
sculptured ridge in the middle of each face.

[Illustration: Fig. 110.--Polished Jade Hatchet in the Museum of

But neither flint, gneiss, nor diorite exist in every country. For these
stones some less hard substance was then substituted. In Switzerland the
instruments and tools were generally made of pebbles which had been
drifted down by the streams. They were fashioned by breaking them with
other stones, by rubbing them on sandstone, or by sawing them with
toothed blades of flint according to their cohesive nature.

In some localities also objects of large size were made of serpentine,
basalts, lavas, jades, and other rocks chosen on account of their
extreme cohesiveness.

Manual skill had, however, attained such a pitch of perfection among the
workmen of this period, in consequence of their being habituated to one
exclusive kind of labour, that the nature of the stone became a matter
of indifference to them. The hammer, with the proper use of which our
workmen are almost unacquainted, was a marvellous instrument in the
hands of our ancestors; with it they executed prodigies of workmanship,
which seem as if they ought to have been reserved for the file and
grindstone of the lapidary of the present day.

We shall not, perhaps, surprise our readers if we add that as certain
volcanic lavas, especially obsidian, fracture with the same regularity
and the same facility as the flint, obsidian was employed by the natives
of America as a material for making sharp instruments. The ancient
quarries whence the Indians procured this rock for the manufacture of
instruments and tools, were situate at the _Cerro de Navajas_--that is,
the _Mountain of Knives_--in Mexico. M. H. de Saussure, the descendant
of the great geologist, was fortunate enough to meet with, at this spot,
pieces of mineral which had merely been begun upon, and allowed a series
of double-edged blades to be subsequently cut off them; these were
always to be obtained by a simple blow skilfully applied. According to
M. H. de Saussure, the first fashioning of these implements was confined
to producing a large six-sided prism, the vertical corners of which were
regularly and successively hewn off, until the piece left, or _nucleus_,
became too small for the operation to be further continued.

Hernandez, the Spanish historian, states that he has seen 100 blades an
hour manufactured in this way. Added to this, the ancient aborigines of
Peru, and the Guanches of Teneriffe, likewise carved out of obsidian
both darts and poniards. And, lastly, we must not omit to mention that
M. Place, one of the explorers of Nineveh, found on the site of this
ancient city, knives of obsidian, supposed to be used for the purpose of

Having considered the flint instruments peculiar to the polished-stone
epoch, we must now turn our attention to those made of stag's horn.

The valley of the Somme, which has furnished such convincing proof of
the co-existence of man with the great mammals of extinct species, is a
no less precious repository for instruments of stag's horn belonging to
the polished-stone epoch. The vast peat-bogs of this region are the
localities where these relics have been chiefly found. Boucher de
Perthes collected a considerable number of them in the neighbourhood of

These peat-bogs are, as is well known, former marshes which have been
gradually filled up by the growth of peat-moss (sphagnum), which, mixed
with fallen leaves, wood, &c., and being slowly rotted by the
surrounding water, became converted after a certain time into that kind
of combustible matter which is called peat. The bogs in the valley of
the Somme in some places attain to the depth of 34 feet. In the lower
beds of this peat are found the weapons, the tools, and the ornaments of
the polished-stone epoch.

Among these ancient relics we must mention one very interesting class;
it is that formed by the association of two distinct component parts,
such as stone and stag's horn, or stone and bone.

The hatchets of this type are particularly remarkable; they consist of a
piece of polished flint half buried in a kind of sheath of stag's horn,
either polished or rough as the case may be (fig. 111).

[Illustration: Fig. 111.--Polished Flint Hatchet, with a Sheath of
Stag's Horn fitted for a Handle.]

The middle of this sheath is generally perforated with a round or oval
hole intended to receive a handle of oak, birch, or some other kind of
wood adapted for such a use.

Fig. 112, taken from the illustration in Boucher de Perthes' work
('Antiquités Celtiques et Antédiluviennes'), represents this hatchet
fitted into a handle made of oak.

[Illustration: Fig. 112.--Flint Hatchet fitted into a Stag's-horn
Sheath, having an Oak Handle, from Boucher de Perthes' illustration.]

It is difficult to understand how it was that a hatchet of this kind did
not fall out of its sheath in consequence of any moderately violent
blow; for it seems as if there was nothing to hold it in its place. This
observation especially applies to hatchets, the whole length of
which--even the portion covered by the sheath--was polished; for the
latter would certainly slide out of their casing with ease. The fact is,
that complete specimens are seldom found, and, generally speaking, the
flints are separated from their sheaths.

With regard to the handles, the nature of the material they were made
from was unfavourable to their preservation through a long course of
centuries; it is, therefore, only exceptionally that we meet with them,
and even then they are always defaced.

Fig. 113 is given by Boucher de Perthes, in his 'Antiquités Celtiques,'
as the representation of an oaken handle found by him.

A number of these sheaths have been found, which were provided at the
end opposite to the stone hatchet with strong and pointed teeth. These
are boar's tusks, firmly buried in the stag's horn. These instruments
therefore fulfilled a double purpose; they cut or crushed with one end
and pierced with the other.

Sheaths are also found which are not only provided with the boar's
tusks, but are hollowed out at each end so as to hold two flint hatchets
at once. This is represented in fig. 114 from one of Boucher de Perthes'

[Illustration: Fig. 113.--Hatchet-handle made of Oak.]

[Illustration: Fig. 114.--Stag's-horn Sheath, open at each end so as to
receive two Hatchets.]

The hatchet fitted into a sheath of stag's horn which we here delineate
(fig. 115), was picked up in the environs of Aerschot, and is an object
well worthy of note; it is now in the Museum of Antiquities at Brussels.
Its workmanship is perfect, and superior to that of similar instruments
found in the peat-bogs of the valley of the Somme.

[Illustration: Fig. 115.--Polished Flint Hatchet from Belgium, fitted
into a Stag's-horn Sheath.]

Stag's horn was often used alone as a material for the manufacture of
tools which were not intended to endure any very hard work; among these
were instruments of husbandry and gardening.

We here give representations (figs. 116, 117, 118) from Boucher de
Perthes' illustrations, of certain implements made of stag's horn which
appear to have had this purpose in view. It is remarked that they are
not all perforated for holding a handle; in some cases, a portion of the
stag's antler formed the handle.

[Illustration: Fig. 116.--Gardening Tool made of Stag's Horn (after
Boucher de Perthes).]

[Illustration: Fig. 117.--Gardening Tool made of Stag's Horn (after
Boucher de Perthes).]

[Illustration: Fig. 118.--Gardening Tool made of Stag's Horn (after
Boucher de Perthes).]

In the course of his explorations in the peat-bogs of Abbeville, M.
Boucher de Perthes found numerous flakes of flint of irregular shapes,
the use of which he was unable to explain. But there have also been
discovered in the same deposits some long bones belonging to
mammals--tibia, femur, radius, ulna--all cut in a uniform way, either
in the middle or at the ends; he was led to imagine that these bones
might have been the handles intended to hold the flints. In order to
assure himself that this idea was well founded, he took one of the bones
and a stone which came out of the peat, and, having put them together,
he found he had made a kind of chisel, well-adapted for cutting,
scooping-out, scratching and polishing horn or wood. He tried this
experiment again several times, and always with full success. If the
stone did not fit firmly into the bone, one or two wooden wedges were
sufficient to steady it.

After this, Boucher de Perthes entertained no doubt whatever that these
bones had been formerly employed as handles for flint implements. The
same handle would serve for several stones, owing to the ease with which
the artisan could take one flint out and replace it with another, by the
aid of nothing but these wooden wedges. This is the reason why, in the
peat-bogs, flints of this sort are always much more plentiful than the
bone handles. We must also state that it seems as if they took little or
no trouble in repairing the flints when they were blunted, knowing how
easy it would be to replace them. They were thrown away, without further
care; hence their profusion.

These handles are made of extremely hard bone, from which we may
conclude that they were applied to operations requiring solid tools.
Most of them held the flint at one end only; but some were open at both
ends, and would serve as handles for two tools at once.

Figs. 119 and 120 represent some of these flint tools in bone
handles--the plates are taken from those in Boucher de Perthes' work.

[Illustration: Fig. 119.--Flint Tool in a Bone Handle.]

[Illustration: Fig. 120.--Flint Tool with Bone Handle.]

Generally speaking, these handles gave but little trouble to those who
made them. They were content with merely breaking the bone across,
without even smoothing down the fracture, and then enlarging the
medullary hollow which naturally existed; next they roughly squared or
rounded the end which was intended to be grasped by the hand.

In fig. 121, we delineate one of these bone handles which is much more
carefully fashioned; it has been cut off smooth at the open end, and the
opposite extremity has been rounded off into a knob, which is ornamented
with a design.

[Illustration: Fig. 121.--Ornamented Bone Handle.]

During the polished-stone epoch, as during that which preceded it, the
teeth of certain mammals were used in the way of ornament. But they were
not content, as heretofore, with merely perforating them with holes and
hanging them in a string round their necks; they were now wrought with
considerable care. The teeth of the wild boar were those chiefly
selected for this purpose. They were split lengthwise, so as to render
them only half their original thickness, and were then polished and
perforated with holes in order to string them.

In the peat-mosses of the valley of the Somme a number of boars' tusks
have been found thus fashioned. The most curious discovery of this kind
which has been made, was that of the object of which we give a sketch in
fig. 122. It was found in 1834, near Pecquigny (Somme), and is composed
of nineteen boars' tusks split into two halves, as we before mentioned,
perfectly polished, and perforated at each end with a round hole.
Through these holes was passed a string of some tendinous substance, the
remains of which were, it is stated, actually to be seen at the time of
the discovery. A necklace of this kind must have been of considerable
value, as it would have necessitated a large amount of very tedious and
delicate work.

[Illustration: Fig. 122.--Necklace made of Boars' Tusks, longitudinally

In the peat-bogs near Brussels polished flints have likewise been found,
associated with animal bones, and two specimens of the human _humerus_,
belonging to two individuals.

The peat-bogs of Antwerp, in which were found a human frontal bone,
characterised by its great thickness, and its small surface, have also
furnished fine specimens of flint knives (fig. 123), which are in no way
inferior to the best of those discovered at Grand-Pressigny.

[Illustration: Fig. 123.--Flint Knife, from the Peat-bogs near Antwerp.]

On none of the instruments of bone or horn, of which we have been
speaking, are to be found the designs which we have described as being
the work of man during the reindeer epoch. The artistic instinct seems
to have entirely vanished. Perhaps the diluvial catastrophe, which
destroyed so many victims, had, as one of its results, the effect of
effacing the feeling of art, by forcing men to concentrate their ideas
on one sole point--the care of providing for their subsistence and

A quantity of remains, gathered here and there, bear witness to the fact
that in the polished-stone epoch the use of pottery was pretty widely
spread. Most of the specimens are, as we have said, nothing but
attempts of a very rough character, but still they testify to a certain
amount of progress. The ornamentation is more delicate and more
complicated. We notice the appearance of open-work handles, and
projections perforated for the purpose of suspension. In short, there is
a perceptible, though but preliminary step made towards the real
creations of art.

In the caves of Ariége, MM. Garrigou and Filhol found some remains of
ancient pottery of clay provided with handles, although of a shape
altogether primitive. Among the fragments of pottery found by these
_savants_, there was one which measured 11 inches in height, and must
have formed a portion of a vase 20 inches high. This vessel, which was
necessarily very heavy, had been hung to cords; this was proved by
finding on another portion of the same specimen three holes which had
been perforated in it.

_Agriculture._--We have certain evidence that man, during the
polished-stone epoch, was acquainted with husbandry, or, in other words,
that he cultivated cereals. MM. Garrigou and Filhol found in the caves
of Ariége more than twenty mill-stones, which could only have been used
in grinding corn. These stones are from 8 to 24 inches in diameter.

The tribes, therefore, which, during the polished-stone epoch, inhabited
the district now called Ariége, were acquainted with the cultivation of

In 1869, Dr. Foulon-Menard published an article intended to describe a
stone found at Penchasteau, near Nantes, in a tomb belonging to the
Stone Age.[20] This stone is 24 inches wide, and hollowed out on its
upper face. It was evidently used for crushing grain with the help of a
stone roller, or merely a round pebble, which was rolled up and down in
the cavity. The meal obtained by this pressure and friction made its way
down the slope in the hollowing out of the stone, and was caught in a
piece of matting, or something of the kind.

To enable our readers to understand the fact that an excavation made in
a circular stone formed the earliest corn-mill in these primitive ages,
we may mention that, even in our own time, this is the mode of
procedure practised among certain savage tribes in order to crush
various seeds and corn.

[Illustration: Fig. 124.--Primitive Corn-mill.]

In the 'Voyage du Mississippi à l'Océan,' by M. Molhausen, we read:--

"The principal food of the Indians consisted of roasted cakes of maize
and wheat, the grains of which had been pulverised _between two

In Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi (Central Africa), it is
stated that "the corn-mills of the Mangajas, Makalolos, Landines and
other tribes are composed of a block of granite or syenite, sometimes
even of mica-schist, 15 to 18 inches square by 5 or 6 inches thick, and
a piece of quartz, or some other rock of equal hardness about the size
of a half-brick; one of the sides of this substitute for a millstone is
convex, so as to fit into a hollow of a trough-like shape made in the
large block, which remains motionless. When the woman wants to grind any
corn, she kneels down, and, taking in both hands the convex stone, she
rubs it up and down in the hollow of the lower stone with a motion
similar to that of a baker pressing down his dough and rolling it in
front of him. Whilst rubbing it to and fro, the housewife leans all her
weight on the smaller stone, and every now and then places a little more
corn in the trough. The latter is made sloping, so that the meal as soon
as it is made falls down into a cloth fixed to catch it."

[Illustration: Fig. 125.--The Art of Bread-making in the Stone Age.]

Such, therefore, was the earliest corn-mill. We shall soon see it
reappear in another form; two mill-stones placed one over the other, one
being set in motion above the other by means of a wooden handle. This is
the corn-mill of the bronze epoch. This type maintained its place
down to historic times, as it constituted the earliest kind of mill
employed by the Roman agriculturist.

In order to represent the existence of agriculture during the
polished-stone epoch, we have annexed a delineation of a woman grinding
corn into meal in the primitive mill (fig. 125).

In the same figure may be noticed the way of preparing the meal coming
from the mill for making a rough kind of cake. The children are heating
in the fire some flat circular stones. When these stones are
sufficiently heated, they rapidly withdraw them from the fire, using for
the purpose two damp sticks; they then place on the stones a little of
the meal mixed with water. The heat of the stones sufficed to bake the
meal and form a sort of cake or biscuit.

We may here state, in order to show that we are not dealing with a mere
hypothesis, that it is just in this way that, in the poor districts of
Tuscany, the _polenta_ is prepared even in the present day. The dough
made of chestnut-meal, moistened with water, is cooked between flat
stones that are placed one over the other in small piles as portrayed in
the annexed plate.

In the background of the same sketch we see animals, reduced to the
state of domestic cattle, being driven towards the group at work. By
this particular feature we have wished to point out that the
polished-stone epoch was also that of the domestication of animals, and
that even at this early period the sheep, the dog and the horse had been
tamed by man, and served him either as auxiliaries or companions.

The traces of agriculture which we have remarked on as existing in the
caves of Ariége, are also found in other parts of France. Round the
hearths in the department of Puy-de-Dôme, M. Pommerol discovered
carbonised wheat intermingled with pottery and flint instruments. The
men of the period we are now considering no longer devoted themselves
exclusively to the pursuits of hunting and fishing. They now began to
exercise the noble profession of agriculture, which was destined to be
subsequently the chief source of national wealth.

_Navigation._--The first origin of the art of navigation must be
ascribed to the polished-stone epoch. With regard to this subject, let
us pay attention to what is said on the point by M. G. de Mortillet,
curator at the Archæological and Pre-historic Museum of
Saint-Germain--one of the best-informed men we have in all questions
relating to the antiquity of man.

In M. de Mortillet's opinion, navigation, both marine and inland, was in
actual existence during the polished-stone epoch.

[Illustration: Fig. 126.--The earliest Navigators.]

The earliest boats that were made by man consisted simply of great
trunks of trees, shaped on the outside, and hollowed out in the
interior. They were not provided with any rests or rowlocks for the oars
or paddles, which were wielded by both hands. In hollowing out the tree
they used both their stone implements and also the action of fire.

In the earliest boats, the trunk of the tree, cut through at the two
ends as well as their imperfect tools allowed, preserved its original
outward form. The boat, in fact, was nothing but the trunk of a tree
first burnt out and then chipped on the inside by some cutting
instrument, that is, by the stone-hatchet.

Some improvement subsequently took place in making them. The outside of
the tree was also chipped, and its two ends, instead of being cut
straight through, were made to terminate in a point. In order to give it
more stability in the water and to prevent it from capsizing, it was
dressed equally all over, and the bottom of the canoe was scooped out.
Cross-stays were left in the interior to give the boat more solidity,
and perhaps, also, to serve as a support to the back, or, more probably,
to the feet of the rowers, who sat in the bottom of the canoe.

Sails must soon have been added to these means of nautical progression.
But it would be a difficult matter to fix any precise date for this
important discovery, which was the point of transition between
elementary and primitive navigation, and more important voyages. This
progress could not have been made without the help of metals.

In an article entitled 'Origine de la Navigation et de la Pêche,' M. de
Mortillet passes in review all the discoveries, which have been made in
different countries, of the earliest boats belonging to pre-historic

After stating that the Museum of Copenhagen contains drawings of three
ancient canoes, he goes on to say:--

"The first canoe is the half-trunk of a tree 17 inches wide, cut
straight at the two ends, about 7 feet in length, and hollowed out in a
trough-like shape. This canoe much resembles that of Switzerland.

"The second was about 10 feet in length, one end terminating in a point,
the other more rounded. It was formed of the trunk of a tree hollowed
out into two compartments, a kind of cross-stay or seat being left at a
point about one-third of the length from the widest end.

"The third canoe, No. 295, likewise made of the trunk of a tree, was
much longer, having a length of at least 13 feet, and was terminated by
a point at both ends. At the sharpest end, the hollow is finished off
squarely, and there is also a small triangular seat at the extremity.
Two cross-stays were left in the interior.

"These three canoes are classed in the bronze series; a note of
interrogation or doubt is, however, affixed to the two latter.

"Ireland, like Scandinavia, has a history which does not go back very
far into the remote past; like Scandinavia, too, Ireland has been one of
the first to collect with care not only the monuments, but even the
slightest relics of remote antiquity and of pre-historic times. The
Royal Irish Academy has collected at Dublin a magnificent Museum, and
the praiseworthy idea has also been put in practice of publishing a
catalogue illustrated with 626 plates.

"In these collections there are three ancient canoes. The first is about
23 feet long, 31 inches wide, and 12 inches deep, and is hollowed out of
the trunk of an oak, which must have been at least 4-1/2 feet in
diameter. This boat, which came from the bogs of Cahore on the coast of
Wexford, is roughly squared underneath. One of the ends is rounded and
is slightly raised; the other is cut across at right angles, and closed
with a piece let in and fitted into grooves which were caulked with
bark. In the interior there are three cross-stays cut out of the solid

"The interior, at the time the canoe was discovered, contained a wooden
vessel, intended to bale out the boat, and two rollers, probably meant
to assist in conveying it down to the sea.

"The second is a canoe made of one piece of oak, rather more than 23
feet long, about 12 inches wide, and 8 inches deep. It terminates in a
point at both ends, and contains three cross-stays cut out of the solid
wood, and a small terminal triangular seat.

"The third, likewise made of one piece, is rather more than 20 feet long
and about 21 inches wide. On each side the wood is cut out so as to
receive a seat. This boat appears less ancient than the others, although
these may not have belonged to any very remote antiquity. In fact, Ware
states that in his time there were still to be seen on some of the Irish
rivers canoes hollowed out of a single trunk of oak.

"It is also well known that the lacustrine habitations constructed on
the artificial islands called _Crannoges_, existed to a late period in
Ireland. All the boats found round these island-dwellings are canoes
made all in one piece and hollowed out of the trunks of large trees.

"The trough-shaped canoe, consisting merely of the trunk of a tree cut
straight through at the two ends, and in no way squared on the outside,
also exists in Ireland. A very singular variety has been found in the
county of Monaghan;[22] at the two ends are two projections or handles,
which were probably used for carrying the boat from one place to
another, or to draw it up upon the beach after a voyage.

"According to Mr. John Buchanan, quoted by Sir C. Lyell,[23] at least
seventeen canoes have been found in the low ground along the margin of
the Clyde at Glasgow. Mr. Buchanan examined several of them before they
were dug out. Five of them were found buried in the silt under the
streets of Glasgow. One canoe was discovered in a vertical position,
with the prow upwards, as if it had foundered in a tempest; it contained
no small quantity of sea-shells. Twelve other canoes were found about
100 yards from the river, at the average depth of about 19 feet below
the surface of the ground, or about 7 feet below high-water mark. A few
only of them were found at a depth of no more than 4 or 5 feet, and
consequently more than 20 feet above the present level of the sea. One
was stuck into the sand at an angle of 45°; another had been turned over
and lay keel upwards; the others were in a horizontal position, as if
they had sunk in still water.

"Almost every one of these ancient boats had been formed of a single
trunk of oak, and hollowed out with some blunt instrument, probably
stone hatchets, assisted also by the action of fire. A few of them
presented clean-made cuts, evidently produced by a metallic tool. Two of
them were constructed of planks. The most elaborate of the number
bore the traces of square metal nails, which, however, had entirely
disappeared. In one canoe was found a diorite hatchet, and at the bottom
of another, a cork bung, which certainly implies relations with southern
France, Spain, or Italy.

"The Swiss lakes, with their lacustrine habitations, have furnished
numerous specimens of canoes. Dr. Keller, in his fifth Report on
Lake-Dwellings (plate X. fig. 23), represents a canoe from Robenhausen;
it is the half trunk of a tree 12 feet long and 29 inches wide, hollowed
out to a depth of from 6 to 7 inches only. Taking the centre as the
widest part, this trunk has been chipped off so as to taper towards the
two points which are rounded. It is, however, very probable that the
whole of this work was executed with stone implements; for the primitive
settlement of Robenhausen, situated in a peat-bog near the small lake
Pfæffikon in the canton of Zurich, although very rich in many kinds of
objects, has not, up to the present time, furnished us with any metal

"In his first report (plate IV. fig. 21), Dr. Keller had given the
sketch of another canoe which came from the Lake of Bienne. Like the
first, mentioned by M. Worsaae, it is the half of the trunk of a tree
cut almost straight through, its two ends hollowed out inside in the
shape of a trough, the exterior being left entirely unwrought.

"Professor Desor mentions several canoes found in the Lake of Bienne.
One of them, near the island Saint-Pierre, was still full of stones.
According to M. Desor the builders of the lacustrine habitations during
the polished-stone epoch, in order to consolidate the piles which were
intended to support their dwellings, were accustomed to bank them up
with stones which they fetched in boats from the shore; the bottom of
the lake being completely devoid of them. The canoe found at the isle of
Saint-Pierre had therefore sunk to the bottom with its cargo, and thus
may be dated back to the polished-stone epoch. M. Troyon[24] gives some
still more circumstantial details as to this canoe. It is partly buried
in the mud at the northern angle of the isle, and is made of a single
piece of the trunk of an oak of large dimensions; it is not much less
than 49 feet long with a breadth of from 3-1/2 feet to 4 feet.

"M. Desor, in his _Palafittes_, informs us that the Museum of Neuchâtel
has lately been enriched by the addition of a canoe which was
discovered in the lake; unfortunately, it was dreadfully warped in

"Also M. Troyon, in his 'Habitations Lacustres,' speaks of several
canoes at Estavayer and Morges.

"Estavayer is situated on the Lake of Neuchâtel. There are two
settlements near it, one of the Stone Age, and one of the bronze age.
One canoe is still lying at the bottom of the lake, near these
settlements. Another was brought out of the water by the fishermen some
years ago; it was about 10 feet in length, and 2 feet in width. The end
which had been preserved was cut to a point and slightly turned upwards.

"Morges is on the Lake of Geneva, in the Canton of Vaud. M. Forel
discovered there two interesting settlements of the bronze age. Two
canoes were found. According to M. Troyon, one of them which had been
carried up on to the bank was not long before it was destroyed. It was
formed of the trunk of an oak, hollowed out like a basin. The other
still lay near some piles in 13 to 15 feet of water. One portion of it
is buried in the sand, the other part, which is not covered, measures
about 10 feet in length by 2 feet in width. It terminates in a point and
has been cut out so as to provide a kind of seat, taken out of the
thickness of the wood at the end, just as in the third canoe represented
in the catalogue of the Copenhagen Museum.

"In France, too, several canoes have been found which date back to
pre-historic times.

"On the 6th of January, 1860, the labourers who were working at the
fortifications which the engineers were making at Abbeville found a
canoe in the place called Saint-Jean-des-Prés, on the left bank of the
canal; it was discovered in the peat, 36 feet below the road and about
220 yards from the railway station. It was made out of a single stick of
oak and was about 22 feet in length; its ends were square and cut in a
slope, so that its upper surface was 8 feet longer than its bottom,
which was flattened off to a width of about 14 inches. The greatest
width of its upper surface, the widest part being placed at about
one-third of its length, measured nearly 3 feet; from this point the
canoe contracted in width, and was not more than 18 inches in width at
the furthest end. Now, as no tree exists which diminishes to this extent
in diameter on so short a length, we must conclude that the trunk which
formed the canoe must have been shaped outside.

"Two projections about 4 inches in thickness, placed 6-1/2 feet from the
narrowest end, and forming one piece with the sides and the bottom,
which in this part are very thick, left between them an empty space
which was probably intended to fit against the two sides of a piece of
wood cut square at the bottom and meant to serve as a mast. The deepest
internal hollow had not more than 10 inches in rise, and the side, which
at the upper part was not more than an inch in thickness, followed the
natural curve of the trunk, and united with the much thicker portion at
the bottom. This canoe, although it was completely uncovered and still
remained in a very good state of preservation, has not been got out from
the place in which it lay.

"In 1834, another canoe was discovered at Estreboeuf, 33 feet long,
about 21 inches wide, and 18 inches deep. The bottom was flat, the sides
cut vertically both within and without, which gave it nearly the shape
of a squared trough. In its widest part it bore some signs of having
carried a mast. It was conveyed to the Museum at Abbeville and became
completely rotten; nothing now is left but shapeless remains.

"The Abbé Cochet relates that between 1788 and 1800, during the
excavation of the basin of _La Barre_, at Havre, at 11 feet in depth, a
canoe was discovered, more than 44 feet in length, and hollowed out of
one trunk of a tree. The two ends were pointed and solid, and the
interior was strengthened with curved stays formed out of the solid
wood. This canoe was found to be made of elm and was hollowed out to a
depth of nearly 4 feet. It was in so good a state of preservation that
it bore being carried to a spot behind the engineer's house on the south
jetty; but when it was deposited there, it gradually wasted away by the
successive action of the rain and sun.

"The same archæologist also mentions another canoe, with a keel of from
16 to 20 feet long, which was discovered in the year 1680, at
Montéviliers, in the filled-up ditches known under the name of La

"The Archæological Museum of Dijon also contains a canoe found in the
gravel in the bed of the Loue, on the boundaries of the department of
Jura, between Dôle and Salins. It is made of a single colossal trunk of
oak, shaped, in M. Baudot's opinion, by means of fire. Its present
length is 17 feet, and its width, 2 feet 4 inches; but it has become
much less in the process of drying. Some iron braces which were fixed to
keep the wood in position plainly showed that the width had diminished
at least 6 inches. In the interior, the traces of two seats or supports,
which had been left in the solid wood in order to give strength to the
canoe, might be very distinctly seen. The first was about a yard from
one end, the other 5-1/2 feet from the other. Both extremities terminate
in a point, one end being much sharper and longer than the other.

"At the Museum of Lyons there is a canoe which was found in the gravel
of the Rhone, near the bridge of Cordon, in the department of Ain. It is
41 feet in length, and hollowed out of a single trunk of oak tapering
off at the two ends. The middle of it is squared, and the interior is
strengthened by two braces left in the solid wood.

"Lastly, we must mention the canoe that was dug out of the bed of the
Seine in Paris, and presented by M. Forgeais to the Emperor. It is now
in the Museum of Saint-Germain. It was made of a single trunk of oak and
had been skilfully wrought on the outside, terminating in a point at
both ends. This canoe was bedded in the mud and gravel at the extremity
of the _Cité_, on the Notre-Dame side. Close by a worked flint was met
with, and various bronze weapons; among others, a helmet and several
swords were also found. In the beds of rivers objects belonging to
different epochs readily get mixed up. This flint appears to have
accidentally come thither; the bronze arms, on the contrary, seem to
mark the date of the canoe."[25]

We have previously spoken of the _primitive workshop of human industry_,
of which, indeed, we gave a design. In contrast to this peaceful
picture, we may also give a representation of the evidences which have
been preserved even to our own days of the earliest means of attack and
defence constituting regular war among nations. War and battles must
have doubtless taken their rise almost simultaneously with the origin of
humanity itself. The hatred and rivalry which first sprung up between
individuals and families--hatred and rivalry which must have existed
from all time--gradually extended to tribes, and then to whole
nations, and were outwardly expressed in armed invasions, pillage and
slaughter. These acts of violence were, in very early days, reduced to a
system in the art of war--that terrible expedient from which even modern
nations have not been able to escape.

In order to find the still existing evidence of the wars which took
place among men in the Stone Age, we must repair to that portion of
Europe which is now called Belgium. Yes, even in the Stone Age, at a
date far beyond all written record, the people of this district already
were in the habit of making war, either among themselves or against
other tribes invading them from other lands. This fact is proved by the
fortified enclosures, or _entrenched camps_, which have been discovered
by MM. Hannour and Himelette. These camps are those of Furfooz,
Pont-de-Bonn, Simon, Jemelle, Hastedon, and Poilvache.

All these different camps possess certain characteristics in common.
They are generally established on points overhanging valleys, on a mass
of rock forming a kind of headland, which is united to the rest of the
country by a narrow neck of land. A wide ditch was dug across this
narrow tongue of land, and the whole camp was surrounded by a thick wall
of stones, simply piled one upon another, without either mortar or
cement. At the camp of Hastedon, near Namur, this wall, which was still
in a good state of preservation at the time it was described, measured
10 feet in width, and about the same in height. When an attack was made,
the defenders, assembled within the enclosure, rained down on their
assailants stones torn away from their wall, which thus became at the
same time both a defensive and offensive work (fig. 127).

[Illustration: Fig. 127.--The earliest regular Conflicts between Men of
the Stone Age; or, the Entrenched Camp of Furfooz.]

These entrenched positions were so well chosen that most of them
continued to be occupied during the age which followed. We may mention,
as an instance, the camp of Poilvache. After having been a Roman citadel
it was converted in the middle ages into a strongly fortified castle,
which was not destroyed until the fifteenth century.

The camps of Hastedon and Furfooz were likewise utilised by the Romans.

Over the whole inclosure of these ancient camps worked flints and
remains of pottery have been found--objects which are sufficient to
testify to the former presence of primitive man. The enormous ramparts
of these camps also tend to show that pre-historic man must have
existed in comparatively numerous associations at the various spots
where these works are found.

If we were to enter into a detailed study of the vestiges of the
polished-stone epoch existing in the other countries of Europe, we
should be led into a repetition of much that we have already stated with
regard to the districts now forming France and Belgium. Over a great
portion of Europe we should find the same mode of life, the same manners
and customs, and the same degree of nascent civilisation. From the
scope, therefore, of our present work, we shall not make it our task to
take each country into special consideration.

We will content ourselves with stating that the caves of Old Castille in
Spain, which were explored by M. Ed. Lartet, have furnished various
relics of the reindeer and polished-stone epochs. Also in the provinces
of Seville and Badajos, polished hatchets have been found, made for the
most part of dioritic rocks.

Numerous vestiges of the same epoch have, too, been discovered in
various provinces of Italy.

We give in fig. 128 the sketch of a very remarkable arrow-head found in
the province of Civita-Nova (the former kingdom of Naples). It is
provided with a short stem with lateral grooves, so as to facilitate the
point being fitted into a wooden shaft.

[Illustration: Fig. 128.--Flint Arrow-head, from Civita-Nova (Italy).]

Elba, too, was surveyed by M. Raffaello Foresi, who found in this
Mediterranean isle a large quantity of arrows, knives, saws, scrapers,
&c., formed of flint, jasper, obsidian, and even rock crystal. There
were also found in the Isle of Elba workshops for shaping flints. Great
Britain, Wurtemburg, Hungary, Poland, and Russia all furnish us with
specimens of polished stone instruments; but, for the reason which we
stated above, it would be superfluous to dwell upon them.

We shall now pass on to an examination of the type of the human race
which existed among the northern nations of Europe during the
polished-stone age.

There is a cavern of Ariége which belongs to the polished-stone epoch,
and has been explored by MM. Garrigou and Filhol--this is the cavern of
_Lombrive_, or _des Echelles_; the latter name being given it because it
is divided into two portions placed at such very different levels that
the help of five long ladders is required in order to pass from one to
the other. This cave has become interesting from the fact that it has
furnished a large quantity of human bones, belonging to individuals of
both sexes and every age; also two entire skulls, which M. Garrigou has
presented to the Anthropological Society of Paris.

These two skulls, which appear to have belonged, one to a child of eight
to ten years of age, the other to a female, present a somewhat peculiar
shape. The forehead, which is high in the centre, is low at the sides;
and the orbits of the eyes and also the hollows of the cheeks are deep.

We shall not enter into the diverse and contrary hypotheses which have
been advanced by MM. Vogt, Broca, Pruner-Bey, Garrigou and Filhol, in
order to connect the skulls found in the cave of Ariége with the present
races of the human species. This ethnological question is very far from
having been decided in any uniform way; and so it will always be, as
long as scientific men are compelled to base their opinions on a limited
number of skulls, which are, moreover, always incomplete; each _savant_
being free to interpret their features according to his own system.

Neither in the Danish kitchen-middens nor in the lower beds of the
peat-bogs have any human bones been discovered; but the tombs in
Denmark belonging to the polished-stone epoch have furnished a few human
skulls which, up to a certain point, enable us to estimate the
intellectual condition and affinities of the race of men who lived in
these climates. We may particularly mention the skull found in the
_tumulus_ at Borreby in Denmark, which has been studied with extreme
care by Mr. Busk.

This skull (fig. 129) presents a somewhat remarkable similarity to that
of Neanderthal, of which we have spoken in a previous chapter. The
superciliary ridges are very prominent, the forehead is retiring, the
occiput is short and sloped forward. It might, therefore, find its
origin among the races of which the skulls of Neanderthal and Borreby
are the representatives and the relics, and the latter might well be the
descendants of the former.

