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Title: The Evolution of Culture - and Other Essays
Author: Pitt-Rivers, Augustus Henry Lane-Fox
Language: English
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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.

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Transcriber's Note

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  D.C.L., F.R.S., F.S.A.










These Essays, or rather Lectures, contain the first-fruits of the
earliest systematic attempt to apply the theory of Evolution to the
products of human handiwork. In their original form they have long been
difficult to obtain; and they are reprinted now to supply the needs of
candidates for the Oxford Diploma in Anthropology, and of the numerous
visitors to the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford. But they will certainly
appeal to a far wider public also, as a brief and authentic statement
of their author’s discoveries.

The four Essays are reprinted substantially as they were first
delivered and published. But verbal errors and actual misquotations
have been corrected; and allusions to specimens or diagrams exhibited
during the original discourses, but not published, have been replaced
so far as possible by references to similar objects figured in the

The Plates are photographic reproductions of the original
illustrations, with the exception of Plates V, XIII, XVII, XVIII. Of
these, Plate XIII has simply been re-drawn, from a faded original;
Plates XVII and XVIII have been translated, without loss of detail,
from colours to monochrome shading; Plate V has been reconstituted
from illustrations quoted in the text, with the permission of their
publisher, Mr. Murray. Plate XXI is reproduced, by permission of Sir
John Evans, from the paper which it illustrated originally.

The footnotes demand a word of explanation. The author, as the original
publications show, was not precise in indicating his sources: he
frequently gave, as a quotation, the general sense rather than the
exact words of his authority; and occasionally his memory played him
false. In the reprint, the precise references have been identified,
and are given in full, and obvious errors in the text have been either
amended or corrected in a footnote. The editor desires to acknowledge
much valuable help in the search for references from Miss C. M. Prior,
of Headington.



  PREFACE                                 iii

  INTRODUCTION                              v



  PRIMITIVE WARFARE. I (1867)              45

  PRIMITIVE WARFARE. II (1868)             89

  PRIMITIVE WARFARE. III (1869)           144

  EARLY MODES OF NAVIGATION (1874)        186


It was about the middle of last century that an officer in Her
Majesty’s Army began to apply the lessons which he had learnt in
the course of some of his professional experimental work to studies
pursued by him as a hobby in a far wider field of science. The story
of the famous ethnographical collection of Colonel Lane Fox is well
known, and I need but briefly refer to it. During his investigations,
conducted with a view to ascertaining the best methods whereby the
service firearms might be improved, at a time when the old Tower musket
was being finally discarded, he was forcibly struck by the extremely
gradual changes whereby improvements were effected. He observed that
every noteworthy advancement in the efficiency, not only of the whole
weapon, but also of every individual detail in its structure, was
arrived at as a cumulative result of a succession of very slight
modifications, each of which was but a trifling improvement upon the
one immediately preceding it. Through noticing the unfailing regularity
of this process of gradual _evolution_ in the case of firearms, he
was led to believe that the same principles must probably govern the
development of the other arts, appliances, and ideas of mankind. With
characteristic energy and scientific zeal Colonel Lane Fox began at
once, in the year 1851, to illustrate his views and to put them to
a practical test. He forthwith commenced to make the ethnological
collection with which his name will always be associated, and which
rapidly grew to large proportions under his keen search for material
which should illustrate and perhaps prove his theory of progress by
evolution in the arts of mankind.

Although as a collector he was omnivorous, since every artefact
product fell strictly within his range of inquiry, his collection,
nevertheless, differed from the greater number of private ethnological
collections, and even public ones of that day, inasmuch as it was built
up _systematically_ with a definite object in view. It is unnecessary
for me to describe in detail the system which he adopted in arranging
his collection. His principles are well known to ethnologists, either
from the collection itself or from his writings, more especially from
the series of lectures which he gave at the Royal United Service
Institution, in the years 1867-9, upon ‘Primitive Warfare’; from
his paper read before the Anthropological Institute in 1874 on ‘The
Principles of Classification, as adopted in the arrangement of his
Anthropological Collection’, which was then exhibited at the Bethnal
Green Museum; from that portion of the _catalogue raisonné_ of his
collection which was published in 1877; and from numerous other
papers dealing with special illustrations of his theory. Suffice it
to say that, in classifying his ethnological material, he adopted
a _principal_ system of groups into which objects of like form or
function from all over the world were associated to form series, each
of which illustrated as completely as possible the varieties under
which a given art, industry, or appliance occurred. Within these main
groups objects belonging to the same region were usually associated
together in _local_ sub-groups. And wherever amongst the implements or
other objects exhibited in a given series there seemed to be suggested
a _sequence of ideas_, shedding light upon the probable stages in
the evolution of this particular class, these objects were specially
brought into juxtaposition. This special grouping to illustrate
sequence was particularly applied to objects from the same region as
being, from their local relationships, calculated better to illustrate
an actual continuity. As far as possible the seemingly more primitive
and generalized forms--those simple types which usually approach most
nearly to _natural_ forms, or whose use is associated with primitive
ideas--were placed at the beginning of each series, and the more
complex and specialized forms were arranged towards the end.

The primary object of this method of classification by series was
to demonstrate, either actually or hypothetically, the origin,
development, and continuity of the material arts, and to illustrate the
variations whereby the more complex and specialized forms belonging
to the higher conditions of culture have been evolved by successive
slight improvements from the simple, rudimentary, and generalized forms
of a primitive culture.

The _earlier_ stages in these sequence series were more especially the
object of investigation, the later developments being in the greater
number of cases omitted or merely suggested. It was necessary for
Colonel Lane Fox to restrict the extent of the series, any one of
which, if developed to the full extent, would easily have filled a
good-sized museum. The earlier stages, moreover, were less familiar,
and presented fewer complications. The general principles of his theory
were as adequately demonstrated by the ruder appliances of uncivilized
races as by the more elaborate products of peoples of higher culture;
and, moreover, there was doubtless a great attraction in attacking
that end of the development series which offered a prospect at least
of finality, inasmuch as there was always a chance of discovering
the absolute origin of a given series. Hence the major part of his
collection consisted of specimens procured from savage and barbaric
races, amongst whom the more rudimentary forms of appliances are for
the most part to be found.

The validity of the general views of Colonel Lane Fox as to evolution
in the material arts of Man was rapidly accepted by a large number of
ethnologists and others, who were convinced by the arguments offered
and the very striking evidence displayed in their support. I have heard
people object to the use of the term ‘evolution’ in connexion with
the development of human arts. To me the word appears to be eminently
appropriate, and I think it would be exceedingly difficult to find one
which better expresses the succession of extremely minute variations
by means of which progress has been effected. That the successive
individual units of improvement, which when linked together form the
chain of advancement, _are_ exceedingly small is a fact which any one
can prove for himself if he will study _in detail_ the growth of a
modern so-called ‘invention’. One reason why we are apt to overlook
the greater number of stages in the growth of still living arts is
that we are not as a rule privileged to watch behind the scenes. Of
the numberless slight modifications, each but a trifling advance upon
the last, it is but comparatively few which ever meet the eye of the
public, which only sees the more important stages; those, that is to
say, which present a sufficiently distinct advance upon that which has
hitherto been in use to warrant their attracting attention, or, shall
we say, having for a time a marketable value. The bulk of the links in
the evolutionary chain disappear almost as soon as they are made, and
are known to few, perhaps none, besides their inventors. Even where the
history of some invention is recorded with the utmost care it is only
the more prominent landmarks which receive notice; the multitude of
trifling variations which have led up to them are not referred to, for,
even if they be known, space forbids such elaborately detailed record.
The smaller variations are, for the most part, utterly forgotten,
their ephemeral existence and their slight individual influence upon
the general progress being unrecorded at the time, and lost sight of
almost at once. The immediately succeeding stage claims for the moment
the attention, and it again in its turn becomes the stepping-stone upon
which the next raises itself, and so on.

Before proceeding further, let me give as briefly as I can an example
of a development series worked out, in the main, upon the general line
of inquiry inaugurated by Colonel Lane Fox. It is commonly accepted as
a fact, which is borne out by tradition, both ancient and modern, that
certain groups of stringed instruments of music must be referred for
their origin to the bow of the archer. The actual historical record
does not help us to come to a definite conclusion on this point, nor
does the direct testimony of archaeology; but from other sources very
suggestive evidence is forthcoming. A comparative study of the musical
instruments of modern savage and barbaric peoples makes it very clear
to one that the greater portion of the probable chain of sequences
which led from the simple bows to highly specialized instruments of
the harp family may be reconstructed from types still existing in use
among living peoples, most of the well-defined early stages being
represented in Africa at the present day[2]. The native of Damaraland,
who possesses no stringed instrument proper, is in the habit of
temporarily converting his ordinary shooting-bow into a musical
instrument. For this purpose he ties a small thong loopwise round
the bow and bow-string, so as to divide the latter into two vibrating
parts of unequal length. When lightly struck with a small stick the
tense string emits a couple of notes, which satisfy this primitive
musician’s humble cravings for purely rhythmic sound. Amongst many
other African tribes we find a slight advance, in the form of special,
rather slightly made bows constructed and used for musical purposes
only. In order to increase the volume of sound, it is frequently the
custom amongst some of the tribes to rest the bow against some hollow,
resonant body, such as an inverted pot or hollow gourd. In many parts
again, we find that the instrument has been further improved by
_attaching_ a gourd to the bow, and thus providing it with a permanent
resonating body. To achieve greater musical results, it would appear
that somewhere in Africa (in the West, I suspect) two or more small
bows were attached to a single gourd. I have, so far, been unable to
trace this particular link in Africa itself, but, curiously enough,
this very form has been obtained from Guiana. It may be thought that I
am applying a breaking strain to the chain of evidence when I endeavour
to work an instrument from South America into an African developmental
series. But, when we recall the fact that evidence of the existence of
_indigenous_ stringed instruments of music in the New World has yet to
be produced, coupled with the certain knowledge that a considerable
number of varieties of musical instruments, stringed and otherwise,
accompanied the enforced migration of African natives during the days
of the slave trade, and were thus established in use and perpetuated
in many parts of the New World, including the north-east regions of
South America, we may, I think, admit, with some confidence, that, in
this particular instance, from Guiana to Guinea is no very far cry,
and that the more than probable African origin of this instrument
from South America gives it a perfect claim to take its place in the
African sequence. I still anticipate that this type of instrument will
be forthcoming from some hinterland region in West Africa. Were _no_
evidence at all forthcoming of such a form, either in past or present,
we should be almost compelled to infer that such a one had existed,
as this stage in the sequence appears to be necessary to prevent a
break in the continuity of forms leading to what is apparently the
next important stage, represented by a type of instrument common in
West Africa, having five little bows, each carrying its string, all of
which are fixed by their lower ends into a box-like wooden resonator.
This method of attaching the bows to the now improved body of the
instrument necessitates the lower attachment of the strings being
transferred from the bows to the body, so that the bow-like form begins
to disappear. The next improvement, of which there is evidence from
existing types, consists in the substitution of a single, stouter,
curved rod for the five little ‘bows’, all the five strings being
serially attached to the upper end of the rod, their lower ends to
the body as before. This instrument is somewhat rare now, and it may
well be a source of wonder to us that it has survived at all (unless
it be to assist the ethnologist), since it is an almost aggressively
inefficient form, owing to the row of strings being brought into
two different places at right angles to one another. The structure
of this rude instrument gives it a quaintly composite appearance,
suggesting that it is a banjo at one end and a harp at the other. This
is due to the strings remaining, as in the preceding form, attached
to the resonating body in a line disposed _transversely_, while the
substitution of a single rod for the five ‘bows’ has necessitated the
disposal of their upper attachments in a _longitudinal_ series as
regards the longer axis of the instrument. Inefficient though it be,
this instrument occupies an important position in the apparent chain
of evolution, leading on as it does through some intermediate types to
a form in which the difficulty as regards the strings is overcome by
attaching their _lower_ ends in a longitudinal series, and so bringing
them into the same plane throughout their length. In this shape the
instrument has assumed a harp-like form--a rude and not very effective
one, it is true, but it is none the less definitely a member of the
harp family. The modern varieties of this type extend across Africa
from west to east, and the harps of ancient Egypt, Assyria, Greece,
and India were assuredly elaborations of this primitive form. The
Indian form, closely resembling that of ancient Egypt, still survives
in Burma, while elsewhere we find a few apparently allied forms. In
all these forms of the harp, from the rudest Central and West African
types to the highly ornate and many-stringed examples of Egypt and
the East, one point is especially noteworthy. This is the invariable
_absence of the fore-pillar_, which in the modern harps of Western
Europe is so important, nay, essential a structural feature. In spite
of the skill and care exercised in the construction of some of the
more elaborate forms, none were fitted with a fore-pillar, the result
being that the frame across which the strings were stretched was
always weak and disposed to yield more or less to the strain caused by
the tension of the strings. This implied that, even when the strings
were not unduly strained, the tightening up of one of them to raise
its pitch necessarily caused a greater or less slackening of all the
other strings, since the free end of the rod or ‘neck’ would tend
to be drawn slightly towards the body of the instrument under the
increased tension. The mere addition of a simple, strut-like support
between the free end of the ‘neck’ and the ‘body’ would have obviated
this difficulty and rendered the instrument relatively efficient and
unyielding to varying tension. And yet, even in Western Europe, this
seemingly obvious and invaluable addition did not appear, as far as I
can ascertain, until about the seventh or eighth century A.D.; and even
then it seems to have been added somewhat half-heartedly, and a very
long time had yet to elapse before the fore-pillar became an integral
part of the framework and was allotted its due proportion in the
general design.

I have purposely selected this particular series for my illustration,
not because it is something new--indeed, it is already more or less
familiar, and, maybe, has even some merit in its lack of newness,
since, in accordance with a popular dictum, it may urge a greater
claim to be regarded as true--nor because it is specially striking,
but rather for the reason that it illustrates suitably several of
the points upon which I wish briefly to touch. Even in the severely
condensed form in which I have been obliged to present this series of
developments from bow to harp, there is, I think, demonstrated the
practical application of several of the general principles upon which
is based the theory whereby Colonel Lane Fox sought to elucidate the
phenomena of human progress.

A series of this kind serves, in the first place, to demonstrate
that the absence of historical and archaeological evidence of the
_actual_ continuity in development from simple to complex does not
preclude investigations into the early history of any product of human
ingenuity, nor prevent the formation of a suggestive and plausible
if largely hypothetical series, illustrating the probable chain of
sequences along which some highly specialized form may be traced back
link by link to its rudimentary prototypes, or even to its absolute
origin, which in this particular instance is the ordinary shooting bow
_temporarily_ converted into a musical instrument. Where an actual
chronological series is not forthcoming, a comparative study of
such types as are available, even though they be _modern_ examples,
reveals the fact that, if classified according to their apparent
morphological affinities, these types show a tendency to fall into
line; the gap between the extreme forms--that is, the most simple and
the most advanced--being filled by a succession of intermediate forms,
more or less completely linked together, according to the number of
varieties at our disposal. We are thus, at any rate, in possession of
_a_ sequence series. Is it unreasonable for us to conclude that this
reflects, in great measure, _the_ actual chronological sequence of
variations through which in past times the evolutionary history of the
instrument was effected, from the earliest rudimentary form?

It is difficult to account, at all, for the existence of many of the
forms, such as I have briefly described, except on the supposition
that they are _survivals_ from more or less _early stages_ in a
series of progressive evolution; and, for myself, I do not believe
that so inefficient and yet so elaborate an instrument, as, to take
an example, the harp of ancient Egypt, Assyria, and India, could have
come into being by any sudden inventive process, by ‘spontaneous
generation’, as it were, to use a biological term; whereas, the innate
conservatism of the human species, which is most manifest among the
lower and more primitive races (I use the term conservatism, I need
hardly say, in a non-political sense), amply accounts for such forms
having been arrived at, since the rigid adherence to traditional types
is a prevailing characteristic of human culture, and only admits
of improvement by very slight and gradual variations upon existing
forms. The difficulty experienced by man, in a primitive condition of
culture, of emancipating himself from the ideas which have been handed
down to him, except by a very gradual and lengthy process, causes him
to exert somewhat blindly his efforts in the direction of progress, and
often prevents his seeing very obvious improvements, even when they are
seemingly forced upon his notice. For instance, the early Egyptian,
Assyrian, and Greek harps, as I have already stated, were destitute of
a fore-pillar, and this remained the case for centuries, in spite of
their actually existing in an environment of other instruments, such
as the lyre and _trigonon_, which in their rigid, unyielding frames
possessed, and even paraded, the very feature which was so essential
to the harp, to enable it to become a really efficient instrument. The
same juxtaposition of similar types, without mutual influence, may be
seen in modern Africa among ruder forms of these instruments.

And yet, in spite of instances such as this--where a valuable feature
suggested by one instrument has not been adopted for the improvement
of another, even though the two forms are in constant use side by
side--we must recognize that progress, in the main, is effected by a
process of bringing the experience gained in one direction to bear upon
the results arrived at in another. This process of grafting one idea
upon another, or, as we may call it, the hybridization of ideas and
experience, is a factor in the advancement of culture whose influence
cannot be overestimated. It is, in fact, the main secret of progress.
In the animal world hybridization is liable to produce _sterile_
offspring; in the world of ideas its results are usually far different.
A fresh stimulus is imparted, which may last through generations
of fruitful descendants. The _rate_ at which progress is effected
increases steadily with the growth of experience, whereby the number of
ideas which may act and react upon one another is augmented.

It follows, as a corollary, that he who would trace out the
phylogenetic history of any product of human industry will speedily
discover that, if he aims at doing so _in detail_, he must be prepared
for disappointments. The tangle is too involved to be completely
unravelled. The sequence, strictly speaking, is not in the form of
a simple chain, but rather in that of a highly complex _system_ of
chains. The time-honoured simile afforded by a river perhaps supplies
the truest comparison. The course of the _main stream_ of our evolution
series may be fairly clear to us, even as far as to its principal
source; we may even explore and study the general effect produced
by the more important tributaries; but to investigate in detail the
contributions afforded in present and past of the innumerable smaller
streams, brooks, and runlets is clearly beyond any one’s power, even
supposing that the greater number had not changed their course at
times, and even, in many cases, run dry. While we readily admit that
important effects have been produced by these numberless tributary
influences, both on the course and on the volume of the river, it is
clear that we must in general be content to follow the main stream. A
careful study of the series of musical instruments, of which I gave but
a scanty outline, reveals very clearly that numberless ideas borrowed
from outside sources have been requisitioned, and have affected the
course of development. In some cases one can see fairly clearly whence
these ideas were derived, and even trace back in part their own
phylogenetic history; but a complete analysis must of necessity remain
beyond our powers and even our hopes.

It will have been observed that, in the example of a sequence series
which I have given, the early developmental stages are illustrated
entirely by instruments belonging to _modern savage races_. It was a
fundamental principle in the general theory of Colonel Lane Fox that in
the arts and customs of the still living savage and barbaric peoples
there are reflected to a considerable extent the various strata of
human culture in the past, and that it is possible to reconstruct in
some degree the life and industries of Man in prehistoric times by a
study of existing races in corresponding stages of civilization. His
insistence upon the importance of bringing together and comparing the
archaeological and ethnological material, in order that each might
serve to throw light upon the other, has proved of value to both
sciences. Himself a brilliant and far-seeing archaeologist as well as
ethnologist, he was eminently capable of forming a conclusion upon this
point, and he urged this view very strongly.

The Earth, as we know, is peopled with races of the most heterogeneous
description, races in all stages of culture. Colonel Lane Fox argued
that, making due allowance for possible instances of degradation from
a higher condition, this heterogeneity could readily be explained by
assuming that, while the progress of some races has received relatively
little check, the culture development of other races has been retarded
to a greater or less extent, and that we may see represented conditions
of at least partially arrested development. In other words, he
considered that in the various manifestations of culture among the less
civilized peoples were to be seen more or less direct _survivals_ from
the earlier stages or strata of human evolution; vestiges of ancient
conditions which have fallen out at different points and have been left
behind in the general march of progress.

Taken together, the various living races of Man seem almost to form a
kind of living genealogical tree, as it were, and it is as an epiphyte
upon this tree that the comparative ethnologist largely thrives; while
to the archaeologist it may also prove a tree of knowledge the fruit of
which may be eaten with benefit rather than risk.

This certainly seems to be a legitimate assumption in a general way;
but there are numerous factors which should be borne in mind when we
endeavour to elucidate the past by means of the present. If the various
gradations of culture exhibited by the condition of living races--the
savage, the semi-civilized or barbaric, and the civilized races--could
be regarded as accurately typifying the successive stages through
which the higher forms of culture have been evolved in the course of
the ages; if, in fact, the different modern races of mankind might
be accepted as so many sections of the human race whose intellectual
development has been arrested or retarded at various definite stages
in the general progression, then we should have, to all intents and
purposes, our genealogical tree in a very perfect state, and by its
means we could reconstruct the past, and study with ease the steady
growth of culture and handicrafts from the earliest simple germs,
reflecting the mental condition of primaeval man, up to the highest
manifestations of the most cultured races.

These ideal conditions are, however, far from being realized.
Intellectual progress has not advanced along a single line, but, in its
development, it has branched off in various directions, in accordance
with varying environment; and the tracing of lines of connexion
between different forms of culture, as is the case with the physical
variations, is a matter of intricate complexity. Migrations, with the
attendant climatic changes, change of food, and, in fact, of general
environment, to say nothing of the crossing of different stocks,
transmission of ideas from one people to another, and other factors,
all tend to increase the tangle.

Although in certain instances savage tribes or races show obvious signs
of having _degenerated_ to some extent from conditions of a higher
culturedom, this cannot be regarded as the general rule, and we must
always bear in mind the seemingly paradoxical truth that degradation
in the culture of the lower races is often, if not usually, the direct
result of contact with peoples in a far higher state of civilization.

There can, I think, be little doubt that Colonel Lane Fox was well
justified in urging the view that most savage races are in large
measure strictly _primitive_, survivals from early conditions, the
development of their ideas having from various causes remained
practically stationary during a very considerable period of time. In
the lower, though not degenerate, races signs of this are not wanting,
and while few, possibly none, can be said to be absolutely in a
condition of arrested development, their normal progress is at a slow,
in most cases at a _very_ slow, rate.

Perhaps the best example of a truly primitive race existing in recent
times, of which we have any knowledge, was afforded by the native
inhabitants of Tasmania. This race was still existing fifty years ago,
and a few pure-blooded survivors remained as late as about the year
1870, when the race became extinct, the benign civilizing influence
of enlightened Europeans having wiped this extremely interesting
people off the face of the earth. The Australians, whom Colonel Lane
Fox referred to as being ‘the lowest amongst the existing races of
the world of whom we have any accurate knowledge’, are very far in
advance of the Tasmanians, whose lowly state of culture conformed
thoroughly with the characteristics of a truly primitive race, a
survival not only from the Stone Age in general, but from almost the
earliest beginnings of the Stone Age. The difference between the
culture of the Tasmanians and that of the Australians was far greater
than that which exists between man of the ‘River Drift’ period and
his Neolithic successors. The objects of everyday use were but slight
modifications of forms suggested by Nature, involving the exercise of
merely the simplest mental processes. The stone implements were of
the rudest manufacture, far inferior in workmanship to those made by
Palaeolithic man; they were never ground or polished, never even fitted
with handles, but were merely grasped in the hand. The _varieties_ of
implements were very _few in number_, each, no doubt, serving a number
of purposes, the function varying with the requirements of the moment.
They had no bows or other appliances for accelerating the flight of
missiles, no pottery, no permanent dwellings; nor is there any evidence
of a previous knowledge of such products of higher culture. They
seem to represent a race which was isolated very early from contact
with higher races; in fact, before they had developed more than the
merest rudiments of culture--a race continuing to live under the most
primitive conditions, from which they were never destined to emerge.

Between the Tasmanians, representing in their very low culture the one
extreme, and the most civilized peoples at the other extreme, lie races
exhibiting in a general way intermediate conditions of advancement or
retardation. If we are justified, as I think we are, in regarding the
various grades of culture, observable among the more lowly of the still
existing races of man, as representing to a considerable extent those
vanished cultures which in their succession formed the different stages
by which civilization emerged gradually from a low state, it surely
becomes a very important duty for us to study with energy these living
illustrations of early human history, in order that the archaeological
record may be supplemented and rendered more complete. The material
for this study is vanishing so fast with the spread of civilization
that opportunities lost now will never be regained, and already even
it is practically impossible to find native tribes which are wholly
uncontaminated with the products, good or bad, of higher cultures.

The arts of living races help to elucidate what is obscure in those
of prehistoric times by the process of reasoning from the known
to the unknown. It is the work of the zoologist which enables the
palaeontologist to reconstruct the forms of extinct animals from such
fragmentary remains as have been preserved, and it is largely from the
results of a comparative study of living forms and their habitats that
he is able, in his descriptions, to equip the reconstructed types of a
past fauna with environments suited to their structure, and to render
more complete the picture of their mode of life.

In like manner, the work of the ethnologist can throw light upon the
researches of the archaeologist; through it, broken sequences may be
repaired, at least suggestively, and the interpretation of the true
nature and use of objects of antiquity may frequently be rendered
more sure. Colonel Lane Fox strongly advocated the application of the
reasoning methods of biology to the study of the origin, phylogeny, and
etionomics of the arts of mankind, and his own collection demonstrated
that the products of human intelligence can conveniently be classified
into families, genera, species, and varieties, and must be so grouped
if their affinities and development are to be investigated.

It must not be supposed--although some people, through misapprehension
of his methods, jumped at this erroneous conclusion--that he
was unaware of the danger of possibly mistaking mere accidental
resemblances for morphological affinities, and that he assumed that
_because_ two objects, perhaps from widely separated regions, appeared
more or less identical in form, and possibly in use, they were
necessarily to be considered as members of one phylogenetic group.
On the contrary, in the grouping of his specimens according to their
form and function, he was anxious to assist as far as possible in
throwing light upon the question of the monogenesis or polygenesis of
certain arts and appliances, and to discover whether they are exotic
or indigenous in the regions in which they are now found, and, in
fact, to distinguish between mere analogies and true homologies. If
we accept the theory of the monogenesis of the human race, as most of
us undoubtedly do, we must be prepared to admit that there prevails a
condition of unity in the tendencies of the human mind to respond in a
similar manner to similar stimuli. Like conditions beget like results;
and thus instances of independent invention of similar objects are
liable to arise. For this very reason, however, the arts and customs
belonging to even widely separated peoples may, though apparently
unrelated, help to elucidate some of the points in each other’s history
which remain obscure through lack of the evidence required to establish
_local_ continuity.

I think, moreover, that it will generally be allowed that cases of
‘independent invention’ of similar forms should be considered to have
established their claim to be regarded as such only after exhaustive
inquiry has been made into the possibilities of the resemblances being
due to actual relationship. There is the alternative method of assuming
that, because two like objects are widely separated geographically, and
because a line of connexion is not immediately obvious, therefore the
resemblance existing between them is fortuitous, or merely the natural
result of similar forms having been produced to meet similar needs.
Premature conclusions in matters of this kind, though temptingly easy
to form, are not in the true scientific spirit, and act as a check
upon careful research, which, by investigating the case in its various
possible aspects, is able either to prove or disprove what otherwise
would be merely a hasty assumption. The association of similar forms
into the same series has therefore a double significance. On the
one hand, the sequence of related forms is brought out, and their
geographical distribution illustrated, throwing light, not only upon
the evolution of types, but also upon the interchange of ideas by
transference from one people to another, and even upon the migration
of races. On the other hand, instances in which two or more peoples
have arrived independently at similar results are brought prominently
forward, not merely as interesting coincidences, but also as evidence
pointing to the phylogenetic unity of the human species, as exemplified
by the tendency of human intelligence to evolve independently identical
ideas where the conditions are themselves identical. Polygenesis in
his inventions may probably be regarded as testimony in favour of the
monogenesis of Man.

I have endeavoured in this review to dwell upon some of the main
principles laid down by Colonel Lane Fox as a result of his special
researches in the field of Ethnology, and my object has been twofold.
First, to bear witness to the very great importance of his contribution
to the scientific study of the arts of mankind and the development
of culture in general, and to remind students of Anthropology of the
debt which we owe to him, not only for the results of his very able
investigations, but also for the stimulus which he imparted to research
in some of the branches of this comprehensive science. Secondly, my
object has been to reply to some criticisms offered in regard to points
in the system of classification adopted in arranging his ethnographical
collection. And, since such criticisms as have reached me have appeared
to me to be founded mainly upon misinterpretation of this system, I
have thought that I could meet them best by some sort of restatement of
the principles involved.

It would be unreasonable to expect that his work should hold good
in all details. The early illustrations of his theories were to
be regarded as tentative rather than dogmatic, and in later life
he recognized that many modifications in matters of detail were
rendered necessary by new facts which had since come to light. The
crystallization of solid facts out of a matrix which is necessarily
partially volatile is a process requiring time. These minor errors and
the fact of our not agreeing with all his details in no way invalidate
the general principles which he urged, and we need but cast a cursory
glance over recent ethnological literature to see how widely accepted
these general principles are, and how they have formed the bases
of, and furnished the inspiration for, a vast mass of research by
ethnologists of all nations.



[1] Extracted from Mr. Henry Balfour’s address to the Anthropological
Section of the British Association at Cambridge in 1904.

[2] _The Natural History of the Musical Bow_, by H. Balfour: Clarendon
Press, Oxford, 1899.



I gladly avail myself of the opportunity that has been afforded me of
explaining the principles of classification that I have adopted in the
arrangement of my collection, in the hopes that, by offering them to
the consideration of anthropologists, their soundness may be put to the
test, and that they may elicit criticism on the part of those who have
devoted their attention to the subject of primitive culture.

The collection is divided into four parts. The first has reference
to physical anthropology, and consists of a small collection of
typical skulls and hair of races. This part of the collection, as it
relates to a subject that has received a large amount of attention
from anthropologists, and has been frequently treated by abler hands
than mine, I do not propose to enter into. The remainder of the
collection is devoted to objects illustrating the development of
prehistoric and savage culture, and consists of--Part II. The weapons
of existing savages. Part III. Miscellaneous arts of modern savages,
including pottery and substitutes for pottery; modes of navigation,
clothing, textile fabrics, and weaving; personal ornament; realistic
art; conventionalized art; ornamentation; tools; household furniture;
musical instruments; idols and religious emblems; specimens of the
written character of races; horse furniture; money and substitutes for
money; fire-arms; sundry smaller classes of objects, such as mirrors,
spoons, combs, games, and a collection of implements of modern savages,
arranged to illustrate the mode of hafting stone implements. Part IV
refers to the prehistoric series, and consists of specimens of natural
forms simulating artificial forms, for comparison with artificial
forms; a collection of modern forgeries for comparison with genuine
prehistoric implements; palaeolithic implements; neolithic implements;
implements of bronze, iron, and bone.

The collection does not contain any considerable number of unique
specimens, and has been collected during upwards of twenty years, not
for the purpose of surprising any one, either by the beauty or value
of the objects exhibited, but solely with a view to instruction. For
this purpose ordinary and typical specimens, rather than rare objects,
have been selected and arranged in sequence, so as to trace, as far as
practicable, the succession of ideas by which the minds of men in a
primitive condition of culture have progressed from the simple to the
complex, and from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous.

Many ethnological museums exist in this country and elsewhere, and
therefore, in claiming to have accomplished a useful purpose in forming
this collection, I am bound to endeavour to show that it performs some
function that is not performed by the majority of the other museums
that are to be found. I propose, therefore, to consider, in the first
place, what the defect of an ethnological museum usually is.

The classification of natural history specimens has long been a
recognized necessity in the arrangement of every museum which professes
to impart useful information, but ethnological specimens have not
generally been thought capable of anything more than a geographical
arrangement. This arises mainly from sociology not having until
recently been recognized as a science, if indeed it can be said to be
so regarded by the public generally at the present time. Travellers, as
a rule, have not yet embraced the idea, and consequently the specimens
in our museums, not having been systematically collected, cannot be
scientifically arranged. They consist of miscellaneous objects brought
home as reminiscences of travel, or of such as have been most easily
procured by sailors at the seaports. Unlike natural history specimens,
which have for years past been selected with a view to variety,
affinity, and sequence, these ethnological _curiosities_, as they have
been termed, have been chosen without any regard to their history or
psychology, and, although they would be none the less valuable for
having been collected without influence from the bias of preconceived
theories, yet, not being supposed capable of any scientific
interpretation, they have not been obtained in sufficient number or
variety to render classification possible.

This does not apply with the same force to collections of prehistoric
objects, which during the last ten or fifteen years have received
better treatment. It is to the arts and implements of modern savages
that my remarks chiefly relate.

Since the year 1852 I have endeavoured to supply this want by selecting
from amongst the commoner class of objects which have been brought to
this country those which appeared to show connexion of form. Whenever
missing links have been found they have been added to the collection,
and the result has been to establish, however imperfectly, sequence in
several series.

The primary arrangement has been by form--that is to say, that the
spears, bows, clubs, and other objects above mentioned, have each
been placed by themselves in distinct classes. Within each there is a
sub-class for special localities, and in each of these sub-classes, or
wherever a connexion of ideas can be traced, the specimens have been
arranged according to their affinities, the simpler on the left and the
successive improvements in line to the right of them. This arrangement
has been varied to suit the form of the room, or of the screens, or the
number of specimens, but in all cases the object kept in view has been,
as far as possible, to trace the succession of ideas.

This is the distinctive difference between my collection and most
others which I have seen, in which the primary arrangement has been
geographical, that is to say, all the arts of the same tribe or
nation have been placed together in one class, and within this there
may perhaps have been in some cases a sub-class for special arts or
special forms. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.
By a geographical or racial arrangement the general culture of each
distinct race is made the prominent feature of the collection, and it
is therefore more strictly _ethnological_, whereas in the arrangement
which I have adopted, the development of specific ideas and their
transmission from one people to another, or from one locality to
another, is made more apparent, and it is therefore of greater
_sociological_ value. Different points of interest are brought to
light by each, and, in my judgement, a great National Anthropological
Collection, should we ever possess such a desideratum, can never be
considered complete until it embraces two series, arranged upon these
two distinct systems.

Following the orthodox scientific principle of reasoning from the known
to the unknown, I have commenced my descriptive catalogue with the
specimens of the arts of existing savages, and have employed them, as
far as possible, to illustrate the relics of primaeval men, none of
which, except those constructed of the more imperishable materials,
such as flint and stone, have survived to our time. All the implements
of primaeval man that were of decomposable materials have disappeared,
and can be replaced only in imagination by studying those of his
nearest congener, the modern savage.

This being the system adopted, one of the first points to which I
desire to invite your attention is the question, to what extent the
modern savage truly represents primaeval man, or rather to what extent
may we take the arts of modern savages to represent those of the first
progenitors of our species?

In order to do this it is necessary to view the question in its
psychological aspects. This I shall touch upon as lightly as possible,
avoiding all technicalities, which in a cursory view of the matter,
might tend to confuse, and confining myself to those parts of the
subject which appear to have a direct bearing on evolution.

It is a matter of common observation that animals act by instinct, that
is to say, that in the construction of their habitations and other
arrangements for providing for their wants, they act intuitively, and
apparently without the intervention of reason; and that the things
which they construct, though often of a more or less complex character,
are usually of a fixed type; that they are repeated by nearly all
animals of the same kind with but little variety; and that within the
limited space of time during which we are able to observe them, they do
not appear to be susceptible of progress, although evidence has been
adduced to show that animals, even in a wild state, do change their
habits to a certain extent with the change of external conditions.

On the other hand, we recognize in many animals the operation of a
reasoning mind. In their efforts to escape, or when conditions of a
novel character are presented to them, they act in a manner that shows
clear evidence of intelligence, although they show this to a very
limited extent as compared with man. We also know that habits acquired
by animals during domestication, or taught them by the exercise
of their reasoning faculties, become instinctive in them, and are
inherited in their offspring, as in the familiar case of the pointer
dog. We also know that under domestication animals lose the instincts
acquired in a wild state.

In the human mind we recognize the presence of all these phenomena,
only in a different degree. We are conscious of an intellectual mind
capable of reasoning upon unfamiliar occurrences, and of an automaton
mind capable of acting intuitively in certain matters without effort
of the will or consciousness. And we know that habits acquired by the
exercise of conscious reason, by constant habit, become automatic,
and then they no longer require the exercise of conscious reason to
direct the actions, as they did at first; as, for example, the habit
of walking upright, which the child learns with pain and labour, but
in time performs without conscious effort of the mind. Or the habit
of reading and writing, the learning of which requires a strong and
continuous effort of the intellect, but which in time becomes so
completely automatic that it becomes possible to read a whole page
aloud whilst the intellectual mind is conscious of being engaged in
other things.

We perceive clearly that this automatic action of the brain is
dependent on frequent repetition by the intellectual brain, as in
the familiar case of learning by heart; and also that the transfer
of the action from the intellectual to the automaton brain--if
indeed there are separate portions of the brain allotted to these
separate functions, as appears probable--is a gradual and not a sudden
process, and that there are intermediate stages in which an action
may be performed partly by direction of the intellect and partly
automatically. This is shown in the case of a person who, wishing to
make an effective speech at a public meeting, reasons out his address
carefully, and then learns it partially by heart. When the time comes
to address the assembly, the speech having been partly referred to the
automaton brain, the intellect is relieved from action, and, being
unoccupied, is apt to wander and engage itself in other matters that
are passing at the time; but the automaton brain, being insufficiently
prepared to bear the whole responsibility, is unable to continue, and
the intellectual brain, having already started on a journey elsewhere,
is unable to return quick enough to take up the thread of the
discourse. The result is that the would-be orator breaks down pitiably
in the middle of his speech, owing to his having learnt his lesson too
well for one function of his mind, and not well enough for the other.
The same is seen in many business transactions, which, from frequent
repetition, become what is called a second nature, and in the conduct
of which the conscious intellect is partly freed from the control of
the actions.

We see also that both automatic and intellectual activity are inherited
in different degrees by different persons. Thus it is a matter of
common observation that there are some persons who are able to acquire
with great facility the power of conversing upon simple subjects in
many different languages, whilst upon more complex subjects, requiring
intellectual effort, they never acquire the power of conversing in any
language. Thus, also, it is frequently seen that some children show
a remarkable aptitude for learning in their youth. It is said to be
a pleasure to educate them; everything speedily becomes automatic in
them; great hopes are entertained of their future prospects; but they
frequently become a grievous disappointment to their parents, who have
built castles in the air upon the strength of their apparent precocity,
whereas an acute observer might have seen that they had never from the
first showed signs of great intellectual capacity. On the other hand,
we hear of dunces who are the despair of their tutors, who can with
difficulty be taught to read and write and spell, but in after years
become philosophers and scientists, all which might have been foretold
from the first if the system of education had been such as to call
forth the intellectual powers.

It is not merely that some inherit automatic capacity whilst in others
the capacity is intellectual. There is, without doubt, in both cases
an hereditary capacity for special things. Thus, whilst some acquire
a knowledge of music with facility, others can never be made to
appreciate a note of music, and so with respect to other arts.

How then are we to account for this innate indifference in the
capacity of individuals, unless by supposing it to be proportioned
to the length of time during which, or the degree of intensity with
which, the ancestors of the individuals have had their minds occupied
in the particular branch of culture for which capacity is shown?
Unfortunately the difficulty of tracing the channel of hereditary
transmission stands in the way of obtaining any certainty on this
point, although the labours of our Vice-President, Mr. Galton, have
already thrown much light on this interesting subject. But on this
assumption, it is easy to account for the more perfect action of
instinct in the lower animals than in men, when it is considered
that the minds of their progenitors must have been confined to the
experience of those particular things for which instinct is shown, far
longer than is the case with man; and this brings us to the point which
has an important bearing upon the question before us, viz. that every
action which is now performed by instinct, has at some former period in
the history of the species been the result of conscious experience.

But, in adopting this theory, it is not necessary to assume that the
ideas themselves have been communicated by hereditary transmission.
The doctrine of innate ideas, exploded by Locke, I believe, can never
again establish itself. What is inherited is no doubt a certain
organization of the nervous system, which, by repeated use through
many generations, aided by natural selection, has become exquisitely
adapted to the recognition of experience of a particular kind, and
which, by the constant renovation that is going on within the body,
has grown in harmony with those experiences, so that, when the spring
is touched, as it were, the machinery is at once set in motion; but,
until the necessary external conditions are presented to the mind,
there can be no consciousness of them in the mind. The mind creates
nothing apart from experience; its function is limited to building with
the materials presented to it through the medium of the senses. The
broader the basis of experience, the more lofty the superstructure that
can be raised upon it. Or, to use the words of Mr. Herbert Spencer[4],
‘the supposition that the inner cohesions are adjusted to the outer
persistencies by accumulated experience of these outer persistencies,
is in harmony with all our actual knowledge of mental phenomena. Though
in so far as reflex actions and instincts are concerned, the experience
hypothesis seems insufficient; yet, its seeming insufficiency occurs
only where the evidence is beyond our reach. Nay, even here, such few
facts as we can get, point to the conclusion that automatic physical
connexions result from the registration of experiences continued for
numberless generations.’ And further on he says: ‘In the progress of
life at large, as in the progress of the individual, the adjustment of
inner tendencies to outer persistencies must begin with the simple and
advance to the complex, seeing that, both within and without, complex
relations, being made up of simple ones, cannot be established before
simple ones have been established.’

From the foregoing considerations it follows that, in studying the
evidence of intellectual progress, the phenomena which we may expect
to observe are--firstly, a continuous succession of ideas; secondly,
that the complexity of the ideas will be in an increasing ratio in
proportion to the time; and thirdly, that the tendency to automatic
action upon any given set of ideas will be in proportion to the length
of time during which the ancestors of the individual have exercised
their minds in those particular ideas. Hence it follows, as a corollary
to this, that at the present time the tendency to automatic action
will be greater in the lower animals than in the higher, because the
minds of their progenitors have been exercised in the simple ideas, for
which instinct is shown, for a greater length of time than those of the
higher animals, amongst whom the simpler ideas have, at a comparatively
recent period in the history of the race, been replaced, or otherwise
modified, by ideas of a more complex character, which latter have not
yet had time to become instinctive. And this is in accordance with what
is practically observed in nature.

Now, in applying these principles to the study of progress in man, we
must expect to find that the phenomena observed will be in proportion
to the spaces of time we have to deal with in treating of man as
compared with animals in general.

Assuming this psychological standard of humanity to have been at the
level at which we find the highest of the lower animals that exist at
the present time, we may suppose primaeval man to have been so far
acquainted with the use of tools as to be able to employ a stone for
the purpose of cracking the shells of nuts, but incapable of trimming
the stone into any form that would answer his purpose better than that
into which it had been shaped by rolling in a river bed or upon the

By the repeated use of stones for this and similar purposes, it would
be found that, as Sir John Lubbock has pointed out, they sometimes
split in the hand, and that the sharp edges of the fractured portions
were more serviceable than the stones before fracture. By constant
repetition of the same occurrence, there would grow up in the mind of
the creature an association of ideas between the fracture of the stone
and the saving of labour effected by the fractured portion, and also a
sequence of ideas by which it would be perceived that the fracture of
the stone was a necessary preliminary to the other, and ultimately, by
still continued repetition, the creature would be led to perform the
motions which had been found effectual in cracking the stone before
applying it to the purposes for which it was to be used. So also in
using the various natural forms of the branches of trees which fell
into his hands, it would be found that particular forms were of use
for particular purposes; and by constant repetition there would arise
an association of ideas between those forms and the purposes for which
they were useful, and he would begin to select them for such purposes;
and in proportion to the length of time during which this association
of ideas continued to exist in the minds of successive generations of
the creatures which we may now begin to call men, would be the tendency
on the part of the offspring to continue to select and use these
particular forms, more or less instinctively--not, indeed, with that
unvarying instinct which in animals arises from the perfect adaptation
of the internal organism to external condition, but with that modified
instinct which assumes the form of a _persistent conservatism_.

‘The savage,’ says Mr. Tylor, ‘is firmly, obstinately conservative.
No man appeals with more unhesitating confidence to the great
precedent-makers of the past; the wisdom of his ancestors can control
against the most obvious evidence of his own opinions and actions.’

In a similar manner mankind would be led to the conception of many
other ideas, but of the majority of them no record would be preserved;
it is only where the ideas have been associated with material forms
that any record of them would be kept in prehistoric times; and this
brings us to what I conceive to be the object of an anthropological
collection--to trace out, by means of the only evidence available, the
sequence of ideas by which mankind has advanced from the condition of
the lower animals to that in which we find him at the present time, and
by this means to provide really reliable materials for a philosophy of
progress. We may not be able to find in these objects any associations
that may lead us to form an estimate of the highest aspirations of
the mind at any period of its development, but their importance to
anthropologists consists in their value as evidence. Affording us
as they do the only available evidence of man in his most primitive
condition, they are well worthy of our attention, in order that by
studying their grammar, we may be able to conjugate their forms.

Yet, although our data are thus limited to the material arts of
mankind, only a small portion of those of prehistoric races are
available for our purpose. As already said, only those tools and
implements which were constructed of durable materials have remained;
the rest have perished, and we have only the implements of existing
savages by which to judge of them. The question, therefore, is, to what
extent they may be taken as the representatives of the implements of
prehistoric men, seeing that in point of time they are contemporaneous
with the arts of the most civilized races, and not with those of
prehistoric races.

Scattered over the world in various localities are savage races
showing various degrees of culture, some higher and some lower than
others, many of which have now been greatly influenced by contact with
civilized races, but of the majority of which we have more or less
detailed records, dating from the time of their first discovery by
Europeans, when their arts may be regarded as indigenous, or, at any
rate, free from any admixture with the arts of civilized races.

If these savage races have been degraded from a higher condition of
culture, then, seeing that sequence of ideas is necessary to the
existence of any ideas whatever, we must inevitably find traces in
their arts of those higher arts from which they descended. But if, on
the other hand, they have risen from a lower state, and their present
savage condition arises from their having advanced less rapidly than
those races which are now above them in the social scale, then what are
the conditions which we must expect to find prevailing amongst them?

We shall find, firstly, that the forms of their implements, instead of
showing evidence of having been derived from higher and more complex
forms, will, in proportion to the low state of their civilization, show
evidence of being derived from natural forms, such as might have been
employed by man before he had learnt the art of modifying them to his
uses; and secondly, we shall find that the persistency of the forms is
proportioned to the low state of their culture.

Now this is found to be the case with nearly every race of savages of
whose condition we have any knowledge. Lowest amongst the existing
races of the world of whom we have any accurate knowledge are the
Australians. All their weapons assimilate to the forms of nature; all
their wooden weapons are constructed on the grain of the wood, and
consequently their curves are the curves of the branches out of which
they were constructed. In every instance in which I have attempted to
arrange my collection in sequence, so as to trace the higher forms
from natural forms, the weapons of the Australians have found their
place lowest in the scale, because they assimilate most closely to the
natural forms.

Of this many examples may be given. I will not now again enter into the
history of the boomerang, to which I have already drawn the attention
of the Society on former occasions. Those who wish to see the subject
treated in greater detail will find it discussed in my catalogue of
the collection, in which are also given the authorities for many facts
that are mentioned here, and which the limits of time and space do
not enable me to quote at length. Suffice to say that the whole of
the Australian weapons can be traced by their connecting links to the
simple stick, such as might have been used by an ape or an elephant
before mankind appeared upon this earth, and I have arranged them so as
to show this connexion on the screens. Here also we are able to trace
the development of the idea of a shield to cover the body, which in
its simplest form is a simple parrying-stick held in the centre, and
which expands gradually into an oval shield. It is also shown upon the
screens how the simple waddy, or club with a lozenge-shaped head, by a
gradual development of one side, grew into a kind of wooden hatchet,
which ultimately became converted into a hatchet-boomerang.

The whole of the Australian weapons, without exception, are of this
simple character, and in proof of the persistency with which this
nation has continued to employ the same forms, no further evidence
is necessary than the fact that they are the same, with but slight
variations, over the whole continent. The slight differences between
them, as Mr. Oldfield has pointed out, are so minute as scarcely to
be perceptible to a European, but sufficient to enable a native to
determine at a glance from what locality any specimen that may be shown
him has been obtained.

But although all the connecting forms between the forms of nature
and the more advanced forms are found amongst the _existing_ weapons
of these savages, we are not to assume from this that the whole of
the progress observed has been effected in modern times. The whole
sequence of ideas connecting these weapons (which are now constructed
in a manner to show that the art of producing them is partly
automatic) was reasoned out by such processes of the mind as stood for
reason, at various former periods in the history of the race, each
successive improvement constituting a link in the chain of progressive
development. Each link has left its representatives, which, with
certain modifications, have survived to the present time; and it is by
the means of these _survivals_, and not by the links themselves, that
we are able to trace out the sequence that has been spoken of.

This is the hypothesis put forward, and which I profess to justify by
the facts accumulated in this collection.

Every form marks its own place in sequence by its relative complexity
or affinity to other allied forms, in the same manner that every word
in the science of language has a place assigned to it in the order of
development or phonetic decay.

If there is such a thing as a science of language, and none can doubt
it, who shall affirm that there is no such thing as a science of the
arts? Language, it is true, embraces a wider sphere, and includes the
arts; but, on the other hand, it is liable to sources of uncertainty
for the purposes of science, from which the arts are free. Language
is impalpable, invisible to the eye, except through the medium of a
written character, which may or may not accurately express the sounds,
and subject to acoustic changes in the collection of the materials,
which are a perpetual cause of error and misclassification.

In tracing the development of the material arts, on the other hand,
we have, in the earliest periods, the support of collateral evidence
afforded by the fauna with which they are associated and by geological
sequence, all which is wanting in the science of language.

Why, then, has language hitherto received more scientific treatment
than the arts? Merely on account of the greater facility with which the
data are collected. Whilst words take seconds to record, hours and days
may be spent in the accurate delineation of form. Words cost nothing,
are packed in folios, transmitted by post, and stored on the shelves
of every private library. A million classified words may be carried in
the coat pocket without inconvenience, whilst a hundredth part of that
number of material objects require a museum to contain them, and are
accessible only to a few. This is the reason why the arts have never
been subjected to those classifications which form the groundwork of a

Then, again, in approaching prehistoric times, or in studying modern
savages who represent prehistoric man, language loses its persistency,
or fails us altogether. Although, in an advanced stage of civilization,
especially when it has been committed to writing, it affords the
surest test of culture, this is certainly not the case with the
lowest savages, amongst whom language changes so rapidly that even
neighbouring tribes cannot understand one another. And if this is the
case in respect to language, still more strongly does it apply to all
ideas that are communicated by word of mouth. In endeavouring to trace
back prehistoric culture to its root forms, we find that in proportion
as the value of language and of the ideas conveyed by language
diminishes, that of ideas embodied in material forms increases in
stability and permanence. Whilst in the earliest phases of humanity the
names for things change with every generation if not more frequently,
the things themselves are handed down unchanged from father to son and
from tribe to tribe, and many of them have continued to our own time,
faithful records of the condition of the people by whom they were

Of the antiquity of savages we at present know little or nothing;
but when archaeologists have exhausted the antiquities of civilized
countries, a wide and interesting field of research will be open to
them in the study of the antiquities of savages, which are doubtless to
be discovered in their surface and drift deposits; and if the stability
of their form has been such as we have reason to believe, we shall then
be able to arrive at something like certainty in respect to the degree
of slowness or rapidity, as well as the order, in which they have been

Leaving now the Australians, and turning to other existing races in
a higher, though still in a low, stage of civilization, such as, for
example, the Fijians, who at the time of their discovery were still in
the stone age, we find, on examining the forms of their implements,
that we are in a higher stratum of culture, the characteristics of
which correspond exactly to what might have been expected to be found
on the principle of gradual evolution. The forms of their tools and
weapons present the same connexions of form between themselves as
amongst those of the Australians, but they are of a more complex
type, and are no longer directly traceable to the natural forms of
the limbs of trees, &c. The links of connexion between weapons of the
same kind are as close as before, but in their varieties they present
forms so singular as scarcely to make it possible to infer that they
were designed for the purposes of use. They appear rather to have
varied through the instrumentality of some law of succession similar
to that by which species of animals have been evolved. In many cases,
indeed, the sequence of ideas has led to the use of forms that are
absolutely unserviceable as weapons and tools, and human selection,
corresponding to natural selection, appears to have retained for use
only such forms as could be employed, whilst the others have been
consigned to state purposes or applied to symbolic uses. In many cases
we find that their clubs have been converted into the forms of animals’
heads, and in all such cases (and there are several in the collection)
we see, by grouping a sufficient number of like forms together, that
those which are in the shape of animals’ heads have not been designed
for the purpose of representing animals’ heads, but their forms have
simply been evolved during the numerous variations which the weapon
has undergone in the process of development, and when the idea of an
animal’s head suggested itself, it has merely been necessary to add an
eye, or a line for the mouth, in order to give them the resemblance in
question. Examples of this may be seen in the collection of specimens
from Africa, New Caledonia, New Zealand, and Solomon Isles.

In ornamentation, the stability of form is very remarkable. Particular
forms of ornamentation fix themselves on a tribe or nation, and are
repeated over and over again with but little variation of detail, as,
for example, in the case of the coil and broken coil ornaments amongst
the New Zealanders and the inhabitants of New Guinea, which were
probably derived from Assam, or the representation of the head of an
albatross amongst the Indians of the north-west coast of North America,
or that of a human head amongst the inhabitants of New Ireland.

In the transformations of this latter ornament, which I took occasion
to bring to the notice of the meeting of the Anthropological Department
of the British Association at Brighton in 1872[5], and which are
represented in Plate IV, we see a remarkable example of degradation of
form, produced by gradual changes, caused by these people in copying
from one another until the original design is lost. The representation
of a human figure is here seen to lose gradually its limbs and body,
then the sides of the face, leaving only the nose and ears, and
ultimately the nose only, which finally expands at the base, and is
converted into the representation of a half moon. In this sequence we
have an exact parallel to the transformations observed upon ancient
British coins by Mr. Evans[6], by which a coin of Philip of Macedon,
representing a chariot and horses, becomes converted by a succession
of similar changes into the representation of a single horse, and
ultimately into fragments of a horse. Other examples of similar
transformations from other countries are also shown.

Amongst other advantages of the arrangement by form, is the facility it
affords for tracing the distribution of like forms and arts, by which
means we can determine the connexion that has existed in former times
between distant countries, either by the spread of race, or culture, or
by means of commerce. Thus I have been able to trace the distribution
of the bow over a large area, with evidence of its having spread from a
common centre. In the Asiatic islands and the Pacific, the line of its
southern boundary is very clearly defined, marking off as non-bow-using
races the whole of the inhabitants of Australia except Cape York,
Tasmania, and formerly New Zealand and New Caledonia. Above this line
the use of the bow spread from the Asiatic isles, and its transmission
to the Papuan and Polynesian isles is due to the Malays, the Malay
word for it--viz. ‘panna’--being used over the whole of the region in
question with but slight variations.

In the southern hemisphere, where suitable materials for the
construction of it are abundant, the bow is of the form of the arcus,
or simple arch; but in the frigid regions to the north, there are large
tracts in Europe, Asia, and America which are either totally destitute
of trees, or covered with coniferous forests, yielding few if any
woods that have sufficient spring for the construction of a bow, and
there is reason to believe, from the traces of forests discovered at
low levels beneath the soil in various places, that this inhospitable
region extended more to the southward in ancient prehistoric times.
In such a region it is unlikely that the invention of the bow should
have originated, and when the knowledge of it was communicated from the
south, it would be necessary to employ some other elastic material to
combine with the stiff pinewood, and give it the necessary elasticity;
hence the composite bow, which is the bow of the northern hemisphere,
and which consists of a combination of wood and sinew, or wood and
bone. In its varieties I have traced this bow over the whole of the
northern hemisphere, including Lapland, Siberia, and the northern
part of North America. It is the bow of the ancient Persians and
Scythians. The northern people carried it into India and into China,
and also eastward into America, where its distribution is traced in two
channels, one extending along the region inhabited by the Esquimaux
into Greenland, and the other along the west coast as far south as
California; and throughout the region mentioned, its varieties show it
to have sprung from a common prototype.

Here also I may select, from amongst other illustrations of the same
kind that are to be found, a single example of the manner in which the
implements of modern savages may be made to explain the construction of
those of races of antiquity, described upon their monuments. Quivers
for arrows do not admit of much variety by which to trace improvement,
and for this reason they must have continued unchanged in form much
longer than contrivances which were susceptible of development; but
the combination of quiver and bow case in one, may be traced over the
whole of the region of the composite bow, the sinews of which made
it necessary that it should be kept dry. Mr. Rawlinson, in his _Five
Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World_ (London, 1864, vol.
ii. p. 57), gives an illustration of an Assyrian quiver taken from
ancient sculptures at Khorsabad. ‘It had an ornamental rod attached to
it, which projected beyond the arrows and terminated in a pomegranate
blossom or other similar carving. To this rod were attached the rings
which received the strap by which it was suspended to the shoulders.’
The learned author adds: ‘It is uncertain whether the material of the
quivers was wood or metal.’ The conventional mode of representing
these objects and the imperfect command which the Assyrians had over
the hard stone of the sculptures, give to the majority of the objects
represented, the appearance of having been constructed of some hard
material, as is clearly seen in the case of the hair and drapery; but,
on turning to the quivers now used by the Indians of California, we at
once see that the material of the quiver is explained by the form and
position of the above-mentioned rod, which is fastened on the outside
of it for the purpose of keeping the _limp_ skin bag that contains the
arrows stiff and straight, and thereby enabling the bowman to draw out
his arrows with the necessary rapidity. And this enables us clearly to
understand why, as stated by Mr. Rawlinson, not a single example of
a quiver was found in the Assyrian excavations. In the Californian,
as in the Assyrian quivers, the rod extends beyond the quiver, and is
probably intended to guard the arrows from injury.

It is unnecessary in this place to add to the number of examples. The
object of this paper, as already stated, is to explain the principles
of classification. For the evidence on which these principles are
based I must refer you to the catalogue. Whether these principles of
classification are correct or not is a matter of less consequence than
the arrangement of the facts, by which every person is enabled to form
his own idea of the manner in which progress has been evolved in early

Human ideas, as represented by the various products of human industry,
are capable of classification into genera, species, and varieties, in
the same manner as the products of the vegetable and animal kingdoms,
and in their development from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous they
obey the same laws. If, therefore, we can obtain a sufficient number
of objects to represent the succession of ideas, it will be found that
they are capable of being arranged in museums upon a similar plan.

The resemblance between the arts of modern savages and those of
primaeval man may be compared to that existing between recent and
extinct species of animals. As we find amongst existing animals and
plants, species akin to what geology teaches us were primitive species,
and as among existing species we find the representatives of successive
stages of geological species, so amongst the arts of existing savages
we find forms which, being adapted to a low condition of culture, have
survived from the earliest times, and also the representatives of
many successive stages through which development has taken place in
times past. As amongst existing animals and plants, these survivals
from different ages give us an outline picture of a succession of
gradually improving species, but do not represent the true sequence by
which improvement has been effected, so, amongst the arts of existing
people in all stages of civilization, we are able to trace a succession
of ideas from the simple to the complex, but not the true order of
development by which those more complex arrangements have been brought
about. As amongst existing species of animals, innumerable links are
wanting to complete the continuity of structure, so amongst the arts
of existing peoples there are great gaps which can only be filled
by prehistoric arts. What the palaeontologist does for zoology, the
prehistorian does for anthropology. What the study of zoology does
towards explaining the structures of extinct species, the study of
existing savages does towards enabling us to realize the condition of
primaeval man. To continue the simile further, the propagation of new
ideas may be said to correspond to the propagation of species. New
ideas are produced by the correlation of previously existing ideas in
the same manner as new individuals in a breed are produced by the union
of previously existing individuals. And in the same manner as we find
that the crossing of animals makes it extremely difficult to trace
the channel of hereditary transmission of qualities in a breed, so the
crossing of ideas in this manner makes it extremely difficult to trace
the sequence of ideas, although we may be certain that sequence does
exist as much in one case as in the other.

Continuing still further the simile, we find that, as in the breeding
of animals, when the divergence of races has gone so far as to
constitute what is called distinct species, they cannot interbreed,
so when the development of ideas has run in distinct channels far
enough to create a hiatus, no intercommunication can take place. Two
men of very different culture may travel in the same coach together,
and, though speaking the same language, may find themselves unable
to communicate except upon commonplace topics in which the simple
ideas are common to both. Or two nations in very different stages of
civilization may be brought side by side, as is the case in many of our
colonies, but there can be no amalgamation between them. Nothing but
the vices and imperfections of the superior culture can coalesce with
the inferior culture without break of sequence.

Progress is like a game of dominoes--like fits on to like. In neither
case can we tell beforehand what will be the ultimate figure produced
by the adhesions; all we know is that the fundamental rule of the game
is _sequence_.


[3] A Paper read at a Special Meeting of the Anthropological Institute
of Great Britain and Ireland on July 1, 1874, on the occasion of the
opening of the Anthropological Collection to the public: and published
in the _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, iv (1875), pp.

[4] _The Principles of Psychology_ (London, 1881), i.^3 pp. 424-6.

[5] Address to the Department of Anthropology--Report of the British
Association, 1872 (London, 1873), p. 168.

[6] _The Coins of the Ancient Britons_, by John Evans, F.R.S. (1864),
pp. 24-32.



If we accept the definition of the term science as ‘organized common
sense’, we necessarily reject the idea of it as a ‘great medicine’
applicable only to particular subjects and inapplicable to others;
and we assume that all those things which call forth the exercise
of our common sense are capable of being scientifically dealt with,
according as the knowledge which we pretend to have about them is based
on evidence in the first place, and in the sequel is applied to the
determination of what, for want of a better word, we call general laws.

But in using this term ‘law’, we do not employ it in the sense of a
human law, as a regulating or governing principle of anything, but
merely as deduction from observed phenomena. We use it in the sense of
a result, rather than a cause of what we observe, or at most we employ
it to express the operation of proximate causes; and of the ultimate
causes for the phenomena of nature we know nothing at all.

Further, in this development of the principle of common sense it has
been said that the inductive sciences pass through three phases, which
have been termed the empirical, the classificatory, and the theoretical.

Of these, the first or empirical stage may be defined as representing
that particular phase of unorganized common sense in which our
knowledge is simply a record of the results of ordinary experience,
such as might be acquired by any savage or uneducated person in his
dealings with external nature.

But as this condition of knowledge might perhaps be denied the claim to
be considered scientific, it might be better perhaps to extend the term
so as to embrace all that can be included under a practical knowledge
of the subjects treated, in which these subjects are studied for their
own sakes, or on account of their practical uses to man, and not with
a view to generalizing upon them.

In this way it may be said that agriculture represents the empirical
or practical stage of botany; mining, that of geology; hunting and the
domestication of animals, that of zoology; the trade of the butcher,
that of anatomy; navigation by means of the stars, that of astronomy.

Passing now over the boundary line which separates what are generally
recognized as the physical sciences from the science of culture, in
which the subjects treated are emanations from the human mind, we find
that these also have their corresponding phases of development.

Commencing first with the science of language, which has been the
earliest and perhaps the most important branch of human culture the
study of which has been scientifically treated as yet, we find that
Professor Max Müller, in the series of lectures delivered in this
Institution in 1861-3,[8] has shown that the science of language
has its corresponding empirical or practical stage, in which it is
studied only for its own sake, or for its utility as a means of
intercommunication; not as a means of generalizing upon language as
a whole, but merely for the purpose of understanding the particular
languages which we wish to make use of in our intercourse with others.

In like manner passing from language to the particular department
of culture which, for the reasons to be explained hereafter, I
shall make the subject of this discourse, viz. the material arts, I
shall endeavour to show that there exists also in relation to them
a practical or empirical stage, which is the stage that we are now
in with respect to them, in which we may include the whole of the
constructive arts of mankind, from the simple flint knife to the most
complex machine of modern times, when viewed from the standpoint of
the mechanic or the artificer, not as subjects for generalization, but
merely from an utilitarian point of view.

There are many persons no doubt who regard utility, not as a primary
stage, but as the final and highest result of science. But the highest
achievements of science, even the highest practical achievements, would
never have been reached by the mere utilitarian. There is a force
within us by which we are moved in the direction of acquiring knowledge
for its own sake and for the sake of truth, regardless of any material
advantage to be derived from such knowledge. Sooner or later such
knowledge is sure to bear practical fruits, even though we may not live
to realize them.

It is in this spirit that men of science have advanced to the
second or classificatory stage, in which, with a view to higher
generalization, the subjects studied are grouped together according to
their affinities, and specific points of resemblance are taken as the
representatives of each class.

These classes are at first grouped round independent centres; but such
an arrangement of them, having no existence in reality, is purely
subjective and can only be transitional. The margins of the classes so
formed represent only the margins of our knowledge or our ignorance, as
the case may be.

By degrees, as the classes become extended, sub-classes are formed, and
they are seen to arrange themselves in the form of branches radiating
from a central stem. By still further observation, the stems of the
several classes are seen to tend towards each other, and we are led to
trace them to a point of union.

Thus from the classificatory or comparative we pass gradually into the
third stage, which I have spoken of as the theoretical, but which may
perhaps be more clearly defined as the evolutionary. By the use of this
term ‘evolutionary’ we make it apparent that our third stage is but a
development of the second, evolution being merely the necessary and
inevitable result of the extension of classification, implying greater
unity and broader generalizations.

These three stages then, the empirical or practical, the classificatory
or comparative, and the evolutionary, are applicable to the development
of all the inductive sciences.

But it has been held by some that a broad line of demarcation must
be drawn between the physical sciences properly so called, such as
zoology, botany, and geology, which deal with external nature, and
those sciences which have been termed historic, which deal with the
works of man.

This question has been ably treated by Professor Max Müller in the
series of lectures to which I have referred, a course of lectures
which must be regarded as a starting-point and basis of instruction for
all who follow after him in the same path.

But in claiming for the science of language, and for language only,
a place amongst the physical sciences, he has made admissions to
opponents which, in my humble judgement, ought not to be made, and
which are inconsistent with that more extended view of the subject by
which I contend that, if language, then all that comes under the head
of culture must be included amongst the physical sciences. Thus, for
example, we find him admitting this passage as a sound and reasonable
argument on the part of those who deny the claim of language to be
included amongst the physical sciences: ‘Physical science,’ he says,
‘deals with the work of God, historical science with the works of man.’

Now if in dealing with what are here termed the historical sciences,
we were to take the subjects of such sciences, as for example the arts
or language, implements or words, and were to regard them as entities
to be studied apart from their relation to mind, and were to endeavour
to deduce from them the laws by which they are related to each other,
it is evident that we should be dealing with a matter which could not
be correlated with the physical sciences; but such a course would be
absurd. It would be as absurd to speak of a boomerang as being derived
by inheritance from a waddy, as to speak of a word in Italian being
derived by inheritance from a corresponding word in Latin; these words
and these implements are but the outward signs or symbols of particular
ideas in the mind; and the sequence, if any, which we observe to
connect them together, is but the outward sign of the succession of
ideas in the brain. It is the mind that we study by means of these

But of the particular molecular changes or other processes which
accompany the evolution of ideas in the mind, we know no more than
we do of the particular molecular changes and other processes which
accompany the evolution of life in nature, or the changes in chemistry.

If then we are to understand the expression ‘the work of God’ as
implying the direct action of ultimate causes, it is evident that
we are not in a position either to affirm or to deny or to make any
statement whatever respecting such ultimate causes, which may operate
either as directly or as indirectly in the one case as the other. We
know nothing about them, and therefore to invoke ultimate causes as a
reason for distinguishing between the sciences is to take up a position
which cannot be scientifically maintained.

With equal if not greater truth we may combat the assertion that the
science of culture is historical, whilst nature, on the other hand, as
dealt with by the physical sciences, is incapable of progress. However
valid this objection might have appeared during the empirical and
comparative stages of the physical sciences, it cannot be maintained,
since the researches of Darwin and others have fairly landed them in
their evolutionary phase. The principles of variation and natural
selection have established a bond of union between the physical and
culture sciences which can never be broken. History is but another
term for evolution. There are histories and histories, as any one may
determine who has read Green’s _Short History of the English People_,
and compared it with the kind of matter which passed for history in
his school days. But our position with regard to culture has always
been one which has forced on our comprehension the reality of progress,
whilst with respect to the slow progress of external nature, it has
been concealed from us, owing to the brief span of human existence and
our imperfect records of the past. The distinction, therefore, between
the sciences, as historical and non-historical, is but a subjective
delusion, and not an objective reality; and herein, I believe, lies the
secret of most of those errors that we have to contend with.

But the point in which I venture more particularly to differ from the
conclusions of the learned author of the _Science of Language_ is the
line which he has drawn between language and the other branches of
culture by including language amongst the physical sciences whilst he
excludes the rest. ‘If language,’ he says, ‘be the work of man in the
same sense in which a statue, a temple, a poem, or a law, are properly
called works of man, the science of language would have to be classed
as an historic science’; and again he says, ‘It is the object of these
lectures to prove that language is not a work of human art in the same
sense as painting, or building, or writing, or printing.’

In dealing with this question it is material, as regards the relative
claims of language and the arts to be studied as physical sciences,
to distinguish between the general and the particular. If it is said
that language as a whole is not a work of human design, the same may
with equal truth be said of the arts as a whole. A man who constructs
a building, a tool, or a weapon, can no more be said to have devised
a scheme of arts, than the introducer of a new word can be said to
have invented a language; but each particular word bears the impress
of human design as clearly as a weapon or a coin. A word may be said
to be a tool for the communication of thought, just as a weapon is an
implement of war.

But, says Professor Müller, ‘art, science, philosophy, religion, all
have a history; language or any other production of nature admits
only of growth.’ But unless it can be shown that words are entities
having the power of generating and producing other words, which arts,
tools, or weapons, do not possess, the word growth can only be applied
figuratively to language as it is to the arts, and in that case growth
and history are synonymous terms. But this is absurd. Words, as I said
before, are the outward signs of ideas in the mind, and this is also
the case with tools or weapons. Words are ideas expressed by sounds,
whilst tools are ideas expressed by hands; and unless it can be shown
that there are distinct processes in the mind for language and for the
arts they must be classed together.

But it is said, ‘language has the property of progressing gradually
and irresistibly, and the changes in it are completely beyond the
control of the free will of man.’ This, however, can only be accepted
relatively. We know that in certain phases of savage life the use of
particular words may be tabooed in the same manner that the use of
particular implements or weapons may be tabooed; but it would be quite
as hopeless for any individual to attempt to change the entire course
of the constructive arts as to change the form of a language; the
action of the individual man is limited in both cases to the production
of particular words or particular implements, which take their place
like bricks in a building.

Man is not the designer in the sense of an architect, but he is the
constructor in the sense of a brickmaker or a bricklayer.

But the difficulty of tracing fleeting words to their sources operates
to a great extent in effacing the action of the individual in language.
Words become public property before they are incorporated in a
language. It would be difficult to establish a system of patents for
new words. Here again we see that the line drawn between language and
the arts is a subjective delusion, not an objective reality. It is not
true that words do not originate with individual men, but merely that
we do not perceive it.

Modifications of words, like modifications in the forms of the
arts, result from the succession of ideas or other causes affecting
particular minds. They obtain acceptance through natural selection by
the survival of the fittest.

The chance which a new word or a new implement has of surviving depends
on the number of words or implements to be superseded, on their
relative importance to the art or the language, and the persistency
with which these superseded words or implements are retained. The truth
of this is seen in the fact that vocabularies change far more rapidly
than grammatical forms; because the same grammatical terminations are
employed with a large number of different words, and they are therefore
a more constant necessity of speech.

Hence early and barbaric languages may be connected by their
grammatical forms long after their vocabularies have entirely changed.
The same truth is seen in the fact admitted by philologists, that in
small communities new words and modifications of words gain more ready
acceptance than in large communities; because the struggle of the new
words for existence is less in small than in large communities, and the
dialects therefore change more rapidly. And the same causes influence
the transformations which take place in the arts. Objects in common
use change more slowly than those which are but little employed; the
difference is merely one of degree and not of kind.

In dealing with the arts, each separate contrivance occupies a larger
share of our attention, to the exclusion of any comprehensive survey
of them as a whole. The arts present themselves to our mental vision
on a larger scale, and we view them analytically; we are as it were in
the brickmaker’s yard seeing each brick turned out of hand, whereas in
dealing with language we see only the finished building; the details
are lost. We view language synthetically. The arts may be said to
present themselves to us as a sea beach in detached fragments; language
in the form of a compact sandstone. The empiric or the utilitarian may
deny that there is any resemblance between them; but the geologist
knows that the mode of deposition has been the same in both cases, and
he classes the whole as rocks.

Then again there are facilities for collecting and arranging the data
for the study of language which do not exist in the case of the arts.
Whilst words take seconds to record, hours and days may be spent in
the accurate delineation of form. Words cost nothing, may be packed
in folios, transmitted by post, and stored on the shelves of every
private library. Ten thousand classified words may be carried in
the coat pocket without inconvenience, whilst a tenth part of that
number of material objects require a museum to contain them, and are
accessible only to a few: this is the reason why the arts have never
been subjected to those classifications which form the groundwork of a

But when we say that words and implements are both tools employed
for the expression of thought, it is important to bear in view one
difference between them, which has a practical bearing on the relative
value of the two studies as a means of tracing the evolution of culture
in prehistoric times and amongst savages. The word is the tool of the
ear, the implement the tool of the eye; and for this reason language is
the science of historic times, whilst the arts constitute the subject
of science to be studied in relation to prehistoric times.

Every new tool or weapon formed by the hand of man retains the same
form as long as it continues to exist; it may be handed from man to
man, from tribe to tribe, from father to son, from one generation
to another; or, buried in the soil, it may under special conditions
continue for untold ages without change of form, until in our time it
may be discovered and employed as evidence of the condition of the arts
at the time it was fabricated. Very different, however, is the history
of words. Each word coined by the exercise of the inventive faculty of
man to express an idea is liable to change as it passes from mouth to
ear. Its continued identity is dependent solely on memory, and it is
subject to phonetic and acoustic changes from which the forms of the
arts are exempt.

When by the invention of writing each word receives its equivalent in
forms that are appreciable to the sense of sight, it gains stability,
which places it on a footing of equality with the arts, and enables us
to trace with certainty the changes it has undergone; and therefore
in historic times language is the surest test of social contact that
we can have. But in prehistoric times, before it had acquired this
permanence through the invention of writing, the forms of language
were, to use Mr. Sayce’s expression, in a constant state of flux.

The truth of this is seen in the immense number of dialects and
languages employed by savages at the present time. Thus amongst the
one hundred islands occupied by the Melanesian race, the Bishop of
Wellington tells us, and his statement is confirmed by the late
lamented Bishop Patteson, that there are no less than two hundred
languages, differing so much that the tribes can have but very little
interchange of thought; and similar accounts are given of rapid changes
of language in Cambodia, Siberia, Central Africa, North, Central, and
South America.

The greater stability of the material arts as compared with the
fluctuations in the language of a people in a state of primaeval
savagery, is well shown by a consideration of the weapons of the
Australians, and the names by which they are known in the several parts
of that continent. These people, from the simplicity of their arts,
afford us the only living examples of what we may presume to have been
the characteristics of a primitive people. Their weapons are the same
throughout the continent; the shield, the throwing-stick, the spear,
the boomerang, and their other weapons differ only in being thicker,
broader, flatter, or longer, in different localities; but whether
seen on the east or the west coast, each of these classes of weapons
is easily recognized by its form and uses. On the other hand, amongst
the innumerable languages and dialects spoken by these people, it
would appear that almost every tribe has a different name for the same
weapon. The narrow parrying-shield, which consists of a piece of wood
with a place for the hand in the centre, in South Australia goes by
the name of ‘heileman’, in other parts it is known under the name of
‘mulabakka’, in Victoria it is ‘turnmung’, and on the west coast we
have ‘murukanye’ and ‘tamarang’ for the same implement very slightly
modified in size and form. Referring to the comparative table of
Australian languages compiled by the Rev. George Taplin, in the first
number of the _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_ (i, 1872, pp.
84-8), we find the throwing-stick, which on the Murray River is known
by the name of ‘yova’, on the Lower Darling is ‘yarrum’, in New South
Wales it is ‘wommurrur’, in Victoria ‘karrick’, on Lake Alexandrina
‘taralye’, amongst the Adelaide tribes of South Australia it is
‘midla’, in other parts of South Australia it is called ‘ngeweangko’,
and in King George’s Sound ‘miro’.

From these considerations we arrive at the conclusion that in the
earliest stages of culture the arts are far more stable than language:
whilst the arts are subject only, or chiefly, to those changes which
result from growth, language, in addition to those which result from
growth, is also affected by changes arising from phonetic decay.

The importance therefore of studying the grammar, so to speak, of the
arts becomes apparent, as it is by this means alone that we can trace
out the origin and evolution of culture in the earliest times.

The task before us is to follow by means of them the succession of
ideas by which the mind of man has developed, from the simple to the
complex, and from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous; to work out
step by step, by the use of such symbols as the arts afford, that
law of contiguity by which the mind has passed from simple cohesion
of states of consciousness to the association of ideas, and so on to
broader generalizations.

This development has to be considered under the two heads of culture
and constitution, that is to say, that we have to consider not only the
succession of ideas in the mind resulting from experience, but also the
development by inheritance of the internal organism of the mind itself,
or, to use the words of Mr. Herbert Spencer, ‘In the progress of life
at large, as in the progress of the individual, the adjustment of
inner tendencies to outer persistencies must begin with the simple and
advance to the complex, seeing that, both within and without, complex
relations, being made up of simple ones, cannot be established before
simple ones have been established’ (_Princ. of Psych._, i^3, p. 426).

We find no difficulty in assenting to the general proposition that
culture has been a work of progress. Our difficulty lies in realizing
the slow stages of its early development, owing to the complexities
both of our mental constitution and of the contemporaneous culture
from which experience is drawn, or, again to use Mr. Spencer’s more
expressive words, of our ‘inner tendencies’, and ‘outer persistencies’;
we are apt to regard as intuitive, if not congenital, many simple
ideas which in early culture can only have been worked out through the
exercise of experience and reason during a long course of ages.

We see this error of our own minds constantly displayed in the
education of children. The ideas in a child’s mind, like those of
mankind at large, are necessarily built up in sequence. The instructor
makes use of some word, the meaning of which is clearly understood
by him, but which does not fall into the sequence of the child’s
reasoning; the conception associated with it in the child’s mind must,
however, necessarily conform to such sequence. Hence a confusion of
ideas, which is often attributed to the stupidity of the child, but
which is in reality due to the inexperience of the instructor; as,
for instance, in the case exemplified by Pip, in Dickens’ _Great
Expectations_, who, having imbibed the precept that he was to ‘walk in
the same all the days of his life’, was led by his sequence of ideas to
infer therefrom that he was invariably to walk to school by the same
path, and on no account go round by the pastrycook’s.

And so in studying savages and early races whose mental development
corresponds in some degree to that of children, we have to guard
against this automorphism, as Mr. Spencer terms it; that is to say, the
tendency to estimate the capacity of others by our own, which appears
almost completely to incapacitate some people from dealing with the

The question of the free will of man enters largely into this study. I
shall not be expected to say much upon a subject which has so lately
occupied the attention of the public, having been discussed by some of
our ablest scientists; but I cannot avoid quoting, in reference to this
point, a passage from Dr. Carpenter’s _Mental Physiology_, who in this
controversy is certainly entitled to be regarded as the champion of
free will; and therefore by quoting him we run no risk of overstating
the case against free will. ‘Our mental activity,’ he says (p. 25), is
‘entirely spontaneous or automatic, being determined by our congenital
nervous organism.... It may be stated as a fundamental principle that
the will can never originate any form of mental activity....’ But
it has the power, he continues, of selecting any one out of several
objects that present themselves either simultaneously or successively
before the mental vision, and of so limiting and intensifying the
impression which that particular object makes upon the consciousness,
that all others shall be for the time non-existent to it.

The truth of this, in so far as regards the limitation of the will,
cannot fail to force itself upon the student of culture. It is,
I venture to think, by classifying and arranging in evolutionary
order the actual facts of the manifestations of mind, as seen in the
development of the arts, institutions, and languages of mankind, no
less than by comparative anatomy, and far more than by metaphysical
speculation, that we shall arrive at a solution of the question,
to what extent the mental Ego has been, to use Professor Huxley’s
expression, a conscious spectator of what has passed.

I propose, therefore, with your permission, to give a few examples,
by means of diagrams, of material evolution derived from the earliest
phases of culture. In language and in all ideas communicated by word
of mouth there is a hiatus between the limits of our knowledge and the
origin of culture which can never be bridged over, but we may hold in
our hand the first tool ever created by the hand of man.

It has been said that the use of speech is the distinctive quality of
man. But how can we know that? We are literally surrounded by brute
language. We can imitate their calls, and we find that animals will
respond to our imitations of them. But who has ever seen any of the
lower animals construct a tool and use it.

The conception of man, not as a tool-_using_ but as a tool-_making_
animal, is clear, defined, and unassailable; probably if we could
trace language to its sources, we should be able to draw the same line
between natural sounds employed as a medium of communication, and the
created word. Thus the arts which we can study may perhaps be taken to
illustrate the origin of language, which we cannot study in this phase.

The ape employs both sticks and stones as missiles and as hammers to
crack the shells of nuts. But we have no evidence that he ever selects
special forms for special uses. The arts therefore afford us a clearly
defined starting-point for the commencement of culture.

To go in search of a particular form of stick or stone in order to
apply it to a particular use would require greater effort of the will
in fixing attention continuously on the matter in hand than is found to
exist amongst the lower animals except in cases of instinct, which term
I understand to mean an inherited congenital nervous organism which
adapts the mind to the ready reception of experience of a particular
kind. But this instinct does not exist in the case in question; there
is no tool-making instinct: our tool has to be evolved through reason
and experience, without the aid of any special organism for the purpose.

The process we have to assume therefore is that, in using stones as
hammers, they would occasionally split. In using certain stratified
rocks this would occur frequently, and so force itself on the attention
of the creature. The creature going on hammering, it would force itself
on his notice that the sharp fractured end was doing better work than
before. It would be perceived that there were hard things and soft
things, that the hard things split the stone, and the soft things were
cut by it; and so there would grow up in the mind an association of
ideas between striking hard things and splitting, and striking soft
things and cutting, and also a sequence by which it would be perceived
that the fracture of the stone was a necessary preliminary to the
other; and in the course of many generations, during which the internal
organism of the mind grew in harmony with this experience, the creature
would be led to perform the motions which had been found effectual in
splitting the stone before applying it to the purposes for which it was
to be used.

Thus we arrive at a state of the arts in which we may suppose man to
be able to construct a tool by means of a single blow. By constantly
striking in the same direction, flakes would be produced; and by still
further repeating the same motions, it would at last be found that by
means of many blows a stone could be chipped to an edge or a point so
as to form a very efficient tool.

But this continued chipping of the stone in order to produce a tool,
implies a considerable mental advance upon the effort of mind necessary
to construct a tool with one blow.

It implies continued attention directed by the will to the
accomplishment of an object already conceived in the mind, and its
subsequent application to another object which must also have been
conceived in the mind before the tool was begun.

Now we know from all experience, and from all evolution which we can
trace with certainty, that progress moves on in an accelerating ratio,
and that the earlier processes take longer than the later ones.

[Illustration: PLATE XII.

_Diagram 1._]

But the implements of the drift, which are the earliest relics of human
workmanship as yet recognized, are most of them multi-flaked tools,
such as the implements figured on Plate XII, Nos. 1-10, requiring a
considerable time to construct, and the use of innumerable blows in
order to trim to a point at one end.

It appears therefore evident that in the natural course of events
the drift period must have been preceded by an earlier period of
considerable extent characterized by the use of single-flaked tools.
And we may therefore consider it probable that should any evidences of
man be hereafter discovered in miocene beds, they will be associated
with such large rude flakes as those now exhibited, which require a
feebler effort of attention and of reason to construct.

If we examine the forms of the flint implements of the drift, we
find that out of many intermediate shapes we may recognize three in
particular, which have been minutely described by Mr. Evans in his
valuable work on the stone implements of Britain[9]: (1) a side-tool,
consisting of a flint chipped to an edge on one side and having the
natural rounded outside of the flint left on the other side, where it
appears to have been held in the hand; (2) a tongue-shaped implement
chipped to a point at one end, and having the rounded surface for the
hand at the big end; and (3) an oval or almond-shaped tool, which is
often chipped to an edge all round.

We have no evidence to show which of these kind of tools was the
earliest; but that they were employed for different uses there can be
little reason to doubt. But have we any evidence to throw light on the
way in which these several forms originated in the minds of men in the
very low condition of mental development which we may suppose to have
existed at the time?

About eight years ago, whilst examining the ancient British camps on
the South Downs, I chanced to discover in the camp of Cissbury, near
Worthing, a large flint factory of the neolithic age. There were some
sixty or more pits from which flints had been obtained from the chalk,
and these pits were full of the débris of the flint-workers. The
factory was of the neolithic age, the most characteristic tool of which
is the flint celt, a form which differs but slightly from the oval
or almond-shaped palaeolithic form, but the cutting edge of which is
more decidedly at the broad end. The débris, some six hundred or more
specimens of which were collected, consisted chiefly of these celts in
various stages of manufacture.

If any one will attempt to make a flint celt, as I have done sometimes
(and Mr. Evans, from whom I learnt that art, has done frequently), he
will find that it is difficult to command the fracture of the flint
with certainty; every now and then a large piece will come off, or a
flaw will be discovered which spoils the symmetry of the tool, and it
has to be thrown away. In arranging and classifying the remains of this
flint factory, I found that all the palaeolithic forms were represented
by one or other of these unfinished celts, so much so as to make it
doubtful whether some of them may not actually have been used like them.

A celt finished at the thin end, and abandoned before the cutting edge
was completed, represented a tongue-shaped palaeolithic implement; a
celt finished only on one side represented a palaeolithic side-tool;
and a celt rudely chipped out, and abandoned before receiving its
finishing strokes, represented almost exactly an oval palaeolithic
tool, only differing from it in being somewhat rougher, and showing
evidence of unfinish.

Taking a lesson then from this flint-worker’s shop of the later
neolithic age, we see how the earlier palaeolithic forms originated.
They were not designed outright, as the nineteenth-century man would
have designed them for special uses, but arose from a selection of
varieties produced accidentally in the process of manufacture. The
forms were also suggested by those of the nodules out of which they
were made. We see, by examining the outside surfaces that were left on
some of them, how a long thin nodule produced a long thin celt, a broad
thick nodule a broad thick celt, and so forth. Indeed, so completely
does the fabricator appear to have been controlled by the necessities
of his art, that in tracing these successive forms one is almost
tempted to ask whether the principle of causation lay mostly in the
flint or in the flint-worker, so fully do they bear out the statement
of Dr. Carpenter and the other physiologists, that nothing originates
in the free will of man.

[Illustration: PLATE I.]

[Illustration: PLATE II.]

On these two diagrams (Plates I and II) I have shown how, from the same
form of palaeolithic implement already described, the more complex
forms of the spear and axe-blade of the subsequent periods were
developed. The point developed into a spear, and the broad end into an
axe-blade. You will see by reference to Plate I that the oval tool of
the drift suggested the smaller leaf-shaped spear-head of the early
neolithic age. This, by a gradual straightening of the sides, became
the lozenge-shaped form, which latter developed into the barbed form,
and this last into the triangular form, which consists of barbs without
a tang.

On the other hand, this same oval tool of the drift (Plate II), when
used as an axe-blade with the broad end, became the celt of the
neolithic period, chipped only at first and subsequently polished. This
gave rise to the copper celt of the same form having convex surfaces,
which grew into the bronze celt with flat sides. Then the bronze celt
was furnished with a stop to prevent its being pressed too far into
the handle by the blow. Others were furnished with projecting flanges
to prevent them from swerving by the blow when hafted on a bent stick.
Others had both stops and flanges. By degrees the flanges were bent
over the stops and over the handle, and then the central portion above
the stops, being no longer required, became thinner, and ultimately
disappeared, the flanges closed on each other, and by this means the
weapon grew into the socket celt. On this socket celt you will see that
there is sometimes a semicircular ornamentation on each side. This
semicircular ornament, as I pointed out in a paper on primitive warfare
read some time ago, is a vestige of the overlapping flange of the
earlier forms out of which it grew, which, like the rings on our brass
cannon, are survivals of parts formerly serving for special uses (pp.
182-3 below).

In the vertical columns I have given, in the order of their
occurrence, the successive periods of prehistoric time, viz. the early
palaeolithic, late palaeolithic, early neolithic, late neolithic,
early bronze, late bronze and iron periods, beneath which I have placed
lines for two distinct phases of modern savage culture, viz. the
Australian and the American Indian. A cross beneath each form denotes
the periods in which they occur, and a vertical bar denotes that they
are of rare or doubtful occurrence; so that the sequence of development
may be seen at a glance, and it is only a glance that I ask you to take
at these diagrams on the present occasion. I have checked them with Mr.
Evans’ work and also with Sir William Wilde’s Catalogue,[10] and I do
not think that any of the statements made in them will be challenged;
but as these forms were not developed for the purpose of filling in the
spaces in rectangular diagrams, such diagrams only imperfectly convey
an idea of the evolution which has taken place, and must be regarded
only as provisional and liable to be improved.

In tracing the evolution of prehistoric implements, we are of course
limited to such as were constructed of imperishable materials. No doubt
our prehistoric ancestors used also implements of wood, but they have
long since disappeared; and if we wish to form an idea of what they
were, we must turn to those of his nearest congener, the modern savage.

In speaking of savages, the question of progression versus degeneration
is probably familiar to most of those present, through the writings of
Sir John Lubbock and Mr. E. B. Tylor. To the several weighty arguments
in favour of progression given by those writers I will add this one
derived from the sequence of ideas.

If the Australians, for example, were the degenerate descendants of
people in a higher phase of culture, then, as all existing ideas are
made up of previous ideas, we must inevitably find amongst their arts
traces of the forms of earlier and higher arts, as is the case amongst
some of the savages of South America who early came in contact with
Peruvian civilization; but the reverse of this is the case: all the
forms of the Australian weapons are derived from those of nature.

In the same way that we saw that the forms of the palaeolithic flint
implements were suggested by accidental fractures in the workshop, so
the several forms of the Australian wooden implements were suggested
by the various forms of the stems and branches out of which they were
made. These savages, having only flint tools to work with, cannot
saw out their weapons to any form they please; they can only trim
the sticks into a serviceable shape. All their weapons are therefore
constructed on the grain of the wood, and their forms and uses have
arisen from a selection of the natural curves of the sticks.

[Illustration: PLATE III.]

I have arranged, on Plate III, drawings of nearly all the weapons used
by the Australians, placing them together according to their affinities
in such a manner as to show hypothetically their derivation from a
single form. As all the forms given on this diagram are drawings of
weapons in use at the present time, and there are many intermediate
forms not given here, I have not arranged them in horizontal lines,
as in the previous diagrams, to show their place in time, but have
arranged them as radiating from a central point. We know nothing of
the antiquities of savage countries as yet, and therefore cannot trace
their evolution in time. The development has therefore been shown by
means of survivals of early forms existing at the present time.

In the centre I have placed the simple cylindrical stick, as being
the simplest form. By a gradual development of one end I have traced
upwards the formation of a sharp ridge and its transition into a
kind of mushroom form. To the right upwards I have traced the same
development of the mushroom head, the projecting ridge of which
is constantly liable to fractures by blows; and as savages always
systematize accidental fractures so as to produce symmetry, scollops
have been cut out of the ridge in different places for this purpose,
which had the effect of concentrating the force of the blow on the
projections. These were further developed; one of the pilei of the
mushroom head was made larger than the others, and this suggested the
form of a bird’s head, so that it was only necessary to add a line for
the mouth and a couple of eyes to complete the resemblance. To the
right we see that the plain stick held in the centre gave the first
idea of a defensive weapon, and was used to parry off the darts of the
assailant; an aperture was then made in the stick for the hand, and
the face of it became broader, developing into a shield, the narrow
ends, however, being still retained for parrying. Below I have shown
that the long stick simply pointed at one end became a lance; a row
of sharp flints were gummed on to one side to produce a cutting edge,
and these were then imitated in wood, and by pointing them obliquely
they were converted into barbs. To the right another kind of barb was
produced by binding on a piece of sharp-pointed wood. Between this
and the shields we see that the first idea of the throwing-stick,
employed to project these lances, was simply constructed like the
barbed point of the lance itself. The gradual expansion of the stick
arose from its being employed like a battledore, to fence off the
enemy’s lances. To the left below I have shown the gradual development
of a peculiar curved weapon, called the ‘malga’, formed from a stem
and the branch projecting from it at different angles. The part where
the continuation of the stem was cut off was trimmed to a kind of
ridge; this ridge developed, and suggested the crest of a bird’s head;
ultimately the eyes were added, in the same manner as in the club
on the opposite side of the diagram. To the left we see the plain
round stick first flattened, then curved. Savages are in the habit
of throwing all their weapons at their adversaries and at animals.
In throwing a flat curved stick it rotates of its own accord, and as
the axis of rotation continues parallel to itself, the thin edge is
presented to the resistance of the air in front; this increases the
range, and its peculiar flight must have forced itself on the attention
of the savage as the result of experience: but he has never had the
slightest knowledge of the laws of its flight. The different curves
of the boomerang are the natural curves of the sticks, and like all
the Australian weapons, they are made on the grain of the wood. Some
are thicker than others; some will fly in the curves peculiar to that
weapon, and others will not: scarcely two are alike.

To the left above, we see the mushroom-headed ‘waddy’, with its
projecting ridge flattened, then curved; one side becomes more
developed than the other, and this being thrown develops into the waddy
boomerang, the ridge of the earlier forms being still represented by a
mark on the flat head of the weapon; an intermediate link connects it
with the true boomerang.

Many other examples might be given to illustrate the continuity which
exists in the development of all savage weapons; but I only ask you
to glance at the sequence shown in this diagram and the preceding ones
in order to convince you of the truth of the statement which I made
at the commencement of this discourse, that although, owing to the
complexity of modern contrivances and the larger steps by which we
mount the ladder of progress in the material arts, their continuity
may be lost sight of, when we come to classify the arts of savages and
prehistoric men, the term ‘growth’ is fully as applicable to them as to
the development of the forms of speech, and that there are no grounds,
upon the score of continuity, history, or the action of free will, to
separate these studies generically as distinct classes of science.

But in dealing with evolution we have to speak not only of growth,
but, as in all other natural sciences, of the principle of decay. By
decay I do not mean the decay of the materials of the arts, but the
decomposition of the mental ideas which produced them.

As complex ideas are built up of simple ones, so there is also a
further process by which they become disintegrated, and the parts go to
form parts of other ideas.

This decay in the arts corresponds to what is called phonetic decay
in language; and in both cases it arises either from incapacity, the
desire to save trouble, or the necessity of abbreviating when ideas
originally evolved for one purpose come to form parts of other ideas to
which they are merely accessory and subordinate, as in the well-known
dialectic changes of speech. Every sound in language had originally a
distinct meaning of its own; gradually these sounds or roots came to
form parts of words in which the original meanings of the sounds were

I will now endeavour to draw a parallel to this in the arts, by means
of what may be termed realistic degeneration.

I will not say much as to the place of realism in culture. The
archaeological world has lately been somewhat startled by the
discovery of well-executed designs of elephants and other animals in
the French caves in association with the rude stone implements of the
palaeolithic age, and by the more recent discovery of Mariette Bey,
that the earliest Egyptian sculptures of the third dynasty are the most
truthful representations of the human form that are to be found in
that country. I see nothing surprising in this, when we consider the
power that is developed in many children of eight or nine years old of
making drawings of animals and other objects, which, when allowance is
made for the feeble hand of childhood, are often as truthful as those
of the cave-period men, at a time when their minds have acquired but
little power of reasoning or generalizing, or even of taking care of
themselves; all which goes to prove that this power of imitation, which
is a very different thing from ideal art, is one of the most early
developed faculties of the mind of man.

When the power of imitation had once been developed, it would
naturally be made use of as a means of intercommunication; thus the
drawing of a stag would be made to convey information to people at
a distance that there was a herd of deer in the neighbourhood to be
hunted; and as the object of the drawing was no longer to depict
truthfully the peculiarities of the beast, but merely to convey
information, the amount of labour expended upon it would be the
least that could be employed for the required purpose. All written
characters have originated in this way; and no one now requires to be
told how pictographic representations developed into hieroglyphic and
subsequently into phonetic characters.

But realistic degeneration would equally take place in all cases in
which pictorial representations came to be employed for other purposes
than those for which they were originally designed, as in the case of
ornamental designs.

[Illustration: PLATE XXI.


So also a coin receives upon its surface the image of a king or a god
as a stamp of authority. When from any cause the object of the original
design is lost, the object of the stamp being no longer to convey a
likeness, but being merely used as a test of genuineness, or perhaps
amongst an unlettered people to denote its value, the tendency to
realistic degeneration would be proportioned to the difficulties of
execution; no further labour would be expended on it than was necessary
for the object to be attained. Here I must again remind you of the
interesting discourse delivered in this Institution on May 14, 1875,
by Mr. Evans, on the evolution of British coins.[11] His examples are
figured in his _Coins of the Ancient Britons_, pp. 24-32. With his
permission I have introduced some of his diagrams (Plate XXI). You will
remember how the coin of Philip of Macedon having been introduced into
Britain, the head on the obverse gradually disappeared, leaving only
the wreath as a band across the coin, which was ultimately converted
into a cross; and how on the reverse, the chariot and two horses
dwindled into a single horse, the chariot disappeared, leaving only
the wheels, the driver became elevated, not elevated after the manner
unfortunately but too common amongst London drivers, but elevated
after the manner of the Spiritualists, except that you see he had the
precaution to take on a pair of wings, differing also both from the
London driver and the Spiritualists, inasmuch as instead of having lost
his head he has lost his body, and nothing but the head remains; the
body of the horse then gradually disappears, leaving only four lines to
denote the legs.

I will now show you an exact parallel to these transformations in a
collection of designs, supposed to be tribal marks, which are drawn
upon the paddle blades of the New Irelanders, a race of Papuan savages
inhabiting an island on the north-east coast of New Guinea.

Having noticed one or two allied varieties of design in specimens that
came into my possession, I determined to collect all that I could
find as they came to this country. In the course of several years I
succeeded in obtaining the series represented upon Plate IV.

[Illustration: PLATE IV.


The first figure you will see clearly represents the head of a Papuan:
the hair or wig is stuffed out, and the ears elongated by means of
an ear ornament, after the manner of these people; the eyes are
represented by two black dots, and the red line of the nose spreads
over the forehead. This is the most realistic figure of the series. In
the second figure the face is somewhat conventionalized: the line of
the nose passes in a coil round the eyes; there is a lozenge pattern
on the forehead, representing probably a tattoo mark; the body is
represented sitting in full. In the third figure the man is represented
sitting sideways, simply by lopping off an arm and a leg on one side.
In the fourth figure the legs have disappeared. In the fifth figure
the whole body has disappeared. In the sixth figure the nose has
expanded at the base, and the sides of the face are made to conform
to the line of the nose; the elongated ears are there, but the ear
ornament is gone: the nose in this figure is becoming the principal
feature. In the seventh figure nothing but the nose is left: the sides
of the face and mouth are gone; the ears are drawn along the side of
the nose; the head is gone, but the lozenge pattern on the forehead
still remains; the coil round the eyes has also disappeared, and is
replaced by a kind of leaf form, suggested by the upper lobe of the
ear in the previous figures; the eyes are brought down into the nose.
In the eighth figure the ears are drawn at right angles to the nose.
In the ninth figure the nose has expanded at the base; all the rest is
the same as in the last figure. In the tenth figure the lozenge pattern
and the ears have disappeared, and a vestige of them only remains, in
the form of five points; the base of the nose is still further expanded
into a half moon. In the last figure, nothing but a half moon remains.
No one who compared this figure with the first of the series, without
the explanation afforded by the intermediate links, would believe that
it represented the nose of a human face. Unfortunately we do not know
as yet the exact meaning of these designs, but when further information
is obtained about them it will throw considerable light on similar
transformations in prehistoric times.

My next and last illustration is taken from the relics of Troy,
recently brought to light by Dr. Schliemann.[12] In the valuable
work lately published by him he gives illustrations of a number of
earthenware vases and other objects, called by him idols, having on
them the representation of what he conceives to be the face of an owl,
and which he believes to represent Athena, the tutelary goddess of
Troy, called by Homer ‘Glaukopis Athene’, which signifies, according
to him, ‘with the face of an owl.’ Professor Max Müller has given his
opinion that the word ‘glaukopis’ cannot possibly be taken to mean
owl-faced, but can only mean large- or bright-eyed. On this point
I will venture no opinion, but accepting Professor Müller’s high
authority for the usually received interpretation of it being correct,
I shall in no way weaken the evidence in favour of Dr. Schliemann’s
discovery of the true site of Troy if I succeed in proving that,
according to the true principle of realistic degeneration, this figure
does not represent an owl but a human face.

[Illustration: PLATE V.



[_The numerals in brackets give_--(1) _the number of the figure in
Schliemann’s_ Troy and its Remains, (2) _the depth at which the figure
was found, in metres_.]]

The figures on Plate V are all taken from Dr. Schliemann’s
representations, and as the depth of each is given it will be seen
that the different varieties of face occur in all the different strata
excavated by him except the highest, and therefore no argument as to
antiquity can be based upon the depth at which they were found. The two
first figures, it will be seen, are clearly intended to represent a
human face, all the features being preserved. In the two next figures
(3, 4) the mouth has disappeared, but the fact of the principal feature
being still a nose and not a beak, is shown by the breadth of the base
and also by the representation of the breasts. In the two succeeding
figures (5, 6) the nose is narrowed at the base, which gives it the
appearance of a beak, but the fact of its being still a human form
is still shown by the breasts. Had the idea of an owl been developed
through realistic degeneration in these last figures, it would have
retained this form, but in the two succeeding figures (7, 8) it will be
seen that the nose goes on diminishing.

In the remaining figures, some of which are (12-16) of solid stone,
not earthenware, and are believed by Dr. Schliemann to be gods, it is
clearly shown by the rude scratches representing the eyebrows, and
their want of symmetry, that this degeneration of form is the result of

What then are these solid stone objects? I cannot for a moment doubt,
from their resemblance to the vases, from the marks denoting the
junction of the cover with the vase, and from the representations of
handles, that they are votive urns of some kind, similar to those
Egyptian stone models of urns represented in the two figures above.
Urns of this kind were used by the Egyptians to contain the viscera of
the mummies; but with the cheaper form of burial, in which the viscera
were retained in the body, stone models of urns, of which these figures
are drawings from originals in the British Museum, were deposited in
the graves as vestiges of the earlier and more expensive process; these
objects therefore cannot be idols, but votive urns. The fact of human
remains having been found in some of the human-headed urns, and the
hasty scratches on the stone models, show that they are merely models
appertaining to the conventionalized survival of some earlier or more
elaborate system of urn burial.

We see from these facts that both growth and decay, the two component
elements of evolution, are represented in the study of the material

My object in this discourse has been not, as I fear it may have
appeared to you from the brief time at my disposal and my imperfect
treatment of the subject, to extol the material arts as being
intrinsically of more interest or importance than other branches
of culture, but to affirm the principle that it is by studying the
psychology of the material arts alone that we can trace human culture
to its germs.

The theory of degradation is supported only by the study of those
branches of culture of which the early history is lost.

The tree is the type of all evolution: all trees are seedlings,
but they differ in their mode of growth. Some, like the beech and
oak, throw their branches upwards, and these are typical of the
development of the material arts; others, like the straight-stemmed
pine, throw off their branches downwards, and these are typical of the
development of some other branches of culture. It is quite true, as
stated by mythologists, that the history of myths is one of continued
degeneration in so far as they can be traced, and that the element
of decay enters far more into their composition than that of growth.
But the whole accessible history of these myths represents drooping
branches from the upward-growing stem of free thought out of which they
sprang. What is the space of time which separates us from the Vedas, as
compared with the whole upward growth of humanity before and since!

There are huge gaps in our knowledge of the history of the human race,
and it has been the pleasure of mankind in all ages to people these
gaps with jugglers and bogies; but surely, if slowly, science will open
up these desert places, and prove to us that, so far as the finite mind
of man can reach, there is nothing but unbroken continuity to be seen
in the present and in the past.


[7] A Lecture delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on
Friday, May 28, 1875, and published in _Proc. Roy. Inst._, vol. vii.
pp. 496-520, Pl. i-iv.

[8] _Lectures on the Science of Language_ (London, 1861), i, Lecture 1.

[9] John Evans, _The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons, and Ornaments
of Great Britain_ (London, 1872^1), 1897^2, p. 641.

[10] Sir W. Wilde, _Catalogue of the Antiquities of the Museum of the
Royal Irish Academy_ (Dublin, 1863).

[11] John Evans, ‘On the Coinage of the Ancient Britons and Natural
Selection,’ _Journal of the Royal Institution_, vii. p. 476 ff.; with a
Plate, which is reproduced, by permission, in Plate XXI.

[12] For illustrations, see _Troy and its Remains_, by Dr. Henry
Schliemann (Murray, 1875). The figures may be taken in the following
order: No. 185, No. 74, No. 132, No. 13, No. 173, No. 207, No. 12, No.
11, No. 133, No. 141, No. 165. [Plate V has been compiled from the
references here given.]



Although it is more in accordance with the purposes for which this
establishment has been organized, that the Lecture-room should be
devoted chiefly to subjects of practical utility connected with the
improvement of our military system and the progress of the mechanical
appliances, the organization, and general efficiency of our Army and
Navy, than to the efforts of abstract science, yet the fact of your
possessing in the three large apartments that are devoted to your
armoury, one of the best assortments of semi-civilized and savage
weapons that are to be found in this country, or, perhaps, in any
part of the world, is sufficient to prove that it is not foreign to
the objects of the Institution that the science of war should be
ethnographically and archaeologically, as well as practically, treated.

The requirements of our advancing age demand that every vein of
knowledge should be opened out, and, in order to make good our title
to so interesting a collection of objects as that comprised in what
may very properly be called our ethnographical military department, it
should be shown that, whether or not the subject may be considered to
fall within the ordinary functions of the Society, our Museum is made
available for the purposes of science.

The age in which we live is not more remarkable for its rapid onward
movement than for its intelligent retrospect of the past. It is
reconstructive as well as progressive. The light which is kindled by
the practical discoveries of modern science, throws back its rays,
and enables us to distinguish objects of interest, which have been
unnoticed in the gloom of bygone ages, or passed over with contempt.

Men observe only those things which their occupations or their
education enable them to understand and appreciate. When a savage is
introduced on board the deck of a European vessel, he notices only
those objects with the uses of which he is familiar--the sewing of a
coat, a chain, or a cable, at once rivets his attention, but he passes
by the steam-engine without observation, and if a work of art is forced
upon his notice, he is unable to say whether it represents a man, a
ship, or a kangaroo![14] So in past ages the flint implements of the
drift, the parents of all our modern implements, whether for war or
handicraft, must have been carted away in hundreds, unobserved, and in
ignorance that these inconspicuous objects would one day be the means
of upsetting the received chronology of our species.

Whilst, therefore, we devote our energies chiefly to progress, and
fix our attention upon the present and future of war, it cannot fail
to interest those who are actively engaged in the duties of their
profession, if we occasionally take a glance backward and see what
recent discoveries have done towards elucidating its origin and early

It might, perhaps, assist a right understanding of the principles on
which the weapons and implements of savages deserve to be studied, if
I were to notice some of those great questions respecting the origin
of our species, and man’s place in nature, which the investigations
of science have been the means of raising in our day. I need hardly
say that the rude implements, which I am about to describe, are of
little practical interest in themselves, as models for instruction or
imitation. We have no need of bows and arrows in the existing state
of war, and if we did require them, the appliances of modern times
would enable us to construct them in far greater perfection than could
be acquired by any lessons from savages. These weapons are valuable
only, in the absence of other evidence, from the light they throw
on prehistoric times, and on those great questions to which I have
alluded, and from their enabling us to trace out the origin of many of
those customs which have been handed down to us by past generations.

As, however, the discussion of these interesting subjects would lead
me into matters that are hardly suited to the Lecture-room of this
Institution, I must pass over the consideration of them with a few
brief remarks.

In so doing, I may appear to postulate some opinions upon points
that are still the subject of animated controversy in the scientific
world. But it would require a far broader field of investigation than
is here afforded me, in order to treat these inquiries successfully,
and to adduce all the evidence that would be necessary to support the
hypotheses put forward; and I am anxious to devote no greater space to
these preliminary remarks than is necessary to point out some of the
main features of interest that are involved in the particular study
which forms the subject of my lecture.

We are apt to speak of the creation of the universe as a thing of
the past, and to suppose that the world, with all the varied life
upon it, previous to man’s appearance, having been created for his
especial happiness and supremacy, was afterwards left to his control
and government. But this view of the subject belongs to an age in which
the laws of nature in their all-sufficiency and completeness were but
little studied and appreciated. Modern science finds no evidence of
any such abandonment of the universe to man’s jurisdiction. The more
comprehensively the subject is viewed, the more restricted appear to be
those limits over which the free will of mankind is permitted to range,
and the more evident it becomes, that in his social advancement, his
laws, arts, and wars, he moves on under the influence and development
of those same laws which have been in force from the very first dawn
of creation. The lower the archaeologist searches in the crust of the
earth for the relics of human art, the more faint become the traces of
that broad gulf, which in our times appears to separate man from the
brute creation. In all the numerous and varied offsprings of the human
intellect, in the arts, and even in speech, the more we investigate and
trace them back, the more clearly they appear to point to a condition
of the human race in which they had no existence whatever. The great
law of nature, ‘natura non facit saltum,’ was not broken by the
introduction of man upon the earth. He appears to have been produced in
the fullness of time, as the work of creation required a more perfect
tool, and to have ameliorated his condition, only as the work to be
performed became more complicated and varied, just as in the hands of
man, the rougher tool is employed for felling, and the finer tool for
finishing and polishing.

By this view we come to look upon even the most barbarous state of
man’s existence, as a condition, not so much of degradation, as of
arrested or retarded progress, and to see that, notwithstanding many
halts and relapses, and a very varied rate of movement in the different
races, the march of the human intellect has been always onward.

As, in the lower creation, we find no individuals that are capable of
self-improvement, though some appear, by their imitative faculties,
to contain within them the germs of an improving element, so the
aboriginal man, closely resembling the brutes, may have passed through
many generations before he began to show even the first symptoms
of mental cultivation, or the rudiments of the simplest arts; and
even then his progress may have been, at first, so slow, that it is
not without an effort of imagination that the civilized races of
our day can realize, by means of the implements which he has left
us, the minute gradations which appear to mark the stages of his
advancement. This appears to be the view taken by Sir Charles Lyell in
his _Antiquity of Man_, when, in comparing the flint implements found
in the higher and lower-level gravels of the valley of the Somme, he
arrives at the conclusion ‘that the state of the arts in those early
times remained stationary for almost indefinite periods’. ‘We see,’
he says, ‘in our own time, that the rate of progress in the arts and
sciences proceeds in a geometrical ratio as knowledge increases,
and so, when we carry back our retrospect into the past, we must
be prepared to find the signs of retardation augmenting in a like
geometrical ratio; so that the progress of a thousand years at a remote
period, may correspond to that of a century in modern times, and in
ages still more remote man would more and more resemble the brutes in
that attribute which causes one generation exactly to imitate, in all
its ways, the generation which preceded it’ (4th ed. 1873, p. 421).

In order to understand the relationship which the savage tribes of
our own time bear to the races of antiquity, it is necessary to keep
in view that, neither in historic nor prehistoric times is there any
evidence that civilization has been equally or universally distributed;
on the contrary, it appears always to have been partial, and confined
to particular races, whose function it has been, by means of war and
conquest, to spread the arts amongst surrounding nations, or to
exterminate those whose low state of mental culture rendered them
incapable of receiving it.

Assuming the whole of the human species to have sprung originally
from one stock, an hypothesis which, although disputed, appears to me
by all existing evidence and analogy of known facts, to be the most
reasonable assumption, the several races appear to have branched off at
various and remote periods, many of them, perhaps, previously to the
present geographical arrangement of land and water, and to have located
themselves in the several regions in which they are now found, in a
state which probably differs but little from that in which they existed
at the time of their separation from the parent stem.

Each race, after separation, shows evidence of arrested growth; and,
finally, the intellect of the nation fossilizes and becomes stationary
for an indefinite period, or until destroyed by being brought again in
contact with the leading races in an advanced stage of civilization,
precisely in the same way that the individuals composing these races,
after propagating their species, stagnate, and ultimately decay, or, in
a low state of savagery, are often destroyed by their own offspring.

Taking a comprehensive view of the development of civilization, it may
be compared to the growth of those plants whose vigour displays itself
chiefly in the propagation of their leading shoots, which, overtopping
the older and feebler branches, cause them to be everywhere replaced by
a fresh growth of verdure. The vegetable kingdom thus furnishes us with
the grand type of progress; continuity and bifurcation are principles
of universal application, uniting the lowest with the highest created

The analogy of tree growth has been frequently employed in relation
to natural phenomena, and it may very well be taken to explain the
distribution of the human race, and the progress and expansion of the
arts. It forms the key to the Darwinian theory of natural selection,
which is essentially monogenistic in its application to the origin of
the human race.

Thus the existing races of mankind may be taken to represent the
budding twigs and foliage, each in accordance with the relative
superiority of its civilization, appertaining to branches higher and
higher placed, upon the great stem of life.

So little is as yet known of the early history of any but our own
family of nations, that in the existing state of knowledge, the
attempt to classify and place them on their proper branches, must be
attended with much difficulty, and great liability to error. However,
by arranging the existing races according to their civilization, a
tolerably correct judgement may perhaps be formed as to the value of
this system of classification, if we distribute them with those of
antiquity in some two or three broad divisions. The Caucasian races
of modern Europe, for example, may be said to bear to their ancestors
of the historical period the same relationship that geologists have
shown the existing mammalia of our forests to bear to the mammalia
of the tertiary geological period. The semi-civilized Chinese and
Hindoos, in like manner, may be classed with the races of ancient
Assyria, Egypt, and other nations immediately prior to the first dawn
of history, the civilization of which nations they still so greatly
resemble, and appear to have retained, in a state of retarded progress
from those ages to our own. A third division may perhaps be made of the
Malay, Tartar, and African negro nations, which, though now in an age
of iron, may, by the state of their arts, and more especially by the
form of their implements, be taken as the best representatives of the
prehistoric bronze period of Europe, towards which they appear to hold
the same relationship that the fish and reptiles of our seas bear to
those of the secondary geological period. In a fourth division may be
included the still more barbarous races of our times, the Australian,
Bushman, and hunting races of America, whose analogy to those of the
stone age of Europe may be typified by that of the mollusca of recent
species to the mollusca of the primary geological period.