[Illustration: Fig. 129.--The Borreby Skull.]

Anthropologists have had much discussion about the question, to what
particular human race of the present time may the skulls found in the
_tumulus_ at Borreby be considered to be allied? But all these
discussions are deficient in those elements on which any serious and
definite argument might be founded. It would, therefore, be going
beyond our purpose should we reproduce them here. If, in the sketch of
the Borreby skull, we place, before the eyes of our readers the type of
the human cranium which existed during the period of the Stone Age, our
only object is to prove that the primitive Northerner resembles the
present race of man, both in the beauty and in the regularity of the
shape of his skull; also, in order once more to recall to mind how false
and trivial must the judgment be of those short-sighted _savants_ who
would establish a genealogical filiation between man and the ape.

As we stated in the Introduction to this volume, a mere glance cast upon
this skull is sufficient to bring to naught all that has been written
and propounded touching the organic consanguinity which is asserted to
exist between man and the ape, to say nothing of the objects produced by
primitive man--objects which, in this work, we are studying in all
necessary detail. An examination of the labours of primitive man is the
best means of proving--every other consideration being set aside--that a
great abyss exists between him and the animal; this is the best argument
against our pretended _simial_ origin, as it is called by those who seek
to veil their absurd ideas under grand scientific phrases.


[18] 'Note sur un Amas de. Coquilles mélées à des Silex taillés, signalé
sur les Côtes de Provence,' by M. A. Gory ('Revue Archéologique').
Quoted in the 'Matériaux de l'histoire positive de l'Homme,' by M. de
Mortillet, vol. i. p. 535.

[19] See J. Evans, 'On the Manufacture of Stone Implements in
Pre-historic Times,' in Trans. of the International Congress of
Pre-historic Archæology (Norwich, 1868), p. 191; and C. Rau, 'Drilling
in Stone without Metal,' in Report of Smithsonian Institution, 1868.

[20] 'Les Moulins Primitifs,' Nantes, 1869. Extract from the 'Bulletin
de la Société Archéologique de Nantes.'

[21] 'Tour du Monde,' p. 374, 1860.

[22] Shirley's 'Account of the Territory of Farney.'

[23] J. Buchanan, 'British Association Reports,' 1855; p. 80. Sir C.
Lyell, 'Antiquity of Man,' p. 48.

[24] 'Habitations Lacustres des Temps anciens et modernes,' pp. 119,
159, 166.

[25] 'Origine de la Navigation et de la Pêche,' pp. 11-21. Paris, 1867.


     Tombs and Mode of Interment during the Polished-stone Epoch--
     _Tumuli_ and other sepulchral Monuments formerly called
     _Celtic_--Labours of MM. Alexandre Bertrand and Bonstetten--
     Funeral Customs.

Having in our previous chapters described and delineated both the
weapons and instruments produced by the rudimentary manufacturing skill
of man during the polished-stone epoch; having also introduced to notice
the types of the human race during this period; we now have to speak of
their tombs, their mode of interment, and all the facts connected with
their funeral customs.

A fortunate and rather strange circumstance has both facilitated and
given a degree of certainty to the information and ideas we are about to
lay before our readers. The tombs of the men of the polished-stone
epoch--their funeral monuments--have been thoroughly studied, described,
and ransacked by archæologists and antiquarians, who for many years past
have made them the subject of a multitude of publications and learned
dissertations. In fact, these tombs are nothing but the _dolmens_, or
the so-called _Celtic_ and _Druidical_ monuments; but they by no means
belong, as has always been thought, to any historical period, that is,
to the times of the Celts, for they go back to a much more remote
antiquity--the pre-historic period of the polished-stone age.

This explanatory _datum_ having been taken into account, we shall now
study the _dolmens_ and other so-called _megalithic_ monuments--the
grand relics of an epoch buried in the night of time; those colossal
enigmas which impose upon our reason and excite to the very highest
pitch the curiosity of men of science.

_Dolmens_ are monuments composed of a great block or slab of rock, more
or less flat in their shape according to the country in which they are
situate, placed horizontally on a certain number of stones which are
reared up perpendicularly to serve as its supports.

[Illustration: Fig. 130.--Danish _Dolmen_.]

This kind of sepulchral chamber was usually covered by earth, which
formed a hillock over it. But in the course of time this earth often
disappeared, leaving nothing but the naked stones of the sepulchral

[Illustration: Fig. 131.--_Dolmen_ at Assier.]

These are the bare stones which have been taken for _stone altars_,
being referred to the religious worship of the Gauls. The supposed
Druidical altars are, in fact, nothing but ruined _dolmens_. The
purpose, therefore, for which they were elevated was not, as has always
been stated, to serve as the scene of the sacrifices of a cruel
religion; for, at the present day, it is completely proved that the
_dolmens_ were the tombs of a pre-historic epoch.

These tombs were intended to receive several dead bodies. The corpses
were placed in the chamber which was formed by the upper slab and the
supports. Some of these chambers had two stages or stories, and then
furnished a larger number of sepulchres.

Figs. 132 and 133 represent different _dolmens_ which still exist in

[Illustration: Fig. 132.--_Dolmen_ at Connéré (Marne).]

[Illustration: Fig. 133.--Vertical Section of the _Dolmen_ of
Locmariaker, in Brittany. In the Museum of Saint-Germain.]

Some _dolmens_ are completely open to view, like that represented in
fig. 132, nothing impeding a perfect sight of them; others, on the
contrary, are covered with a hillock of earth, the dimensions of which
vary according to the size of the monument itself.

This latter kind of _dolmen_ more specially assumes the nature of a
_tumulus_; a designation which conveys the idea of some mound raised
above the tomb.

Figs. 134 and 135 represent the _tumulus-dolmen_ existing at Gavr'inis
(Oak Island), in Brittany, or, more exactly, in the department of
Morbihan. It is the diminished sketch of an enormous model exhibited in
the Museum of Saint-Germain. This model in relief has a portion cut off
it which, by means of a cord and pulley, can be elevated or lowered at
will, thus affording a view of the interior of the _dolmen_. It is
composed of a single chamber, leading to which there is a long passage.

[Illustration: Fig. 134.--_Tumulus-Dolmen_ at Gavr'inis (Morbihan).]

[Illustration: Fig. 135.--A portion of the _Dolmen_ of Gavr'inis.]

Were all these _dolmens_ originally covered by earth? This is a question
which still remains unsolved. M. Alexandre Bertrand, Director of the
Archæological Museum of Saint-Germain, to whom we owe some very
remarkable works on the primitive monuments of ancient Gaul, decides it
in the affirmative; whilst M. de Bonstetten, a Swiss archæologist of
great merit, is of the contrary opinion. The matter, however, is of no
very great importance in itself. It is, at all events, an unquestionable
fact that certain _dolmens_ which are now uncovered were once buried;
for they are noticed to stand in the centre of slightly raised mounds in
which the supports are deeply buried. As we before stated, the action of
time has destroyed the covering which the pre-historic peoples placed
over their sepulchres in order to defend them from the injuries of time
and the profanation of man. Thus, all that we now see is the bare stones
of the sepulchral chambers--for so long a time supposed to be altars,
and ascribed to the religious worship of the Gauls.

[Illustration: Fig. 136.--General Form of a covered Passage-Tomb.]

In considering, therefore, the _dolmens_ of Brittany, which have been so
many times described by antiquarians and made to figure among the number
of our historical monuments, we must renounce the idea of looking upon
them as symbols of the religion of our ancestors. They can now only be
regarded as sepulchral chambers.

[Illustration: Fig. 137.--Passage-Tomb at Bagneux, near Saumur.]

_Dolmens_ are very numerous in France; much more numerous, indeed, than
is generally thought. It used to be the common idea that they existed
only in Brittany, and those curious in such matters wondered at the
supposed Druidical altars which were so plentifully distributed in this
ancient province of France. But Brittany is far from possessing the
exclusive privilege of these megalithic constructions. They are found in
fifty-eight of the French departments, belonging, for the most part, to
the regions of the south and south-west. The department of Finisterre
contains 500 of them; Lot, 500; Morbihan, 250; Ardèche, 155; Aveyron,
125; Dordogne, 100; &c.[26]

[Illustration: Fig. 138.--Passage-Tomb at Plouharnel (Morbihan).]

The authors who have written on the question we are now considering,
especially Sir J. Lubbock in his work on 'Pre-historic Times,' and
Nilsson, the Swedish archæologist, have given a much too complicated
aspect to their descriptions of the tombs of pre-historic ages, owing to
their having multiplied the distinctions in this kind of monument. We
should only perplex our readers by following these authors into all
their divisions. We must, however, give some few details about them.

[Illustration: Fig. 139.--Passage-Tomb; the so-called _Table de César_,
at Locmariaker (Morbihan).]

Sir J. Lubbock gives the name of _passage grave_, to that which the
northern archæologists call _Ganggraben_ (tomb with passages); of these
we have given four representations (figs. 136, 137, 138, 139), all
selected from specimens in France. This name is applied to a passage
leading to a more spacious chamber, round which the bodies are ranged.
The gallery, formed of enormous slabs of stone placed in succession one
after the other, almost always points towards the same point of the
compass; in the Scandinavian states, it generally has its opening facing
the south or east, never the north.

The same author gives the name of _chambered tumuli_ (fig. 140) to tombs
which are composed either of a single chamber or of a collection of
large chambers, the roofs and walls of which are constructed with stones
of immense size, which are again covered up by considerable masses of
earth. This kind of tomb is found most frequently in the countries of
the north.

Fig. 140 represents, according to Sir J. Lubbock's work, a Danish
_chambered tumulus_.

[Illustration: Fig. 140.--A Danish _Tumulus_, or chambered Sepulchre.]

Before bringing to a close this description of megalithic monuments, we
must say a few words as to _menhirs_ and _cromlechs_.

_Menhirs_ (fig. 141) are enormous blocks of rough stone which were set
up in the ground in the vicinity of tombs. They were set up either
separately, as represented in fig. 141, or in rows, that is, in a circle
or in an avenue.

[Illustration: Fig. 141.--Usual shape of a _Menhir_.]

There is in Brittany an extremely curious array of stones of this kind;
this is the range of _menhirs_ of Carnac (fig. 142). The stones are here
distributed in eleven parallel lines, over a distance of 1100 yards,
and, running along the sea-shore of Brittany, present a very strange

[Illustration: Fig. 142.--The rows of _Menhirs_ at Carnac.]

When _menhirs_ are arranged in circles, either single or several
together, they are called _cromlechs_. They are vast circuits of stones,
generally arranged round a _dolmen_. The respect which was considered
due to the dead appears to have converted these enclosures into places
of pilgrimage, where, on certain days, public assemblies were held.
These enclosures are sometimes circular, as in England, sometimes
rectangular, as in Germany, and embrace one or more ranks.

[Illustration: Fig. 143.--_Dolmen_ with a Circuit of Stones
(_Cromlech_), in the Province of Constantine.]

Fig. 143 represents a _dolmen_ with a circuit of stones, that is, a
_cromlech_, which has been discovered in the province of Constantine; in
fig. 144 we have a group of Danish _cromlechs_.

[Illustration: Fig. 144.--Group of Danish _Cromlechs_.]

Among all these various monuments the "passage-tombs" and the _tumuli_
are the only ones which will come within the scope of this work; for
these only have furnished us with any relics of pre-historic times, and
have given us any information with respect to the peoples who occupied a
great part of Europe at a date far anterior to any traditionary record.

These stone monuments, as we have already stated, are neither Celtic nor
Druidical. The Celts--a nation which occupied a portion of Gaul at a
period long before the Christian era--were altogether innocent of any
megalithic construction. They found these monuments already in existence
at the time of their immigration, and, doubtless, looked upon them with
as much astonishment as is shown by observers of the present day.
Whenever there appeared any advantage in utilising them, the Celts did
not fail to avail themselves of them. The priests of this ancient
people, the Druids, who plucked from off the oak the sacred mistletoe,
performed their religious ceremonies in the depths of some obscure
forest. Now, no _dolmen_ was ever built in the midst of a forest; all
the stone monuments which now exist stand in comparatively unwooded
parts of the country. We must, therefore, renounce the ancient and
poetical idea which recognised in these _dolmens_ the sacrificial altars
of the religion of our ancestors.

Some _tumuli_ attain proportions which are really colossal. Among these
is Silbury Hill, the largest in Great Britain, which is nearly 200 feet
high. The enormous amount of labour which would be involved in
constructions of this kind has led to the idea that they were not raised
except in honour of chiefs and other great personages.

On consulting those records of history which extend back to the most
remote antiquity, we arrive at the fact that the custom of raising
colossal tombs to the illustrious dead was one that was much in vogue in
the ancient Eastern world. Traces of these monuments are found among the
Hebrews, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Egyptians, &c.

Thus Semiramis, Queen of Nineveh, raised a mound over the tomb of Ninus,
her husband. Stones were likewise piled up over the remains of Laïus,
father of Oedipus. In the 'Iliad,' Homer speaks of the mounds that were
raised to the memory of Hector and Patroclus. That dedicated to
Patroclus--the pious work of Achilles--was more than 100 feet in
diameter. Homer speaks of the _tumuli_ existing in Greece, which, even
in his time, were considered very ancient, and calls them the tombs of
the heroes. A _tumulus_ was raised by Alexander the Great over the ashes
of his friend Hephæstio, and so great were the dimensions of this
monument that it is said to have cost 1200 talents, that is about
£240,000 of our money. In Roman history, too, we find instances of the
same kind. Lastly, the pyramids of Egypt, those costly and colossal
funeral monuments, are the still visible representations of the highest
expression of posthumous homage which was rendered by the generations of
antiquity to their most illustrious and mighty men.

This, however, could not have been in every case the prevailing idea in
the men of the Stone Age, in causing the construction of these _tumuli_.
The large number of bodies which have been found in some of these
monuments completely does away with the notion that they were raised in
honour of a single personage, or even of a single family. They were
often sepulchres or burial-places common to the use of all. Among this
class we must rank the _tumuli_ of Axevalla and of Luttra, situated not
far from one another in Sweden. The first, which was opened in 1805,
contained twenty tombs of an almost cubical form, each containing a
skeleton in a crouching or contracted attitude. When the second was
opened, the explorers found themselves in the presence of hundreds of
skeletons placed in four rows one upon another, all in a contracted
position like those at Axevalla; along with these human remains various
relics of the Stone Age were also discovered.

[Illustration: Fig. 145.--Position of Skeletons in a Swedish Tomb of the
Stone Age.]

Fig. 145 represents the position in which the skeletons were found. M.
Nilsson has propounded the opinion that the "passage-graves" are nothing
but former habitations, which had been converted into tombs after the
death of those who had previously occupied them. When the master of the
house had breathed his last--especially in the case of some illustrious
individual--his surviving friends used to place near him various
articles of food to provide for his long journey; and also his weapons
and other objects which were most precious to him when in life; then the
dwelling was closed up, and was only reopened for the purpose of bearing
in the remains of his spouse and of his children.

Sir J. Lubbock shares in this opinion, and brings forward facts in its
favour. He recites the accounts of various travellers, according to
which, the winter-dwellings of certain people in the extreme north bear
a very marked resemblance to the "passage-tombs" of the Stone Age. Of
this kind are the habitations of the Siberians and the Esquimaux, which
are composed of an oval or circular chamber placed a little under the
surface of the ground, and completely covered with earth. Sir J. Lubbock
thinks, therefore, that in many cases habitations of this kind may have
been taken for _tumuli_--a mistake, he adds, all the more likely to be
made because some of these mounds, although containing ashes, remains of
pottery, and various implements, have not furnished any relics of human

In his work on the 'Sépultures de l'Age de la Pierre chez les Parisii,'
M. Leguay, a learned architect and member of the Archælogical Society,
has called attention to the fact that the construction of these
_dolmens_ betrays, as existing in the men of this epoch, a somewhat
advanced degree of knowledge of the elements of architecture:--

"The interment of the dead," says M. Leguay, "took place, during the
polished-stone epoch, in vaults, or a kind of tomb constructed on the
spot, of stones of various thicknesses, generally flat in shape, and not
elevated to any very great height, being laid without any kind of cement
or mortar. These vaults, which were at first undivided, were
subsequently separated into compartments by stones of a similar
character, in which compartments bodies were placed in various
positions. They were covered with earth or with flat stones, and
sometimes we meet with a circular eminence raised over them, formed of a
considerable heap of stones which had been subsequently brought
thither; this fact was verified by M. Brouillet in 1862 at the _Tombelle
de Brioux_ (Vienne).

"This kind of interment bears evidence of some real progress. Polished
flint instruments are met with intermingled with worked stones which
have been brought from a distance. Pottery of a very significant
character approaches that of the epoch at which ornamentation commenced;
and the _Tombelle de Brioux_ has furnished two vessels with projecting
and perforated handles formed in the clay itself. I met with specimens
similar to these both in shape and workmanship in the cremation-tombs at
Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, which, as I have previously stated, appeared
to me to be later in date than the simple interment situated below them.

"The first element in the art of construction, that is, stability, is
manifested in these latter monuments. They do not come up to the fine
_dolmens_, or to the monuments which followed them, but the principle on
which stones should be laid together is already arrived at. The slab
forming the covering is the first attempt at the lintel, the primitive
base of architectural science. By insensible degrees the dimensions of
the monument increased, the nature of the materials were modified, and,
from the small elementary monument to the grand sepulchral _dolmen_, but
one step remained to be made--a giant step, certainly, but not beyond
the reach of human intelligence.

"This step, however, was not accomplished suddenly and without
transitional stages. We find a proof of this in the beautiful ossuary
discovered in 1863, at Chamant near Senlis (Oise), on the property of
the Comte de Lavaulx. This monument does not yet come up to the most
beautiful of the class; but it possesses all the inspirations which
suggested the form of its successors, of which, indeed, it is the type.

"Almost flat slabs of stone, of a greater height than those forming the
vaults, and of rather considerable dimensions, are placed on edge so as
to form a square chamber. A partition, formed of stones of a similar
character, leaving a space or passage between them, separates the
chamber into two unequal portions. Some arrangement of this kind has
been observed in most of the finest _dolmens_; it is found at a spot not
far from Chamant, in a covered way known under the name of the _Pierres
Turquoises_, in the forest of Carnelle, near Beaumont-sur-Oise

"At Chamant, however, the chamber was not more than 3 to 4 feet in
height under the roof, which was formed of large flat stones, and was
large enough to allow of a considerable number of bodies to be deposited
within it, either in a recumbent or contracted position. Near them there
were placed delicately-wrought flints, and also some fine-polished
hatchets, one of which was of serpentine; another of large dimensions,
sculptured after the fashion of the diluvial hatchets, appeared to me to
have been prepared for polishing.

"The researches which have been made have brought to light but slight
traces of pottery, and the small fragments that I have examined do not
point out any very remote age for this monument. Nevertheless, the
investigation of this sepulchre, in which I was guided by a somewhat
different idea from that of merely studying the monument itself, was not
carried out with the exact care that would be necessary for collecting
all the indications which it might have furnished.

"Between the sepulchre of Chamant and the finest _dolmens_, the
distinction is nothing more than a question of dimensions rather than
any chronological point. The latter are formed of colossal stones, and
when one examines them and seeks to realise the process which must have
been employed for raising them, the mind is utterly perplexed, and the
imagination finds a difficulty in conceiving how it was possible to move
these immense masses, and, especially, to place them in the positions
they now occupy; for at the present day, in order to arrive at similar
results, it would be necessary to employ all the means which science has
at command."[27]

The megalithic constructions do not all date back to the same epoch.
Some were raised during the Stone Age, others during the Bronze Age.
There is nothing in their mode of architecture which will enable us to
recognise their degree of antiquity; but the relics which they contain
afford us complete information in this respect. Thus, in France,
according to M. Alexandre Bertrand, the _dolmens_ and the
_tumuli-dolmens_ contain, in a general way, nothing but stone and bone
articles; those of bronze and gold are very rare, and iron is never met
with. In the _true tumuli_, on the contrary, bronze objects predominate,
and iron is very abundant; this is an evident proof that these monuments
are of less ancient origin than the _dolmens_. In the same way we
ascertain that the Danish _dolmens_ and the great sepulchral chambers
of Scandinavia, all belong to the polished-stone epoch. When, therefore,
we class the _dolmens_ in this last-named epoch of man's history, we are
deciding in full harmony with the great body of _data_ which bear upon
the point.

In order to fix the period with still greater accuracy, we might add
that the _dolmens_ belong to the latter portion of the polished-stone
epoch and the commencement of the bronze age. But, as we before said, we
do not attach any importance to these distinctions, which would only
uselessly embarrass the mind of the reader.

An examination of the Danish _dolmens_ has led the author of the
'Catalogue of Pre-historic Objects sent by Denmark to the Universal
Exposition of 1867,' to sum up in the following words the details
concerning these sepulchral monuments:--

"As regards the Danish _dolmens_, the number of skeletons contained in
them varies much; in the largest, there are as many as twenty, and in
the smallest there are not more than five or six; sometimes they are
placed in stages one above the other.

"The bones are never found in natural order; the head lies close to the
knees, and no limb is in its natural place. It follows from this, that
in the course of interment the body was contracted into a crouching

"The bottom of the sepulchral chamber of a _dolmen_ is generally covered
with a layer of flints which have been subjected to fire; this is the
floor on which the body was deposited; it was then covered with a thin
coating of earth, and the tomb was closed. Yet, as we have just
observed, it was but very rarely that _dolmens_ contained only one
skeleton. They must, therefore, have been opened afresh in order to
deposit other bodies. It must have been on these occasions, in order to
contend with the miasma of putrefaction, that they lighted the fires, of
which numerous and evident traces are seen inside the _dolmens_. This
course of action continued, as it appears, until the time when the
_dolmen_ was entirely filled up: but even then, the tomb does not, in
every case, seem to have been abandoned. Sometimes the most ancient
skeletons have been displaced to make room for fresh bodies. This had
taken place in a _dolmen_ near Copenhagen, which was opened and searched
in the presence of the late King Frederick VII.

"A _dolmen_ situated near the village of Hammer, opened a few years ago
by M. Boye, presented some very curious peculiarities. In addition to
flint instruments, human bones were discovered, which had also been
subjected to the action of fire. We are, therefore, led to suppose, that
a funeral banquet had taken place in the vicinity of the tomb, and that
some joints of human flesh had formed an addition to the roasted stag.
This is, however, the only discovery of the kind which has been made up
to the present time, and we should by no means be justified in drawing
the inference that the inhabitants of Denmark at this epoch were
addicted to cannibalism.

"The dead bodies were deposited along with their weapons and implements,
and also with certain vessels which must have contained the food which
perhaps some religious usage induced them to leave close to the body.
For a long time it was supposed that it was the custom to place these
weapons by the side of _men_ only. But in a _dolmen_ at Gieruen, a
hatchet was found near a skeleton which was evidently that of a woman.

"We now give the inventory of a 'find' made in a Danish _dolmen_, that
of Hielm, in the Isle of Moen, which was opened in 1853. The sepulchral
chamber was 16-1/2 feet in length, 11-1/2 feet in width, and 4-1/2 feet
in height.

"In it were discovered twenty-two spear-heads, the largest of which was
11 inches in length, and the smallest 5-1/2 inches; more than forty
flint flakes or knives from 2 to 5 inches in length; three flat
hatchets, and one rather thicker; three carpenter's chisels, the longest
of which measured 8 inches; a finely-made hammer 5 inches long; three
flint nuclei exactly similar to those found in the kitchen-middens; and
lastly, in addition to all these flint articles, some amber beads and
forty earthen vessels moulded by the hand."[28]

What were the funeral customs in use among men during the polished-stone
epoch? and what were the ceremonies which took place at that period when
they buried their dead? These are questions which it will not be
difficult to answer after a due investigation of the _dolmens_ and

In a great number of _tumuli_, animal bones have been found either
broken or notched by sharp instruments. This is an indication that the
funeral rites were accompanied by feasts just as in the preceding

The body which was about to be enclosed in the _tumulus_ was borne upon
boughs of trees, as is the case among some savage tribes of the present
day. The men and women attending wore their best attire; necklaces of
amber and shells adorned their necks. Men carrying torches walked in
front of the procession, in order to guide the bearers into the dark
recesses of the sepulchral chambers.

From these data fig. 146 has been designed, which gives a representation
of _a funeral ceremony during the polished-stone epoch_.

[Illustration: Fig. 146.--A _Tumulus_ of the Polished-stone Epoch.]

If we may judge by the calcined human bones which are rather frequently
met with in tombs, there is reason to believe that sometimes victims
were sacrificed over the body of the defunct, perhaps slaves, perhaps
even his widow--the custom of sacrificing the widow still being in
practice in certain parts of India.

Sir J. Lubbock is, besides, of opinion that when a woman died in giving
birth to a child, or even whilst she was still suckling it, the child
was interred alive with her. This hypothesis appears a natural one, when
we take into account the great number of cases in which the skeletons of
a woman and child have been found together.

M. Leguay in his 'Mémoire sur les Sépultures des Parisii,' which we
quoted above, expresses the opinion that after each interment, in
addition to the funeral banquet, a fire was lighted on the mound above
the _tumulus_, and that each attendant threw certain precious objects
into the flames.

The objects which were most precious during the polished-stone epoch
were flints wrought into hatchets, poniards, or knives.

"On to this burning hearth," says M. Leguay, "as numerous instances
prove, those who were present were in the habit of casting stones, or
more generally wrought flints, utensils and instruments, all made either
of some kind of stone or of bone; also fragments of pottery, and,
doubtless, other objects which the fire has destroyed.

"There are many of these objects which have not suffered any injury from
the fire; some of the flints, indeed, seem so freshly cut and are so
little altered by the lapse of time, that it might be readily imagined
that they had been but recently wrought; these were not placed in the
sepulchre, but are met with intermingled with the earth which covers or
surrounds the hearth, and appear in many cases to have been cast in
after the extinction of the fire as the earth was being filled in.

"Sometimes, indeed, when the archæologist devotes especial care to his
digging, he comes across a kind of layer of wrought flints which are, in
fact, to be looked upon as refuse rather than wrought articles. Their
position appears to indicate the surface of the soil during that epoch,
a surface which has been covered up by the successive deposits of
subsequent ages; and although some of these flakes may have been due to
some of the objects which had been placed in the sepulchre having been
chipped on the spot, there are many others which have not originated in
this way, and have come from objects which have been deposited in other

"All these stones, which are common to three kinds of burial-places,
have fulfilled, in my opinion, a votive function; that is to say, that
they represent, as regards this epoch, the wreaths and coronals of
_immortelles_, or the other objects which we in the present day place
upon the tombs of our relations or friends; thus following out a custom
the origin of which is lost in the night of time.

"And let not the reader treat with ridicule these ideas, which I hold to
be not far from the truth. Men, as individuals, may pass away, and
generations may disappear; but they always hand down to their progeny
and those that succeed them the customs of their epoch; which customs
will undergo little or no change until the causes which have produced
them also disappear. Thus it is with all that concerns the ceremonies
observed in bearing man to his last resting-place--a duty which can
never change, and always brings with it its train of sorrow and regret.
Nowadays, a small sum of money is sufficient to give outward expression
to our grief; but at these remote epochs each individual fashioned his
own offering, chipped his own flint, and bore it himself to the grave of
his friend.

"This idea will explain the diversity of shape in the flints placed
round and in the sepulchres, and especially the uncouthness of many of
the articles which, although all manufactured of the same material,
betray a style of workmanship exercised by numerous hands more or less
practised in the work.

"It may, however, be readily conceived that during an epoch when stones
were the chief material for all useful implements, every wrought flint
represented a certain value. To deprive themselves of these objects of
value in order to offer them to the manes of the dead was considered a
laudable action, just as was the case subsequently as regards still
more precious objects; and this custom, which was observed during many
long ages, although sometimes and perhaps often practised with the
declining energy inherent in every religious custom, was the origin of a
practice adopted by many of the nations of antiquity, that, namely, of
casting a stone upon the tomb of the dead. Thus were formed those
sepulchral heaps of stones called _gal-gals_, some of which still exist.

"It is, without doubt, to this votive idea that we must attribute the
fact that so many beautiful objects which ornament our museums have been
found deposited in these sepulchres; but we must remark that the large
and roughly-hewn hatchets, and also the knives of the second epoch, are
replaced, in the third epoch, by polished hatchets often even fitted
with handles, and also by knives of much larger size and finer

"As an additional corroboration of my ideas, I will mention a curious
fact which I ascertained to exist in two sepulchres of this kind which I
searched; the significance of this fact can only be explained by a
hypothesis which any one may readily develop.

"Each of them contained one long polished hatchet, broken in two in the
middle; the other portion of which was not found in the sepulchre.

"One is now in the Museum at Cluny, where I deposited it; the other is
still in my own possession. It is beyond all dispute that they were thus
broken at the time of the interment.

"Numerous hatchets broken in a similar way have been found by M. A.
Forgeais in the bed of the Seine at Paris, and also in various other
spots; all of them were broken in the middle, and I have always been of
opinion that they proceeded from sepulchres of a like kind, which,
having been placed on the edge of the river, had been washed away by the
flow of water which during long ages had eaten away the banks."

At a subsequent period, that is, during the bronze epoch, dead bodies
were often, as we shall see, reduced to ashes either wholly or in part,
and the ashes were enclosed in urns.


[26] Alexandre Bertrand's 'Les Monuments Primitifs de la Gaule.'

[27] 'Des Sépultures à l'Age de la Pierre,' pp. 15, 16. 1865.

[28] 'Le Danemark à l'Exposition Universelle de 1867.' Paris. 1868.





     The Discovery of Metals--Various Reasons suggested for explaining
     the Origin of Bronze in the West--The Invention of Bronze--A
     Foundry during the Bronze Epoch--Permanent and Itinerant Foundries
     existing during the Bronze Epoch--Did the knowledge of Metals take
     its rise in Europe owing to the Progress of Civilisation, or was it
     a Foreign Importation?

The acquisition and employment of metals is one of the greatest facts in
our social history. Thenard, the chemist, has asserted that we may judge
of the state of civilisation of any nation by the degree of perfection
at which it has arrived in the workmanship of iron. Looking at the
matter in a more general point of view, we may safely say that if man
had never become acquainted with metals he would have remained for ever
in his originally savage state.

There can be no doubt that the free use of, or privation from, metals is
a question of life and death for any nation. When we take into account
the important part that is played by metals in all modern communities,
we cannot fail to be convinced that, without metals civilisation would
have been impossible. That astonishing scientific and industrial
movement which this nineteenth century presents to us in its most
remarkable form--the material comfort which existing generations are
enjoying--all our mechanical appliances, manufactures of such diverse
kinds, books and arts--not one of all these benefits for man, in the
absence of metals, could ever have come into existence. Without the help
of metal, man would have been condemned to live in great discomfort;
but, aided by this irresistible lever, his powers have been increased a
hundredfold, and man's empire has been gradually extended over the whole
of nature.

In all probability, gold, among all the metals, is the first with which
man became acquainted. Gold, in a metallic state, is drifted down by the
waters of many a river, and its glittering brightness would naturally
point it out to primitive peoples. Savages are like children; they love
everything that shines brightly. Gold, therefore, must, in very early
days, have found its way into the possession of the primitive
inhabitants of our globe.

Gold is still often met with in the Ural mountains; and thence, perhaps,
it originally spread all over the north of Europe. The streams and the
rivers of some of the central countries of Europe, such as Switzerland,
France, and Germany, might also have furnished a small quantity.

After gold, copper must have been the next metal which attracted the
attention of men; in the first place, because this metal is sometimes
found in a native state, and also because cupriferous ores, and
especially copper pyrites, are very widely distributed. Nevertheless,
the extraction of copper from the ores is an operation of such a
delicate character, that it must have been beyond the reach of the
metallurgic appliances at the disposal of men during the early
pre-historic period.

The knowledge of tin also dates back to a very high antiquity. Still,
although men might become acquainted with tin ores, a long interval must
have elapsed before they could have succeeded in extracting the pure

Silver did not become known to men until a much later date; for this
metal is very seldom met with in the _tumuli_ of the bronze epoch. The
fact is, that silver is seldom found in a pure state, and scarcely ever
except in combination with lead ores; lead, however, was not known until
after iron.

Bronze, as every one knows, is an alloy of copper and tin (nine parts of
copper and one of tin). Now it is precisely this alloy, namely bronze,
which was the first metallic substance used in Europe; indeed the sole
substance used, to the exclusion of copper. We have, therefore, to
explain the somewhat singular circumstance that an alloy and not a pure
metal was the metallic substance that was earliest used in Europe; and
we must also inquire how it was that bronze could have been composed by
the nations which succeeded those of the polished-stone epoch.

At first sight, it might appear strange that an alloy like bronze should
have been the first metallic substance used by man, thus setting aside
iron, deposits of which are very plentiful in Europe. But it is to be
remarked, in the first place, that iron ores do not attract the
attention so much as those of tin and copper. Added to this, the
extraction of iron from its ores is one of the most difficult operations
of the kind. When dealing with ferruginous ores, the first operation
produces nothing more than rough cast iron--a very impure substance,
which is so short and brittle that it possesses scarcely any metallic
qualities, and differs but little from stone as regards any use it could
be applied to. It requires re-heating and hammering to bring it into the
condition of malleable iron. On the other hand, by simply smelting
together copper and tin ores and adding a little charcoal, bronze might
be at once produced, without any necessity for previously extracting and
obtaining pure copper and tin in a separate state. This will explain how
it came to pass that the earliest metal-workers produced bronze at one
operation, without even being acquainted with the separate metals which
enter into its composition.

We are left entirely to hypothesis in endeavouring to realise to
ourselves how men were led to mix together copper and tin ores, and thus
to produce bronze--a hard, durable and fusible alloy, and consequently
well adapted, without much trouble, for the fabrication, by melting in
moulds, of hatchets, poniards, and swords, as well as agricultural and
mechanical instruments.

Bronze was endowed with all the most admirable qualities for aiding the
nascent industrial skill of mankind. It is more fusible than copper and
is also harder than this metal; indeed, in the latter respect, it may
compete with iron. It is a curious fact that bronze has the peculiarity
of hardening when cooled gradually. If it is made red-hot in the fire
and is then suddenly cooled by plunging it into water, the metal becomes
more ductile and may be easily hammered; but it regains its original
hardness if it is again heated red-hot and then allowed to cool slowly.
This, as we see, is just the contrary to the properties of steel.