In all these existing races, we find that the slowness of their
progression and incapacity for improvement is proportioned to the low
state of their civilization, thereby leading to the supposition that
they may have retained their arts with but slight modification from the
time of their branching from the parent stem, and may thus be taken
as the living representatives of our common ancestors in the various
successive stages of their advancement.

Many examples of this immobility on the part of savages and
semi-civilized races may be given.

[Illustration: PLATE VI.]

Throughout the entire continent of Australia the weapons and implements
are alike, and of the simplest form, and the people are of the lowest
grade. The spear, the waddy, and the boomerang, with some stone
hatchets, are their only weapons; but amongst these it has been noticed
that, like the implements of the drift, there are minute differences,
scarcely apparent to Europeans, but which enable a native to determine
at a glance to what tribe a weapon belongs.[15] This, whilst it
proves a tendency to vary their forms, shows at the same time either
an incapacity, or, what answers the same purpose, a retarding power
or prejudice, which prevents their effecting more than the smallest
appreciable degree of change. In the island of Tahiti, Captain Cook
was unable to make the natives (a superior race to the Australians)
appreciate the uses of metal, until he had caused his armourer to
construct an iron adze (Plate VI, fig. 1 _a_)[16] of precisely the
same form as their own adzes of basalt (Fig. 1 _b_). After that, metal
tools came into general use amongst them, though their old forms are
in a great measure preserved to this day. When, during the American
War, the English endeavoured to utilize the Indians by arming them,
they were compelled to construct for them tomahawks after their own
pattern, having a pipe in the handle (Fig. 2). When the Purus Indians
of South America receive a knife from Europeans they break off the
handle, and fashion the knife according to their own ideas, placing the
blade between two pieces of wood, and binding it round tight with a
sinew.[17] The natives of Samoa now use iron adzes, constructed after
the exact pattern of their ancient stone ones.[18] The Fiji Islanders,
though they have now the means of obtaining good blades and chisels
from Sheffield, and axes from America, prefer plane irons to any other
form of implement, because they are able to fix them by lashing them
on to their handles in the same fashion as the ancient stone adzes of
their own manufacture, which they resemble.[19] The Andaman Islanders
use the European metal that falls into their hands, only to grind it
down into spear- and arrow-heads of the same form as their stone ones.
The same applies to the whole of the Aborigines of North and South
America, which have stood by, for nearly three centuries, passive
spectators of the arts of Europeans, without attempting to copy them.
Crawfurd, in his _History of the Indian Archipelago_,[20] comments
on the obstinate adherence of the Javanese to ancient customs, in
accounting for the kris having been retained by them long after the
causes which produced that peculiar weapon had ceased to operate.
Tylor, in his account of the Anahuac, observes upon the preservation
of old types amongst the present inhabitants of Mexico, which have
remained almost unchanged from generation to generation, enabling
the historian to distinguish clearly those which are of Aztec from
those which are of Spanish origin.[21] Herodotus describes the spears
carried by the Ethiopians in the army of Xerxes as being armed with the
sharpened horn of the antelope.[22] Consul Petherick found still in
use by the Djibba negroes, more than two thousand years after, these
identical spears, armed with the straightened and sharpened horn of the
antelope, and their other weapons also resembled in character those
described by Herodotus, although they had passed from the stone weapons
then used, into an age of metal.[23] The Scythian bow (Plate VI, fig.
3) is the bow still used by the whole of the Tartar races (Fig. 4).
The celt of the Tartar, and the celt and sword of the Negro (Fig. 5)
are still the celt and sword of the European bronze period (Fig. 6),
and this resemblance is not confined to the general outline of the
weapons, but extends to the style and patterns of ornamentation. The
same identity of form exists between the ‘manillas’ (Fig. 7) used as a
medium of exchange in the Eboe country of West Africa and the so-called
penannular rings or ring money (Fig. 8) of gold and bronze which are
found in Ireland, and which, with some modifications, belong also to
Germany and the Swiss Lakes. The corrugated iron blade of the Kaffir
assegai, a section of which is shown in Fig. 9, and which is used also
in Central and West Africa, is identical with those found in the Saxon
graves (Fig. 10), and is intended to give a spiral motion to these
missiles. Chevalier Folard observes that the Gauls were remarkable for
the tenacity with which they clung to their ancient customs, while the
Romans, their conquerors, are mentioned by all historians as peculiar
in their time for the facility with which they adopted the customs of
others, and developed their own.[24] In modern Europe, the Gipsies have
also been noticed as being distinguished from the Europeans in all
the various localities in which they are found, for their remarkable
adherence to especial arts, savouring of an extinct civilization.
Amongst the Chinese and Hindoos, the conservatism which has caused them
to remain for ages in nearly the same condition is too well known to
require comment. It will, however, be remembered (in illustration of
the fact that customs of minor importance often survive great political
changes, and serve to keep up the continuity that would otherwise be
broken), that after the Manchu Tartars had conquered and established
themselves in the Chinese territory, they were nearly driven again
from the country, on account of their forcing upon the subject people
the custom of wearing pigtails, after the fashion of their conquerors;
showing how difficult it is to ingraft, upon an alien race, customs
that are not indigenous.

These, and many other notices of a similar character that are to
be found in the pages of travel, establish it as a maxim, that the
existing races, in their respective stages of progression, may be
taken as the bona fide representatives of the races of antiquity;
and, marvellous as it may appear to us in these days of rapid
progress, their habits and arts, even to the form of their rudest
weapons, have continued in many cases, with but slight modifications,
unchanged throughout countless ages, and from periods long prior to
the commencement of history. They thus afford us living illustrations
of the social customs, the forms of government, laws, and warlike
practices, which belonged to the ancient races from which they remotely
sprang, whose implements, resembling, with but little difference,
their own, are now found low down in the soil, in situations, and
under circumstances in which, alone, they would convey but little
evidence to the antiquary, but which, when the investigations of the
antiquary are interpreted by those of the ethnologist, are teeming with
interesting revelations respecting the past history of our race; and
which, in the hands of the anthropologist, in whose science that of
antiquity and ethnology are combined with physiology and geology, are
no doubt destined to throw a flood of light, if not eventually, in a
great measure, to clear up the mystery, which now hangs over everything
connected with the origin of mankind.

That such a combination of the sciences should have been brought about
so opportunely in our days, appears to me to be one of those many
indications of an overruling power directing in the aggregate the minds
of men, which must, at all times, strike even the most superficial
observer of nature; for there can be little doubt that in a few years
all the most barbarous races will have disappeared from the earth, or
will have ceased to preserve their native arts.

The law which consigns to destruction all savage races when brought
in contact with a civilization much higher than their own, is now
operating with unrelenting fury in every part of the world. Of the
aborigines of Tasmania, not a single individual remains; those of New
Zealand are fast disappearing. The Australian savage dies out before
the advancing European. North and South America, and the Polynesian
Islands, all tell the same tale. Wherever the generous influences of
Christianity have set foot, there they have been accompanied by the
scourge. Innumerable and often unseen causes combine in effecting the
same purpose; diseases which are but little felt by Europeans, act as
plagues when introduced into uncivilized communities, and cause them
to fall before their ravages, like wheat before the sickle; and the
vices of civilization, taking a firmer hold of the savages than its
virtues, aid and abet in the same work. The labours of the missionary,
if they have produced no other benefit, have been useful in teaching
us the great truth, that notwithstanding the philanthropic efforts
of the intruding race, the law of nature must be vindicated. The
savage is morally and mentally an unfit instrument for the spread of
civilization, except when, like the higher mammalia, he is reduced to
a state of slavery; his occupation is gone, and his place is required
for an improved race. Allowing for the rapidly increasing ratio in
which progress advances, it is not too much to assume, that in half a
century from the present time, savage life will have ceased to have a
single true representative on the face of the globe, and the evidence
which it has been the means of handing down to our generation will have
perished with it.

When we find that the condition of the aboriginal man must have
been one of such complete inanity as to render him incapable of
spontaneously initiating even the most rudimentary arts, it follows
as a matter of course that in the earliest stages of his career, he
must, like children of our own day, have been subject to compulsory
instruction. And in looking to nature for the sources from which such
early instruction must have been derived, we need not, I think, be long
in coming to the conclusion, that the school of our first parent must
be sought for in his struggles for mastery with the brute creation,
and that, consequently, his first lessons must have been directed to
attaining proficiency in the art of war.

Hence it follows that it is to the lower animals that we must look
for the origin of all those branches of primitive warfare which it is
the object of this lecture to trace out. Nor indeed shall we fail to
find abundant evidence that there is hardly a single branch of human
industry which may not reasonably be attributed to the same source.

The province of war extends downward through the animal kingdom,
showing unmistakable evidence of its existence in forms, offensive
and defensive, differing but little from those of the human era,
through the unnumbered ages of the geological periods, long prior to
man’s advent; proving, beyond the possibility of doubt, that from the
remotest age in which we find evidence of organized beings, war has
been ordained to an important function in the creative process.

Judging by results, which I apprehend is the only true method of
investigating the phenomena of life, three primary instincts appear
to have been implanted in nearly all the higher animals[25]:
alimentiveness, for the sustenance of life; amativeness, for the
propagation of species; and combativeness, for the protection of
species, and the propagation by natural selection of the most energetic
breeds; on which latter subject much important information has been
given to the world by Mr. Darwin, in his celebrated work on the origin
of species.

Much might, I believe, be said on the connexion which subsists between
these functions, all of which are, in some form or other, necessary to
a healthy condition. Suffice, however, to observe, that as regards the
dawn of an Utopia, in which some men who think themselves practical
appear to indulge; whether we study the subject by observing the
uses to which animals apply the various and ingeniously constructed
weapons with which Providence has armed them, or whether we view it in
relation to the prodigious armaments of all the most civilized nations
of Europe, we find no more evidence in nature, of a state of society
in which wars shall cease, than we do of a state of existence in which
we shall support life without food, or propagate our species by other
means than those which nature has appointed.

The universality of the warlike element is shown in the fact, that the
classifications of the weapons of men and animals are identical, and
may be treated under the same heads.

Many constructive arts are brought to greater perfection in animals
by the development of faculties, especially adapting them to the
peculiar implements with which nature has furnished them, than can be
attained by man, and especially by the aboriginal man, whose particular
attribute appears, by all analogy of savage life, to have been an
increase of that imitative faculty which, in the lower creation, is
found only in a modified degree in apes.

The lower creation would thus furnish man not only with the first
element of instruction, but with examples for the improvement of the
work commenced, or, to use the words of Pope:--

  From the creatures thy instructions take,
  Thy arts of building from the bee receive;
  Learn from the mole to plough, the worm to weave;
  Learn from the little nautilus to sail,
  Spread the thin oars, and catch the driving gale;
  Here, too, all forms of social reason find,
  And hence let reason late instruct mankind.[26]

In the art of war, as we shall see, he would not only derive his first
instruction from the beasts, but he would improve his means of offence
and defence from time to time by lessons derived from the same source.

It therefore appears desirable that, before entering upon that branch
of the subject which relates to the _progress_ and _development_ of
the art of war, I should point out briefly the analogies which exist
between the weapons, tactics, and stratagems of savages and those of
the lower creation, and show to what extent man appears to have availed
himself of the weapons of animals for his own defence.

In so doing the subject may be classified as follows:--

_Classification of the Weapons of Animals and Savages._

    Defensive.     Offensive.    Stratagems.
  Hides.           Piercing.   Flight.
  Solid plates.    Striking.   Concealment.
  Jointed plates.  Serrated.   Tactics.
  Scales.          Poisoned.   Columns.
                   Missiles.   Leaders.
                               Artificial defences.
                               War cries.

Firstly, with respect to the combative principle itself. The identity
of this instinct in men and animals may be seen in the widely-spread
custom of baiting animals against each other, a practice which is not
derived from any one source, but is indigenous in the countries in
which it prevails, and arises from the inherent sympathy which exists
between men and animals in the exercise of this particular function.

In the island of Tahiti, long before the first European vessel was seen
off their shores, the inhabitants were accustomed to train and fight
cocks, which were fed with great care, and kept upon finely-carved
perches.[27] Cock-fighting also prevails amongst the Malays, Celebes,
and Balinese. The Javanese fight their cocks like the Mahommedans
of Hindustan, without spurs; the Malays, Bugis, and Macassars with
artificial spurs shaped like a scythe.[28] It also prevails in Central
Africa, Central America, and Peru. The Sumatrans fight their cocks for
vast sums; a man has been known to stake his wife and children, son,
mother, or sister on the issue of a battle, and when a dispute occurs,
the owners decide the question by an appeal to the sword. In like
manner Adrastus, the son of Midas, King of Phrygia, is said to have
killed his brother in consequence of a quarrel which took place between
them in regard to a battle of quails.

When Themistocles led the Greeks out against the Persians, happening
to see two cocks fight, he showed them as an example to his soldiers.
Cock-fighting was afterwards exhibited annually in presence of the
whole people, and the crowing of a cock was ever after regarded as a
presage of victory.[29]

The Javanese also fight hogs and rams together. The buffalo and
tiger are matched against each other. In Butan the combat is between
two bulls. Combats of elephants took place for the amusement of the
early Indian kings. The Chinese and Javanese fight quails, crickets,
and fish. The Romans fought cocks, quails, and partridges, also the
rhinoceros. In Stamboul two rams are employed for fighting. The
Russians fight geese, and the betting runs very high upon them.[30]
We find horses, elephants, and oxen standing side by side with man in
hostile array, and dogs were used by the Gauls for the same purpose.
Amongst the ancients, the horse, the wolf, and the cock were offered on
the altar of Mars for their warlike qualities.

Who can doubt with these examples before us, that an instinct so widely
disseminated and so identical in men and animals, must have been
ordained for special objects?

The causes which give rise to the exercise of the function, vary with
the advance of civilization. We have now ceased to take delight in the
mere exhibition of brute combats, but the profession of war is still
held in as much esteem as at any previous period in the history of
mankind, and we bestow the highest honours of the State upon successful

This, however, leads to another subject, viz. the causes of war amongst
primitive races, which is deserving of separate treatment.

_Defensive Weapons._

We may pass briefly over the defensive weapons of animals and savages,
not by any means from the analogy being less perfect in this class of
weapons, but rather because the similarity is too obvious to make it
necessary that much stress should be laid on their resemblance.

_Hides._ The thick hides of pachydermatous animals correspond to the
quilted armour of ancient and semi-civilized races. Some animals, like
the rhinoceros and hippopotamus, are entirely armed in this way; others
have their defences on the most vulnerable part, as the mane of the
lion, and the shoulder pad of the boar.[31] The skin of the tiger is of
so tough and yielding a nature, as to resist the horn of the buffalo
when driven with full force against its sides.[32] The condor of Peru
has such a thick coating of feathers, that eight or ten bullets may
strike without piercing it.[33]

[Illustration: PLATE VII.]

According to Thucydides, the Locrians and Acarnanians, being professed
thieves and robbers, were the first to clothe themselves in armour.[34]
But as a general rule it may be said, that the opinions of ancient
writers upon the origin of the customs with which they were familiar,
are of little value in our days. There is, however, evidence to show
that the use of defensive armour is not usual amongst savages in the
lowest stages of culture. It is not employed, properly speaking, by
the Australians, the Bushmen, the Fuegians, or in the Fiji or Sandwich
Islands. But in other parts of the world, soon after men began to
clothe themselves in the skins of beasts, they appear to have used the
thicker hides of animals for purposes of defence. When the Esquimaux
apprehends hostility, he takes off his ordinary shirt, and puts on
a deer’s skin, tanned in such a manner as to render it thick for
defence, and over this he again draws his ordinary shirt, which is
also of deer-skin, but thinner in substance. The Esquimaux also use
armour of eider drake’s skin.[35] The Abipones and Indians of the Grand
Chako arm themselves with a cuirass, greaves, and helmet, composed
of the thick hide of the tapir, but they no longer use it against the
musketry of the Europeans.[36] The Yucanas also use shields of the same
material. The war-dress of a Patagonian chief from the Museum of the
Institution is exhibited (Plate VII, figs. 11, 12); it is composed of
seven thicknesses of hide, probably of the horse, upon the body, and
three on the sleeves. The chiefs of the Musgu negroes of Central Africa
use for defence a strong doublet of the same kind, made of buffalo’s
hide with the hair inside.[37] The Kayans of Borneo use hide for
their war-dress, as shown by a specimen belonging to the Institution
(Fig. 13). The skin of the bear and panther is most esteemed for this
purpose.[38] The inhabitants of Pulo Nias, an island off the western
coast of Sumatra, use for armour a ‘baju’ made of leather. In some
parts of Egypt a breastplate was made of the back of the crocodile
(Fig. 14). In the island of Cayenne, in 1519, the inhabitants used a
breastplate of buffalo’s hide.[39] The Lesghi of Tartary wore armour
of hog’s skin.[40] The Indians of Chili, in the seventeenth century,
wore corselets, back and breast plates, gauntlets, and helmets of
leather, so hardened, that it is described by Ovalle as being equal
to metal.[41] According to Strabo (p. 306), the German Rhoxolani wore
helmets, and breastplates of bull’s hide, though the Germans generally
placed little reliance in defensive armour. The Ethiopians used the
skins of cranes and ostriches for their armour.[42]

[Illustration: PLATE VIII.]

We learn from Herodotus that it was from the Libyans the Greeks derived
the apparel and aegis of Minerva, as represented upon her images, but
instead of a pectoral of scale armour, that of the Libyans was merely
of skin.[43] According to Smith’s _Dict. of Gr. and Roman Antiquities_
(s.v. _lorica_), the Greek ‘thorax’, called στάδιος, from its standing
erect by its own stiffness, was originally of leather, before it was
constructed of metal. In Meyrick’s _Ancient Armour_, there is the
figure of a suit, supposed formerly to have belonged to the Rajah of
Guzerat (Plate VIII, fig. 15). The body part of this suit is composed
of four pieces of rhinoceros hide, showing that, in all probability,
this was the material originally employed for that particular class of
armour, which is now produced of the same form in metal, a specimen of
which, from the Museum of the Institution, taken from the Sikhs, is now
exhibited (Fig. 16).

[Illustration: PLATE IX.]

In more advanced communities, as skins began to be replaced by woven
materials, quilted armour supplied the place of hides. In those parts
of the Polynesian Islands in which armour is used, owing probably
to the absence of suitable skins, woven armour appears to have been
employed in a comparatively low state of society. Specimens of this
class of armour from the Museum of the Institution are exhibited; they
are from the Kingsmill Islands, Pleasant Island, and the Sandwich
Islands. A helmet from the latter place (Pl. VIII, fig. 17) much
resembles the Grecian in form, while the under tippet, from Pleasant
Island (Pl. VII, fig. 18), may be compared to the pectoral of the
Egyptians (Fig. 19, _a_ and _b_), which, as well as the head-dress (Pl.
VIII, fig. 20), was of a thickly quilted material. The Egyptians wore
this pectoral up to the time of Xerxes, who employed their sailors,
armed in this way, during his expedition into Greece. Herodotus says
that the Indians of Asia wore a thorax of rush matting.[44] In 1514,
Magellan[45] found tunics of quilted cotton, called ‘laudes’, in
use by the Muslims of Guzerat and the Deccan. An Indian helmet of
this description from my collection (Fig. 21) is exhibited; in form
it resembles the Egyptian, and an Ethiopian one (Fig. 22), composed
of beads of the same form, brought from Central Africa by Consul
Petherick, is exhibited. Fig. 23 shows that the same form, in India,
was subsequently produced in metal. A suit of quilted armour formerly
belonging to Koer Singh, and lately presented to the Institution by Sir
Vincent Eyre, is also exhibited (Plate VII, fig. 24). The body armour
and helmet found upon Tippoo Sahib at his death, which are now in the
Museum of the Institution (Plate IX, fig. 25, _a_, _b_, and _c_), were
thickly quilted. Upon the breast, this armour consists of two sheets
of parchment, and nine thicknesses of padding composed of cocoons of
the _Saturnia mylitta_, stuffed with the wool of the _Eriodendron
anfractuosum, D.C._, neatly sewn together, as represented in fig. 25
_b_.[46] The Aztecs and Peruvians also guarded themselves with a wadded
cotton doublet.[47] Quilted armour or thick linen corselets were used
by the Persians, Phoenicians, Chalybes, Assyrians, Lusitanians, and
Scythians, by the Greeks, and occasionally by the Romans.[48] By the
Persians it was used much later; and in Africa to this day, quilted
armour, of precisely the same description, is used both for men and
horses by the Bornouese of Central Africa, and is described by Denham
and Clapperton[49] (Plate VIII, fig. 26). Plate VII, fig. 27, is a suit
of armour in the Institution, from the Navigator Islands, composed of
coco-nut fibre coarsely netted. Fig. 28 is part of a Chinese jacket of
sky-blue cotton, quilted with enclosed plates of iron; it is precisely
similar to the ‘brigandine jacket’ used in Europe in the sixteenth
century, which was composed of ‘small plates of iron quilted within
some stuff’, and ‘covered generally with sky-blue cloth’.[50] This
class of armour may be regarded as a link connecting the quilted with
the scale armour, to be described hereafter.

As a material for shields, the hides of animals were employed even more
universally, and up to a later stage of civilization. In North America
the majority of the wild tribes use shields of the thickest parts of
the hides of the buffalo.[51] In the New Hebrides the skin of the
alligator is used for this purpose, as appears by a specimen belonging
to the Institution. In Africa the Fans of the Gaboon employ the hide of
the elephant for their large, rectangular shields.[52] The Wadi, the
Wagogo, and the Abyssinians in East Africa, have shields of buffalo’s
hide, or some kind of leather, like the Ethiopians of the time of
Herodotus. The ox-hide shields of the Greeks are mentioned in Homer’s
_Iliad_; that of Ajax was composed of seven hides with a coating of
brass on the outside. The spear of Hector is described as piercing six
of the hides and the brass coating, remaining fixed in the seventh
hide.[53] The Kaffirs, Bechuanas, Basutos, and others in South Africa,
use the hide of the ox.[54] The Kelgeres, Kelowi, and Tawarek, of
Central Africa, employ the hide of the Leucoryx antelope.[55] Shields
of the rhinoceros hide, from Nubia, and of the ox, from Fernando Po,
are exhibited. In Asia the Biluchi carry shields of the rhinoceros
horn, and the same material is also used in East Africa. A specimen
from Zanzibar is in the Institution. In the greater part of India the
shields are made of rhinoceros and buffalo’s hide, boiled in oil, until
they sometimes become transparent, and are proof against the edge of a

In a higher state of civilization, as the facilities for constructing
shields of improved materials increased, the skins of animals were
still used to cover the outside. Thus the negroes of the Gold Coast
made their shields of osier covered with leather.[57] That of the
Kanembu of Central Africa is of wood covered with leather,[58] and very
much resembles in form that of the Egyptians, which, as we learn from
Meyrick and others, was also covered with leather, having the hair on
the outside like the shields of the Greeks.[59] The Roman ‘scutum’ was
of wood covered with linen and sheepskin. According to the author of
_Horae Ferales_, the Saxon shield was of wood covered with leather; the
same applies to the Scotch target, and leather was used as a covering
for shields as late as the time of Henry VIII.

_Head Crests._ The origin of the hairy crests of our helmets is clearly
traceable to the custom of wearing for head-dresses the heads and hair
of animals. The Asiatic Ethiopians used as a head-covering, the skin
of a horse’s head, stripped from the carcase together with the ears
and mane, and so contrived, that the mane served for a crest, while
the ears appeared erect upon the head (Hdt. vii. 70). In the coins
representing Hercules, he appears wearing a lion’s skin upon the head.
These skins were worn in such a manner that the teeth appeared grinning
at the enemy over the head of the wearer (as represented in Plate
VIII, fig. 29, which is taken from a bronze in the Blacas collection),
a custom which seems also to have prevailed in Mexico.[60] Similar
head-dresses are worn by the soldiers on Trajan’s Column. The horns
worn on the heads of some of the North American Indians (Fig. 30), and
in some parts of Africa[61], are no doubt derived from this practice
of wearing on the head the skins of animals with their appendages.
The helmet of Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, was surmounted by two goat’s
horns. Horns were afterwards represented in brass, on the helmets of
the Thracians (Fig. 31), the Belgic Gauls, and others. Fig. 32 is an
ancient British helmet of bronze lately found in the Thames, surmounted
by straight horns of the same material.[62] Horned helmets are figured
on the ancient vases. Fig. 33 is a Greek helmet having horns of brass,
and traces of the same custom may still be observed in heraldry.[63]

The practice of wearing head-dresses of feathers, to distinguish the
chiefs from the rank and file, is universal in all parts of the world,
and in nearly every stage of civilization. Amongst the North American
Indians the feathers are cut in a particular manner to denote the rank
of the wearer, precisely in the same manner that the long feathers
of our general officers distinguish them from those wearing shorter
feathers in subordinate ranks. This custom, Mr. Schoolcraft observes,
when describing the head-dresses of the American Indians, may very
probably be derived from the feathered creation, in which the males, in
most of the cock, turkey, and pheasant tribes, are crowned with bright
crests and ornaments of feathers.[64]

_Solid Plates._ It has often struck me as remarkable that the shells of
the tortoise and turtle, which are so widely distributed and so easily
captured, and which would appear to furnish shields ready made to the
hand of man, should seldom, if ever, in so far as I have been able
to learn, be used by savages for that purpose. This may, however, be
accounted for by the fact that _broad_ shields of that particular form,
though common in more advanced civilizations, are never found in the
hands of savages, at least in those localities in which the turtle, or
large tortoise, is available.

It will be seen subsequently, in tracing the history of the shield,
that in the rudest condition of savage life, this weapon of defence has
a history of its own; that both in Africa and Australia it is derived
by successive stages from the stick or club, and that the broad shield
does not appear to have been developed until after mankind had acquired
sufficient constructive skill to have been able to form shields of
lighter and more suitable materials than is afforded by the shell of
the turtle. It is, however, evident that in later times the analogy
was not lost sight of, as the word ‘testudo’ is a name given by the
Romans to several engines of war having shields attached to them, and
especially to that particular formation of the legionary troops, in
which they approached a fortified building with their shields joined
together, and overlapping, like the scaly shell of the imbricated
turtle, which is a native of the Mediterranean and Asiatic seas.

_Jointed Plates._ In speaking of the jointed plates, so common to all
the crustacea, it is sufficient to notice that this class of defence in
the animal kingdom, may be regarded as the prototype of that peculiar
form of armour which was used by the Romans, and to which the French,
at the commencement of the seventeenth century, gave the name of
‘écrevisse’, from its resemblance to the shell of a lobster. The fluted
armour, common in Persia, and in the middle ages of Europe, is also
constructed in exact imitation of the corrugated shell defences of a
large class of the Mollusca.

_Scale Armour._ That scale armour derived its origin from the scales of
animals, there can be little doubt. It has been stated on the authority
of Arrian (_Tact._ 13. 14), that the Greeks distinguished scale armour
by the term λεπιδωτός, expressive of its resemblance to the scales of
fish; whilst the jointed armour, composed of long flexible bands, like
the armour of the Roman soldier, and the ‘écrevisse’ of the middle
ages, was called φολιδωτός from its resemblance to the scales of
serpents. The brute origin of scale armour is well illustrated by the
breastplate of the Bugo Dyaks, a specimen of which, from the Museum
of the Institution, is represented in Plate IX, fig. 34. The process
of its construction was described in a notice attached to a specimen
of this armour in the Exhibition of 1862. The scales of the Pangolin
are collected by the Bugis as they are thrown off by the animal, and
are stitched on to bark with small threads of cane, so as to overlap
each other in the same manner that they are arranged on the skin of
the animal. When the front piece is completely covered with scales, a
hole is cut in the bark for the head of the wearer. The specimen now
exhibited appears, however, to be composed of the entire skin of the
animal. Captain Grant, in his _Walk across Africa_, mentions that the
scales of the armadillo are in like manner collected by the negroes of
East Africa, and worn in a belt ‘three inches across’, as a charm.[65]

It is reasonable to suppose that the use of scale armour, in most
countries, originated in this manner by sewing on to the quilted armour
before described, fragments of any hard material calculated to give
it additional strength. Plate VIII, fig. 35, is a piece of bark from
Tahiti, studded with pieces of coco-nut stitched on. The Sarmatians and
Quadi are described by Ammianus Marcellinus as being protected by a
‘lorica’, composed of pieces of horn, planed and polished, and fastened
like feathers upon a linen shirt.[66] Pausanias also, who is confirmed
by Tacitus, says that the Sarmatians had large herds of horses, that
they collected the hoofs, and after preparing them for the purpose,
sewed them together, with the nerves and sinews of the same animal,
so as to overlap each other like the surface of a fir cone, and he
adds, that the ‘lorica’ thus formed was not inferior to that of the
Greeks either in strength or elegance. The Emperor Domitian had, after
this model, a cuirass of boar’s hoofs stitched together.[67] Fig. 36
represents a fragment of scale armour made of horn, found at Pompeii.
A very similar piece of armour (Fig. 37), from some part of Asia, said
to be from Japan, but the actual locality of which is not known, is
figured in Meyrick’s _Ancient Armour_, pl. iii. 1. It is made of the
hoofs of some animal, stitched and fastened so as to hold together
without the aid of a linen corselet. An ancient stone figure[68]
(Plate IX, fig. 38), having an inscription in a character cognate to
the Greek, but in an unknown language, and covered with armour of this
description, is represented in the third volume of the _Journal of the
Archaeological Association_. The Kayans, inhabiting the eastern coast
of Borneo, form a kind of armour composed of little shells placed one
overlapping the other, like scales, and having a large mother-of-pearl
shell at the end. This last portion of the armour is shown in the
figure of the Kayan war-dress already referred to (Plate VII, fig. 13).
Plate VIII, fig. 39, is a back- and breast-piece of armour from the
Sandwich Islands, composed of seals’ teeth, set like scales, and united
with string.

Similar scales would afterwards be constructed in bronze and iron.
It was thus employed by the Egyptians (Plate IX, fig. 40), two scales
of which are shown in Fig. 41; also by the Persians, Assyrians,
Philistines, Dacians, and most ancient nations.

The armour of Goliath is believed to have been of scales, from the
fact of the word ‘kaskassim’, used in the text of 1 Sam. xvii,
being the same employed in Leviticus and Ezekiel, to express the
scales of fish.[69] Amongst the Romans, scale armour was regarded as
characteristic of barbarians, but they appear to have adopted it in the
time of the Emperors. A suit of Japanese armour in my collection shows
four distinct systems of defence, the back and breast being of solid
plates, the sleeves and leggings composed of small pieces of iron,
stitched on to cloth, and united with chain, whilst other portions are
quilted with enclosed pieces of iron (Fig. 42, _a_ and _b_). Fig. 43,
_a_ and _b_, is a suit of Chinese armour, in the Museum, having large
iron scales on the inside (Fig. 44). This system was also employed in
Europe. Fig. 45 is the inner side of a suit of ‘jazerine’ armour of the
fifteenth or sixteenth century, in my collection. Fig. 46 represents
a similar suit in the Museum of the Institution, probably of the same
date, having large scales of iron on the outside. A last vestige of
scale armour may be seen in the dress of the Albanians, which, like the
Scotch and ancient Irish kilt, and that formerly worn by the Maltese
peasantry, is a relic of costume of the Greek and Roman age. In the
Albanian jacket the scales are still represented in gold embroidery.[70]

_Offensive Weapons of Men and Animals._

[Illustration: PLATE X.]

_Piercing Weapons._ The Gnu of South Africa, when pressed, will attack
men, bending its head downwards, so as to pierce with the point of
its horn.[71] The same applies to many of the antelope tribe. The
rhinoceros destroys the elephant with the thrust of its horn, ripping
up the belly (Plate X, fig. 47). The horn rests on a strong arch formed
by the nasal bones; those of the African rhinoceros, two in number,
are fixed to the nose by a strong apparatus of muscles and tendons,
so that they are loose when the animal is in a quiescent state, but
become firm and immovable when he is enraged, showing in an especial
manner that this apparatus is destined for warlike purposes.[72] It
is capable of piercing the ribs of a horse, passing through saddle,
padding, and all.[73] Mr. Atkinson, in his Siberian travels, speaks of
the tusk of the wild boar, which in those parts is long, and as sharp
as a knife, and he describes the death of a horse which was killed
by a single stroke from this animal, delivered in the chest.[74] The
buffalo charges at full speed with its horn down.[75] The bittern, with
its beak, aims always at the eye.[76] The walrus (Fig. 48) attacks
fiercely with its pointed tusks, and will attempt to pierce the side
of a boat with them.[77] The needle-fish of the Amazons is armed
with a long pointed lance.[78] The same applies to the sword-fish of
the Mediterranean and Atlantic (Fig. 49), which, notwithstanding its
food is mostly vegetable, attacks the whale with its spear-point on
all occasions of meeting. There is an instance on record, of a man,
whilst bathing in the Severn near Worcester, having been killed by the

The weapon of the sword-fish is used as a spear-head by the wild tribes
of Cambodia, and some idea may be formed of its efficiency for this
purpose, and of the confidence with which it is used, by the following
account of an attack on a rhinoceros with this weapon, by Mons.
Mouhot.[79] He says:--

‘The manner in which the rhinoceros is hunted by the Laotians is
curious, on account of its simplicity and the skill they display....
They had bamboos, with iron blades, something between a bayonet and a
poignard. The weapon of the chief was the horn of a sword-fish, long,
sharp, strong, supple, and not likely to break. Thus armed, we set
off into the thickest part of the forest, with all the windings of
which our leader was familiar, and could tell with tolerable certainty
where we should find our expected prey. After penetrating nearly two
miles into the forest, we suddenly heard the crackling of branches, and
rustling of the dry leaves. The chief went on in advance, signing to us
to keep a little way behind, but to have our arms in readiness. Soon
our leader uttered a shrill cry, as a token that the animal was near;
he then commenced striking against each other two bamboo canes, and the
men set up wild yells to provoke the animal to quit his retreat.

‘A few minutes only elapsed before he rushed towards us, furious at
having been disturbed. He was a rhinoceros of the largest size, and
opened a most enormous mouth. Without any sign of fear, but on the
contrary of great exultation, as though sure of his prey, the intrepid
hunter advanced, lance in hand, and then stood still, waiting for the
creature’s assault. I must say I trembled for him, and loaded my gun
with two balls; but when the rhinoceros came within reach, and opened
his immense jaws to seize his enemy[80], the hunter thrust his lance
into him to a depth of some feet, and calmly retired to where we were
posted.’ After the animal was dead, the chief withdrew his sword-fish
blade, and presented it to Mons. Mouhot.

The narwhal has a still more formidable weapon of the same kind (Pl.
X, fig. 50). It attacks the whale, and occasionally the bottoms of
ships, a specimen of the effect of which attack, from the Museum of
the Institution, is represented in Fig. 51. The Esquimaux, who, in
the accounts which they give of their own customs, profess to derive
much experience from the habits of the animals amongst which they
live, use the narwhal’s tusk for the points of their spears. Fig.
52 represents a ‘nuguit’ from Greenland, of the form mentioned by
Cranz[81]; it is armed with the point of the narwhal’s tusk. Fig. 53,
from my collection, has the shaft also of narwhal’s tusk; it is armed
with a metal blade, but it is introduced here in order to show the
association which existed in the mind of the constructor between his
weapon and the animal from which the shaft is derived, and for the
capture of which it is chiefly used. The wooden shaft, it will be seen,
is constructed in the form of the fish, and the ivory fore-shaft is
inserted in the snout in the exact position of that of the fish itself.
At Kotzebue Sound, Captain Beechey[82] found the natives armed with
lances composed of a walrus tooth fixed to the end of a wooden staff
(Fig. 54). They also employ the walrus tooth for the points of their
tomahawks (Fig. 55). The horns of the antelope are used as lance-points
by the Djibba negroes of Central Africa, as already mentioned (p. 52),
and in Nubia also by the Shillooks and Dinkas.[83] The antelope’s
horn is also used in South Africa for the same purpose.[84] The argus
pheasant of India[85], the wing-wader of Australia[86], and the plover
of Central Africa[87], have spurs on their wings, with which they
fight; the cock and turkey have spurs on their feet, used expressly
for offence. The white crane of America has been known to drive its
beak deep into the bowels of a hunter.[88] The Indians of Virginia, in
1606, are described as having arrows armed with the spurs of the turkey
and beaks of birds.[89] In the Christy collection there is an arrow,
supposed to be from South America, which is armed with the natural
point of the deer’s horn (Fig. 56). The war-club of the Iroquois,
called GA-NE-U´-GA-O-DUS-HA, or ‘deer-horn war-club’, was armed with
a point of the deer’s horn (Fig. 57), about 4 inches in length; since
communication with Europeans, a metal point has been substituted
(Fig. 58). It appears highly probable that the ‘martel-de-fer’ of the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which is also used in India and
Persia, may have been derived, as its form indicates, from a horn
weapon of this kind. Horn points suitable for arming such weapons have
been found both in England and Ireland, two specimens of which are
in my collection.[90] The weapon of the sting-ray, from the method of
using it by the animal itself, should more properly be classed with
serrated weapons, but it is a weapon in general use amongst savages for
spear or arrow points (Fig. 59), for which it has the particular merit
of breaking off in the wound. It causes a frightful wound, and being
sharply serrated, as well as pointed, there is no means of cutting
it out. It is used in this way by the inhabitants of Gambier Island,
Samoa[91], Otaheite[92], the Fiji Islands[93], Pellew Islands[94], and
many of the Low Islands. Amongst the savages of tropical South America,
the blade of the ray, probably the _Trygon histrix_, is used for

In the _Balistes capriscus_ (Fig. 60 _a_), a rare British fish, the
anterior dorsal is preceded by a strong erectile spine, which is
used for piercing other fishes from beneath. Its base is expanded
and perforated, and a bolt from the supporting plate passes freely
through it. When this spine is raised, a hollow at the back receives a
prominence from the next bony ray, which fixes the spine in an erect
position, as the hammer of a gun-lock acts at full-cock, and the spine
cannot be forced down till this prominence is withdrawn, as by pulling
the trigger. This mechanism may be compared to the fixing and unfixing
of a bayonet; when the spine is unfixed and bent down, it is received
into a groove on the supporting plate, and offers no impediment to the
progress of the fish through the water. These fishes are also found in
a fossil state, and, to use the words of Professor Owen, from whose
work this description of the _Balistes_ is borrowed, exemplify in a
remarkable manner the efficacy, beauty, and variety of the ancient
armoury of that order.[96] The stickleback is armed in a similar
manner, and is exceedingly pugnacious. The _Cottus diceraus, Pall._
(Fig. 60 _b_), has a multi-barbed horn on its back, exactly resembling
the spears of the Esquimaux, South American, and Australian savages.
The _Naseus fronticornis, Lac._ (Fig. 60 _c_), has also a spear-formed
weapon. The Yellow-bellied Acanthurus is armed with a spine of
considerable length upon its tail.

The Australians of King George’s Sound use the pointed fin of the
roach to arm their spears[97]; the inhabitants of New Guinea also arm
their arrows with the offensive horn of the saw-fish, and with the
claw of the cassowary. The sword of the Limulus, or king-crab, is an
offensive weapon; its habits do not appear to be well understood, but
its weapon is used in some of the Malay islands for arrow-points (Fig.
61). The natives of San Salvador, when discovered by Columbus, used
lances pointed with the teeth of fish.[98] The spine of the Diodon is
also used for arrow-points (Fig. 62). Amongst other piercing weapons
suggested by the horns of animals may be noticed the Indian ‘kandjar’
composed of one side of the horn of the buffalo, having the natural
form and point (Fig. 63). In later times a metal dagger, with ivory
handle, was constructed in the same country (Fig. 64), after the exact
model of the one of horn, the handle having one side flat, in imitation
of the half-split horn, though of course that peculiar form was no
longer necessitated by the material then used. The same form of weapon
was afterwards used with a metal handle (Fig. 65). The sharp horns of
the ‘sasin’, or common antelope, often steel pointed, are still used
as offensive weapons in India (Figs. 66, 67, 68). Several examples
of these are in the Museum of the Institution. Three stages of this
weapon are exhibited, the first having the natural point, the second a
metal point, and the third a weapon of nearly the same form composed
entirely of metal. The Fakirs and Dervishes, not being permitted by
their profession to carry arms, use the pointed horn of the antelope
for this purpose. Fig. 69 is a specimen from my collection; from its
resemblance to the Dervishes’ crutch of Western Asia, I presume it
can be none other than the one referred to in the _Journal of the
Archaeological Association_, from which I obtained this information
respecting the Dervishes’ weapon.[99] Mankind would also early derive
instruction from the sharp thorns of trees, with which he must come
in contact in his rambles through the forests; the African mimosa, the
Gledischia, the American aloe, and the spines of certain palms, would
afford him practical experience of their efficacy as piercing weapons,
and accordingly we find them often used by savages in barbing their

_Striking Weapons._ Many animals defend themselves by blows delivered
with their wings or legs; the giraffe kicks like a horse as well as
strikes sideways with its blunt horns; the camel strikes with its
fore legs and kicks with its hind legs; the elephant strikes with its
proboscis and tramples with its feet; eagles, swans, and other birds
strike with their wings; the swan is said to do so with sufficient
force to break a man’s leg; the cassowary strikes forward with its
feet; the tiger strikes a fatal blow with its paw; the whale strikes
with its tail, and rams with such force, that the American whaler
_Essex_ is said to have been sunk by that animal.[101] There is no
known example of mankind in so low a state as to be unacquainted
with the use of artificial weapons. The practice of boxing with the
fist, however, is by no means confined to the British Isles as some
people seem to suppose, for besides the Romans, Lusitanians[102], and
others mentioned in classical history, it prevailed certainly in the
Polynesian islands[103] and in Central Africa.[104]

_Serrated Weapons._ This class of weapons in animals corresponds to the
cutting weapons of men. Amongst the most barbarous races, however, as
amongst animals, no example of a cutting weapon is found[105]: although
the Polynesian islanders make very good knives of the split and
sharpened edges of bamboo, and the Esquimaux, also, use the split tusk
of the walrus as a knife, these cannot be regarded, nor, indeed, are
they used, as edged weapons. These, strictly speaking, are confined to
the metal age, and their place, in the earliest stages of civilization,
is supplied by weapons with serrated, or saw-like edges.

[Illustration: PLATE XI.]

Perhaps the nearest approach in the animal kingdom to an edged weapon
is the fore-arm of the mantis, a kind of cricket, used by the Chinese
and others in the East for their amusement. Their combats have been
compared to that of two soldiers fighting with sabres. They cut and
parry with their fore-arms, and, sometimes, a single stroke with these
is sufficient to decapitate, or cut in two the body of an antagonist.
But on closer inspection, these fore-arms are found to be set with a
row of strong and sharp spines, similar to those of all other animals
that are provided with this class of weapon. The snout of the saw-fish
is another example of the serrated weapon. Its mode of attacking the
whale is by jumping up high in the air, and falling on the animal, not
with the point, but with the sides of its formidable weapon, both edges
of which are armed with a row of sharp horns, set like teeth, by means
of which it rasps a severe cut in the flesh of the whale. The design
in this case is precisely analogous to that of the Australian savage,
who throws his similarly constructed spear so as to strike, not with
the bone point, but with its more formidable edges, which are thick set
with a row of sharp-pointed pieces of obsidian, or rock-crystal. The
saw-fish is amongst the most widely distributed of fishes, belonging
to the arctic, antarctic, and tropical seas. It may, therefore, very
possibly have served as a model in many of the numerous localities in
which this character of weapon is found in the hands of savages. The
snout itself is used as a weapon by the inhabitants of New Guinea, the
base being cut and bound round so as to form a handle. Plate XI, fig.
70, is a specimen from the Museum of the Institution. The weapon of
the sting-ray, though used by savages for spear-points, more properly
belongs to this class, as the mode of its employment by the animal
itself consists in twisting its long, slender tail round the object of
attack, and cutting the surface with its serrated edge.[106] The teeth
of all animals, including those of man himself, also furnish examples
of serrated weapons.

When we find models of this class of weapon so widely distributed
in the lower creation, it is not surprising that the first efforts
of mankind in the construction of trenchant implements, should so
universally consist of teeth or flint flakes, arranged along the edges
of staves or clubs, in exact imitation of the examples which he finds
ready to his hand, in the mouths of the animals which he captures,
and on which he is dependent for his food. Several specimens of
implements, edged in this manner with sharks’ teeth, from the Museum
of the Institution, are represented in Plate XI, figs. 71, 72, 73,
74. They are found chiefly in the Marquesas, in Tahiti, Depeyster’s
Island, Byron’s Isles, the Kingsmill Group, Radak Island[107], and
the Sandwich Islands[108], also in New Zealand (Fig. 75). They are of
various shapes, and are used for various cutting purposes, as knives,
swords, and glaives. Two distinct methods of fastening the teeth to
the wood prevail in the Polynesian Islands; firstly, by inserting them
in a groove cut in the sides of the stick or weapon; and secondly, by
arranging the teeth in a row, along the sides of the stick, between
two small strips of wood on either side of the teeth, lashed on to the
staff, in all cases, with small strings, composed of plant fibre. The
points of the teeth are usually arranged in two opposite directions on
the same staff, so that a severe cut may be given either in thrusting
or withdrawing the weapon.[109]

A similarly constructed implement, also edged with sharks’ teeth,
was found by Captain Graah on the east coast of Greenland, and is
mentioned in Dr. King’s paper on the industrial arts of the Esquimaux,
in the _Journal of the Ethnological Society_.[110] The teeth in this
implement were secured by small nails, or pegs of bone; it was also
used formerly on the West Coast. A precisely similar implement (Fig.
76), but showing an advance in art by being set with a row of chips of
meteoric iron, was found amongst the Esquimaux of Davis Strait, and is
now in the department of meteorolites in the British Museum. Others,
of the same nature, from Greenland, are in the Christy collection
(Fig. 77). The ‘pacho’ of the South Sea Islands appears to have been a
sort of club, armed on the inner side with sharks’ teeth, set in the
same manner.[111] The Tapoyers, of Brazil, used a kind of club, which
was broad at the end, and set with teeth and bones, sharpened at the

Hernandez gives an account of the construction of the Mexican
‘maquahuilt’ or Aztec war-club, which was armed on both sides with a
row of obsidian flakes, stuck into holes, and fastened with a kind
of gum (Fig. 78).[113] Herrera, the Spanish historian, also mentions
these as swords of wood, having a groove in the fore part, in which
the flints were strongly fixed with bitumen and thread.[114] In 1530,
according to the Spanish historians, Copan was defended by 30,000 men,
armed with these weapons, amongst others[115]; and similar weapons
have been represented in the sculptures of Yucatan.[116] They are
also represented in Lord Kingsborough’s important work on Mexican
antiquities, from which the accompanying representations are taken
(Figs. 78, 79, 80). One of these swords, having six pieces of obsidian
on each side of the blade, is to be seen in a Museum in Mexico.

In the burial mounds of Western North America, Mr. Lewis Morgan, the
historian of the Iroquois,[117] mentions that rows of flint flakes have
been found lying, side by side, in order, and suggesting the idea that
they must have been fastened into sticks in the same manner as those of
Mexico and Yucatan.

Throughout the entire continent of Australia the natives arm their
spears with small sharp pieces of obsidian, or crystal, and recently of
glass, arranged in rows along the sides near the point, and fastened
with a cement of their own preparation, thereby producing a weapon
which, though thinner in the shaft, is precisely similar in character
to those already described (Figs. 81 and 82). Turning again to the
northern hemisphere, we find in the Museum of Professor Nilsson, at
Lund, in Sweden, a smooth, sharp-pointed piece of bone, found in that
country, about six inches long, grooved on each side to the depth of
about a quarter of an inch, into each of which grooves a row of fine,
sharp-edged, and slightly-curved flints were inserted, and fixed with
cement. The instrument thus armed was fastened to the end of a shaft
of wood, and might either have been thrown by the hand or projected
from a bow (Fig. 83). Another precisely similar implement (Fig. 84) is
represented in the illustrated Catalogue of the Museum at Copenhagen,
showing that in both these countries this system of constructing
trenchant implements was employed. In Ireland, although there is no
actual evidence of flints having been set in this manner, yet from the
numerous examples of this class of weapon that are found elsewhere, and
the frequent occurrence of flint implements of a form that would well
adapt them to such a purpose, the author of the Catalogue of the Royal
Irish Academy expresses his opinion that the same arrangement may very
possibly have existed in that country, and that the wood in which they
were inserted may, like that which, as I have already said, is supposed
to have held the flints found in the graves of the Iroquois, have
perished by decay.

_Poisoned Weapons._ It is unnecessary to enter here into a detailed
account of the use of poison by man and animals. Its use by man as a
weapon of offence is chiefly confined to those tropical regions in
which poisonous herbs and reptiles are most abundant. It is used by the
Negroes, Bushmen, and Hottentots of Africa; in the Indian Archipelago,
New Hebrides, and New Caledonia. It appears formerly to have been used
in the South Seas. It is employed in Bootan; in Assam; by the Stiens
of Cambodia; and formerly by the Moors of Mogadore. The Parthians and
Scythians used it in ancient times; and it appears always to have been
regarded by ancient writers as the especial attribute of barbarism.
The Italian bravoes of modern Europe also used it. In America it is
employed by the Darian Indians, in Guiana, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, and
on the Orinoco. The composition of the poison varies in the different
races, the Bushmen and Hottentots using the venomous secretions of
serpents and caterpillars,[118] whilst most other nations of the world
employ the poisonous herbs of the different countries they inhabit,
showing that in all probability this must have been one of those arts
which, though of very early origin, arose spontaneously and separately
in the various quarters of the globe, after the human family had
separated. This subject, however, is deserving of a separate treatment,
and will be alluded to elsewhere.

In drawing a parallel between the weapons of men and animals used
in the application of poison for offensive purposes, two points of
similitude deserve attention.

Firstly, the poison gland of many serpents is situated on the upper
jaw, behind and below the eyes. A long excretory duct extends from
this gland to the outer surface of the upper jaw, and opens above
and before the poison teeth, by which means the poison flows along
the sheath into the upper opening of the tooth in such a manner as
to secure its insertion into the wound. The hollow interior of the
bones with which the South American and other Indians arm the poisoned
arrows secures the same object (Fig. 85); it contains the poisonous
liquid, and provides a channel for its insertion into the wound. In
the bravo’s dagger of Italy, a specimen of which from my collection
is shown in Fig. 86, a similar provision for the insertion of the
poison is effected by means of a groove on either side of the blade,
communicating with two rows of small holes, into which the poison
flows, and is retained in that part of the blade which enters the
wound. Nearly similar blades, with holes, have been found in Ireland,
of which a specimen is in the Academy’s Museum, and they have been
compared with others of the same kind from India, but I am not aware
that there is any evidence to show that they were used for poison. Some
of the Indian daggers, however, are constructed in close analogy with
the poison apparatus of the serpent’s tooth, having an enclosed tube
running down the middle of the blade, communicating with a reservoir
for poison in the handle, and having lateral openings in the blade
for the diffusion of the poison in the wound. Similar holes, but
without any enclosed tube, and having only a groove on the surface
of the blade to communicate with the holes, are found in some of the
Scotch dirks, and in several forms of _couteau de chasse_, in which
they appear to have been used merely with a view of letting air into
the wound, and accelerating death (Figs. 87 _a_ and _b_). The Scotch
dirk, here represented, has a groove running from the handle along
the back of the blade to within three and a half inches of the point.
In the bottom of this groove ten holes are pierced, which communicate
with other lateral holes at right angles, opening on to the sides of
the blade. Daggers are still made at Sheffield for the South American
market, with a small hole drilled through the blade, near the point, to
contain the poison; and in my collection there is an iron arrow-point
(Fig. 88), evidently formed of the point of one of these daggers,
having the hole near the point.

It often happens that forms which, in the early history of an art,
have served some specific object, are in later times applied to other
uses, and are ultimately retained only in the forms of ornamentation.
This seems to have been the case with the pierced work upon the blades
of weapons which, intended originally for poison, was afterwards used
as air-holes, and ultimately for ornament only, as appears by a plug
bayonet of the commencement of the eighteenth century in the Tower
Armoury, No. 390 of the official Catalogue, for a drawing of which, as
well as that of the Scotch dirk, I am indebted to Captain A. Tupper, a
member of the Council of this Institution.

The second point of analogy to which I would draw attention is that of
the multi-barbed arrows of most savages to the multi-barbed stings of
insects, especially that of the bee (Fig. 89), which is so constructed
that it cannot usually be withdrawn, but breaks off with its poisonous
appendage into the wound. An exact parallel to this is found in
the poisoned arrows of savages of various races, which, as already
mentioned, are frequently armed with the point of the sting-ray, for
the express purpose of breaking in the wound. In the arrows of the
Bushmen, the shaft is often partly cut through, so as to break when it
comes in contact with a bone, and the barb is constructed to remain in
the wound when the arrow is withdrawn (Fig. 90). The same applies to
the barbed arrows used with the Malay blowpipe (Fig. 91), and those
of the wild tribes of Assam (Fig. 92), which are also poisoned. The
arrow-points of the Shoshones of North America (Fig. 93), said to
be poisoned, are tied on, purposely, with gut in such a manner as to
remain when the arrow is withdrawn. The arrows of the Macoushie tribe
of Guiana (Fig. 94) are made with a small barbed and poisoned head,
which is inserted in a socket in the shaft, in which it fits loosely,
so as to detach in the wound. This weapon appears to form the link
between the poisoned arrow and the fishing arrow or harpoon, which is
widely distributed, and which I propose to describe on a subsequent
occasion. Mr. Latham, of Wilkinson’s, Pall Mall, has been kind
enough to describe to me a Venetian dagger of glass, formerly in his
possession; it had a tube in the centre for the poison, and the blade
was constructed with three edges. By a sharp wrench from the assassin,
the blade was broken off, and remained in the wound.

It has also been supposed that from their peculiar construction most of
the triangular and concave-based arrow-heads of flint that are found in
this country, and in Ireland, were constructed for a similar purpose
(Fig. 95).

The serrated edges of weapons, like those of the bee and the sting-ray,
when used as arrow-points, were likewise instrumental in retaining the
poison and introducing it into the wound, and this form was copied with
a similar object in some of the Florentine daggers above mentioned, a
portion of the blade of one of which, taken from Meyrick’s _Ancient
Arms and Armour_, is shown in Fig. 96.[119]

Although the use of poison would in these days be scouted by all
civilized nations as an instrument of war, we find it still applied to
useful purposes in the destruction of the larger animals. The operation
of whaling, which is attended with so much danger and difficulty, has
of late been greatly facilitated by the use of a mixture of strychnine
and ‘woorali’, the well-known poison of the Indians of South America.
An ounce of this mixture, attached to a small explosive shell fired
from a carbine, has been found to destroy a whale in less than eighteen
minutes, without risk to the whaler.[120]

When we consider how impotent a creature the aboriginal and
uninstructed man must have been, when contending with the large and
powerful animals with which he was surrounded, we cannot too much
admire that provision of nature which appears to have directed his
attention, during the very earliest stages of his existence, to the
acquirement of the subtile art of poisoning. In the forests of Guiana
there are tribes, such as the Otomacs, apparently weaponless, but
which, by simply poisoning the thumb-nail with ‘curare’ or ‘woorali’,
at once become formidable antagonists.[121] Poison is available for
hunting as well as for warlike purposes: the South American Indians
eat the monkeys killed by this means, merely cutting out the part
struck,[122] and the wild tribes of the Malay peninsula do not even
trouble themselves to cut out the part before eating.[123] The Bushmen,
and the Stiens of Cambodia, use their poisoned weapons chiefly against
wild beasts and elephants.

Thus we see that the most noxious of herbs and the most repulsive of
reptiles have been the means ordained to instruct mankind in what,
during the first ages of his existence, must have been the most
useful of arts. We cannot now determine how far this agent may have
been influential in exterminating those huge animals, the _Elephas
primigenius_ and _Rhinoceros tichorhinus_, with the remains of which
the earliest races of man have been so frequently associated, and
which, in those primaeval days, before he began to turn his hand to
the destruction of his own species, must have constituted his most
formidable enemies.

_Missiles._ Amongst the offensive weapons of animals, the use of
missiles cannot be altogether excluded, although the examples of
their use by the lower creation are extremely rare. Some species of
cuttle-fish have the power of ejecting water with a good aim.[124]
The Toxotes, or archer-fish, obtains its name from its faculty of
projecting drops of water at insects some three or four feet from
the surface of the water; which it seldom fails to bring down. The
llama has a habit of ejecting its saliva, but I am not aware of the
object of this singular practice. I only know from experience that its
manners are offensive, and that it has the power of spitting with a
good aim and for some distance. The porcupine has the power of throwing
its quills, and is said to do so with effect, although it is not now
believed to dart them with any hostile intention. The Polar bear is
described in Captain Hall’s recent publication as an animal capable of
capturing the walrus by missile force.[125] It is said that the bear
will take advantage of an overhanging cliff, under which its prey is
seen asleep upon the ice, to throw down, with its paws, large stones,
and with such good aim as to hit the walrus on the head, after which,
running down to the place where the animal lays stunned, it will take
the stone to beat out its brains. That animals are instinctively
acquainted with the force of gravitation is evident by their avoiding
precipices that would endanger them, and it certainly requires a slight
(but at the same time most important) advance upon this knowledge,
to avail themselves of large stones for such purposes as are here
attributed to the bear; but as the story only rests on the authority of
the Esquimaux, it must, I think--although they certainly are careful
observers of the habits of animals--be rejected, until confirmed by
the direct testimony of white men. It has even been doubted whether
the alleged habit of monkeys, in throwing coco-nuts at their pursuers,
has not arisen from the mistake of the hunter in supposing that fruit
accidentally detached from their stalks by the gambols of these animals
in the trees, may have been intended as missiles; but it appears now
to be clearly established that monkeys have the intelligence, not only
to throw stones, but even to use them in breaking the shells of nuts.
Major Denham, in his account of his travels in Central Africa, near
Lake Tshad, says: ‘The monkeys, or as the Arabs say, men enchanted,
“Beny Adam meshood,” were so numerous, that I saw upwards of 150
assembled in one place in the evening. They did not at all appear
inclined to give up their ground, but perched on the top of a bank,
some 20 feet high, made a terrible noise, and rather gently than
otherwise, pelted us as we approached within a certain distance.’ This,
I think, is clear evidence of a combined pelting on the part of these
untutored animals.