By taking advantage of this quality of bronze they were enabled to
hammer it, and, after the necessary work with the hammer was finished,
they could, by means of gradual cooling, restore the metal to its
original hardness. At the present day, cymbals and tom-toms are made
exactly in this way.

All these considerations will perhaps sufficiently explain to the
reader why the use of bronze preceded that of iron among all the
European and Asiatic peoples.

On this quasi-absence of manufactured copper in the pre-historic
monuments of Europe, certain archæologists have relied when propounding
the opinion that bronze was brought into Europe by a people coming from
the East, a more advanced and civilised people, who had already passed
through their _copper age_, that is, had known and made use of pure
copper. This people, it is said, violently invaded Europe, and in almost
every district took the place of the primitive population; so that, in
every country, bronze suddenly succeeded stone for the manufacture of
instruments, weapons and implements.

By the side of these _savants_, who represent to some extent, in
ethnological questions, the partisans of the great geological cataclysms
or revolutions of the globe, there are others who would refer the
appearance of bronze in Europe to a great extension of commercial
relations. They utterly reject the idea of any conquest, of any great
invasion having brought with it a complete change in manners, customs,
and processes of industrial skill. In their opinion, it was commerce
which first brought bronze from the East and introduced it to the men of
the West. This is the view of Sir Cornewall Lewis, the archæologist and
statesman, and also of Prof. Nilsson, who attributes to the Phoenicians
the importation of bronze into Europe.

Without attaining any great result, Nilsson has taken much trouble in
supporting this idea by acceptable proofs. We are called upon to agree
with the Danish archæologist in admitting that the Phoenicians, that is,
the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon went _with their ships_ to procure tin
from Great Britain, in order to make an alloy with it in their own
country, which alloy they subsequently imported into Europe.

This is nothing but historic fancy. To this romance of archæology we
shall oppose the simple explanation which chemistry suggests to us. Our
belief is that the bronze was fabricated on the spot by the very people
who made use of it. All that was requisite in order to obtain bronze,
was to mix and smelt together the ores of oxidised copper or copper
pyrites, and tin ore, adding a small quantity of charcoal. Now, copper
ore abounds in Europe; that of tin is certainly rare; and it is this
rarity of tin ore which is appealed to in support of the conjecture
against which we are contending. But, although tin ores are nowadays
rare in Europe, except in England and Saxony, they are, nevertheless, to
be met with in the centre and south of the Continent; and, doubtless, in
the early ages of mankind the quantities were quite sufficient to supply
the slender requirements of the dawning efforts of industrial skill. We
may, perhaps, be permitted to allege that the cause of the supplies of
tin ores being so poor in the centre and south of Europe, may be the
fact that they were exhausted by the workings of our ancestors. Thus, at
least, many of the deposits of copper, silver, and lead, have been
exhausted by the Romans, and we now find nothing more than the mere
remains of mines which were once very productive.

We may easily see that, in order to account for the presence of bronze
in Europe during the primitive epochs of mankind, it was not necessary
to build up such a framework of hypothesis as Prof. Nilsson has so
elaborately raised.

To sum up the whole matter, we may say that the use of bronze preceded
that of iron in the primitive industry of Europe and Asia; and that the
people of our hemisphere were acquainted with bronze before they came to
the knowledge of pure copper and tin; this is all that we can safely
assert on the point.

It might of course have been the case that copper and tin were first
used alone, and that the idea was subsequently entertained of combining
the two metals so as to improve both. But the facts evidently show that,
so far as regards Europe, things did not take place in this way, and
that bronze was employed in the works of primitive industry before
copper and tin were known as existing in a separate state.[29]

We must, however, state that in the New World the matter was different.
The Indians of North America, long before they knew anything about
bronze, were in the habit of hammering the copper which was procured
from the mines of Lake Superior, and of making of it weapons, ornaments
and implements.

After considering these general and theoretical points, we shall now
pass on to the history of the employment of bronze among men of
pre-historic ages, and shall endeavour to give some description of their
works for the manufacture of metals.

Facts handed down by tradition evidently show that, among the peoples
both of Europe and Asia, the use of bronze preceded that of iron.

Homer tells us that the soldiers of the Greek and Trojan armies were
provided with iron weapons, yet he reserves for the heroes weapons made
of bronze. It seems that bronze being the most ancient, was therefore
looked upon as the more noble metal; hence, its use is reserved for
chiefs or great warriors. Among all nations, that which is the most
ancient is ever the most honourable and the most sacred. Thus, to
mention one instance only, the Jews of our own times still perform the
ceremony of circumcision with a knife made of stone. In this case, the
stone-knife is an object consecrated by religion, because the antiquity
of this instrument is actually lost in the night of time.

Bronze (or brass) is often mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Tubal-cain,
the first metal-worker of the Scriptures, who forged iron for all kinds
of purposes, also wrought in bronze (or brass). This alloy was devoted
to the production of objects of ornament.

We read in the First Book of Kings (vii. 13, 14), "And King Solomon sent
and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow's son of the tribe of
Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he
was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works
in _brass_."

The word _brass_ must be here understood as being synonymous with
bronze, and certainly the Hebrew term had this signification.

As a specially remarkable object of bronze work, we may mention the "sea
of brass" of the Hebrews, which contained 3000 measures of water.

Herodotus[30] speaks of another colossal basin made of bronze, which was
sixty times the size of that which Pausanias, son of Cleobrontos,
presented to the temple of Jupiter Orios, a temple which had been built
near the Euxine, on the borders of Scythia. Its capacity was six hundred
_amphoræ_, and it was six "fingers" in thickness. The Greeks used to
employ these enormous basins in their religious ceremonies.

In Sweden and Norway, large receptacles of a similar kind were in
primitive ages employed in sacrificial ceremonies; they used to receive
the blood which flowed from the slaughtered animals.

In order to produce objects of this magnitude it was of course necessary
to have at disposal large foundries of bronze. These foundries, which
existed during historic periods, were preceded by others of less
importance used during the pre-historic epochs which we are considering,
that is, during the bronze epoch.

Vestiges of these ancient foundries have been discovered in Switzerland,
at Devaine, near Thonon, and at Walflinger, near Wintherthur; especially
also at Echallens, where objects have been found which evidently
originated from the working of some pre-historic foundry.

At Morges, in Switzerland, a stone mould has been discovered, intended
for casting hatchets. By running bronze into this ancient mould, a
hatchet has been made exactly similar to some of those in our

The casting was also effected in moulds of sand, which is the more usual
and more easy plan.

From these _data_, it is possible to imagine what sort of place a
foundry must have been during the bronze epoch.

In the production of bronze, they used to mix oxydated tin ore, in the
proportions which experience had taught them, with oxydated copper ore
or copper pyrites; to this mixture was added a small quantity of
charcoal. The whole was placed in an earthen vessel in the midst of a
burning furnace. The two oxides were reduced to a metallic state by
means of the charcoal; the copper and tin being set free, blended and
formed bronze.

When the alloy was obtained, all that was necessary was to dip it out
and pour it into sand or stone moulds which had been previously arranged
for the purpose.

The art of casting in bronze must have played a very essential part
among primitive peoples. There was no instrument that they used which
could not be made by casting it in bronze. The sword-blades were thus
made; and, in order to harden the edge of the weapon, it was first
heated and then cooled suddenly, being afterwards hammered with a stone

In fig. 147, we represent the workshop of a caster in bronze during the
epoch we are considering. The alloy, having been previously mixed, has
been smelted in a furnace, and a workman is pouring it into a
sand-mould. Another man is examining a sword-blade which has just been

[Illustration: Fig. 147.--A Founder's Workshop during the Bronze Epoch.]

Bronze being precious, it is probable that in these ancient communities
bronze weapons and implements were reserved for rich and powerful
personages, and that stone weapons remained the attribute of the common
people. The use of bronze could only become general after the lapse of

The high value of bronze would lead to its being economised as much as
possible. The Pre-historic Museum at Copenhagen contains unquestionable
proofs of this scarcity of the metal, and the means which were used for
obviating it. Among the bronze hatchets in the Museum of Copenhagen,
there are some which could only have served as ornaments, for they
contained a nucleus of clay, and the metal of which they were composed
was not thicker than a sheet of paper.

We must also add that worn-out instruments of bronze and utensils which
were out of use were carefully preserved in order to be re-cast; the
same material re-appearing in various forms and shapes.

We have just given a representation of the _workshop of a founder of
bronze_; but we must also state that in addition to these fixed
establishments there must have existed, at the epoch of which we are
speaking, certain itinerant founders who travelled about, carrying all
their necessary utensils on their backs, and offered their services
wherever they were required.

Every one is acquainted with the travelling-tinkers who, at the present
day, make their way down from the mountains of Auvergne, the Black
Forest, the Alps, or the Cévennes, and are called _péirerous_ and
_estama-brazaïres_ in the south of France, and _épingliers_ in other
districts. These men are in the habit of working at separate jobs in the
villages and even in the public places of the towns. Of course they
travel with no more of the utensils of their craft than strict necessity
requires; but, nevertheless, what they carry is sufficient for every
purpose. A hollow made in the ground is the furnace in which they place
the nozzle of their portable bellows, and they hammer the iron on a
small anvil fixed in the earth.

Aided by these merely rudimentary means they execute pieces of
metal-work, the dimensions of which are really surprising. They make
nails and tacks, and even worm screws, repair locks, clean clocks, make
knives, mend skimmers, and restore umbrella-frames. They make bronze
rings out of republican _décimes_, and sell these popular trinkets to
the village beauties.

Incomparable in their line of business, these men are unequalled in
patching or re-tinning vessels made of tin and wrought or sheet-iron.
The mending of crockeryware also forms one of their numerous vocations;
and the repairing of a broken plate by means of an iron rivet is mere
play-work for their dexterous fingers. But melting down and
re-casting--these are the real triumphs of their art. The village
housewife brings to them her worn-out pewter vessel, and soon sees it
reappear as a new, brilliant, and polished utensil. Lamps, cans, covers,
and tin-plates and dishes are thus made to reappear in all their
primitive brightness.

The fusion and casting of bronze does not perplex them any more than
working in tin. They are in the habit of casting various utensils in
brass or bronze, such as candlesticks, bells, brackets, &c. The crucible
which they use in melting brass is nothing but a hole dug in the earth
and filled up with burning charcoal, the fire being kept up with the
help of their bellows, the nozzle of which is lengthened so as to open
into the middle of the charcoal. On this furnace they place their
portable crucible, which is a kind of earthen ladle provided with a

Their system of casting is simple in the extreme. The pressed sand,
which serves them for a mould, is procured from the ditch at the side of
the road. Into this mould they pour the alloy out of the very crucible
in which it has been melted.

These itinerant metallurgists, these _estama-brazaïres_, who may be
noticed working in the villages of Lower Languedoc, whose ways we have
just depicted (not without some degree of pleasant reminiscence), are
nothing but the descendants of the travelling metal-workers of the
pre-historic bronze epoch. In addition to the permanent establishment of
this kind--the foundries, the remains of which have been found in
Switzerland, the French Jura, Germany and Denmark, there certainly
existed at that time certain workmen who travelled about singly, from
place to place, exercising their trade. Their stock of tools, like the
objects which they had to make or repair, was of a very simple
character; the sand from the wayside formed their moulds, and their fuel
was the dry wood of the forest.

The existence, at this remote epoch in the history of mankind, of the
itinerant workers in metal is proved by the fact, that practitioners of
this kind were known in the earliest _historic_ periods who had already
to some extent become proficients in the art. Moses, the Hebrew
lawgiver, was able in the wilderness to make a brazen serpent, the sight
of which healed the Israelites who had been bitten by venomous snakes;
and, during the retirement of the prophet to Mount Sinai, Aaron seemed
to find no difficulty in casting the golden calf, which was required of
him by the murmurs of the people. Itinerant founders must therefore have
accompanied the Jewish army.

We have been compelled to dwell to some extent on the general
considerations which bear upon the introduction of bronze among the
ancient inhabitants of Europe who succeeded the men of the Stone Age. In
the chapters which follow we intend as far as possible to trace out the
picture of that period of man's history, which is called _the Bronze
Epoch_, and constitutes the first division of _the Age of Metals_.


[29] It must, however, be observed that the author's theory does not
agree with the opinion of metallurgists, who do not consider the
reduction of mixed copper and tin ore a practically effective process,
and would favour the more usual view that the metals were smelted
separately, and afterwards fused together to form bronze.--(_Note to
Eng. Trans._)

[30] Book iv. p. 81.


     The Sources of Information at our Disposal for reconstructing the
     History of the Bronze Epoch--The Lacustrine Settlements of
     Switzerland--Enumeration and Classification of them--Their Mode of
     Construction--Workmanship and Position of the Piles--Shape and Size
     of the Huts--Population--Instruments of Stone, Bone, and Stag's
     Horn--Pottery--Clothing--Food--_Fauna_--Domestic Animals.

In endeavouring to trace out the early history of the human race we
naturally turn our attention to all the means of investigation which
either study or chance have placed at our disposal. Grottos and caves,
the rock-shelters, the ancient camps, the centres of flint-working, the
Scandinavian kitchen-middens, the _dolmens_, and the _tumuli_--all have
lent their aid in affording those elements for the representation of the
earliest epoch of the history of primitive man which we have already
considered. The data which we shall resort to for delineating the bronze
epoch will be of a different kind.

Among all the sources of authentic information as to the manners and
customs of man in his earliest existence, none, certainly, are more
curious than those ancient remains which have lately been brought to
light and explored, and have received the name of _lacustrine

The question may be asked, what are these _lacustrine dwellings_, and in
what way do they serve to elucidate the history of the bronze epoch?
These are just the points which we are about to explain.

The most important discoveries have often depended on very slight
causes. This assertion, although it has been made common by frequent
repetition, is none the less perfectly correct. To what do we owe the
knowledge of a multitude of curious details as to pre-historic peoples?
To an accidental and unusual depression of the temperature in
Switzerland. But we will explain.

The winter of 1853-1854 was, in Switzerland, so dry and cold that the
waters of the lakes fell far below their ordinary level. The inhabitants
of Meilen, a place situated on the banks of the Lake of Zurich, took
advantage of this circumstance, and gained from the lake a tract of
ground, which they set to work to raise and surround with banks.

In carrying out these works they found in the mud at the bottom of the
lake a number of piles, some thrown down and others still upright,
fragments of rough pottery, bone and stone instruments, and various
other relics similar to those found in the Danish peat-bogs.

This extraordinary accumulation of objects of all kinds on the dried bed
of the lake appeared altogether inexplicable, and every one was at fault
in their remarks; but Dr. Keller of Zurich, having examined the objects,
at once came to a right understanding as to their signification. It was
evident to him that they belonged to pre-historic times. By an
association of ideas which no one had previously dreamt of, he perceived
that a relation existed between the piles and the other relics
discovered in the vicinity, and saw clearly that both dated back to the
same epoch. He thus came to the conclusion, that the ancient inhabitants
of the Lake of Zurich were in the habit of constructing dwellings over
the water, and that the same custom must have existed as regards the
other Swiss lakes.

This idea was developed by Dr. Keller in five very remarkable memoirs,
which were published in German.[31]

This discovery was the spark which lighted up a torch destined to
dissipate the darkness which hung over a long-protracted and
little-known period of man's history.

Previous to the discovery made on the dried-up bed of the Lake of
Zurich, various instruments and singular utensils had been obtained from
the mud of some of the lakes of Switzerland, and piles had often been
noticed standing up in the depth of the water; but no one had been able
to investigate these vestiges of another age, or had had any idea of
ascribing to them anything like the remote antiquity which has since
been recognised as belonging to them. To Dr. Keller the honour is due of
having interpreted these facts in their real bearing, at a time when
every one else looked upon them as nothing but objects of curiosity. It
is, therefore, only just to pronounce the physician of Zurich to have
been the first originator of pre-historic archæological science in

In 1854, after the publication of Dr. Keller's first article, the Swiss
lakes were explored with much energy, and it was not long before
numerous traces of human settlements were discovered. At the present day
more than 200 are known, and every year fresh ones are being found.[32]

Thanks to the activity which has been shown by a great number of
observers, magnificent collections have been formed of these
archæological treasures. The fishermen of the lakes have been
acquainted, for many years back, with the sites of some of these
settlements, in consequence of having, on many occasions, torn their
nets on the piles sticking up in the mud. Numerous questions were asked
them, and they were taken as guides to the different spots, and ere long
a whole system of civilisation, heretofore unknown, emerged from the
beds of the Swiss lakes.

Among the lakes which have furnished the largest quantity of relics of
pre-historic ages, we may mention that of Neuchâtel, in which, in 1867,
no less than forty-six settlements were counted; in Lake Constance
(thirty-two settlements); in the Lake of Geneva (twenty-four
settlements); in the Lake of Bienne, canton of Berne (twenty
settlements); in the Lake of Morat, canton of Fribourg (eight

Next come several other lakes of less importance. The Lake of Zurich
(three settlements); the Lake of Pfæffikon, canton of Zurich (four
settlements); the Lake of Sempach, canton of Lucerne (four settlements);
the Lake of Moosseedorf, canton of Berne (two settlements); the Lake of
Inkwyl, near Soleure (one settlement); the Lake of Nussbaumen, canton of
Thurgau (one settlement); the Lake of Zug, &c.

Pile-work has also been discovered in former lakes now transformed into
peat-bogs. We must place in this class the peat-bog of Wauwyl, canton of
Lucerne (five settlements).

We will mention, in the last place, the settlement at the bridge of
Thièle, on the water-course which unites the lakes of Bienne and
Neuchâtel. This settlement must once have formed a portion of the Lake
of Bienne, at the time when the latter extended as far as the bridge of

The lacustrine villages of Switzerland do not all belong to the same
period. The nature of the remains that they contain indubitably prove
that some are far more ancient than others. The vestiges have been
discovered of three successive epochs--the polished-stone epoch and the
epochs of bronze and of iron.

The lacustrine settlements of Switzerland, when considered under the
heads of the various pre-historical epochs to which they belong, may be
divided in the following way:--

_The Stone Age_:--The Lake of Constance (about thirty settlements); the
Lake of Neuchâtel (twelve settlements); the Lake of Geneva (two
settlements); the Lake of Morat (one settlement); the lakes of Bienne,
Zurich, Pfæffikon, Inkwyl, Moosseedorf, Nussbaumen, Wanger, &c.; the
settlements of Saint-Aubin and Concise, the peat-bog of Wauwyl, and the
settlement at the Bridge of Thièle.

_The Bronze Epoch_:--The Lake of Geneva (twenty settlements); the Lake
of Neuchâtel (twenty-five settlements); the Lake of Bienne (ten
settlements); also the lakes of Morat and Sempach.

_The Iron Epoch_:--The lakes of Neuchâtel and Bienne.

It may appear strange that the primitive inhabitants of Switzerland
should have preferred aquatic dwellings to habitations built on _terra
firma_, which could certainly have been constructed much more easily.
Further on in our work we shall have something to say as to the
advantages which men might derive from such a peculiar arrangement of
their dwellings; but we may now remark that this custom was somewhat
prevalent among the earliest inhabitants of Europe. Ancient history
furnishes us with several instances of it. Herodotus, speaking of the
Pæonians, of the Lake Prasias, in Thrace, says:--

"Their habitations are built in the following way. On long piles, sunk
into the bottom of the lake, planks are placed, forming a floor; a
narrow bridge is the means of access to them. These piles used to be
fixed by the inhabitants at their joint expense; but afterwards it was
settled that each man should bring three from Mount Orbelus for every
woman whom he married. Plurality of wives, be it observed, was permitted
in this country. On these planks each has his hut with a trap-door down
into the lake; and lest any of their children should fall through this
opening they took care to attach a cord to their feet. They used to feed
their horses and beasts of burden on fish. In this lake fish was so
abundant that if a basket was let down through the trap-door it might be
drawn up a short time afterwards filled with fish."

Sir J. Lubbock, repeating the statement of one of his friends who
resides at Salonica, asserts that the fishermen of the Lake Prasias
still inhabit wooden huts built over the water, as in the time of
Herodotus. There is nothing improbable in this, since the town of
Tcherkask in Russia is constructed in a similar way over the River Don,
and Venice itself is nothing but a lacustrine city built during historic
times over a lagune of the Adriatic sea.

We may add that even in modern times this custom of building villages on
piles still exists in some parts of the world. According to the evidence
of Dampier and Dumont d'Urville, habitations built on piles are to be
met with in New Guinea, Celebes, Ceram, Mindanao, the Caroline Islands,
&c. The city of Borneo is, indeed, entirely built on this plan. In some
of the isles of the Pacific Ocean there are several tribes of savages
who likewise make their dwellings over water. The Indians of Venezuela
have adopted this custom with the sole intention of sheltering
themselves from the mosquitoes.

It is quite permissible to suppose that the need for security was the
motive which induced the ancient inhabitants of Switzerland, and other
countries, thus to make settlements and live upon the lakes. Surrounded
as they were by vast marshes and impenetrable forests, they lived in
dread of the attacks of numerous wild beasts. They therefore taxed their
ingenuity to insure their safety as far as they possibly could, and no
means appeared more efficacious than that of surrounding themselves with
water. At a subsequent period, when men commenced to make war against
one another, these aquatic habitations became still more valuable. They
then constituted something in the nature of camps or fortification in
which, being well-protected from all danger of sudden surprise, the
people of the country could defy the efforts of their enemies.

We must, however, add, that in more recent times these buildings on
piles were--according to M. Desor--used only as storehouses for utensils
and provisions; the actual dwellings for men being built on _terra

These lacustrine dwellings are designated under various names by
different authors. Dr. Keller, who was the first to describe them, gave
them in German the name of _pfahlbauten_ (buildings on piles) which the
Italians have translated by the word _palafitta_. This latter
appellation, when gallicized by M. Desor, becomes _palafitte_. Lastly,
the name _ténevières_ or _steinbergs_ (mountains of stone) is given to
constructions of a peculiar character in which the piles are kept up by
masses of stone which have been brought to the spot. By Dr. Keller, this
latter kind are called _packwerkbauten_.

When we examine as a whole the character of the lacustrine settlements
which have hitherto been discovered, it may, in fact, be perceived that
those who built them proceeded on two different systems of construction;
either, they buried the piles very deeply in the bed of the lake, and on
these piles placed the platform which was to support their huts; or,
they artificially raised the bed of the lake by means of heaps of
stones, fixing in these heaps somewhat large stakes, not so much for the
purpose of supporting the habitations themselves as with a view of
making the heaps of stones a firm and compact body.

[Illustration: Fig. 148.--Section of the _Ténevière_ of Hauterive.]

This latter mode of construction is represented in fig. 148, taken from
a design given by M. Desor in his remarkable work 'Les Palafittes.'[33]

One or the other of these modes of construction was employed according
to the nature of the bed of the lake. In lakes with a muddy bottom, the
first plan could be easily employed; but when the bed was rocky, it was
necessary to have recourse to the second. This is the reason why on the
northern shore of the Lake of Neuchâtel, where the banks of limestone
come very close to the surface, a comparatively large number of
_ténevières_ may be observed.

These are the facts as generally noticed, especially in wide and deep
lakes; the edifice, however, was not always constructed in this mode. In
marshes and small lakes, which have now become peat-bogs, another system
was frequently applied, a remarkable instance of which is furnished by
the peat-moss at Wauwyl. In this locality were found several
quadrangular spaces very distinctly enclosed by piles, between which
were raised as many as five platforms one above the other. These piles
are naturally very long, and some are buried as much as seven feet in
the solid ground--an operation which must have required an enormous
amount of labour. The intervals between the platforms are filled up with
boughs of trees and clay, and the floors themselves are made in nearly
the same way as those we have before mentioned. The lowest rested
directly on the bed of the lake, and on the upper one the huts were

It is sometimes the case that these heaps of stones rise above the
water; they then form perfect artificial islands, and the habitations
which covered them are no longer, properly speaking, dwellings on piles.
Of this kind is the station on the Lake of Inkwyl in Switzerland; of
this kind, also, are the _crannoges_ of Ireland, of which we shall
subsequently make special mention. Some of these artificial islands have
braved the destructive action of ages, and are still inhabited at the
present time. M. Desor mentions the Isle of Roses in the Lake of
Starnberg (Bavaria) which has never been known to have been unfrequented
by man; it now contains a royal residence.

Let us revert to the mode of construction of the aquatic dwellings of

In all probability the stones used were conveyed to the required spot by
means of canoes made of hollowed-out trunks of trees. Several of these
canoes may still be seen at the bottom of Lake Bienne, and one, indeed,
is still laden with pebbles, which leads us to think that it must have
foundered with its cargo. But it is very difficult to raise these canoes
from the bottom, and it is, besides, probable that when exposed to the
open air they would fall to dust. Nevertheless, one of them is exhibited
in the Museum at Neuchâtel.

In the Museum at Saint-Germain there is a canoe very similar to that of
Neuchâtel. It is made out of the trunk of a hollow tree. A second canoe,
very like the first, but with the bark still on it, and in a bad state
of preservation, lies in the entry of the same Museum of Saint-Germain.
It was taken out of the Seine, as we stated when speaking in a previous
chapter of the first discovery of the art of navigation during the Stone

It may very easily be explained how the constructors went to work in
felling the trees and converting them into piles. M. Desor has remarked
that the pieces of wood composing the piles are cut cleanly through
round their circumference only; the central part shows inequalities just
like those which are noticed when a stick is broken in two by the hand
after having been cut into all round the outside. The builders of the
lacustrine villages, therefore, when they wanted to fell a tree must
have acted much as follows: having cut all round it to a depth of 3 or 4
inches, they fixed a cord to the top, and broke the tree down by
forcibly pulling at the upper part. They then cut it through in the same
way with stone or bronze hatchets, giving it the requisite length,
hewing it into a point at one end so that it should more easily
penetrate the mud. Sometimes a fire applied to the base of the tree
prepared for, and facilitated, the effect of the sharp instruments used.
A great number of the piles that have been found still bear the marks of
the fire and the cuts made by stone hatchets. In constructing the
_ténevières_, the labour of pointing the piles was needless, as the
latter were thoroughly wedged in by the accumulation of stones of which
we gave a representation in fig. 148.

When the piles were prepared, they had to be floated to the spot fixed
upon for the village, and to be fixed in the bed of the lake. If we
consider that, in many cases, the length of these piles reached to as
much as 16 or 20 feet, some idea may be formed of the difficulty of an
undertaking of this kind. In the construction of the _ténevières_ much
thicker piles were used, and the labour was much less difficult. For
instance, in the more ancient _ténevières_ of the Lake of Neuchâtel
piles are found made of whole trunks of trees which measure 10 to 12
inches in diameter.

The mind is almost confused when it endeavours to sum up the amount of
energy and strong will which the primitive population of Switzerland
must have bestowed on constructing, unaided as they were by metal
implements, the earliest lacustrine settlements, some of which are of
very considerable extent. The settlement of Morges, one of the largest
in the Lake of Geneva, is not less than 71,000 square yards in area.
That of Chabrey, in the Lake of Neuchâtel, measures about 60,000 square
yards; another, in the same lake, 48,000 yards; and, lastly, a third,
that of La Tène, 36,000 yards. There are many others which are smaller,
although of respectable dimensions.

The number of piles which must have been used in some of these
constructions is really surprising. M. Löhle has calculated that in the
single lacustrine village of Wangen, in the Lake of Constance, at least
40,000 piles have been fixed, and that several generations must have
been necessary to terminate the work. The more reasonable interpretation
to give to a fact of this kind is that Wangen, which was very thinly
populated at first, increased in size gradually as the numbers of
inhabitants augmented. The same remark may be doubtless applied to all
the important stations.

This was the plan employed in building a single habitation. When a whole
village had to be built in the open water, a methodical course of action
was adopted. They began by placing a certain number of piles parallel to
the shore, and these they at once threw across the bridge which was
intended to connect the village with the land, thus rendering the
carriage of the materials much less difficult.

When the bridge was finished, and before fixing all the piles, the
platform was commenced immediately; this constituted a base of
operations, by the help of which the pile work could more easily be

This platform was raised 3 or 4 feet above the surface of the water, so
as to obviate any danger arising from the waves during a tempest. It was
generally composed of branches and trunks of trees not squared, and
bound horizontally to each other, the whole cemented together with clay;
sometimes, also, they used thick rough slabs, which were obtained by
splitting trunks of trees with wedges. The platform was fixed firmly on
the pile-work, and in some cases wooden pegs were used to fasten
together the largest pieces of timber, so that the cohesion and
incorporation of the floor were rendered more complete. As soon as the
esplanade was finished, they then proceeded to the construction of the

The huts must have opened on to the platform by doors. Did they possess
windows? Nothing is known as to this point. But in all probability there
was an opening at the top of the roof, through which the smoke of the
fire made its way. To avoid any fear of conflagration, a stone
fire-place was placed in the middle of each dwelling. The daylight must
have come in through the hole in the roof in a quantity almost
sufficient to cause the absence of windows to be not much felt.

In each habitation, there was, no doubt, a trap-door in direct
communication with the lake, such as those which existed in the
dwellings of the Pæonians described by Herodotus. Under this trap-door
there was a reservoir made of osiers, intended for the preservation of

As the inhabitants of the lacustrine villages only lived upon the water
with a view of increasing their security, it would be absurd to suppose
that they would construct a large number of bridges between their
aquatic settlement and the banks of the lake. There must have been, in
general, but one bridge for each of these lake villages.

How were the huts constructed, and what were their shape and dimensions?
These questions certainly seem difficult to answer, for, as may be well
imagined, no specimen of these ancient dwellings has been preserved to
our days. Nevertheless, a few relics, insignificant in appearance,
enable us to reply to these inquiries in a way more or less

Everything seems to indicate that the huts were formed of trunks of
trees placed upright, one by the side of the other, and bound together
horizontally by interwoven branches. A coating of earth covered this

It has been fancied, from the imprint left by some of the branches which
were used in building these huts, that it might be inferred that they
were circular, like those which historians attribute to the ancient
Gauls. This was Troyon's opinion, and at first Dr. Keller's also. This
author has even sketched a circular hut in a plate representing a
restored lacustrine habitation, which accompanies one of his memoirs.
Sir C. Lyell, also, has reproduced this same plate in the frontispiece
of his work on the 'Antiquity of Man.' But Dr. Keller has subsequently
abandoned this idea, and in another of his memoirs he has supplied a
fresh design showing nothing but huts with flat or sloping roofs.

From this latter plate, taken from Dr. Keller's work, we here give a
representation of a Swiss lacustrine village (fig. 149).

[Illustration: Fig. 149--A Swiss Lake Village of the Bronze Epoch.]

The suggestions for this reconstructive sketch were furnished to Dr.
Keller not only by various scientific indications, but also and
especially by a drawing made by Dumont d'Urville among the Papuans of
New Guinea.

According to Dr. Keller, during the last century there still existed on
the river Limmat, near Zurich, some fishermen's huts built in a similar
way to those of the lacustrine villages.

What might have been the population of one of these settlements? This
estimate M. Troyon endeavoured to make--an undertaking of a very
interesting nature. He adopted as the base of his calculations the
lacustrine village of Morges (Lake of Geneva), which, as we have already
stated, had an area of 71,000 square yards. Allowing that only one-half
of this area was occupied by huts, the other half being reserved for
gangways between the dwellings, and assuming an average diameter of 16
feet for each hut, M. Troyon reckoned the number of dwellings in the
pre-historic village of Morges at 311. Next, supposing that four
individuals lived in each hut, the total amount of population he arrived
at was 1244 inhabitants.

We might very justly be surprised if men of the bronze epoch, who were
provided with metallic weapons, and were consequently in a much better
position for resisting any violent attack, had continued to dwell
exclusively in the midst of the water, and should not, to some extent,
have dispersed over _terra firma_, which is man's natural
standing-ground. It was, therefore, nothing more than might have been
expected, when the discovery was made of the relics of dwellings upon
land, containing remains of the bronze epoch. This discovery, in fact,
took place, and those investigating the subject came to the conclusion
that the valleys of Switzerland, as well as the lakes, were occupied
during this period by an industrious and agricultural people.

At Ebersberg, canton of Zurich, there was discovered--which is a very
curious fact--the remains of an ancient settlement situated on _terra
firma_, and containing utensils similar to those found in the lacustrine
settlements. In 1864, Dr. Clement searched several mounds composed of
pebbles bearing the traces of fire; these mounds were situated in the
neighbourhood of Gorgier (canton of Neuchâtel). One of these mounds has
furnished various objects of bronze intermingled with fragments of
charcoal, especially a bracelet and some sickles characterised by a
projection or set-off at the spring of the blade.

On the plateau of Granges (canton of Soleure), Dr. Schild studied a
certain spot which he considers to be the site of an ancient bronze
foundry; for, besides finding there pebbles and calcined earth, he also
discovered a number of reaping-hooks made with a shoulder, and also a
fragment of a sword and four finely-made knives.

A hatchet-knife was likewise found in the gorge of the Seyon, near
Neuchâtel; and a bracelet in the vicinity of Morges (canton of Geneva).
Some other bracelets, accompanied by calcined human bones, were
discovered near Sion, in the Valais.

Lastly, M. Thioly obtained from a cave of Mont Salève, near Geneva,
numerous fragments of pottery of the bronze epoch; and in a grotto on
the banks of the Reuse, in the canton of Neuchâtel, M. Otz found relics
of pottery of very fine clay, along with a quantity of bones.

Thus the people of this epoch did not dwell exclusively in settlements
made over the water. They also were in the habit of building habitations
on _terra firma_, and of furnishing them with everything which was
necessary for existence.

All the facts which have been observed in Switzerland may, doubtless, be
applied generally; and it may be said that during the bronze epoch the
nature of man's habitation became decidedly fixed. The caves of the
great bear and mammoth period, and the rock-shelters of the reindeer and
polished-stone periods were now succeeded by dwelling-places which
differ but little from those of the more civilised peoples who commence
the era of historic times.


[31] 'Pfahlbauten,' Zurich, 1854-1856.

[32] Various distinguished _savants_ have taken upon themselves the task
of making known to the public the results of these unceasing
investigations, and of bringing before the eyes of the present
generation the ancient civilisation of the Swiss valleys. Among the
works which have best attained this end, we must mention Troyon's
'Habitations Lacustres des Temps anciens et modernes,' Morlot's 'Etudes
Géologico-archéologiques en Danemark et en Suisse,' and M. Desor's
'Palafittes, ou Constructions Lacustres du Lac de Neuchâtel.' These
works, which have been translated into various languages, contain a
statement of all the archæological discoveries which have been made in

[33] 'Les Palafittes, ou Constructions Lacustres du Lac de Neuchâtel.'
Paris, 1865.


     Lacustrine Habitations of Upper Italy, Bavaria, Carinthia and
     Carniola, Pomerania, France, and England--The _Crannoges_ of

It was difficult to believe that Switzerland alone possessed the
monopoly of these pile-work-constructions. It was certainly to be
supposed that the southern slopes of the Alps, which were all dotted
over with large and beautiful lakes, must likewise contain constructions
of a similar character; this, at least, was M. Desor's opinion. After
the numerous pre-historic discoveries which had been made in
Switzerland, the Zurich professor proceeded in 1860 to explore the lakes
of Lombardy, being well convinced that there too he should find remains
of lacustrine habitations.

The hopes he had formed were not deceived. Ere long, in fact, M. Desor
obtained from the peat-bogs round Lake Maggiore piles and other objects
similar to those found in the Swiss lakes. These researches were
continued by MM. Gastaldi and Moro, who discovered in the peat-bogs
round this lake several ancient villages built upon piles.

In the Lake of Varese, also in Lombardy, which was examined in 1863 by
MM. Desor, G. de Mortillet, and the Abbé Stoppani, were discovered five
settlements, some of which were of the Stone Age. Subsequently, the Abbé
Ranchet pointed out four others, which raise to the number of nine the
pile works found in this lake. In order to render due honour to MM.
Keller and Desor, who have contributed so much to the investigation and
popularity of lacustrine antiquities, the Abbé Stoppani gave the name of
these _savants_ to two of the settlements.

One of these isles is very curious, as it is inhabited up to the present
day. It is called _Isoletta_ ("small island"), and the Litta family
possess a _château_ upon it.

In the peat-mosses of Brianza, a portion of Lombardy situated to the
north of Milan, the remains of lacustrine constructions have been
discovered, together with bones, fragments of pottery, pieces of
charcoal, and carbonised stone; also weapons, both of bronze and flint.

The Lake of Garda has been searched over by various explorers, who have
discovered in it the sites of several lacustrine habitations. The
authors of these discoveries are Dr. Alberti, of Verona, and MM.
Kosterlitz and Silber, two Austrian officers, who presented all the
objects which they collected to the antiquarian museums of Vienna and
Zurich. The traces of pile-works were first perceived when the works
were in progress which were excavated by the Austrians in 1855 round the
fortress of Peschiera; which proves, at least, that fortresses may
occasionally serve some useful purpose.

A settlement of the Stone Age, which was examined by M. Paolo Lioy, is
situated in a small lake in Venetia, the length of which does not exceed
half a mile, and the depth 30 feet; we allude to the Lake of Fimon, near
Vicenza. M. Lioy discovered oaken piles partially charred, which proves
that the village had at one time been burnt down; also slabs of timber
roughly squared, a canoe hollowed out of a trunk of oak, cakes of clay
which had come from the sides of huts, and still bore the imprint of the
reed-stalks, and no doubt formed a kind of coating inside the huts;
various instruments made of bone, flint, sandstone, granite, and stag's
horn; rings or spindle-weights made of burnt earth, numerous fragments
of rough pottery, merely dried in the sun, and, among all these remains,
a dozen entire vessels.

There were also found stores of acorns, nuts, and water-chestnuts, the
fruit of the sorb-tree, some sloe-stones, &c. A large quantity of animal
bones certified to the existence of the bison, the stag, the wild boar,
the fox, and several other doubtful species. All the long bones were
broken, as is usually the case, for the extraction of the marrow, but
not with the ordinary regularity; they had merely been cracked by blows
with stones.

The investigation of lacustrine antiquities which had been inaugurated
in Switzerland could hardly stop short in its path of progress. Attempts
were made to discover _palafittes_ in other countries, and these
attempts met with success.

Thanks to the initiative action taken by M. Desor, and the liberality of
the Bavarian Government, pile-works of ancient date have been discovered
in six of the Bavarian lakes. Most of them go back to the Stone Age,
but some belong to the bronze epoch. Among the latter we may mention the
_Isle of Roses_, in the Lake of Starnberg, which is, in fact, an
artificial island, like the Isoletta in the Lake of Varese. We have
previously stated that this island has never ceased to be inhabited, and
that a _château_ now exists on it.

The movement spread from one place to another. Austria made it a point
of honour not to remain in the rear of Bavaria, and Professor
Hochstetter was commissioned by the Academy of Sciences at Vienna to
undertake a search for _palafittes_ in the lakes of Carinthia and

These explorations were not without result. In four lakes of Carinthia,
Dr. Hochstetter discovered piles, remains of pottery, bones, nuts, &c.
In the Lake of Reutschach, which was the most closely investigated, he
discovered shallows formed by stones, similar to the _steinbergs_ of
Switzerland. The marshes of Laybach have also furnished instruments of
stag's horn, a perforated stone, and a canoe.

Next to Austria, Prussia took the matter up. Specimens of pile-work were
discovered in several provinces of this kingdom; among these were
Brandenburg and Pomerania, a district rich in marshes. In the environs
of Lubtow the lacustrine constructions have the same characteristics as
those of Robenhausen, on the Lake of Pfæffikon (Switzerland). Two
distinct archæological strata may be distinguished; in the lower are
found, all mingled together, bronze and stone instruments, fragments of
pottery, wheat, barley, and charred peas; the upper stratum belongs to
the iron age.

We have not as yet said anything about France; lacustrine dwellings
have, however, been discovered in some of the departments which border
on Switzerland.

The Lakes of Bourget and Annecy, in Savoy, contain several of them. The
former of these lakes was thoroughly explored by M. Laurent Rabut,
author of an article on the 'Habitations Lacustres de la Savoie,' which
obtained a silver medal at the competition of the learned societies in
1863. In the Lake of Bourget, M. Rabut ascertained the existence of five
or six settlements of the bronze epoch, three of which, those of
Tresserve, Grésine and Châtillon, have been distinguished as furnishing
numerous ancient relics.

The Lake of Paladru (Isère) which has been searched by M. Gustave
Vallier, has afforded similar results. Pile-works are thought to exist
in some other small lakes in the same district--those of Sainte-Hélène,
on the left bank of the Isère, Saint-Martin-de-Belville, and
Saint-Marcel, near Moutiers. Pile-works have also been discovered on the
site of an ancient lake on the banks of the Saône; and in a totally
different district, at the foot of the Pyrenees, as many as five have
been pointed out.

Everything therefore leads us to believe that if we searched with care
the peat-mosses and pools which are very common in a good many of the
French departments, we should discover the vestiges of various
pre-historic epochs.

In order to complete the enumeration of the lacustrine constructions of
Europe, we may state that they have been found in Denmark in the Lake of
Maribo, and in England in the county of Norfolk.

With these constructions we must also connect the _crannoges_ or
artificial islands of Ireland, the first of which was discovered in 1836
by Sir W. R. Wilde, a member of the Royal Academy of Dublin. Since this
date various investigations have been made of these objects, and, at the
present time, no less than fifty _crannoges_ have been discovered,
distributed among the various counties of Ireland.

[Illustration: Fig. 150.--Vertical Section of a _Crannoge_ in the
Ardakillin Lake.]

Most of these islets were composed of heaps of stones held together by
piles, nearly in the same way as in the _ténevières_ in Switzerland; but
the _crannoges_ differ from the latter in being raised above the water.
Some of them, however, are formed by a collection of vertical piles and
horizontal joists, constituting an external inclosure, and even internal
compartments, inside which all kinds of remains were collected. This
kind are called _stockaded_ islands. They are generally of an oval or
circular shape, and their dimensions are always kept within rather
narrow limits. In his work on 'Pre-historic Times,' Sir John Lubbock
gives the above sketch of a _crannoge_ in the Ardakillin Lake.

Captain Mudge, of the Royal British Navy, has described a hut which he
found at a depth of 16 feet, in the Drumkellin marsh. Its area was about
5 feet square, and its height 10 feet; it included two stories, each
about 4-1/2 feet high. The roof was flat, and the hut was surrounded by
a fence of piles, doubtless intended to separate it from other adjacent
huts, the remains of which are still to be perceived. The whole
construction had been executed by means of stone instruments, a fact
that was proved by the nature of the cuts that were still visible on
some of the pieces of wood. Added to this, a hatchet, a chisel, and an
arrow-head, all made of flint, were found on the floor of the cabin, and
left no doubt whatever on this point. This, therefore, was in fact a
habitation belonging to the Stone Age. Some nuts and a large quantity of
broken shells were scattered over the ground. A large flat stone,
perforated with a little hole in the middle, was found on the spot; it
was probably used to break the nuts by means of round pebbles picked up

From some of these settlements considerable masses of bones have been
obtained, which have, alas, been utilised as manure. Sir John Lubbock
tells us that the _crannoge_ of Dunshauglin alone has furnished more
than 150 cartloads of bones. These bones belong to the following
species:--the ox, the pig, the goat, the sheep, the horse, the ass, the
dog, the fox, the roe, the fallow-deer, and the great Irish stag, now
extinct. If all other proof were wanting, the presence of the remains of
this latter animal would be sufficient to indicate that certain
_crannoges_ date back to the Stone Age; but as in this case we evidently
have to do with the polished-stone epoch, it is also proved that the
gigantic antlered stag existed in Ireland at a much later date than on
the continent.

Various historical records testify to the fact, that the _crannoges_
were inhabited up to the end of the sixteenth century. They then
constituted a kind of fortress, in which petty chiefs braved for a long
time the royal power. After the definitive pacification of the country
they were completely abandoned.


     Palustrine Habitations or Marsh-Villages--Surveys made by
     MM. Strobel and Pigorini of the _Terramares_ of Tuscany--The
     _Terramares_ of Brazil.

Having described the _lacustrine_ habitations which have been discovered
in various parts of Europe, we must now mention the so-called
_palustrine_ habitations, as peculiar to the bronze epoch. This name has
been given to that kind of village, the remains of which have been
discovered round marshes and pools. Upper Italy is the locality in which
these settlements have been pointed out.

The name of _palustrine settlements_, or _marnieras_, has been given to
the sites of ancient villages established by means of piles on marshes
or pools of no great size, which in the course of time have been filled
up by mould of a peaty character, containing a quantity of organic and
other _detritus_.

The discovery of those _palustrine settlements_ is due to MM. Strobel
and Pigorini, who have designated them by the name of _terramares_.

This term is applied by these _savants_ to the accumulation of ashes,
charcoal, animal bones, and remains of all kinds which have been thrown
away by man all round his dwellings, and have accumulated there during
the lapse of centuries. The name which has been given them was derived
from the fact that they furnish a kind of earthy ammoniacal manure,
known in the district by the name of _terra mare_.

These accumulations are the representatives of the Danish
kitchen-middens; but with this difference, that instead of dating back
to the Stone Age, the former belong to the bronze epoch.

_Terramares_ are numerous in the districts of Parma and Modena; they
are, however, almost entirely confined to the plain which extends
between the Po, the Apennines, the Adda, and the Reno, forming an area
of about 60 miles long, and 30 miles wide. In a general way, they form
small mounds which rise from 6 to 12 feet above the level of the plain;
as they go down some depth in the ground, their total thickness is in
some places as much as 20 feet. Very few are seen having an area
exceeding 9 acres.

Excavations which have been made in several spots enable a tolerably
exact account to be given of the mode of construction adopted in these
palustrine settlements. The _marniera_ of Castione, in particular, has
furnished us with valuable information on this point; and we shall
describe this settlement as a type of the rest. Piles from 6 to 10 feet
in length, and 4 to 6 inches in diameter (fig. 151), formed of trunks of
trees, either whole or split, and pointed at the ends by some rough
tool, were sunk to the depth of some inches in the bed of the hollow.
Some of them still show on their tops the marks of the blows that they
received when they were driven in. They were placed at intervals of from
18 inches to 6 feet; and connecting-beams from 6 to 10 feet in length,
placed horizontally, and crossing one another, bound the piles together,
and insured the solidity of the whole construction. On these cross-beams
rested a floor (fig. 152) formed of joists 1 to 3 inches thick, 6 to 12
inches wide, and 5 to 7 feet long.

[Illustration: Fig. 151.--Vertical Section of the _Marniera_ of

[Illustration: Fig. 152.--Floor of the _Marniera_ of Castione.]

Fig. 153 gives the plan of the tie-beams and piles of the _marniera_ of
Castione, taken from the author's work.[34] These slabs or joists were
not fixed in any way; at least, no trace now exists of any fastening.
They seemed to have been provided by splitting trunks of trees by means
of wooden wedges, a number of these wedges having been found in the
peaty earth. Neither the saw nor the gimlet appear to have been
employed; but the square holes have been cut out by means of the chisel.
The timber that was used was principally ash and oak.

[Illustration: Fig. 153.--Plan of the Piles and Cross-beams in the
_Marniera_ of Castione.]

The floor was covered with beaten earth to a thickness of 10 to 12
inches. Fragments of this kind of paving were found scattered about in
two sandy heaps, almost entirely devoid of other _débris_, whilst the
adjacent earth, of a blackish colour, contained a large quantity of
relics of all kinds. It is probable that the huts of the inhabitants of
the _marniera_ were situated upon these sandy heaps, and that the
dark-coloured earth is the final result of the accumulation of refuse
and various kinds of _detritus_ on the same spot.

It is not known whether the layer of beaten earth extended over the
whole surface of the floor, or was confined to the interior of the
habitations. In the former case, it is probable that it was rammed down
with less care on the outside than on the inside of the huts, as is
shown by the discovery of a storehouse for corn, the floor of which is
formed by nothing but a layer of sandy earth placed upon the planks.
This storehouse, which, from the use to which it was put, could not have
been used as a dwelling by any one, measured 13 feet in length, and 10
feet in width. It contained carbonised beans and wheat, spread in a
layer of about 4 inches thick.

MM. Strobel and Pigorini found no remains of huts in the _marniera_ of
Castione: probably because, having been built entirely of wood, they
were completely destroyed by fire, numerous traces of which may still be
detected. In addition to the carbonised corn and fruit already
mentioned, many other objects bearing the evident marks of fire were, in
fact, collected at Castione. The floor-slabs, the tie-beams, and the
tops of the piles were often found to be half consumed.

But although at Castione there is no evidence forthcoming in respect to
huts, information which bears upon this point has been obtained at other
spots. MM. Strobel and Pigorini have ascertained that the palustrine
dwellings bore a great similarity to those on the Swiss lakes. The sides
were lined with boughs, and the interior was daubed with clay. In Italy,
just as in Switzerland, certain fragments of the clayey coating which
have been hardened and preserved by fire have enabled us to draw these

At Castione several beds of ashes and charcoal containing remains of
meals, pointed out the sites of the domestic hearths, round which they,
doubtless, assembled to eat their food. Another bed of charcoal, mixed
with straw, wheat, and pieces of burnt pottery, was found in a peculiar
situation--it was embedded in a bank of calcareous pebbles vitrified on
the surface; this bank was about 5 feet wide, and about 8 inches in
thickness. The explorers thought that it was, perhaps, a place which had
been devoted to the fusion of metals.

On the edge of the basin of the marsh, a kind of rampart or defensive
work was discovered, composed of slabs as much as 16 feet in length,
laid horizontally one over the other. These slabs were tied down by
stakes driven in obliquely, and likewise placed one above the other,
their ends being inserted between the slabs.

This last discovery, added to other indications, led MM. Strobel and
Pigorini to the supposition that the pile-work of Castione, and
doubtless also those in all the _marnieras_, were in the first place
constructed as places of defence, and were subsequently converted into
fixed and permanent residences. The basin of the marsh having been
gradually filled up by the accumulations of _débris_ resulting from the
presence of man, the habitations were built on a solid foundation, and a
great portion of the former floor was done away with, which would
account for so little of it now remaining.

The objects discovered in the _terramares_ and _marnieras_ do not
essentially differ from those found in the pile-works of Switzerland.
They are almost all worn or broken, just as might be expected from
finding them in rubbish heaps. There are a great quantity of fragments
of pottery of a greyish or dark-coloured clay mixed with grains of
quartz, imperfectly baked, and made without the aid of a potter's wheel.
The ornamentation is, in general, of a very simple character, but the
shapes of the ears, or handles, are very varied. Some of the vessels are
furnished with a spout or holes for the liquid to flow out. The
_terramares_ also contain supports for vessels with round or pointed

In the _marniera_ of San Ambrogio a slab of pottery was found,
elliptical in shape, and about half an inch in thickness, concave on one
side and convex on the other, and pierced with seventeen circular holes
about a quarter of an inch in diameter. The idea was entertained that
this object was used as a kind of fire-grating, for it bore traces of
the long-continued action of fire.

The other objects most commonly found were weights made of baked earth,
and perhaps used for the weaving-loom, much worn in the place where the
cord passed through on which they were hung; _fusaiolas_, or
spindle-whorls, very varied both in shape and size, likewise made of
baked earth; large mill-stones with a polished surface. Next, we have
poniards or spear-heads, hatchets, and hair-pins, all made of bronze.
The _marniera_ of San Ambrogio has furnished a mould indicating that
bronze was melted and cast in this district.

An attentive study of the bones of animals contained in the _terramares_
has led to the following information being obtained as to the _fauna_ of
Upper Italy during the bronze epoch.

With respect to the mammals which lived in a wild state, the existence
has been ascertained of a species of stag of much greater size than the
present variety, and about equal to that of the lacustrine settlements
of Switzerland (fig. 154); also of a wild-boar, much more powerful than
that of Sardinia or even of Algeria, the roe, the bear, the rat, and the
porcupine. In different spots have been found stags' horns and bones,
and also sloe-stones which have retained the impression of the teeth of
some small rodent. The bear, the wild-boar, the stag and the roe, have,
at the present day, disappeared from the country. The porcupine, too,
has migrated into regions further south, which leads to the supposition
that the temperature of the provinces of Parma and Modena is a little
lowered since the date of the bronze epoch.

[Illustration: Fig. 154.--The Chase during the Bronze Epoch.]

It is to be remarked that in these settlements, contrary to what has
been noticed in Switzerland, in the lacustrine habitations belonging to
the Stone Age, the remains of wild animals are met with much more rarely
than those of domestic animals; this must be consequent on a superior
and more advanced stage of civilisation having existed in Italy. Among
the domestic species found we may mention the dog, two breeds of which,
of different sizes, must have existed; the pig of the peat-bogs, the
same variety as that of which the bones were discovered in Switzerland;
the horse, the remains of which, although rare, testify to the existence
of two breeds, one large and bulky, the other of slighter and more
elegant proportions; the ass, of which there are but few bones, could
not, therefore, have been very common; the ox, the remains of which are
on the contrary very abundant, like the dog and the horse, is
represented by two distinct breeds, the more powerful of which appears
to have descended from the _Bos primigenius_ or _Urus_; lastly, the
sheep and the goat, the remains of which can scarcely be clearly
distinguished on account of their great anatomical resemblance.

When we compare the present _fauna_ with that of which we have just
given the details, we may perceive several important modifications. Thus
the pig of the peat-bogs, one breed of oxen, and a breed of sheep (the
smallest) have become entirely extinct; and the common sheep, the goat,
the horse, and the ass have assumed much more important dimensions. With
regard to the wild species of mammals, we have already said that some
have become less in size, and others have disappeared. Hence results one
proof of a fact which is beyond dispute, although often called in
question, namely, that the intelligent action of man working by means of
domestication on wild natures, will ultimately succeed in ameliorating,
reclaiming, and perfecting them.

The skulls and the long bones found in the _terramares_ are almost
always broken for the purpose of extracting the brain and the marrow, a
very ancient usage which had endured to this comparatively late epoch.
But instead of being split longitudinally, as was the case in preceding
epochs, they are generally broken across at one end. The _terramares_
and the _kitchen-middens_ have this peculiarity in common--that all the
dogs' skulls found in them have been intentionally broken; a fact which
proves that in Italy, as in Denmark, this faithful guest or servant of
man was occasionally, in default of some better food, and doubtless with
much regret, used as an article of subsistence.

No remains of fish have been found in these _marnieras_; from this, MM.
Strobel and Pigorini have justly concluded that the inhabitants of these
pile-works were not fishermen, and that, at all events, the water which
surrounded them was shallow and of limited extent.

The species of birds, molluscs and insects, the remains of which have
been found in the _terramares_, are likewise determined. The existence
of the domestic fowl and the duck, no doubt living in complete liberty,
has been duly recognised; but it is thought that the appearance of these
species must not be dated further back than the _end_ of the bronze
epoch, and perhaps even the beginning of that of iron.

The examination of the insect remains has enabled us to ascertain that
the refuse food and rubbish must have lain for some little time in front
of the doors of the habitations before it was pushed into the water; for
in it, flies, and other insects of the kind, found time to be born, to
mature, and to undergo their whole series of metamorphoses; a fact which
is proved by the perforated and empty envelopes of their chrysalides.

We mention this last fact as one of the most curious instances of the
results which science and inference may, in combination, arrive at when
devoted to the novel and interesting study of some of the earlier
stages in man's existence. But, on the other hand, it gives us but a
poor idea of the cleanliness of the Italian race during the bronze
epoch. It would seem to us that a feeling of the dignity inherent in the
body of man, and the cares that it so imperiously claims, would have
been now more strongly developed than at a period when men dwelt
confined in caves. This, however, is not the case. But have we, in the
present day, any right to be astonished when we see, even now, the
prevalence, in some of the great cities of America, of certain practices
so disgusting in character and so opposed to the public health?
Osculati, an Italian traveller, relates that at all the street corners
in the city of Guayaquil, in the republic of Ecuador, heaps of filth are
to be seen which exhale an insupportable odour. Similar heaps exist at
the very gates of Mexico, where, at the present time, they form small
hills. These facts ought to render us indulgent towards the neglect of
cleanliness by our ancestors during the bronze epoch.

Such were the animal remains collected in the _terramares_. The
vegetable remains consisted of grains of carbonised corn, broken nuts,
acorns, halves of burnt apples, stones of the dog-berry, plums and

In concluding our consideration of the palustrine settlements, we may
add, that some have recently been discovered in Moravia and Mecklenburg.
At Olmutz, a city of Moravia, M. Jeitteler, a learned Viennese, has
found piles sunk into the peat, along with various bronze and stone
objects, ornamented pottery, charcoal, charred wheat, numerous animal
bones, and a human skeleton of a brachycephalous race. All the facts
lead to the belief that this will not be the last discovery of the kind.

We must also state that the _terramares_, or deposits of the remains of
habitations on the edge of marshes, are not peculiar to Europe
exclusively. On the coast of Africa (at San Vicente) M. Strobel found
remains of an exactly similar nature; and Dr. Henrique Naegeli, a
distinguished naturalist of Rio Janeiro, has testified to the existence
on the coast of Brazil of like deposits, which he proposes to subject to
a thorough examination.[35]


[34] 'Les Terramares et les Pilotages du Parmesan;' Milan, 1864.
(Extract from the 'Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze naturali.')

[35] 'Matériaux pour l'histoire positive et philosophique de l'Homme,'
by G. de Mortillet. Paris, 1865: vol. i. p. 397.


     Weapons, Instruments, and Utensils contained in the various
     Lacustrine Settlements in Europe, enabling us to become acquainted
     with the Manners and Customs of Man during the Bronze Epoch.

We have just spoken of the discovery and investigation of the
_lacustrine habitations_ found in various parts of Europe, and also of
the _palustrine villages_ of Northern Italy. These rich deposits have
thrown a considerable light on the primitive history of the human race.
With the elements that have been thus placed at our disposal, it will be
possible to reconstruct the domestic life of the tribes of the bronze
epoch, that is, to describe the weapons, instruments, and utensils which
were proper to the every-day proceedings of this period.

In order to give perspicuity to our representation or account, we have
classed the lacustrine habitations under the head of the _bronze _epoch.
But we must by no means forget that these lacustrine villages contained
other objects besides those belonging to the bronze epoch; there were
also found in them a number of articles which must be referred to the
preceding period, that is, the polished-stone epoch.

It is a question indifferent to our purpose, whether the lacustrine
villages were constructed during the Stone Age, as inferred from the
presence in some settlements of stone objects only, or whether the
habitations were built during the bronze epoch, some of the articles
made of stone and dating back to the preceding period being still
preserved in use. For it is certain that the larger number of lacustrine
settlements do not go back beyond the bronze epoch. But as certain
objects made of stone form a portion of the implements found in these
ancient habitations, we must commence by describing these relics of the
Stone Age; although we shall considerably abridge this description, so
as to avoid repeating those details which we have already given in the
preceding chapters.

The stone weapons and instruments are found to consist, in Switzerland
as elsewhere, of hatchets, spear-heads and arrow-heads, hammers, saws,
knives and chisels.

The hatchets and hammers are made of various materials, as flint,
quartzite, diorite, nephrite, jade, serpentine, &c. But the other
weapons and implements are, nearly all of them, of flint.

The hatchet was in continual use, not merely as a weapon but as a tool;
thus, very numerous specimens of it are found in the Swiss lakes.

The hatchets, however, are generally speaking, small in size. Their
length varies from 2 to 8 inches, and their width, at the cutting edge,
from 1-1/2 to 2 inches. Fig. 155 represents one of the flint hatchets.
They are the same shape as the Danish hatchets during the polished-stone

[Illustration: Fig. 155.--Stone Hatchet from the Lacustrine Habitations
of Switzerland.]

The most simple plan of fixing a handle to the small-sized hatchets,
which were in fact chisels, consisted in inserting them into a piece of
stag's horn, hollowed out for this purpose at one end. In this way they
obtained a kind of chisel which was very ready of use. Fig. 156
represents this kind of handle.

[Illustration: Fig. 156.--Stone Chisel with Stag's-horn Handle from the
Lacustrine Habitations of Switzerland.]

There was also another mode of fixing handles to these instruments. The
shaped flint was previously fixed in a holder of stag's horn. This
holder was itself perforated through the middle with a round hole, in
order to receive a wooden handle. It then became a complete hatchet.

Fig. 157 represents one of these hatchets fitted with a handle, in a way
similar to many of the specimens in the Museum of Saint-Germain.

[Illustration: Fig. 157.--Flint Hammer, fitted with a Stag's-horn

This mode of insertion into a handle is frequently met with during the
polished-stone epoch, as we have already stated upon the authority of
Boucher de Perthes (see fig. 112).

There was also another way of adapting for use the stone chisels and
hammers. The following is the mode employed. The flint was inserted into
a short holder of stag's horn, hollowed out at one end for this purpose,
the other end of the piece of horn being cut square. This squared end,
which was thinner than the rest of the holder, was fitted into a wooden
handle, which had been perforated with a hole of the same shape and

M. Desor, in his 'Mémoire sur les Palafittes,' supplies the following
sketch (fig. 158), as representing these double-handled hatchets.

[Illustration: Fig. 158.--Stone Hatchet, with double Handle of Wood and
Stag's Horn.]

It is very seldom that hatchets of this type are met with in a complete
state in the lacustrine habitations of Switzerland; the handles have
generally disappeared. In other localities, where the hatchets are very
plentiful, very few holders are found. Is it not the case that in these
spots the stone was the special object of work and not the handles?
There were, in fact, in Switzerland, as in France and Belgium, workshops
devoted to the manufacture of these articles. The large number of
hatchets, either just commenced or defective in workmanship, which have
been found in some of the principal lacustrine settlements leave no
doubt on this point.

The finest and most carefully-wrought instruments are the hammers and
double, or hatchet-hammers. Most of them are made of serpentine. One of
the ends is generally rounded or flattened, whilst the other tapers off
either into a point or a cutting edge, as represented in figs. 159 and
160, taken from M. Desor's work. They are perforated with a round hole
intended to receive a handle of wood. This hole is so sharply and
regularly cut out, that it is difficult to believe it could have been
made with nothing better than a flint tool. Metal alone would appear to
be capable of effecting such finished work. This is one of the facts
which tend to the idea that the lacustrine settlements, which have been
ascribed to the Stone Age, belong rather to the bronze epoch.

[Illustration: Fig. 159-160.--Serpentine Hatchet-hammers, from the
Lacustrine Habitations of Switzerland.]

Fig. 161 represents another hatchet-hammer obtained from the Swiss

[Illustration: Fig. 161.--Another Hatchet-hammer, from the Lacustrine
Habitations of Switzerland.]

The knives and saws have nothing remarkable about them. They are mere
flakes of flint, long and narrow in shape, the cutting edge or teeth
being on the widest side. There are some which are fitted into handles
of stag's horn, as represented in fig. 162, taken from M. Desor's work.

[Illustration: Fig. 162.--Flint Saw fitted into a piece of Stag's Horn.]

They must have been fastened into the handles by means of bitumen, for
traces of this substance have been found on some of the handles. The
same plan was adopted in order to fix the hatchets in their holders.

The spear-heads (fig. 163) are very skilfully fashioned; their shape is
regular, and the chiselling very perfect, although inferior to that
observed in Denmark. They are made level on one side, and with a
longitudinal middle ridge on the other.

[Illustration: Fig. 163.--Flint Spear-head from the Lacustrine
settlements of Switzerland.]

The arrow-heads are very varied in shape (fig. 164). In delicacy of
workmanship they are in no way inferior to the spear or javelin-heads.

[Illustration: Fig. 164.--Various shapes of Flint Arrow-heads, from the
Lacustrine settlements of Switzerland.]

The cutting of these small objects must have required much labour and
skill. Some are toothed on the edges, which must have rendered the
wounds inflicted by them much more dangerous. The greater part of these
arrow-heads are made of flint, but some have been found the material of
which is bone, and even stag's horn.

The arrow-heads were fixed into the shafts by means of bitumen. This
plan is represented in figs. 165 and 166, which are given by M.
Mortillet in his 'Promenades préhistoriques à l'Exposition Universelle.'

[Illustration: Fig. 165.--Arrow-head of Bone fixed on the Shaft by means
of Bitumen.]

[Illustration: Fig. 166.--Stone Arrow-head fixed on the Shaft by means
of Bitumen.]

Sometimes they were merely attached to the shaft by a ligature of string
(fig. 167).

[Illustration: Fig. 167.--Arrow-head fixed on the Shaft by a Ligature of

A few relics have been discovered of the bows which were used to impel
these arrows. They were made of yew, and roughly cut.

Tools and instruments of bone seem, like those made of flint, to have
been much in use. In addition to the arrow-heads which we have just
mentioned, there have also been found piercers, or bodkins of various
shapes (figs. 168 and 169), chisels for working in wood (fig. 170), pins
with lenticular heads (fig. 171), needles perforated sometimes with one
eye and sometimes with two, and occasionally hollowed out round the top
in a circular groove, so as to attach the thread.

Figs. 168, 169, 170 and 171 are given by M. Desor in his 'Mémoire sur
les Palafittes.'

[Illustration: Fig. 168.--Bone Bodkin, from the Lacustrine Habitations
of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 169.--Bone Bodkin, from the Lacustrine Habitations
of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 170.--Carpenter's Chisel, from the Lacustrine
Habitations of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 171.--Bone Needle.]

It is probable that, as during the reindeer epoch, garments were sewn by
means of the needle and the bodkin, the latter piercing the holes
through which the needle passed the thread.

That kind of needle which has a hole in the middle and is pointed at the
two ends, which is found in large numbers in the lacustrine settlements,
must doubtless have been used as a hook for fishing. When the fish had
swallowed the bait, the two points stuck into the flesh, and it was
then easy to pull out the captive. Some of these fish-hooks are carved
out of boars' tusks.

Stag's horn was likewise employed for several other purposes. A kind of
pick-axe was sometimes made of it (fig. 172); also harpoons (fig. 173),
harpoons with a double row of barbs (fig. 174), and small cups of
conical shape (fig. 175), perforated with a hole in the upper part so
that they could be suspended if required.

[Illustration: Fig. 172.--Pick-axe of Stag's Horn.]

[Illustration: Fig. 173.--Harpoon made of Stag's Horn, from the
Lacustrine Habitations of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 174.--Harpoon made of Stag's Horn, from the
Lacustrine Habitations of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 175.--Vessel made of Stag's Horn.]

The taste for personal adornment was not foreign to the nature of the
primitive people of Switzerland. Canine teeth and incisors of various
animals, rings and beads made of bone or stag's horn, all united in a
necklace, formed one of their most usual adornments.

They also made use of hair-pins and bone combs. These pins were finished
off with a knob, and combined elegance and simplicity in their shape;
they would, indeed, be no disfigurement to the _coiffure_ of the women
of modern times.

Such were the instruments, utensils and tools, used for the purpose of
domestic life, which have been found in the lacustrine habitations of
Switzerland belonging to the Stone Age. We will now pass on to the
objects of the same character, peculiar to the bronze epoch.

The quantity of bronze objects which, up to the present time, have been
collected from the Swiss lakes is very considerable. The finest
collection in the country, that of Colonel Schwab, contained in 1867,
according to a catalogue drawn up by Dr. Keller, no less than 4346

Most of these objects have been cast in moulds, as is evident from the
seams, the traces of which may be observed on several of the specimens.

Among the most remarkable of the relics of the bronze epoch which have
been recovered from the Swiss lakes, the hatchets or celts are well
deserving of mention. They are from 4 to 8 inches in length, and weigh
from 10 to 15 pounds. Their shapes are varied; but all possess the
distinctive characteristic of being adapted to fit longitudinally on
their handles, and not transversely, as in the Stone Age. It is but
seldom that they are not furnished with a hole or ear, so as to furnish
an additional means of attachment.

We have in the first place the hatchet with wings bent round on each
side of the blade, so as to constitute a kind of double socket, intended
to receive a handle divided in the middle and bent into an elbow. This
is the most prevalent type. Sometimes, as may be noticed in fig. 176,
the upper end is pierced with an eye, doubtless intended to hold a band
for fixing firmly the curved handle. This arrangement is peculiar to the
hatchets of large size, that is, to those which had the most strain put
upon them.

Another type which is very rare in Switzerland--only one specimen of it
existing in the Museum of Neuchâtel--is that (fig. 177) in which the
wings, instead of bending back upon the blade perpendicularly to the
plane of the cutting edge, turn back in the same plane with it, or in
the thickness of the blade.

[Illustration: Fig. 176.--Bronze Winged Hatchet, from the Lacustrine
Habitations of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 177.--Winged Hatchet (front and side view), from the
Lacustrine Habitations of Switzerland.]

There is also the hatchet with the ordinary socket, either cylindrical
(fig. 178) or angular. This shape is very common in France, where they
are known by the name of _celts_.

[Illustration: Fig. 178.--Socketed Hatchet from the Lacustrine

[Illustration: Fig. 179.--Knife Hatchet (front and side view), from the
Lacustrine Habitations.]