The monkey thus furnishes us with the only example of the use of
any external substance for offensive purposes, by any member of the
animal kingdom. All others, except, perhaps, the missile fishes above
described, use, for offence and defence, the weapons with which nature
has furnished them, and which are integral parts of their persons. It
is this which so essentially distinguishes man from the lower creation.
Man is the tool-using animal. We have no knowledge of man, in any state
of existence, who is not so; nor have we (with the exception of the
ape, the link indirectly connecting him with the lower creation, in the
same manner that the savage connects the civilized with the aboriginal
man, both being branches from the same stem) any knowledge of animals
that employ tools or weapons. Herein lies the point of separation,
which, in so far as the material universe is concerned, marks the
dawn of a new dispensation. Hitherto Providence operates directly
on the work to be performed, by means of the living, animated tool.
Henceforth, it operates indirectly on the progress and development of
creation, first, through the agency of the instinctively tool-using
savage, and by degrees, of the intelligent and reasoning man.


[_Revised and abridged from the ‘Description’ appended to the original
text. The roman numeral refers to the Plate on which the figure is

    1. _a._ Adze of iron, constructed by Captain Cook’s armourer for
    the use of the natives of Tahiti, _b._ Adze of stone, Tahitian,
    used as model in making the above. Meyrick (Skelton), _Engraved
    Illustrations of Ancient Arms and Armour_ (1830), vol. ii. pl.


    2. _a._ Pipe-handled Tomahawk, of European manufacture, constructed
    for the use of North American Indians. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)
    Meyrick (Skelton), l. c., vol. ii. pl. cxlix. _b._ Pipe and
    Tomahawk of pipe-stone, used by the Dacotas of N. America.
    Schoolcraft, _Information concerning the History, &c., of the
    Indian Tribes of the United States_, vol. ii. pl. lxix.


    3. Maeotian, or Scythian Bow, from a vase-painting. Hamilton,
    _Etruscan Antiquities_, vol. iv. pl. cxvi; Meyrick, _Critical
    Enquiry into Ancient Armour_ (1824) vol. i. pl. ii. 14; Rawlinson,
    _Herodotus_ (1862), vol. iii. pp. 3, 35.


    4. Bow of the Tartar tribes on the borders of Persia. (Mus. R. U.
    S. Inst.) Meyrick (Skelton), l. c., vol. ii. pl. cxliv.


    5. Iron Sword (_minus_ the wooden handle) and War-Axe of native
    manufacture, constructed by the Fans of the Gaboon country, West
    Africa. (Author’s Collection; similar spec. in Mus. R. U. S.
    Inst.) The patterns of ornamentation are taken partly from the Fan
    War-Axe, and partly from iron knives brought from Central Africa by
    Mr. Petherick. (Author’s Coll.)


    6. Leaf-shaped Bronze Sword (_minus_ the handle), from Ireland
    (Author’s Coll.); and a Bronze Celt (Mainz Mus.), Lindenschmit,
    _Die Alterthümer unserer heidnischen Vorzeit_ (1864 ff.). The
    patterns of ornamentation are taken partly from Lindenschmit,
    l. c., pl. iii.; partly from Irish bronze-work in Sir W. Wilde,
    _Catalogue of the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy_ (1863),
    Bronze, pp. 389-90.


    7. ‘Manilla,’ or ring-money of copper and iron, used in the Eboe
    country, W. Africa. (Author’s Coll.) In 1836, a ship laden with a
    quantity of these ‘manillas’, made in Birmingham, after the pattern
    in use in Africa (the spec. here figured forming part of the
    cargo), was wrecked on the coast of co. Cork. By this means their
    exact resemblance to the gold and bronze ‘penannular rings’ found
    in Ireland (Fig. 8) attracted the attention of Mr. Sainthill, of
    Cork, by whom the subject was communicated to the _Ulster Journal
    of Archaeology_, No. 19 (July, 1857).


    8. ‘Penannular Ring,’ found in Ireland. Wilde, l. c., Bronze,
    p. 570, Gold, p. 53. Similar forms are found in England and on
    the Continent. Lindenschmit, pl. iv; Keller, _Lake Dwellings of
    Switzerland_ (tr. Lee, 1866), pl. lii _a_, fig. 9.


    9. Kaffir Assegai-head of iron, of native manufacture, with section
    of blade. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    10. Saxon Spear-head of iron, having the same section as fig. 9;
    from a Saxon grave. Neville, _Saxon Obsequies_ (London, 1852), pl.
    xxxv; Akerman, _Saxon Pagandom_ (London, 1855), Introd., p. x.


    11. War-dress of a Patagonian Chief, composed of seven thicknesses
    of hide on the body part, and three on the sleeves. (Mus. R. U. S.


    12. Section of the above, upon the breast, showing how the seven
    thicknesses are united at the top.


    13. Kayan Cuirass of untanned hide, with the hair outside; and
    Helmet of cane wickerwork. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; pres. by Capt. D.
    Bethune, R.N.)


    14. Egyptian Breast-plate, made of a crocodile’s back. Meyrick
    (Skelton), l. c., vol. ii. pl. cxlviii.


    15. Suit of Armour, supposed to have formerly belonged to the Rajah
    of Guzerat. The four breast- and back-pieces are of rhinoceros
    hide, having an inscription upon them, beginning with an invocation
    to Ali. The remaining portions are of black velvet, ornamented with
    brass studs, and padded. Meyrick (Skelton), l. c., vol. ii. pl.


    16. Four Plates of steel (Sikh), of similar form to those of
    rhinoceros hide in fig. 15, ornamented with patterns of inlaid
    gold. They are fastened with straps over a coat of chain-armour,
    and are called in Persian ‘char aineh,’ i.e. ‘the four mirrors.’
    (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    17. Helmet of basket-work, from the Sandwich Islands, resembling
    the Grecian in form. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; presented by H. Shelley,


    18. Suit of Armour of coco-nut fibre, from Pleasant Island, in
    the Pacific. It is probable that the under tippet, which is now
    attached to the back- and breast-piece at the top, may originally
    have been intended to be worn round the loins, like a kilt. (Mus.
    R. U. S. Inst.)


    19. _a._ Quilted Pectoral of the Egyptians. Meyrick, l. c., vol.
    i. pl. i. _b._ shows the manner in which it was worn. Rawlinson,
    _Herodotus_ (1862), vol. iv. p. 47, No. iii. 3 (but this figure is
    Kheta, not Egyptian.--ED.).


    20. Quilted Head-dress of the Egyptian soldiers. Meyrick, l. c.,
    vol. i. pl. i.


    21. Quilted Helmet of nearly the same form as fig. 20, from India.
    (Author’s Coll.)


    22. Head-dress of nearly the same form as figs. 20, 21, from the
    Nouaer tribe of Negroes, inhabiting both banks of the Nile from
    8° to 10° N. latitude; brought to England by Mr. Petherick. It
    resembles the Egyptian very closely, and is composed of cylindrical
    white beads of European manufacture, fastened together with a kind
    of string. (Author’s Coll.)


    23. Helmet of the same form as fig. 21, composed of united mail
    and plate, formerly belonging to the Body-guard of the Moguls.
    (Author’s Coll.)


    24. Suit of Quilted Armour, taken in action from Koer Singh, the
    famous Rajpoot Chief, of Jugdespore in Behar, on August 12, 1857,
    by Major Vincent Eyre, commanding the field force that relieved
    Arrah. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; presented by the captor.)


    25. _a._ Suit of Quilted Armour, found upon the body of Tippoo
    Sahib at his death, in the breach of Seringapatam. (Mus. R. U. S.


    _b._ Portion of one of the nine thicknesses of quilting, of the
    above, showing construction (see p. 62): reduced to 1/6.


    _c._ Helmet of the above suit. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    26. Quilted Armour of the Bornouese Cavalry. Denham and Clapperton,
    _Travels in Northern and Central Africa_ (1826), p. 328 (Denham).


    27. Suit of Armour from the Navigator Islands, composed of coco-nut
    fibre, coarsely netted. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; presented by Sir W.
    Burnett, M.D.) Similar armour is used in the Kingsmill Group.


    28. Part of a Chinese ‘Brigandine Jacket’ of cotton, quilted, with
    enclosed plates of metal. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    29. Head-dress of Hercules wearing the Lion’s Skin, from a Bronze
    in the Blacas Collection. (British Museum.)


    30. Head-dress of a North American Chief. Schoolcraft, l. c., vol.
    iii. p. 68. pl. x. 2.


    31. Thracian Helmet of brass [?], with horns of the same. Meyrick,
    l. c., vol. i. pl. iii.


    32. Ancient British Helmet of bronze, with straight horns of the
    same, found in the Thames. (British Museum.)


    33. Greek Helmet, having horns of brass [?]. Meyrick, l. c., vol.
    i. pl. iv.


    34. Back-plate and Breast-plate of the Bugo Dyaks, armed with the
    scales of the Pangolin. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    35. Piece of Bark from Tahiti, studded with pieces of coco-nut
    shell. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    36. Fragment of Scale-Armour of horn found at Pompeii. [_Pictorial
    Gallery of Arts_, vol. i. figs. 10, 61.]


    37. Piece of Scale-Armour, made of the hoofs of some animal, from
    some part of Asia; said to be from Japan. Meyrick, l. c., vol. i.
    pl. iii.


    38. An ancient Stone Figure in Scale Armour. Cuming, _Journ.
    Archaeol. Assoc._, vol. iii. p. 31.


    39. Back-piece and Breast-piece of Armour from the Sandwich
    Islands, composed of seals’ teeth. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; pres. by
    H. Shelley, Esq.)


    40. Egyptian Suit of Scale-Armour. Rawlinson, _Herodotus_ (1862),
    vol. ii. p. 65, fig. iii; Wilkinson (Birch), _Manners and Customs
    of the Ancient Egyptians_ (1878), fig. 53 _a_.


    41. Two Scales of Egyptian Armour, enlarged. Rawlinson, l. c., fig.


    42. Japanese Armour, composed of chain, plate, and enclosed quilted
    plates. (_a_) Left arm; (_b_) Greaves. (Author’s Coll.)


    43. _a._ Chinese Suit of Armour, of cotton, having iron scales
    attached to the inside, _b._ Iron Helmet of the same suit (Mus. R.
    U. S. Inst.; presented by Capt. Sir E. Belcher. R.N.)


    44. A portion of the iron scales attached to the inner side of the
    above suit.


    45. Breast-piece of ‘Jazerine’ Armour of iron scales, xv-xvi cent.;
    inner side. (Author’s Coll.) Cf. Grose, _Treatise on Ancient
    Armour_ (London, 1786), p. 15, ‘Jazerant’: cf. pl. xxxiii. 3;
    Meyrick. vol. ii. pl. lvi.


    46. ‘Brigandine’ composed of large iron scales on the outside,
    probably of the same date as the above; left by the Venetians in
    the armoury of Candia on the surrender of the island to the Turks
    in 1715. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; presented by Lt.-Col. Patrick
    Campbell, R.A.)


    47. Horn of the Rhinoceros. (Author’s Coll.)


    48. Skull and Tusks of the Walrus. (Author’s Coll.)


    49. Weapon of the Sword-Fish; scale 1/2 inch to a foot. (Author’s


    50. Spear of the Narwhal; scale 1/2 inch to a foot. (Author’s Coll.)


    51. Section, showing part of the timber of the ship _Fame_, where
    it was pierced by the narwhal in the South Seas, through 2-1/2-inch
    oak. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; presented by Lt. A. T. Tulloch, R.A.)


    52. Esquimaux Spear, from Greenland, armed with the spear of the
    narwhal. 1/50. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    53. Esquimaux Spear in the form of a fish, having fore-shaft
    composed of a narwhal-tusk, inserted so as to represent the tusk of
    the animal; scale 1/2 inch to a foot. (Author’s Coll.)


    54. Esquimaux Lance, pointed with a walrus-tooth. 1/20. (Mus. R. U.
    S. Inst.)


    55. Esquimaux Tomahawk or Pickaxe, headed with a walrus-tooth.
    1/20. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    56. Arrow-head, probably from South America, headed with the point
    of a deer’s horn. (British Museum, Christy Collection.)


    57. War-club of the Iroquois, called _Ga-ne-ú-ga-o-dus-ha_ or
    ‘Deer-horn War-Club.’ Lewis Morgan, _League of the Iroquois_
    (Rochester, N.Y., 1851), p. 363.


    58. Club of the North American Indians, with a point of iron. 1/20.
    (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; presented by T. Hoblyn, Esq.)


    59. Arrow, from S. America, armed with the weapon of the ray,
    probably _Trygon hystrix_. 1/2. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    60. _a._ Spine of _Balistes capriscus, Cuv._, erect. Yarrell,
    _British Fishes_ (2nd ed., London, 1841), vol. ii, p. 472. _b._
    Horn of _Cottus diceraus, Pall_. Cuvier, _Animal Kingdom_ (1827),
    s. v. _c._ Horn of _Naseus fronticornis, Lac._ Cuvier, l. c.


    61. Spear of the _Limulus_ or ‘King Crab.’


    62. Arrow, armed with the spine of the _Diodon_. 1/4. (Author’s


    63. ‘Khandjar’ or Indian Dagger, composed of the horn of the
    buffalo, having the natural form and point. 1/10. (Author’s Coll.)


    64. ‘Khandjar’ of the same form, with metal blade and ivory handle.
    1/10. (Author’s Coll.)


    65. ‘Khandjar’ of the same form, having both blade and handle of
    iron. The handle is ornamented with the figures of a bird and some
    small quadruped. 1/10. (Author’s Coll.)


    66. Dagger formed of the horn of the ‘sasin,’ or common antelope.
    1/10. (Author’s Coll.)


    67. Dagger like fig. 66, but with the points armed with metal. 1/10
    (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    68. Dagger like figs. 66, 67, but composed entirely of metal, with
    a shield for the hand. Similar shields are sometimes attached to
    daggers like those in figs. 66, 67. 1/12. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    69. Weapon composed of the horn of the antelope; steel-pointed;
    supposed to be that used by the Fakirs in India. (Author’s Coll.)


    70. Sword formed of the serrated blade of the saw-fish from New
    Guinea. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    71-74. Weapons from the Pacific, edged with sharks’ teeth. The
    teeth near the point are placed points forward; the remainder with
    the points towards the handle. Two methods of fastening the teeth
    are shown: _a._ in grooves; _b._ lashed between two strips of wood.
    (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    75. Implement from New Zealand, armed with sharks’ teeth. (British


    76. Esquimaux Knife, from Davis Strait, armed with pieces of
    meteoric iron, (British Museum.)


    77. Knife, from Greenland, armed with pieces of iron along the
    edge. (British Museum, Christy Collection.)


    78-80. Mexican ‘Maquahuitl.’ Lord Kingsborough, _Antiquities of
    Mexico_ (1830-48), vol. i (numerous examples on pl. x-xv: fig. 79 =
    No. 1478).


    81-82. Spear and Knife, from Australia, armed with pieces of
    obsidian, or rock-crystal. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.)


    83. Arrow-point of bone, armed with a row of sharp flint flakes on
    each side. (Museum of Prof. Nilsson, at Lund, in Sweden.) Reduced
    to 1/2 from the figure in Wilde, l. c., ‘Animal Materials,’ p. 254.


    84. Arrow-point like fig. 83. (Copenhagen Museum.) _Illustr. Cat.
    of the Copenhagen Museum._


    85. Arrow-point of hollow bone, from S. America, the hollow of the
    bone being filled with poison. (Mus. R. U. S. Inst.; Author’s Coll.)


    86. Dagger of an Italian Bravo, with grooves and holes to contain
    poison; the handle represents a monk in the act of supplication.
    (Author’s Coll.)


    87 _a._ Scottish Dirk, pierced with holes along the back and sides.
    Along the back of the blade runs a groove eight inches long, in
    which holes are pierced that communicate with lateral holes on the
    side of the blade. (Author’s Coll.)


    87 _b._ ‘Couteau-de-Chasse,’ with two grooves on each side near the
    back of the blade, which is pierced through with holes. (Author’s


    88. Arrow-head, of iron, with a hole near the point for poison;
    from S. America. (Author’s Coll.)


    89. Sting of the Bee, serrated or multi-barbed: after F. Huber in
    _Jardine’s Naturalist’s Library_, Entomology vi. _Bees_ (Edinb.,
    1840), p. 40.


    90. Point of Bushman’s Arrow, barbed with an iron head, which is
    constructed to come off in the wound. (Author’s Coll.)


    91. Malay Blowpipe-arrow, iron-headed; similarly constructed. 1/4.
    (Author’s Coll.)


    92. Arrow of the wild tribes of Assam, copper-headed, and similarly
    constructed. 1/4. (Author’s Coll.)


    93. Arrow-head of the Shoshones of North America, of flint;
    constructed to come off in the wound. Schoolcraft, l. c., vol. i.
    pp. 212-3, pl. lxxvi. 5.


    94. Arrow-point of the Macoushie Indians of S. America; similarly
    constructed. 1/4. (Author’s Coll.; pres. by Rev. J. G. Wood.)


    95. Arrow-heads of flint, from the north of Ireland. 1/4. (Author’s


    96. Part of the Blade of an Italian Dagger, serrated and pierced.
    Full size. Meyrick (Skelton), l. c., vol. ii. pl. cxiii. 14.



[13] A Lecture delivered at the Royal United Service Institution,
Friday, June 28, 1867; illustrated by specimens from the Museum of the
Institution: and published in the _Journal of the R. U. S. Inst._ xi

[14] Beechey, _Voyage to the Pacific_ (London, 1831), vol. i. p. 298;
Oldfield, ‘Aborigines of Australia,’ _Trans. Ethno. Soc._, N. S.
(London, 1865), vol. iii. p. 227.

[15] Oldfield, ‘On the Aborigines of Australia,’ _Trans. Ethno. Soc._,
N.S., vol. iii. pp. 261-7.

[16] Meyrick (Skelton), _Engraved Illustrations of Ancient Arms_, &c.
(1830), vol. ii. pl. cxlix. 11.

[17] Klemm, _Werkzeuge und Waffen_ (Sondershausen, 1858), p. 159.

[18] Turner, _Nineteen Years in Polynesia_ (London, 1861), p. 262.

[19] Williams, _Fiji and the Fijians_ (London, 1858), vol. i. pp. 78-9.

[20] Crawfurd, _History_ (Edinburgh, 1820), vol. i. p. 224.

[21] Tylor, _Anahuac_ (London, 1861), p. 70.

[22] Hdt. vii. 69: Rawlinson, _Herodotus_, vol. iv (2nd ed., 1862, p.

[23] Petherick, _Egypt, the Soudan, and Central Africa_ (Edinb. and
London, 1861), p. 360.

[24] Le Sieur de Folard, _Nouvelles Découvertes sur la Guerre_ (Paris,
1724), p. 48.

[25] In adopting the nomenclature of phrenology, I am not to be
understood as advocating strictly the localization of the faculties
which phrenology prescribes. The mind doubtless consists of a congeries
of faculties, and phrenology affords the best classification of them
that has yet been devised.

[26] Pope, _Essay on Man_, Epistle iii. 172-80.

[27] Ellis, _Polynesian Researches_ (London, 1829), vol. i. pp. 302-3.

[28] Crawfurd, _History of the Indian Archipelago_ (1820), vol. i. pp.

[29] Beckman, _History of Inventions_ (London, 1814), pp.

[30] Stanley, _History of Birds_ (London, 1848), p. 389.

[31] Darwin, _Origin of Species_ (London, 1859), p. 88.

[32] Williamson, _Oriental Field Sports_ (London, 1807), p. 94.

[33] Swainson, _Habits and Instincts of Animals_ (London, 1840), p. 142.

[34] Thuc. i. 5 (but what Thucydides says is, that they were the last
to discard it.--ED.).

[35] Beechey, _Voyage to the Pacific_ (London, 1831), vol. i. p. 248.

[36] Dobrizhoffer, _An Account of the Abipones_ (from the Latin;
London, 1822), vol. i. p. 262; ii. 361.

[37] Barth, _Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa_
(London, 1857), vol. iii. p. 198.

[38] Low, _Sarawak_ (London, 1848), p. 328.

[39] Pigafetta’s _Voyage Round the World_, Pinkerton, vol. ix. p. 349.

[40] William de Rubruquis, _Travels into Tartary and China in 1253_;
Pinkerton (London, 1811), vol. viii. p. 89.

[41] _An Historical Relation of the Kingdom of Chile_, by Alonso de
Ovalle, of the Company of Jesus, 1649 (London, 1752), p. 71.

[42] Herodotus, vii. 70; Meyrick’s _Ancient Armour_, vol. i. Introd. p.

[43] Herodotus, iv. 189; Meyrick’s _Ancient Armour_, vol. i. Introd. p.

[44] Herodotus, vii. 65 εἵματα ... ἀπὸ ξύλων πεποιημένα.

[45] Duarte Barbosa, _The Coasts of East Africa and Malabar_,
translated from the Spanish, by the Hon. H. E. Stanley (Hakluyt
Society, 1866), p. 55. Since publication, the translator has
ascertained that the authorship of this work should be ascribed to

[46] The _Saturnia mylitta_ is the caterpillar from which the
Tusseh-silk is obtained; the cocoon is of an oval shape when suspended
upon the tree, and of exceedingly firm texture; it is figured in Sir
Wm. Jardine’s _Naturalist’s Library_ (Edinb. 1841), _Entomology_, vol.
vii. pl. xiv. 2, pp. 146-53. The _Eriodendron anfractuosum, D.C._,
is an Indian Bombax. The woolly cotton which envelops the seed is
remarkable for its softness, and is much and deservedly esteemed for
making cushions and bedding, owing to its freedom from any tendency to
become lumpy and uneven by getting impacted into hard knots. Various
attempts have been made to fabricate it into cloth, but hitherto
without success, except as a very loose material, fit only for quilting
muffs, for which it is superior to cotton or woollen stuffs, the
looseness of its texture rendering it an excellent non-conductor,
whilst at the same time it is extremely light.--Wight, _Illustrations
of Indian Botany_ (Madras, 1840), vol. i. p. 68; Roxburgh, _Flora
Indica_ (Serampore, 1832), vol. iii. p. 165 (= _Bombax pentandrum_).
Both the caterpillar and the plant are found in the jungle in the
neighbourhood of Seringapatam. For the identification of the vegetable
substance, I am indebted to W. Carruthers, Esq., F.L.S., British Museum.

[47] Schoolcraft, _Information concerning the History, &c., of the
Indian Tribes of the U. S. A._ (Philadelphia, 1851-9), part iii. p. 69.

[48] Meyrick, l. c., vol. i. Introduction.

[49] Denham and Clapperton, _Travels in Northern and Central Africa_
(London, 1826), p. 328 (Denham).

[50] See _Critical Enquiry into Ancient Armour_, by Sir Samuel R.
Meyrick, vol. iii. p. 21, and pl. lxviii.

[51] Bollaert, ‘Observations on the Indian Tribes of Texas,’ _Journ.
Ethno. Soc._, vol. ii. pp. 262-83.

[52] Du Chaillu, _Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa_
(London, 1861), p. 80.

[53] Homer, _Iliad_, vii. 244-8.

[54] Casalis, _The Basutos_ (London, 1861), pp. 135-6.

[55] Barth, l. c., vol. i. p. 355.

[56] Meyrick (Skelton), l. c, pl. cxli (text).

[57] Bosman, _Guinea_, Pinkerton (1811), vol. xvi. p. 414.

[58] Barth, l. c., vol. ii. pp. 410, 526; ii. 116 (plate); Denham and
Clapperton, l. c., p. 166 (Denham).

[59] Meyrick, l. c., vol. i. Introd. pp. i-ii.

[60] Meyrick, l. c., vol. i. Introd. p. xxiv.

[61] At Fernando Po.--Cuming, ‘Weapons and Armour of Horn,’ _Journal of
Archaeological Association_ (London, 1848), vol. iii. p. 30.

[62] Fig. 32 is from a rough sketch taken about two years ago, and has
no pretension to accuracy of detail.

[63] Meyrick, l. c, vol. i. pl. iv. 10.

[64] Schoolcraft, _Information concerning the History, &c., of the
Indian Tribes of the U. S. A._ (Philadelphia, 1851-9), vol. iii. p. 67.

[65] Grant, _Walk across Africa_ (London, 1864), p. 47.

[66] Smith, _Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Antiq._, s. v.; Meyrick, l. c., vol.
i. Introd. p. xiv; Amm. Marc. xvii. 12. 2; Pausanias, i. 21. 6; Tac.
_Hist._ i. 79 (_praeduro corio_).

[67] Kitto, _Pictorial Bible_ (London, 1838-9), note to 1 Sam. xvii.

[68] Cuming, _Journal of the Archaeological Association_, vol. iii. p.

[69] Kitto, _Pictorial Bible_, note to 1 Sam. xvii.

[70] Skene, ‘On the Albanians,’ _Journ. Ethno. Soc._, vol. ii. pp.

[71] Casalis, _The Basutos_ (London, 1861), p. 172.

[72] Maunder, _Treasury of Natural History_ (London, 1862), p. 573.

[73] Williamson, _Oriental Field Sports_ (London, 1807), p. 46.

[74] Atkinson, _Oriental and Western Siberia_ (London, 1858), p. 495.

[75] Williamson, _Oriental Field Sports_ (London, 1807), p. 94.

[76] Thompson, _Passions of Animals_ (1851), p. 225. The American
hunter avails himself of this peculiarity to entrap the crane by
presenting the barrel of his firelock to the animal; supposing it to be
an eye, the crane immediately strikes at the hole, and fixes its beak
firmly in the muzzle.

[77] Beechey, _Voyage to the North Pole_ (London, 1843), pp. 93-4.

[78] Bates, _Naturalist on the Amazons_ (3rd ed. London, 1873), p. 230.

[79] _Travels in the Central Parts of Indo-China, Siam, Cambodia, and
Laos in 1858-9_, by the late M. Henri Mouhot (London, 1864), vol. ii.
p. 147.

[80] It is to be observed that this is not the rhinoceros’s usual mode
of attack.

[81] Cranz, _Historie von Grönland_ (2nd ed. Barby and Leipzig, 1770),
p. 196, pl. v. 8.

[82] Beechey, _Voyage to the North Pole_ (London, 1843), p. 252.

[83] Cuming, _Journal of the Archaeological Association_, vol. iii. p.

[84] Ibid., p. 26.

[85] Swainson, _Habits and Instincts of Animals_ (London, 1840), p. 141.

[86] Gregory, ‘Expedition to the North-west Coast of Australia,’ _Royal
Geographical Society’s Journal_, vol. xxxii (1862), p. 417.

[87] Denham and Clapperton, _Travels_ (1826), p. 20 (Denham).

[88] Hind, _Narrative of the Canadian Exploring Expedition_ (London,
1860), vol. i. p. 316.

[89] Captain John Smith, _Sixth Voyage to Virginia_ (1606); Pinkerton
(1811), vol. xii. p. 35.

[90] Cuming, _Journal of the Archaeological Association_, vol. iii. p.

[91] Turner, _Nineteen Years in Polynesia_ (London, 1861), p. 276.

[92] Beechey, _Voyage to the Pacific_ (London, 1831), vol. i. p. 143.

[93] Williams, _Fiji and the Fijians_ (London, 1858), vol. i. p. 57.

[94] Wilson, _Pellew Islands_ (ed. Keate, London, 1788), pl. v, fig. 1,
p. 310.

[95] Klemm, _Werkzeuge und Waffen_ (1858), p. 50.

[96] Owen, _Comp. Anatomy and Physiology of Vertebrates_ (1846), vol.
ii. 1. p.

[97] Klemm, l. c., p. 31 (‘die Schwanzstachel eines Roches,’ i.e. ‘the
caudal spine of a ray.’--ED.).

[98] Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (London, 1862), vol. i. p. 146.

[99] Cuming, _Journal of the Archaeological Association_, vol. iii. p.

[100] The probability of the aboriginal man having derived his first
lessons from this source may be judged of by the accounts given by
travellers of the effects produced by the large thorns of trees in
South Africa, of which there is a good account in Routledge’s _Natural
History of Man_, by Rev. J. G. Wood (1868-70), vol. i. p. 235. Large
animals are said to be frequently destroyed, and even to have impaled
themselves, upon the large, strong spines of the thorny Acacia.
Throughout Central Africa a pair of tweezers for extracting thorns is
an indispensable requisite in the equipment of every native.

[101] Beechey, _Voyage to the Pacific_ (London, 1831), vol. i. pp. 47-8.

[102] Strabo, p. 155.

[103] Ellis, _Polynesian Researches_ (London, 1829), vol. i. chap. viii.

[104] Clapperton, _Travels_, p. 58.

[105] I exclude from this category all nippers, cross-bills, and
prehensile implements.

[106] Jardine’s _Naturalist’s Library_ (Edinb. 1843): _Ichthyology_
(Hamilton), vol. vi, part 2, p. 335.

[107] Choris, _Voyage Pictoresque autour du Monde_ (Paris, 1822),
‘Isles Radak,’ pl. ii. 1 and 4.

[108] Cook, _Third Voyage_ (London, 1842), vol. ii. p. 251.

[109] Klemm, l. c., pp. 63-4; Wilkes, _United States Exploring
Expedition_ (Philadelphia, 1845), vol. v. ch. ii. pp. 49, 79.

[110] King, ‘The Industrial Arts of the Esquimaux,’ _Journ. Ethno.
Soc._ (1848), vol. i. p. 290.

[111] Ellis, _Polynesian Researches_, vol. ii. p. 497.

[112] Nieuhoff, ‘Travels in Brazil’; Pinkerton (1813), vol. xiv. p. 874.

[113] Tylor, _Anahuac_, p. 332, Appendix.

[114] Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (1862), vol. i. pp. 226, 227.

[115] Lloyd Stephens, _Incidents of Travel in Central America_, p. 59.

[116] Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (1862), vol. i. pp. 226, 227.

[117] Lewis Morgan, _The League of the Ho-De-No-Sou-Nee or Iroquois_
(Rochester, N.Y., 1851), p. 359.

[118] Thunberg, _Travels in Europe, Africa, and Asia_, 1770-9 (3rd ed.,
London, 1795), vol. i. p. 156; ii. p. 162; Livingstone, _Missionary
Travels and Researches in South Africa_ (London, 1857), p. 171.

[119] Meyrick (Skelton), _Ancient Arms and Armour_, vol. ii. pl. cxiii,
fig. 14, cf. fig. 13.

[120] _Times_ newspaper, Dec. 24, 1866.

[121] Humboldt, _Aspects of Nature_ (London, 1849), vol. i. pp. 25,

[122] Klemm, l. c., p. 53.

[123] ‘On the Wild Tribes in the Interior of the Malay Peninsula,’ by
Père Bourien. _Trans. Ethno. Soc._, N.S., vol. iii (1865), p. 78.

[124] Darwin, _Journal of Researches into Nat. Hist. and Geology_
(London, 1845), p. 8.

[125] Hall, C. F., _Life with the Esquimaux_ (London, 1864), vol. ii.
pp. 329-30.




_General Remarks._

In June, 1867, I had the honour of reading a paper at this Institution,
which has since been published in the _Journal_, the object of which
was to point out the resemblance which exists between the weapons of
savages and early races and the weapons with which nature has furnished
animals for their defence.

In continuation of the same subject, my present communication will
relate to the resemblance to each other of the weapons of races
sometimes widely separated, and of which the connexion, if it ever
existed, has long since been consigned to obscurity. I shall endeavour
to show, how in these several localities, which are so remote from
one another, the progress of form has been developed upon a similar
plan, and, though to all appearance independently, yet that under like
conditions like results have been produced; and that the weapons and
implements of these races will sometimes be found to bear so close a
resemblance to each other, as often to suggest a community of origin,
where no such common origin can have existed, unless at the very
remotest period.

We shall thus be brought to the consideration of the great problem of
our day, viz. the origin of mankind, or rather the origin of the human
arts; for the question of man’s origin, whether he was himself created
or developed from some prior form, whether since the period of his
first appearance he has by variation separated into distinct races,
or whether the several races of mankind were separately created, are
questions which, however closely allied, do not of necessity form part
of our present subject. It has to deal solely with the origin of the
arts, and more particularly with the art of war, which in the infancy
of society belonged to a condition of life so constant and universal
as to embrace within its sphere all other arts, or at least to be so
intimately connected with them as to require the same treatment; the
tool and the weapon being, as I shall presently show, often identical
in the hands of the primaeval savage.

These prefatory remarks are necessary because it will be seen that the
general observations I am about to offer on the subject are fully as
applicable to the whole range of the industrial arts of mankind as to
the art of war. My illustrations, however, will be taken exclusively
from weapons of war.

Is not the world at the present time, and has it not always been, the
scene of a continuous progress? Have not the arts grown up from an
obscure origin, and is not this growth continuing to the present day?

This is the question which lies at the very threshold of our subject,
and we must endeavour to treat it by the light of evidence alone, apart
from all considerations of a traditional or poetic character.

I do not propose here to enter into a disquisition upon the functions
of the human mind. But it must I think be admitted, that if man
possessed from the first the same nature that belongs to him at the
present time, he must at the commencement of his career in this world
have been destitute of all creative power. The mind has never been
endowed with any creative faculty. The only powers we possess are those
of digesting, adapting, and applying, by the intellectual faculties,
the experience acquired through the medium of the senses. We come into
the world helpless and speechless, possessing only in common with the
brutes such instincts as are necessary for the bare sustenance of
life under the most facile conditions; all that follows afterwards is
dependent purely on experience.

Whether we afterwards become barbarous or civilized, whether we follow
a hunting, nomadic, or agricultural life, whether we embrace this
religion or that, or attain proficiency in any of the arts, all this
is dependent purely on the accident of our birth, which places us in a
position to build upon the experience of our ancestors, adding to it
the experience acquired by ourselves. For although it is doubtless true
that the breeds of mankind, like the breeds of our domestic animals,
by continual cultivation during many generations, have improved, and
that by this means races have been produced capable of being educated
to a higher degree than those which have remained uncivilized, this
does not alter the fact that it is by experience alone, conscious or
unconscious, self-imposed or compulsory, and by a process of slow and
laborious induction, that we arrive at the degree of perfection to
which, according to our opportunities and our relative endowments, we
ultimately attain.

The amount, therefore, which any one individual or any one generation
is capable of adding to the civilization of their age must be
immeasurably small, in comparison with what they derive from it.

I could not perhaps appeal to an audience more capable of appreciating
the truth of these remarks than to the members of an Institution, the
object of which is to examine into the improvements and so-called
inventions which are from time to time effected in the machinery and
implements of war.

How often does any proposal or improvement come before this Institution
which after investigating its antecedents is found to possess
originality of design? Is it not a fact that even the most ingenious
and successful inventions turn out on inquiry to be mere adaptations of
contrivances already existing, or that they are produced by applying
to one branch of industry the principles or the contrivances which
have been evolved in another. I think that no one can have constantly
attended the lectures of this or any similar Institution, without
becoming impressed, above all things, with the want of originality
observable amongst men, and with the great calls which, even in this
age of cultivated intellects and abundant materials to work upon, all
inventors are obliged to make upon those who have preceded them.

Since, then, we ourselves are so entirely creatures of education, and
derive so little from our own unaided resources, it follows that the
first created man, if similarly constituted, having no antecedents from
which to derive instruction, could not, without external aid, have made
any material or rapid advance towards the initiation of the arts.

So fully has the truth of this been recognized by those who are not
themselves advocates for the theory of development, that in order to
account for the very first stages of human progress they have found
it necessary to assume the hypothesis of supernatural agency: such
we know was the belief of the classical pagan nations, who attributed
the origin of many of the arts to their gods; such we know to be the
tradition of many savage and semi-civilized nations of modern times
that have attained to the first stages of culture. But we have already
disposed of this hypothesis at the commencement of these remarks, by
deciding that our arguments should be based solely upon evidence. We
are, therefore, under the necessity of assuming, in the absence of any
evidence to the contrary, that none but the agencies which help us
now were at the disposal of our first ancestors, and the alternative
to which we must have recourse is that of supposing that the progress
of those days was immeasurably slower than it is at present, and that
vast ages must have elapsed after the first appearance of man before he
began to show even the first indications of a settled advance.

Yet the complex civilization of our own time has been built on the
foundations that were laid by these aborigines of our species, while
the brute creation may be said to have produced little more than was
necessary to their own wants or those of their immediate offspring.
Man has been the agent employed in a work of continuous progression.
Generation has succeeded generation, and race has succeeded race, each
contributing its quota to the fabrication of the edifice, and then
giving place to other workmen. But the progress of the edifice itself
has never ceased; it has gone on, I maintain (contrary to the opinion
of some writers of our day), always in fulfilment of one vast design.
It is a work of all time.

To study it comprehensively, we must devote ourselves to the
contemplation of the edifice itself, and set aside the study of mankind
for separate treatment, for it is evident that man has been fashioned,
not as the designer, but simply as the unconscious instrument of its
erection. Each individual has been impelled by what--viewed in this
light--may be regarded as instincts sufficient to stimulate him to
labour, but falling immeasurably short of a comprehensive knowledge of
the great scheme, towards which he is an unconscious contributor. Of
this he knows no more than the earthworm knows it to be its function
to cover the crust of the earth with mould, or the small coral polypus
knows that it is engaged in the erection of a barrier reef. No
comprehensive scheme of progress need be searched for in the pigmy
intellect of man, and if we are ever destined to acquire any knowledge
of the laws which influence the growth of civilization, we must look
for them in an investigation of the phenomenon itself, by studying its
phases and the sequence of its mutations. In short we must apply to the
whole range of human culture, to the arts, whether of peace or war, the
same method which has already been applied with some success to the
history of language.

It has been shown that the speech of our own day has been the work
of many generations and of innumerable distinct races; its roots are
traceable in the utterances of the untutored savage. No nation ever
consciously invented a grammar, and yet language has been shown to be
capable of being treated as a science of natural growth, having its
laws of mutation and development, never dreamt of by any of the many
myriads of individuals that have unconsciously contributed to the
formation of it. May not all the products of human intellects in the
aggregate be made amenable to the same treatment, and, like language,
be found to be influenced by laws of evolution and progress?

That these remarks are not merely speculative, that the progress of
civilization has been continuous and connected, while the races which
have been engaged in the formation of it, like individuals, have had
their periods of birth, maturity, and decay, is sufficiently proved by

In Egypt and in Assyria, we see the remains of ancient and formerly
populous cities, where now the nomadic Arab pitches his tent or wanders
with his flocks, thus showing that relapses of civilization must have
occurred in those particular localities where such phenomena are
observed. But we know also from history that the civilization which
once flourished in those countries did not expire there, but was
transferred thence to other places; that the culture of Assyria and
of Egypt passed into Greece and developed there; that from Greece it
extended to Rome, and in the hands of a new people passed through fresh
phases; that after the destruction of the Roman Empire it lay dormant
for many ages, only to rise again on its original basis, extended
and fertilized by the introduction of fresh blood; that we ourselves
are the inheritors of the same arts, customs, and institutions,
modified and improved; and finally, that civilization, expanding in
all directions, as it continues to move westward, is now in process of
being received back by those ancient countries in which it originated,
in a condition far more varied and diversified than it could ever have
become, had it been confined to a single people or country.

Passing now from the known to the unknown, we come to the study of
prehistoric times, prepared to find that every fresh discovery helps us
to trace backwards the arts of mankind in unbroken continuity towards
their source.

Commencing with the Saxon and the Celt, and passing from these to
the lake dwellers, and on to the inhabitants of caves, races whose
successive periods of existence are determined chiefly by the animals
with which their remains are associated, we find that, according
to their antiquity, they appear to have lived in a lower and lower
condition of culture, until in the drift period, coeval with the
extinct mammoth and the woolly haired rhinoceros, we find the earliest
traces of man, scanty and unsatisfactory though they be, yet sufficient
to show that he must have existed in a state so rude, as to have
devised no better implements than flints pointed at one end, and held
in the hand.

These successive prehistoric stages of civilization have been divided
into the stone, the bronze, and the iron ages of mankind. The evidence
upon which this classification is based, has been so ably set forth
in the works of Sir John Lubbock and others, that I need not refer
to it further than to state that, in my treatment of the origin and
development of the weapons of war, I shall in a great measure follow
the same arrangement. But I shall endeavour to trace the development of
_form_ rather than the _material_ of weapons, and to show by examples
taken from various distinct periods, and especially by illustrations
taken from existing savages, the various agencies which appear to have
operated in causing progression during the earliest ages of mankind.

Of these, the first to be considered is undoubtedly the utilization and
imitation of natural forms. Nature was the only instructor of primaeval

In my previous paper, I discussed this subject at some length, giving
many examples in which the weapons of animals have been employed by
man. But besides these weapons derived from animals, primaeval man must
no doubt at first have employed the natural forms of wood and bone,
and of stones either fractured by the frost, or rolled into convenient
forms upon the seashore.

This principle of the utilization and imitation of natural forms
appears to bear precisely the same relationship to the development of
the arts, that, in the science of language, onomatopoeia has been shown
to bear to the growth and development of articulate speech. In the
attempt to trace language to its origin, onomatopoeia, or the imitation
of the sounds of animals and of nature, appears not only to have been
the chief agent in _initiating_ the growth of language, but it has also
served to enrich it from time to time, so that even to this day, poetry
and eloquence in a great measure depend on the employment of it. But
apart from this, language has had an independent and systematic growth
of its own.

So, in like manner, men not only drew upon nature for their ideas
in the infancy of the arts, but we continue to copy the forms and
contrivances of nature with advantage to this day. But apart from
this, we must look for an independent origin and growth, in which form
succeeded form in regular continuity. Many a lesson has still to be
learnt from the book of nature, the pages of which are sealed to us
until, by the natural growth of knowledge, we acquire the power of
reading and applying them. Imitation therefore, though an important
element in the initiation of the arts, would not alone be sufficient to
account for the phenomenon of progress.

The next principle which we shall have to consider, is that of
variation. Amongst all the products of the most primitive races of man,
we find endless variations in the forms of their implements, all of
the most trivial character. A Sheffield manufacturer informed me, that
he had lately received a wooden model of a dagger-blade from Mogadore,
made by an Arab, who desired to have one of steel made exactly like
it. Accordingly my informant, thinking that he had found a convenient
market for the sale of such weapons, constructed some hundreds of
blades of exactly the same pattern. On arriving at their destination,
however, they were found to be unsaleable. Although precisely of the
type in general use about Mogadore, all of which to the European eye
would be considered alike, their uniformity rendered them unsuited
to the requirements of the inhabitants, each of whom piqued himself
upon possessing his own particular pattern, the peculiarity of which
consisted in having some almost imperceptible difference in the curve
or breadth of the blade.

In the earliest stages of art, men would of necessity be led to the
adoption of such varieties by the constantly differing forms of the
materials in which they worked. The uncertain fractures of flint, the
various curves of the trees out of which they constructed their clubs,
and the different forms of bones, would lead them imperceptibly towards
the adoption of fresh tools. Occasionally some form would be hit upon,
which in the hands of its employer would be found more convenient for
use, and which, by giving the possessor of it some advantage over
his neighbours, would commend itself to general adoption. Thus by a
process, resembling what Mr. Darwin, in his late work, has termed
‘unconscious selection’, rather than by premeditation or design,
men would be led on to improvement. By degrees some forms would be
found best adapted to one pursuit, and some to another; one would
be used for grubbing up roots, another for breaking shells, another
for breaking heads; modes of procedure, accidentally hit upon in one
class of occupation, would suggest improvements in another, and thus
analogy, coming to the aid of accidental variation, would give an
impulse to progress. Thus would commence that ramification of the
arts, occupations, and sciences which, developing simultaneously and
assisting each other, has borne fruit in the civilization of our own

I am aware that it will be found extremely difficult to realize a
condition of human existence so low as that which I am supposing,
and that many persons will deny the possibility of mankind having
ever existed in a condition so helpless as to have been incapable of
designing the simple weapons which we find in the hands of savages
at the present day. It is as difficult to place one’s self in the
position of a being infinitely one’s inferior, as of a being greatly
one’s superior in intellect. ‘Few persons,’ says Professor Max Müller,
‘understand children, still fewer antiquity.’ Our own experience cannot
save us in estimating the powers of either, for, long before the
period of which we have the earliest recollection, we had ourselves
undergone a course of unconscious education in the arts of a civilized
community; our very first utterances were in a language which was in
itself the complex growth of ages, and the improvement of our natural
faculties, resulting from the continued cultivation of our race,
enhances the difficulty we find in appreciating the condition of our
first parents.

Another fertile source of variation arises from errors in successive
copies. At a time when men had no measures or other appliances to
assist them in copying correctly, and were guided only by the eye, an
implement would soon be made to assume a very different appearance. Mr.
Evans has shown in his work on the ‘Coins of the Ancient Britons’ (p.
167) how the head of Medusa, copied originally from a Greek coin, was
made to pass through a series of apparently meaningless hieroglyphics,
in which the original head was quite lost, and was ultimately converted
into a chariot and four. We must not, however, attribute all variation
to this cause, for I quite agree with a remark made by Mr. Rawlinson in
his ‘Five Great Monarchies’, that such varieties are more frequently
noticed in cases where the contrivance is of home growth, than in those
which are derived from strangers.

The third point which we shall have to consider in relation to
continuity, is the retarding element. Under this head, incapacity must
at all times, and especially in the infancy of society, have played the
chief part. But as civilization progressed, other agencies would come
in to influence the same result; prejudice, force of habit, principles
of conservatism in which we have been told by Mr. Mill that all the
dull intellects of the world habitually ensconce themselves, a thousand
interests of a retarding tendency, rise up at the same time as those
having a progressive influence, and prevent our advancing by other than
well-measured paces.

The resultant of these contending forces is continuity. If we could but
put together the missing links; if we could revive contrivances that
have died at their birth, and expose piracies; if we could penetrate
the haze that is so often thrown over continuity by great names,
absorbing to themselves the credit of contrivances that belong to
others, and thereby causing it to appear that progress has advanced
with great strides, where creeping was in reality the order of the day;
we should find that there is not a single work of man’s hand which has
not its history of slow and continuous development, capable of being
traced back, like branches of a tree, to its junction with others,
and so on until the roots of all are found to lie in the simplest
contrivances of primaeval man.

But we must not expect that we shall be able, in the existing state of
knowledge, to trace this continuity from first to last, for the links
that are lost far exceed in number those which remain. The task may
be compared to that of putting together the fragments of a tree that
has been cut up for firewood, and of which the greater part has been
burnt. It is only here and there, after diligent search, that we may
expect to find a few pieces fitting in such a manner as to prove that
they belonged to the same branch. We do not, on that account, abandon
our conviction that the tree once grew, that every large branch was
once a small twig, and that every limb developed by a natural process
into the form in which we find it. The difficulty we have to contend
with is precisely that which the geologist experiences in tracing his
palaeontological sequence. But it is far greater, for natural history
has been long studied, and the materials upon which Mr. Darwin founds
his celebrated hypothesis have been in process of collection for many
generations. But continuity, in relation to the arts, can scarcely
yet be said to be established as a science. The materials for the
science have not yet been even classified, and classification is a
process which must always precede continuity in the study of nature.
Classification defines the margin of our ignorance; continuity results
from the extension of knowledge, by bridging over the distinction
of classes. Travellers, for the most part, have been in the habit
of bringing home, as curiosities, the most remarkable specimens of
weapons and implements, without much regard to their history or the
evidence they convey; and their descriptions of them, as a general
rule, have been extremely meagre. Until quite recently, the curators
of our ethnographical museums have aimed more at the collection of
unique specimens, serving to exhibit well-marked differences of form,
than such as by their resemblance enable us to trace out community
of origin. The arrangement of them has been almost universally bad,
and has been calculated rather to display the several articles to
advantage, on the principle of shop windows, than to facilitate the
deductions of science. The antiquities of savage races, moreover, have
as yet been almost wholly unstudied.

Notwithstanding these difficulties, we are able to catch glimpses of
evidence, here and there, which, when put together systematically, and
when the vestiges of antiquity are illustrated by the implements of
existing savages, will, I trust, be found sufficient to warrant the
principles for which I contend.

_Combination of Tool and Weapon._

In the earliest ages of mankind, when all men were warriors, and before
the division of labour, consequent on civilization, had separated
the arts of peace and war into distinct professions, we must expect
to find the same implement frequently employed in the capacity of
both tool and weapon. Even long after the very earliest ages of which
we have any historical or archaeological record, we often find a
combination of tool and weapon in the same forms, especially amongst
those semi-civilized and savage races of our own times, whom we regard
as the representatives of antiquity. The battles of liberty, from the
age of the Jews and Philistines down to the time of the last Hungarian
revolution, have always been fought by the subject people with weapons
made out of the implements of husbandry. We read in the first of
Samuel, chapter xiii, ‘Now there was no smith found in all the land of
Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords
or spears: but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to
sharpen every man his share’ (the blade of the ploughshare), ‘and his
coulter’ (a kind of knife), ‘and his ax, and his mattock’ (a kind of
pickaxe).... ‘So it came to pass, in the day of battle, that there was
neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that
were with Saul and Jonathan.’ In the revolts of the German peasantry,
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the bands of insurgents armed
themselves with threshing flails and scythe blades. In 1794 and 1831,
the Polish peasantry were similarly armed[127]; and it was from such
implements of husbandry that weapons like the military flail, the
bill, and the yataghan, derived their origin. In the recent outbreak
in Jamaica (which, had it not been ably and powerfully put down, would
have led to the destruction of the whole white population) the negroes
armed themselves with weapons of husbandry. In the proclamation of Paul
Bogle, he says: ‘Every one of you must leave your house, take your
guns; who don’t have guns, take cutlasses.’ The cutlasses here referred
to were the implements used for cutting the sugar-cane, sharp on the
concave edge, and are the same which, having been used as weapons by
the negroes in their own country, have continued to be employed by them
ever since. In like manner, we learn from Symes’s ‘Embassy to Ava in
1795’,[128] that the Burmese use the sabre both for warlike purposes,
as well as for cutting bamboos, felling timber, &c.; it is the constant
companion of the inhabitants for all purposes, and they never travel
without it. In Borneo, the peculiar sword-like weapon, called the
‘parangilang’, is used both as a weapon, and also for felling trees,
and the axe of this country is constructed so that, by turning it on
the helve, it can be used either as a weapon or as a carpenter’s axe.
In like manner, the Kaffir axe-blade, by simply altering its position
in the handle, is used either as a weapon, or for tilling the ground.
The North American Indian tomahawk, like the Kaffir axe, is used for
many different purposes; the spear-head of the Kaffir assegai is the
knife that is used for all purposes of manufacture, and Captain Grant
says that the Watusi of East Central Africa make all their baskets with
their spear-heads.[129] The weapons edged with sharks’ teeth, to which
I referred in my former paper, are used in the Marquesas and other of
the South Sea Islands, as much for cutting up fish and carcasses as for
warlike purposes.[130] Dr. Klemm, in his valuable work on savage and
early weapons, describes the wooden pick used by the inhabitants of
New Caledonia both as a weapon, and also for tilling the ground,[131]
and he gives reasons for supposing[132] that in Egypt and many other
parts of the world, the form of the plough was originally derived
from that of the hatchet or hoe, used for tilling purposes. The hoe
used in East Central Africa, which also, like the Kaffir axe, serves
as a medium of exchange in lieu of money, evidently derived its form
from that of a spear or arrow head. The spade, formerly used in this
country, and represented in old pictures, which is still used as a
shovel in Ireland, is a pointed spear-like instrument, and the ‘loy’
or spade still used in all parts of Ireland is hafted exactly in the
same manner as the bronze celt of prehistoric times. Dr. Klemm (l. c.,
p. 119) gives an illustration of an axe used by the Norwegian peasants
both as a tool and weapon. Speke describes the Usoga tribe[133] as
being armed with huge short-handed spears, adapted rather for digging
than for war; and Barth describes the Bornouese troops in Central
Africa digging holes with their spears, and employing them in searching
for water.[134] The Australian ‘dowak’, a kind of club with a flint
attached, combines the purposes of a tool and weapon. We know from the
short sticks upon which the small arrow-heads of quartz found in the
Peruvian tombs are mounted, that they must have been used as knives as
well as for missile purposes. Professor Nilsson says that flint-barbed
arrow-heads, of precisely the same form, are used by the inhabitants
of Tierra del Fuego as knives,[135] and Mr. Stephens, in his travels
in Central America, shows reason for supposing that the large stone
idols in Copan were carved with similar arrow-points,[136] no other
instrument capable of being used for such a purpose having been found
in the neighbourhood.

Examples of this class of evidence might be multiplied _ad infinitum_;
but enough has already been said to afford good grounds for believing
that many of the implements of stone and bronze which are found in the
soil, may have been used for a great variety of purposes, and that,
especially in the earliest stages of culture, we must be careful how we
attribute especial purposes to tools and weapons because they appear
to differ from each other slightly in form. This is more especially so
when, as is almost invariably the case, the several distinct types are
found--when a sufficient number of them are collected and arranged--to
pass almost imperceptibly into each other by connecting links; showing
that the differences observable between any two implements of the same
class, when brought together and contrasted, are rather due to the
operation of a law of variation and development in the fabrication of
the tool itself, than to an intention on the part of the constructor
to adapt it to particular purposes, and that its application to
such especial purposes must have followed, rather than itself have
influenced, the development of the tool.

_Transition from the Drift to the Celt Type._

My first illustration must of necessity be taken from the flint
implements of the drift, the earliest records of human workmanship that
the researches of science have as yet revealed to us. These, to use the
words of Sir Charles Lyell, ‘were probably used as weapons both of war
and the chase, to grub roots, cut down trees, or scoop out canoes.’[137]

I will not attempt during the brief time allotted to me on the present
occasion, any detailed account of the evidence of the antiquity of
these weapons, assuming that the works of Sir Charles Lyell, and Sir
John Lubbock, will have rendered this subject more or less familiar to
most persons at the present day, but I will confine myself to pointing
out the indications of variation and of improvement observable in the
implements themselves.

I have arranged upon diagram No. 1 (Plate XII) a series of specimens of
the same type from nearly every part of the globe.

All the figures given in these diagrams are traced from the implements
themselves, and reduced by photography; they may therefore be regarded
as facsimiles, a point of great importance when our subject has to
deal with the minute gradations of difference observable between them.
Figures 1 to 11 are of the drift type. Casts of the originals of some
of them, and specimens of the implements themselves, are also upon the
table for comparison.

I may here acknowledge the great obligation I am under to Mr. Franks
for the facilities he has afforded me in drawing many of these
specimens in the Christy Collection; to Dr. Watson for a similar
permission in regard to the valuable collection of arms in the India
Museum; and also to Dr. Birch of the British Museum. A large proportion
of my illustrations are taken from the excellent Museum of this
Institution, and others are from my own collection.

Of the drift specimens which I have selected to illustrate the
diagrams, five are from the gravel beds of St. Acheul, in order that
we might have an opportunity of observing the variation in implements
derived from the same locality, and probably belonging to the same or
nearly the same period--chips in fact from the same workshop.

It has been usual to classify these drift implements in two divisions;
the spear-head form, and the oval form. Of the first or spear-head
form, figures 2 to 4 are typical examples; of the oval form, figure
8 is the best illustration. I venture, however, to think that a
distinction more clearly embodying a principle of progress may be made
by dividing them differently, and by placing in the first class those
which are either left rough or rounded at one end and pointed at the
other, of which figures 1 to 7 are examples; and in the second class,
such as are chipped to an edge all round, of which figures 8 to 11 are
types. My reason for preferring this classification to one dependent
on outline is this. The first class having the natural outside coating
of the flint or a roughly rounded surface on one side, appears to be
in every way adapted to be held in the hand; whereas the second class,
of which a beautiful specimen in the Christy Collection from St.
Acheul is represented in a front and side view in figure 10, could not
conveniently be used in the hand as a tool or weapon, without injury to
the hand from the sharp edge with which its periphery is surrounded on
all sides. If, therefore, we see reason for supposing that one class of
implements was employed in handles, whilst the other may have been used
in the hand, I think this constitutes a more important distinction,
and one more obviously implying progress, than a classification which
merely involves a modification of outline, which may have resulted from
no more significant cause than a difference in the form of the flint
nodule out of which the implement was made.[138]

Another important distinction between these drift implements as thus
arranged, arises from the different purposes to which they may have
been put by the fabricators. The first class, figures 1 to 7--it
will be seen by the side view of them--could have been used only as
spears, picks, or daggers, the pointed or small end being employed for
that purpose, whereas the latter class, figures 8 to 11, are equally
available for use as axes with the sharp and broad end. It is quite
possible therefore, that we may see here, in these vestiges of the
first tools of mankind (specimens of all varieties of which are found
in the same beds at St. Acheul), the point of divergence between the
two distinct classes, which must certainly be regarded as the two most
constant and universal weapons of mankind in all ages and countries of
the world, viz. the spear and the axe; the small end developed into the
spear and into all that class of tools for which a point is required;
and from the broad end we obtained the axe and all those tools which
either as chisels, choppers, gouges, or battle-axes, have continued in
use with an endless continuity of development and modification, and
a world-wide history up to the present time. I am aware that in the
St. Acheul implements, as well as in those of similar form from the
laterite beds of Madras, we find occasionally specimens in which the
small end is made broader, as if indicating the gradual development
of an edge on that side, but upon the whole I think the balance of
evidence is in favour of the broad end having originated the axe form.

Nothing, it will be seen, can be more primitive than these tools, or
more gradual than their development. They are perfectly consistent
with the idea that the fabricators of them were in a condition closely
verging upon that of the brutes. Apes are known to use stones in
cracking the shells of nuts. The advantage to be derived from a pointed
form, when it accidentally fell into the hand, would suggest itself
almost instinctively to any being capable of profiting by experience
and retaining it in the memory. Accidental fractures, producing a sharp
edge, would lead to fractures of design, and thus we may easily suppose
that such implements as are represented in the first few figures of
our diagram must necessarily have resulted from the very earliest
constructive efforts of primaeval man.

From the very first, a peculiar mode of fabrication appears to have
been adopted, which consisted of chipping off flakes from alternate
sides of the flint, and the facets thus left upon the flint produce
the wavelike edge which you will see in the side views of all the
implements here represented. This method continued to be employed
throughout the entire stone age, in all parts of the universe, and is
characteristic not merely of the drift, but of the cave, pfahlbauten,
and surface periods.

The numerous intermediate gradations of form, whether between the
oval and the spear-head form, or between the thick and the sharpened
form, have been noticed by Sir Charles Lyell (l. c., p. 164). By
selecting specimens, and arranging them in order from left to right,
I have endeavoured to trace the transition from the drift type to the
almond-shaped celt type, which latter is common to the stone age of
mankind, whether ancient or modern, in all parts of the world.

Had the discovery of drift implements been confined to one locality
or to one district, it is probable it would have attracted but little
notice. As early as the first year of the present century the attention
of the Society of Antiquaries had been drawn by Mr. Frere to the
existence of these implements, in conjunction with the remains of the
elephant and other extinct animals at Hoxne in Suffolk. An illustration
of the specimens from this locality is given in figure 4. Mr. Frere
described them as ‘evidently weapons of war, fabricated and used by a
people who had not the use of metals’. But little or no attention was
paid to the subject until the discovery by M. Boucher de Perthes of
precisely similar implements associated with the same class of remains,
in the drift gravel of St. Acheul, near Amiens, in 1858.[139] Since
then many other discoveries have been made, and still continue to be
made, by Mr. Prestwich, Mr. Evans, Mr. Flower, Mr. Bruce Foote, and
others, not only in this country but also in Asia and Africa, showing,
in so far as the discoveries have hitherto gone, that this drift type,
like the almond celt type, is common to the earliest ages in all
parts of the world, and that everywhere the drift type preceded the
almond-shaped celt type, and is found in beds of earlier formation.

Figure 5 is a drift-shaped implement from the laterite beds of Madras,
of exactly the same form as those found in England. Figure 6 is an
implement of the same class from the Cape of Good Hope, found fourteen
feet from the surface. In America, implements of the drift type have
not yet been discovered, but stone spear-heads have been found in
Missouri in connexion with the elephant and other extinct animals.
Figure 11 is from a mound of sun-dried bricks at Abou Sharein, in
Southern Babylonia, obtained by Mr. J. E. Taylor, British Consul at
Basrah; it is a chipped flint; in form it is of the drift type, and
its outline is precisely that of some of the Carib celts found in the
West India Islands; it also closely resembles in form others from the
Pacific[140]; its edge was evidently at the broad end. Another of
the same type was found at Mugeyer in Babylonia, and a third closely
resembling the two former was found in a cave in Bethlehem.

The celt type has not as yet been found in the French caves of the
reindeer period, but it is common in the ‘pile dwellings’ of the Swiss
lakes. Some of the French cave specimens, however, closely approach
the drift form, and in place of the celt, we have a peculiar kind of
tool trimmed to a cutting edge on one side and having the other round
for holding in the hand. As, however, these do not fall into the
direct line of development, but may be regarded as a branch variety, I
have not figured them in my diagram, but pass at once, though almost
imperceptibly as regards form, from the drift to the surface type.

Figure 12 formed part of a large find of flint implements, discovered
by myself in the ancient British camp of Cissbury, near Worthing--an
account of this discovery was communicated by me to the Society of
Antiquaries at the commencement of the present year.[141] The period of
these Cissbury implements must be fixed at a very much more modern date
than those of the drift, with which they are associated in my diagram,
having been found in conjunction with the earliest traces of domestic
animals, such as the Bos longifrons, Capra hircus, and Sus; they may,
however, be classed with the stone age, no trace of metal having been
discovered with them, although from 500 to 600 flint implements were
found in the camp. The peculiarity of the Cissbury find, however,
consists in the discovery (in the same pits in which celts of the
type represented in figure 12 were found) of a few flints closely
approaching the drift type, being thick at the broad end, and also of
a large number resembling those found in the French caves, trimmed
to an edge on one side, and adapted to be held in the hand. So that
the Cissbury find, although belonging to what is usually called the
surface period, contains specimens affording every link of connexion
between the drift and the almond-shaped celt type. This discovery must,
I think, be regarded as a step in knowledge of prehistoric antiquity,
and a decided accession to the science of continuity, for Sir John
Lubbock has told us in his preface to the work of Professor Nilsson,
lately published[142], that the Palaeolithic, i. e. the drift types,
‘have never yet been met with in association with the characteristics
of a later epoch.’ I shall therefore be interested to know whether,
after an examination of the Cissbury specimens, which I have presented
to the Christy Collection, Sir John Lubbock may be induced to alter
his opinion on that point; for I think it is entirely consistent with
all that is known of early races of mankind, that early types should
be retained in use long after the introduction of others that have
been developed from them. However this may be, I think that in casting
the eye from left to right along the upper row of diagram No. 1 (Plate
XII), it will puzzle the acutest observer to determine where the drift
type ends, and that of the celt begins. If it is contended, as I am
aware it will be contended by some, that the typical characteristic
of the celt consists in its being sharp at the broad end, while those
of the drift are blunt at the broad end, I reply that many of the
drift specimens are also sharpened at the broad end, more especially
those represented in figures 9 and 10 from the drift of St. Acheul.
Many specimens from Thetford which I have seen, as, for example, Fig.
17 _b_, from a cast in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries,
presented by Mr. Flower, approach equally closely to the celt type,
as do some of those from the laterite beds of Madras, and though they
are of rare occurrence in all these localities, and are certainly a
variation from the normal type of drift implements, still they are
found in sufficient numbers to serve as links in connecting the forms
of the earliest, with those of the later period.

I have dealt somewhat at length upon this part of my subject, owing
to the circumstance of its presenting some features of novelty in
the study of flint implements, and being therefore open to criticism
on the part of those who are more favourable to the principles of
classification than of continuity, with all the important concomitants,
of division _versus_ unity, which those principles involve.

I may now pass briefly over the remaining figures in the diagram.
Figure 13 is a specimen found by Mr. Evans at Spienne, near Mons; its
very close resemblance to figure 12 from Cissbury will be noticed; in
fact the whole of the Spienne specimens resemble very closely those
discovered in Cissbury, except that the Spienne implements of this
class are associated with others of polished flint, which gives them
a more advanced character than those derived from Cissbury, in which
place only one fragment of a polished implement was discovered, and
that in a part of the intrenchment which renders it very doubtful
whether it ought to be associated with the Cissbury find. Figures
15, 16, and 17 are from Denmark, Ireland, and Yorkshire;--this type,
however, is rare in Denmark, most of the flint implements from that
country being of a more advanced character, and having usually a
rectangular cross-section.

The lower row of the diagram consists of specimens derived, either from
what has been termed the neolithic or polished stone age of Europe, or
from savages who are still in a corresponding stage of progression in
various parts of the world at the present time.

To the former or neolithic stone age of Europe belong figure 21 from
France, figure 25 from the bed of the Clyde in Scotland, figure 27 from
the Swiss lake-dwellings, figure 29 from the caves in Gibraltar, figure
30 from Sweden, figure 36 from Portugal, figure 37 from the bed of the
Thames, figure 38 from Ireland, figure 39 from Jelabonga, in Russia.
Precisely identical forms are also found in Germany, Italy, and the
Channel Isles. Amongst the specimens derived from the ancient stone age
of other parts of the world, and belonging to an age of civilization
that is now extinct, may be enumerated figure 22 from Peru, figure 40
from Mexico, figure 24 from Central India, figure 41 from Japan, figure
42 from Mugeyer, in Babylonia. Nearly similar ones, but flattened at
the side, like those common in Denmark, have been obtained from China
and Pegu. Figure 43 is from Algeria, from the collection of Mr. Flower.

The following are examples of the same class of implements, used by
savages of our own, or of comparatively modern times:--Figures 18 and
19 from Australia; these are generally used in a handle, formed by a
withe twisted round them in the manner still used by blacksmiths in
this country. Sometimes, however, I am informed by an eye-witness, the
Australians use these celts in the hand without any handle at all.
Although polished on the surface, these Australian celts have been
compared by Sir Charles Lyell (l. c., p. 79) to the oval forms of the
drift represented in figure 7. The art of polishing appears to have
preceded the development of form in this country. Figure 20, from New
Zealand, is a specimen in Mr. Evans’s collection, of which he has been
so kind as to allow me to take an outline; this form, however, is
extremely rare in New Zealand, the usual shape of the stone celts from
that country being flat-sided, like the specimens from Denmark, already
noticed. Figure 23 is from the Pacific; figure 26, from Pennsylvania;
these were used by the American Indians, previously, and for some time
after the immigration of Europeans. Figures 31 and 32 are Carib celts
from my collection, beautifully polished. Figure 33, from St. Domingo,
is in the Cork Museum. Figure 34, from the Antilles, is in the Christy
Collection; both of these have a human face engraved upon them. Figure
35 is of jade, from New Caledonia, in my own collection.


The method of hafting these implements, employed by savages, shows that
they were used for a variety of purposes; in some, the edge is fastened
at right angles to the handle, to be used as an adze, whilst in others
the same tool is fastened with the blade in a line with the handle,
to be used as a chopper or battle-axe. In some it is fastened with a
withe, passed round the stone, as in the specimen from Australia (fig.
44, from this Institution) and some parts of North America; figure 45
is a stone axe from the Ojibbeway Indians, from my collection. At
other times it is inserted in the side of a stick or club. A specimen
in my collection from Ireland (fig. 46), one of the few that have ever
been found with handles, shows that this was the method employed in
that country.[143] Others are inserted in the end of a bent stick (fig.
47), a mode of hafting common in the Polynesian Islands, in Africa,
Ancient Egypt, Mexico, North America, and New Caledonia; it is employed
by the Kalmucks and others, and was used during the bronze age. Some
of the Australian axes were fastened to their handles by a peculiar
preparation of gum manufactured for that purpose.

Dr. Klemm, in his ‘Werkzeuge und Waffen’, supposes the first lessons
in hafting to have been derived from nature, by observing the manner
in which stones are often firmly grasped by the roots of trees growing
round them, and he gives several woodcuts of specimens of Nature’s
hafting, which he has collected from various sources; one of these,
extracted from his work (l. c., p. 14), is represented in figure 48.
I have placed upon the table, in illustration of this idea, an iron
mediaeval axe-head (fig. 49), which has furnished itself with a handle
in this manner, whilst buried beneath the surface; it is said to have
been found in Glemham Park, Suffolk, eleven feet from the surface. Even
to this day, when a peasant in Brittany discovers one of these stone
celts upon the ground, he is in the habit of splitting the branch of a
young tree and inserting the celt into the cleft; in the course of a
year or two it becomes firmly fixed, and he then cuts off the branch,
and uses the implement thus hafted by nature as a hammer for driving
nails. In the ‘Antiquités Celtiques et Antédiluviennes,’ vol. i (Paris,
1847), p. 327, M. Boucher de Perthes mentions the discovery of two
ancient stone hammer-heads, which appeared to have been furnished with
handles by passing the hole over the bough of a tree and allowing it to
fill up the aperture by its natural growth, until it became fixed as a

It might be interesting, if space permitted, to follow up the
development of the stone axe-head through its various phases until,
in the latest stages, when bronze had already come into general use
for weapons, we find it furnished with a hole through the middle
for the insertion of the handle. It may, I think, be safely said
that--although nature furnishes numerous examples, in many classes of
rocks, and especially in flints, of stones perforated with holes, and
although they appear to have attracted the notice of the aborigines of
many countries by the peculiar superstitious reverence which is often
found to be attached to such stones when found in the soil--this mode
of fastening stone implements in their handles did not come into use
until late in the stone age, and that even in the bronze age it was but
little employed.

_Transition from Oval to Rectangular Forms._

Whether the stone celts having a square or rectangular section (such
as are found principally in Denmark, New Zealand, Mexico, and Pegu),
were coeval, or of subsequent development, to those of the almond-shape
type, may be a matter for conjecture; the small flint hatchets found
in the Kitchenmiddens of Denmark appear to approach closely to the
rectangular type. It is certain, that in the Swiss Lakes both forms
are found fully developed, and it may be mentioned, as an instance of
the constant tendency to variation that is everywhere observable in
the weapons of the early races of mankind, that of the whole of the
celts found at Nussdorf, in the Lake of Constance, though all might be
traced to the same normal type as regards their general outline, no two
were alike; and Dr. Keller gives sections, showing every conceivable
gradation from the square and rectangular to the oval and circular
section[145]. It may, however, be affirmed, that convex forms, as a
general rule, preceded those having a rectangular or concave surface;
it is so in the forms of nature; the habitations of animals are
almost invariably convex. Dr. Livingstone mentions[146] that he found
it impossible even to teach the natives of South Africa to build a
square hut; when left to themselves for a few minutes, they invariably
reverted to the circle. All the earliest habitations of prehistoric
times are found to be circular or oval; even the sophisticated infant
of modern civilization, when he plays with his bricks, will invariably
build them in a circular form, until otherwise instructed.

_Development of Spear and Arrow-head Forms._

We must now turn to the development of the second great class of
weapons--the spear and arrow. These may be classed together, the
arrow being merely the diminutive of the spear; and it may be taken
as a general rule, applicable to all the arts of prehistoric times,
that when a given form has once been introduced, it will speedily be
repeated in every possible size that can be applied to any of the
various purposes for which such a form is capable of being used. Size,
in the arts of the earliest ages, is no indication of progress. In the
same way it may be said of the development of the animal or vegetable
kingdom, size is no indication of improved organism.

In the same beds in which the drift-type implements are found, flakes,
either struck off in the formation of such tools, or especially
flaked off from a core in a particular manner, indicating that they
were themselves intended for use as tools, are found in considerable
numbers. No more useful tool could have been used during the stone age
than the plain, untouched flint flake, which, from the sharpness of
the edge, is capable of being used for a variety of purposes. Those,
for example, formed of obsidian are so sharp that it is recorded,
by the Spanish historians, that the Mexicans were in the habit of
shaving themselves with such flakes. As my present subject has to
deal exclusively with war weapons, I will not enter into a detailed
description of these flakes, further than to observe that they are
found, together with the cores from which they were struck off, in
every quarter of the globe in which flint, obsidian, or any other
suitable material has been found, and that everywhere the process of
flaking appears to have been the same.

Now, the fracture of flint is very uncertain; by constant habit,
the ancient flint-workers appear to have been able to command the
fracture of the flint in a manner that cannot be imitated, even by
the most skilful forgers of those implements in modern times; but,
notwithstanding this, the varieties of the forms of the flakes thus
struck off must have been very considerable, and these varieties must,
from the very first, have suggested some of the different forms of
tools that were made out of them.

I cannot, perhaps, explain this point better than by exhibiting a
number of flakes, found by myself in the bed of the Bann at Toom, in
Ireland, at the spot where that river flows out of Lough Neagh. This
was a place originally discovered by Mr. Evans, where probably, in
a habitation built upon the river, they formerly manufactured flint
implements; and the bed of the river for the space of a hundred yards
or more is covered with the flakes. It will be seen on examining
these flakes, that some of them came off in a broad leaf-shaped form,
and these, with a very little additional chipping, have been formed
into spear-heads. Others longer and thicker have been chipped into
something like picks, and others thinner and narrower than the two
former, have been used probably as knives; others for scraping skins.
We see from this that certain forms would naturally suggest themselves
through the natural fracture of the flint, and this may to a certain
extent account, though it does not, I think, entirely account, for the
remarkable resemblance of form and unity of development observable in
the spear and arrow heads, derived from localities so remote from each
other as almost to preclude the possibility of their having ever been
derived from a common source.

[Illustration: PLATE XIII.

_Diagram 2._


I have arranged in tabular form, on diagram No. 2 (= Plate XIII),
representations of spear and arrow heads from all the different
localities from which I have been able to obtain them in sufficient
number to show fairly the numerous varieties which each country
produces. On the top of the diagram, from left to right, the several
forms are arranged in the order that appears most truly to indicate
progression; but it must not be supposed that this arrangement is
absolutely correct, for the several forms, such for example as the
tang and the triangular form, were most probably derived from a common
centre. The specimens from each locality ought therefore, in order
to display their progression properly, to be arranged in the form of
a tree, branching from a common stem. On the left of the diagram are
written the different periods and localities, from which the specimens
are derived. Commencing with the drift--the oldest of which we have
any knowledge--which is coeval with the elephant and rhinoceros in
Europe, we have the peculiar thick form already described. The examples
of the drift period here shown, from their small size, must evidently
have been used with a shaft, as they are scarcely large enough to have
served as hand tools. None of the lozenge, tang, or triangular forms,
have ever been found in the drift.

The next line represents specimens from the French caves of the
reindeer period, which are taken from the _Reliquiae Aquitanicae_,
chiefly from Dordogne.[147] It will be seen that in these caves the
first rude indications of the lozenge and tang form are represented,
but no perfect specimens of either class. No example of the triangular
form has been discovered. The leaf-shape form, however, is well

In the ancient habitations of the Swiss Lakes, which belong to a later
period, all varieties, except those of the drift type, are represented,
but none of them in their most fully developed form; the tangs, it will
be seen, are long, and the barbs comparatively short; the triangular
form, which I consider to be the latest in the order of development, is
mentioned by Dr. Keller, from whose work these specimens are taken, as
being extremely rare. The comparative rarity of flint implements in the
Lakes may, however, in some measure be accounted for, by the absence of
flint in the district, necessitating the importation of this material
from a distance.

The specimens from Yorkshire, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and
Germany, may be considered to carry the development of these forms up
to the latest period, viz. the late stone, and early bronze age; for
there can be no doubt from the number of arrow-heads found in these
countries, in connexion with implements of bronze, that they were
used for missile purposes long after the _armes blanches_ had been
constructed of metal.

In all these localities it will be seen that the various gradations of
form are identical; but as I have been able to collect a much larger
number of arrow-heads from Ireland than elsewhere, the development of
form is more apparent in the specimens selected from that country.

From the leaf-shape, it will be observed, there is every link of
transition into the perfect lozenge type, and the latter is as a
general rule, both in Ireland and in Yorkshire, much rarer, and more
carefully constructed, than the leaf-shaped type, showing that there is
every probability of the lozenge having been an improved form.

The tang form is represented, at first, by a few rude chips on each
side of the base of the original flake, narrowing that part in such a
manner as to admit of its being inserted, into a handle or shaft, and
bound round with a sinew. This is superseded by the gradual formation
of barbs on each side, and these barbs are lengthened by degrees, until
they reach to the line of the base of the tang; the tang subsequently
shortens, leaving the barbs with a semicircular aperture between them,
and thus approaching some of the forms represented in the triangular
column. These latter barbed specimens are usually more finished, and
chipped with greater care than the long-tanged ones, which are rougher,
more time-worn, and probably of earlier date.

The triangular form is seen at first, with a straight base; gradually
a semicircular aperture appears, and this deepens by degrees until, in
some of the more carefully formed specimens, it approaches the form
of a Norman arch. This last variety is especially well represented in

Sir William Wilde’s arrangement, in his _Catalogue of the Royal Irish
Academy_,[148] differs in some respects from this; he considers the
triangular an early form, and he assigns the final perfection of the
art of fabricating flint spear-heads, to the large lozenge-shape form;
grounding his opinion on the circumstance of many of this form, of the
larger size, having been found polished, whilst those of the leaf,
triangular, and tang shape are not usually carried further than the
preliminary process of chipping. But it is evident that these larger
forms may have been used for spears, the lozenge shape being especially
adapted for this purpose, as enabling the owner of it to withdraw it
from the wound, after slaying his adversary; while those of the barbed
and triangular form being lighter, and calculated to stick in the
wound, would be better adapted for arrow-heads: and it is unlikely
that the same amount of labour would be expended on a weapon intended
to be cast from a bow, as upon one designed to be held in the hand. I
consider the polishing of these particular weapons therefore to be no
criterion of age, but merely to indicate that they were used as _armes
d’hast_, and not as missiles.

It appears highly probable, however, that all the several varieties,
if not developed simultaneously, were used at the same time; for we
find amongst the Persians, the Esquimaux, and many other nations, that
a great variety of arrow-heads are carried in the same quiver, and are
used either indiscriminately or for different purposes[149].

In the eighth row from the top, I have arranged a series of similar
forms from America, obtained chiefly from Pennsylvania, but they
are also found in other parts of the continent, and some few of the
illustrations here given (Plate XIII, figs. 131, 132, and 133) are
from Tierra del Fuego. Their forms enable them to be arranged under
precisely the same divisions as those from the continent of Europe,
and in each division the same development is observable. The tang or
barbed form, however, differs sufficiently from the European forms of
the same class to show that they arose independently, and were not
derived from a common source. The tang of the American arrow-heads, it
will be seen, is broader, at least in the later forms, and it appears
to have originated in a notch on the sides of the blade, intended to
hold the sinew with which it is attached to the shaft or handle. This
notch appears to have been constructed lower and lower on the sides
of the blade, until at last it comes down quite into the base of the
flint, and it then closely resembles the European in form; compare, for
example, figures 94 and 136; except that the tang is broader, and has a
lateral projection on each side, so as to render it firmer in the shaft
when bound by the sinew.

Notches at the side of the blade are extremely rare in Ireland, but
from Sweden Professor Nilsson gives a drawing of an arrow-head, which
I have copied into my diagram (figure 96). It is precisely identical,
in its peculiar form, to one here figured from America (figure 139),
and they both have a concave base, in addition to the side notch; thus
apparently representing a transition form between the tang and the
triangular, which I have never noticed, except in the two specimens
here referred to, and which must be regarded in Europe as extremely

To illustrate the mode of fixing these instruments in their shafts, I
have here figured several examples from my collection; two of these
(figures 163 and 164) were derived from the Esquimaux, between Icy Cape
and Point Barrow, the person from whom I purchased them having brought
them himself from that locality. Figures 165, 166, and 167, are from

Burton says that the Indians between the Mississippi and the Pacific
use the barbed form only for war[150]; and Schoolcraft, in the
_Archives of the Aborigines of America_,[151] gives illustrations of
two methods of fastening, one for war and the other for the chase, the
former being loosely tied on, so as to come off when inserted in the

But, in addition to their use as arrow-points, we have reason to
suppose that they were used also as knives. I have represented in
the diagram (figures 168 and 169) two short-handled instruments
from Peru, which are now in the British Museum, into which similar
arrow-points are inserted. These, from the shortness and peculiar
shape of their shafts, could hardly have been used as darts. The only
weapon peculiar to those regions from which such an instrument could
have been projected, is the blow-pipe, and they are entirely different
from the darts used with the blow-pipe either in South America, the
Malay Peninsula, or Ceylon, in which countries the blow-pipe is used.
There is reason to believe, from the manner in which they are placed in
the graves, unaccompanied by any bow or other weapon from which they
could have been projected[152], that they were employed as knives, and
this is confirmed by the fact, already mentioned, of the inhabitants
of Tierra del Fuego using their arrow-points for knives. The great
numbers in which they are found in Ireland, in Yorkshire, and other
localities appertaining to the late stone age, in which places they
form the greater part of the relics collected, and are always the most
highly finished implements discovered--the other stone implements
associated with them being either celts, flint-discs, picks, or rough
or partially worked flakes, that are capable of being wrought into
arrows--the fact that the peculiar modification of form observable at
the base of these implements appears to have been designed rather to
facilitate the attachment of them to their wooden shafts or handles,
than for the special purposes of war; and the frequent marks of use, as
if by rubbing, that are found on the points of many of them, especially
in the specimens from Ireland; all these circumstances favour the
supposition that in Europe, as well as in America, these arrow-head
forms were used for many other purposes besides war and the chase; and
that, like the assegai of the Kaffir, and the many other examples of
tool-weapons already enumerated, we may regard them as having served to
our primaeval ancestors the general purposes of a small tool available
for carving, cutting, and for all those works for which a fine edge and
point was required. On the other hand the celt undoubtedly provided
them with a large tool capable of being applied to all the rougher
purposes, whether peaceful or warlike, for which it was adapted in the
simple arts of an uncivilized people.

In the ninth row I have arranged, under their respective classes, the
whole of the specimens of flint arrow-heads that are given in Siebold’s
atlas of Japanese weapons.[153] It will be seen that they present the
same variety of form as those already described. A similar collection
of flint arrow-heads has lately been added to the British Museum by Mr.
Franks, and described by him. They formed part of a Japanese collection
of curiosities, and are labelled in the Japanese character, showing
that this remote country not only passed through the same stone period
as ourselves, but that, as their culture improved and expanded, they,
like ourselves, have at last begun to make collections of objects to
illustrate the arts of remote antiquity.

_Implements composed of Perishable Materials._

It is now time that I should say a few words respecting weapons
constructed of more perishable materials; for it is not to be assumed
that, because we find nothing in the drift-gravels but weapons of
flint and stone, the aborigines of that age did not also employ wood
and other materials capable of being more easily worked. If man was
at that time, as he is now, a beast of prey, he must also have become
familiar, in the very first stages of his existence, with the uses of
bone as a material for fabricating into weapons. In the French caves, a
large number of bone implements have been found, and their resemblance,
amounting almost to identity, with those found in Sweden, amongst the
Esquimaux, and the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, has been noticed by
Sir John Lubbock, Professor Nilsson, and others.

But, in dealing with the subject of continuity and development, it is
necessary to confine our remarks to those countries from which we have
had an opportunity of collecting large varieties of the same class of
implement; we must therefore have recourse to the Australian, the New
Zealander, and those nations with which we are more frequently brought
in contact.

_Transition from Celt to Paddle, Spear, and Sword Forms._

[Illustration: PLATE XIV.

_Diagram 3._


The almond-shape celt form, as I have already demonstrated, is one so
universally distributed and of such very early origin, that we may
naturally expect to find many of the more complicated forms of savage
implements derived from it. [See diagram No. 3, reproduced in Plate
XIV.] In a paper in the _Ulster Journal of Archaeology_ (Belfast, 1857,
vol. v, pp. 125-27) a writer draws attention to the occurrence in
the bed of the Bann, and elsewhere in the north of Ireland, of stone
clubs, formed much upon the general outline of the celt, but narrowed
at the small end, so as to facilitate their being held in the hand
like a bludgeon. Fig. 50 is copied from the illustration given in the
paper referred to, and fig. 51 is another in my collection, also from
Ireland, of precisely the same form; the original is upon the table,
and it will be seen that it is simply a celt cut at the small end,
so as to adapt it to being held in the hand. Fig. 52 is an implement
in common use among the New Zealanders, called the ‘pattoo-pattoo’,
of precisely the same shape; it is of jade, and its form, as may be
seen by the thin sharp edge at the top, is evidently derived from that
of the stone celt. Fig. 53 is a remarkably fine specimen, from the
Museum of this Institution; the handle part in this specimen is more
elaborately finished. These weapons are used as clubs to break heads,
and also as missiles, and the fact of their having been derived from
the celt is shown by the manner in which they are used by the New
Zealanders. I am informed by Mr. Dilke, who derived his information
from the natives whilst travelling in New Zealand, that the manner of
striking with these weapons is not usually with the side, but with the
sharp end of the pattoo-pattoo, precisely in the same manner that a
celt would be used if held in the hand. The spot selected for the blow
is usually above the ear, where the skull is weakest. If any further
evidence were wanting to prove the derivation of this weapon from the
stone celt, it is afforded by fig. 54, which is a jade implement lately
added to the British Museum from the Woodhouse Collection. It was, for
some time, believed to have been found in a Greek tomb, but this is now
believed by Mr. Franks to be a mistake; it is, without doubt, a New
Zealand instrument. The straight edge shows unmistakably that the end
was the part employed in using it, while the rounded small end, with a
hole at the extremity, shows that, like the pattoo-pattoo, it was held
in the hand. It is, in fact, precisely identical with the hand celts
from Ireland, above described, and forms a valuable connecting link
between the celt and pattoo-pattoo form. Now it may be regarded as a
law of development, applicable alike to all implements of savage and
early races, that when any form has been produced symmetrically, like
this pattoo-pattoo, the same form will be found either curved to one
side, or divided in half; the variation, no doubt, depending on the
purposes for which it is used. The pattoo-pattoo, having been used at
first, like its prototype the celt, for striking with the end, would
naturally come to be employed for striking upon the side edge.[154]
The other side would therefore be liable to variation, according to
the fancy of the workman. Figs. 55, 56, and 57, are examples of these
implements, in which the edge is retained only on one side and at the
end, the other side being variously cut and ornamented. This weapon
extended to the west coast of America, and there, as in New Zealand,
they are found both of the symmetrical and of the one-sided form. Fig.
58 is one believed to be from Nootka Sound, in my collection. Fig. 59
is also from Nootka, in the Museum of this Institution. Fig. 60 is an
outline of one from Peru, which is figured in Dr. Klemm’s work (l. c.,
fig. 46, p. 26), and I am informed that a nearly similar club has been
derived from Brazil.

The same form as the pattoo-pattoo, in Australia, has been developed
in wood. Fig. 61 is from Nicol Bay, North-West Australia, and is in
the Christy Collection described as a sword. Fig. 62 is of the same
form, also of wood, but of cognate form, from New Guinea. In fig. 63,
which is also from New Guinea, we see the same form developed into a
paddle. In the larger implements of this class we see the same form,
modified in such a manner as to diminish the weight; thus, the convex
sides become either straight or concave. I have arranged upon the walls
a variety of clubs and paddles, from the Polynesian Islands, figs.
64 to 67, all of which must have been derived from a common source.
The New Zealand steering-paddle, fig. 64, it will be seen, is simply
an elongated celt form. Those from the Marquesas (fig. 65), Society
Isles, Fiji, and Solomon Isles, &c., are all allied. In the infancy of
the art of navigation, we may suppose that the implements of war, when
constructed of wood, may have frequently been used as paddles, or those
employed for paddles have been used in the fight, and this may perhaps
account for the circumstance that, throughout these regions, the club,
sword, and paddle pass into each other by imperceptible gradations.
In the Friendly Isles we may notice a still further development of
this form into the long wooden spear, specimens of which, from this
Institution, are exhibited (figs. 68, 69, and 70).

We must not expect to find all the connecting links in one country or
island. We know that the same race has at different times spread over
a very wide area; that the Polynesians, New Zealanders, and Malays are
all of the same stock, speaking the same or cognate languages. The same
race spread to the shores of America on the one side, and to Madagascar
on the other, carrying with them their arts and implements, and we may,
therefore, naturally expect that the links which are missing in one
locality may be supplied in another.

_Development of the Australian Boomerang._

We now turn to the Australians, a race which, being in the lowest stage
of cultivation of any with whom we are acquainted, must be regarded as
the best representatives of aboriginal man.

I have transferred the Australian sword, Plate XIV (diagram 3), fig.
61, to Plate XV (diagram 4), fig. 72, in order that from it we may
be able to trace the development of a weapon supposed by some to be
peculiar to this country, but one which in reality has had a very wide
range in the earliest stages of culture; I allude to the boomerang.[155]

The Australians, in the manufacture of all their weapons, follow the
natural grain of the wood, and this leads them into the adoption of
every conceivable curve. The straight sword would by this means at
once assume the form of the boomerang, which, it will be seen by the
diagram, is constructed of every shade of curve from the straight line
to the right angle, the curve invariably following the natural grain of
the wood, that is to say, the bend of the piece of a stem or branch out
of which the implement was fabricated.

All savage nations are in the habit of throwing their weapons at the
enemy. The desire to strike an enemy at a distance, without exposing
one’s self within the range of his weapons, is one deeply seated in
human nature, and requires neither explanation nor comment. Even apes,
as I have already noticed, are in the habit of throwing stones. The
North American Indian throws his tomahawk; the Indians of the Grand
Chako, in South America, throw the ‘macana’, a kind of club. We
learn from the travels of Mr. Blount,[156] in the Levant in 1634,
that at that time the Turks used the mace to throw, as well as for
striking. The Kaffirs throw the knob-kerry, as did also the Fidasians
of Western Africa.[157] The Fiji Islanders are in the habit of throwing
a precisely similar club. The Franks are supposed to have thrown the
‘francisca’.[158] The New Zealander throws his ‘pattoo-pattoo’, and the
Australian throws the ‘dowak’ and the waddy, as well as his boomerang.
All these weapons spin of their own accord when thrown from the hand.
In practising with the boomerang, it will be found that it does not
require that any special movement of rotation should be imparted to it,
but if thrown with the point first it must inevitably rotate in its
flight. The effect of this rotation, it will hardly be necessary to
remind those acquainted with the laws of projectiles, is to preserve
the axis and plane of rotation parallel to itself, upon the principle
of the gyroscope. By this means the thin edge of the weapon would be
constantly opposed to the atmosphere in front, whilst the flat sides,
if thrown horizontally, would meet the air opposed to it by the action
of gravitation; the effect, of course, would be to increase the range
of the projectile, by facilitating its forward movement, and impeding
its fall to the earth. This much, all curved weapons of the boomerang
form possess as a common property.

If any large collection of boomerangs from Australia be examined, it
will be seen that they vary not only in their curvature, but also in
their section; some are much thicker than others, some are of the same
breadth throughout, whilst others bulge in the centre; some are heavier
than others, some have an additional curve so as to approach the form
of an S, some have a slight twist laterally, some have an equal section
on both sides, while others are nearly flat on one side and convex on
the other.

As all these varieties continued to be employed, it would soon be
perceived that peculiar advantages were derived from the use of the
flatter class of weapon, especially such as are flat on the under
side, for by throwing these in such a manner as to catch the air on
the flat side, instead of falling to the ground they would rise in
the air, precisely in the same manner that a kite, (fig. 71), when
the boy runs forward with the string, rises and continues to rise as
long as it is kept up by the action of the air beneath. In like manner
the boomerang, as long as the forward movement imparted to it by the
thrower continues, will continue to rise, and the plane of rotation,
instead of continuing perfectly parallel to its original position,
will be slightly raised by the action of the atmosphere on the forward
side. When the movement of transition ceases, the boomerang will
begin to fall, and its course in falling will be by the line of least
resistance, which is in the direction of the edge that lies obliquely
towards the thrower; it will therefore fall back in the same manner
that a kite, when the string is suddenly broken, is seen to fall
back for a short distance; but as the kite has received no movement
of rotation to cause it to continue in the same plane of descent,
it soon loses its parallelism, and falls in a series of fantastic
curves towards the ground. The boomerang will do the same thing if it
loses its movement of rotation; but as long as this continues, which
it usually does after the forward movement has ceased, it continues
to fall back upon the same inclined plane by which it ascended, and
finally reaches the ground at the feet of the thrower. There are
various ways of throwing the boomerang, but the principles here
enunciated will explain the course of its flight in whatever manner it
may be thrown.

Now it is evident that this peculiar mode of flight would be of great
advantage to the savage, for as we learn from a paper in _Trans.
Ethnological Society_ (N.S. iii. pp. 264-5), by Mr. Oldfield, who
speaks from experience, the natives usually employ this weapon against
large flocks of ducks or wild-fowl in rivers or marshes; the weapon
after striking or missing the prey would return to the thrower,
instead of being lost in the morass; its use, therefore, would give
to the individual or tribe possessing it a great advantage over their
neighbours in the struggle for life.

But it is evident that the principles of the flight of the boomerang,
such as I have described it, according to the recognized law of
projectiles, must have been entirely unknown to the savage; he can no
more be said to have _invented_ the boomerang than he can be said to
have _invented_ the art of sustaining life by nourishment. Instinct
prompts him to eat; little better than instinct would enable him to
select from amongst his weapons such as are found most suitable for
obtaining food; and we have already seen how he may have been led to
the adoption of such an instrument as the boomerang, purely through
the laws of accidental variation, guided by the natural grain of the
material in which he worked.

The boomerang, though used chiefly for game, is used also as a weapon,
and Mr. Oldfield says that it is capable of inflicting a wound several
inches in depth.

A further movement is effected in the flight of the boomerang by giving
the arms a slight lateral twist, by means of which it is caused to rise
by virtue of its rotation, screwing itself up in the air precisely in
the same manner that a boy’s flying top rises to the ceiling. By means
of this addition, the weapon is sometimes made to strike an object in
its fall to the ground, behind the thrower, but the twist is not by
any means invariable, as any one may see by examining a collection of
these weapons. Nor is it essential to ensure a return fall, which I
have frequently ascertained by practising with a boomerang that was
perfectly flat.

[Illustration: PLATE XV.

_Diagram 4_



_Diagram 6_


_Diagram 5_



_Diagram 7_


[Illustration: PLATE XVI.

_Diagram 8_




_Diagram 9_


_Diagram 10_


In examining Plate XV (diagram 4), it will be seen that the boomerang
passes by imperceptible gradations from the straight sword, fig. 72,
on the one hand, into the ‘malga’, a kind of pick, fig. 89, used for
war purposes, on the other[159], and this Australian malga closely
resembles a weapon of the same kind from New Caledonia, figs. 90 and
91, which, as already mentioned, is used both as a weapon and for
tilling the ground. In Plate XV (diagram 5), figs. 92 to 100, I have
also arranged the links of connexion between the boomerang and a kind
of hatchet or chopper called the waddy. A slight swell or projection
is seen to grow out of one end of the concave side of the boomerang,
and this develops into the form of a chopper. In those specimens of
this class in which the projection is only slightly developed, as in
figs. 94 and 95, the sides of the implement are flat, and the weapon
is obviously designed for throwing, but in some of those in which
the projection is more fully developed, as in fig. 96, the shaft is
quite round, and the head becomes thick and heavy, so as to render it
totally unsuited to the purposes of a missile. We see, therefore, in
this diagram, the transition, by minute gradations, from a missile to
a hand weapon, or vice versa. The boomerang, the sword, the malga,
and the waddy, are thus seen to be allied in such a manner as to make
it difficult to determine which of the four was the original weapon,
and, if properly arranged to display their development, they should be
distributed in branch lines, starting from a common centre, exactly in
the same manner that I have suggested the various forms of spear and
arrow-heads ought to be arranged in the natural order of progression.
[See, for example, Plate III, and pp. 37-8, above.]

_Indian Boomerangs._

In Plate XV (diagram 6), figs. 101-5, I have arranged a series of
boomerangs from India. Figures 101 and 102 are specimens of the
‘katureea’ or boomerang of Goojerat, from the Indian Museum; they
are used by the coolies, according to the ticket in the Museum, ‘for
whirling at hares, boars, and other wild animals, and disabling
them’. It is of ‘raen’ wood, thicker and heavier than the Australian
specimens, and therefore not adapted to rise in the air and return. The
section is equal on both sides, but in other respects it is precisely
identical with the Australian weapon, and appears to have been roughly
chipped into form. Figures 103 and 104 are of an improved form, from
Madras, called the ‘collery’, also of wood, but having a knob at the
handle end; they are from the Museum of this Institution. Figure 105
is precisely the same form in steel, from the India Museum. It is
probable that this weapon led to the use of the steel ‘chakra’ or war
quoit (fig. 106) of which I have given an illustration from the Museum
of this Institution. The principle of its flight is precisely that of
the boomerang, in so far as regards the increase of range and velocity
produced by the rotation preserving the thin edge in the line of its
forward motion. The earliest mention of this instrument is in the
description of the Malabar Coast, by Magellan, about 1512, translated
by Mr. Stanley, for the Hakluyt Society. The author describes amongst
the arms used in the kingdom of Dely, certain wheels called chacarani,
‘two fingers broad, sharp outside like knives, and without edge inside,
and the surface of these is of the size of a small plate, and they
carry seven or eight of these each, put on the left arm, and they take
one and put it on the finger of the right hand, and make it spin round
many times, so that they hurl it at their enemies, and if they hit
any one on the arm or neck, it cuts through all, and with these they
carry on much fighting, and are very dexterous.’[160] These weapons
are usually worn on the head, but the circumstance here mentioned of
their being worn on the arm, reminds us very much of the peculiar
weapon worn by the Djibba negroes of Central Africa as a bracelet; this
is represented in figure 107; it is of iron, sharp on the outside and
blunt on the inside, which touches the arm; the edge is usually covered
with a strip of hide to prevent injury to the person. I am not aware
that this weapon of the negroes is ever used as a missile, but the
occurrence of two such singular weapons, similarly carried, is worthy
of notice, more particularly as we have clear evidence of a connexion
between the metal-workers of the whole continent of Africa and the hill
tribes of Central India.

It is possible that many links of connexion may be supplied when the
subject of continuity comes to be more carefully studied in these
countries. It would appear extremely probable that the small Koorkeree
and Goorkah knife, though now used only for hand fight, may have had
their origin in these missile weapons, which they resemble in form,
especially the large Goorkah knife. It would be interesting to know
if they are ever thrown. I have heard stories of this having been the
case, but no authentic account of such a practice. The Spaniards throw
their long clasp-knives with effect for a considerable distance.

_African Boomerangs._

Turning to Africa (Plate XV, diagram 7), we find the boomerang well
represented in many parts of that continent. Figure 108 is an ancient
Egyptian boomerang of wood, in the British Museum. It was obtained from
the collection of James Burton, Jr., Esq., which was formed by him in
Egypt, and is described as ‘an instrument for fowling, for throwing at,
or knocking down birds, as is continually represented on the walls of
the tombs’. It is of hard but light wood, the section is symmetrical
on both sides, and not flat on one side, like some of the Australian
boomerangs; it is somewhat broader at the ends than in the middle
of the blade. Figures 100, 110, and 111, are taken from Rosellini’s
_Egyptian Monuments_,[161] and show how this instrument was used by the
ancient Egyptians. Sir Samuel Baker has described the weapon called the
‘trombash’, used in those parts of Abyssinia which he traversed.[162]
It is of hard wood, resembling the Australian boomerang, about two feet
in length, and the end turns sharply at an angle of 30°; they throw
this with great dexterity, and inflict severe wounds with the hard
and sharp edge, but, unlike the boomerang, it does not return to the
thrower. Figure 113 is a wooden instrument, in the Christy Collection,
said to be used by the Djibba negroes for throwing at birds. Figure 114
is the Nubian sword, which in form exactly resembles the boomerang.
They have a great variety of curves, some of them, especially those of
the same form used in Abyssinia, bending nearly in a right angle. I am
not aware that this instrument is ever thrown by the Nubians; they,
however, are in the habit of throwing their curved clubs with great
dexterity. Figure 115 is an iron implement of native workmanship, used
as a missile by the inhabitants of Central Africa; it was brought from
that region by Consul Petherick, at whose sale I purchased it. Like
the majority of the succeeding figures represented in this diagram, it
resembles the Australian boomerang, in being flat on the under side,
that is to say, upon the side which would be undermost, if thrown from
the right hand with the point first; the weight, however, would prevent
such a weapon from rising in the air, or returning to the thrower.
Figure 116 is used by the Mundo tribe of Africa; like the last, it is
flat on the under side; in form it resembles the falchion, represented
in the Egyptian sculptures as being held in the hand by Rameses and
other figures, when slaying their enemies. The small knob on one side
of the blade is used to attach it to the person in carrying it. Figure
117, from Central Africa, is clearly a development of the preceding
figure. Figure 118 is a weapon of the same class, from Kordofan,
obtained near the cataracts of Assouan, Upper Nile, and now in the
Museum of this Institution; though of the same character as the other
missiles, its section is equal on both sides, and therefore it is not
calculated to range far in its flight. Figure 119 is also from the
Museum of this Institution; it is flat on the under side. Figures 120
and 121 are from illustrations in Denham and Clapperton’s _Travels
in Northern and Central Africa_ (Pl. xli. 3, 4), of the missile
instruments, called ‘hunga-mungas’, used by the negro tribes, south of
Lake Tchad. One of these is of very peculiar form; in the course of the
innumerable variations which this weapon appears to have undergone, the
constructor appears to have hit upon the idea of representing the head
and neck of a stork. Figure 122 is from a sketch, in Barth’s _Travels_,
of one of these weapons, belonging to the Marghi, a negro tribe in the
same region; it is called ‘danisco’, and he says that the specimen here
represented is of particularly regular shape, thereby inferring that
numerous varieties of form are in use among these people. In another
place, he describes the ‘goliyo’ of the Musgu and the ‘njiga’ of the
Bagirmi, as weapons of the same class, the name of the latter differing
from the word for spear only in a single letter; he says this weapon is
common to all the pagan, i.e. negro tribes, that he came across.[163]
Figure 123 is from East Central Africa, presented to the Christy
Collection by the Viceroy of Egypt; it is described as a cutting
instrument, from the country of the Dinkas and Shillooks, capable of
being thrown to a great distance. Mr. Petherick met with these tribes
in his travels on the White Nile.[164] Figure 124, from my collection,
is described as a battle-axe of the Dor tribe, between the equator and
the 6th or 7th degree of north latitude. It was brought to England
by Mr. Petherick, who obtained it in his travels in 1858; it is used
also for throwing. Figure 125 is from an illustration in Du Chaillu’s
work,[165] of the missile tomahawk, used by the Fans in the Gaboon, in
West Central Africa; he says that the thrower aims at the head, and,
after killing his victim, uses the round edge of the axe to cut off
the head. We see from this, that notwithstanding the innumerable and
apparently meaningless variations which this weapon has undergone, the
different parts of it are sometimes applied to especial uses. Figure
126 is another missile, used by the Neam-Nam tribes, East Central
Africa. Mr. Petherick says, that the Baer tribe carry a different kind
of iron missile from the Neam-Nams. Figures 126 to 129 are different
varieties of Neam-Nam weapons, in which, as they are all derived from
the same people, the gradual transition of form is more perceptible
than in those isolated specimens derived from different tribes. If,
however, we had specimens of all the varieties used by each tribe, we
should without doubt be able to trace the progression of the whole
of them from a common form. As it is, the connexion is sufficiently
obvious when the details are examined, throughout the whole region in
which they are found, extending from Egypt and the Nile in the East, to
the Gaboon on the West Coast. In all, the principle of construction is
the same, the divergent lateral blades serving the purpose of wings,
like the arms of the Australian boomerang, to sustain the weapon in
the air when spun horizontally. The variations are such as might
have resulted from successive copies, little or no improvement being
perceivable in the principle of construction throughout this region,
notwithstanding the innumerable forms through which it must have passed
during its transmission from its original source; the locality of
which we shall probably be unable to determine, until the antiquities
of the country have been more carefully described and studied. As,
however, it is everywhere found in the hands of the negro aborigines of
the country, it must probably have had the same origin as the art of
smelting and fabricating iron, which is everywhere identical throughout
this region, and is, without doubt, of the remotest antiquity, dating
long prior to any historical record of the continent of Africa.


The possible employment of the boomerang in Europe has been made the
subject of occasional speculation amongst antiquarian writers. Having
been used in Egypt, and perhaps in Assyria, there is no good reason for
doubting that it may have spread from thence to the north-west. In a
learned paper on the subject in the _Transactions of the Royal Irish
Academy_, vol. xix (1843), § ‘Literature,’ p. 22, Pl. i, ii, Mr. Samuel
Ferguson endeavours to prove that the ‘cateia’ mentioned by classical
authors was the boomerang. He quotes several passages, and amongst
them one from Virgil (_Aeneid_ vii. 741), in which mention is made of
a people accustomed to whirl the ‘cateia’ after the Teutonic manner.
In the _Punica_ of Silius (iii. 327), one of the Libyan tribes which
accompanied Hannibal to Italy is described as being armed with a bent
or crooked ‘cateia’. Isidore, Bishop of Seville, a writer of the end of
the sixth and beginning of the seventh century, described the ‘cateia’
as ‘a species of bat, which, when thrown, flies not far, by reason
of its weight, but where it strikes, it breaks through with extreme
impetus, and if it be thrown with a skilful hand, it returns back again
to him who dismissed it’ (_Origines_, xviii. 7. 7).

Strabo also (pp. 196-7) describes the Belgae of his time, as using
‘a wooden weapon of the shape of a grosphus, which they throw out of
hand ... which flies farther than an arrow, and is chiefly used in the
pursuit of game’.

_General Conclusions relative to the Boomerang._

Those who desire further information relative to its supposed use
in Europe, cannot do better than refer to the paper from which I
have quoted. Meanwhile, enough has been said to show:--(1) that
the boomerang was used in many different countries at a very early
period, and in a very primitive condition of culture, and that it was
everywhere employed chiefly in the pursuit of game; (2) that it was
everywhere constructed of wood, before it was copied in metal; (3) that
in Australia it originated as a variety of the almond- or leaf-shaped
sword, and was suggested by the natural curvature of the material out
of which it was formed; (4) that the subsequent improvements by which
its return flight was ensured, arose from a practical selection of
suitable varieties, and was not the result of design, and (5) that the
form of the boomerang passes by minute gradations into at least three
other classes of weapons in common use by the same people, and may
therefore be regarded as a branch variety of an original normal type
of implement, used by the most primitive races as a general tool or

_Development of the Club._

Amongst other implements used for war, the form of which appears to be
derived from the same common source as those already described, may
be included the Australian club, and the wamera or throwing stick. I
have arranged in Plate XVI, diagram 8, figs. 130 to 137, a series of
Australian clubs, showing a transition from the plain stick, of equal
size throughout, to one having a nearly round knob at one end. Nearly
similar forms to some of these, from Africa, figs. 138 to 140, are also
represented on the same diagram.

_Contrivances for Throwing the Spear._

Amongst the Australian ‘wameras’, there are so many varieties, that it
is next to impossible to speculate upon the priority of any particular
form, unless the plain stick, with a projecting peg at one end, may be
regarded as certainly the simplest, and therefore the earlier form.
The ‘wamera’ is held in the right hand, and the projecting peg at the
end is fitted into a cavity at the end of the spear, which latter is
held in the left hand, in the required direction, until just before the
moment of throwing. The spear is then impelled to its destination by
the wamera, which gives great additional impetus to the arm. Fig. 147
is a wamera from Nicol Bay, of exactly the same general outline as the
sword already figured from that locality, figs. 61 and 62, except that
one of the faces at the end of which the peg is fastened, is concave,
and the other convex; this specimen is in the Christy Collection. The
wamera assumes a great variety of forms; some, as for example fig.
142, resemble on a small scale the New Zealand paddle, the broad end
being held in the hand, and the peg inserted in the small end; others,
broad and flat, figs. 148 to 150, bulge out in the middle by successive
gradations, until they approach the form of a shield. No reasonable
cause that I am aware of, can be assigned for these different forms;
beyond caprice, and the action of the law of incessant variation, which
is constant in its operation amongst all the works of the aborigines.

The wamera is found on the north-west[166] and south-west[167] coasts
of Australia, and Major Mitchell describes it in the east and central
parts of the continent.[168]

That the wamera preceded the bow, appears probable from the fact that
no bow is ever used in Australia, unless occasionally upon the north
coast, where it is derived from the Papuans. The bow is not indigenous
in New Zealand, or in any of those islands of the Pacific which are
peopled by the Polynesian race; it belongs truly to the Papuans, and
where it is used elsewhere in the Pacific Islands as a toy, it may
very probably have been derived from their Papuan neighbours. The
throwing stick is used in New Zealand, in which country Mr. Darwin
describes the practice with them. ‘A cap,’ he says, ‘being fixed at
30 yards distance, they transfixed it with the spear delivered by
the throwing stick, with the rapidity of an arrow from the bow of a
practised archer.’[169] In New Guinea, Captain Cook saw the lance
thrown 60 yards, as he believed, by the throwing stick.[170] I saw
the Australians, now exhibiting on Kennington Common (1868), throw
their spears with the wamera nearly 100 yards extreme range, but as
they practised only for range, I had no opportunity of observing the
accuracy of flight. Mr. Oldfield says that their practice has been much
exaggerated by the European settlers, in order to justify acts on their
part, which would otherwise appear cowardly. He says, that a melon
having been put up at a distance of 30 yards, many natives practised
at it for an hour without hitting it, after which an European, who had
accustomed himself to the use of this weapon, struck it five times
out of six with his spear. Klemm, on the other hand, has collected
several accounts of their dexterity in the use of it; he says, that the
range is 90 yards, and mentions that Captain Phillip received a wound
several inches deep at 30 paces. At 40 paces, he says, the aborigines
are always safe of their mark (l. c., p. 32). A sharp flint is usually
fixed with gum into the handle of the wamera, which they use for
sharpening the points of their spears.

The throwing stick (fig. 151) is used by the Esquimaux throughout
the regions they inhabit. Frobisher[171] mentions it on the east,
Captain Beechey on the north-west, and Cranz describes its use in
Greenland.[172] Klemm says (l. c., p. 39), that the throwing stick used
in the Aleutian Isles, differs from that of the Greenlander in having a
cavity, to receive the end of the spear, instead of a projecting tang.
The Esquimaux stick generally differs from the Australian in form,
and has usually holes cut to receive the fingers, which by this means
secure a firm grasp of the instrument. The custom of forming holes or
depressions in an implement to receive the fingers was very widely
spread in prehistoric times. I have specimens of stones so indented,
used probably as hammers, from Ireland, Yorkshire, Denmark, and Central
India. In the Christy Collection there is one precisely similar from
the Andaman Isles.

The only other race that is known to make use of the throwing stick is
the Purus-Purus Indians of South America, inhabiting a tributary of the
Amazon. These people have no bow, and in many other respects resemble
the Australians in their habits. Their throwing stick is called
‘palheta’; it has a projection at the end, to fit into the end of the
spear, and is handled exactly in the same manner as the Australian

Another kind of spear-thrower, consisting of a loop for the finger and
a thong by which it is fastened to the spear, is used in New Caledonia,
and Tanna, New Hebrides (fig. 152). On ordinary occasions this is
carried by being suspended to an armlet on the left arm, but, when
preparing for war, they fasten it on to the middle of their spears. I
exhibit here, fig. 153, a precisely similar contrivance from Central
Africa, from my collection. Judging by the spiral ferrule, at the end
of the lance to which it is attached, it appears to be derived from
Central or East Central Africa. This mode of increasing the range of
the dart or javelin was well known to the ancients, and was called by
the Greeks ἀγκύλη, and by the Romans ‘amentum’; it is represented on
the Etruscan vases, and is figured in Smith’s _Dictionary of Greek
and Roman Antiquities_, from which the drawing given in fig. 154 is
taken.[174] One of the effects produced by this contrivance was,
doubtless, to give the weapon a rotary motion, and thereby to increase
the accuracy of its flight, upon the same principle as the rifling of a
bullet; but the range and velocity were also increased, by enabling the
thrower, the tip of whose forefinger was passed through the loop of the
‘amentum’, to press longer upon the spear, and thus impart a greater
velocity to it, in the same manner that the effect of the Australian
wamera may be said to increase the length of the thrower’s arm. The
Emperor Napoleon, who, as we all know, has paid great attention to
these weapons of the ancients, caused experiments to be conducted,
under his own personal supervision, at Saint Germain, the result of
which showed that the range of a spear was increased from 20 to 80
meters by the use of this accessory.[175]

_Transition from Club to Shield (Australia)._

My next example of variation of form is taken from the Australian
‘heileman’, or shield. It may, on the first cursory consideration of
the subject, appear fanciful to suppose that so simple a contrivance
as the shield could require to have a history, or that the plain round
target, for example, so common amongst many savage nations, could be
the result of a long course of development. Surely, it may be said,
the shells of tortoises or the thick hides of beasts would, from the
first, have supplied so simple a contrivance. But the researches in
palaeoethnology teach us that such was not the case; man came into the
world naked and defenceless, and it was long before he acquired the
art of defending himself in this manner. His first weapon, as I have
already said, was a stone or a stick, and it is from one or other of
these, that we must trace all subsequent improvements. The stick became
a club, and it is to this alone that many of the earliest races trust
for the defence of their persons. The Dinkas of East Central Africa
have no shields, using the club, and a stick, hooked at both ends (Pl.
XVI, fig. 170), to ward off lances.[176] The Shoua and the Bagirmi
of Central Africa rarely carry shields, and they use a foreign name
for it.[177] The Khonds, hill tribes of Central India, have never
adopted the shield.[178] The inhabitants of Tahiti use no shield.[179]
The Sandwich Islanders use no shield or weapon of defence, employing
the javelin to ward off lances: like the Australians, and, like the
Bushmen, they are very expert in dodging the weapons of their enemies.
In Samoa the club is used for warding off lances, and the warriors
frequently exercise themselves in this practice. The ‘kerri’ sticks of
the Hottentots are used for warding off stones and assegais.[180]

The club head formed by the divergent roots of a tree (Pl. XVI,
fig. 155), offers great advantages in enabling the warrior to catch
the arrows in their flight, and this led to the use of the jagged
mace-head form of club, which is here represented from many different
localities. Fig. 155 is from Fiji, fig. 157 from Central Africa, fig.
156 from Australia, fig. 158 from New Guinea, and fig. 159 from the
Friendly Isles. The curved clubs, of which a great variety are found
in the hands of savages in every part of the world, are exceedingly
well adapted to catch and throw off the enemy’s arrow. The Australian
‘malga’, or ‘leowel’, as it is called by the Australians now in this
country, and already described (pp. 125-6), is used in this manner.