M. Morlot has given the name of _knife-hatchets_ (fig. 179), to those
instruments, the perforated ears of which are scarcely, if at all
developed, and could by no means serve to give firmness to a handle. It
is probable that these instruments were grasped directly by the hand;
and that the mere rudiments of wings which may be noticed, were merely
intended to substitute a rounded surface for a sharp ridge. Figures 176,
177, 178 and 179, are taken from M. Desor's 'Mémoire sur les

Next to the hatchets we must mention the chisels for wood-work (fig.
180), which are cut out to a great nicety, and in no way differ from our
present chisels, except in the mode of fitting to the handle, which is
done by means of a socket.

[Illustration: Fig. 180.--Carpenter's Chisel, in Bronze.]

[Illustration: Fig. 181.--Hexagonal Hammer.]

[Illustration: Fig. 182.--Knife with a tang to fit into a Handle, from
the Lacustrine settlements of Switzerland.]

There has also been discovered a kind of prismatically shaped hexagonal
hammer (fig. 181), likewise provided with a socket, the length of which
is about 3 inches. This hammer forms a portion of the collection of
Colonel Schwab.

The knives are the most numerous of all the sharp instruments. The
workmanship of them is, in general, very skilfully executed, and their
shape is very elegant. Some of them have a metallic handle; but the
greater part terminate in a kind of tang intended to fit into a handle
of wood or stag's horn, as represented in fig. 182, taken from M.
Desor's 'Mémoire sur les Palafittes.'

We also find knives furnished with a socket (fig. 183). The blade
measures from 4 to 8 inches in length, and is often adorned with
tracings; in some instances the back of the blade is very much

[Illustration: Fig. 183.--Socketed Knife, from the Lacustrine
settlements of Switzerland.]

Together with the knives we must also class the sickles or reaping
hooks. These implements have been collected in somewhat large quantities
in the settlements of Auvernier and Cortaillod (Lake of Neuchâtel). They
are of good workmanship, and frequently provided with ridges or ribs in
the metal of the blade. Fig. 184, given by M. Desor in his work,
represents a sickle of this kind which was found by the author at

[Illustration: Fig. 184.--Bronze Sickle, found by M. Desor at Chevroux.]

The largest of these sickles does not exceed 6 inches in length. They
were fitted into a wooden handle.

We cannot of course describe all the bronze objects which have been
recovered from the Swiss lakes. After having mentioned the preceding,
we shall content ourselves with naming certain saws of various
shapes--razors, actual razors, indicating no small care given to
personal appearance--bodkins, or piercers--needles, with eyes either at
the end or some distance from the end, articles of fishing tackle, such
as single and double fishing-hooks (figs. 185 and 186), with a plain or
barbed point--harpoons, various small vessels, &c.

[Illustration: Fig. 185.--Bronze Fish-hook, from the Lacustrine
settlements of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 186.--Double Fish-hook, from the Lacustrine
settlements of Switzerland.]

We shall dwell, although briefly, on the various objects of personal
ornament which have been found in the Swiss lacustrine settlements of
the bronze epoch.

We will mention, in the first place, the hair-pins, &c. which have been
recovered from the various lakes. The most curious fact about them is,
that no one has ever found two exactly alike both in shape and
dimensions. We borrow from M. Desor's work the four following figures
representing various shapes of pins. Some have a round head (fig. 187),
and others a flat (fig. 188), or cylindrical head (fig. 189); others,
again, are finished off with a twisted end to which is attached a
movable end (fig. 190).

[Illustration: Fig. 187.--Hair-pin, found by M. Desor in one of the
Swiss Lakes.]

[Illustration: Fig. 188.--Hair-pin, found by M. Desor in one of the
Swiss Lakes.]

[Illustration: Fig. 189.--Hair-pin with cylindrical Head.]

[Illustration: Fig. 190.--Hair-pin with curled Head.]

The round-headed pins are sometimes massive in shape and unornamented,
that is, exactly similar to the bone pins of the Stone Age; sometimes,
and even more frequently, they are perforated with one or more round
holes and adorned with a few chasings.

The flat-headed pins differ very much in the diameter of the button at
the end, which is sometimes of considerable size. There are some, the
head of which is nothing more than a small enlargement of the pin, and
others, in which there are two or three of these enlargements, placed a
little way apart and separated by a twist. Their sizes are very various,
and in some cases are so exaggerated, that it is quite evident that the
objects cannot have been used as hair-pins. In Colonel Schwab's
collection, there is one 33 inches long, and M. Troyon has mentioned
some 20 and 24 inches long.

At the _Exposition Universelle_ of 1867, in the collection sent by M.
Desor, the visitors' admiration might have been called forth by some of
the pins which had been repolished by the care of the learned Swiss
naturalist. They were certainly very elegant, and ladies of the present
day might well have decorated themselves with these ornaments, although
they dated back to an era so many thousands of years ago.

Among many savage tribes, the dressing of the hair, especially among the
men, is carried to an excessively elaborate pitch. The head of hair of
an Abyssinian soldier forms a species of lofty system of curls which is
meant to last a whole lifetime. He carries with him a long pin,
furnished with a thick button, owing to the impossibility of reaching
his skin through his _coiffure_ with the extremities of his fingers.

In the same way the New Zealanders wear an enormous "chignon," 2 feet
high and ornamented with ribbons.

The Chinese and the Japanese also devote excessive attention to the
dressing of their hair.

It is, therefore, probable that the inhabitants of the lacustrine
villages, both men and women, devoted an immense amount of care to the
cultivation of their _coiffure_. In the tombs of the bronze epoch, pins
have been found 2-1/2 feet in length, with large knobs or buttons at the
end, similar to those used by the Abyssinian soldiers of our own day.
The combs, which resembled those of the present New Zealanders, although
6 inches long, had only six to eight teeth, and must have been better
fitted to scratch their heads than to dress their hair.

Bracelets, too, have been found in some considerable numbers in the
Swiss lakes. They are very varied in their shapes, decidedly artistic in
their workmanship, and often set off with carved designs.

Some (fig. 191) are composed of a single ring of varying width, the
ends of which almost meet and terminate by a semi-circular clasp; others
(fig. 192), are a combination of straight or twisted wires ingeniously
joined to one another.

[Illustration: Fig. 191.--Bronze Bracelet, found in one of the Swiss

[Illustration: Fig. 192.--Another Bronze Bracelet.]

We also find certain rings, cylindrical in shape, and made all in one
piece (fig. 193), which were probably placed round the legs.

[Illustration: Fig. 193.--Bronze Ring.]

Some of these ornaments remain, even up to the present day, in a perfect
state of preservation. In an urn which was recovered from the settlement
of Cortaillod, six specimens were discovered, the designs of which
appeared quite as clearly as if they had only just been engraved. There
is one point which must be remarked, because it forms an important
_datum_ in respect to the size of the Swiss people during the bronze
epoch; this is, that most of the bracelets are so small that they could
scarcely be worn nowadays. They must, therefore, have been adapted to
very slender wrists--a fact which naturally leads us to believe that all
the other limbs were small in proportion. This small size in the
bracelets coincides with the diminutiveness of the sword-hilts which
have been found in the lacustrine habitations of Switzerland.

Earrings, also, have been found in great numbers in the Swiss lakes.
They are either metallic plates, or wires differently fashioned; all,
however, testifying to a somewhat developed degree of taste.

Next after these trinkets and objects of adornment we must class certain
articles of a peculiar character which must have been pendants or
appendages to bracelets.

All these ornaments are, in fact, perforated at the top with a circular
hole, intended, no doubt, to have a thread passed through it, by which
it was hung round the neck. Some of them (fig. 194) are small triangular
plates of metal, frequently ornamented with engraved designs; others
(fig. 195), are in open-work, and include several branches, each
terminated by a hole similar to that at the top. Some, again, assume the
form of a ring not completely closed up (fig. 196), or rather, perhaps,
of a crescent with wide and almost contiguous horns. In the same class
may be placed the rings (fig. 197) to which were suspended movable
ornaments in the shape of a double spiral.

[Illustration: Fig. 194.--Bronze Pendant, from the Lacustrine
Habitations of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 195.--Another Bronze Pendant, from the Lacustrine
Habitations of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 196.--Bronze Ring, from the Lacustrine Habitations
of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 197.--Another Ornamental Ring.]

The four bronze objects, representations of which we have just given,
are designed from the sketches supplied by M. Desor in his 'Mémoire sur
les Palafittes.'

Some few trinkets of gold have been found in the lacustrine settlements
of the bronze epoch; but this sort of "find" is very rare. They are in
the form of earrings, and may be seen in the collection of Colonel


     Industrial Skill and Agriculture during the Bronze Epoch--The
     Invention of Glass--Invention of Weaving.

The manufacture of pottery, which appears to have remained stationary
during the Stone Age, assumed a considerable development during the
bronze epoch. The clay intended for making pottery was duly puddled, and
the objects when moulded were baked in properly formed furnaces. At this
date also commences the art of surfacing articles of earthenware.

The specimens of pottery which have been found in the settlements of man
of this period are both numerous and interesting; entire vessels have
indeed been discovered. We notice indications of very marked progress
beyond the objects of this kind manufactured in the preceding age. They
are still fashioned by the hand and without the aid of the wheel; but
the shapes are both more varied in their character and more elegant. In
addition to this, although in the larger kind of vessels the clay used
is still rough in its nature and full of hard lumps of quartz like the
material employed in the Stone Age, that of the smaller vessels is much
finer, and frequently covered with a black lead coating.

Most of these vessels are characterised by a conical base, a shape which
we had before occasion to point out in the stag's-horn vessels of the
Stone Age. If, therefore, it was requisite to place them upright, the
lower ends of them had to be stuck into the earth, or to be placed in
holders hollowed out to receive them.

Some of these supports, or holders, have been discovered. They are
called _torches_, or _torchères_, by French archæologists.

Figs. 198 and 199 give a representation of a bronze vessel from the
lacustrine habitations of Switzerland with its support or _torchère_.

[Illustration: Fig. 198.--Earthenware Vessel with Conical Bottom, from
the Lacustrine Habitations of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 199.--Earthen Vessel placed on its support.]

In a general way, the vessels made with conical bases have no handles;
but others, on the contrary, are provided with them (fig. 200). They are
nearly always ornamented with some sort of design, either mere lines
parallel to the rim, triangles, chevrons, or rows of points round the
handle or the neck. Even the very roughest specimens are not altogether
devoid of ornamentation, and a stripe may often be observed round the
neck, on which the fingers of the potter have left their traces.

[Illustration: Fig. 200.--Fragment of an Earthen Vessel with a Handle.]

These vessels were intended to contain beverages and substances used for
food. Out of one of them M. Desor took some apples, cherries, wild
plums, and a large quantity of nuts. Some of these vessels, perforated
with small holes, were used in the manufacture of cheese. Dishes,
porringers, &c., have also been found.

Relics of the pottery of the Stone Age are very frequently recovered
from the Swiss lakes; but vessels in an entire state are seldom met
with. It is, however, stated as a fact, that considerable accumulations
of them once existed; but, unfortunately, the importance of them was not
recognised until too late. An old fisherman of the Lake of Neuchâtel
told M. Desor that in his childhood he had sometimes amused himself by
pushing at _these old earthen pots_ with a long pole, and that in
certain parts of the lake there were _real mountains_ of them. At the
present day, the "old earthen pots" are all broken, and nothing but
pieces can be recovered.

These relics are, however, sufficient to afford a tolerably exact idea
of the way in which the primitive Swiss used to fashion clay. They seem
to denote large vessels either cylindrical (figs. 201 and 202) or
bulbous-shaped with a flat bottom, moulded by the hand without the aid
of a potter's wheel. The material of which they are composed is rough,
and of a grey or black colour, and is always mingled with small grains
of quartz; the baking of the clay is far from satisfactory.

[Illustration: Fig. 201.--Vessel of Baked Clay, from the Lacustrine
Settlements of Switzerland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 202.--Vessel of Baked Clay, from the Lacustrine
Settlements of Switzerland.]

The ornamentation is altogether of an ordinary character. It generally
consists of mere lines traced out in the soft clay, either by the
finger, a pointed stick, or sometimes a string was used. There are
neither curves nor arabesques of any kind; the lines are almost always

A few of the vessels are, however, decorated in a somewhat better style.
Some are provided with small projections perforated with holes, through
which might be passed a string for the purpose of hanging them up; there
are others which have a row of studs arranged all round them, just below
the rim, and others, indeed, in which hollows take the place of the
studs. Several have been met with which are pierced with holes at
different heights; it is supposed that they were used in the preparation
of milk-curd, the holes being made to let out the whey. The vessels of
this period are entirely devoid of handles; this ornament did not appear
until the bronze age.

Mill-stones, or stones for crushing grain, are not unfrequently found in
the Swiss lakes.

At some date during the period we are now discussing we must place the
discovery of glass. Glass beads of a blue or green colour are, in fact,
found in the tombs of the bronze epoch. What was their origin? Chemistry
and metallurgy combine to inform us that as soon as bronze foundries
existed glass must have been discovered. What, in fact, does glass
consist of? A silicate with a basis of soda and potash, combined with
some particles of the silicates of iron and copper, which coloured it
blue and green. As the scoria from bronze foundries is partly composed
of these silicates it is indubitable that a kind of glass was formed in
the earliest metal-works where this alloy was made. It constituted the
slag or dross of the metal works.

Thus, the classic tradition which attributes the invention of glass to
certain Phoenician merchants, who produced a mass of glass by heating on
the sand the _natron_, that is _soda_, brought from Egypt, ascribe too
recent a date to the discovery of this substance. It should properly be
carried back to the bronze epoch.

The working of amber was carried out to a very great extent by these
peoples. Ornaments and objects of this material have been discovered in
great abundance in the lacustrine settlements of Switzerland.

On the whole, if we compare the industrial skill of the bronze age with
that of the preceding age, we shall find that the later is vastly
superior to the earlier.

The art of weaving seems to have been invented during the stone age. We
have positive and indisputable proofs that the people who lived during
this epoch were acquainted with the art of manufacturing cloth.[36] All
the objects which we have thus far considered do not, in fact, surpass
those which might be expected from any intelligent savage; but the art
of preparing and manufacturing textile fabrics marks out one of the
earliest acquisitions of man's civilisation.

In the Museum of Saint-Germain we may both see and handle some specimens
of woven cloth which were met with in some of the lacustrine settlements
in Switzerland, and specially at Robenhausen and Wangen. This cloth,
which is represented in fig. 203, taken from a specimen in the Museum of
Saint-Germain, is formed of twists of interwoven flax; of rough
workmanship, it is true, but none the less remarkable, considering the
epoch in which it was manufactured. It is owing to the fact of their
having been charred and buried in the peat that these remains of
pre-historic fabrics have been kept in good preservation up to the
present time.

[Illustration: Fig. 203.--Cloth of the Bronze Age, found in the
Lacustrine Settlements of Switzerland.]

Balls of thread and twine have also been found; likewise ends of cord,
and ropes made of bark, nets with large and moderately-sized meshes,
which we have previously represented, and lastly some fragments of a
basket of straw or osier.

Ribs of animals, split through and tapering off at one end, have been
considered to be the teeth of the cards or combs which were used for
unravelling the flax. The whole comb was formed of several of these
bones joined firmly together with a band.

[Illustration: Fig. 204.--The First Weaver.]

There were also found in the Swiss lakes a large number of discs made of
baked earth perforated with a hole in their centre, of which we here
give a representation (fig. 205), taken from one of the numerous
specimens in the Museum of Saint-Germain. These are ordinary

[Illustration: Fig. 205.--Spindle-whorls made of baked Clay, found in
the Lacustrine Settlements of Switzerland.]

Also, terra cotta weights pierced with a hole through the centre were
intended to support the thread of flax in the weaving loom. The thread
passed through the hole and was stopped by a knot at its extremity. We
think that this interpretation of the use of these objects can hardly be
called in question.

We also find in the lacustrine settlements woven fabrics, threads,
strings, combs used for carding the flax, and spindle-whorls; the
co-existence of all these objects proves that the invention of the art
of weaving may be fixed at this date. The loom of the weaver may,
therefore, be traced back to the most remote ages.

Acting upon this idea we have given a representation of _weaving in
pre-historic times_.

The weaving-loom is so simple a matter that the men of the bronze age
were enabled to produce it in nearly the same form as that in which it
exists in the present day for the manufacture of plain kinds of cloth in
various districts of the world where the art is still in a barbaric
condition. The loom being upright, not horizontal as with us, the terra
cotta weights just mentioned were used to keep the threads of the warp
stretched. This seems to be the only difference. But, as we again
repeat, the weaver's loom, on the whole, must have differed but very
slightly from that of the present day. Its productions bear testimony to
the fact.

Metal weapons and implements were at first obtained by means of
exchange. But very soon the art of manufacturing bronze became prevalent
in Switzerland, and foundries were established there. No doubt can be
entertained on this point, as a mould for celts or hatchets has been
found at Morges and also a bar of tin at Estavayer.

During this epoch the shape of the pottery became more advanced in
character, and ornamentation was the rule and not the exception. After
the indispensable comes the superfluous. Taste in ornamentation made its
appearance and soon developed itself in ceramic objects of an elegant
style. Articles of pottery now assumed more pleasing outlines, and were
ornamented with various designs. Progress in artistic feeling was
evidently manifested.

The simplicity and monotony of ornamentation during this epoch is
especially remarkable. Art was then confined to the mere representation
of a certain number of lines and geometrical figures. They were similar
to those represented in fig. 206, and were applied to all kinds of
objects--weapons, vases, utensils and trinkets. None of them attempt any
delineation of nature; this idea does not seem to have entered into the
head of man during the bronze epoch. In this respect they were inferior
to their predecessors, the inhabitants of the caves of Périgord, the
contemporaries of the mammoth and the reindeer.

[Illustration: Fig. 206.--Principal Designs for the ornamentation of
Pottery during the Bronze Epoch.]

During the period we are now considering, commercial intercourse had
assumed an activity of a totally different character from that
manifested during the Stone Age. It became necessary to procure tin,
which was indispensable for the manufacture of bronze. As no tin ore
could be found in Switzerland, the inhabitants, doubtless, went to
Saxony in order to obtain it. The traffic must have been carried out by
means of barter, as is customary among all infant nations.

Flint, which likewise did not exist in Switzerland, was necessarily
procured from the surrounding countries which were more fortunate in
this respect. No country was more favoured on this point than France;
commerce must, therefore, have existed between the two countries.

At Concise, in Switzerland, some pieces of white coral were found, and
at Meilen, on the banks of the Lake of Zurich, some fragments of amber;
from this we may conclude that during the bronze epoch the inhabitants
of Switzerland traded with the inhabitants of the shores of the
Mediterranean and the Baltic.

Among the other specimens of foreign productions, we must not omit to
mention graphite, which was used to surface pottery, amber beads, and
even a few glass trinkets suitable for female adornment.

We will now pass on to the system of food adopted by man during the
bronze epoch.

Researches made in various lacustrine settlements have furnished us with
very circumstantial information upon the system of food customary among
the earliest inhabitants of Switzerland. From them we learn that these
men did not live solely upon the products of fishing and hunting, but
that they possessed certain ideas of agriculture, and also devoted
themselves to the breeding of cattle. We shall enter into a few details
as to this eminently interesting aspect of their history, taking as our
guides Professors Heer and Rütimeyer, the first of whom has carefully
examined the vegetable remains, and the second the animal relics which
have been found in the lacustrine settlements of Switzerland.

At Meilen, Moosseedorf, and Wangen, some charred cereals have been
found, viz., barley and wheat. The latter was the most abundant, and, at
Wangen in particular, there were several bushels of it, either in ears
or in thrashed corn collected in large heaps. These grains are almost
the same shape and size as the wheat of the present time. Several ears
of six-rowed barley (_Hordeum hexastichon_) were found, which differ
from our common barley in having smaller grains arranged in six rows. De
Candolle is of opinion that this is the species which was cultivated by
the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans.

This corn was preserved in large earthen vessels, as may be gathered
from the contents of some of them, still in an entire state.

What preparation did the corn undergo in order to render it fit for
human food? On this subject we have tolerably exact data to go upon.

The grain was bruised by hand, either between two stone discs or
mill-stones, or in a mortar by means of a round pestle. In almost all of
the lacustrine villages, some of these mill-stones made of granite or
sandstone have been met with, a few of which are as much as 2 feet in
diameter. M. Heer is of opinion that the grain was parched before being
pounded, and then placed in vessels and slightly soaked. In this state
it was fit for eating.

At the time of the conquest of the Canary Islands by the Spaniards, it
was remarked that the natives prepared their corn in this manner; and in
the present day the inhabitants of the same regions still feed on
parched grain.

Nevertheless, the earliest inhabitants of western Switzerland also made
real bread, or rather wheat-cakes, for leaven was not then known.
Charred fragments of these loaves have been found, the grain of which is
badly ground, thus affording us the opportunity of recognising the
species of corn of which they are composed. These fragments are flat,
and indicate that the whole cake was of a circular form. No doubt, after
being bruised and wetted, the grain was made into a sort of dough, which
was baked between two heated stones--a process we have previously
described as having been practised in the Stone Age.

In order to cultivate cereals, it was, of course, necessary for the
ground to undergo some preliminary preparation. It was at least
necessary to break it up so as to mellow it, and to make furrows in
which to sow the seed. We are reduced to mere conjecture as to all the
details of these operations, for no agricultural implements have been
discovered in any of the settlements of man belonging to the bronze
epoch. Perhaps, as M. Heer suggests, they made use of the stem of a tree
with a projecting crooked branch, and adapted it so as to perform the
functions of the plough.

Wild fruits and berries formed a considerable portion of the food of the
earliest lacustrine peoples; and, from certain indications which have
been brought to our notice, we have reason to believe that several
varieties of trees were the objects of their intelligent culture; in
short, that they were cultivated in orchards and gardens. The settlement
of Robenhausen on the Lake of Pfæffikon, has furnished us with the
most valuable information on this point. The lacustrine villages of
Wangen (Lake of Constance), and Concise (Lake of Neuchâtel) have also
been the scenes of curious discoveries.

In all of these settlements a large number of charred apples have been
met with, cut in two, and sometimes four pieces, and evidently stored up
for the winter. These apples are no larger than walnuts, and in many of
the Swiss forests a species of apple still exists which appears to be
the same sort as those found in the lacustrine settlements. Pears have
been discovered only in the settlement of Wangen; they were cut up and
dried just like the apples.

In the mud of the lakes, stones of the wild plum and the bird-cherry, or
Sainte-Lucie plum, were found; also the seeds of blackberries and
raspberries, the shells of beech-nuts and hazel-nuts, and several
species of the water-chestnut, which is now only to be met with at two
points of the Swiss Alps.

We must also add that M. Gilliéron collected in the settlement of the
Isle of Saint-Pierre, oats, peas, lentils, and acorns, the latter
evidently having been intended for the food of swine. This discovery is
an important one, because oats had, hitherto, never been met with

We shall complete this list of names by enumerating the other vegetables
which have been ascertained to have existed in the lake settlements, the
berries and seeds of some of which were used as food, &c. They are the
strawberry, the beech, the yew, the dog-rose, which is found in hedges,
the white and yellow water-lily, the rush, and the forest and the marsh
pine. There are no traces of the vine, rye, or hemp.

Fig. 207, representing _the cultivation of gardens during the bronze
epoch_, is intended to sum up and delineate materially all the ideas we
have previously suggested concerning the agricultural and horticultural
knowledge possessed by man during the bronze epoch. A gardener is
tilling the ground with a horn pick-axe, a representation of which we
have previously given. Others are gathering fruit from trees which have
been planted and cultivated with a view of increasing the stock of food.

[Illustration: Fig 207.--The Cultivation of Gardens during the Bronze

The sheep and oxen which may be noticed in this figure indicate the
domestication of these animals and of their having been reared as tame
cattle. The dog, the faithful companion of man, could scarcely have
been omitted in this assemblage of the auxiliary or domestic animals of
the bronze epoch.

The bones which have been found in the lacustrine settlements of
Switzerland have enabled us to reconstruct with some degree of accuracy
the _fauna_ of this epoch, and to ascertain what species of animals were
then in subjugation to the yoke of man.

Professor Rütimeyer is of opinion that the whole of these bones may be
referred to about seventy species of animals--ten of which are fish,
three reptiles, twenty birds, and the rest mammiferous animals.

The remains most commonly met with are those of the stag and the ox, the
former wild, and the latter domestic. Next in order comes the pig,
remains of which are also very abundant; then follows the roe, the goat,
and the sheep, all of which are much less common. The remains of the fox
are met with almost as often as those of the latter species, and in
spite of the foetid smell of this animal it certainly was used for
food--a fact which is proved by its bones having been split open and
notched with knives. It is, however, very probable that this kind of
sustenance was turned to as a last resort only in cases when no other
more suitable food could be obtained.

The long bones which have been found in lakes, like those met with in
caves and kitchen-middens, have been split in order to extract the
marrow. Just as in the kitchen-middens, the softer parts are always
gnawed, which shows us that the dog had been there.

The repugnance which is felt by so many nations for the flesh of the
hare is a very curious fact, and shows us how difficult it is to root
out certain prejudices. This repugnance may be traced back as far as
pre-historic ages. Neither the diluvial beds, the caves, the
kitchen-middens, nor the lacustrine settlements have, in fact, furnished
us with any traces of the hare. Even in the present day, the Laplanders
and Greenlanders banish this animal from their alimental list.

Among the Hottentots the women eat it but not the men. The Jews, too,
look upon it as unclean, and many years have not elapsed since the
Bretons would hardly endure to hear it spoken of.

The antipathy which is thus shown by certain modern nations to the flesh
of the hare has, therefore, been handed down to them from the primitive
ages of mankind.

The researches of Prof. Rütimeyer have led to the conclusion that
there existed in Switzerland during the Stone Age six species of
domestic animals--the ox, the pig, the goat, the sheep, the dog, and the
horse, the latter being very rare. There were, also, three specimens of
the bovine race; the two wild species of the ox genus, namely, the urus
and the bison, both very anciently known, had been increased by a third,
the domestic ox.

The bones belonging to the Stone Age seem to point to the existence of a
larger proportion of wild beasts than of domestic animals; and this is
only what might be expected, for the art of domesticating animals was at
this epoch still in its infancy, but a commencement had been made, and
the practice continued to spread rapidly during the following age.

In fact, agriculture and the breeding of cattle made considerable
progress during the bronze epoch. There were brought into use various
new breeds of cattle. The ox became a substitute for the bison; the
sheep was bred as well as the goat; and all these animals were devoted
to the purpose of providing food for man.

[Illustration: Fig. 208.--A Feast during the Bronze Epoch.]

We may here pause for a moment and contemplate, with just pride, this
marvellous resuscitation of an era long ago buried in the darkness of
bygone ages.

By means of the investigations of science, we know that the primitive
inhabitants of Switzerland dwelt in wooden villages built on lakes; that
they were hunters, fishers, shepherds, and husbandmen; that they
cultivated wheat, barley, and oats; that they brought into a state of
servitude several species of animals, and devoted to the requirements of
agriculture the sheep and the goat; that they were acquainted with the
principal rudiments of the baker's art; that they stored up apples,
pears, and other fruits or berries for the winter, either for their own
use or that of their cattle; that they understood the art of weaving and
manufacturing flaxen fabrics; that they twisted up cord and mats of
bark; and, lastly, that as a material for the manufacture of their
implements and weapons they availed themselves of stone, bronze,
animals' bones, and stag's horn.

It is equally certain that they kept up some kind of commercial
intercourse with the adjacent countries; this must have been the case,
if it were only for the purpose, as before mentioned, of procuring
flints, which are not found in Switzerland; also amber and white coral,
numerous relics of which have been met with in the settlements of Meilen
and Concise.

Though there may still remain many an obscure page in the history of
mankind during the bronze epoch, it must, nevertheless, be confessed
that, as far as Switzerland is concerned, a bright light has of late
years been thrown on that branch of the subject which refers to man's
mode of existence in these regions during the bronze epoch.


[36] See 'The Lake Dwellings of Switzerland,' &c. p. 323, by Dr. F.
Keller. Translated and edited by Dr. J. E. Lee. London, 1866.


     The Art of War during the Bronze Epoch--Swords, Spears, and
     Daggers--The Bronze Epoch in Scandinavia, in the British Isles,
     France, Switzerland, and Italy--Did the Man of the Bronze Epoch
     entertain any religious or superstitious Belief?

The Swiss lakes have furnished us with elements which afford us some
knowledge of the state of man's industrial skill during the bronze
epoch, and also enable us to form a due estimation of the manners and
customs of the people of these remote ages. But if we wish to become
acquainted with all the details which concern the art of war at the same
date, we must direct our attention to the north of Europe, that is to
say, to the Scandinavian peoples.

Nevertheless, before we touch upon the important pre-historic relics
found in Denmark, we must say a few words concerning the traces of the
art of war which have been furnished by the investigations made in the
Swiss lakes.

The warlike accoutrements of the bronze epoch are, like those of the
Stone Age, composed of spear-heads and arrow-heads, poniards and, in
addition, swords. Swords are, however, but rarely met with in the Swiss
lakes. The few which have been found are straight, short, double-edged,
and without hilts. In the Museum of Neuchâtel there is a sword (fig.
209) which was discovered forty years ago at Concise, at a time when no
one suspected the existence of any such thing as lacustrine settlements;
M. Desor has supplied a sketch of it in his 'Mémoire sur les
Palafittes.' This sword measures 16 inches in length, and has on its
surface four grooves which join together on the middle ridge of the
blade. The handle, which is terminated by a double volute, is remarkably
small, being only 3 inches in length.

Daggers (fig. 210), too, like the swords, are but rarely found in the
Swiss lakes. From a specimen found in the lake of Bienne, we see that
the blade was fixed to the handle by means of a series of rivets
arranged in a single line. This dagger is, like the sword found at
Concise, ornamented with grooves symmetrically placed on each side of
the projecting ridge which divides the blade into two equal portions.

[Illustration: Fig. 209.--Bronze Sword, in the Museum of Neuchâtel.]

[Illustration: Fig. 210.--Bronze Dagger, found in one of the Swiss

In the collection of Colonel Schwab, there are two daggers of an
extraordinary character, having hilts enriched with silver.

The spear-heads (fig. 211) are not inferior either to the swords or the
daggers in the skill and finish of their workmanship. They are formed of
a nearly oval blade, strongly consolidated in the middle by a rounded
ridge, which is prolonged so as to form a socket intended to hold a
thick wooden handle. The length of the daggers varies from 4 to 7

[Illustration: Fig. 211.--Bronze Spear-head, found in one of the Swiss

The arrow-heads (fig. 212) are, except in their material, identical with
those of the preceding age. They are triangular, with more or less
pointed barbs, and provided with a stem, by which they were fastened to
the stick. A few have, however, been found which are made with sockets.
They do not exceed 1 to 2 inches in length.

[Illustration: Fig. 212.--Bronze Arrow-heads, found in a Lacustrine
Settlement of Switzerland.]

We shall now pass on to the consideration of the relics found in the
tombs of Scandinavia, Great Britain, Ireland and France; which remains
will throw some light on the subject of the weapons and warlike
instruments belonging to the bronze epoch.

The Scandinavian States (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) are very rich in
instruments belonging to the bronze epoch. The workmanship of the swords
and other weapons of war is much more elaborate here than anywhere else,
on account of the tardy introduction of metal into these countries.
These weapons are nearly always adorned with somewhat complicated
designs, among which curved lines and spiral scrolls are the most

The Danish swords of the bronze epoch (figs. 213, 214) are of quite a
peculiar shape. The hilt is firmly fixed to the blade by means of two or
more rivets. The daggers and poniards only differ from the swords in the
smallness of their dimensions.

[Illustration: Fig. 213.--Scandinavian Sword.]

[Illustration: Fig. 214.--Hilt of a Scandinavian Sword.]

Some of the hatchets seem to have been copied from models belonging to
the Stone Age; these are probably the most ancient, and their
ornamentation is of a very scanty character. Others are winged or with
sockets, and a few have been found perforated with a transverse hole,
like those which have long been used by civilised nations. In this hole
a wooden handle was inserted, which was fixed by means of a strap, or
merely forcibly driven in. The rarely-found specimens of this kind are
sharply defined in shape and splendidly ornamented.

Figs. 215 and 216, taken from Sir J. Lubbock's work, represent the
probable way in which handles were fitted to the various kinds of
hatchets used in the North.

[Illustration: Fig. 215.--Mode of fixing the Handle to a Scandinavian

[Illustration: Fig. 216.--Another mode of fixing the Handle to a
Scandinavian Hatchet.]

The blades of the bronze knives found in Scandinavia are, like those of
Switzerland, somewhat curved in their shape, but the handles are much
more richly ornamented. Two of these knives have furnished us with the
only examples known of any representation of living beings during the
bronze epoch. We may notice that on one of these knives, which is
represented in fig. 217, taken from Sir J. Lubbock's work, a swan is
roughly carved at the offset of the blade.

[Illustration: Fig. 217.--Danish Bronze Knife, of the Bronze Epoch.]

In another knife, which is represented in fig. 218, taken from the same
work, the handle is formed by a human figure, executed with some degree
of fidelity. The figure is in a standing position, and holds in front of
it a nearly cylindrical-shaped vessel; the individual is represented as
wearing large earrings. There is every reason to believe that this
last-mentioned article belongs to the end of the bronze epoch, or else
to a transitionary epoch between this and the following, for the blade
is straight, like those of all the knives belonging to the iron age.

[Illustration: Fig. 218.--Danish Bronze Knife of the Bronze Epoch.]

The same thing may, doubtless, be said of several razors (fig. 219) with
straight blades, which appear even overloaded with ornaments; among
these embellishments is an attempt to represent a sort of vessel.

[Illustration: Fig. 219.--Blade of a Danish Razor of the Bronze Epoch.]

These designs evidently point to some very advanced period in the bronze
epoch; and perhaps these objects may belong to the commencement of the
iron age.

What, we may ask, was the wearing apparel of man during the period we
are describing?

A very important discovery, made in 1861, in a _tumulus_ in Jutland
(Denmark), has lately supplied us with the most accurate _data_
respecting the way in which the inhabitants of the north of Europe were
clothed during the bronze epoch. In this _tumulus_ MM. Worsaae, and
Herbst found three wooden coffins, one of which was smaller than the two
others, and was no doubt that of a child. One of the two larger coffins
was minutely examined by these _savants_, and measured inside 7 feet in
length and 20 inches in width. It was closed up by means of a movable
lid. By an extremely rare chance the soft parts of the body had been to
some extent preserved, and had become converted into a black greasy
substance. The bones were decomposed, and had decayed into a kind of
blue powder. The brain had preserved its normal conformation. They found
it at one end of the coffin (where the head had lain); it was still
covered with a woollen cap, about 6 inches high, to which several black
hairs were adhering.