By degrees, instead of using the club as a general weapon, offensive
and defensive, especial forms would be used for defence, whilst
others would be retained for offensive purposes; but the shield for
some time would continue to be used merely as a parrying instrument.
Such it is in Australia. In its most primitive form, it is merely a
kind of stick with an aperture cut through it in the centre for the
hand. The fore part varies with the shape of the stem out of which it
was made; in some it is round, in others flat. This form appears to
have branched off into two varieties; one developed laterally, and
at last assumed the form of a pointed oval, as represented in Plate
XVI, figs. 165 to 169; these are frequently scored on the front with
grooves to catch the lance points. The other variety appears to have
assumed a pointed form in front, so as to make the spear glance off
to one side, as represented in figs. 160 to 164. The Australians are
exceedingly skilful in parrying with these shields. One of the feats
of the Australians now in this country, consists in parrying cricket
balls thrown with full force by three persons at the same time. The
‘heileman’ is cut out of the solid tree and, like all their other
weapons, invariably follows the grain of the wood.

In 1861, Mr. Oldfield, when engaged in collecting specimens of timber
for the International Exhibition, came upon one of these shields,
nearly finished, and abandoned, but only requiring a few strokes to
detach it from the growing tree; and he noticed the immense time and
labour it must have cost the native to construct it, not less than 30
cubic feet of wood having been removed in digging it out of the tree
with no better tool than a flint fixed to the end of a stick. Trees
of sufficient size for these shields are not found in all parts of
Australia, and in those places where they are wanting, the natives
only obtain them by traffic with other tribes. The same cause may
also account, in some measure, for the varieties of their form, yet,
notwithstanding these numerous varieties, they never leave the normal
type throughout the continent, and you might as well expect to see the
Australian using a firelock of native manufacture, as to find in his
hands the circular flat shield which is common in Africa, America, and
ancient Europe.

_Transition from Club to Shield (Africa)._

In Africa, the development of the shield appears to have followed
precisely the same course, commencing with the plain stick or club,
Pl. XVI, fig. 170, and passing through the varieties represented in
figs. 171, 172, and 173, which are scarcely distinguishable from the
Australian ‘heileman’, to the oval shield of the Kaffirs, fig. 174,
and of the Upper Nile, figs. 175 and 176, which are of ox hide, but
show their origin by a stick passing down the centre and grasped in
the hand; with this stick they parry and turn off the lances of the
assailant precisely in the same manner that the Australian employs the
projecting point at the end of his oval shield. Judging by the side
views represented in the Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures, similar
shields were used by the ancients, and we may especially notice the
Assyrian shield, of small dimensions, fig. 178, mentioned by Mr.
Rawlinson as being represented in the Assyrian sculptures, and having
projecting spikes on the fore part, to catch and throw off the enemy’s
weapons (_Five Great Monarchies_ (1864), vol. ii. p. 51).

_Development of the Shield._

All these antique shields have one other feature in common with the
shields of existing aborigines, viz. that they are held by a handle
in the centre. It was only in a more advanced age, when armies began
to fall into serried ranks, that the broad shield was introduced
and held upon the left arm, a mode of carrying it ill adapted to
the requirements of the light-armed combatants. Besides the oval,
the shield took other forms, but appears always to have been narrow
in its earliest developments: fig. 176 from the Upper Nile closely
resembles in outline fig. 177 from the New Hebrides. Livy describes
the shields of the Gauls in the attack of Mount Olympus, B.C. 189, as
being too narrow to defend them against the missiles of the Romans,
and he also describes them as brandishing their shields in a peculiar
manner practised in their original country.[181] This must without
doubt have been connected with the operation of parrying. Sir Walter
Scott describes the Scotch parrying with their shields. Shields in the
form of a figure 8 are met with in various countries; Captain Grant
describes the Unyamwezi as carrying a shield of this form.[182] Fig.
179 from this Institution is from Central Africa, of a very primitive
form. Fig. 180 is of the same shape from New Guinea, and the beautiful
bronze shield, fig. 181[183], of the late Celtic period, in the British
Museum, found in the Thames, appears to be of an allied form. Fig.
182 is an ox-hide shield of the Basutos; it is allied to that of the
Kaffirs, Fig. 174, by having a stick at the back, and the peculiar
wings with which it is furnished connect it with that of the Fans of
the Gaboon, on the West Coast, fig. 183, which latter is of elephant
hide and has no stick at the back. No connexion that I am aware of is
known to have existed between these remote tribes, which are of totally
different races, but the forms of their shields here represented must,
I think, have been derived from a common source.

_Concluding Remarks._

It would be quite impossible within the space of a single lecture to
produce more than a very small portion indeed of the evidence which is
available in support of my arguments. If the principles which I have
enunciated are sound, they must be applicable to the whole of the arts
of mankind and to all time. If it can be proved that a single art,
contrivance, custom, or institution, sprang into existence in violation
of the law of continuity, and was not the offspring of some prior
growth, it will disprove my theory. If in the whole face of nature
there is undoubted evidence of any especial fiat of creation having
operated capriciously, or in any other manner than by gradual evolution
and development, my principles are false.

It would be a violation of the law of continuity, for example, if the
principles which I am now advocating, in common with many others at the
present time, opposed as they are to many preconceived notions, were
suddenly to receive a general and widespread acceptance. This also,
like other offsprings of the human mind, must be a work of development,
and it will require time and the labours of many individuals to
establish it as the truth, if truth it be.

Meanwhile it may be well that I should briefly sum up the several
points which I have endeavoured to prove on the present occasion.

I have endeavoured to prove in the first place, though I must here
repeat that I have produced only a very small portion of the evidence
on the subject, that all the implements of the stone age are traceable
by variation to a common form, and that form the earliest; that their
improvement spread over a period so long as to witness the extinction
of many wild breeds of animals; that it was so gradual as to require
no effort of genius or of invention; and that it was identical in all
parts of the world.

I have shown in the second place, that all the weapons of the
Australians which I have described, are traceable by variation to
the same common form, or to forms equally as primitive as those of
the stone age of Europe; that it is perfectly consistent with the
phenomena observed, that these variations may have resulted, or at
least may have in a great measure been promoted by accidental causes,
such as the grain of the wood influencing the shape of the weapon;
that they were not invented or designed for especial purposes, but
that their application to such purposes may have resulted from a
selection of the implements already in hand; and that by this process,
the natives of Australia, during countless ages, may have crept on,
almost unconsciously, from the condition of brutes, to the condition of
incipient culture in which they are now found.

I have compared these weapons of the Australians with others of the
same form in various parts of the world, showing grounds for believing
that whenever we shall be able to collect a sufficient variety of
specimens to represent the continuous progression of each locality, the
_modus operandi_ will be found to have been everywhere the same.

Lastly, I have alluded cursorily to the analogy which exists between
the development of the arts and the development of species. It may be
better to postpone any comprehensive generalization on this subject
until a much larger mass of evidence has been collected and arranged.
Sir Charles Lyell has devoted a chapter in his work on the _Antiquity
of Man_ to a comparison of the development of languages and the
development of species. ‘We may compare,’ he says, 'the persistency of
languages, or the tendency of each generation to adopt without change
the vocabulary of its predecessor, to the force of inheritance in the
organic world, which causes the offspring to resemble its parents. The
inventive power which coins new words or modifies old ones, and adapts
them to new wants and conditions as often as they arise, answers to
the variety-making power in the animal creation.’ He also compares
the selection of words and their incorporation into the language of a
people, with the selection of species, resulting in both cases in the
survival of the fittest (4th ed., 1873, p. 503).

Whilst, however, we dwell upon the analogy which exists between the
phenomena of the organic world and the phenomena of human culture,
we must not omit to notice the points of difference. The force of
inheritance may resemble in its effects the principle of conservatism
in the arts and culture of mankind, but they are totally dissimilar

The variety-making power may resemble the inventive power of man;
nothing, however, can be more dissimilar, except as regards results.

When, therefore, we find that like results are produced through the
instrumentality of totally dissimilar causes, we must attribute the
analogy to some prior and more potent cause, influencing the whole

It might be premature to speculate upon the course of reasoning which
this class of study is likely to introduce; this much, however, we may,
I think, safely predict as the result of our investigation, that we
shall meet with no encouragement to deify secondary causes.

Another subject to which we must necessarily be led by these
investigations, although, as I before said, it does not fall actually
within the scope of my paper, is the question of the unity or plurality
of the human race.

The ethnologist and the anthropologist who has not studied the
prehistoric archaeology of his own country compares the present
condition of savages with that of the Europeans with whom they are
brought in contact. He notices the vast disparity of intellect between
them. He finds the savage incapable of education and of civilization,
and evidently destined to fall away before the white man whenever the
races meet, and he jumps at the conclusion that races so different in
mental and physical characteristics, must have had a distinct origin,
and be the offspring of separate creations. But the archaeologist
traces back the arts and institutions of his own people and country
until he finds that they once existed in a condition as low or lower
than that of existing savages, having the same arts, and using
precisely the same implements and weapons; and he arrives at the
conclusion that the difference observable between existing races is
one of divergence, and not of origin; that owing to causes worthy of
being carefully studied and investigated, one race has improved, while
another has progressed slowly or remained stationary.

In this conclusion he is borne out by all analogy of nature, in which
he finds frequent evidences of difference produced by variation, but no
one solitary example of independent creation. Are not all the branches
of a young tree parts of the same organism; and yet one will be seen to
throw up its shoots with a vigorous and rapid growth, whilst another
turns towards the ground and ultimately decays? Not to mention the
variations produced by the breeding of animals, with which we are
all more or less familiar, we see under our own eyes families of men
diverging in this manner. One branch, owing to causes familiar to us in
everyday life, will become highly cultivated, whilst another continues
to live on in a low condition of life, so that in the course of a few
years the disparity, mental and physical, between these two branches,
bearing the same name, will be greater, in proportion to the time of
separation, than that which, in the course of countless ages, has
separated the black from the white man.

At the present time there is a tendency to rectify these inequalities,
whether in regard to our own or to other races, and there can be little
doubt that in the course of time, all that remains of the various races
of mankind will be brought under the influence of one civilization. But
as this progressive movement is often led by men who have not made the
races of mankind their study, they are perpetually falling into the
error of supposing, that the work of countless ages of divergence, is
to be put to rights by Act of Parliament, and by suddenly applying to
the inferior races of mankind laws and institutions for which they are
about as much fitted as the animals in the Zoological Gardens.

In conclusion, I have only a few words to say upon the defects of our
ethnographical collections generally. It will be seen that in order to
exhibit the continuity and progression of form, I have been obliged to
collect and put together examples from many different museums; and,
as it is, it will have been noticed that many links of connexion are
evidently wanting. This is owing, in a great measure, to the very short
period during which the arts and customs of primaeval races have been
made the subject of scientific investigation; but it also arises from
the absence of system on the part of travellers and collectors, who in
former times appear to have had but little knowledge of the evidence
which these specimens of the industry of the aborigines are destined
to convey, and who have, therefore, neglected to bring home from the
various regions they visited all the varieties of the several classes
of implements which each country is capable of affording, thinking that
one good example of a tool or weapon might be taken as a sample of all
the rest.

I am not so presumptuous as to suppose that the particular arrangement,
which I have adopted, may not require frequent modification as our
evidence accumulates; but I trust that I shall at least have made it
apparent to those who have followed the course of my argument, that
without the connecting links which unite one form with another, an
ethnographical collection can be regarded in no other light than a mere
toy-shop of curiosities, and is totally unworthy of science.

Owing to the wide distribution of our Army and Navy, the members of
which professions are dispersed over every quarter of the globe and
have ample leisure for the pursuit of these interesting studies, this
Institution possesses facilities for forming a really systematic
collection of savage weapons, not perhaps within the power of any
other Institution in the world. The time is fast approaching when
this class of prehistoric evidence will no longer be forthcoming. The
collection is already what, for this country, must be regarded as a
good one, and if I may venture to hope that the remarks I have now the
honour of making will be of service in collecting the materials for the
improvement of it, I trust it may be thought that my labours and your
patience will not have been thrown away.


[126] A Lecture delivered at the Royal United Service Institution on
June 5, 1868, and printed in the _Journal of the R. U. S. Inst._, vol.
xii (1868), pp. 399-439, pl. xvii-xxi (= Plates XII-XVI herewith).

[127] Klemm, l. c., p. 147.

[128] Pinkerton (1811), vol. ix. p. 501.

[129] _Walk across Africa_, p. 78.

[130] Klemm, l. c., p. 62.

[131] l. c., p. 78.

[132] l. c., pp. 123-6.

[133] Speke, _Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile_
(London, 1863), p. 460.

[134] _Barth_, Travels, vol. iii. p. 162.

[135] Nilsson, _The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia_, edited by
Sir John Lubbock (3rd ed., London, 1868), p. 44.

[136] Lloyd Stephens, _Incidents of Travel in Central America_ (London,
1854), p. 94.

[137] Lyell, _Antiquity of Man_ (London, 1873), p. 161.

[138] I am informed by an eye-witness, that the Australian savages, in
climbing trees, use implements nearly similar to these, to cut notches
for their feet. The implement is held in the hand, without any handle.
Others are used in handles, either fastened with gum, or consisting of
a withe passed round the stone and tied underneath.

[139] Mr. Frere’s first discovery was in 1797 (_Archaeologia_,
xiii. p. 204). (M. Boucher de Perthes began work in 1837 (_De la
Création_, Paris, 1838), and published his _Antiquités Celtiques et
Antédiluviennes_ (vol. i) in 1847. His discoveries were, however, not
verified and accepted by the British observers till 1858-9.--ED.)

[140] See figures 23 and 32, as well as figure 17 _a_ from Central

[141] March 5, 1868. _Proc. Soc. Ant. Lond._ 2nd Ser. iv. p. 85:
_Archaeologia_, xlii.

[142] Nilsson, _The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia_, edited by
Sir John Lubbock (London, 1868), Editor’s Introduction, p. xxiv.

[143] The handle, since its discovery, has been fractured in four
places, and has shrunk a good deal from its original size.

[144] Cf. Kemble, _Horae Ferales_ (London, 1863), p. 134.

[145] Keller, _The Lake Dwellings of Switzerland_, transl. by J. E. Lee
(2nd ed. London, 1878), vol. i. pp. 111-3.

[146] Livingstone, _Missionary Travels and Researches in S. Africa_
(1857), p. 40.

[147] Lartet and Christy, _Reliquiae Aquitanicae_ (London, 1865-75,

[148] Wilde, _Catalogue of the Antiquities of the Museum of the Royal
Irish Academy_ (Dublin, 1863), vol. i. pp. 19-23.

[149] After having witnessed the process of fabricating flint
arrow-heads, as re-discovered by Mr. Evans, I am able to understand why
it is that the leaf-shaped form is of more frequent occurrence, and why
this and the long-tanged forms are so often rougher and less finished
than the other forms, the deep barbs and hollow base requiring much
greater skill than the former.

[150] Burton, _The City of the Saints_ (London, 1861), p. 146.

[151] Schoolcraft, _Information concerning ... the Indian Tribes of the
U.S.A._ (Philadelphia, 1851-9), vol. i. p. 212.

[152] In the museum belonging to the Cork College, there is a Peruvian
mummy, with which, amongst other articles, two of these arrow-pointed
knives were found.

[153] Siebold, _Nippon_ (Leiden, 1832-52), vol. i. pt. ii (Alte
Waffen), Tab. xi.

[154] Evidence of this transition may be seen by examining any number
of pattoo-pattoos. Some are sharp at the end; others are blunt at the
end, but sharp at the side near the broadest part.

[155] Since this paper was read to the Royal United Service
Institution, Sir John Lubbock has delivered a remarkably interesting
series of lectures on savages, in the course of which he took exception
to my classification of the Indian, African, and Australian boomerangs,
under the same head; giving as his reason that the Australian boomerang
has a return flight, whilst those of other nations have not that
peculiarity. If it could be shown that the Australian weapon had been
_contrived_ for the purpose of obtaining a return flight, I should
then agree with him in regarding the difference as generic. But the
course of my investigations tends to show that this was probably an
application of the weapon accidentally hit upon by the Australians, and
that it arose from a modification of weight and form, so trivial as
to prevent our regarding it as generically distinct from the others.
I therefore consider the Australian weapon to be a mere variety of
the implement which is common to the three continents. The difference
between us on this point, though one of terms, is nevertheless
important as a question of continuity. I am much gratified, however,
to find my opinions on many other points supported by Sir John’s high

[156] Henry Blount, _Voyage into the Levant_, 1634 (London, 1671), p.

[157] Bosman, _Guinea_, Pinkerton (1811), vol. xvi. pp. 505-6.

[158] Kemble, _Horae Ferales_ (1863), p. 65.

[159] This weapon is called ‘leowel’ by the Australians now in this
country (1868).

[160] Duarte Barbosa, _A Description of the Coasts of East Africa and
Malabar_ (by Magellan), translated by the Hon. H. E. Stanley: Hakluyt
Society, xxxv (1866), pp. 100-1.

[161] Rosellini, _Monumenti dell’ Egitto e della Nubia_ (Pisa, 1834),
Monuments Civiles, pl. cxvii. 3; cxix. 1.

[162] Baker, _Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia_ (London, 1867), p. 511.

[163] Barth, l. c., vol. iii. pp. 231, 451, &c., &c.

[164] Petherick, _Egypt, the Soudan, and Central Africa_ (1861), p. 456.

[165] Du Chaillu, _Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa_
(London, 1861), p. 79.

[166] Gregory’s account of his expedition in 1861, _Journal of the
Royal Geographical Society_, vol. xxxii (1862), p. 378.

[167] Oldfield, ‘On the Aborigines of Australia,’ _Trans. Ethnol.
Soc._, vol. iii. pp. 261-2.

[168] _Expedition to the Interior of Eastern Australia_, by Major T.
L. Mitchell, Surveyor-General, _Journal of the Royal Geographical
Society_, vol. ii. pp. 325-6.

[169] [Darwin, _Journal_.] (But the quotation (from Darwin, _Journal of
Researches_ (London, 1845) pp. 433-4) refers to _Australia_, not New

[170] Cook, _Third Voyage_ (London, 1842), vol. i. p. 273.

[171] Frobisher, _The Three Voyages of Martin Frobisher_, ed. Collinson
(Hakluyt Society, 1867), p. 283.

[172] Cranz, _Historie von Grönland_^2 (1770), pp. 195-6, pl. v. 2 _f._

[173] Markham, _Tribes of the Valley of the Amazon_.--_Trans. Ethnol.
Soc._, N.S., vol. iii. p. 183.

[174] Smith, _Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities_ (s. v. Hasta).

[175] Desor, _Les Palafittes ou Constructions Lacustres du Lac de
Neuchâtel_ (Paris, 1865), p. 87.

[176] Petherick, _Egypt, the Soudan, and Central Africa_ (1861), p. 391.

[177] Barth, l. c., vol. iii. p. 450.

[178] Campbell, _Thirteen Years amongst the Wild Tribes of Khondistan_
(London, 1864), p. 40.

[179] Ellis, _Polynesian Researches_ (1829), vol. ii. p. 489.

[180] Kolb, _Reise an das Capo du Bonne Esperance_ (Nürnberg, 1719),
pp. 477-8.

[181] Livy, Book xxxviii. ch. 17 and 21.

[182] Grant, _Walk across Africa_, p. 69.

[183] Kemble, _Horae Ferales_ (1863), p. 190, pl. xiv.




Having in two previous lectures upon ‘Primitive Warfare’, delivered at
this Institution, spoken of the general principles to be observed in
studying the development of the weapons of savages and early races,
I need not preface the remarks I am about to offer by any detailed
allusion to the generalizations which I have already ventured to make,
but I will proceed at once to lay before you some additional facts
which I have collected in continuation of the same subject.

This I do the more readily, because I hold strongly to the opinion that
the value of a communication of this kind may, in a great degree, be
measured by the attention which is paid to the accumulation of facts,
and to the comparative brevity and simplicity of that portion of it
which relates to theory. Without general principles, however, we should
have no incentive to collect and systematize our facts, and they are
therefore valuable even where they involve--and in a new field of
study, such as I am now treating, with very scanty materials as yet at
our disposal to assist conjecture, I can hardly hope they should not
involve--a certain amount of error.

Before entering upon the subject of the origin of metal implements, I
must, however, revert to one part of my former communication, in order
to show that a statement I then made in reference to the geographical
distribution of the boomerang has since had some light thrown upon it
by the researches of one of our most eminent men of science. It will,
perhaps, be remembered by those who did me the honour of reading my
last lecture, which was printed in vol. xii of the _Journal_, that,
in describing the weapons of the Australians, I showed, by means of
numerous illustrations of the varieties of each class of weapon from
that country, that they all passed one into the other by connecting
links, so that where a sufficient number of them are arranged in such
a manner as to exhibit their continuity, it is often impossible to
determine any definite line of separation between them. I also showed
that the form of each weapon was determined by the form of the stem or
branch of the tree out of which it was made, the outline of all these
implements conforming to the grain of the wood; and the inference which
I drew from this was, that it showed a very low state of intellect on
the part of the constructors, the several classes of implements not
having been designed originally for their respective purposes, but
produced accidentally, and then applied during subsequent ages to the
several uses to which in practice they appeared most suited.

As we have no reason to suppose that the Australian continent was
peopled at a later date than other parts of the world, and as there
is no evidence upon that continent of the people inhabiting it having
ever been in a higher state of civilization than they are at present,
we have grounds for supposing that they must have remained stationary,
or have progressed very slowly, while the inhabitants of other parts
of the globe advanced more rapidly, and that their existing arts
and implements, simple and primitive though they be, nevertheless
represent the highest development of constructive power to which these
people have ever attained. Hence it follows, that if the inhabitants
of any other portions of the globe can be traced to a common origin
with the Australians, viewing the persistency of type observable as a
characteristic of the arts of these people, and of all other people
in a primitive state of culture, we must expect to find some traces
of similar implements in use amongst all such people to whom a common
origin can be assigned.

In my last lecture I mentioned that there were three countries in
which the boomerang is either still used, or is known to have been
used in ancient times, viz. Australia, the Deccan of India, and Egypt,
and I also showed some grounds for believing that the same weapon,
or something allied to it, may have spread from those countries over
Europe, as it is known to have done over a great part of Northern and
Central Africa.

Although the comparison of weapons from various parts of the globe
can have no other object than to trace out an original connexion,
I did not venture to build upon the coincidence of this weapon in
these regions, any argument for the common origin of the people by
whom it was used. Nor do I think that I should have been justified
in assuming such origin upon the grounds of the identity of a single
weapon. Such identity may have arisen in three ways:--(1) it may have
arisen independently by the spontaneous development of like weapons
under similar conditions of life; (2) the weapon itself may have been
communicated from some primal source; (3) the races using it may have
been themselves derived from a common origin. Of these, the first
view, viz. the independent origin of the weapon, would perhaps strike
any one at first sight, before having studied the conservatism and
persistency of type which is so especially characteristic of savages,
as the most probable; it appears so exceedingly simple in its form and
uses to our trained and educated minds, that it seems hardly necessary
to account for it in any other way; besides which, there are slight
differences between the Indian and Australian boomerangs, which have
been considered by some to distinguish the two weapons.

I will not here revert to the arguments which I have used to combat
this opinion. Suffice to say, that I have since been favoured with
much valuable information on the subject by Sir Walter Elliot, who
has frequently accompanied the natives of India in their hunting
expeditions with this weapon. He says that it is formed on the grain
of the wood, like the Australian boomerang, the curve varying with the
bend of the stem; it is whirled horizontally, with the end foremost,
like the Australian practice, and is used by two tribes in the Deccan,
viz. the Kolis of Guzerat and the Marawárs of Madura, but more
especially in its simplest form by the former, who are of the Dravidian
or black race of the Deccan. In a letter to me he says, speaking of
these tribes:--‘I have seen both, and, indeed, served ten years in the
latter district (Southern Mahratta), where the crooked stick is used
by all the lower orders every Sunday during the hot season, when all
agricultural labour is at a stand. The villagers turn out in large
numbers, and scour the jungle armed with these sticks. Everything that
rises is knocked over; deer, hares, birds, even the wild hog and the
tiger are occasionally (though rarely, of course) included in the bag.
I have seen a line of upwards of 100 men and boys, and the boomerang
whirling about in such numbers, and with such precision, that even
birds on the wing are brought down. I never met with any regularly
formed specimens, except in the South; those in the North were mere
angular sticks, of very various form, as natural branches occurred; the
favourite form was a rather obtuse angle--nearly a right angle.’ Thus,
whether we regard the purposes for which it is used, the material of
which it is constructed, the manner of throwing, or the varieties of
its form, the Indian and Australian boomerang is virtually the same
weapon; and I think those who dispute their identity appear rather to
have had in view the ‘collery stick’ of Madras and of the Marawárs than
the boomerang of the Kolis.

We may therefore, I think, fairly consider the causes which may have
led to the adoption of this weapon as sprung from a common source.

[Illustration: PLATE XVII.]

Since my last communication to this Institution, Professor Huxley has
given to the world, in a paper read at the meeting of the International
Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology--of which I had the honour to be
general secretary--in August, 1868, his views ‘on the distribution of
the races of mankind, as bearing on their antiquity’.[185] The paper
created a considerable sensation in the scientific world, owing to the
boldness of the generalizations contained in it, and, it may be added,
a certain amount of opposition. The accompanying map (Plate XVII) is
taken from one drawn by Professor Huxley himself for the Ethnological
Society, to illustrate this subject (_Journ. Ethno. Soc._ (1870) N. S.
ii. 404-12).

Basing his distribution of the human race on the principle that the
characters of the hair and complexion are more permanent, and of
greater value as a means of classification, than the bony structure
of man, Professor Huxley traces back the numerous varieties of tribes
and races into what, for the present, may be regarded as four primary

Commencing, for the convenience of my present subject, with the
highest, or those which have shown themselves most capable of
development--which, in all probability, is the wrong end of the scale
to begin with, if we regarded them in their natural succession--the
first of these groups is what he terms Xanthochroid type (the
distribution of which is marked [shading] in the map), a people
characterized by yellow hair and fair complexions, with blue eyes, who
form a strong element in the composition of the population of this
country and a great part of Europe, extending from thence through
Scandinavia and Central Europe eastward into Northern India. Next to
these he classes the great Mongoloid race (marked by various shades
of [shading] on the map), with yellow-brown complexions and black
hair and eyes, of which the Kalmucs and Tartars represent the purest
types, occupying the whole of Northern Europe and Asia, from Lapland
to Behring Strait, and down to the southernmost parts of China;
including also the Esquimaux, the Polynesians, and the whole of the
inhabitants of the two continents of America. Thirdly, the Negro race
(marked [shading] and [shading] in the map), long headed, with woolly
hair, which has its head quarters in all that part of Africa south of
the Sahara, but has outlying branches widely detached, and occupying
a broken line of islands extending in a belt, from the Andaman Isles
in the Bay of Bengal, to the peninsula of Malacca, New Guinea, New
Caledonia, and the adjoining isles, and having its southmost limits in
the distant island of Tasmania. Lastly, we come to the Australioid race
(marked [shading]), distinguished by dark chocolate complexions and
black eyes, with long heads and soft wavy hair; these the Professor,
upon physiological grounds, and after intimate acquaintance with these
people in the distant regions in which they are found, traces in
three distinct portions of the globe, viz. Australia, the Deccan of
India, and Egypt; the three identical countries, it will be observed,
in which, unconscious of Professor Huxley’s distribution of races, I
had traced the occurrence of the boomerang. I think, therefore, it is
not an unreasonable conjecture, assuming the correctness of Professor
Huxley’s premises, that this peculiar weapon may be a relic of the
original Australioid stock, which having been originally an effective
weapon for all purposes amongst the aborigines of this race, and
continuing still to be used as such in Australia, survived in India
and in ancient Egypt merely as an implement for the chase and for
amusement, much in the same way that, in Europe, bows and arrows have
survived amongst children to the present day.

[Illustration: PLATE XIX.]

In the remarks which I made (p. 127) upon the varieties of the African
boomerang, I drew attention to the peculiarly curved form of the Nubian
and Abyssinian sword, and I ventured an opinion that its form may have
been originally derived from that of the boomerang, of which weapon a
variety, constructed of wood, is still in use by the inhabitants of
the country; and I see no reason to doubt that the Abyssinian sword
may have been the prototype of those numerous allied forms of iron
weapons, the ‘hunga-munga’, &c., which throughout Africa are still used
as missiles, and thrown with a rotatory motion like the boomerang. My
conjecture on this subject appears to receive some confirmation from
the very peculiar construction of one of these swords, which has lately
been added to the museum of this Institution, and which is represented
in Plate XIX, figure 1. The angular form of the blade, swelling in the
middle, presents such a close affinity to the Australian boomerang, as
to strike even those who have not been led, by the considerations I
have mentioned, to look for a coincidence in these weapons. I noticed
at the same time the very great resemblance between the rudimentary
shields of the Australians and those of some of the inhabitants of the
valley of the Upper Nile, which may also perhaps be accounted for in
the same way. With a view of further connecting this primitive form
of shield with similar defensive weapons in India, it is worthy of
notice that the hand-shield, having antelopes’ horns projecting from
it, a representation of which was given in my first lecture, Plate X,
figs. 66, 67_a_, and 69 (many of which are furnished with a small iron
shield, or guard for the hand, though some are without this accessory),
is used--Sir Walter Elliot now informs me--precisely in the same way
as the Australian and African parrying-shields, viz. by catching the
arrows and darts of the assailant, and parrying them off with the
horns, thus favouring the conjecture that I ventured to put forward,
that the square, oblong, and circular targets are defensive weapons of
comparatively recent origin, being represented in a primitive stage of
culture by a simple parrying-stick, derived originally from the club.
The club is, as a general rule, the only defensive guard employed by
races in the lowest stages of culture. These seem to have been replaced
by parrying-sticks, held in the centre, and subsequently hollowed to
receive the hand, or furnished with hand-guards, forming rudimentary
shields; of which stage in the development of the weapon we are now
able to establish connected traces in the three countries under

If the comparisons which I have made, and the conclusions I have
ventured to draw from them, are found to stand the test of further
investigation, as it appears to me reasonable to hope they will, the
importance of studying the forms and uses of these primitive weapons in
connexion with other sociological and biological phenomena, as a means
of tracing back the early history of mankind, will be well established.
Of this, however, we may feel certain, that if a connexion formerly
existed between the inhabitants of India, Australia, and Egypt, the
evidence of such connexion will not be limited either to the colour
of the hair and skin, or to the resemblance of their weapons, but
will be found in other customs and institutions which they brought
with them from their fatherland. The important generalizations of
Professor Huxley, whether or not they ultimately hold good, have had
the good effect of drawing attention to a comparison of the inhabitants
of these countries; and though it would be foreign to my present
purpose to anticipate the result of these investigations in other
branches not immediately connected with my present subject, I may
mention that officers acquainted with India and Australia have since
pointed out resemblances in the hymeneal and other customs of those
countries, which have not before been noticed, but which, when put
together and compared, making all due allowance for the variations
which are inevitable in the continuous development of all human arts
and institutions, will, I doubt not, tend to give confirmation to the
theory of races which the author of it has so ably advanced.

Having strayed thus far into the geological and biological aspect of
the question, it is necessary to go a step further in order to apply
the subject more generally to the origin of weapons, and at the same
time to point out some difficulties which stand in the way of accepting
this theory of races--difficulties of which Professor Huxley himself
appears by his paper to be fully sensible.

The detached portions of the Australioid race are separated from each
other by seas of considerable depth, and the same thing applies to the
Negroid race. The Australians, he points out, though possessing ample
materials for the construction of canoes, have never learnt to make
any that are capable of traversing the great seas which separate them
from their apparent kindred in other lands, and it is unlikely they
should have forgotten the art of navigation if they had once known it.
It is inconceivable, therefore, that they should have migrated from
Australia to the Deccan, and to Egypt, during the existing geographical
arrangement of sea and land, more especially as no trace of such
migration is found upon intervening isles. He points out, however, that
great geographical changes have probably taken place, and that those
changes, in so far as our knowledge of them goes, are of a nature to
account for the phenomena observed.

The region of the negro race in Africa is separated from Northern
Africa and from Europe by the desert of Sahara, of which there is
geological evidence to show that it was sea at a recent geological
period. The same applies to the Deccan of India, which is separated
from the Himalaya by the great alluvial plains of the Indus and the
Ganges, which, having probably formed a strait before the miocene
epoch, may have divided the black men inhabiting the Deccan from the
Xanthochroid and Mongoloid races to the north. At the same time large
tracts now occupied by the sea may then have been land, uniting or
connecting by a chain of easily accessible islands the regions in which
men of the same colour and physical peculiarities are now found. But it
will be seen by the map that the lines of distribution of two of the
races, the Negroid and the Australioid, cross each other, and this,
according to the theory of migration by land, appears to involve a
succession of submersions and upheavals during the human period, which
it is difficult to account for.

The distribution of races, according to supposed original distinctions
of colour and complexion, will be seized upon by polygenists as an
argument in their favour; for it will be said that, according to this
theory, the distinctions of race in the earliest times must have been
as great, or greater, than they are at present.

There are three ways in which it has been attempted to account for
these early distinctions of colour and persistency of type--(1) by
supposing the several races of man to have been separately created
upon distinct continents of land; (2) by assuming that on each
primaeval continent, man was evolved from the anthropoid apes of that
continent;[186] or (3), by supposing that these divisions of race,
remotely and immeasurably distant though they be, nevertheless carry us
only a short way back into the history of man, and that still earlier
ages, if we could penetrate them, would show the races of man united.

Now, with respect to the first assumption, that of creation, though
we are not, of course, in a position to deny the possibility of it,
I confess it appears to me unwarranted by any of the phenomena of
nature. We have no knowledge of the special creation of any organized
being; and how can we scientifically assume as probable, that, for the
probability of which there is no sort of evidence of a nature that
inductive science would be warranted in building upon? Continuity and
development are seen to be the order of the universe. Man is seen to
be, both mentally and physically, amenable to that law; and on what
grounds can we assume that he was ever an exception to it? I cannot
conceive how those who believe geological changes to have been brought
about by causes which are still in operation in our own day, and who
make great calls upon time in order to reconcile those causes to the
phenomena observed, can, in treating biological phenomena, advocate
belief in so great a break in the observed order of the universe as is
implied by the special creation of man. Still less willing am I, in
the absence of more cogent argument than has ever yet been advanced
in support of it, to assent to hypotheses of the separate development
of races, which appears to me equally at variance with nature. There
can be no doubt that all the existing races of man, whatever their
colour and physical peculiarities, have greater affinity to each other
than any of them have to the apes, or to any other class of animals.
The tendency of progress is from simplicity to complexity, from unity
to diversity, and it would be a complete inversion of the order of
nature that animals so various as the apes should independently
produce animals so much resembling each other as the races of man.
The recognized law that, with certain variations, like begets like,
appears to me to negative this assumption as fully as it would do
the notion, if it were put forward, that because the horse and some
other classes of the mammalia, say the rhinoceros, for instance, have
some affinities in their bony structure, therefore the black horse is
descended from the African rhinoceros, and the white horse from that
of India. Moreover, all the races of mankind interbreed, and I am at a
loss to understand how a circumstance like this, which throughout the
animal kingdom is regarded as a proof of unity of species, should be
discarded in its application to humanity. If, then, it is true that
diversity of colour is as old as the very earliest traces of man, and
there is evidence that the several coloured races were inhabitants of
distinct continents, which have disappeared through geological changes
dispersing and mixing the races, blending the colours and obliterating
the traces of their formerly isolated homes; then to the same causes,
which produced the mixing and the blending, we must also attribute the
original separation. According to the view I hold, we must ask for more
time, and still further geological changes, to bring them together
again in the primaeval cradle of the human race.

Now, to apply this reasoning to the origin of weapons. The only
vestiges of the primaeval tools of mankind now left to us are those
constructed of stone; others of the more perishable materials have
decayed, and their representatives only have remained in some few
cases as survivals. In my last lecture I showed how uniform in shape
and in development these stone implements are found to be in all parts
of the world, whether derived from the northern or southern continent
of America, from Siberia, Australia, India, Africa, or the surface
soils and river gravels of Europe. This uniformity of shape has been
used as an argument that mankind must have independently designed the
same forms of tools in various parts of the world, and that under
like conditions, like forms will be produced by men, however remotely
separated. I am not prepared to deny the possibility of some of these
forms having had an independent origin; but if the proof of it is to be
based upon the separation of continents, we see how entirely groundless
such an argument is when applied to the earliest ages of humanity. For
if, as has been conjectured, the races of man may have been dispersed
by geographical changes of land and sea, it is obvious they may have
carried with them, from some primal source, the art of manufacturing
stone weapons; the resemblance of which is far more satisfactorily
accounted for by this means[187] than by supposing such singular and
invariable coincidence in design to be the result of independent
discovery. As we contemplate man in his lower and lowest conditions,
we find the imitative faculty stands out more and more prominently by
the absence of those higher qualities which characterize civilized
races; and whatever power of originality for the invention of new arts
may have been possessed by the earliest inhabitants of the globe, its
results appear to have been spread over so vast a lapse of time that it
can scarcely be accounted at all as an element in the mental attributes
of primaeval man.

I now pass to what has been announced as the subject proper of my
present communication, viz. the origin and development of metal tools.
I use the word _metal_ intentionally, in preference to specifying
bronze, because, although we have good reason for supposing that in
Europe, Egypt, Assyria, and the central parts of America, bronze
preceded iron as a material for weapons, it is not so certain that this
was the case in all parts of Asia; and in Africa we know that iron was
the first metal employed by the negroes.

Perhaps no subject has given rise to so much difference of opinion
amongst archaeologists as this question of the origin of metal
implements, or has been accompanied with such uncertain results,
owing to the great mass of conflicting evidence to be dealt with,
and the great doubt which rests upon much of it, whether in regard
to the casual mention of the subject in ancient authors, or to the
often ill-directed researches of modern times. It would be hopeless,
in the brief time allotted me on the present occasion, to attempt
to throw fresh light on this intricate subject, even if I possessed
the materials for so doing. All I shall endeavour to do is, to put
together, in as intelligible a form as possible, some of the more
salient points upon which archaeologists are divided, and trace the
continuity observable in passing from the stone to the metal age.

We have already seen, in speaking of the implements of the stone age,
a gradual improvement in form and fabrication, developing itself in
proportion as the wild animals which were contemporaneous with the
first traces of man in Europe became extinct, partly, no doubt, through
the efforts of man himself in exterminating them, and partly, as
there seems reason to suppose, owing to an alteration of temperature,
rendering the climate unsuited to the constitution and habits of
those animals, which therefore migrated by degrees, and the majority
of which are now found chiefly, though not exclusively, in arctic
regions. Thither they have been accompanied by races of men whose
arts and implements show them to be very nearly in a corresponding
stage of civilization to the early races, the relics of which are
found associated with the same animals in Europe. The simultaneous
migration of races of men in the hunting stage of civilization, with
the animals, the pursuit of which forms the almost sole occupation of
their lives, is well shown in the case of the North American Indians,
whose geographical distribution is now almost identical with that of
the buffalo. This forms a strong point in the arguments of those who
are disposed to attribute all the changes in the world’s civilization
to the influx and extermination of antagonistic races. But it must
be remembered that progress advances in an increasing ratio, and the
phenomenon now seen in America and Australia of a highly civilized
race constantly fed by steam-communication from the Old World, driving
before it and rapidly exterminating other races so vastly its inferior
as the Australians and American Indians, is one which could have had no
parallel at the early period of which I am now speaking. We must here
look for a slower process, though doubtless the operating causes may,
to a great extent, have been the same.

The fabrication of stone implements would of itself lead by degrees
to a knowledge of the metals which are contained in stones. Thus, for
example, I have here a specimen of a stone mace-head from Central
America, figure 2, Plate XIX, composed of a nodule of haematite
partially coated with micaceous iron ore, the particles of which are
distinctly visible on its glittering surface. The weight of this
implement, being nearly double that of a mace-head composed of ordinary
stone, would at once attract the notice of the savage fabricator, and
lead him to investigate the uses of metal.

But, as a general rule, races engaged exclusively in hunting, who
rarely turn their attention to the ground except to examine a trail
or to search for water, would have little opportunity of profiting by
the mineral wealth of the soil over which they roamed. Witness the
Australians, who have continued for ages in ignorance of the gold and
other mines which are now so attractive to Europeans; or the North and
South American Indians, and the Esquimaux, amongst whom the art of
smelting metal has never been found associated with those races who are
in a purely hunting stage of existence; the wrought metals used by such
races to point their weapons being invariably derived from civilized

From hunting wild animals, the savage, in the natural sequence of
progress, would turn his attention to their capture and domestication,
and thus he creeps gradually into the pastoral life; and as the bones
of animals under domestication, through want of exercise and good
living, become smoother and of finer texture, the experienced anatomist
is thereby afforded the means of distinguishing, amongst the vestiges
of antiquity, the remains of domesticated animals from those derived
from the chase, and of observing to what extent the domestication
of animals was contemporaneous with other changes in the social
condition of the people.[188] Still, however, in the pastoral state,
the barbarian is not necessarily brought in contact with metals; and
hence we should expect in many cases to find the traces of domesticated
animals associated with people who are still in the stone age. This was
notably the case amongst the ancient inhabitants of the Swiss lakes,
where the sheep and horse have been found at Moosseedorf, and other
lake habitations which are proved to belong to the stone age, though
not in such abundance as in the settlements belonging to the bronze

From the pastoral life, the barbarian, hampered by his flocks and
herds, and no longer obliged to wander in search of food, settles down
to a more stationary life, and by degrees takes to agriculture. Then,
for the first time, he digs into the soil, and becomes acquainted
with its mineral treasures. It has been proved by the discovery of
quantities of carbonized grains of wheat, lumped together, in the Swiss
lake-habitations of the stone age, together with the materials for
preparing it for food, that a knowledge of agriculture preceded the
general employment of bronze in that region,[190] whilst in Britain,
and in Denmark also, bronze is almost invariably associated with
evidence of domestication and agriculture.

The metals first employed would be those that are most attractive.
Copper, in Europe, from the bright colour of its ores, would be noticed
more readily than iron, which is often scarcely distinguishable from
the soil, and requires greater temperature and more skilled labour to
render it available than could be expected of a people emerging out
of the savage state. It is not, therefore, surprising that in Europe,
copper first, and subsequently its alloy, bronze, should have been
employed before iron as a material for weapons. But in those countries
where iron is found upon the surface in an attractive form, and in a
condition to be easily wrought, we must for the same reason suppose
that it would be used instead of copper in the earliest ages of

[Illustration: PLATE XVIII.


It is natural to suppose that, in the ordinary course of development,
an age of pure copper must have intervened between the ages of stone
and bronze. But implements of pure copper are comparatively rare,
bronze being the metal almost invariably found following immediately
upon the age of stone.[191] Notwithstanding the comparative rarity of
copper tools, however, there is reason to believe that this metal was
used in a pure state before the discovery of the alloy. According
to Professor Max Müller, copper was the metal spoken of by Hesiod
and Homer as the material generally employed for weapons in their
time.[192] Mr. Rawlinson, in his _Five Ancient Monarchies_, says that
the metallurgy of the early Chaldeans was of a very rude character,
indicating a nation but just emerging from an almost barbaric
simplicity, and that copper often occurs pure.[193] Copper implements,
of a very early form, beaten into shape, occur not unfrequently in
Ireland, as may be seen by specimens represented in Class A, Plate
XVIII. They have also been found in Mecklenburg and in Denmark, and
Klemm[194] says that they occur in Greece, Italy, Spain, Egypt, and
Hindustan. At Maurach, in Switzerland, a copper celt was found in a
lake dwelling, which Dr. Keller, notwithstanding this circumstance,
attributes to the stone age.[195] In the lake dwelling of Peschiera,
on the lake of Garda, several copper implements were discovered,[196]
and in certain localities in Hungary copper implements are said to
be as plentiful as those of bronze.[197] An axe of pure copper was
discovered in Ratho Bog, near Edinburgh, under 20 feet of stratified
sand and clay, and Dr. Wilson mentions that others have been found in
Scotland.[198] Copper implements occur in Peru, to prove that, in the
central parts of America also, the manufacture of bronze was preceded
by the use of copper in a pure state; and in the ancient mines of Lake
Superior we have distinct evidence of a stage of early metallurgy in
which copper was used simply as a malleable stone, and beaten out into
the form of implements without the aid of any alloy or a knowledge of
the process of casting.[199] (See Plate XIX, figures 3, 4, 5, and 6.)
When it is considered that without the admixture of a small portion
of alloy of zinc or tin, copper is very difficult to melt, and can
only be used by a laborious process of beating into form, and also
what a great superiority bronze has over copper as a cutting material,
whilst at the same time the process of fabrication is actually in some
degree facilitated by the addition of tin, it is not surprising that
on the first discovery of the advantages of this mixture, all the old
implements of copper, wherever procurable, should have been taken to
the melting-pot for conversion into bronze, and we should thus be left
with such scanty evidence of the existence of an age of copper.

Up to this point we meet with no difficulty in supposing that
the use of metal may have been at first adopted by many nations
independently, without intercourse one with another. But when we find
in both hemispheres of the globe a very wide diffusion of weapons of
bronze, consisting of a mixture of the same metals, which, though
varying slightly in its proportions, as we shall afterwards see,
is nevertheless, for the most part, constant in its adherence to a
standard of about nine parts copper to one of tin in all parts of the
world, the question arises whether the knowledge of this mixed metal
could have been arrived at independently in different countries, or
whether it must have been diffused all over the universe from a common
source. It is true that copper and tin materials are sometimes found
in the same locality, as, for instance, in Cornwall, the locality
which, from the remotest time up to the present, has afforded the
most plentiful supply of both metals perhaps in the world. We have
evidence, also, that in ancient copper mines fire was employed by the
miners for softening the metal and detaching it from the matrix,[200]
and it is, therefore, highly probable that the admixture of the two
metals occurring so close together, and a knowledge of the advantages
accruing therefrom, may have been brought about accidentally in the
process of mining.[201] But this connexion of the metals in a state
of nature is not common, and in those countries, such as Denmark and
Scandinavia, where bronze implements occur, and in which neither metal
is found native, it is most improbable that the inhabitants should have
discovered the merits of these particular ingredients, unless they had
derived the knowledge of them from without.

Hence we find archaeologists as much divided in their opinions upon
what I may call the monogenesis or polygenesis of bronze, as biologists
and anatomists are upon the monogenesis or polygenesis of the human
race. The same question repeats itself again and again in dealing
with the vestiges of the early history of man, and we may therefore
divide the consideration of this question of the origin of bronze under
pretty nearly the same heads to which I have adverted when speaking
of the distribution of races, and of the age of stone (pp. 147-54).
The questions to be considered may be numbered as follows:--(1) that
bronze was spread from a common centre by an intruding and conquering
race, or by the migration of tribes; (2) that the inhabitants of each
separate region in which bronze is known to have been used discovered
the art independently, and made their implements of it; (3) that the
art was discovered, and the implements fabricated, on one spot, and
the implements disseminated from that place by means of commerce; (4)
that the art of making bronze was diffused from a common centre, but
that the implements were constructed in the countries in which they are

Amongst the advocates for the first hypothesis, viz. introduction by
the intrusion of fresh races, are to be found chiefly the Scandinavian
archaeologists, amongst whom may be especially mentioned Professors
Worsaae, of Copenhagen[202], and Nilsson, of Stockholm. Both metals
are foreign to the soil of Denmark, and must, therefore, have been
imported. In the graves, bronze weapons are in Denmark invariably
found with burials by cremation, while those of the stone age are
by inhumation, the former being recognized, in an early stage of
civilization, as a later process than burial by inhumation. Bronze is
here markedly associated with traces of agriculture, the evidence
of which is wanting in the stone age. The age of bronze, it is
asserted by these antiquaries, was ushered in in Denmark by the
employment of implements showing the highest perfection of art, and
at a later period, when they are associated with weapons of iron,
they are inferior in the quality of their workmanship. The weapons of
bronze have remarkably small handles, denoting a smaller race, and
hypothetically an eastern origin, small handles being to this day the
characteristic of weapons from India. Some of the bronze spear-heads in
Denmark have been found with nails driven into them, a practice which
still exists in India, each nail denoting a victim; and in the Asiatic
islands the custom of boring a hole in the weapon for each victim is
found to the present time.[203] The peculiar ornamentation so often
found on the bronze swords of Denmark, known as the spiral ornament,
is said, though I think erroneously, to be of Phoenician origin. To
these and other arguments for the introduction by intruding races,
Professor Nilsson adds, that in the countries of the north, where
bronze implements are found in greatest abundance, the graves in which
they occur are usually situated in groups, proving that bronze was
introduced, not by isolated individuals, merchants, or travellers, but
by tribes or colonies more or less numerous, occupying especial tracts
of country.

The theory of race-origin is also not without its adherents in this
country. Dr. Thurnam, who has excavated a large number of barrows in
the south of England, divides them--as, indeed, they have been divided
by former antiquaries--into several classes, amongst which we may
chiefly distinguish two principal types, viz. the long and the round
barrows. The former he attributes to the stone age, containing usually
implements of that material, whilst implements of bronze are almost
invariably found in the round barrows. He also gives it as the result
of his researches, extending over some years of exploration--and Canon
Greenwell, in so far as his experience of long barrows in the north
of England goes, confirms the statement--that the long barrows are
generally associated with dolichocephalic, or long skulls, whilst in
the round barrows brachycephalic, or round skulls, are found, thus
leading to the supposition that the long-headed people of the stone
age who erected the long barrows may have been succeeded by another
race with round heads importing bronze, and burying their dead in
round barrows. But after having heard Dr. Thurnam’s last papers
on this subject, read before the Society of Antiquaries and other
societies[204], I confess, although he has no doubt established a
sequence, that he does not appear to me to have determined a clear
line of separation between the two classes of interments; the long
barrows pass by intermediate links into the round ones, and the long
skull, although no doubt it may be considered characteristic of an
earlier period, and therefore connected with an earlier form of
barrow, also passes by gradations into the round skull, the variations
of form being considerable. Then, with respect to the implements,
although the absence of bronze in the long barrows of the earlier
period appears to be determined, yet it is notorious to all those who
have paid attention to the subject--and is not by any means denied
by the learned antiquaries whose names I have mentioned--that the
transition from stone to bronze in this country was gradual, and
extended over a long period, flint weapons being found in nearly all
the barrows of the bronze age in such positions as to show they were
used contemporaneously by the same people; and from discoveries which
have been made both by myself and others[205], there seems good reason
to suppose that flint weapons continued to be used by some of the
inhabitants of this country even during the Roman era. This distinction
of long heads in long barrows, and round heads in round barrows, is
one so easily remembered, that it is liable on this account, perhaps,
to receive greater attention than it really deserves as a criterion
of race. The difficulty of distinguishing in all cases the primary
from the secondary interments in the barrows--it being an established
fact that these barrows were used as places of burial by successive
generations, and even perhaps by successive races, including also
the Anglo-Saxons--the possible distortion of some of the crania by
time and pressure, and the other facts of the case, as I believe I
have correctly stated them, are, I think, sufficient to justify us in
withholding for the present our entire acceptance of the theory of the
introduction of bronze into this country by intruding races, as drawn
from any evidence derived from the graves.

From amongst those who have advocated the totally independent origin
of bronze, the opinion of Professor Daniel Wilson may be selected,
as affording a most ingenious argument derived from an analysis of
the metals.[206] He quotes some experiments conducted by Dr. George
Pearson, and communicated by him to the Royal Society of London
in 1796, to ascertain the results of various proportions of the
ingredients of tin and copper in bronze. ‘Having fused these metals
in various united proportions, commencing with 1 part of tin to 20
parts of copper, which produced a dark-coloured bronze, he reduced
the proportion gradually to 15 parts of copper to 1 of tin, when the
colour was materially affected, and the red copper hue was no longer
seen, but an alloy of greater strength was produced. The experiments
were continued with 12, 10, 9, 8, and 7 parts of copper to 1 of
tin, and when the last fusion of the metals was tested, increased
hardness and brittleness of the metals became very apparent. The same
characteristics were still more marked on successively reducing the
proportions of copper to 6, 5, 4, and 3; and when alloy was made of 2
parts of copper to 1 of tin, it was, according to Dr. Pearson’s report,
as brittle as glass.’

From the result of these experiments we see that the best average
proportions, of about 9 parts of copper to 1 of tin, would invariably
show itself by a practical experience in the use of these ingredients,
and it is therefore unnecessary to assume that these particular
proportions, when found in the bronzes of different countries, must
necessarily have been communicated.

Dr. Wilson then proceeds to give the results of analyses of ancient
bronzes discovered in Europe, America, and elsewhere, contained in the
accompanying tables. And he concludes his observations on the subject
as follows:--

‘From the varied results which so many independent analyses disclose,
varying, as they do, from 79 to 94 per cent, of copper, or more than
the total amount of the supposed constant ratio of tin, besides the
variations in the nature, as well as the quantity of their ingredients’
(a proportion of lead will be seen in some of the analyses of European
bronzes, the small proportion of iron being probably accidental), ‘it
is abundantly obvious that no greater uniformity is traceable than
such as might be expected to result from the experience of isolated
and independent metallurgists, very partially acquainted with the
chemical properties of the standard alloy, and guided for the most
part by practical experience derived from successive results of their
manufacture.’ The comparison of the two tables here given, from
Professor Wilson’s work, also shows a smaller average amount of tin in
the American bronze (Table I) than in that of ancient Europe (Table II).


           Object.         |Locality.|     Observer.   |Copper.| Tin.|Iron.|
 1 Chisel from Silver Mines|Cuzco    |Humboldt         |94.0   |6.0  |     |
 2 Chisel    „      „      |Cuzco    |Dr. J. H. Gibbon |92.385 |7.615|     |
 3 Knife     „      „      |Atacama  |J. H. Blake, Esq.|97.870 |2.130|     |
 4 Knife                   |         |      Ditto      |96.0   |4.0  |     |
 5 Crowbar                 |Chili    |Dr. T. C. Jackson|92.385 |7.615|     |
 6 Knife                   |Amaro    |Dr. H. Croft     |95.664 |3.965|0.371|
 7 Perforated Axe          |         |      Ditto      |96.0   |4.0  |     |
 8 Personal Ornament       |Truigilla|T. Ewbank, Esq.  |95.440 |4.560|     |
 9 Bodkin from Female Grave|         |      Ditto      |96.70  |3.30 |     |


      Object.    |   Locality.  |   Observer.    |Copper.|Tin. |Lead.|Iron.
  1 Lituus       |Lincolnshire  |Dr. G. Pearson, |  88.0 |12.0 |     |
                 |              |  F.R.S., Phil. |       |     |     |
                 |              |  Trans.        |       |     |     |
  2 Anglo-Roman  |              | Ditto   ditto  |  86.0 |14.0 |     |
      Patellae   |              |                |       |     |     |
  3 Spear-Head   |              | Ditto   ditto  |  86.0 |14.0 |     |
  4 Scabbard     |Danish?       | Ditto   ditto  |  90.0 |10.0 |     |
  5 Axe-Head     |Ireland       | Ditto   ditto  |  91.0 | 9.0 |     |
  6 Axe-Palstave |Cumberland    | Ditto   ditto  |  91.0 | 9.0 |     |
  7 Axe-Head     |              | Ditto   ditto  |  88.0 |12.0 |     |
  8 Bronze Vessel|Cambridgeshire|Professor Clark,|  88.0 |12.0 |     |
                 |              |  M.D.          |       |     |     |
  9 Sword        |France        |Mongez, Mémoires| 87.47 |12.53|     |
                 |              |  de l’Institut |       |     |     |
 10 Caldron      |Berwickshire  |G. Wilson, M.D.,| 92.89 | 5.15| 1.78|
                 |              |  Prehist.      |       |     |     |
                 |              |  Ann. Scot.    |       |     |     |
 11 Sword        |Duddingstone  | Ditto   ditto  | 88.51 | 9.30| 2.30|
 12 Kettle       |Berwickshire  | Ditto   ditto  | 88.22 | 5.63| 5.88|
 13 Axe-Head     |Mid-Lothian   | Ditto   ditto  | 88.5  |11.12| 0.78|
 14 Caldron      |Duddingstone  | Ditto   ditto  | 84.8  | 7.19| 8.53|
 15 Palstave     |Fifeshire     | Ditto   ditto  | 81.19 |18.31| 0.75|
 16 Sword        |Ireland       |Professor Davy, | 88.63 | 8.54| 2.83|
                 |              |  Prehist.      |       |     |     |
                 |              |  Ann. Scot.    |       |     |     |
 17 Sword        |              | Ditto   ditto  | 83.50 | 5.15| 8.35| 3.0
 18 Sword        |Thames        |J. A. Phillips, | 89.69 | 9.58|     | 0.33
                 |              |  F.G.S., &c.   |       |     |     |
 19 Sword        |Ireland       |    Ditto       | 85.62 |10.02|     | 0.44
 20 Celt         |              |    Ditto       | 90.68 | 7.43| 1.28|
 21 Axe-Head     |              |                | 90.18 | 9.81|     |
 22 Axe-Head     |              |    Ditto       | 89.33 | 9.19|     | 0.33
 23 Celt         |              |    Ditto       | 83.61 |10.79| 3.20| 0.58
 24 Celt         |King’s County,|Dr. Donovan,    | 85.23 |13.11| 1.14|
                 |  Ireland     |  Chem. Gazette |       |     |     |
 25 Drinking-Horn|              |                | 79.34 |10.87| 9.11|
 26 Bronze Vessel|Ireland       |Mr Gibbon,      | 88.0  |12.0 |     |
                 |              |  U.S. Mint     |       |     |     |
 27 Wedge        |              |    Ditto       | 94.0  | 5.9 |     | 0.1

This argument, however, is defective when taken to determine the
question of the origin of bronze in favour of independent discovery,
for we have already seen, in speaking of the stone age,--and I have
endeavoured to show that it is a peculiarity observable in the works of
all savage and barbarous races,--that being devoid of rule or measure,
and having very imperfect means of securing adherence to a uniform
standard, their productions are characterized by incessant variations,
even in cases where the first idea is known to have been derived from
a common source. The variations here shown to exist in the composition
of bronze are no greater than are capable of being accounted for by
the universal prevalence of a law of variation, resulting from many
causes, and amongst others from want of precision, and carelessness,
which is a defect common alike to all tyros in their art, whether
ancient or modern. It is a fault we have many of us to complain of
almost daily in our cooks. A batter pudding is composed of milk, flour,
and eggs, in proper proportions, but a careless cook will constantly
vary her proportions, and will fail in adjusting her quantities to
the total amount; but we must not, on that account, assume that each
cook has invented the art of making batter puddings independently.
So, in like manner, it is quite consistent with the facts observed
even in America, to suppose that the first knowledge of bronze, and of
those many features in the civilization of the Mexicans and Peruvians
which present such striking analogies to the civilization of Egypt,
may have been originally communicated by some casual wanderer or some
shipwrecked castaway from the then centres of Eastern culture (for the
theory of geographical changes is, of course, out of the question when
speaking of the origin of bronze), and that they have varied in their
development on American soil no more than might naturally be expected
from their introduction to an entirely new and partially civilized
race. Such an assumption, though difficult to account for, and wanting
in evidence, is more in accordance with the well-known traditions of
the Mexicans and Peruvians, who attribute their civilization to the
advent of a god; or with that of the natives of Nootka Sound, on the
north-west, who state that an old man entered the bay, in a copper
canoe, with paddles of copper, and that the Nootkans by that means
acquired a knowledge of that metal.