Several woollen garments, in which the body had been buried, were also
found in different parts of the coffin. We add a description of these

There was in the first place a coarse cloak (fig. 220) which appeared
shaggy in the inside, and was scalloped out round the neck. This cloak
was 3 feet 4 inches long, and wide in proportion. Next there were two
shawls nearly square in shape (fig. 221), ornamented with a long fringe,
and measuring 4-1/2 feet in length, and 3-1/2 feet in width. Afterwards
came a shirt (fig. 222), also scalloped out round the neck, and drawn in
at the waist by means of a long narrow band. Lastly, at the feet of the
body, two pieces of woollen material were found, which were 14 inches
long, by 4 inches wide, and bore the appearance of having been the
remains of gaiters. Close to the latter were also found vestiges of
leather, evidently belonging to feet-coverings of some kind.

[Illustration: Fig. 220.--Woollen Cloak of the Bronze Epoch, found in
1861, in a Tomb In Denmark.]

[Illustration: Fig. 221.--Woollen Shawl found in the same Tomb.]

[Illustration: Fig. 222.--Woollen Shirt, taken from the same Tomb.]

The whole body had been wrapped up in the skin of an ox.

The coffin also contained a box, tied up with strips of osier or bark,
and in this box was a smaller one, in which were found two woven woollen
caps (fig. 223, 224), a comb (fig. 225), and a bronze razor.

[Illustration: Fig. 223.--First Woollen Cap found in the same Tomb.]

[Illustration: Fig. 224.--Second Woollen Cap found in the same Tomb.]

[Illustration: Fig. 225.--Bronze Comb found in the same Tomb.]

We must not forget to mention a bronze sword, placed on the left side of
the body, in a wooden sheath; this sword measured about 26 inches in

There is no doubt that all these relics were those of a warrior of the
bronze epoch; there is the less reason to doubt this, owing to the fact,
that the objects taken from the two other coffins most certainly
belonged to that period. These were a sword, a knife, a bodkin, an awl,
a pair of tweezers, a double button, and a small bronze bracelet; also a
double tin button, a ball of amber and a flint spear-head.

[Illustration: Fig. 226.--Warriors during the Bronze Epoch.]

The shape of the swords and knives shows that this burial-place in
Jutland must be referred to the latter part of the bronze epoch--to a
time, perhaps, when iron was first used.

Following out the _data_ afforded by these records, and all the
discoveries which have been made in other tombs, we have given in fig.
226, a representation of _warriors of the bronze epoch_.

The accoutrements of the horseman of pre-historic ages are composed of a
bronze sword, like those found in the tombs in Denmark, and a bronze
hatchet and sword-belt. His horse is decked with round bronze discs,
which, in after times, formed among the Romans the chief ornament of
this faithful and intrepid auxiliary of man in all his combats. The
horseman's head is bare; for no helmet or metallic head-covering has
ever, at least, to our knowledge, been discovered in the tombs of the
bronze epoch. The spear and bronze hatchet are the weapons of the

Next to the Scandinavian regions, Great Britain and Ireland occupy an
important place in the history of the civilisation of the bronze epoch.
The same type of implements are found in these countries as in Denmark
and Switzerland.

Hatchet-moulds (fig. 227) are also found there--a circumstance which
proves that the founder's art was known and practised in these
countries. The Dublin Museum contains a beautiful collection of various
objects belonging to the bronze epoch.

[Illustration: Fig. 227.--Bronze Hatchet-mould found in Ireland.]

Some of the departments of France have also furnished objects belonging
to the same period; but there is nothing peculiar among them which
deserves mention.

Did any kind of religious worship exist among the men of the bronze
epoch? Nothing would be more interesting than any discovery bearing on
this point; but up to the present time no vestiges of anything in the
shape of an idol have been found, nor anything whatever which authorizes
us unhesitatingly to answer this question in the affirmative. The only
thing which might prove the existence of any religious feeling, is the
discovery, in various lacustrine settlements, of a certain number of
crescent-shaped objects, most of them made of very coarse baked earth
and some of stone.

The dimensions of these crescents vary considerably; there are some
which measure as much as 16 inches from one point to the other. They are
ornamented with perfectly primitive designs, as shown in fig. 228, drawn
at the Museum of Saint-Germain from one of the numerous specimens of
this class of objects.

[Illustration: Fig. 228.--Stone Crescent found in one of the Swiss

Several archæologists consider these crescents to have been religious
emblems or talismans which were suspended either outside or inside the
habitations. Dr. Keller is of opinion that they bear some relation to
the worship of the moon--an hypothesis which is not at all an impossible
one; for all nations who have not attained to a certain degree of moral
and intellectual culture adore the heavenly bodies as the sources of
light and heat.

M. Carl Vogt, in considering the crescents which have been discovered in
such large quantities in the lacustrine habitations, cannot admit that
they indicate that any religious belief existed among these ancient
nations. He attributes to these objects a very different kind of use,
and, as we shall presently show, rather an odd one.

In the lectures on _pre-historic man_ which were delivered by Prof. Carl
Vogt at Antwerp, in 1868, and have been reported by the Belgian
journals,[37] when speaking on the subject of the crescents belonging to
the bronze epoch, he expresses himself as follows:--

"My opinion is that these crescents were used as resting-places for the
head during the night. Among many savage tribes we find the attention
paid to the dressing of the hair carried to a high pitch, especially
among the men; it was not until a later period that woman also devoted
her cares to the culture of her _coiffure_. Now this care is, by many
nations, carried out to a really curious extent. They inflict the most
severe tortures on themselves in order to satisfy their vanity. Everyone
has seen, in the 'Magasin Pittoresque' and other illustrated journals,
the strange head-dresses of the Abyssinian soldiers. They really seem to
form a kind of fleece, and it may be noticed that each soldier carries
in this hairy construction a large pin.

"Well, all this tends to explain the use of these crescents. In
Abyssinia, as soon as a young girl is married it becomes her duty to
devote herself to her husband's head of hair. This head of hair is made
to assume a certain shape, which it has to retain during his whole
lifetime. The labour which this process necessitates lasts for three
years. Each hair is twisted round a stem of straw, and remains so until
the straw perishes. The man's head is thus covered with a whole system
of spirals, the top of which is a foot from the surface of his head.
During the whole remainder of his life this _coiffure_ must never be
again disturbed. When asleep, the Abyssinian rests the nape of his neck
on a triangle which he carries about everywhere with him. He has also a
long pin, as it would be impossible for him to reach the skin of his
head with the end of his finger.

"The same custom exists among the New Zealanders, who also have an
apparatus upon which they rest their necks, in order, when asleep, to
save their _coiffures_. They wear an enormous chignon, two feet high
and ornamented with ribbons, of which they are very proud. The only
difference between this chignon and certain others which I need not
mention is, that the former cannot be removed at will. This object,
thus adorned, rests, during the sleep of its owner, on a sort of

"The Chinese and Japanese sleep, in the same way, on a bedstead bevelled
off at the head; and in the Egyptian hieroglyphical drawings we find
instruments evidently meant for the same use.

"It is very probable that during the bronze epoch great attention was
devoted to the hair, and this is the more probable as in every tomb
belonging to this period we find pins from 2 feet to 2-1/2 feet in
length, furnished with large knobs, and of the same shape as the pins
used by the Abyssinian soldiers; and also, because during the Stone Age,
as well as the Bronze Age, a kind of comb is found which is similar to
that which is now used by the New Zealanders to scratch, rather than to
comb, their heads. The heads of the pins are often very richly
ornamented; they are of the most varied shapes, and are extremely common
both in the tombs and also in the lacustrine dwellings.

"We have the less right to be astonished at our ancestors sleeping with
their heads resting on such a machine as we have just described,
knowing, as we do, that the hussars of Frederick the Great used to spend
the whole night in arranging their _coiffures_!"

Thus, while Dr. Keller and many other archæologists ascribe the
_crescents_ found in the Swiss lakes to some kind of religious worship,
M. Vogt, whose idea is of a much more prosaic character, does not
attribute them to any other worship but that of _self_ as represented by
the hair! The reader can take his choice between these two explanations.
We shall only remark, in corroboration of Dr. Keller's opinion, that
certain Gallic tribes used for a religious symbol this very crescent
which M. Vogt would make out to be a pillow--a stone pillow which, as it
seems to us, must have been very hard, even for primitive man.

Various objects found in the dwellings of man belonging to the bronze
epoch appear to have been religious symbols. Such, for instance, are the
designs so often met with on swords, vases, &c. These drawings never
represent objects in nature; they seem rather to be cabalistic signs or
talismans. Most of them bear some relation to a circle; sometimes they
are single circles, and sometimes combinations of circles. Many authors
have had the idea of attributing them to the worship of the sun.

Another sign was still more often used, and it was known even as early
as the Stone Age--we speak of the cross. It is one of the most ancient
symbols that ever existed. M. G. de Mortillet, in a work entitled 'La
Croix avant le Christianisme,' has endeavoured to establish the fact,
that the cross has always been the symbol of a sect which contended
against fetishism. This much is at least certain, that it is one of the
most ancient symbolical signs; for it is found depicted on objects
belonging to the Stone Age, and on some of the earliest relics of the
Bronze Age. At the time of the Etruscans the cross was generally
prevalent as a sign. But at a later period Christianity exclusively
monopolized this religious symbol.

A third figure is sometimes found on various objects belonging to the
bronze epoch; this figure is the triangle.

It is, on the whole, very probable that all these signs which are not
connected with any known object, bear some relation to certain religious
or superstitious ideas entertained by the men of the bronze epoch; and,
as a consequence of this, that their hearts must have been inspired with
some degree of religious feeling.


[37] _Indépendance Belge_, November and December, 1868.


     Mode of Interment and Burial-places of the Bronze Epoch--
     Characteristics of the Human Race during the same Period.

The question naturally arises--what was the mode of interment, and what
was the nature of the burial-places employed by man during the bronze

In the early part of this period the dead were still buried in those
sepulchral chambers which are now called by the name of _dolmens_;
Nilsson and Lubbock have drawn somewhat confused and arbitrary
distinctions in discussing these burial-places; but it may be positively
asserted that towards the conclusion of this period the practice of
burning dead bodies was commenced.

In a work, published in 1869, and entitled 'Le Danemark à l'Exposition
Universelle,' being a sort of catalogue of the objects which were
exhibited in the galleries devoted to the _History of Labour_, in the
Exhibition in the Champ de Mars, in 1867, we find several pages which we
shall quote, as they seem to recapitulate pretty clearly the ideas which
are now current among scientific men concerning the burial-places and
funeral customs of the bronze epoch:--

"The study which, during the last few years, has been devoted by M.
Worsaae to the tombs belonging to the bronze epoch, has thrown much
light," says M. Valdemar Schmidt, "on the commencement of the bronze age
in Denmark. It appears that at the first beginning of the bronze epoch
the dead were buried in a manner similar to that practised during the
stone age, that is to say, the bodies of the defunct were deposited in
sepulchral chambers made of stone, and covered by _tumuli_; the only
difference is, these chambers are rather small, and generally contain
but one skeleton. But to make up for this, several of these small
sepulchral chambers, or rather stone coffins, are sometimes found in the
same _tumulus_.

"These chambers present, however, in some respects, great similarities
with those of the Stone Age; thus, beds of flint which have been
subjected to the action of fire are often found spread over the ground,
and on these beds skeletons are met with which appear to have been
placed in a contracted position before they were buried, exactly
following the practice of the Stone Age.

"After this class of tombs, we have another, in which the sepulchral
chamber, though always made of stone, is not covered with a stone slab
but with a _wooden roof_. Elsewhere, skeletons have been found along
with bronze weapons deposited in a sort of _wooden framework_, which has
in many cases entirely perished except a few minute fragments. These
cases were covered with small stones, which now seem to lie immediately
upon the skeleton.

"Lastly, in all the Danish provinces large oak coffins are found, formed
of hollowed-out trunks of trees; these also contain human bodies, which
seem to have been buried in woollen garments.

"With regard to the funeral rites observed, these tombs do not appear to
have differed much. The bodies were deposited in them with their
implements, weapons, and utensils, either of bronze or stone; but, in
addition, at the bottom of the tomb, animal skins, generally those of
oxen, were often spread.

"Next, a new period succeeded, when the bodies were burned, and the
remains collected together. All the ancient customs were not, however,
at once given up. Thus, as the dead were formerly buried in woollen
garments, the _débris_ of the bones were now wrapped in pieces of cloaks
made of the same material. Subsequently, however, this custom also
disappeared, and the ashes and remains of bones were simply collected
together in urns. This custom was observed until the bronze epoch, and
characterises, so to speak, its second and last period--which was,
however, the longest of that age.

"There were, then, in short, two distinct epochs in the bronze age;
firstly, that _in which the dead were quite simply interred_, either in
small sepulchral chambers or wooden coffins, and, secondly, that _in
which the bodies of the dead were incinerated_.

"One of the most remarkable 'finds,' as regards the first period of the
bronze epoch, was made in 1861, in the two mounds known by the names of
Treenhöi and Kengehöi, and situated near Kongeaa, in Jutland. In each of
these _tumuli_ two people had been buried, both having a double coffin,
made of magnificent trunks of oak-trees. The skeletons had been almost
entirely destroyed by the damp which, on the contrary, had preserved the
garments. These individuals seem to have been dressed almost like the
Scotch; at least they must have worn a sort of woollen petticoat, and
bands by way of trousers, very like those worn by the warriors depicted
in the Carlovingian miniatures, and, in addition, a cloak, a cap, and
also perhaps a shawl. With these garments were found some bronze swords
in wooden sheaths; also some bronze knives, a comb, some boxes, cups,
small wooden coffers, a tin ball, and, lastly, in one of the coffins, a
small flint arrow-head. A fragment of the cloak was to be seen in the
Palace of the Champ de Mars (No. 596).

"Another 'find' made a few miles from this _tumulus_, at Höimp, in North
Schleswig, has also brought to light skeletons in oak coffins together
with bronze implements.

"Discoveries of no less interest have been made in Zealand. Thus, in
1845, in a _tumulus_ at Höidegaard, near Copenhagen, a tomb belonging to
the first period of the bronze epoch was found; it was searched in the
presence of some of the principal Danish archæologists. The tomb was
placed at a distance of more than 10 feet below the summit of the
_tumulus_, and was built of stones; it was more than 6 feet in length,
and its width on the eastern side was about 2 feet, and on the western
side 19 inches. The bottom was lined with a layer of small flint stones,
on which was found, in the first place, a skin, doubtless that of an ox,
and above it, besides a piece of tissue containing remains of human
bones, a bronze sword with a wooden sheath, covered with leather, and in
a perfect state of preservation; lastly, a box containing the following
articles:--1st, a fragment of an amber bead; 2nd, a piece of reddish
stone; 3rd, a small shell, which can be none other than the _Conus
mediterraneus_; it is perforated so as to be worn as a pendant for the
neck; 4th, a fragment of a flint point, doubtless an amulet; 5th, the
tail of a serpent (_Coluber lævis_); 6th, a small cube of pine or
fir-wood, and 7th, a bronze knife with a convex blade and ornamented

"According to the investigations of various savants, these bones belong
to a man, who, to judge from the objects placed by his side in his tomb,
must have been some distinguished personage, and perhaps combined the
functions of a warrior and a sorcerer. The cube of pine-wood leads us
to conjecture that that tree had not then completely disappeared, and
from this fact we may infer that the period at which the sorcerer in
question lived was very remote. It is, however, possible that this piece
of pine-wood, as well as the shell, were introduced from some other
country. The existence of the _Conus mediterraneus_ seems to establish
the fact that Denmark had already formed some kind of connection with
the Mediterranean.

"_The second period of the bronze epoch_ is characterised by the custom
of the cremation of the dead, which generally took place in the
following way: the body of the defunct was usually placed, together with
his weapons and ornaments, on the funeral pile, which was built on the
exact spot which was destined to form the centre of the _tumulus_; the
fire was then lighted, and, after the body was consumed, the remains of
the bones were collected together in an urn. The rubbish that resulted
was left on the spot, surrounded with stones, and covered with earth
till the _tumulus_ was complete. The urn which contained the ashes was
then placed in another part of the _tumulus_. This course of procedure
was not the only one employed; in some cases the weapons and other
articles of adornment were not placed upon the funeral-pile, but were
afterwards brought and placed round the urn.

"The number of tombs of the bronze epoch which have been discovered in
Denmark is very considerable. There are thousands of _tumuli_, and many
of them contain a large number of funeral urns. A great many of these
_tumuli_ have been searched at various times and have produced a number
of different bronze articles. The Museum of Copenhagen possesses no less
than 600 swords dating back to the bronze epoch."[38]

Twenty years ago, however, a very curious discovery was made at Lübeck
(Pomerania), for it exhibited, so to speak, in the same tomb, the three
modes of interment belonging to the pre-historic epochs of the stone,
bronze, and iron ages.

At Waldhausen, near Lübeck, a _tumulus_ was found, which was 13 feet 9
inches in height. This _tumulus_ was pulled down in horizontal layers,
and the following details were successively brought to light.

At the top was a very ancient burial-place, evidently belonging to the
iron age; for the skeleton it contained was accompanied by an object
made of rusty iron and several earthenware articles. It was buried in
loose earth.

Underneath this, and half way down the _tumulus_, there were some small
enclosures composed of uncemented walls, each one containing a
sepulchral urn filled with calcined bones, as well as necklaces,
hair-pins, and a bronze knife.

Lastly, at the base of the _tumulus_, there was a tomb belonging to the
Stone Age. It was formed of large rough blocks of stone, and contained,
in addition to the bones, some coarse specimens of pottery, with flint

It is evident that the first inhabitants of the country began by
building a tomb on the bare ground, according to the customs of the age,
and then covered it up with earth. During the bronze epoch another
burial-place was made on this foundation, and a fresh heap of earth
doubled the height of the mound. Lastly, during the iron age, a dead
body was buried in a grave hollowed out on the top of the same mound.
Here, then, we have a clear delineation of the three different modes of
interment belonging to the three pre-historic periods.

In short, during the bronze epoch, the dead were generally buried in
sepulchral chambers, and sometimes, exceptionally, they were burned. The
custom of funeral feasts still remained in full force. The pious
practice of placing by the side of the dead body the instruments or
weapons which the individual had been fond of during his lifetime, was
likewise still kept up; and it is, moreover, owing to this circumstance
that archæological science is now enabled to collect numerous vestiges
of the ancient customs of these remote ages.

But we must call attention to the fact that, at the end of and after
this epoch, the hatchets and instruments which were placed in the tombs
were often of much smaller dimensions than those employed for every-day
use. They were small and delicately-made hatchets, intended as _votive_
offerings. Some might, perhaps, conclude from this that the heirs,
animated by a feeling of economy, had contented themselves with
depositing very diminutive offerings in the tombs of the dead. The human
race was already becoming degenerate, since it curtailed its homage and
its offerings to the dead!

In order to bring to a conclusion all the details which concern the
bronze epoch, the question will naturally arise, what was the human type
at this epoch, and did it differ from that of the preceding age?
Unfortunately, the positive information which is required for the
elucidation of this question is entirely wanting; this deficiency is
owing to the extreme rarity of human bones, both in the lacustrine
settlements of Switzerland, and also in the tombs belonging to that
epoch which have been searched in different European countries. The
whole of the lacustrine settlements of Switzerland have furnished no
more than some seven skeletons, one of which was found at Meilen, two at
Nidau, one at Sutz, one in the settlement of Bienne, and two at
Auvernier. The first, that is the skeleton found at Meilen, near lake
Zurich, is the only one which belongs to the Stone Age; the six others
are all of the Bronze or Iron Ages.

The skeleton found at Meilen is that of a child; the skull, which is in
a tolerable state of preservation, although incomplete, occupies,
according to the observations of MM. His and Rütimeyer, a middle place
between the long and short heads.

Figs. 229 and 230, representing this skull, are taken from M. Desor's
work, entitled 'Mémoire sur les Palafittes.' From the mere fact that it
is a child's skull, it is almost impossible to make any use of it in
ascertaining the characteristic features of the race to which it
belongs; for these features are not sufficiently marked at such an early
age. The skull is of a very elongated shape, that is to say, it belongs
to the _dolichocephalous_ type. The upper part of the skull is
flattened, and it has an enormous occipital development; but, on the
other hand, there is scarcely any forehead. If these special features
might be generally applied, they would not prove much in favour of the
intellectual capacity of the Helvetic nation, or of its superiority over
the races of anterior ages; it represents, in fact, a very low type of
conformation, which, however, harmonises perfectly with the rough
manners and cruel practices of the Gallic tribes.

[Illustration: Fig. 229.--Skull found at Meilen, front view.]

[Illustration: Fig. 230.--Skull found at Meilen, profile view.]

At the time of the discovery, this skull was accompanied by various
bones belonging to the body and limbs, which show by their extraordinary
bulk that their owners were men of very large size. We have already
remarked upon the large size of the men existing in the Stone Age, that
is to say, at the time of the first appearance of mankind. Thus, the
human type had changed but little since its first appearance on the

The settlement of Auvernier, in the lake of Neuchâtel has, as we have
before said, contributed two skulls. One belonged to a child about eight
years of age, and the other to an adult. The child's skull differs very
slightly from the one found at Meilen. It is small, elongated, and has a
low and narrow forehead. That of the adult presents the same
characteristics, and, in addition, an extraordinary development of the
occiput, a feature which is not observable in the former, probably, on
account of the youth of the subject. These two skulls seem, therefore,
to show that the population of the lacustrine settlements had not at all
changed at the beginning of the bronze epoch.

A discovery made in the neighbourhood of Sion has confirmed these first
ideas. At this spot, in tombs of rough stone, there were found some
bodies bent into a contracted position, and accompanied by certain
bronze objects. According to MM. His and Carl Vogt, the skulls found at
Sion agree tolerably well with those discovered at Meilen and Auvernier;
and, in addition to this, the same shape is perpetuated down to our own
days in German Switzerland, where it strongly predominates, and
constitutes what is called the Helvetic type.

The _data_ which have been collected up to the present time are not
sufficient to enable us to make any positive assertion respecting the
development of the intelligence of man during the bronze epoch. The few
skulls which have been recovered are always in an incomplete state, and
do not justify us in forming any exact opinion on this matter. But when
we are considering the degree of intelligence possessed by our ancestors
at this period of man's development, there are things which will
enlighten us far better than any fragments of bones or any remains of
skeletons; these are the works which have been executed by their hands.
The fine arts had already begun to throw out promising germs, industrial
skill had become an established fact, agriculture was in full practice,
and bronze was made to adapt itself to all the caprices and all the
boldest ideas of the imagination. What more can be necessary to prove
that man, at this epoch, was already comparatively far advanced in
intellectual culture?

In concluding our account of the bronze epoch, the question naturally
arises whether it is possible to form any estimate of the exact space of
time embraced by this period of man's history. We shall endeavour here
to give, not the solution of the problem, but merely an idea of the way
in which scientific men have entered on the question.

Morlot, the Swiss archæologist and naturalist, who has written a great
deal upon the subject of the lacustrine settlements, was the first to
endeavour to estimate the duration of the Stone Age, as well as that of
the Bronze Epoch, and the following is the way in which he set about it.

In the neighbourhood of Villeneuve there is a cone or hillock formed of
gravel and _alluvium_, slowly deposited there by the stream of the
Tinière which falls at this spot into the lake of Geneva. This cone was
cut in two, to lay down the railway which runs along the side of the
lake. Its interior structure was thus laid bare, and appeared to be
perfectly regular, a proof that it had been gradually formed during a
long course of ages. There were three layers of vegetable earth placed
at different depths between the deposits of _alluvium_, each of which
double layers had in its turn formed the outer surface of the cone.

The first layer was found at a depth of 3 feet 6 inches from the top,
and was 4 to 6 inches thick. In it were found some relics of the Roman

The second, situated 5 feet 3 inches lower, measured 6 inches in depth,
and was recognised as belonging to the bronze age; it contained a pair
of bronze pincers and some fragments of unglazed earthenware.

The lower bed lay at a depth of 18 feet from the top, and varied in
thickness from 6 to 7 inches. It contained some rough earthenware,
charcoal, and animal bones, all pointing to the Stone Age, but to the
latest times of that period.

After having carefully examined these different beds and ascertained the
regular structure of the cone, Morlot fancied that he could calculate
approximately the age of each of them. He took for his base of
operations two historical dates; that of the entrance of the Romans into
Helvetia, fifty-eight years before Christ, and that of their decisive
expulsion towards the end of the fifth century of the Christian era. By
comparing these two dates, he came to the conclusion that the Roman
layer was at the most eighteen and at the least thirteen centuries old.
Then remarking that since that epoch the cone had increased 3 feet 6
inches, and always going upon the hypothesis that the increase was the
same as in subsequent ages, he came to the conclusion that the bed
corresponding with the bronze epoch was at least 2900 and at the most
4200 years old; and that the layer belonging to the Stone Age, forming
the entire remainder of the cone, was from 4700 to 10,000 years old.

Another calculation, the conclusions of which agree tolerably well with
these, was made by M. Gilliéron, professor at the college of Neuveville.
We have already said that the remains of a pile-work belonging to the
Stone Age was discovered near the bridge of Thièle, between the lakes of
Bienne and Neuchâtel. It is evident that the valley, the narrowest part
of which was occupied by the lacustrine settlement, was formerly almost
entirely under water, for below this point it suddenly widens out and
retains these proportions as far as the lake of Bienne. The lake must,
therefore, have retired slowly and regularly, as may be ascertained from
an examination of the mud deposited by it. If, therefore, we know its
annual coefficient of retreat, that is to say, how much it retired every
year, we should be able to estimate with a sufficient degree of
approximation the age of the settlement of the bridge of Thièle.

Now there is, not far from the lake, at about 1230 feet from the present
shore, an old abbey, that of Saint-Jean, which is known to have been
built about the year 1100. A document of that time mentions that the
cloister had the right of fishing in a certain part of the lake; and
there is some likelihood that it was built on the edge of the lake; a
supposition which naturally presents itself to the mind. The lake,
then, must have retired 1230 feet in 750 years. This granted, M.
Gilliéron easily calculated the time which would be taken for a retreat
of 11,072 feet, this number representing the distance from the present
shore to the entrance of the defile which contains the settlement of the
bridge of Thièle. He found by this means that the settlement is at least
6750 years old, a figure which confirms those of Morlot.

The preceding calculations assign to the Stone Age in Switzerland an
antiquity of 6000 to 7000 years before the Christian era, and to the
bronze epoch an antiquity of 4000 years before the same era. There is
still much uncertainty in the figures thus given to satisfy public
curiosity; but there is at least one fact which is altogether
unquestionable--that these calculations have dealt a fatal blow to
recognised chronology.


[38] 'Le Danemark à l'Exposition Universelle de 1867, by Valdemar
Schmidt,' vol. i. pp. 60-64. Paris, 1868.




     Essential Characteristics of the Iron Epoch--Preparation of Iron in
     Pre-historic Times--Discovery of Silver and Lead--Earthenware made
     on the Potter's Wheel--Invention of Coined Money.

Without metals, as we have said in one of the preceding chapters, man
must have remained for ever in a state of barbarism. To this we must
add, that the civilisation of man has made progress just in proportion
to the degree of perfection he has arrived at in the working of the
metals and alloys which he has had at his disposal. The knowledge and
use of bronze communicated a strong impulse to nascent civilisation, and
was the means of founding the first human communities. But bronze is far
from possessing all the qualities which ought to belong to metals when
applied to various industrial purposes. This alloy is neither hard nor
elastic enough to make good tools; and, in addition to this, it is
composed of metals which in a natural state are very scarce. Man
requires a metal which is cheap, hard, easy to work, and adapted to all
the requirements which are exacted by industrial skill, which is so
manifold in its works and wants.

A metal of this sort was at length discovered, and a new era opened for
the future of men. They learned how to extract from its ore iron--the
true king of metals, as it may well be called--on account of its
inestimable qualities. From the day when iron was first placed at man's
disposal civilisation began to make its longest strides, and as the
working of this metal improved, so the dominion of man--his faculties
and his intellectual activity--likewise enlarged in the same proportion.

It is, therefore, with good reason that the name of _Iron Epoch_ has
been given to the latest period of the development of primitive man,
and it is not surprising that the last portion of the iron epoch formed
the commencement of historical times. After this period, in fact, man
ceased to live in that half-savage state, the most striking features of
which we have endeavoured to portray.

As the use of iron essentially characterises this epoch in the history
of mankind, we ought to give an account of the processes of manufacture
employed by the primitive metallurgists, that is to say, we should
inquire how they proceeded at this epoch to extract iron from its native

The art of metallurgy had made great progress during the bronze epoch.
There were at that time considerable workshops for the preparation of
bronze, and small foundries for melting and casting this alloy. When
once formed into weapons, instruments, and tools, bronze objects were
fashioned by artisans of various professions. The moulder's art had
already attained to a high degree of perfection, a fact which is proved
by the gigantic bronze objects which we have already mentioned, as well
as the castings, so many of which have been represented in the preceding
pages. The phenomenon of _tempering_ was well known, that is the
principal modifications which are experienced by bronze in its cooling,
whether slow or sudden. It was well known how to vary the proportions of
the tin and copper so as to obtain bronze of different degrees of
hardness. All the means of soldering were also familiarly known.
Damascening was introduced in order to diversify the appearance of
wrought metallic objects. The cutting qualities of instruments were
increased by forging them and consolidating them by hammering. They had
even gone so far as to discover the utility of the addition of certain
mineral salts in the founder's crucible in order to facilitate the
fusion of the bronze.

Thus at the end of the bronze epoch the knowledge of metals had attained
to a comparatively considerable development. Hence we may conclude that
the substitution of iron for bronze took place without any great
difficulty. Owing to the natural progress and successive improvements
made in metallurgic art, the blacksmith made his appearance on the scene
and took the place of the bronze-moulder.

What, however, was the process which enabled our earliest metallurgists
to extract iron from its native ore?

Native iron, that is metallic iron in a natural state, is eminently
rare; except in aërolites it is scarcely ever found. According to
Pallas, the Russian naturalist, certain Siberian tribes have succeeded,
with a great amount of labour, in obtaining from the aërolites which
have been met with in their country small quantities of iron, which they
have made into knives. The same practice existed among the Laplanders.
Lastly, we are told by Amerigo Vespucci that in the fifteenth century
the Indians at the mouth of the La Plata river were in the habit of
making arrow-heads and other instruments with iron extracted from

But, as we hardly need observe, stones of this kind do not often drop
down from the skies, and their employment is of too accidental a
character ever to have suggested to men the right mode of the extraction
of iron. It is, therefore, almost certain that the first iron used was
extracted from its ore just like copper and tin, that is, by the
reduction of its oxide under the influence of heat and charcoal. In
opposition to this explanation, some bring forward as an objection the
prodigiously high temperature which is required for the fusion of iron,
or, in fact, the almost impossibility of melting iron in the primitive
furnaces. But the fusion of iron was in no way necessary for the
extraction of this metal; and if it had been requisite to procure liquid
iron, primitive industrial skill would never have succeeded in doing it.
All that was necessary was so to reduce the oxide of iron as to obtain
the metal in a spongy state without any fusion. The hammering of this
spongy mass when in a red-hot state soon converted it into a real bar of

If we cast a glance on the metallurgic industry of some of the
semi-barbarous nations of ancient times, we shall find, as regards the
extraction of iron, a process in use among them which will fully justify
the idea we have formed of the way in which iron must have been obtained
in primitive times. Gmelin, the naturalist, during his travels in
Tartary, was a witness of the elementary process which was employed by
these northern tribes in procuring iron. There, every one prepares his
own iron just as every household might make its own bread. The furnace
for the extraction of iron is placed in the kitchen, and is nothing but
a mere cavity, 9 inches cube, which is filled up with iron-ore; the
furnace is surmounted by an earthen chimney, and there is a door in
front of the furnace for introducing the ore, this door being kept
closed during the smelting process. In an orifice at the side the nozzle
of a pair of bellows is inserted, which are blown by one man whilst
another introduces the ore and charcoal in successive layers. The
furnace never holds more than 3-1/2 lbs. of ore for each operation. When
this quantity has been placed in the furnace, in small pieces one after
the other, all that is done is keeping up the action of the bellows for
some minutes. Lastly, the door of the furnace is opened, and the ashes
and other products of combustion having been drawn out, a small mass of
spongy iron is found, which proceeds from the reduction of the oxide of
iron by means of the charcoal, without the metal being in a state of
fusion, properly so called. This small lump of iron was cleaned with a
piece of wood, and was put on one side to be subsequently welded to
others, and hammered several times when in a red-hot state; and by means
of several forgings the whole mass was converted into a single bar.

This same process for the extraction of iron from its natural oxide,
without fusion, is practised by the negroes of Fouta-Djallon, in

After having become acquainted with the elementary process which is
practised by the semi-barbarous tribes of the present day, we shall find
but little difficulty in understanding all that Morlot, the Swiss
naturalist, has said as to the iron-furnaces of pre-historic man, and
shall probably agree in his opinions on the subject. Morlot, in his
'Mémoires sur l'Archéologie de la Suisse,' has described the vestiges of
the pre-historic furnaces intended for the preparation of iron, which
were found by him in Carinthia (Austria).

According to M. Morlot, the plan adopted for extracting iron from its
oxide in pre-historic times was as follows:--On the side of a slope
exposed to the wind, a hole was hollowed out. The bottom of this hole
was filled up with a heap of wood, on which was placed a layer of ore.
This layer of ore was covered by a second heap of wood; then, taking
advantage of a strong breeze rising, which had to perform the functions
of the bellows, the lowest pile of wood was kindled at its base. The
wood by its combustion was converted into charcoal, and this charcoal,
under the influence of heat, soon reduced the iron oxide to a metallic
state. When the combustion had come to an end, a few pieces of iron were
found among the ashes.

By increasing the size of the apparatus used, far more considerable
results were of course obtained. In Dalecarlia (Sweden), M. Morlot found
smelting-houses, so to speak, in which the original hole, of which we
have just been speaking, is surrounded with stones so as to form a sort
of circular receptacle. In this rough stone crucible layers of charcoal
and iron-ore were placed in succession. After having burnt for some
hours, the heap was searched over and the spongy iron was found mixed
with the ashes at the bottom of the furnace.

The slowness of the operation and the inconsiderable metallic result
induced them to increase the size of the stone receptacle. They first
gave to it a depth of 7 feet and then of 13 feet, and, at the same time,
coated the walls of it with clay. They thus had at their disposal a kind
of vast circular crucible, in which they placed successive layers of
iron-ore and wood or charcoal.