As illustrations of the modern metal-work of the natives of Nootka
Sound and its neighbourhood, several examples are given in Plate
XIX, figs. 7 to 11. Figures 7 and 8 represent two sides of an iron
dagger in the Museum of the Royal United Service Institution. The
ornamentation on the handle is that of the natives of the country, but
the workmanship of the blade, which is ribbed on one side, appears
to indicate foreign manufacture. Figures 9 and 10 are two sides of a
copper dagger of the same form; this specimen is now in the Belfast
Museum, in which it was deposited in the year 1843 by Mr. A. Thompson,
who brought it from the north-west coast of America, and described it
as having been fabricated by the Flathead Indians; it is undoubtedly
of native workmanship; in both these weapons one side of the blade and
handle is concave, the other convex, a form which appears to denote
that it was originally taken from some similar weapon of bone or cane.
The nearest approach to the form of this weapon in bone, that I am
aware of, is that of the Indian ‘kandjar’, a figure of which was given
in my first lecture on Primitive Warfare, Plate X, fig. 63. This weapon
has also one concave and one convex side, derived from the natural
curvature of the bone out of which it is made.

But putting aside American civilization, which, it must be admitted,
does in the existing state of our knowledge present great difficulties
in the way of those who advocate the theory of a common origin for
bronze, and turning our attention to the eastern hemisphere, we find
the evidence on this point more satisfactory. We may observe, in
the first place, that the area over which bronze has been used for
implements appears, in so far as we have at present been able to trace
it, to be continuous, extending over the greater part of Europe, Egypt,
Assyria, and some parts of Siberia, India, and China, from which latter
country some few bronze weapons have lately been added to the British
Museum. Mr. Theobald, of the Geological Survey of India, also mentions
in a paper read to the Bengal Asiatic Society,[207] that bronze axes
are found in the valley of the Irrawaddy, where they are held in such
veneration as rarely to be procurable; and Sir Walter Elliot has
shown me some bronze implements which he found deep beneath the soil
in cutting a canal in the valley of the Ganges. Bronze is wanting in
Africa; in America, with the exception of Peru and Mexico; in the
north of Sweden and Norway, and, I believe, in the greater part of
the northern districts of Russia and Siberia, though with regard to
Russian and Siberian bronzes, our information is still very deficient.
And here I may observe that I speak only of bronze as applied to tools
and weapons; its use for other purposes may have been introduced at
any subsequent period of the world’s history; but the presence of a
bronze weapon implies either total ignorance, or at least an imperfect
knowledge of the means of hardening the more useful metal for this
purpose, iron.

Those who wish for more detailed information as to the evidence upon
which the succession of the stone, bronze, and iron ages has been
determined, would do well to refer to Sir John Lubbock’s remarks upon
this subject in _Prehistoric Times_. It may, however, be useful to
enumerate briefly some of the chief points which have been adduced
in support of the opinion that the employment of these materials
corresponds to successive stages in the development of civilization in
Europe. (1) Not only do the Roman writers mention iron as being the
metal used by them in their time, but they also speak of its employment
by the barbarian nations of the north, with whom they came in contact,
and the word ‘ferrum’, _iron_, was with the Romans synonymous with
sword. (2) Although numerous finds of iron implements of the Roman
period have been discovered in various parts of the world, there has
been no authentic and undoubted instance of a weapon of bronze having
been found associated with them, or with Roman pottery or coins. (3)
Bronze implements are most abundant in Denmark and Ireland, countries
which were never invaded by Roman armies, whilst they are exceedingly
rare in Italy. (4) The ornamentation of the bronze implements is not
Roman, but pre-Roman in character. (5) On the other hand, the numerous
finds of bronze weapons which have been discovered have never been
associated with iron, except in cases where the nature of the iron
implements shows them to have belonged to a period of transition. (6)
The pottery associated with bronze-finds is superior to that found
with stone implements, but inferior to that of the iron age, and the
potter’s wheel was unknown during the stone and bronze ages. (7) Silver
is found associated with iron, but rarely if ever with stone or bronze.
(8) No coins or inscriptions of any kind have been found with bronze
implements. (9) In the Swiss lakes, settlements associated with stone
and bronze have been found near each other, as for instance Moosseedorf
and Nidau, 15 miles apart; in the former, bronze is entirely absent;
in the latter, it was used not only for articles of luxury, such as
might denote a more wealthy class, but also for implements of common
use, such as fish-hooks, pins, &c.; it is improbable that so marked
a contrast in the civilization of two settlements so close to each
other should have existed during the same period. (10) The implements
and ornaments of the bronze-finds are more varied in form, showing
an advance in art upon those appertaining to the stone age. (11) The
bronze-finds are marked by an increase in the number of domesticated
animals, and an entire absence of some of the wild animals of the
earlier period, and they are also more clearly associated with traces
of agriculture. (12) In the Danish peat bogs, successive strata are
found overlying each other, denoting changes in the vegetation of the
country; in the lowest and earliest are found the remains of pine
trees, which now are foreign to the soil; above which are strata in
which oak was the prevailing tree, and at the present time the oaks
have been superseded by beeches. These successive strata correspond
in a general way to successive stages in the civilization of the
inhabitants; in the pine-bearing strata, implements of stone are found;
with the oak trees, implements of bronze, and higher up, implements of
iron. It has also been attempted to trace a somewhat similar succession
of periods in the gravels and alluvium of the torrent of Tinière,
in Switzerland; but the evidence in this case is not considered so
satisfactory as in that of the Danish peat bogs.

In Chaldea, the transition from stone to bronze has been traced by
the relics found in the soil; iron being then used only in small
quantities, and chiefly for ornaments, as amongst the ancient Britons
in the time of Caesar.[208] In Egypt, where both bronze and iron
weapons have been found in the tombs, the transition from bronze to
iron is marked by the colour of the weapons in the paintings, and
dates, according to Sir Gardner Wilkinson, about B.C. 1400. Hesiod
speaks of an age of copper, when the ‘black iron did not exist’. Homer
also alludes frequently to copper or bronze implements, and when iron
is mentioned always speaks of it as requiring much time and labour to
fabricate it. Then we have the well-known passage from Lucretius, so
often quoted in reference to this subject, in which the three ages of
stone, bronze, and iron are mentioned;[209] and Strabo mentions the
Lusitanians as being armed partly with copper or bronze weapons.[210]

Many other quotations might be given from ancient authors to prove that
the existence of a bronze age preceding the use of iron was known to
the ancients, but I will not occupy your time further with this part
of the subject, seeing that others far more competent to deal with
it than myself have failed to derive much information of value from
this source. There is often considerable difficulty in determining
the exact meaning of the writers, when speaking of the material of
which weapons are composed, the same word being sometimes used to
express copper, bronze, and iron. In fact it may, I think, safely be
said that, notwithstanding the large amount of useful information that
may be obtained from the study of the early writers, there is no more
fruitful source of error than the attempt to apply ancient history and
tradition to the elucidation of prehistoric events. Modern science, and
our fuller appreciation of the value of evidence, have thrown far more
light on prehistoric times than ever fell to the lot of the ancients;
and it is for us, therefore, to correct their errors, and not to be
misled by them.

Professor Max Müller, in the second series of his _Science of
Language_, has, however, drawn some important conclusions on this
subject, from the etymology of words representing metal, of which
it may be useful here to give a brief abstract. Quoting Mr. E. B.
Tylor’s work on the Anahuac (p. 140), he says: ‘The Mexicans called
their own copper or bronze _tepuztli_, which is said to have meant
originally _hatchet_; the same word is now used for iron, with which
the Mexicans first became acquainted through their intercourse with
the Spaniards. _Tepuztli_ then became a general name for metal, and
when copper had to be distinguished from iron, the former was called
red _tepuztli_, and the latter black _tepuztli_. The conclusion,’
he says, ‘which we may draw from this, viz. that Mexican was spoken
before the introduction of iron into Mexico, is one of no great value,
because we know it from other sources’; but applying the same line of
reasoning to Greek, he says, ‘here, too, _chalkós_, which at first
meant copper, came afterwards to mean metal in general, and _chalkeús_,
originally a copper-smith, occurs in the Odyssey (ix. 391) in the sense
of a blacksmith, or worker of iron.’ What does this prove? It proves
that Greek was spoken before the introduction of iron. The name for
copper is shared in common by Latin and the Teutonic languages, _æs_,
Latin; _aiz_, Gothic; _êr_, old high German; _erz_, modern German;
_âr_, Anglo-Saxon; and the same word is represented in our English
word _ore_. But the words specifically used for iron differ in each
of the principal branches of the Aryan family. At the same time the
words originally representing copper come to be used for metal in
general, and in some cases for iron. In Sanskrit, _ayas_, which is
the same word as _æs_, came to be used for iron, a distinction being
made between dark _ayas_ or iron, and bright _ayas_ or copper. _Æs_ in
Latin, and _aiz_ in Gothic, came to be used for metal in general, but
was never used for iron. _Aiz_, however, according to Grimm, gave rise
to the Gothic word _eisarn_, meaning iron. In old high German _eisarn_
is changed into _îsarn_, later to _îsan_, and lastly to the modern
_eisen_, while the Anglo-Saxon _îsern_ is converted into _îren_, and
ultimately to _iron_. The learned Professor sums up his researches on
this subject as follows:--‘We may conclude,’ he says, ‘that Sanskrit,
Greek, Latin, and German were spoken before the discovery of iron, that
each nation became acquainted with that most useful of all metals after
the Aryan family was broken up, and that each of the Aryan languages
coined its name for iron from its own resources, and marked it by its
own national stamp, while it brought the names for gold, silver, and
copper from the common treasury of their ancestral home’.[211]

These remarks point to a very remote period, and to an Aryan origin for
the first knowledge of copper and bronze, but on the other hand much
has been written in favour of a Semitic origin, especially by Professor
Nilsson, who believes that he has discovered traces of that people even
on the coast of Norway.[212]

The employment of war chariots, which are known to have been used by
the Britons, and vestiges of which have been found in their graves,
implies, it is said, Semitic influence. Much stress is also laid upon
the resemblance of some of the ornaments found on the Danish and other
bronzes to those in use by the Phoenicians; more especially the spiral
ornaments, which Professor Nilsson traces to that source through the
engravings on weapons in the bronze age tumuli. Against this, however,
it may be urged that the spiral ornament has a very wide distribution,
extending over modern Africa, ancient Egypt, Greece, China, New Guinea,
Mexico, and South America, and even to New Zealand and the Asiatic
Isles. In illustration of this I have arranged upon Plate XIX a series
of illustrations of spiral ornament from various countries, showing
how universally it is distributed over the globe. Fig. 12 is from a
New Zealand canoe in my collection; Fig. 13, from a club brought from
New Guinea by the commander of the ‘Rattlesnake’, in 1849, and now
in my collection; Fig. 14, from China; Fig. 15, from ancient Egypt;
Fig. 16, from Greece; Fig. 17, from a Danish bronze sword; Fig. 18,
from an Irish bronze brooch in my collection; Fig. 19, from the Swiss
lakes, figured in Dr. Keller’s work; Fig. 20, an iron ornament in my
collection from Central Africa; Fig. 21, an iron ornament on a club,
from the Bight of Benin, West Africa, in the Christy Collection; Fig.
22, an ornament on a wooden arrow-head, in the Christy Collection,
probably from one of the Melanesian isles; Fig. 23, from Hallstatt;
Fig. 24, a cane arrow-head from the Amazons, South America; Fig.
25, a spindle-whirl from Mexico; Fig. 26, on a bronze shield from
the Caucasus; Fig. 27, an ornament on a bracelet from Hindustan, in
the British Museum; Fig. 28, an ornament carved upon the stones of
New Grange, in Ireland; Fig. 29, from a New Zealand canoe. Compare
the two last figures with Fig. 30, a stone weight in my collection,
lately fished up on the coast of Kent, whilst dredging for whelks; the
ornamentation so closely resembles the New Zealand pattern, and at
the same time that of the stone carvings of the European tumuli, that
considering the circumstance of its discovery, it is purely a matter
for conjecture whether it is to be referred to the antiquities of
this country, or has been dropped overboard by some vessel returning
from our South Pacific colonies. We see from these examples that the
spiral ornament cannot be regarded as belonging exclusively to any one
race; it is a contrivance derived simply from the coil of string, the
source from which, and also from straw plaiting, nearly all barbaric
ornamentation had its origin; it is a proof merely of barbaric origin,
an evidence of continuity from the earliest periods of art.

Mr. Franks in his remarks at the Paris Meeting of the International
Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology, has summarily disposed of the
question of Phoenician ornamentation, by observing that the Phoenicians
were copyists, taking their style from Egypt, Greece, or Rome,
according to the fashion of the period, and that in point of fact a
Phoenician style of art has never existed (_Compte Rendu, II^{me}
Session_, Paris, 1868, p. 251).

Amongst those who have upheld the theory of the origin of bronze from
Phoenician sources, may be mentioned Mr. Howorth, in a paper lately
published in the _Transactions of the Ethnological Society_ (1868,
N.S., vol. vi. pp. 73-100); and Sir John Lubbock, though not committing
himself to the same view as regards the origin of bronze, has
nevertheless been at the pains of ably defending the ancient authors
who speak of Phoenician intercourse with Britain from the attacks made
upon them by Sir George Cornewall Lewis (_Prehistoric Times_, 1869, pp.

This being the existing state of our knowledge in regard to the
introduction of bronze, and the variety of opinion on the subject
being, as we have seen, considerable, the task before us will be to
ascertain as far as may be possible, from the implements themselves,
the history of their origin, by examining carefully their construction
in the various regions in which they occur, and by tracing the
geographical distribution of those details of form which show evidence
of connexion; thereby to determine, if possible, the sources from which
they were derived. Whatever degree of veracity we may be disposed to
attribute to early history, we must at least admit that the implements
have this advantage over written testimony of any kind, that they
cannot intentionally mislead us. If we draw wrong inferences from them,
the fault is our own. We shall find the evidence very fragmentary as
yet, but sufficient to prove that it affords a valuable source of
information whenever sufficient materials are collected to enable us
to work out the problem to its legitimate ends.

On the present occasion I propose to confine my remarks to showing, by
means of the accompanying table (Plate XVIII), the distribution of some
of the commoner varieties of the copper and bronze celt, an instrument
which, like its prototype in stone, appears to have been employed both
as tool and as weapon for all the various purposes to which it was
capable of being turned, and to have been used not merely as a hatchet
and battle-axe, but also to have been sometimes hafted on the end of a
straight handle, to be used as a spud or crowbar, and even perhaps, as
some of the forms appear to indicate, as a spade in tilling the ground.

The table is arranged upon the same plan as Plate XIII of my last
lecture, and is intended to serve as a continuation of Plate XII of
the same lecture, showing a further development of the same weapon.
The successive developments are arranged, in order, by classes from
left to right; the several localities are separated by horizontal
dotted lines, by means of which are seen the various types prevalent in
each locality, in so far as I have been able to obtain drawings from
published sources; there can be no doubt, however, that the table is
still very imperfect, and that considerable additions may be made to
it hereafter. On the left, in Class A, will be found celts with convex
surfaces, identical in form to those constructed of stone, the relative
antiquity of which is shown by their being almost invariably of pure or
nearly pure copper. It has been suggested that this form may have been
adopted on account of its being more easily produced by beating the
copper, and that its resemblance to the stone celts is not necessarily
a proof of age; but there is no reason why Class B should not be as
easily formed as Class A by this means, and many are so formed, as may
be seen in the table. Moreover, Fig. 3 _a_ is a _bronze_ celt of the
earlier form, taken from _Prehistoric Times_, and as this must have
been cast in a mould, its peculiar shape can only be accounted for
by supposing it to have been constructed in imitation of the stone
celts. In passing from Class B, a gradual development of form may be
traced, commencing with a slight stop or ridge across, and rudimentary
flanges along the side of the shaft of the blade, developing in
size and improving in form, no doubt, as the art of casting bronze
became gradually perfected.[213] These stops and flanges are at first
raised on the surface of the blade, but by degrees the same purpose
is effected by sinking a groove in the blade to receive the handle,
thereby economizing the metal, and producing a more symmetrical form;
the flanges were at the same time bent over, and ultimately cast with
a cavity on each side to receive the handle, and obviate the necessity
for binding on the celt with thongs. This led by degrees to the
ultimate perfection of the weapon, by the introduction of the socket
type, which is associated with weapons of iron, and is sometimes itself
constructed of that metal.

The order of development here adopted is in the main that followed by
Sir William Wilde, in his _Catalogue of the Museum of the Royal Irish
Academy_, but I have omitted all mention of branch varieties, as they
do not serve my purpose of illustrating the continuity of development,
though they are valuable in showing the connexion between localities.

Although the course of development appears to have followed the
order here indicated, it is not unlikely the earlier forms may have
continued in use, and may even have continued to be constructed at the
same time as the later forms. The earlier and less complicated types,
being easier of construction, and being equally serviceable for some
purposes, would continue to be made, in the same way that smooth-bores
and rifle-barrels, row-boats, sailing-vessels, and steam-packets,
continue to be used simultaneously in our own time.

The progress of development of this weapon will be better understood by
a detailed reference to the figures.

_Reference to the Figures in Plate XVIII._[214]


CLASS A.--Copper celts from various localities, having convex surfaces,
in form resembling those of stone.--Figs. 1, 2, and 3, from Ireland,
_in my collection_.--Fig. 3 _a_, a bronze celt of the same form, from
Le Puy, France, _Prehistoric Times_, p. 27.--Fig. 4, copper celt
found at Blengow, Mecklenberg-Schwerin Museum; _Horae Ferales_.--Fig.
5, copper celt from the lake dwellings of Sipplingen, Switzerland,
found embedded in a coating of clay (a mould?). See Keller, _The Lake
Dwellings of Switzerland_, (transl. J. E. Lee, 1866), p. 121, Plate
xxix.--Fig. 6, copper celt found in an Etruscan tomb, and now in the
Berlin Museum. See _Catalogue of the Royal Irish Academy_, ‘Bronze,’
pp. 367, 395.

CLASS B.--Copper and bronze celts from various localities, having flat
concave sides, and a rectangular cross section, showing a gradual
enlargement of the cutting edge.--Figs. 7 to 12, copper celts from
Ireland, _in my collection_, showing a gradual enlargement of the
cutting edge.--Figs. 13, 14, 15, ditto, _ditto_, of bronze, the
sides more concave, and the cutting edge more expanded.--Fig. 16,
bronze celt, of similar form, from Denmark (Madsen, _Afbildninger
af Danske Oldsager og Mindesmærker_, Copenhagen, 1872, Heft iii,
Fig. 1).--Fig. 17, copper celt from Steinfurt, in the collection of
Professor Dieffenbach, at Friedberg, Lindenschmit, _Die Alterthümer
unserer heidnischen Vorzeit_ (Mainz, 1864 ff.), Plate 3.--Fig. 18,
ditto of copper, found near Mainz, Museum of Mainz, _Lindenschmit_,
Plate 3.--Fig. 19, the same form of bronze, from near Mainz,
_Lindenschmit_.--Fig. 20, the same form of bronze from Italy, _British
Museum_.[215]--Figs. 21, 22, 23, the same form of copper from Hungary,
_Keller_, p. 219, Plate lxviii.--Figs. 24, 25, 26, similar forms of
bronze, with rectangular holes, from the Island of Thermia, Greek
Archipelago, _British Museum_.

CLASS C.--Bronze celts of the same outline as Class B, but having a
cross ridge or stop on both faces, to prevent the blade from burying
itself in the handle.--Figs. 27, 28, bronze celts from Ireland, _in my
collection_; this form is common to the British Isles.

CLASS D.[216]--Bronze celts, having four longitudinal ridges or
flanges, one on each edge, but no cross stop. The flanges are for the
purpose of fixing the blade in a bent handle; they exhibit a gradual
development of the flange, and an expansion of the cutting edge, which
latter takes a semicircular, and in some cases nearly a circular
form.--Figs. 29, 30, from Ireland, _in my collection_, showing front
view and section.--Fig. 31, from Versailles, _in my collection_, with
section.--Fig. 32, from France; with side view; see _Matériaux pour
l’Histoire de l’Homme_.--Fig. 33, from Loyette, Department of Isère,
from _Horae Ferales_, front view.--Fig. 34, from the South of France,
_British Museum_, the blade very circular.--Fig. 35, from Alps [Aps?],
in Ardèche, _British Museum_, the circular form of the blade still
more developed. This form appears peculiar to the neighbourhood of
the Rhone, _Horae Ferales_.--Fig. 36, from France; with side view;
_Matériaux_.--Fig. 37, from Denmark, _British Museum_, of copper; this
form is rarely found in copper; with section.--Fig. 38, from Denmark,
of bronze, from _Madsen_, Heft iii.--Fig. 39, from Denmark, with
semicircular blade, _Madsen_, Heft iii.--Fig. 40, from Hessen, now in
the collection at Hanover, _Lindenschmit_, Heft i, Taf. iii.--Fig. 41,
from near Baltringen, _Lindenschmit_.--Fig. 42, from Neinheiligen, in
Thuringia, _British Museum_; with section.--Fig. 43, from the Terramara
Beds, Castione, Switzerland; with section; _Keller_, Plate lix.--Fig.
44, from Unter Uhldingen; with section; _Keller_, Plate xxix.--Fig.
45, from the Terramara Beds, Castione; with section; _Keller_, Plate
lix.--Fig. 46, from the Terramara Beds, Castione; with section;
_Keller_, Plate lix.--Fig. 47, from Hallstatt, in Austria, von Sacken,
_Das Grabfeld von Hallstatt in Oberösterreich und dessen Alterthümer_
(Vienna, 1868), Taf. vii; with side view.--Fig. 48, ditto, _ditto_,
found with the body of a child.--Fig. 49, ditto, the shaft of bronze,
and the blade of iron, from Hallstatt.--Fig. 50, the same form in iron,
also from Hallstatt, _in Mr. John Evans’ collection_.--Figs. 51 and
52, similar forms, in bronze, from Italy, _British Museum_.--Fig. 53,
the same form, from Telsch, Vilna, Russia, _British Museum_; with two

CLASS E.--Bronze celts having both the cross stop and the longitudinal
flanges. In the earliest form, the cross stop and flanges are raised
upon the faces of the blade, as in Class D. In the more improved form,
the upper part of the shaft of the blade is hollowed so as to answer
the same purpose and economize the metal. Figs. 54-8, from Ireland;
Fig. 54, with rudimentary stop and flanges, _in my collection_. Figs.
55 and 56, ditto, with rudimentary stop, the flanges more developed;
_in my collection_. Fig. 57, showing a development of both stop and
flange, ditto, _ditto_. Fig. 58, showing the stop and flange further
developed, and the metal of the upper part of the blade slightly sunk,
ditto, _ditto_. Fig. 59, a further development of the same, the metal
of the upper part of the shaft of the blade reduced to a minimum.--Fig.
60, the same form as Fig. 54, from Denmark, _Madsen_, Heft iii.--Fig.
61, from near Mainz, _Lindenschmit_, Taf. iii.--Fig. 62, from the
Museum at Wiesbaden, _Lindenschmit_, Taf. iii.--Fig. 63, from Altona,
in Courland; this form has some affinity to Class G, but is introduced
here on account of the expansion of the blade.--Figs. 64, 65, and 66,
from Italy, _in the British Museum_, the metal of the shaft slightly
sunk to produce a stop.--Fig. 67, from Fiesole, Italy, the metal part
of the shaft further reduced.--Fig. 68, from Baron von Stackelberg’s
collection, _in the British Museum_, also described in Klemm,
_Werkzeuge und Waffen_, p. 103, Fig. 180; said to be from Greece, but
its close resemblance to those from Italy is remarkable.

CLASS F.--The same form as Class E, but having the flanges bent by
hammering over the stop; the flanges appear to have been cast upright,
as in Class E, and to have been bent over the cleft handle after
hafting; by this means the necessity for binding the blade on with
thongs was obviated. This class forms a transition to the socket
type.--Figs. 69, 70, 71, from Ireland, _in my collection_.--Fig.
72, from the Royal Irish Academy collection, having a loop on the
side. See _Catalogue R. I. A._, ‘Bronze,’ page 379. The introduction
of the loop appears to be synchronous with the abandonment of the
binding, the overlapping flanges answering that purpose by enclosing
the bent portion of the handle, and requiring only that it should
be fastened by the loop to prevent its falling off the end of the
handle.--Fig. 73, from Denmark, _in my collection_.--Figs. 74, 75, from
Denmark, _Madsen_, Heft iii.--Fig. 76, from the Museum at Hanover,
_Lindenschmit_.--Fig. 77, from the Museum at Munich, _Lindenschmit_,
Taf. iv.--Fig. 78, from Möringen, Switzerland, _Keller_, Plate
xli.--Fig. 79, from Nidau-Steinberg, Switzerland, _Keller_, Plate
xxxv.--Fig. 80, from Hallstatt; _Von Sacken_.--Fig. 81, from Italy,
_British Museum_.

CLASS G.--The pocket type. The bent portion of the handle in this ease
was retained in its place by pockets cast on each side of the shaft
of the blade; it seems doubtful whether this, or Class F, is to be
regarded as the nearest approach to the socket type. In Class F the
overlapping was produced by hammering the metal; but Class G is a
further advance in the casting process.--Figs. 82 and 83, from Ireland,
_in my collection_; the latter with loop; the pockets or pouches to
receive the points of the bent handle are shown in the sections.--Fig.
84, from France; see _Matériaux pour l’Histoire de l’Homme_.--Fig. 85,
found twelve leagues south of Oviedo, Spain, _in the collection of the
Society of Antiquaries_.--Fig. 86, from Andalusia, Spain, _British
Museum_.--Fig. 87, from Denmark, _Madsen_, Heft iii.--Fig. 88, from the
collection at Munich, _Lindenschmit_.--Fig. 89, from the collection at
Hanover, _Lindenschmit_.--Fig. 89 _a_, an iron celt of the same form,
still in use by the Kalmucs, Siberia, _Prehistoric Times_, p. 26.

CLASS H.--The socket type. In some of the specimens of Class G, as for
example Figs. 82 and 83, the metal portion of the shaft of the blade
dividing the two pouches is reduced to a minimum. The next step was
to do away with it altogether and enlarge the sides of the pouches so
as to form a single socket. By this means the bent handle no longer
required to be cleft to receive the blade, but was inserted whole into
the socket, producing greater firmness, each blow of the axe serving to
fix it more securely to its handle. The loops, seen only occasionally
on Classes F and G, are almost invariably present in Class H.--Figs.
90, 91, 92, 93, 94. Socket celts of bronze, from Ireland and England,
_in my collection_; the form with square sides is very uncommon in
Ireland; in Fig. 92 a representation of the overlapping flange of
Class F is cast on the surface of the socket.--Fig. 94_a_, a socket
celt of wrought iron with loop, from Merionethshire, _British Museum_;
_Archaeologia Cambrensis_, vol. i, third series, p. 250.--Figs. 95 and
96, the same forms from France. See _Matériaux, &c._ The square-sided
celt is common in the north of France.--Fig. 97, from Alemquez,
Portugal; _Coll. Société des Archit. Portugais_.--Fig. 98, from
Denmark, _in my collection_.--Figs. 99, 100, Denmark, _Madsen_, Heft
i.--Fig. 100 _a_, an iron socket celt, from the moss of Nydam, in
Slesvik, of the iron period; Engelhardt, _Denmark in the Early Iron
Age_ (1866), Pl. xv; believed, from the Roman coins found with it,
to be of the third century A.D.[217]--Fig. 101, from the collection
at Hanover, _Lindenschmit_.--Fig. 102, from the Museum at Mainz,
_Lindenschmit_.--Fig. 103, socket celt of iron, from Golssen, _Klemm_,
Fig. 195.--Fig. 104, socket celt of iron, from Thuringia, _Klemm_,
Fig. 194.--Fig. 105, of bronze, from Unter Uhldingen, Switzerland;
_Keller_, Pl. xxix.--Fig. 106, of iron, found near Marin, Switzerland,
the socket formed by beating over the blade on one side only; the
socket is not quite completed; see _Keller_, Pl. lxxi.--Fig. 107,
the same form of iron, found near Marin; the socket is closed and
completed all round, _Keller_, Pl. lxxi. These specimens in iron may
be regarded as connecting links between Classes F and H. Viewing the
occurrence of iron celts of this form, it appears not impossible
that the introduction of the socket type and the sudden abolition of
the central division may have been suggested by the use of the more
malleable metal, by means of which the fabricator acquired the art of
forming a socket by bending over the metal on one side; the inutility
of the central division would thus become apparent.--Fig. 108, bronze
socket celt with loop, from Hallstatt, _Von Sacken_.--Fig. 109, exactly
the same form in iron, from Hallstatt; a portion of the wooden handle
is still shown in this specimen.--Figs. 110 and 111, bronze socket
celts, from Italy, of a variety peculiar to that country, _British
Museum_.--Fig. 112, socket celt of copper, from Hungary, believed by
the author to be the only known specimen of pure copper; _Keller_,
Pl. lxxviii.--Fig. 113, bronze socket celt, from Hungary, _British
Museum_.--Fig. 114, bronze socket celt, with two loops, from Kertch,
_British Museum_.--Fig. 115, bronze socket celt, from the province of
Viatka, Russia. See _Matériaux, &c._--Fig. 116, bronze socket celt with
two loops, from the Ural, Russia.--Fig. 117, mode of hafting, Classes
A, B, and C.--Fig. 118, mode of hafting, Classes D, E, F, and G.--Fig.
119, mode of hafting, Class H.

In a paper lately read to the Society of Antiquaries by Dr.
Thurnam,[218] he has drawn attention to the fact that none but celts of
the most primitive type, viz. those belonging to Classes B, C, D, and
the most rudimentary form of Class E, have been found in the British
tumuli. Scarcely a single instance of the more developed palstave or of
the socketed celt has as yet been discovered; the only exceptions being
a bronze socket celt found in a tumulus on Plumpton Plain, near Lewes,
and a diminutive bronze socket celt found in a tumulus at Arras in the
Yorkshire wolds. These Arras barrows are known, however, to belong to
the iron age; having produced, amongst other articles composed of that
metal, the iron tire of the wheel, and trappings of a war chariot. We
learn from this that the discoveries in the tumuli confirm in point
of time the order of development inferred from a consideration of the
implements themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the foregoing detailed description of Plate XVIII we are enabled
to draw the following conclusions, viz.:--(1) That in each of the
divisions of Europe therein represented, traces of the development
of the celt, from its simplest to its most complex form, have been
discovered; the earliest forms being in imitation of those of stone,
and being not unfrequently constructed of pure copper. Where some
of the connecting links are wanting in the table there is reason to
suppose the absence of those links may be the result of imperfect
information, and does not necessarily imply a flaw in the continuity
of development. (2) That, notwithstanding the simultaneous development
which appears to have taken place in different countries, we may
nevertheless observe slight differences in the details of construction,
which are sufficient to give a distinctive character to the celts of
each separate region. Thus, for instance, the celts from Ireland are,
as a general rule, shorter and less elegant in form than those found on
the Continent. Class C, consisting of stop celts without wings, though
common in Great Britain and Ireland, is, so far as I have been able
to ascertain, unknown on the Continent. On the other hand, Class D,
having wings without stops, is rare in Ireland, but common in France,
Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. The development of this class of
celt into a nearly circular edge, as represented in Figs. 34 and 35, is
peculiar to the south of France, though traces of it are observable in
the celts from Germany, Fig. 40. Class E, having both stop and flange,
is found in a more rudimentary stage in Ireland than elsewhere. The
palstaves of this form, having shoulders on the side of the blade, are
peculiar to Italy and Switzerland, Figs. 66, 67, and 68. Class F, with
overlapping wings, is but slightly developed in Ireland, but is fully
so in Italy, Germany, and at Hallstatt. Class G, the double pocket
variety, has its head quarters in the north-west of France, but is also
known in Ireland, Denmark, Spain, and Germany; it is, in so far as I
have been able to ascertain, unknown in Italy. Class H, the socket
type, varies greatly in different countries; the square form, Figs. 93,
94, 95, 96, 100, and 102, is exceedingly rare in Ireland, but common
in France. The socket celts from Italy, Figs. 110 and 111, are of
peculiar type, and evidently derive their form from the winged palstave
of the same country, Fig. 67. Socket celts of iron have been found at
Hallstatt, and in Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, and North Wales. The
representation of the overlapping wings, cast on the surface of the
socket celt, Figs. 92 and 101, is common in England and Germany, but
exceedingly rare in Ireland. The double-looped socket celt, Figs. 97,
114, and 116, appears to be especially characteristic of the Eastern
provinces of Russia and Siberia, though found occasionally elsewhere.

In attempting to account for the varieties, which I have described,
in the details of construction, coupled with a general uniformity of
design throughout the entire region of distribution of these weapons,
we may, I think, draw an exact parallel between the development of
bronze celts and the development of the forms of cannon between the
fourteenth and the nineteenth centuries. From Europe to China we know
that the form of cannon has developed upon the same plan. In the same
way that the overlapping wings of the palstave were represented on the
faces of the socket celt, so the rings of metal which bound together
the bars of which the ancient bombard was composed, were represented
on the surface of the cast bronze cannon which superseded it. In
every country the general type of development of cannon has been the
same, but the details of construction have varied in each. Even in
our own time, the introduction of breech-loaders has been synchronous
throughout Europe; but the French and English cannon are not perfectly
identical. Now, the cause of this is sufficiently well known. There
has been constant intercommunication between the several countries
throughout the whole period of the development of this weapon. Each new
improvement as it occurred has been communicated from one country to
another, either by contact in war, or by peaceful intercourse; but each
country has fabricated its own weapons, and has by that means contrived
to give them a national character.

[Illustration: PLATE XX.


So in like manner we must assume that the development of the bronze
celt extended over a long period of time; that each new improvement
was communicated from tribe to tribe and from nation to nation; but
that each country manufactured its own implements, and varied in
the construction of them. The proof that this was the case is found
in the circumstance that moulds for casting them have been found in
different countries. Plate XX, Fig. 31, represents a stone mould found
at Ballynahinch, Co. Down, Ireland, and figured in the _Catalogue
of the Royal Irish Academy_; it is adapted for casting celts of the
Class B. Fig. 32 is a stone mould for Class G, found at Montaigu,
near Valoignes, Normandy, and is taken from a cast in the Museum of
the Society of Antiquaries. Fig. 33, a stone mould for Class H, from
Kilkenny, Ireland. Fig. 34, two halves of a bronze mould for Class
E, from Morges, Switzerland, figured in Keller, Plate xxxix. Fig.
35, two halves of a bronze mould for Class H, found in the Forest of
Bricquebec, Normandy, in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries.
Fig. 36, one-half of a bronze mould for Class H, from England, figured
in the _Catalogue of the Royal Irish Academy_, ‘Bronze,’ page 393.
In the three last specimens it will be seen that the mode of fitting
the two halves together, so as to prevent the escape of the metal,
is by means of a ridge on one half, fitting into a groove in the
other. It is improbable that a contrivance so identical as this should
have arisen independently in the three countries. Further proof of
connexion is shown by the identity of the ribs in the interior of the
sockets of celts belonging to Class H. Figs. 37 and 38 represent
sections of socket celts from Ireland, the former showing three, the
latter one, longitudinal rib of raised metal running from the bottom
of the socket for some distance up the side of the interior of the
socket. Fig. 39 is the section of a socket celt from Denmark, in my
collection, having one rib of the same kind. It has been suggested
that these ribs represent the interstices between slices of the core,
by means of which the socket was formed in casting; if so, the cores
must have been constructed of some hard material, cut in slices, in
order to facilitate their removal from the socket when formed. Several
objections may, however, be urged against this; in the first place, no
such cores have ever been discovered, which tends to the supposition
that the cores must, in all probability, have been constructed of clay;
in the second place, it will be seen by reference to Fig. 20 that this
celt has only one central rib; if, therefore, the rib was formed by the
metal pressing into the interstices between the slices of the core, it
is evident that the core in this case had only two slices; but it will
be seen that the aperture of the socket expands towards the bottom, and
it would have been impossible, therefore, to extract the core if it
were divided into only two parts.

The theory of core slices must, therefore, be abandoned, and we are
driven to the conclusion that the ribs must have been intentional,
either to give strength to the celt, which is unlikely from the great
thickness of the metal, or to form channels for the passage of the
metal in casting, or, what is more probable, to serve the purpose
of gripping the portion of the wooden handle which fitted into the
socket, and preventing its shifting with the blows of the weapon. Fig.
39 represents cross ribs at the bottom of the socket of a celt from
Denmark, in my collection. Whatever may have been the purpose for which
the ribs were formed, their identity in the implements of the two
countries serves us as an additional proof of intercourse between them.

Although moulds for casting celts have not been found in Denmark, there
is evidence to show, from vestiges of scoriae that have been found,
that they were there cast in clay, as indeed they must probably have
been to a great extent in other parts of Europe.

It would be premature to speculate upon the primary sources of
the bronze civilization of Europe, until we have examined carefully the
distribution of the other weapons belonging to that period. This much
may, however, I think, be said with respect to the geographical region
of bronze celts, that they belong more especially to the north and west
of Europe; they have never been found in any of those countries which
were occupied by the Phoenicians, nor have we any sufficient reason
for believing that they were common in Greece. We have, therefore, no
evidence whatever for supposing that the north of Europe derived the
first idea of these weapons from either of those nations. We certainly
have only negative evidence as yet for affirming that they did not,
but the burden of proof must rest with those who have attributed
them to the Phoenicians. To what extent they were employed in Russia
and Northern Siberia, is a point which we have not as yet sufficient
evidence to determine. I think, however, I am justified in saying that
those hitherto discovered in Siberia are of a late type, belonging
chiefly to the socket variety, and that they are there often associated
with weapons of iron. I trust, however, to have an opportunity of
entering more fully into this subject on a future occasion, when
treating of the weapons of the later bronze and early iron periods of


[184] A Lecture delivered at the Royal United Service Institution on
June 18, 1869, and published in the _Journal of the R. U. S. Inst._,
vol. xiii (1869), pp. 509-539, pl. xxxi-xxxiii (= Plates XVII-XX

[185] _Trans. Int. Congr. Preh. Arch. at Norwich_, 1868 (London, 1869),
p. 92 ff.

[186] _Lectures on Man, his Place in Creation, and in the History of
the Earth_, by Dr. Carl Vogt. Edited by James Hunt, Ph.D. (London,
1864), p. 466 ff.

[187] The fact mentioned both by the Baron de Bonstetten and Dr.
Keller, of celts of jade and nephrite having been found in Switzerland,
materials which, according to the latest investigations [1869], are not
found in the Alps, but must have been imported from the East, proves
that intercommunication and barter must have been carried on between
distant countries at the time when such weapons were used.--Baron
de Bonstetten, _Recueil d’Antiquités Suisses_ (Berne, 1855), p. 12;
Keller, _The Lake Dwellings of Switzerland_ (1866), pp. 56, 68 (cf.
1878, pp. 72, 195, 205, 215).

[188] _Prehistoric Times_, by Sir John Lubbock, Bart., F.R.S., London
(1865), p. 147.

[189] _Prehistoric Times_, by Sir John Lubbock, Bart., F.R.S. (1865),
pp. 142-3; _Results of the Investigation of Animal Remains from
the Lake Dwellings_, by Prof. Rütimeyer; in _The Lake Dwellings of
Switzerland_, by Dr. Ferdinand Keller, translated by J. E. Lee, F.S.A.,
F.G.S., 1866, pp. 355-62 (1878, pp. 537-44).

[190] _Moosseedorf_, Keller, l. c., p. 35; _Robenhausen_, Keller, l.
c., p. 40.

[191] (The first two sentences of this paragraph have been transposed,
for clearness.--ED.)

[192] Max Müller, _Science of Language_, second series (London, 1864),
p. 230.

[193] Rawlinson, _The Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern
World_ (1864), vol. i. p. 123.

[194] Klemm, _Werkzeuge und Waffen_ (Sondershausen, 1858), p. 96.

[195] Keller, l. c., p. 116: (1878, p. 121).

[196] Keller, l. c., p. 221, pl. lxvii: (1878, p. 362, pl. cxix).

[197] Keller, l. c., pp. 218, 219, pl. lxviii: (1878, pp. 362-3, pl.
cxx. 1-28).

[198] Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (London, 1862), vol. i. p. 282.

[199] Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_, vol. i. pp. 231-79; Squier and Davis
in _Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge_, vol. i. pp. 196-203, figs.
81, 82, 84, 87.4, 87.1, from which work the illustrations are taken.

[200] Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_, vol. i. p. 253.

[201] Since the above was written, Sir John Lubbock has published in an
Appendix to his second edition of _Prehistoric Times_ (1869), p. 595,
letters from Dr. Percy, and from Messrs. Jenkin and Lefeaux, highly
experienced assayers, expressing their opinions upon the theory of
M. Wibel, that the ancient bronze was obtained, not by the fusion of
copper and tin, but directly from ore containing the two metals. They
are unanimously of opinion that this could not have been the case, none
of the ores containing naturally a mixture of the metals in proper
proportions. Although the opinions of these gentlemen appear decisively
to negative the possibility of ancient bronze having been habitually
produced for commercial purposes in this manner, they do not appear to
me to discredit the supposition that the first imperfect knowledge of
the mixture may have been brought about accidentally in the manner I
have described.

[202] Worsaae, _The Primeval Antiquities of Denmark_ (London, 1849),
pp. 24, 40-45.

[203] The custom of making a mark upon the weapon for each victim
slain, is one of very usual occurrence among savage people.

[204] Thurnam, _Ancient British Barrows_ (1869), pp. 168, 198;
_Archaeologia_, vol. xlii; ‘On the Two Principal Forms of Ancient
British and Gaulish Skulls,’ _Mem. Anthrop. Soc. Lond._, i. 120
ff., 459 ff. (1865); iii. 41 ff. (1870); Davis and Thurnam, _Crania
Britannica_ (London, 1865).

[205] ‘On some Flint Implements found associated with Roman Remains in
Oxfordshire and the Isle of Thanet,’ by Col. A. Lane Fox, _Journal of
the Ethnological Society_ (1869), N.S., vol. i. p. 1 ff.

[206] _Prehistoric Man_, by Daniel Wilson, LL.D. (London, 1869), vol.
i. p. 308.

[207] _Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal_, 1865, p. 126.

[208] Rawlinson, _Five Great Monarchies_ (1864), vol. i. p. 120.


  Arma antiqua manus, ungues, dentesque fuerunt
  Et lapides, et item sylvarum fragmina rami,
  Et flamma atque ignis postquam sunt cognita primum
  Posterius ferri vis est aerisque reperta,
  Et prior aeris erat quam ferri cognitus usus,
  Quo facilis magis est natura, et copia maior.--V. 1282.

[210] Strabo, b. iii. c. iii. 6, p. 154.

[211] Max Müller, _Science of Language_, 2nd Series (1864), pp. 229-37.

[212] Nilsson, _The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia_ (Lubbock, 3rd
ed., 1868), p. 257.

[213] Sir Richard Colt Hoare found four of these celts in the Wiltshire
barrows, with rudimentary flanges along the side edges of the blade
that had been formed by beating, and similarly formed flanges have
also been noticed upon celts from Ireland, thereby leading to the
supposition that Class B may have been converted into Class D in this
way, before the casting process was applied to the formation of the
flanges.--_The Ancient History of South Wiltshire_ (London, 1812), p.
203, pl. xxi, xxvi, xxviii. 2, xxix.

[214] (The greatly reduced scale of these figures makes exact
verification of the references impracticable in all cases.--ED.)

[215] I have been enabled to take drawings of these celts in the
British Museum, through the kind permission of Mr. A. W. Franks.

[216] The forms included in Classes D, E, F, and G, are commonly known
under the name of _paalstab_ or _palstave_, a word of Scandinavian
origin, said to have designated the weapons employed by some northern
tribes for battering the shields of their enemies. Iron implements like
the Irish _loy_, and called _paalstabs_, are still used in Iceland,
either for digging in the ground or breaking the ice.--_Catalogue of
the Museum of the R. I. Academy_, ‘Bronze,’ p. 361.

[217] Lubbock, _Prehistoric Times_ (1869), p. 9.

[218] Read in 1869, published in _Archaeologia_, xliii. p. 443: for
Plumpton Plain, see _Sussex Arch. Coll._ ii. p. 268: for Arras, _Arch.
Journ._ xviii. p. 156.



In the paper which I had the honour of reading to this Institute at
Bethnal Green (pp. 1-19), I spoke of the general principles by which I
was guided in the course of inquiries, of which the present paper forms
a section. I need not, therefore, now refer to them further than to
say that the materials for this paper were collected whilst writing a
note to my _catalogue raisonné_ relating to the case of models of early
forms of ships.[220]

In inquiries of this nature it is always necessary to guard against the
tendency to form theories in the first instance, and go in search of
evidence to support them afterwards. On the other hand, in dealing with
so vast a subject as Anthropology, including all art, all culture, and
all races of mankind, it is next to impossible to adhere strictly to
the opposite of this, and collect the data first, to the exclusion of
all idea of the purpose they are to be put to in the sequel, because
all is fish that comes into the anthropological basket, and no such
basket could possibly be big enough to contain a millionth part of the
materials necessary for conducting an inquiry on this principle. Some
guide is absolutely necessary to the student in selecting his facts.
The course which I have pursued, in regard to the material arts, is
to endeavour to establish the sequence of ideas. When the links of
connexion are found close together, then the sequence may be considered
to be established. When they occur only at a distance, then they are
brought together with such qualifications as the nature of the case
demands. Other members of this Institute have followed the same course
in relation to other branches of culture, the object being to lay the
foundation of a true anthropological classification, without seeking
either to support a dogma or establish a paradox. This is, I believe,
the requirement of our time, and the necessary preliminary to the
introduction of a science of Anthropology.

Whilst, however, deprecating the influence of forgone conclusions,
there are certain principles already established by science which we
cannot afford to disregard, even at the outset of inquiries of this
nature. It would be sheer moonshine, in the present state of knowledge,
to study Anthropology on any other basis than the basis of development;
nor must we, in studying development, fail to distinguish between
racial development and the development of culture. The affinity of
certain races for particular phases of culture, owing to the hereditary
transmission of faculties, constitutes an important element of inquiry
to be weighed in the balance with other things, just as the farmer
weighs in the balance of probabilities the nature of the soil in which
his turnips are growing; but when particular branches of culture do run
in the same channel with the distribution of particular races, this
is always a coincidence to be investigated and explained, each by the
light of its own history. It would be just as reasonable to assume with
the ancients, that the knowledge of every art was originally inculcated
by the gods, as to assume that particular arts and particular ideas
arise spontaneously and as a necessary consequence of the possession of
particular pigments beneath the skin.

Nobody doubts that there must be affinities and interdependencies
between the race and the crop of ideas that is grown upon it; but the
law, _ex nihilo nihil fit_, is as true of ideas as it is of races, and
in the relations between them it is as true and has the same value,
neither more nor less, as the statement that potatoes do spring out
of the ground where no potatoes have been sown. To study culture is,
therefore, to trace the history of its development, as well as the
qualities of the people amongst whom it flourishes. In doing this
it is not sufficient to deal with generalities, as, for example, to
ascertain that one people employ bark canoes, whilst another use
rafts. It is necessary to consider the details of construction,
because it is by means of these details that we are sometimes able
to determine whether the idea has been of home growth or derived from
without. The difficulty is to obtain the necessary details for the
purpose. Travellers do not give them, as a rule, especially modern
travellers. The older books are more valuable, both because they deal
with nations in a more primitive condition, and also because they are
more detailed; books were fewer, and men took more pains with them; now
the traveller writes for a circulating library, and for the unthinking
portion of mankind, who will not be bothered with details. I have been
careful to give the dates to the authors quoted. But we must endeavour
to remedy this evil before it is too late. The _Notes and Queries
on Anthropology_[221], published by the Committee of the British
Association, are drawn up with this object. It is to be hoped that they
will receive attention, but I fear not much, for the reasons already
mentioned; the supply will be equal to the demand. As long as we have a
large Geographical Society and a small Anthropological Society, so long
travellers will bring home accurate geographical details, abundance of
information about the flow of water all over the world, but the flow of
human races and human ideas will receive little attention. With these
preliminary remarks I pass on to the subject of my paper.

_Modes of Navigation._

Following out the principle adopted in Parts 1 and 2 of my Catalogue,
of employing the constructive arts of existing savages as survivals
to represent successive stages in the development of the same arts in
prehistoric times, it may be advisable, in order to study the history
of each part of a canoe or primitive sailing vessel, to divide the
subject under seven heads, as follows: viz.--(1) Solid trunks or
dug-out canoes, developing into (2) Vessels on which the planks are
laced or sewn together, and these developing into such as are pinned
with plugs of wood, and ultimately nailed with iron or copper; (3) Bark
canoes; (4) Vessels of skins and wicker-work; (5) Rafts, developing
into (6) Outrigger canoes, and ultimately into vessels of broader beam,
to which may be added (7) rudders, sails, and contrivances which gave
rise to parts of a more advanced description of vessel, such as the
_oculus_, _aplustre_, _forecastle_, and _poop_.

1. _Solid Trunks and Dug-out Canoes._

It requires but little imagination to conceive an idea of the process
by which a wooden support in the water forced itself upon the notice
of mankind. The great floods to which the valleys of many large rivers
are subject, more especially those which have their sources in tropical
regions, sometimes devastate the whole country within miles of their
banks, and by their suddenness frequently overtake and carry down
numbers of both men and animals, together with large quantities of
timber which had grown upon the sides of the valleys. The remembrances
of such deluges are preserved in the traditions of many savage races,
and there can be little doubt that it was by this means that the human
race first learnt to make use of floating timber as a support for the
body. The wide distribution of the word signifying ship--Latin _navis_;
Greek ναῦς; Sanskrit _nau_; Celtic _nao_; Assam _nao_; Port Jackson,
Australia, _nao_--attests the antiquity of the term. In Bible history
the same term has been employed to personify the tradition of the first
shipbuilder, _Noah_.

It is even said, though with what truth I am not aware, that the
American grey squirrel (_Sciurus migratorius_), which migrates in large
numbers, crossing large rivers, has been known to embark on a piece of
floating timber, and paddle itself across (Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_,
1862, vol. i. p. 147).

The North American Indians frequently cross rivers by clasping the left
arm and leg round the trunk of a tree, and swimming with the right
(Steinitz, _History of the Ship_, Pl. 2).

The next stage in the development of the canoe would consist in
pointing the ends, so as to afford less resistance to the water. In
this stage we find it represented on the NW. coast of Australia.
Gregory, in the year 1861, says that his ship was visited on this
coast by two natives, who had paddled off on logs of wood shaped like
canoes, not hollowed, but very buoyant, about 7 feet long, and 1 foot
thick, which they propelled with their hands only, their legs resting
on a little rail made of small sticks driven in on each side. Mr.
T. Baines, also, in a letter quoted by the Rev. J. G. Wood, in his
_Natural History of Man_ (vol. ii. p. 7), speaks of some canoes which
he saw in North Australia as being ‘mere logs of wood, capable of
carrying a couple of men’. Others used on the north coast are dug out,
but as these are provided with an outrigger, they have probably been
derived from New Guinea. The canoes used by the Australians on the
rivers consist either of a bundle of rushes bound together and pointed
at the ends, or else they are formed of bark in a very simple manner;
but on the south-east coast, near Cape Howe, Captain Cook, in his first
voyage, found numbers of canoes in use by the natives on the seashore.
These he described as being very like the smaller sort used in New
Zealand, which were hollowed out by means of fire. One of these was of
a size to be carried on the shoulders of four men.

It has been thought that the use of hollowed canoes may have arisen
from observing the effect of a split reed or bamboo upon the water. The
nautilus is also said to have given the first idea of a ship to man;
and Pliny, Diodorus, and Strabo have stated that large tortoise-shells
were used by primitive races of mankind (Kitto, _Pictorial Bible_). It
has also been supposed that the natural decay of trees may have first
suggested the employment of hollow trees for canoes, but such trees are
not easily removed entire. It is difficult to conceive how so great an
advance in the art of shipbuilding was first introduced, but there can
be no doubt that the agent first employed for this purpose was fire.

I have noticed when travelling in Bulgaria that the gipsies and others
who roam over that country usually select the foot of a dry tree to
light their cooking fire; the dry wood of the tree, combined with the
sticks collected at the foot of it, makes a good blaze, and the tree
throws forward the heat like a fireplace. Successive parties camping on
the same ground, attracted thither by the vicinity of water, use the
same fireplaces, and the result is that the trees by degrees become
hollowed out for some distance from the foot, the hollow part formed
by the fire serving the purpose of a semi-cylindrical chimney. Such a
tree, torn up by the roots, or cut off below the part excavated by the
fire, would form a very serviceable canoe, the parts not excavated by
the fire being sound and hard. The Andaman islanders use a tree in this
manner as an oven, the fire being kept constantly burning in the hollow
formed by the flames.

One of the best accounts of the process of digging out a canoe by
means of fire is that described by Kalm, on the Delaware river, in
1747. He says that, when the Indians intend to fell a tree, for want
of proper instruments they employ fire; they set fire to a quantity
of wood at the roots of the tree, and in order that the fire might
not reach further up than they would have it, they fasten some rags
to a pole, dip them in water, and keep continually washing the tree a
little above the fire until the lower part is burnt nearly through; it
is then pulled down. When they intend to hollow a tree for a canoe,
they lay dry branches along the stem of the tree as far as it must be
hollowed out, set them on fire, and replace them by others. While these
parts are burning, they keep pouring water on those parts that are not
to be burnt at the sides and ends. When the interior is sufficiently
burnt out, they take their stone hatchets and shells and scoop out
the burnt wood. These canoes are usually 30 or 40 feet long. In the
account of one of the expeditions sent out by Raleigh in 1584 a similar
description is given of the process adopted by the Indians of Virginia,
except that, instead of sticks, resin is laid on to the parts to be
excavated and set fire to: canoes capable of holding twenty persons
were formed in this manner.

The Waraus of Guiana employ fire for excavating their canoes; and when
Columbus discovered the Island of Guanahani or San Salvador, in the
West Indies, he found [fire] employed for this purpose by the natives,
who called their boats ‘_canoe_’, a term which has ever since been
employed by Europeans to express this most primitive class of vessel.

Dr. Mouat says that, in Blair’s time, the Andaman islanders excavated
their canoes by the agency of fire; but it is not employed for that
purpose now, the whole operation being performed by hand. Symes, in
1800, speaks of the Burmese war-boats, which were excavated partly by
fire and partly by cutting. Nos. 1276 and 1277 of my collection are
models of these boats. In New Caledonia, Turner, in 1845, says that the
natives felled their trees by means of a slow fire at the foot, taking
three or four days to do it. In excavating a canoe, he says, they
kindle a fire over the part to be burnt out, and keep dropping water
over the sides and ends, so as to confine the fire to the required
spot, the burnt wood being afterwards scraped out with stone tools.
The New Zealanders, and probably the Australians also, employ fire for
this purpose [Cook]. The canoes of the Krumen in West Africa are also
excavated by means of fire.