In this altogether elementary arrangement no use was made, as it seems,
of the bellows. This amounts to stating that the primitive method of
smelting iron was not, as is commonly thought, an adaptation of the
_Catalan furnace_. This latter process, which, even in the present time,
is made use of in the Pyrenean smelting works, does not date back
further than the times of the Roman empire. It is based on the continual
action of the bellows; whilst in the pre-historic furnaces this
instrument, we will again repeat, was never employed.

These primitive furnaces applied to the reduction of iron-ore, traces of
which had been recognised by Morlot, the naturalist, in Austria and
Sweden, have lately been discovered in considerable numbers in the
canton of Berne by M. Quiquerez, a scientific mining engineer. They
consist of cylindrical excavations, of no great depth, dug out on the
side of a hill and surmounted by a clay funnel of conical form.
Wood-charcoal was the fuel employed for charging the furnaces, for
stores of this combustible are always found lying round the ancient
smelting works.

In an extremely curious memoir, which was published in 1866 by the Jura
Society of Emulation, under the title of 'Recherches sur les anciennes
Forges du Jura Bernois,' M. Quiquerez summed up the results of his
protracted and minute investigations. A few extracts from this valuable
work will bring to our knowledge the real construction of the furnaces
used by pre-historic man; 400 of these furnaces having been discovered
by M. Quiquerez in the district of the Bernese Jura.

We will, however, previously mention that M. Quiquerez had represented,
or materialised, as it were, the results of his interesting labours, by
constructing a model in miniature of a siderurgical establishment
belonging to the earliest iron epoch. This curious specimen of
workmanship showed the clay-furnace placed against the side of a hill,
the heaps of charcoal, the scoriæ, the hut used as a dwelling by the
workmen, the furnace-implements--in short, all the details which formed
the result of the patient researches of the learned Swiss engineer.

M. Quiquerez had prepared this interesting model of the ancient
industrial pursuits of man with a view of exhibiting it in the
_Exposition Universelle_ of 1867, together with the very substances,
productions, and implements which he had found in his explorations in
the Jura. But the commission appointed for selecting objects for
admission refused to grant him the modest square yard of area which he
required for placing his model. How ridiculous it seems! In the immense
Champ de Mars in which so many useless and absurd objects perfectly
swarmed, one square yard of space was refused for one of the most
curious productions which was ever turned out by the skilful hands of
any _savant_!

The result of this unintelligent refusal was that M. Quiquerez' model
did not make its appearance in the _Exposition Universelle_ in the Champ
de Mars, and that it was missing from the curious Gallery of the History
of Labour, which called forth so much of the attention of the public.
For our readers, however, it will not be altogether lost. M. Quiquerez
has been good enough to forward to us from Bellerive, where he resides
(near Délémont, canton of Basle, Switzerland) a photograph of his
curious model of a pre-historic workshop for the preparation of iron.
From this photograph we have designed the annexed plate, representing a
_primitive furnace for the extraction of iron_.

[Illustration: Fig. 231.--Primitive Furnace for Smelting Iron.]

This composition reproduces with tolerable accuracy the model in relief
constructed by the author. The furnace is shown; it is nothing but a
simple cavity surmounted by a conical chimney-funnel, and placed against
the side of a hill. Steps made of rough stone, placed on each side of
the mound, enable the workmen to mount to the summit. The height of the
funnel is about 9 feet. At the side of the furnace stands the hut for
the labourers, constructed of a number of round poles placed side by
side; for centuries past huts of this kind have been erected in almost
every country.

On the right, in the foreground, we may notice a heap of charcoal
intended to be placed in the furnace in order to reduce the ore; on the
left, there is the store of ore called in the ironworks the _ore-pen_.
The provision of iron-ore is enclosed between four wooden slabs, forming
a quadrangular space. In the centre are the scoriæ which result from the
operations carried on. A workman is extracting the cake of spongy iron
from the ashes of the furnace; another is hammering on the anvil a piece
of iron drawn from the furnace in order to forge it into a bar. Round
the furnace various implements are scattered about, such as the anvil,
the pincers, the hammer, &c. All the instruments are designed from
various specimens found by the author.

After these explanations, we may now give some extracts from M.
Quiquerez' work, and we trust our readers will find no difficulty in
comprehending the details given by the learned engineer, describing the
primitive furnaces for the extraction of iron which he discovered in the
Bernese Jura.

M. Quiquerez has remarked two kinds of primitive furnaces for the
fabrication of iron, or, rather, two stages of improvement in their
construction. The first sort, that which the author considers as dating
back to the most remote antiquity, is not so numerous as the others; the
second kind form the largest number of those which he has explored.

"Furnaces of the first kind," says M. Quiquerez, "consisted of nothing
but a small cylindrical excavation of no great regularity in shape, with
a cup-shaped bottom, hollowed out in the side of a hill so as to give
more natural height on one side; the front of the furnace was closed up
by fire-proof clay, supported with stones. This cavity was plastered
over with 4 to 6 inches of clay, generally of a whitish colour, which
became red after coming in contact with the fire. These
smelting-furnaces were not more than 12 to 18 inches in depth, as seemed
to be shown by the upper edges being rounded and more or less scoriated.
The front, which was always more or less broken, had an opening at its
base to admit a current of air, and to allow the workmen to deal with
the melted material; but this opening seems to show that the piece of
metal which had been formed during the operation must have been
extracted by breaking in the front.

"The second kind of furnace, which is by far the most numerously found
and widely distributed, is, in fact, nothing but an improvement of that
which preceded it, the edges of the furnace or crucible being
considerably raised in height. They vary in depth from 7-1/2 to 8 feet,
with a diameter of most irregular dimensions, from 18 inches upwards,
and a thickness of 12 inches to 7 feet. They are likewise formed of
fire-proof clay, and their average capacity is about 25 gallons.

"The constructor, having dug out in the side of the hill an opening
circular, or rather semi-circular, at the base, with a diameter nearly
three times as wide as the future furnace, arranged in the centre of
this hole a kind of furnace-bed made of plastic clay at bottom, and
covered with a layer of fire-proof clay on the top of it. The bed of the
furnace, which lies on the natural and hardly levelled earth, is,
generally speaking, not so thick as the side walls, which are formed of
sandy or siliceous clay, always fire-proof on the inside, but sometimes
of a more plastic nature on the exterior; the empty space left between
the walls of the furnace and the solid ground round it was filled up
with earth and other material. In front the furnace was enclosed by a
rough wall, sometimes straight and sometimes curving, built, without
mortar, of rough limestone, and dressed with earth to fill up the gaps.
In front of the furnace an opening was made in this wall, taking its
rise a few inches above the bottom of the furnace, and increasing in
size in an outward direction, so as to enable the workmen to see into,
and work in, the furnace.

"The work thus commenced was carried up to the requisite height; and
when the excavation in the side of the hill was not lofty enough, the
dome of the furnace was raised by placing buttresses against the
fire-clay, so as to prevent the earth falling in. When these furnaces
were established on almost level ground, as is sometimes the case, they
form a truncated cone, with a base varying in size according to the
height of the apparatus.

"The furnace was not always built upright; it often deviated from the
perpendicular, leaning to one side or the other to an extent as
considerable as its own diameter, but no constant rule as to this can be
recognised. The internal shape was just as irregular, changing from
circular to oval, without any apparent motive beyond want of care in the
workman. The crucibles or furnaces are sometimes larger at the top than
at the bottom, and sometimes these proportions are reversed, but always
with extreme irregularity. We have noticed some which at a point 10 or
12 inches above the crucible were perceptibly contracted on three sides,
thus representing the first rudiments of the appearance of our modern
furnaces. But this, perhaps, was nothing but a caprice on the part of
the builder.

"The furnace thus being established, the wood was withdrawn which had
formed the cone, if, indeed, any had been used, and at the hole made at
the base of the crucible a clod of fire-clay some inches in height was
placed, so as to form a dam, and to confine in the crucible the molten
or soft metal; the scoriæ, being of a lighter nature and floating at the
top, made their escape over the top of the dam. As the latter were not
very liquid, their issue was promoted by means of pokers or wooden
poles, perhaps damped, with which also the metal was stirred in the

"In neither of these two kinds of furnaces do we find any trace of
bellows, and a more or less strong draught must have been procured
through the opening made for the escape of the scoriæ, according to the
elevation of the dome of the furnace. The limestones which have been
found in certain furnaces were probably employed with a view of
increasing the draught; they doubtless belonged to the upper part of the
furnace, where they had been fixed so as to add height to the orifice.
This rudimentary plan must have been likewise used in the earliest
crucibles. The mode of obtaining a draught which we have just pointed
out is indicated most plainly by the scorification of the walls of the
furnace on the side opposite to the air-passage; this side has evidently
experienced a more intense heat, whilst on the other the walls are much
less affected by the fire, and in some cases pieces of the mineral still
remain in a pasty or semi-molten state, just as they were when the work
of the furnace ceased....

"The absence of any machine in the shape of bellows in the ancient metal
works of the Jura appears all the more remarkable as these implements
were known both to the Greeks and Romans; hence we may at least infer,
not only that these nations did not introduce the art of iron-working
into the Jura, but that it must have existed at a much earlier period.
It must also be remarked that the openings in the furnaces are not
placed in the direction of the winds prevailing in the country--a plan
which might have increased the draught--but are made quite at hazard,
just as the nature of the spot rendered the construction of the furnace
more easy.

"... In respect to fuel it must be remarked that in all the
siderurgical establishments which we have discovered, certain features
indicate that wood carbonised in a stack was exclusively used as fuel.
The furnaces are too small for the employment of rough wood; added to
this, charcoal stores are placed near the furnaces; and charcoal burnt
in a stack is constantly met with all round the sites, in the scoriæ,
and all the _débris_. We must, besides, mention the discovery, at
Bellelay, of a charcoal store 8 feet in diameter, situated under a
compact bed of peat 20 feet in thickness. It was established on the
solid earth, anterior to the formation of the peat. Now from this very
peat a parcel of coins belonging to the fifteenth century was recovered,
over which only 2 feet of peat had grown in a period of 400 years.
There, too, at a depth of 9 feet, were found the scattered bones of a
horse, with the foot still shod with those undulating edged shoes with
elongated and strongly punched holes, in which were fitted the ends of
nails of the shape of a T, the heads of which were conical. This kind of
shoe is found in the Celtic settlements, the villages, habitations, and
ironworks, also in the pasturages and forests of the country, but rarely
in the Roman camps; in the latter they are always in less number than
the wider metallic shoes, which are larger, and furnished with a groove
indicating the line in which the nail-holes were punched. The
calculations which have been made from the discovery of the coins of the
fifteenth century (A.D. 1478) would give an antiquity of at least twenty
to twenty-four centuries to the horse-shoe we have just mentioned, for
the animal must have died and been devoured on the then existing surface
of the ground, and could not have been buried in the peat, as the bones,
instead of lying grouped together, were dispersed in every direction.
These same calculations would carry back the date of the charcoal-store
to an era 4000 years ago.

"Owing to the imperfection of the furnaces, the quantity of charcoal
used must have been quadruple the present consumption for the same
results. The metal, as it was extracted from the ore, fell down into the
bottom of the crucible. In proportion as the mass of metal increased, a
workman, with a poker made of damp green wood, brought out the scoriæ
which floated on the top, and stirred the metal so as to fine it. It is
proved that these wooden pokers or poles were made use of in all the
furnace-works. A quantity of morsels of scoriæ is found which, having
been in a soft state when extracted, have retained the imprint of the
piece of wood, the end of which was evidently charred. M. Morlot, in his
article on the Roman ironworks at Wocheim, in Upper Carniola, has also
noticed the existence, in the scoriæ, of frequent traces of pokers,
sometimes round and sometimes three-cornered in shape, but all of them
must have been made of iron, whilst throughout the whole of the Jura we
have never recognised the traces of any but wooden implements of this

"Owing to the imperfection of the furnaces, and especially, the
deficiency in the draught caused by the want of bellows, the metal
contained in the ore could be but very imperfectly extracted; the scoriæ
are therefore still so very rich in iron that, about twenty years ago,
the manager of the ironworks at Untervelier tried to use them over again
as ore. Accumulations of this dross, measuring from 100 to 200 yards
square, may be seen near certain furnaces-a fact which would infer a
somewhat considerable production of iron. The examination of these
scoriæ proves that iron was then made by one single operation, and not
liquid pigs fit for casting, or to be converted into iron by a second
series of operations.

"The iron produced was introduced into commerce in large blocks, shaped
like two quadrangular pyramids joined at the base, weighing from 12 to
16 lbs. One of these pieces was found near a furnace which had been
demolished in order to establish a charcoal furnace, in the commune of
Untervelier, and another in one of the furnaces of Boécourt.

"All round the furnaces there have been found numerous remains of rough
pottery; it is badly baked, and made without the help of the wheel, from
clay which is mingled with grains of quartz--the pottery, in fact, which
is called Celtic. Pieces of stag's horn have also been discovered, which
must have been used for the handles of tools; also iron hatchets. One of
them has a socket at the end made in a line with the length of the
implement; it is an instrument belonging to the most remote period of
the iron age. The others have transversal sockets like our present
hatchets. One of the latter was made of steel so hard that it could not
be touched with the file. With regard to coins, both Gallic and Roman
were found, and some of the latter were of as late a date as that of
the Constantines. The persistence in practising the routine of all the
most ancient processes may be explained by the monopoly of the
iron-working trade being retained in the same families. We have the less
need to be surprised at this, because we may notice that the
wood-cutters and charcoal-burners of our own days, when they have to
take up their abode in a locality for any length of time, and to carry
on their trade there, always make certain arrangements which have
doubtless been handed down from the most primitive times. In order to
protect their beds from the damp, they make a kind of shelf of fir-poles
which is used as a bedstead. Some of them have two stories; the
under-one intended for the children, and the one above for the parents.
Moss, ferns, and dried grass form the mattress. Coverlets impossible to
describe were made good use of, and some were even made of branches of
fir-trees. These bedsteads take the place both of benches and chairs. A
stone fire-place, roughly arranged in the centre of the hut, fills the
double function of warming in winter and cooking the food all the year
round. We may also add, that the fire, which is almost always kept
lighted, and the ashes spread over the floor all round, preserve the hut
from certain troublesome insects, which lose their lives by jumping
imprudently into this unknown trap. The smoke finds no other issue but
through a hole made in the roof."[40]

Such is the description given by M. Quiquerez of the iron furnaces of a
really pre-historic character, those, namely, which are characterised by
the absence of bellows. We think, however, that there must have been
holes below the hearth which afforded access to currents of air, and, by
being alternately open or closed, served either to increase or diminish
the intensity of the draught. But bellows, properly so called, intended
to promote the combustion and chemical reaction between the oxide of
iron and the charcoal did not then exist.

The addition of the bellows to iron-furnaces brought an essential
improvement to the art of the manufacture of iron.

Another improvement consisted in making, at the bottom of the stone
receptacle where the fuel and the ore were burnt together, a door
composed of several bricks which could be readily moved. At the
completion of each operation they drew out, through this door, the cake
of iron, which could not be so conveniently extracted at the upper part
of the furnace, on account of its height. The hammering, assisted by
several heatings, finally cleared the iron, in the usual way, from all
extraneous matter, consolidated it, and converted it into the state of
bar-iron fit for the blacksmith's use, and for the fabrication of
utensils and tools.

These improved primitive furnaces are well-known to German miners under
the name of _Stucköfen_ ("fragment-furnaces"). They are modified in
different ways in different countries; and according to the arrangement
of the furnace, and especially according to the nature of the
ferruginous ores, certain methods or manipulations of the iron have been
introduced, which are nowadays known under the names of the Swedish,
German, Styrian, Carinthian, Corsican, and Catalan methods.

The ancient furnaces for the extraction of iron may be combined under
the name of _smelting-forges_ or _bloomeries_.

The invention of siliceous fluxes as applied to the extraction of iron,
and facilitating the production of a liquid scoria which could flow out
in the form of a stream of fire, put the finishing stroke to the
preparation of iron. The constructors next considerably increased the
height of the stone crucible in which the fuel and the ore, now mingled
with a siliceous flux, were placed, and the _blast furnace_, that is,
the present system of the preparation of iron, soon came into existence.

But, there may be reason to think, neither of these two kinds of
furnaces belongs to the primitive ages of mankind which are the object
of this work. In the iron epoch--that we are considering--the furnace
without bellows was possibly the only one known; the iron was prepared
in very small quantities at a time, and the meagre metallic cake, the
result from each operation, had to be picked out from among the ashes
drawn from the stone receptacle.

Gold, as we have already said, was known to the men of the bronze epoch.
Silver, on the contrary, did not come into use until the iron epoch.

Another characteristic of the epoch we are now studying is the
appearance of pottery made on the potter's wheel, and baked in an
improved kind of furnace. Up to that time, pottery had been moulded by
the hand, and merely burnt in the open air. In the iron epoch, the
potter's wheel came into use, and articles of earthenware were
manufactured on this wheel, and baked in an unexceptionable way in an
oven especially constructed for the purpose.

There is another fact which likewise characterises the iron epoch; this
was the appearance of coined money. The earliest known coins belong to
this period; they are made of bronze, and bear a figure or effigy not
stamped, but obtained by melting and casting.

The most ancient coins that are known are Greek, and date back to the
eighth century before Christ. These are the coins of Ægina, Athens, and
Cyzicum, such as were found many years ago in the duchy of Posen. In the
lacustrine settlement of Neuchâtel, coins of a remote antiquity have
also been found. We here represent in its natural size (fig. 232), taken
from M. Desor's work, a bronze coin found in the settlement of La Tène
in the lake of Neuchâtel. But these coins are not more ancient than the
Greek specimens that we have before named. They are shown to be Gallic
by the horned horse, which is a Gallic emblem.

[Illustration: Fig. 232.--Bronze Coin, from the Lake of Neuchâtel.]

At Tiefenau, near Berne, coins have been found of a nearly similar
character associated with others having on them the effigy of Apollo,
and bearing an imprint of _Massilia_ (Marseilles). As the foundation of
this Phocæan colony dates back to the sixth century before Christ, these
coins may be said to be among the most ancient which exist.

Glass became known, as we have before stated, in the bronze epoch.

In short, the essential features which distinguish the iron epoch are,
iron instruments, and implements combining with those of bronze to
replace stone in all the uses for which it was anciently employed--the
knowledge of silver and lead, the improvement of pottery, and the
introduction of coined money. With regard to its chronological date we
should adopt that of about 2000 years before the Christian era, thus
agreeing with the generality of authors--the date of the bronze epoch
being fixed about 4000 years before Christ.

After these general considerations, we shall pass on to give some
account of the manners and customs of man during the iron epoch, or, at
least, during the earlier portion of this period, which ere long became
blended with historic ages.

When we have completed our study of man in the earlier period of the
iron epoch, we shall have terminated the rapid sketch which we have
intended to trace out of primitive man and his labours. This period
commenced, as we have just stated, about 2000 years before Christ, and
ultimately merged into the earliest glimmer of historical records. Our
task now is to describe all we know about man at this date of nascent
civilisation. Afterwards, the earliest historians--and among them,
Herodotus, the father of history--are the authorities whom we must
consult for an account of the actions and exploits of the human race in


[39] Details as to the relation of the Stone Age to the Bronze and Iron
Ages may be found in 'Researches into the Early History of Mankind,' by
Edward B. Tylor. Chap. VIII., 'Pre-Historic Times,' by Sir J. Lubbock,
Chaps. I. and II.

[40] 'De l'Age du Fer, Recherches sur les anciennes Forges du Jura
Bernois,' by A. Quiquerez, Engineer of the Jura Mines. Porrentruy, 1866;
pp. 35-39, 77-80. Also, 'Matériaux pour l'Histoire positif de l'Homme,'
by G. de Mortillet, vol. ii. pp. 505-510.


     Weapons--Tools, Instruments, Utensils, and Pottery--The Tombs of
     Hallstadt and the Plateau of La Somma--The Lake-Settlements of
     Switzerland--Human Sacrifices--Type of Man during the Iron
     Epoch--Commencement of the Historic Era.

The most valuable traces of the manners and customs of man during the
earlier period of the iron epoch have been furnished by the vast
burial-ground discovered recently at Hallstadt, near Salzburg in
Austria. M. Ramsauer, Director of the salt-mines of Salzburg, has
explored more than 1000 tombs in this locality, and has described them
in a work full of interest, a manuscript copy of which we have consulted
in the Archæological Museum of Saint-Germain.

As the tombs at Hallstadt belong to the earlier period of the iron
epoch, they represent to us the natural transition from the epoch of
bronze to that of iron. In fact, in a great number of objects contained
in these tombs--such as daggers, swords and various ornaments--bronze
and iron are combined. One sword, for instance, is formed of a bronze
hilt and an iron blade. This is represented in figures 233, 234, 235 and
236, drawn from the sketches in M. Ramsauer's manuscript work entitled
'Les Tombes de Hallstadt,' in which this combination of the two metals
is remarked upon; the sword-hilts being formed of one metal and the
blades of another.

[Illustration: Fig. 233.--Sword, from the Tombs of Hallstadt (with a
Bronze Hilt and Iron Blade).]

[Illustration: Fig. 234.--Sword, from the Tombs of Hallstadt (with a
Bronze Hilt and Iron Blade).]

[Illustration: Fig. 235.--Dagger, from the Tombs of Hallstadt (Bronze
Handle and Iron Blade).]

[Illustration: Fig. 236.--Dagger, from the Tombs of Hallstadt (Bronze
Handle and Iron Blade).]

By taking a rapid survey of the objects found in the tombs of Hallstadt,
we can form a somewhat accurate idea of the first outset of the iron

The first point which strikes us in this period, is the utter change
which had taken place in the interment of the dead.

During the Stone Age, the dead were placed in small subterranean crypts,
that is in _dolmens_ or _tumuli_. During the Bronze Age it became to a
great extent customary for men to burn the dead bodies of their friends.

This custom was destined to become more and more prevalent century after
century, and during historic times it became universal among a great
many nations.

In fact, in the tombs of Hallstadt, several little earthen vessels
containing ashes may be seen. Sometimes only part of the body was burnt,
so that a portion of a skeleton was found in these tombs, and near it
the ashes of the parts which the fire had consumed.

The remains found in the tombs of Hallstadt are almost equally divided
between these two modes of inhumation. About half of the tombs contain
nothing but ashes; in the other half, corpses are laid extended,
according to the custom which was most prevalent in the iron age.
Lastly, as we have just stated, some of them contained skeletons which
were partially burnt. Sometimes it was the head, sometimes the whole
bust, or sometimes the lower limbs which were consumed, the ashes being
deposited by the side of the intact portions of the skeleton. Fig. 238,
which is designed from one of the illustrations in M. Ramsauer's
manuscript work 'Les Tombes de Hallstadt,' in the Museum of
Saint-Germain, represents a skeleton, part of which (the chest) has been
consumed. The ashes are contained in small earthen vessels which are
seen near the corpse.

[Illustration: Fig. 237.--Funeral Ceremonies during the Iron Epoch.]

[Illustration: Fig. 238.--A Skeleton, portions of which have been burnt,
from the Tombs of Hallstadt.]

From the _data_ which we have acquired as to this custom of burning
dead bodies during the iron epoch, we have been able to represent _the
funeral ceremonies of the iron epoch_ in the preceding figure.

The corpse is placed on a funeral pile, and the stone door of the
tumulus is raised in order to deposit in it the cinerary urn. The
relations of the deceased accompany the procession clothed in their
handsomest garments and adorned with the bronze and iron ornaments which
were then in vogue. One of those present may be seen throwing some
precious objects into the flames of the funeral pile in honour of the

The tombs of Hallstadt are the locality in which the largest number of
objects, such as weapons, instruments and implements, have been met
with, which have tended to throw a light upon the history of the
transition from the bronze to the iron epoch. All these objects are
either of bronze or iron; but in the weapons the latter predominates.
Swords, spear-heads, daggers, knives, socketed hatchets and winged
hatchets form the catalogue of the sharp instruments. In the preceding
pages (figs. 233, 234, 235 and 236) we have given representations of
swords and daggers designed from the specimens in the Museum of
Saint-Germain. In all these weapons the handle is made of bronze and the
blade of iron. Warriors' sword-belts are frequently formed of plates of
bronze, and are embellished with a _repoussé_ ornamentation executed by
the hammer.

In fig. 239 we give a representation of a necklace with pendants which
is most remarkable in its workmanship. It may be readily seen that art
had now attained some degree of maturity. This necklace was a prelude to
the marvellous works of art which were about to be brought to light
under the skies of Greece.

[Illustration: Fig. 239.--A Necklace with Pendants, from the Tombs of

The bracelets which have been met with by hundreds, hair pins and
bronze fibulæ are all wrought with taste, and are often adorned with
very elegant pendants. In figs. 240 and 241 we show two bracelets, the
sketches for which were taken from the designs in the manuscript of the
'Tombes de Hallstadt.'

[Illustration: Fig. 240.--Bracelet, from the Tombs of Hallstadt.]

[Illustration: Fig. 241.--Bracelet, from the Tombs of Hallstadt.]

We may add a few amber necklace-beads and some of enamel, and we have
then concluded the series of personal ornaments.

In the tombs of Hallstadt, nearly 200 bronze vessels have been
discovered, some of which are as much as 36 inches in height. These
bronze vessels were composed of several pieces skilfully riveted but not
soldered. Plates 242 and 243 are reproduced from the same beautiful

[Illustration: Fig. 242.--Bronze Vase, from the Tombs of Hallstadt.]

[Illustration: Fig. 243.--Bronze Vase, from the Tombs of Hallstadt.]

In the tombs of Hallstadt some small glass vessels have also been

Remains of pottery are very plentiful, and a decided improvement is
shown in their workmanship. Some gold trinkets were also met with in
these tombs. The gold was, doubtless, obtained from the mines of

African ivory abounds in these graves--a fact which indicates commercial
intercourse with very distant countries. This product, as well as the
glass, was introduced into Europe by the Phoenicians. The inhabitants of
central Europe obtained ivory from Tyre and Sidon by means of barter.

The ivory objects which were found at Hallstadt consisted of the heads
of hair-pins and the pommels of swords.

There were no traces whatever of money, the use of it not being then
established in that part of Europe.

The population which lived in the vicinity of the Salzburg mines were in
reality rich; for the salt-mines were a source of great wealth to them
at a period when the deposits of rock-salt in Poland, being still buried
in the depths of the earth, were as yet unknown or inaccessible. In this
way, we may account for the general opulence of these commercial
nations, and for the elegance and taste displayed in the objects which
have been found in the tombs of Hallstadt.

Guided by these various remains, it is not difficult to reproduce an
ideal picture of _the warriors of the iron epoch_, a representation of
which we have endeavoured to give in fig. 244. The different pieces of
the ornaments observed on the horseman, on the foot-soldier, and also on
the horse, are drawn from specimens exhibited in the Museum of
Saint-Germain which were modelled at Hallstadt. The helmet is in perfect
preservation and resembles those which, shortly after, were worn by the
Gallic soldiers. The bosses, also, on the horse's harness, ere long came
into use both among the Gauls and also the Romans.

[Illustration: Fig. 244.--Warriors of the Iron Epoch.]

Next to the tombs of Hallstadt, we must mention the tombs discovered on
the plateau of La Somma, in Lombardy, which have contributed a valuable
addition to the history of the earliest period of the iron epoch.

On this plateau there were discovered certain tombs, composed of rough
stones of a rectangular form. In the interior there were some vases of a
shape suited to the purpose, containing ashes. The material of which
they were made was fine clay; they had been wrought by means of the
potter's wheel, were ornamented with various designs, and also provided
with encircling projections. On some of them, representations of
animals may be seen which indicate a considerable progress in the
province of art. The historic date of these urns is pointed out by
_fibulæ_ (clasps for cloaks), iron rings and bracelets, sword-belts
partly bronze and partly iron, and small bronze chains. The tombs of La
Somma belong, therefore, to a period of transition between the bronze
and iron epochs. According to M. Mortillet, they date back to the
seventh century before Christ.

Under the same head we will class the tombs of Saint-Jean de Belleville,
in Savoy. At this spot several tombs belonging to the commencement of
the iron epoch have been explored by MM. Borel and Costa de Beauregard.
The latter, in a splendid work published in Savoy, has given a detailed
description of these tombs.[41]

Some of the skeletons are extended on their backs, others have been
consumed, but only partially, like those which we have already mentioned
in the tombs of Hallstadt. Various objects, consisting chiefly of
trinkets and ornaments, have been met with in these tombs. We will
mention in particular the _fibulæ_, bracelets and necklaces made of
amber, enamelled glass, &c.

In figs. 245 and 246 we give a representation of two skeleton arms,
which are encircled with several bracelets just as they were found in
these tombs.

[Illustration: Figs. 245, 246.--Fore-arm, encircled with Bracelets,
found in the Tombs of Belleville (Savoy).]

The lacustrine settlements of Switzerland have contributed a valuable
element towards the historic reconstruction of the iron epoch.

In different parts of the lakes of Bienne and Neuchâtel there are
pile-works which contain iron objects intermingled with the remains of
preceding ages. But there is only one lacustrine settlement in
Switzerland which belongs exclusively to the earliest period of the Iron
Age--that of La Tène on the Lake of Neuchâtel.

Most of the objects which have been met with in this lacustrine
settlement have been recovered from the mud in which they had been so
remarkably preserved, being sheltered from any contact with the outer
air. There are, however, many spots in which piles may be seen, where
objects of this kind have not been found; but if subsequent researches
are attended with any results, we shall be forced to attribute to the
settlement of La Tène a considerable degree of importance, for the piles
there extend over an area of 37 acres.

The remains of all kinds which have been found in this settlement are
evidently of Gallic origin. It is an easy matter to prove this by
comparing the weapons found in this settlement with those which were
discovered in the trenches of Alise-Sainte-Reine, the ancient _Alesia_,
where, in its last contest against Cæsar, the independence of ancient
Gaul came to an end.

M. de Rougemont has called attention to the fact that these weapons
correspond very exactly to the description given by Diodorus Siculus of
the Gallic weapons. Switzerland thus seems to have been inhabited in the
earliest iron epoch by Gallic tribes, that is to say, by a different
race from that which occupied it during the stone and bronze epochs; and
it was this race which introduced into Switzerland the use of iron.

Among the objects collected in the lake settlement of La Tène, weapons
are the most numerous; they consist of swords and the heads of spears
and javelins. Most of them have been kept from oxidation by the peaty
mud which entirely covered them, and they are, consequently, in a state
of perfect preservation.

The swords are all straight, of no very great thickness, and perfectly
flat. The blade is from 31 to 35 inches in length, and is terminated by
a handle about 6 inches long. They have neither guards nor crosspieces.
Several of them were still in their sheaths, from which many of them
have been drawn out in a state of perfect preservation, and even
tolerably sharp.

Fig. 247 represents one of the iron swords from the Swiss lakes, which
are depicted in M. Desor's memoir.

[Illustration: Fig. 247.--Iron Sword, found in one of the Swiss Lakes.]

On another sword, of which we also give a representation (fig. 248), a
sort of damascening work extends over almost the whole surface, leaving
the edges alone entirely smooth.

[Illustration: Fig. 248.--Sword with Damascened Blade, found in one of
the Swiss Lakes.]

M. de Reffye, the archæologist, accounts for this fact in the following
way:--He is of opinion that the body of the blade is made of very hard
unyielding iron, whilst the edges are made of small strips of mellower
iron which have been subsequently welded and wrought by the hammer. This
mode of manufacture enabled the soldier, when his sword was notched, to
repair it by means of hammering. This was a most valuable resource
during an epoch in which armies did not convey stores along with them,
and when the soldier's baggage was reduced to very little more than he
could personally carry. Several of these damascened blades have been
found in the trenches of Alise.

The sheaths, the existence of which now for the first time comes under
our notice, are of great importance on account of the designs with which
they are ornamented. Most of these designs are engraved with a tool,
others are executed in _repoussé_ work. All of them show great
originality and peculiar characteristics, which prevent them from being
confounded with works of Roman art. One of these sheaths (fig. 249),
which belongs to M. Desor's collection and is depicted in his memoir,
represents the "horned horse," the emblem of Gaul, which is sufficient
proof of the Gallic origin of the weapons found in the Lake of La Tène.
Below this emblem, there is a kind of granulated surface which bears
some resemblance to shagreen.

[Illustration: Fig 249.--Sheath of a Sword, found in one of the Swiss

This sheath is composed of two very thin plates of wrought iron laid one
upon the other, except at the base, where they are united by means of a
cleverly-wrought band of iron. At its upper extremity there is a plate,
on one side of which may be seen the designs which we have already
described, and on the other a ring, intended to suspend the weapon to
the belt.

The lance-heads are very remarkable on account of their extraordinary
shape and large size. They measure as much as 16 inches long, by 2 to 4
inches wide, and are double-edged and twisted into very diversified
shapes. Some are winged, and others are irregularly indented. Some have
perforations in the shape of a half-moon (fig. 250). The halberd of the
middle ages was, very probably, nothing but an improvement on, or a
deviation from, these singular blades.

[Illustration: Fig. 250.--Lance-head, found in one of the Swiss Lakes.]

Fragments of wooden staves have been met with which had been fitted into
these spear-heads; they are slender, and shod with iron at one end.

The care with which these instruments are wrought proves that they are
lance-heads, and not mere darts or javelins intended to be thrown to a
distance and consequently lost. They certainly would not have taken so
much pains with the manufacture of a weapon which would be used only

It is altogether a different matter with respect to the javelins, a
tolerably large number of which have been found in the lacustrine
settlements of La Tène. They are simple socketed heads (fig. 251),
terminating in a laurel-leaf shape, about 4 to 5 inches in length.

[Illustration: Fig. 251.--Head of a Javelin, found in the Lacustrine
Settlement of La Tène (Neuchâtel).]

It appears from experiments ordered by the Emperor of the French, that
these javelins could only have been used as missile weapons, and that
they were thrown, not by the hand merely grasping the shaft (which would
be impossible to do effectually on account of their light weight), but
by means of a cord or thong, which was designated among the Romans by
the name of _amentum_. These experiments have shown that a dart which
could be thrown only 65 feet with the hand, might be cast four times
that distance by the aid of the _amentum_. There probably existed among
the Gauls certain military corps who practised the use of the _amentum_,
that is to say, the management of _thonged javelins_, and threw this
javelin in the same way as other warriors threw stones by means of a
sling. This conclusion, which has been drawn by M. Desor, seems to us a
very just one.

Javelins of the preceding type are very common in the trenches of Alise.
In this neighbourhood a large number of iron arrows have also been
found which have never been met with in the lacustrine settlement of La

War was not the only purpose for which these javelins were used by the
men of the iron epoch. Hunting, too, was carried on by means of these
missile weapons. The bow and the thonged javelin constituted the hunting
weapons of this epoch. We have depicted this in the accompanying plate,
which represents _the chase during the iron epoch_.

[Illustration: Fig. 252.--The Chase during the Iron Epoch.]

Next to the weapons come the implements. We will, in the first place,
mention the hatchets (fig. 253). They are larger, more solid, and have a
wider cutting edge than those used in the bronze epoch; wings were no
longer in use, only a square-shaped socket into which was fitted a
wooden handle, probably made with an elbow.

[Illustration: Fig. 253.--Square-socketed Iron Hatchet, found in one of
the Lakes of Switzerland.]

The sickles (fig. 254) are likewise larger and also more simple than
those of the bronze epoch; there are neither designs nor ornaments of
any kind on them.

[Illustration: Fig. 254.--Sickle.]

With the pruning-bills or sickles we must class the regular scythes
(fig. 255) with stems for handling, two specimens of which have been
discovered in the lake settlement of the Tène. Their length is about 14
inches, that is, about one-third as large as the scythes used by the
Swiss harvest-men of the present day. One important inference is drawn
from the existence of these scythes; it is, that at the commencement of
the iron epoch men were in the habit of storing up a provision of hay,
and must consequently have reared cattle.

[Illustration: Fig. 255.--Scythe, from the Lacustrine Settlements of

The iron fittings at the ends of the boat-hooks used by the boatmen on
the lake are frequently found at La Tène; they terminate in a
quadrangular pyramid or in a cone (fig. 256). Some still contain the end
of the wooden pole, which was attached to it by means of a nail.

[Illustration: Fig. 256.--Iron Point of Boat-hook, used by the Swiss
Boatmen during the Iron Epoch.]

Next in order to these objects, we must mention the horses' bits and
shoes; the first being very simply constructed so as to last for a very
long period of time. They were composed of a short piece of iron chain
(fig. 257), which was placed in the horse's mouth, and terminated at
each end in a ring to which the reins were attached.

[Illustration: Fig. 257.--Horse's Bit, found in the Lake of Neuchâtel.]

The _fibulæ_ (fig. 258), or clasps for cloaks, are especially calculated
to attract attention in the class of ornamental objects; they are very
elegant and diversified in their shapes, their dimensions varying from
2-1/2 to 5 inches. They are all formed of a pin in communication with a
twisted spring bent in various ways. They are provided with a sheath to
hold the end of the brooch pin, so as to avoid any danger of pricking. A
large number of them are in an excellent state of preservation, and
might well be used at the present day.

[Illustration: Fig. 258.--_Fibula_, or Iron Brooch, found in the Lake of

These brooches, which we have already called attention to when speaking
of the tombs of Hallstadt, were also used by the Etruscans and the
Romans; their existence in the pre-historic tombs tends to prove that,
like the above-named nations, the Swiss and Germans wore the toga or
mantle. These _fibulæ_ have a peculiar character, and it is impossible
to confuse them with the Roman _fibulæ_. They are, however, similar in
every way to those which have been found at Alise.

There have also been found in the Swiss lakes, along with the _fibulæ_,
a number of rings, the use of which is still problematical. Some are
flat and others chiselled in various ways. It is thought that some of
them must have been used as buckles for soldiers' sword-belts (fig.
259); but there are others which do not afford any countenance to this
explanation. Neither can they be looked on as bracelets; for most of
them are too small for any such purpose. Some show numerous cuts at
regular intervals all round their circumference; this fact has given
rise to the supposition that they might perhaps have served as a kind of

[Illustration: Fig. 259.--Iron Buckle for a Sword-belt, found in the
Lake of Neuchâtel.]

In the lake-settlement of La Tène (Lake of Neuchâtel), iron pincers have
also been found (fig. 260), which were doubtless used for pulling out
hair, and are of very perfect workmanship; also scissors with a spring
(fig. 261), the two legs being made in one piece, and some very thin
blades (fig. 262), which must have been razors.

[Illustration: Fig. 260.--Iron Pincers, found in the Lake of Neuchâtel.]

[Illustration: Fig. 261.--Iron Spring-Scissors, found in the Lake of

[Illustration: Fig. 262.--Razor.]

The specimens of pottery belonging to this date do not testify to any
real progress having been made beyond the workmanship of the bronze
epoch; the clay is still badly baked, and of a darkish colour. It
certainly is the case, that along with these remains a quantity of
fragments of vessels have been picked up, and even entire vessels, which
have been made by the help of the potter's wheel and baked in an oven,
and consequently present the red colour usual in modern earthenware. But
archæologists are of opinion that this class of pottery does not date
back beyond the Roman epoch; and this opinion would seem to be confirmed
by the existence, in the midst of the piles at the settlement of La
Tène, of a mass of tiles, evidently of Roman origin. The conclusion to
be drawn from these facts is, that many of the pile-works in the Swiss
lakes continued to be occupied when the country was under the Roman

One of the characteristics of the iron epoch is, as we have before
stated, the appearance of coin or money. In 1864, M. Desor recovered
from the Lake of La Tène five coins of unquestionable Gallic origin.
They are of bronze, and bear on one side the figure of the horned horse,
and on the other a human profile. In fig. 232, we gave a representation
of these curious specimens of coin found by M. Desor in the lacustrine
settlements of the Lake of Neuchâtel. The marks of the mould still
existing on each side show that these coins were cast in a series, and
that after the casting the coins were separated from one another by
means of the file.

Coins of a similar character have been discovered, as we before
observed, at Tiefenau, near Berne, with others bearing the effigy of
Diana and Apollo, and the imprint of _Massilia_, The latter date from
the foundation of Marseilles, and could not, therefore, be anterior to
the sixth century before the Christian era; it is probable that those
discovered along with them must be referred to nearly the same epoch.

Such are the relics of instruments, tools, weapons, &c., made of iron
and recovered from the lacustrine settlement of La Tène, that is, from
the Lake of Neuchâtel. We must add that, near Berne, at a spot which is
designated by the name of the "Battle-field of Tiefenau," because it
appears to have been the theatre of a great conflict between the
Helvetians and the Gauls, a hundred swords and spear-heads have been
picked up, similar to those found at La Tène; also fragments of coats of
mail, rings, _fibulæ_, the tires of chariot-wheels, horses' bits, and
lastly, Gallic and Marseillaise coins in gold, silver, and bronze. This
field of battle appears, therefore, to have been contemporary with the
settlement at La Tène.

In addition to these valuable sources of information--La Tène and
Tiefenau--Switzerland also possesses _tumuli_ and simple tombs, both
constituting records useful to consult in respect to the iron epoch. But
on this point, it must be remarked that it is often difficult, with any
degree of security, to connect them with the two preceding sites; and
that considerable reserve is recommended in attempting any kind of

Upon the whole, the Iron Age, looking even only to its earliest period,
is the date of the beginning of real civilisation among European

Their industrial skill, exercised on the earliest-used materials, such
as iron and textile products, furnished all that was required by the
usages of life. Commerce was already in a flourishing state, for it was
no longer carried on by the process of barter only. Money, in the shape
of coin, the conventional symbol of wealth, came into use during this
epoch, and must have singularly facilitated the operations of trade.
Agriculture, too, had advanced as much as it could at this earliest dawn
of civilisation. The remains of cereals found in the lake-settlements of
Switzerland, added to the iron instruments intended to secure the
products of the cultivation of the ground, such as the scythes and
sickles which we have previously depicted (figs. 254 and 255), are
sufficient to show us that agriculture constituted at that time the
chief wealth of nations. The horse, the ass, the dog, the ox, and the
pig, had for long time back been devoted to the service of man,
either as auxiliaries in his field-labours, or as additions to his
resources in the article of food. Fruit-trees, too, were cultivated in
great numbers.

[Illustration: Fig. 263.--Agriculture during the Iron Epoch.]

As a matter of fact, we have no acquaintance with any of the iron and
bronze instruments which were used by men of the iron epoch in
cultivation of the ground. Scythes and sickles are the only agricultural
implements which have been discovered. But even these instruments, added
to a quantity of remains of the bones of cattle which have been found in
the lacustrine and palustrine settlements, are sufficient to prove that
the art of cultivating the earth and of extracting produce from its
bosom, rendered fertile by practices sanctioned by experience, existed
in full vigour among the men who lived during the period immediately
preceding historic times.

The plate which accompanies this page is intended to represent in a
material form the state of agriculture during the iron epoch. We may
notice the corn-harvest being carried on by means of sickles, like those
found in the lacustrine settlements of Switzerland. A man is engaged in
beating out, with a mere stick, the wheatsheaves in order to thrash out
the grain. The grain is then ground in a circular mill, worked by a
horizontal handle. This mill is composed of two stones revolving one
above the other, and was the substitute for the rough primitive
corn-mill; it subsequently became the mill used by the Romans--the
_pistrinum_--at which the slaves were condemned to work.

Indications of an unequivocal character have enabled us to recognise as
a fact, that human sacrifices took place among the Helvetians during
this period. It is, however, well known, from the accounts of ancient
historians, that this barbarous custom existed among the Gauls and
various nations in the north of Europe. In a _tumulus_ situated near
Lausanne, which contained four cinerary urns, there were also found the
skeletons of four young females. Their broken bones testified but too
surely to the tortures which had terminated their existence. The remains
of their ornaments lay scattered about in every direction, and
everything was calculated to lead to the belief that they had been
crushed under the mass of stones which formed the _tumulus_--unhappy
victims of a cruel superstition. Not far from this spot, another
_tumulus_ contained twelve skeletons lying in all kinds of unusual
postures. It is but too probable that these were the remains of
individuals who had all been immolated together on the altar of some
supposed implacable divinity.

What was the character of the type of the human race during the iron
epoch? It must evidently have been that of the present era. Both the
skulls and the bodies of the skeletons found in the tombs of this epoch
point to a race of men entirely identical with that of our own days.

We shall not carry on our study of pre-historic mankind to any later
date. We have now arrived at an epoch upon which sufficient light has
been thrown by oral tradition combined with historical records. The task
of the historian begins at the point where the naturalist's
investigations come to an end.


[41] 'Les Sépultures de Saint-Jean de Belleville,' with lithographed



The development of mankind has, doubtless, been of much the same
character in all parts of the world, so that, in whatever quarter of the
world man may come under our consideration, he must have passed through
the same phases of progress ere he arrived at his present state.
Everywhere, man must have had his Stone Age, his Bronze Epoch, and his
Iron Epoch, succeeding one another in the same order which we have
ascertained to have existed in Europe. In the sketch which we have drawn
of primitive man we have devoted our attention almost entirely to
Europe; but the cause simply is, that this part of the world has, up to
the present day, been the principal subject of special and attentive
studies in this respect. Asia, Africa, and America can scarcely be said
to have been explored in reference to the antiquity of our species; but
it is probable that the facts which have been brought to light in
Europe, would be almost identically reproduced in other parts of the

This is a fact which, as regards _dolmens_, has been already verified.
The sepulchral monuments of the Stone Age, which were at first believed
to be peculiar to France, and, indeed, to one province of France, namely
Brittany, have since been met with in almost every part of the world.
Not only have they been discovered all over Europe, but even the coasts
of Africa bring to our notice numerous relics of them; also, through the
whole extent of Asia, and even in the interior of India, this same form
of sepulchre, bearing witness to a well determined epoch in man's
history, have been pointed out and described by recent travellers.

Thus, the information which we possess on these points as regards
Europe, may well be generalised and applied to the other quarters of the
world--to Asia, Africa, America, and Oceania.

America, however, has been the scene of certain investigations
concerning primitive man which have not been without fertile results; we
shall, therefore, devote the last few pages of our work to a
consideration of the pre-historic remains of America, and to giving an
account of the probable conditions of man's existence there, as they
have been revealed to us by these relics.

The information which has been made public on these points concerns
North America only.

It would be useless to dwell on the stone and bone instruments of the
New World; in their shape they differ but little from those of Europe.
They were applied to the same uses, and the only perceptible difference
in them is in the substance of which they were made. We find there
hatchets, knives, arrow-heads, &c., but these instruments are not so
almost universally made from flint, which is to a considerable extent
replaced by obsidian and other hard stones.

In the history of primitive man in North America, we shall have to
invent another age of a special character; this is the _Age of Copper_.
In America, the use of copper seems to have preceded the use of bronze;
native metallic copper having been largely in use among certain races.
On the shores of Lake Superior there are some very important mines of
native copper, which must have been worked by the Indians at a very
early date; in fact, the traces of the ancient workings have been
distinctly recognised by various travellers.

Mr. Knapp, the agent of the Minnesota Mining Company, was the first to
point out these pre-historic mines. In 1847, his researches having led
him into a cavern much frequented by porcupines, he discovered, under an
accumulation of heaped-up earth, a vein of native copper, containing a
great number of stone hammers. A short time afterwards, some other
excavations 25 to 35 feet in depth, and stretching over an extent of
several miles, came under his notice. The earth dug out had been thrown
on each side of the excavations; and mighty forest-trees had taken root
and grown there. In the trunk of a hemlock-tree growing in this "made
ground," Mr. Knapp counted 395 rings of growth, and this tree had
probably been preceded by other forest-giants no less venerable. In the
trenches themselves, which had been gradually filled up by vegetable
_débris_, trees had formerly grown which, after having lived for
hundreds of years, had succumbed and decayed; being then replaced by
other generations of vegetation, the duration of which had been quite as
long. When, therefore, we consider these workings of the native
copper-mines of Lake Superior, we are compelled to ascribe the
above-named excavations to a considerable antiquity.

In many of these ancient diggings stone hammers have been found,
sometimes in large quantities. One of the diggings contained some great
diorite hatchets which were worked by the aid of a handle, and also
large cylindrical masses of the same substance hollowed out to receive a
handle. These sledges, which are too heavy to be lifted by one man
alone, were doubtless used for breaking off lumps of copper, and then
reducing them to fragments of a size which could easily be carried away.
If we may put faith in Professor Mather, who explored these ancient
mines, some of the rocks still bore the mark of the blow they had
received from these granite rollers.

The work employed in adapting the native copper was of the most simple
character. The Indians hammered it cold, and, taking into account its
malleable character, they were enabled with tolerable facility to give
it any shape that they wished.

In America, just as in Europe, a great number of specimens of
pre-historic pottery have been collected. They are, it must be
confessed, superior to most of those found in the ancient world. The
material of which they were made is very fine, excepting in the case of
the vessels of every-day use, in which the clay is mixed with quartz
reduced to powder; the shapes of the vessels are of the purest
character, and the utmost care has been devoted to the workmanship. They
do not appear to have been constructed by the aid of the potter's wheel;
but Messrs. Squier and Davis, very competent American archæologists, are
of opinion that the Indians, in doing this kind of work, made use of a
stick held in the middle. The workman turned this stick round and round
inside the mass of clay, which an assistant kept on adding to all round
the circumference.

In regard to pottery, the most interesting specimens are the pipes,
which we should, indeed, expect to meet with in the native country of
the tobacco plant and the classic calumet. Many of these pipes are
carved in the shape of animals, which are very faithfully represented.
These figures are very various in character, including quadrupeds and
birds of all kinds. Indeed, in the state of Ohio seven pipes were found
on each of which the manatee was so plainly depicted that it is
impossible to mistake the sculptor's intention. This discovery is a
curious one, from the fact that at the present day the manatee is not
met with except in localities 300 or 400 leagues distant, as in Florida.

The pre-historic ornaments and trinkets found in North America consist
of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, &c. The bracelets are copper rings
bent by hammering, so that the two ends meet. The necklaces are composed
of shell beads (of which considerable quantities have been collected)
shells, animals' teeth, and small flakes of mica, all perforated by a
hole so as to be strung on a thread. The earrings also are made of the
same material.

All these objects--weapons, implements, pottery, and ornaments--have
been derived from certain gigantic works which exhibit some similarity,
and occasionally even a striking resemblance, to the great earthwork
constructions of the Old World. American archæologists have arranged
these works in various classes according to the probable purpose for
which they were intended; we shall now dwell for a short time on these

In the first place, we have the _sepulchral mounds_ or _tumuli_, the
numbers of which may be reckoned by tens of thousands. They vary in
height from 6 feet to 80 feet, and are generally of a circular form;
being found either separately or in groups. Most frequently only one
skeleton is found in them, either reduced almost to ashes, or--which is
more rare--in its ordinary condition, and in a crouching posture. By the
side of the corpse are deposited trinkets, and, in a few cases, weapons.
A practice the very contrary to this now obtains in America; and from
this we may conclude that a profound modification of their ideas has
taken place among the Indians since the pre-historic epochs.

It is now almost a certain fact that some of the small _tumuli_ are
nothing but the remains of mud-huts, especially as they do not contain
either ashes or bones. Others, on the contrary, and some of the largest,
contain a quantity of bones; the latter must be allied with the
_ossuaries_ or bone-pits, some of which contain the remains of several
thousand individuals.

It would be difficult to explain the existence of accumulations of this
kind if we did not know from the accounts of ancient authors that the
Indians were in the habit of assembling every eight or ten years in some
appointed spot to inter all together in one mass the bones of their dead
friends, which had been previously exhumed. This singular ceremony was
called "the feast of the dead."

We shall not say much here as to the _sacrificial mounds_, because no
very precise agreement has yet been arrived at as to their exact
signification. Their chief characteristics are, that, in the first
place, they are nearly always found within certain sacred enclosures of
which we shall have more to say further on, and also that they cover a
sort of altar placed on the surface of the ground, and made of stone or
baked clay. In the opinion of certain archæologists, this supposed altar
is nothing but the site of a former fire-hearth, and the mound itself a
habitation converted into a tomb after the death of its proprietor. It
will therefore be best to reserve our judgment as to the existence of
the human sacrifices of which these places might have been the scene,
until we obtain some more complete knowledge of the matter.

The _Temple-Mounds_ are hillocks in the shape of a truncated pyramid,
with paths or steps leading to the summit, and sometimes with terraces
at different heights. They invariably terminate in a platform of varying
extent, but sometimes reaching very considerable dimensions. That of
Cahokia, in Illinois, is about 100 feet in height, and at the base is
700 feet long and 500 feet wide. There is no doubt that these mounds
were not exclusively used as temples, and, adopting as our authority
several instances taken from Indian history, we may be permitted to
think that on this upper terrace they were in the habit of building the
dwelling of their chief.

The most curious of these earthworks are, beyond question, those which
the American archæologists have designated by the name of
_animal-mounds_. They consist of gigantic bas-reliefs formed on the
surface of the ground, and representing men, mammals, birds, reptiles,
and even inanimate objects, such as crosses, pipes, &c. They exist in
thousands in Wisconsin, being chiefly found between the Mississippi and
Lake Michigan, and along the war-path of the Indians. Their height is
never very considerable, and it is but seldom that they reach so much as
6 feet; but their length and breadth is sometimes enormously developed.
Many of these figures are copied very exactly from Nature; but there
are, on the other hand, some the meaning of which it is very difficult
to discover, because they have been injured by the influence of
atmospheric action during a long course of ages.

In Dale county there is an interesting group composed of a man with
extended arms, six quadrupeds, a simple _tumulus_, and seven mounds
without any artistic pretensions. The man measured 125 feet long, and
nearly 140 feet from the end of one arm to the other. The quadrupeds are
from 100 to 120 feet long.

The representation of lizards and tortoises are frequently recognised in
these monstrous figures. A group of mounds, situate near the village of
Pewaukee, included when it was discovered two lizards and seven
tortoises. One of these tortoises measured 470 feet. At Waukesha there
was found a monstrous "turtle" admirably executed, the tail of which
stretched over an extent of 250 feet.

On a high hill near Granville, in the state of Ohio, a representation is
sculptured of the reptile which is now known under the name of
alligator. Its paws are 40 feet long, and its total length exceeds 250
feet. In the same state there exists the figure of a vast serpent, the
most remarkable work of its kind; its head occupies the summit of a
hill, round which the body extends for about 800 feet, forming graceful
coils and undulations; the mouth is opened wide, as if the monster was
swallowing its prey. The prey is represented by an oval-shaped mass of
earth, part of which lies in the creature's jaws. This mass of earth is
about 160 feet long and 80 feet wide, and its height is about 4 feet. In
some localities excavations are substituted for these raised figures;
that is to say, that the delineations of the animals are sunk instead of
being in relief-a strange variety in these strange works.

The mind may readily be perplexed when endeavouring to trace out the
origin and purpose of works of this kind. They do not, in a general way,
contain any human remains, and consequently could not have been intended
to be used as sepulchres. Up to the present time, therefore, the
circumstances which have accompanied the construction of these eminently
remarkable pre-historic monuments are veiled in the darkest mystery.

We now have to speak of those enclosures which are divided by American
archæologists into the classes of _defensive_ and _sacred_. This
distinction is, however, based on very uncertain data, and it is
probable that a large portion of the so-called _sacred_ enclosures were
in the first place constructed for a simply _defensive_ purpose. They
were, in general, composed of a wall made of stones, and an internal or
external ditch. They often assumed the form of a parallelogram, and even
of a perfect square or circle, from which it has been inferred that the
ancient Indians must have possessed an unit of measurement, and some
means of determining angles. These walls sometimes embraced a
considerable area, and not unfrequently inside the principal enclosure
there were other smaller enclosures, flanked with defensive mounds
performing the service of bastions. In some cases enclosures of
different shapes are grouped side by side, either joined by avenues or
entirely independent of one another.

The most important of these groups is that at Newark, in the Valley of
Scioto; it covers an area of 4 square miles, and is composed of an
octagon, a square, and two large circles. The external wall of one of
these circles is even at the present day 50 feet in width at the base,
and 13 feet high; there are several doorways in it, near which the
height of the wall is increased about 3 feet. Inside there is a ditch 6
feet in depth, and 13 feet in the vicinity of the doors, its width being
about 40 feet. The whole enclosure is now covered by gigantic trees,
perhaps 500 or 600 years old--a fact which points to a considerable
antiquity for the date of its construction.

When we reflect on the almost countless multitude, and the magnificent
proportions of the monuments we have just described, we are compelled to
recognise the fact that the American valleys must at some early date
have been much more densely populated than at the time when Europeans
first made their way thither. These peoples must have formed
considerable communities, and have attained to a somewhat high state of
civilisation--at all events a state very superior to that which is at
present the attribute of the Indian tribes.

Tribes which were compelled to seek in hunting their means of every-day
existence, could never have succeeded in raising constructions of this
kind. They must therefore necessarily have found other resources in
agricultural pursuits.

This inference is moreover confirmed by facts. In several localities in
the United States the ground is covered with small elevations known
under the name of _Indian corn-hills_; they take their rise from the
fact that the maize, having been planted every year in the same spot,
has ultimately, after a long course of time, formed rising grounds. The
traces of ancient corn-patches have also been discovered symmetrically
arranged in regular beds and parallel rows.

Can any date be assigned to this period of semi-civilisation which,
instead of improving more and more like civilisation in Europe, became
suddenly eclipsed, owing to causes which are unknown to us? This
question must be answered in the negative, if we are called upon to fix
any settled and definite date. Nevertheless, the conclusion to which
American archæologists have arrived is, that the history of the New
World must be divided into four definite periods.

The first period includes the rise of agriculture and industrial skill;
the second, the construction of mounds and inclosures; the third, the
formation of the "garden beds." In the last period, the American nation
again relapsed into savage life and to the free occupation of the spots
which had been devoted to agriculture.

In his work on 'Pre-historic Times' Sir John Lubbock, who has furnished
us with most of these details, estimates that this course of events
would not necessarily have required a duration of time of more than 3000
years, although he confesses that this figure might be much more
considerable. But Dr. Douler, another _savant_, regards this subject in
a very different way. Near New Orleans he discovered a human skeleton
and the remains of a fire, to which, basing his calculations on more or
less admissible _data_, he attributes an antiquity of 500 centuries!
Young America would thus be very ancient indeed!

By this instance we may see how much uncertainty surrounds the history
of primitive man in America; and it may be readily understood why we
have thought it necessary to adhere closely to scientific ideas and to
limit ourselves to those facts which are peculiar to Europe. To apply to
the whole world the results which have been verified in Europe is a much
surer course of procedure than describing local and imperfectly studied
phenomena, which, in their interpretation, lead to differences in the
estimate of time, such as that between 3000 and 50,000 years!


Before bringing our work to a close we may be permitted to retrace the
path we have trod, and to embrace in one rapid glance the immense space
we have traversed.

We have now arrived at a point of time very far removed from that of the
dweller in caves, the man who was contemporary with the great bear and
the mammoth! Scarcely, perhaps, have we preserved a reminiscence of
those mighty quadrupeds whose broad shadows seem to flit indistinctly
across the dim light of the quaternary epoch. Face to face with these
gigantic creatures, which have definitively disappeared from the surface
of our globe, there were, as we have seen, beings of a human aspect who,
dwelling in caves and hollows of the earth, clothed themselves in the
skins of beasts and cleft flakes of stone in order to form their weapons
and implements. We can hardly have failed to feel a certain interest in
and sympathy with them, when tracing out the dim vestiges of their
progress; for, in spite of their rude appearance, in spite of their
coarse customs and their rough mode of life, they were our brethren, our
ancestors, and the far-distant precursors of modern civilisation.

We have given due commendation to their efforts and to their progress.
After a protracted use of weapons and implements simply chipped out of
the rough flint, we have seen them adopt weapons and instruments of
polished stone, that is, objects which had undergone that material
preparation which is the germ of the industrial skill of primitive

Aided by these polished-stone instruments, added to those of bone and
reindeer's or stag's horn, they did not fear to enter into a
conflict--which every day became more and more successful--with all the
external forces which menaced them. As we have seen, they brought under
the yoke of servitude various kinds of animals; they made the dog and
the horse the companion and the auxiliary of their labour. The sheep,
the ox, and other ruminants were converted into domesticated cattle,
capable of insuring a constant supply of food.

After the lapse of ages metals made their appearance!--metals, the most
precious acquisition of all, the pledge of the advent of a new era,
replete with power and activity, to primitive man. Instruments made of
stone, bone, reindeer or stag's horn, were replaced by those composed of
metal. In all the communities of man civilisation and metals seem to be
constant companions. Though bronze may have served for the forging of
swords and spears, it also provides the material for implements of
peaceful labour. Owing to the efforts of continuous toil, owing also to
the development of intelligence which is its natural consequence, the
empire of man over the world of nature is still increasing, and man's
moral improvement follows the same law of progression. But who shall
enumerate the ages which have elapsed whilst these achievements have
been realised?

But thy task is not yet terminated! Onward, and still onward, brave
pioneer of progress! The path is a long one and the goal is not yet
attained! Once thou wert contented with bronze, now thou hast
iron--iron, that terrible power, whose function is to mangle and to
kill--the cause of so much blood and so many bitter tears; but also the
beneficent metal which fertilises and gives life, affording nutriment to
the body as well as to the mind. The Romans applied the name of _ferrum_
to the blade of their swords; but in after times _ferrum_ was also the
term for the peaceful ploughshare. The metal which had brought with it
terror, devastation, and death, erelong introduced among nations peace,
wealth and happiness.

And now, O man, thy work is nearly done! The mighty conflicts against
nature are consummated, and thy universal empire is for ever sure!
Animals are subject to thy will and even to thy fancies. At thy command,
the obedient earth opens its bosom and unfolds the riches it contains.
Thou hast turned the course of rivers, cleared the mountain sides of the
forests which covered them, and cultivated the plains and valleys; by
thy culture the earth has become a verdant and fruitful garden. Thou
hast changed the whole aspect of the globe, and mayst well call thyself
the lord of creation!

Doubtless the expanding circle of thy peaceful conquests will not stop
here, and who can tell how far thy sway may extend? Onward then! still
onward! proud and unfettered in thy vigilant and active course towards
new and unknown destinies!

But look to it, lest thy pride lead thee to forget thy origin. However
great may be thy moral grandeur, and however complete thy empire over a
docile nature, confess and acknowledge every hour the Almighty Power of
the great Creator. Submit thyself before thy Lord and Master, the God of
goodness and of love, the Author of thy existence, who has reserved for
thee still higher destinies in another life. Learn to show thyself
worthy of the supreme blessing--the happy immortality which awaits thee
in a world above, if thou hast merited it by a worship conceived in
spirit and in truth, and by the fulfilment of thy duty both towards God
and towards thy neighbour!




  Alberti, 228

  Arcelin, 120

  Austen (Godwin), 9

  Baudot, 178

  Bertrand, 187, 197

  Bocchi, 82

  Bonstetten, 187

  Borel, 319

  Boucher de Perthes, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 45, 82, 161, 162, 163, 164,
    165, 166

  Boué (Aimé), 6

  Bourgeois (Abbé), 3, 16, 17, 73, 149

  Boutin, 74

  Broca, 114, 181

  Brun (V.), 88, 98, 106, 115, 119

  Buckland, 6

  Busk, 36, 81, 182

  Camper, 5

  Cazalis de Fondouce, 128

  Chantre, 120

  Chevalier (Abbé), 147

  Christel (de), 7, 74

  Christy, 73, 86, 90, 95, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 118

  Clément, 225

  Cochet (Abbé), 177

  Costa de Beauregard, 91, 319

  Cuvier, 6, 7

  Dampier, 132, 219

  Darwin, 132

  Davis (Dr. Barnard), 36, 81, 337

  Delaunay, 73

  Desnoyers, 9, 20, 57

  Desor, 175, 217 _note_, 220, 221, 227, 242, 244, 251, 252, 257, 260,
    271, 289, 310, 321, 324, 329

  Dolomieu, 156, 157

  Dumont d'Urville, 219, 225

  Dupont (Édouard), 82, 94, 95, 104, 112, 113, 114, 116, 120

  Edwards (Milne), 12, 120, 127

  Esper, 6

  Evans, 11, 12, 51, 131, 149

  Falconer, 10, 11, 76

  Faudel, 82

  Ferry (de), 73, 91, 120

  Filhol, 15, 75, 127, 169, 181

  Flower, 11

  Fontan, 11, 74, 119

  Forchhammer, 131

  Forel, 176

  Foresi (Raffaello), 181

  Forgeais, 178, 202

  Foulon-Menard, 169

  Fournet, 158

  Fraas, 104

  Franchet, 73

  Frere, 6, 12

  Fuhlrott, 80

  Garrigou, 15, 16, 75, 110, 119, 127, 169, 181

  Gastaldi and Moro, 227

  Gaudry (Albert), 11

  Gervais (Paul), 74, 128

  Gilliéron, 267, 292, 293

  Gmelin, 299

  Gosse, 11, 12

  Gratiolet and Alix, 31, 33, 34

  Guérin, 72

  Hannour and Himelette, 179

  Hauzeur, 104

  Hébert, 11

  Heer, 265

  Hernandez, 160

  His, 290

  Hochstetter, 229

  Husson, 72

  Huxley, 26, 80

  Issel, 91

  Jeitteler, 239

  Joly, 8

  Joly-Leterme, 120

  Keller, 135, 175, 216, 220, 225, 227, 280, 282

  Kemp, 6

  Knapp, 336

  Kosterlitz, 228

  Lambert (l'Abbé), 3

  Lartet, 1, 2, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, 71, 101, 102,
    106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 118, 120, 180

  Lawrence, 31

  Leguay, 150, 153, 195, 200

  Léveillé, 147

  Lewis (Cornewall), 208

  Lioy (Paolo), 228

  Löhle, 223

  Lubbock (Sir John), 97, 131, 189, 190, 195, 200, 219, 230, 275, 342

  Lund, 9, 77

  Lyell (Sir Charles), 11, 20, 36, 132, 224

  Marcel de Serres, 3, 7

  Martin, 12

  Morlot, 94, 217 _note_, 249, 291, 300, 301

  Mortillet, de, 89, 131 _note_, 172, 227, 245, 283, 308 _note_

  Mudge, 231

  Mylne, 11

  Naegeli, 239

  Nilsson, 116, 189, 195, 208, 209

  Noulet, 10

  Osculati, 239

  Otz, 226

  Owen, 91, 119

  Peccadeau de l'Isle, 90, 106, 107, 119

  Peigné Delacour, 12

  Penguelly, 10

  Penguilly l'Haridon, 149

  Pereira de Costa, 132

  Pigorini, 232, 235, 236, 238

  Place, 160

  Pommerol, 171

  Prestwich, 11, 46, 131

  Pruner-Bey, 18, 32, 33, 35, 37, 81, 113, 114, 181

  Quatrefages, de, 18, 30, 31, 38

  Quiquerez, 301, 302, 303, 308

  Rabut, 229

  Rames, 15

  Ramsauer, 312, 314

  Rauchet, 227

  Reboux, 12

  Reffye, 321

  Rigollot, 10, 54

  Robert (Eugène), 12, 149

  Rochebrune, 157

  Rougemont (de), 320

  Rütimeyer, 265, 268

  Saussure, de, 160

  Sauvage and Hamy, 131

  Schaaffhausen, 37, 81

  Scheuchzer, 5

  Schild, 226

  Schmerling, 7, 77

  Schmidt, 284, 287 _note_

  Schwab, 248, 250

  Silber, 228

  Squier, 337

  Steenstrup, 130, 131, 133

  Steinhauer, 66

  Stopani (l'Abbé), 227

  Strobel, 132, 232, 235, 236, 238, 239

  Thioly, 226

  Tournal, 7

  Troyon, 175, 217 _note_, 225, 253

  Uhlmann, 134

  Vallier, 229

  Van Beneden, 112, 113

  Vibraye (Marquis de), 11, 73, 94, 98

  Vicq-d'Azyr, 31

  Vogt, 26, 80, 181, 280, 281, 282

  Welker, 32

  Wilde (Sir W. R.), 230

  Wood, 76

  Worsaae, 131, 175, 276

  Wyatt, 12


  +----------------------------------------------------------------- +
  | Transcriber's Note:                                              |
  |                                                                  |
  | * Obvious punctuation and spelling errors repaired.              |
  | Word combinations that appeared with and without hyphens         |
  | were changed to the predominant hyphenated form.                 |
  | Original spelling and its variations were not standardized.      |
  |                                                                  |
  | * Corrections in the spelling of names were made when those      |
  | could be verified.  Otherwise the variations were left as they   |
  | were.                                                            |
  |                                                                  |
  | * Footnotes were moved to the ends of the chapters in which      |
  | they belonged and numbered in one continuous sequence.           |
  | The pagination in index entries which referred to these          |
  | footnotes was not changed to match their new locations           |
  | and is therefore incorrect.                                      |
  +----------------------------------------------------------------- +

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Primitive Man" ***

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