A further improvement in the development of the dug-out canoe consists
in bending the sides into the required form after it has been dug out.
This process of fire-bending has already been described on p. 87 of my
_Catalogue_ (Parts i and ii), when speaking of the methods employed by
the Esquimaux and Australians in straightening their wooden spears and
arrow-shafts. The application of this process to canoe-building by the
Ahts of the north-west coast of North America is thus described by Mr.
Wood in his _Natural History of Man_, vol. ii. p. 732. The canoe is
carved out of a solid trunk of cedar (_Thuja gigantea_). It is hollowed
out, not by fire, but by hand, and by means of an adze formed of a
large mussel-shell; the trunk is split lengthwise by wedges. All is
done by the eye. When it is roughly hollowed it is filled with water,
and red-hot stones put in until it boils. This is continued until the
wood is quite soft, and then a number of cross-pieces are driven into
the interior, so as to force the canoe into its proper shape, which
it ever afterwards retains. While the canoe is still soft and pliant,
several slight cross-pieces are inserted, so as to counteract any
tendency towards warping. The outside of the vessel is then hardened
by fire, so as to enable it to resist the attacks of insects, and also
to prevent it cracking when exposed to the sun. The inside is then
painted some bright colour, and the outside is usually black and highly
polished. This is produced by rubbing it with oil after the fire has
done its work. Lastly, a pattern is painted on its bow. There is no
keel to the boat. The red pattern of the painting is obtained by a
preparation of _anato_. For boring holes the Ahts use a drill formed by
a bone of a bird fixed in a wooden handle.

A precisely similar process to this is employed in the formation of
the Burmese dug-out canoes, and has thus been described to me by Capt.
O’Callaghan, who witnessed the process during the Burmese War in 1852.
A trunk of a tree of suitable length, though much less in diameter
than the intended width of the boat, is cut into the usual form, and
hollowed out. It is then filled with water, and fires are lit, a short
distance from it, along its sides. The water gradually swells the
inside, while the fire contracts the outside, till the width is greatly
increased. The effect thus produced is rendered permanent by thwarts
being placed so as to prevent the canoe from contracting in width as
it dries; the depth of the boat is increased by a plank at each side,
reaching as far as the ends of the hollowed part. Canoes generally
show traces of the fire and water treatment just described, the inner
surface being soft and full of superficial cracks, while the outer is
hard and close.

It is probable that this mode of bending canoes has been discovered
during the process of cooking, in which red-hot stones are used in many
countries to boil the water in vessels of skin or wood, in which the
meat is cooked. No. 1256 of my collection is a model of an Aht canoe,
painted as here described. No. 1257 is a full-sized canoe from this
region, made out of a single trunk; it is not painted, so that the
grain of the wood can be seen.

The distribution of the dug-out canoe appears to be almost universal.
It is especially used in southern and equatorial regions. Leaving
Australia, we find it employed with the outrigger, which will be
described hereafter (pp. 218-9), in many parts of the Polynesian and
Asiatic islands, including New Guinea, New Zealand, New Caledonia,
and the Sandwich Islands. It was not used by the natives of Tasmania,
who employed a float consisting of a bundle of bark and rushes, which
will be described in another place (p. 203). Wilkes speaks of it in
Samoa, at Manilla, and the Sooloo Archipelago. De Guignes in 1796 and
De Morga in 1609 saw them in the Philippines, where they are called
_pangues_, some carrying from two to three and others from twelve to
fifteen persons. They are (or were) also used in the Pelew, Nicobar,
and Andaman Isles. In the India Museum there is a model of one from
Assam, used as a mail boat, and called _dâk nao_. In Burmah, Symes, in
1795, describes the war-boats of the Irrawaddy as 80 to 100 feet long,
but seldom exceeding 8 feet in width, and this only by additions to the
sides; carrying fifty to sixty rowers, who use short oars that work
on a spindle, and who row instead of paddling. Captain O’Callaghan,
however, informs me that they sometimes use paddles (Nos. 1276 and
1277). They are made of one piece of the teak tree. The king had
five hundred of these vessels of war. They are easily upset, but the
rowers are taught to avoid being struck on the broadside; they draw
only 3 feet of water. On the Menan, in Siam, Turpin, in 1771, says
that the king’s _ballons_ are made of a single tree, and will contain
150 rowers; the two ends are very much elevated, and the rowers sit
cross-legged, by which they lose a great deal of power. The river
vessels in Cochin China are also described as being of the same long,
narrow kind. At Ferhabad, in Persia, Pietro della Valle, in 1614,
describes the canoes as being flat-bottomed, hollow trees, carrying ten
to twelve persons.

In Africa, Duarte Barbosa, in 1514, saw the Moors at Zuama make use of
boats, _almadias_, hollowed out of a single trunk, to bring clothes and
other merchandise from Angos. Livingstone says the canoes of the Bayeye
of South Africa are hollow trees, made for use and not for speed.
If formed of a crooked stem they become crooked vessels, conforming
to the line of the timber. On the Benuwé, at its junction with the
[Yola], Barth, for the first time in his travels southward, saw what
he describes as rude little shells hollowed out of a single tree; they
measured 25 to 30 feet in length, 1 to 1-1/2 foot in height, and 16
inches in width; one of them, he says, was quite crooked. On the White
Nile, in Unyoro, Grant says that the largest canoe carried a ton and
a half, and was hollowed out of a trunk. On the Kitangule, west of
Lake Victoria Nyanza, near Karague, he describes the canoes as being
hollowed out of a log of timber 15 feet long and the breadth of an
easy-chair. These kind of canoes are also used by the Makoba east of
Lake Ngami, by the Apingi and Camma, and the Krumen of the West African
coast; of which last, No. 1272 of my collection is a model.

In South America the Patagonians use no canoes, but in the northern
parts of the continent dug-out canoes are common. One described by
Condamine, in 1743, was from 42 to 44 feet long, and only 3 feet wide.
They are also used in Guiana, and Professor Wilson says that the
dug-out canoe is used throughout the West Indian Archipelago. According
to Bartram, who is quoted by Schoolcraft, the large canoes formed out
of the trunks of cypress trees, which descended the rivers of Florida,
crossed the Gulf, and extended their navigation to the Bahama Isles,
and even as far as Cuba, carrying twenty to thirty warriors. Kalm, in
1747, gives some details respecting their construction on the Delaware
river already referred to (p. 191), and says that the materials chiefly
employed in North America are the red juniper, red cedar, white cedar,
chestnut, white oak, and tulip tree. Canoes of red and white cedar are
the best, because lighter, and they will last as much as twenty years,
whereas the white oak barely lasts above six years. In Canada these
dug-outs were made of the white fir. The process of construction on the
west coast of North America has been already described (p. 192).

In Europe Pliny mentions the use of canoes hollowed out of a single
tree by the Germans. Amongst the ancient Swiss lake-dwellers at
Robenhausen, associated with objects of the stone age, a dug-out canoe,
or _Einbaum_, made of a single trunk 12 feet long and 2-1/2 wide, was
discovered (Keller, _Lake Dwellings_, Lee^2, p. 45). In Ireland, Sir
William Wilde says that amongst the ancient Irish dug-out canoes were
of three kinds. One was small, trough-shaped, and square at the ends,
having a projection at either end to carry it by; the paddlers sat
flat at the bottom and paddled, there being no rowlocks to the boat. A
second kind was 20 feet in length and 2 in breadth, flat-bottomed, with
round prow and square stern, strengthened by thwarts carved out of the
solid and running across the boat, two near the stem and one near the
stern. The prow was turned up; one of these was discovered in a bog on
the coast of Wexford, 12 feet beneath the surface. The third sort was
sharp at both ends, 21 feet long, 12 inches broad, and 8 inches deep,
and flat-bottomed. These canoes are often found in the neighbourhood
of the crannoges, or ancient lake-habitations of the country, and
were used to communicate with the land; also in the beds of the Boyne
and Bann. Ware says, that dug-out canoes were used in some of the
Irish rivers in his time, and to this day I have seen paddles used on
the Blackwater, in the south of Ireland. Professor Wilson says that
several dug-out canoes have been found in the ancient river-deposits
of the Clyde, and also in the neighbourhood of Falkirk. In one of
those discovered in the Clyde deposits, at a depth of 25 feet from the
surface, a stone almond-shaped celt was found. Others have been found
in the ancient river-deposits of Sussex and elsewhere, in positions
which show that the rivers must probably have formed arms of the sea,
at the time they were sunk.

_2. Vessels in which the Planks are Stitched to each Other._

All vessels of the dug-out class are necessarily long and narrow,
and very liable to upset; the width being limited by the size of the
tree, extension can only be given to them by increasing their length.
In order to give greater height and width to these boats, planks are
sometimes added at the sides and stitched on to the body of the canoe
by means of strings or cords, composed frequently of the bark or leaves
of the tree of which the body is made. In proportion as these laced-on
gunwales were found to answer the purpose of increasing the stability
of the vessel, their number was increased; two such planks were added
instead of one, and as the joint between the planks was by this
means brought beneath the water line, means were taken to caulk the
seams with leaves, pitch, resin, and other substances. Gradually the
number of side planks increased and the solid hull diminished, until,
ultimately, it dwindled into a bottom-board, or keel, at the bottom of
the boat, serving as a centre-piece on which the sides of the vessel
were built. Still the vessel was without ribs or framework; ledges on
the sides were carved out of the solid substance of each plank, by
means of which they were fastened to the ledges of the adjoining plank,
and the two contiguous ledges served as ribs to strengthen the boat;
finally, a framework of vertical ribs was added to the interior and
fastened to the planks by cords. Ultimately the stitching was replaced
by wooden pins, and the side planks pinned to each other and to the
ribs; and these wooden pins in their turn were supplanted by iron nails.

In different countries we find representations of the canoe in all
these several stages of development. Of the first stage, in which side
planks were added to the body of the dug-out canoe, to heighten it,
the New Zealand canoe, No. 1259 of my collection, is an example. Capt.
Cook describes this as solid, the largest containing from thirty men
upwards. One measured 70 feet in length, 6 in width, and 4 deep. Each
of the side pieces was formed of an entire plank, about 12 inches wide,
and about 1-1/2 inch thick, laced on to the hollow trunk of the tree by
flaxen cords, and united to the plank on the opposite side by thwarts
across the boat. These canoes have names given to them like European

On the Benuwé, in Central Africa, Barth describes a vessel in this same
early stage of departure from the original dug-out trunk. It consisted
of ‘two very large trunks joined together with cordage, just like the
stitching of a shirt, and without pitching, the holes being merely
stuffed with grass. It was not water-tight, but had the advantage,’ he
says, ‘over the dug-out canoes used on the same river, in not breaking
if it came upon a rock, being, to a certain degree, pliable. It was 35
feet long, and 26 inches wide in the middle.’ No. 1258 of my collection
is a model of one of these. The single plank added to the side of the
Burmese dug-out canoe has been already noticed (p. 193). Although my
informant does not tell me that these side planks are sewn on, I have
no doubt, judging by analogy, that this either is or was formerly the

The Waraus of Guiana are the chief canoe-builders of this part of South
America, and to them other tribes resort from considerable distances.
Their canoe is hollowed out of a trunk of a tree, and forced into
its proper shape partly by means of fire and partly by wedges, upon
a similar system to that described in speaking of the Ahts of North
America (p. 192) and the Burmese; the largest have the sides made
higher by a narrow plank of soft wood, which is laced upon the gunwale,
and the seam caulked. This canoe is alike at both ends, the stem and
stern being pointed, curved, and rising out of the water; there is no
keel, and it draws but a few inches of water. This appears to be the
most advanced stage to which the built-up canoe has arrived on either
continent of America, with the exception of Tierra del Fuego, where
Commodore Byron, in 1765, saw canoes in the Straits of Magellan made
of planks sewn together with thongs of raw hide; these vessels are
considerably raised at the bow and stern, and the larger ones are 15
feet in length by 1 yard wide. They have also been described by more
recent travellers. Under what conditions have these miserable Fuegians
been led to the employment of a more complex class of vessel than their
more advanced congeners of the north?

In order to trace the further development of the canoe in this
direction, we must return to Africa and the South Seas. On the island
of Zanzibar, Barbosa, in 1514, says that the inhabitants of this
island, and also Penda and Manfia, who are Arabs, trade with the
mainland by means of ‘small vessels very loosely and badly made,
without decks, and with a single mast; all their planks are sewn
together with cords of reed or matting, and the sails are of palm
mats.’ On the river Yeou, near Lake Tchad, in Central Africa, Denham
and Clapperton saw canoes ‘formed of planks, rudely shaped with a
small hatchet, and strongly fastened together by cords passed through
holes bored in them, and a wisp of straw between, which the people
say effectually keeps out the water; they have high poops like the
Grecian boats, and would hold twenty or thirty persons.’ On the Logon,
south-east of Lake Tchad, Barth says the boats are built ‘in the same
manner as those of the Budduma, except that the planks consist of
stronger wood, mostly _Birgem_, and generally of larger size, whilst
those of the Budduma consist of the frailest material, viz. _Fogo_.
In both, the joints of the planks are provided with holes, through
which ropes are passed, overlaid with bands of reed tightly fastened
upon them by smaller ropes, which are again passed through small holes
stuffed with grass.’ On the Victoria Nyanza, in East Central Africa,
Grant speaks of ‘a canoe of five planks sewn together, and having four
cross-bars or seats. The bow and stern are pointed, standing for a yard
over the water, with a broad central plank from stem to stern, rounded
outside (the vestige of the dug-out trunk), and answering for a keel.’

Thus far we have found the planks of the vessels spoken of, merely
fastened by cords passed through holes in the planks, and stuffed with
grass or some other material, and the accounts speak of their being
rarely water-tight. Such a mode of constructing canoes might serve well
enough for river navigation, but would be unserviceable for sea craft.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and accordingly we must seek for
a further development of the system of water-tight stitching, amongst
those races in a somewhat similar condition of culture, which inhabit
the islands of the Pacific and the borders of the ocean between it and
the continent of Africa.

The majority of those vessels now to be described are furnished with
the outrigger; but as the distribution of this contrivance will be
traced subsequently (p. 218 ff.), it will not be necessary to describe
it in speaking of the stitched plank-work.

In the Friendly Isles Captain Cook, in 1773, says ‘the canoes are
built of several pieces sewed together with bandage in so neat a
manner that on the outside it is difficult to see the joints. All the
fastenings are on the inside, and pass through _kants_ or ridges,
which are wrought on the edges and ends of the several boards which
compose the vessel.’ At Otaheite he speaks of the same process,
and says that the chief parts are formed separately without either
saw, plane, or other tool. La Perouse gives an illustration of an
outrigger canoe from Easter Island, the sides of which are formed
of drift-wood sewn together in this manner. At Wytoohee, one of the
Paumotu, or Low Archipelago, Wilkes, in 1838, says that the canoes
are formed of strips of cocoa-nut tree sewed together. Speaking of
those of Samoa, he describes the process more fully. ‘The planks are
fastened together with _sennit_; the pieces are of no regular size
or shape. On the inside edge of each plank is a ledge or projection,
which serves to attach the sennit, and connect and bind it closely
to the adjoining one. It is surprising,’ he says, ‘to see the labour
bestowed on uniting so many small pieces together, when large and
good planks might be obtained. Before the pieces are joined, the gum
from the husk of the bread-fruit tree is used to cement them close,
and prevent leakage. These canoes retain their form much more truly
than one would have imagined; I saw few whose original model had
been impaired by service. On the outside the pieces are so closely
fitted as frequently to require close examination before the seams
can be detected. The perfection of workmanship is astonishing to
those who see the tools with which it is effected. They consist now
of nothing more than a piece of iron tied to a stick, and used as an
adze; this, with a gimlet, is all they have, and before they obtained
their iron tools, they used adzes made of hard stone and fish-bone.’
The construction of the Fiji canoe, called _drua_, is described by
Williams in great detail. A keel or bottom board is laid in two or
three pieces, carefully scarfed together. From this the sides are built
up, without ribs, in a number of pieces varying from three to twenty
feet. The edges of these pieces are fastened by ledges, tied together
in the manner already described. A white pitch from the bread-fruit
tree, prepared with an extract from the coco-nut kernel, is spread
uniformly on both edges, and a fine strip of _masi_ laid between.
The binding of sennit with which the boards, or _vanos_, as they are
called, are stitched together is made tighter by small wooden wedges
inserted between the binding and the wood, in opposite directions.
The ribs seen in the interior of these canoes are not used to bring
the planks into shape, but are the last things inserted, and are for
uniting the deck more firmly with the body of the canoe. The carpenters
in Fiji constitute a distinct class, and have chiefs of their own.
The Tongan canoes were inferior to those of Fiji in Captain Cook’s
time, but they have since adopted Fiji patterns. The Tongans are
better sailors than the Fijians. Wilkes describes a similar method of
building vessels in the Kingsmill Islands, but with varieties in the
details of construction. ‘Each canoe has six or eight timbers in its
construction; they are well modelled, built in frames, and have much
sheer. The boards are cut from the coco-nut tree, from a few inches to
six or eight feet long, and vary from five to seven inches in width.
These are arranged as the planking of a vessel, and very neatly put
together, being sewed with sennit. For the purpose of making them
water-tight they use a slip of pandanus leaf, inserted as our coopers
do in plugging a cask. They have evinced much ingenuity,’ he says, ‘in
attaching the uprights to the flat timbers.’ It is difficult, without
the aid of drawings, to understand exactly the peculiarities of this
variety of construction, but he says they are secured so as to have all
the motion of a double joint, which gives them ease, and comparative
security in a seaway.

Turning now to the Malay Archipelago, Wallace speaks of a Malay
_prahau_ in which he sailed from Macassar to New Guinea, a distance
of 1,000 miles, and says that similar but smaller vessels had not a
single nail in them. The largest of these, he says, are from Macassar,
and the Bugi countries of the Celebes and Boutong. Smaller ones sail
from Ternate, Pidore, East Ceram, and Garam. The majority of these,
he says, have stitched planks. No. 1268 of my collection is a model
of a vessel employed in those seas. Wallace says that the inhabitants
of Ke Island, west of New Guinea, are the best boat-builders in the
archipelago, and several villages are constantly employed at the work.
The planks here, as in the Polynesian Islands, are all cut out of
the solid wood, with a series of projecting ledges on their edges in
the inside. But here we find an advance upon the Polynesian system,
for the ledges of the planks are pegged to each other with wooden
pegs. The planks, however, are still fastened to the ribs by means of
_rattans_. The principles of construction are the same as in those
of the Polynesian Islands, and the main support of the vessel still
consists in the planks and their ledges, the ribs being a subsequent
addition; for he says that after the first year the rattan-tied ribs
are generally taken out and replaced by new ones, fitted to the planks
and nailed, and the vessel then becomes equal to those of the best
European workmanship. This constitutes a remarkable example of the
persistency with which ancient customs are retained, when we find each
vessel systematically constructed, in the first instance, upon the old
system, and the improvement introduced in after years. I wonder whether
any parallel to this could be found in a British arsenal. The psychical
aspect of the proceeding seems not altogether un-English.

Extending our researches northward, we find that Dampier, in 1686,
mentions, in the Bashee Islands, the use of vessels in which the planks
are fastened with wooden pins. On the Menan, in Siam, Turpin, in 1771,
speaks of long, narrow boats, in the construction of which neither
nails nor iron are employed, the parts being fastened together with
roots and twigs which withstand the destructive action of the water.
They have the precaution, he says, to insert between the planks a
light, porous wood, which swells by being wet, and prevents the water
from penetrating into the vessel. When they have not this wood, they
rub the chinks, by which the water enters, with clay. In the India
Museum there is a model of a very early form of vessel from Burmah,
described as a trading vessel. The bottom is dug out, and the sides
formed of planks laced together. A large stone is employed for an
anchor. Here we see that an inferior description of craft has survived,
upon the rivers, in the midst of a higher civilization which has
produced a superior class of vessel upon the seas.

Turning westward, we have the surf-boat of Madras, called _massoola_,
which, on account of its elasticity, is still used on the seashore.
Its parts are stitched together in the manner represented in the
model, No. 1267 of my collection. On the Malabar coast the ships of
the Pardesy, who consisted of Arabs, Persians, and others who have
settled in the kingdom of Malabar, are described by Barbosa in 1514.
They build ships, he says, of 200 tons, which have keels like the
Portuguese, but have no nails. They sew their planks with neat cords,
very well pitched, and the timber very good. Ten or twelve of these
ships, laden with goods, sail every year in February for the Red Sea,
some for Aden and some for Jeddah, the port of Mecca, where they sell
their merchandise to others, who transmit it to Cairo, and thence to
Alexandria. The ships return to Calicut between August and October of
the same year. The earliest description we have of these vessels in
this part of the world, in historic times, is in the account of the
travels of two Mahomedans in the ninth century. In these travels it is
related that there were people in the Gulf of Oman who cross over to
the islands that produce coco-nuts, taking with them their tools, and
make ships out of it. With the bark they make the cordage to sew the
planks together, and of the leaves they make sails; and having thus
completed the vessel, they load it with coco-nuts and set sail. Marco
Polo, at the commencement of the fourteenth century, confirms this,
and says, speaking of the ships at Ormuz, in the Persian Gulf, that
they do not use nails, but wooden pins, and fasten them with threads
made of the Indian nut. These threads endure the force of the water,
and are not easily corrupted thereby. These ships have one mast, one
sail, _and one beam_, and are covered with but one deck. They are not
caulked with pitch, but with the oil and fat of fishes. When they cross
to India they lose many ships, because the sea is very tempestuous, and
they are not strengthened with iron. In the Red Sea, Father Lobo, in
1622, describes the vessels called _gelves_, which, he says, are made
almost entirely of the coco-nut tree. The trunk is sawn into planks,
the planks are sewn together with thread which is spun from the bark,
and the sails are made of the leaves stitched together. They are more
convenient, he says, than other vessels, because they will not split if
thrown upon banks or against rocks.

We have now arrived in the region which is usually regarded as the
cradle of Western civilization, certainly the land in which Western
culture first began to put forth its strong shoots; and we must expect
to find that the art of shipbuilding advanced in the same ratio as
other trades. But, unlike the Phoenicians, the Egyptians confined their
navigation chiefly to the Nile, and had an abhorrence of Typhon, as
they termed the sea, because it swallowed up the great river, which,
being the chief source of their prosperity, they regarded as a god.

Here it may be desirable to digress for one moment from the chain of
continuity which we have been following, in order to say a few words
about the most primitive form of vessel used on the Nile, viz. that
mentioned by Isaiah (xviii. 2) as being of Ethiopian origin, the
vessel of bulrushes to which the mother of Moses entrusted her infant
progeny. What the coco-nut tree was to the navigators on the eastern
seas, the papyrus was to the Egyptians, and from it every part of the
vessel--rope, planks, masts, and sails--was constructed. Adverting to
the earliest and simplest of these papyrus vessels, the common use for
a bundle of faggots, for such it was, is not, perhaps, one of those
coincidences which, viewed by the light of modern culture, we should
select as evidence of connexion between distant lands. And yet there
are peculiarities of form which make the bulrush float of the Egyptians
worthy of comparison with those used in the rivers of Australia.

The Australian float, as represented by a model in the British Museum,
consisted of a bundle of bark and rushes, pointed and elevated at
the ends, and bound round with girdles of the same material. The
only vessel, according to Mr. Calder, used in Tasmania, on the west
coast, is thus described by him in the _Journal of the Anthropological
Institute_, iii. 22. ‘It was of considerable size, and something
like a whale-boat, that is, sharp-sterned, but a solid structure,
and the natives, in their aquatic adventures, sat on the top of it.
It was generally made by the buoyant and soft, velvety bark of the
swamp tea-tree (_Melaluca_ sp.), and consisted of a multitude of small
strips bound together.’ Professor Wilson says that the Californian
canoe consists of a mere rude float, made of rushes, ‘in the form of
a lashed-up hammock.’ A woodcut in Sir Gardner Wilkinson’s _Ancient
Egypt_, No. 399 of his work, represents three persons making one of
these papyrus floats. It is the _baris_, or Memphite bark, bound
together with papyrus, spoken of by Lucan, and it is of precisely
similar form to those above described, elevated and pointed at the
ends, and the men are in the act of binding it round with girdles. This
is the kind of boat in which Plutarch describes Isis going in search of
the body of Osiris through the fenny country; a bark made of papyrus.
Pliny attributes the origin of shipbuilding to these vessels (vii. 56);
and speaks (vi. 22) of their crossing the sea and visiting the Island
of Taprobane (Ceylon, according to Sir G. Wilkinson); but it seems
probable that he must refer to a more advanced form of vessel than the
mere bulrush float.

The racial connexion between the Australians and the Egyptians, first
put forward by Professor Huxley, has hardly met with general acceptance
as yet; but, startling as it at first sight appeared, the more we look
into the evidence bearing upon it, the less improbable, to say the
least, it becomes, when viewed by the light of comparative culture.
I have already shown, in another place,[222] how closely some of the
Australian weapons correspond to some of those still used on the Upper
Nile, and the remarkable resemblance here pointed out in a class of
vessels which might well have been used in passing short distances
from island to island of the now submerged fragments of land that are
supposed to have formerly existed in parts of the southern hemisphere,
is, at least, worthy of attention amongst other evidence of the same
kind that may be collected, although I fully admit that it is not of a
character to stand alone. I will not exceed my province by attempting
to defend the theory of the Australioid origin of the Egyptians on
physical grounds, preferring to leave the defence of that theory in the
hands of its author, who is so well able to support his own views;
but I may take this opportunity of commenting on some remarks made by
Professor Owen in his valuable paper, published in the last number of
our _Journal_, on the psychical evidence of connexion between them and
the black races of the southern hemisphere. Adverting to the fresco
painting, in the British Museum, of the ancient Egyptian fowler, who
holds in his hand a stick, which he is in the act of throwing at a
flock of birds, I am inclined to agree with Professor Owen in thinking
there is nothing in its shape to denote that it is a boomerang. Other
figures, however, in Rosellini’s _Egyptian Monuments_, show the
resemblance more clearly, and if these are not enough, the specimen
of the weapon itself in the glass case in the Egyptian room of the
British Museum proves the identity of the weapon beyond possibility of
doubt. I have elsewhere stated at length,[223] that having made several
facsimiles of this weapon from careful measurements, so as to obtain
the exact size, form, and weight of the original, for the purpose
of experiment, I found that it possessed all the properties of the
Australian boomerang, rising in the air, and returning in some cases to
within a few paces of the position from which it was thrown. In fact,
it was easier to obtain the return flight from this weapon than from
many varieties of the Australian boomerang, with which I experimented
at the same time.

But supposing the ancient Egyptian to be ‘convicted of the boomerang’,
says the learned professor, ‘common sense repudiates the notion of the
necessity of inheritance in relation to such operations.’ Against this
I would urge, that the application of the general quality of common
sense to the determination of questions of psychical connexion, between
races so far removed from us, as the Australians or the predecessors
of the earliest Egyptian kings, is inconsistent with all that we
know of the phenomena of mental evolution in man, seeing that there
must necessarily be many stages of disparity between them and any
intelligent member of the Anthropological Institute to whose common
sense this appeal was made.

If the common sense of the nineteenth century does not repudiate the
fact that the steam engine, the electric telegraph, vaccination, free
trade, and a thousand other contrivances for the benefit of our race,
have sprung from special centres, and have been inherited, or otherwise
received, by the highly cultivated races to which they have spread
in modern times, neither would the common sense of the Australian
or prehistoric Egyptian, after its kind, bar the likelihood of such
contrivances as the boomerang, the parrying-shield, or the ‘baris’
having been handed from one savage people to another in a similar
manner. Wherever two or three concurrent chains of connexion, whether
of race, language, or the arts, can be traced along the same channel,
such evidence is admissible, and is indeed frequently the only evidence
available in dealing with prehistoric times.

The peculiar elevated ends of the papyrus floats are almost identical
in form, but not in structure, with those now used in parts of India,
especially on the Ganges; and the word _junk_ is said to be related
to _juncus_, a bulrush. Somewhat similar rafts, but flat, turned up
in front but not behind, and called _tankwa_, are described by Lieut.
Prideaux as being still used on Lake Tsana, in Soudan, and they are
also used by the Shillooks, who make them of a wood as light as cork,
called _ambads_ (_Anemone mirabilis_). A paper by Mr. John Hogg, in
the _Magazine of Natural History_ (1829, ii. p. 324 ff.), to which
my attention has been kindly drawn by Mr. John Jeremiah, contains
some useful information on the subject of Egyptian papyrus vessels.
Denon describes and figures a very primitive float of this sort,
consisting of a bundle of straw or stalks, pointed and turned up in
front, and says that the inhabitants of the Upper Nile go up and down
the river upon it astride, the legs serving for oars; they use also
a short double-bladed paddle. It is worthy of notice that the only
other localities, that I am aware of, in which this double paddle is
used, are the Sooloo Archipelago and among the Esquimaux. Belzoni
also describes the same kind of vessel. Mr. Hogg, in his paper, gives
several illustrations of improved forms of these solid papyrus floats,
derived from a mosaic pavement discovered in the Temple of Fortune at
Praeneste. From these it seems that they were bound round with thongs,
pointed, and turned up and over at both ends. But Bruce, in 1790,
describes more particularly the class of vessel used in Abyssinia in
his time, called _tankwa_, or, as he writes it, _tancoa_, and says
that it corresponds exactly to the description of Pliny (_Nat. Hist._,
xiii. 2, compare v. 9). His description appears possibly to indicate
that there was a separate line of development of hollow vessels derived
from the flat raft. A piece of acacia tree was put in the bottom
to serve as a keel, to which plants were joined, being first sewed
together, then gathered up at the ends and stern, and the ends of
the plant tied fast there. On Lake Tsana they are only turned up in
front: see above. Belzoni describes a similar kind of vessel on Lake
Moeris, which seems clearly to be hollow. The outer shell or hulk was
composed of rough pieces of wood, scarcely joined, and fastened by four
other pieces wrapped together by four more across, which formed the
deck; no tar, no pitch, either inside or out, and the only preventive
against the water coming in was a kind of weed which had settled in the
joints of the wood. The only other locality, that I know of, in which
similar vessels to these are used, is Formosa, a description of which
is given by Mr. J. Thomson (_The Straits of Malacca, Indo-China, and
China_, London, 1875, p. 304), for the sight of which I am indebted
to Mr. W. L. Distant. He says: ‘We went ashore in a catamaran, a sort
of raft made of poles of the largest species of bamboo. These poles
are bent by fire, so as to impart a hollow shape to the raft, and are
lashed together with rattan. There is not a nail used in the whole

But the boats ‘woven of’ the papyrus, mentioned by Pliny, certainly
refer to something more complex than the papyrus bundle above
described. Lucan describes them as being sewn with bands of papyrus,
and Herodotus describes them more fully. This passage has been
variously translated by different authors, but the version given by Sir
Gardner Wilkinson is as follows:--‘they cut planks measuring about two
cubits, and having arranged them like bricks, they build the boat in
the following manner: they fasten the planks round firm long pegs, and,
after this, stretch over the surface a series of girths, _but without
any ribs_, and the whole is bound _within_ by bands of papyrus.’ The
exact meaning of this is obscure; but I would suggest, that as the
‘fastening within’ clearly shows it was not a solid structure, the
more reasonable interpretation of it is by supposing that the planks,
arranged in brick fashion, were fastened on the inside by cords, in
the manner practised in the South Sea Islands and elsewhere. What the
long pins were is uncertain; but as Sir Gardner Wilkinson says that the
models found in the tombs show that ribs were used at a time probably
subsequent to this, these pins may have been rudimentary ribs of some
kind, and they also may have been ‘bound within’ to the planks in the
same manner. It seems not unlikely that these boats may have also been
bound round on the outside to give them additional strength, after the
manner of the papyrus floats above described.[224] With this vessel,
which was called _baris_, they used a sort of anchor, consisting of a
stone with a hole in it, similar to one on a Burmese vessel, of which a
model is in the India Museum.

The larger class of Egyptian vessels were of superior build, the planks
being fastened with wooden pins and nails, and their construction
somewhat similar to those still used on the Nile.

Returning now to the link of the chain to which we have appended this
digression, and carrying our inquiries further northward into the area
of Western civilization, it is to be expected that we should lose all
trace of this primitive mode of ship-building. The earliest vessels
recorded in classical history were fastened with nails. In Homer’s
description of the vessel built by Odysseus, both nails and ribs were
employed, and it had a round or a flat bottom (Smith’s _Dict._). No
trace of any earlier form of ship has been discovered in Europe, until
we come to the neighbourhood of the North Sea. Here, in the Nydam Moss,
in Slesvic, in 1863, was discovered a large boat, seventy-seven feet
long, ten feet ten inches broad in the middle, flat at the bottom, but
higher and sharper at both ends, having a prow at both ends, like those
described by Tacitus as having been built by the Suiones, who inhabited
this country and Sweden in ancient times. This vessel, from its
associated remains, has been attributed to the third century A. D. The
bottom consisted of a broad plank, about two feet broad in the middle,
but diminishing in width towards each end. A small keel, eight inches
broad and one deep, was carved on the under side of the plank, which
corresponds to the bottom plank, which, in Africa and the Polynesian
Islands, we have shown to be the vestige of the dug-out trunk. On to
this bottom plank, five side planks, running the whole length of the
vessel, were built, but they differed from those previously described
in overlapping, being clinker-built, and attached to each other, not by
strings or wooden pins, but by large iron bolts. The planks, however,
resembled those of the southern hemisphere, in having clamps or ledges
carved out of the solid on the inside; these ledges were perforated,
and their position corresponded to rows of vertical ribs, to which,
like the vessels at Ke Island, and elsewhere in the Pacific, they
were _tied_ by means of cords passing through corresponding holes in
the ribs. Each rib was carved out of one piece, and, like those of Ke
Island in the Asiatic Archipelago, could easily have been taken out and
replaced by others after the vessel was completed. In short, the vessel
represented the particular stage of development which may be described
as plank-nailed and rib-tied, or which might be characterized as having
removable ribs; differing in this respect from the more advanced system
of modern times, in which the ribs, together with the keel, form a
framework to which the planks are afterwards bent and fastened.

This mode of fastening the ribs to ledges carved out of the planking,
Mr. Engelhardt, to whom we are indebted for the accurate drawings and
description of this vessel,[225] remarks, is a most surprising fact,
considering that the people who constructed the boat are proved by the
associated remains to have been not only familiar with the use of iron,
but to have been able to produce damascened sword-blades. But this
fact, which, taken by itself, has been justly described as surprising,
analogy leads us to account for, by supposing these particular parts
of the vessel to have been survivals from a universally prevalent
primitive mode of fastening, the nearest southern representative of
which, at the present time, is to be found in the Red Sea and adjoining
oceans. Nor can there be any reason to doubt, I think, that this
mode of constructing vessels may have been used in the intervening
countries, which have been the scene of the rise of Western
civilization since the earliest times, but which have now lost all
trace of the most primitive phases of the art of ship-building.

Mr. Engelhardt, however, traces a connexion between this ancient
vessel, found in the Nydam Moss, and the Northland boats now used on
the coast of Norway and the Shetland Isles, the peculiar rowlocks of
which, and also the clincher-nails by which the sides are fastened,
correspond very closely to those of the Nydam boat. Here also, and
in Finland and Lapland, we find survivals of a still earlier mode of
ship-building, corresponding to the more primitive plank-stitched
vessels, before described, in so many places in the southern
hemisphere. Regnard, in 1681, describes the Finland boats as being
twelve feet long and three broad. They are made of fir, and fastened
together with the sinew of the reindeer; this makes them, he says, so
light that one man can carry one on his shoulders; others are fastened
together with thread made of hemp, rubbed with glue, and their cords
are of birch bark or the root of the fir. Outhier, in 1736, confirms
this account of the manner in which they are sewn together, and says
that it renders them very flexible, and suitable for passing cataracts,
on account of their lightness, and because they do not break when they
are cast against a rock. The Lapland sledge called _pulea_ is also
described by Regnard as being of the same construction--boat-shaped,
and the parts sewn together with the sinew of the reindeer, without
a single nail. I have not as yet been able to trace this mode of
fastening vessels continuously in Russia; but Bell, in 1719, says that
the long, flat-bottomed barks used on the Volga for carrying salt have
not a single iron nail in their whole fabric; and Atkinson describes
vessels on the Tchoussowaia which are built without nails, but these
are fastened with wooden pins.

3. _Bark canoes._

The use of bark for canoes might have been suggested by the hollowed
trunk; but, on the other hand, we find this material employed in
Australia, where the hollowed trunk is not in general use. Bark is
employed for a variety of purposes, such as clothing, materials for
huts, and so forth. Some of the Australian shields are constructed of
the bark of trees. The simplest form of canoe in Australia consists,
as already mentioned (p. 203), of a mere bundle of reeds and bark
pointed at the ends. It is possible that the use of large pieces of
bark in this manner may have suggested the employment of the bark
alone. Belzoni mentions crossing to the island of Elephantine, on
the Nile, in a ferry-boat which was made of branches of palm trees,
fastened together with cords, and covered on the outside with a mat
pitched all over. The solid papyrus boats represented on the pavement
at Praeneste, before mentioned, have evidently some other substance on
the outside of them; and Bruce imagines that the junks of the Red Sea
were of papyrus, covered with leather.[226] The outer covering would
prevent the water from soaking into the bundle of sticks, and thus
rendering it less buoyant. Bark, if used in the same manner, would
serve a like purpose, and thus suggest its use for canoe-building.
Otherwise I am unable to conceive any way in which bark canoes can have
originated, except by imitation of the dug-out canoe.

For crossing rivers, the Australian savage simply goes to the nearest
stringy-bark tree, chops a circle round the tree at the foot, and
another seven or eight feet higher, makes a longitudinal cut on each
side, and strips off bark enough by this means to make two canoes. If
he is only going to cross the river by himself, he simply ties the bark
together at the ends, paddles across, and abandons the piece of bark
on the other side, knowing that he can easily provide another. If it
is to carry another besides himself, he stops up the tied ends with
clay; but if it is to be permanently employed, he sews up the ends more
carefully, and keeps it in shape by cross-pieces, thereby producing a
vessel which closely resembles the bark canoe of North America (Wood,
_Nat. Hist. of Man_, ii. 103). I have not been able to trace the use of
the bark canoe further north than Australia on this side of the world,
probably owing to its being ill adapted for sea navigation; nor do I
find representatives of it in any part of Europe or Africa, although
bark is extensively used, in the Polynesian Islands and elsewhere, for
other purposes.

It is the two continents of America which must be regarded as the home
of the bark canoe.

The Fuegian canoe has been described by Wilkes, Pritchard, and others.
It is sewn with shreds of whalebone, sealskin, and twigs, and supported
by a number of stretchers lashed to the gunwale; the joints are stopped
with rushes, and, without, smeared with resin. In Guiana the canoe
is made of the bark of the purple-heart tree, stripped off and tied
together at the ends. The ends are stopped with clay, as with the
Australians. This mode of caulking is not very effectual, however, and
the water is sure to come in sooner or later.

The nature of the material does not admit of much variety in the
construction; suffice it to say that it is in general use in North
America, up to the Esquimaux frontier. Its value in these regions
consists in the facility with which it is taken out of the water and
carried over the numerous rapids that prevail in the North American
rivers. The Algonquins were famous for the construction of them. Some
carry only two people, but the _canot de maître_ was thirty-six feet in
length, and required fourteen paddlers. Kalm, in 1747, gives a detailed
account of the construction of them on the Hudson river, and Lahontan,
in 1684, gives an equally detailed description of those used in Canada.
The bark is peeled off the tree by means of hot water. They are very
fragile, and every day some hole in the bottom has to be stopped with

Mr. T. G. B. Lloyd, in an excellent paper descriptive of the Beothucs
of Newfoundland, published in _Journ. Anthrop. Inst._ (vol. iv. pp.
26-8), has described the remarkable bark canoe of these people. Its
form is different from any other canoe of this or any other region
that I have heard of, the line of the gunwale rising in the middle, as
well as at the ends, and the vessel being V-shaped in section, with a
straight wooden keel at the bottom. Its form is so singular, that the
only idea of continuity which I can set up for it is, that it must
have been copied from some European child’s paper boat, capable, by
a single additional fold, of being converted into a cocked hat; the
central pyramidal portion of the paper boat having given the form to
the pyramidal sides of the Beothuc vessel. If this be rejected, then
its history has yet to be told, for no native tribe ever employed such
a peculiar form unless by inheritance.

Nos. 1248 and 1249 of my collection are South American bark canoes;
Nos. 1250 to 1252 are bark canoes from North America.

4. _Canoes of Wicker and Skin._

As we approach the Arctic regions, the dug-out and bark canoes are
replaced by canoes of skin and wicker. As we have already seen, in the
case of the bow, and other arts of savages, vegetable materials supply
the wants of man in southern and equatorial regions, whilst animal
materials supply their place in the north.

The origin of skin coverings has been already suggested when speaking
of bark canoes. The accidental dropping of a skin bottle into the
water might suggest the use of such vessels as a means of recovering
the harpoon, which, as I have already shown elsewhere, was almost
universally used for fishing in the earliest stages of culture. The
Esquimaux lives with the harpoon and its attached bladder almost
continually by his side. The Esquimaux _kayak_, Nos. 1253 and 1254 of
my collection, in which he traverses the ocean, although admirable in
its workmanship, and, like all the works of the Esquimaux, ingenious
in construction, is in principle nothing more than a large, pointed
bladder, similar to that which is lashed to the harpoon at its side;
the man in this case occupying the opening which, in the bladder, is
filled by the wooden pin that serves for a cork.

This is, I believe, a very primitive form of vessel, although there
can be no doubt that many links in the history of its development have
been lost. Unlike the dug-out canoe, such a fragile contrivance as the
wicker canoe perishes quickly, and no direct evidence of its ancestry
can be traced at the present time. It is only by means of survivals
that we can build up the past history of its development; and these
are, for the most part, wanting.

The skin of an animal, flayed off the body with but one incision,
served, as I have elsewhere shown, a variety of purposes: from it
the bellows was derived, the bagpipes, water-vessels, and pouches of
various kinds; and, filled with air, it served the purpose of a float.
Steinitz, in his _History of the Ship_, gives an illustration of an
inflated ox skin, which in India is used to cross rivers; the owner
riding upon the back of the animal and paddling with his hands, as if
it had been a living ox.

In the Assyrian sculptures there are numerous illustrations
representing men floating upon skins of this kind, which they clasp
with the left hand, like the tree trunks, already mentioned, that are
used by the American Indians, and swim with the right. Layard says this
manner of crossing rivers is still practised in Mesopotamia. He also
describes the raft, composed of a number of such floats, made of the
skins of sheep flayed off with as few incisions as possible; a square
framework of poplar beams is placed over a number of these, and tied
together with osier and other twigs. The mouths of the sheep-skins
are placed upwards, so that they can be opened and refilled by the
raft-men. On these rafts the merchandise is floated down the river to
Baghdad; the materials are then disposed of and the skins packed on
mules, to return for another voyage. On the Nile similar rafts are
used, the skins being supplanted by earthen pots, which, like the skins
on the Euphrates, serve only a temporary purpose, and after the voyage
down the river are disposed of in the bazaars.

This mode of floating upon skins I should conjecture to be of northern
origin, and to be practised chiefly by nomadic races; but we find it
employed on the Morbeya, in Morocco, by the Moors, who no doubt had it
from the East. It is thus described by Lempriere, in 1789. A raft is
formed of eight sheep-skins filled with air, and tied together with
small cords; a few slender poles are laid over them, to which they
are fastened, and that is the only means used at Buluane to convey
travellers, with their baggage, over the river. As soon as the raft is
loaded, a man strips, jumps into the water, and swims with one hand,
whilst he pulls the raft after him with the other; another swims and
pushes behind. This reminds us of the custom of the Gran Chaco Indians
of South America, who, in crossing rivers, use a square boat or tub of
bull’s hide, called _pelota_. It is attached by a rope to the tail of
a horse, which swims in front; or the rope is taken in the mouth of an
expert swimmer.

I have not traced the distribution of these rafts of inflated skins as
continuously as, I have no doubt, they might be traced amongst nomadic
and pastoral races, moving with their flocks and herds, the skins of
which would be employed in this way; nor have I been able to trace
the connexion which, I have no doubt, existed between the inflated
skin and the open ‘curragh’ of wicker covered with skins. Where one is
found, the other is often found with it. Herodotus describes the boats
used by the people who came down the river to Babylon, and says they
are constructed in Armenia, and in the parts above Assyria, thereby
connecting them with the north. ‘The ribs of these vessels,’ he says,
‘are formed of willow boughs and branches, and covered externally with
skin. They are round, like a shield, there being no distinction between
head and stern. They line the bottom with reeds and straw, and taking
on board merchandise, chiefly palm wine, float down the stream. The
boats have two oars, one to each man: one pulls and the other pushes.
They are of different dimensions, some having a single ass on board
and others several. On their arrival at Babylon the boatmen dispose of
their goods, and offer for sale the ribs and straw; _they then load
the asses with the skins_, and return with them to Armenia, where they
construct new boats’--just as is now done with the inflated skins of
the rafts at Baghdad.

In the Pictorial Bible an illustration is given from the Sassanian
sculptures at Takht-i-Bostan of several of these round vessels,
probably of wicker, covered with skins. In one of these the principal
figure carries a composite bow, which, as I have elsewhere shown, is of
northern origin. Mr. Layard discovered in Nimroud a sculpture in which
one of these boats is represented. It is round, like those described
by Herodotus; back and stern alike; carrying two people, one of whom
pulls and the other pushes; and in the same sculpture are represented
men swimming on the inflated sheep-skins. He says that these same
round vessels are still used at Baghdad, built of boughs and timber
covered with skins, over which bitumen is smeared to render it more
water-tight. [Hamilton] also speaks of the same vessels (of reeds
and bitumen) on the Euphrates, at the commencement of the eighteenth

On the Cavery, in Mysore, Buchanan, in 1800, describes ferry-boats
that are called _donies_, which are circular baskets covered with
leather; but whether these vessels, like the composite bow used in the
same region, can be traced to a northern origin I have not the means
of determining, nor have I as yet sufficient materials to enable me
to ascertain whether such vessels are employed in the north of Asia
at the present time. What the inflated skin is to these circular
vessels, the _kayak_ is to the _baidar_ of the Esquimaux. Throughout
the whole region occupied by this race, these two kinds of vessels are
used, differing only in minute varieties of detail in the different
localities. According to Dr. King, whose valuable paper, ‘On the
Industrial Arts of the Esquimaux,’ was published in the first volume of
the _Journal of the Ethnological Society_ (1848), the varieties of the
_kayak_ in the different localities consist merely in the elevation and
shape of the rim of the hole in which the man sits. In Prince William
Sound, on the NW. coast, the _kayak_ is frequently built with two or
three holes to contain two or three men. The bow has two beaks, one of
which turns up, according to Captain Cook, like the head of a violin,
as represented in No. 1254 of my collection. This is also used in the
Aleutian Isles. The meaning of this double beak I have not been able to
ascertain. The _baidar_ used on this coast has also a double beak, as
represented in No. 1255 of my collection.

In the British Museum there is a _kayak_ with a single opening, from
Behring Straits, which differs but little from another in the same
museum from Greenland; the _kayak_ of Greenland has a knob of ivory at
each end to protect the sharp point. The _baidar_ is used at Ochotsk
and Kamtschatka, on the Asiatic coast, and all along the northern coast
of America, eastward from Behring Strait. Models of both _baidar_ and
_kayak_ are in the British Museum, from Kotzebue Sound. In Frobisher
Strait, Frobisher, in 1577, says the boats are of two kinds of leather
stretched on frames, the greater sort open, and carrying sixteen or
twenty people (the _baidar_), and the lesser, to carry one man, covered
over, except in one place where the man sits (the _kayak_). In Hudson’s
Straits and Greenland, where the larger vessels are called _oomiak_,
they are flat-sided and flat-bottomed, about three feet high, and
nearly square at the bow and stern, whereas this sort on the north-west
coast is sometimes pointed at bow and stern. Kerguelen, in 1767,
mentions both kinds in Greenland; and Kalm, in 1747, speaks of both,
though not from personal observation, on the coast of Labrador. The
Esquimaux canoe has been known to have drifted from Greenland across
the north of Scotland, and has been picked up, with the man still alive
in it, on the coast of Aberdeen (Wilson).

In Britain the _coracle_ of osier, covered with skin, is mentioned
by Caesar, and in Britain, Gaul, and Italy by Lucan (A.D. 39-65). In
Scotland, Bellenden, in the sixteenth century, speaks of the _currock_
of wands, covered with bulls’ hide, as being in use in the sixteenth
century, and its representative is still used in the west of Ireland.
Sir William Wilde says that, under the name of _curragh_, it is still
made of leather, stretched over a wooden frame, on the Boyne, and in
Arran, on the west coast, of light timber, covered with painted canvas,
which has superseded the use of leather. I have seen these vessels at
Dingle, on the south-west coast, where they go by the name of _nevōg_;
they are there 23 feet in length by 4 in width, and 1 ft. 9 inches
deep, made of laths, and covered with painted canvas; they are used,
from Valentia, along the west coast as far as Galway. In the south
they are larger than in the north, where they are called _curraghs_,
and a single man can carry one on his back, as the ancient Briton did
his _coracle_. Their continuance is caused by their cheapness, costing
only £6 when new. Here also they were, until recently, constructed of
leather. They have a small triangular sail, and, like the most ancient
forms of vessels, they are guided, when sailing, by means of oars, one
on each side.

5. _Rafts._

The trunks of trees, united by mutual attraction, as they floated down
the stream, would suggest the idea of a raft. The women of Australia
use rafts made of layers of reeds, from which they dive to obtain
mussel-shells. In New Guinea the catamaran, or small raft formed of
three planks lashed together with rattan, is the commonest vessel used.
Others are larger, containing ten or twelve persons, and consist of
three logs lashed together in five places, the centre log being the
longest, and projecting at both ends.

This is exactly like the catamaran used on the coast of Madras, a
model of one of which is in the Indian Museum; they are also used on
the Ganges, and in the Asiatic isles. At Manilla they are known by
the name of _saraboas_; but the perfection of raft navigation is on
the coast of Peru. Ulloa, in 1735, describes the _balzas_ used on the
Guayaquil, in Ecuador, and on the coast as far south as Paita. They are
called by the Indians of the Guayaquil _jungadas_, and by the Darien
Indians _puero_. They are made of a wood so light that a boy can easily
carry a log 1 foot in diameter and 3 or 4 yards long. They are always
made of an odd number of beams, like the New Guinea and Indian rafts,
the longest and thickest in the centre, and the others lashed on each
side. Some are 70 ft. in length and 20 broad. When sailing, they are
guided by a system of planks, called _guaras_, which are shoved down
between the beams in different parts of the raft as they are wanted,
the breadth of the plank being in the direction of the lines of the
timbers. By means of these they are able to sail near the wind, and to
luff up, bear away, and tack at pleasure. When a _guara_ is put down in
the fore part of the raft, it luffs up, and when in the hinder part, it
bears away. This system of steering, he says, the Indians have learnt
empirically, ‘their uncultivated minds never having examined into the
_rationale_ of the thing.’

It was one of these vessels which Bartolomew Ruiz, pilot of the second
expedition for the discovery of Peru, met with; and which so astonished
the sailors, who had never before seen any vessel on the coast of
America provided with a sail. Condamine speaks of the rafts in 1743,
on the Chinchipe, in Peru. They are also used on the coast of Brazil,
where they are also called _jungadas_, from which locality there is
a model of one in the British Museum, and another in the Christy
collection. Professor Wilson thinks it was by means of these vessels,
driven off the coast of America westward, that the Polynesian and Malay
islands were peopled; and this brings us to the consideration of the
peculiar class of vessel which is distributed over a continuous area
in the Pacific and adjoining seas, viz. the outrigger canoe, which, I
shall endeavour to show, was derived from the raft.

6. _Outrigger-canoes._

The sailing properties of the _balza_, or any other similar raft, must
have been greatly impeded by the resistance offered to the water by the
ends of its numerous beams. In order to diminish the resistance, the
obvious remedy was to use only two beams, placed parallel to each other
at a distance apart, with a platform laid on cross-poles between them.

Of this kind we find a vessel used by the Tasmanians, and described
by Mr. Bonwick, on the authority of Lieut. Jeffreys. The natives, he
says, would select two good stems of trees and place them parallel to
each other, but a couple of yards apart; cross-pieces of small size
were laid on these, and secured to the trees by scraps of tough bark.
A stronger cross-timber, of greater thickness, was laid across the
centre, and the whole was then covered by wicker-work. Such a float
would be thirty feet long, and would hold from six to ten persons
(Herbert Spencer, _Descriptive Sociology_ (London, 1874), No. 3, Table

In Fiji, Williams describes a kind of vessel called _ulatoka_, a raised
platform, floating on two logs, which must evidently be a vessel of the
same description as that used in Tasmania.

From these two logs were derived the double canoe on the one hand, and
the canoe with the outrigger on the other.

A link between the catamaran and the outrigger canoe is seen in a model
in the India Museum, from Madras. It consists of the usual catamaran,
already described, of three beams lashed together, the longest being
in the centre, across which are attached, their ends extending on one
side, long outrigger poles, to the extremities of which, parallel, and
at some distance from the catamaran, is fastened an outrigger log, of
smaller size and length, pointed at both ends, and boat-shaped, exactly
like those used with the outrigger canoes to be hereafter described.
When the art of hollowing out canoes was introduced, then one canoe
and one log, or two canoes, were employed, as the case might be. This
I consider to be a more natural sequence than to suppose the outrigger
invented as a means of steadying the dug-out canoe.

The outrigger canoe, and its accompanying double canoe, is used over
the whole of the Polynesian and Asiatic islands--from Easter Island
on the east, to Ceylon and the Andamans on the west. Their varieties
are also, in some cases, continuous; and I will endeavour to trace
the distribution of each, commencing with the canoe with the single

Towards the eastern and northern extremities of the Polynesian Islands
we find that the canoes have a single outrigger, and that the ends
of the outrigger poles are attached directly to the outrigger log,
instead of being connected with it by upright supports, as is the case
elsewhere. As the outrigger log is on a lower level than the line of
the gunwales of the canoe, across which the other ends of the outrigger
poles are lashed, they are generally curved downwards to meet the

This is the form described by La Perouse in Easter Island. It is
the same in the drawings of canoes from Marquesas; also in the one,
figured by Wilkes, from Wytoohee or Disappointment Isle, in the Low
Archipelago; and in the one from Tahiti, Society Isles; also in those
of the Sandwich Isles and the Kingsmill Isles; and it reappears again
on the extreme west of the group in Ceylon, No. 1265 of my collection.

But whilst this peculiarity appears to be constant in the
above-mentioned region, the form of the body of the canoe differs in
each group of islands. In the Marquesas the bow turns up very much, in
the Sandwich Islands only slightly (No. 1264); in Disappointment Isle
there is a projecting part before and behind, by which they step into
it; in Tahiti they have a similar projection over the stern only, which
is used for a similar purpose.

To the westward of these, in a group extending over the centre of the
region in question, all the outriggers that I have seen described,
either by means of models or drawings, have upright supports on the
upper side, and on these the outrigger poles rest, so as to be on the
level of the line of the gunwales. This is the case in Nuie or Savage
Island; in Samoa (No. 1262); in the Caroline Isles; in Bowditch Island,
one of the Union group; in Tonga and Fiji; in New Guinea; in the
Louisiade Archipelago, and in North Australia.

Another peculiarity in this central region deserves notice. The ends
of the canoe are covered with a deck extending over about one-third of
its length fore and aft, and on this deck there is a row of upright
pegs, carved out of the same piece as the deck, and running down the
centre of it. Each peg is surmounted by a white _Cypraea ovula_ shell
tied on. The origin and meaning of this custom is unknown, but it was
probably adopted originally as insignia of the rank of the owner. Its
distribution is limited to a group of islands lying between about
the 10th and 20th parallel of south latitude, and 170° and 180° west
longitude. Cook, in 1773, speaks of it in the Friendly Isles; and
Wilkes, in 1838, mentions it in Samoa, Fiji, and Bowditch Island.
The canoes of the Solomon Isles and other islands are, however, also
ornamented with shells in different parts.

The canoe with the single outrigger is also used in [Garret Dennis
Island], which is described by Dampier in 1686; in the Ladrones, by
Pigafetta, 1519; in the Pelew Islands; in Borneo; in Ceylon; in the
Nicobar and Andaman Islands.

In Kingsmill and the Caroline Islands, to the north, the outrigger is
somewhat smaller than elsewhere, its length not exceeding one-third of
the length of the canoe. In the adjoining groups of the Kingsmill and
Ladrone Islands we have a variety of this vessel in which the canoe, on
the outrigger side, is nearly flat, having a belly only on the opposite
side. This is described by Wilkes in 1838, and Dampier in 1686.

The double canoe represents a variety in which both logs of the
double-logged raft have developed into canoes. The two canoes are
placed side by side, at a little distance apart, and transverse spars
are lashed across the gunwales of both; a platform being built upon the
cross spars; No. 1266 of my collection.

Double canoes of this kind were used in New Zealand formerly, also in
New Caledonia. Mr. Baines mentions it in North Australia, but I am not
aware that it is used in New Guinea. Cook speaks of it in the Friendly
Isles, Wilkes in Fiji. It was formerly used in Samoa, but Wilkes says
it has been discontinued, and the single outrigger only is now used; in
Tahiti; in the Low Archipelago, the inhabitants of which group are very
expert sailors, steering by the stars, and seldom making any material
error; in the Sandwich Isles; also in Ceylon, where it is called a
_paddy boat_; in Burmah and in some of the Indian rivers; at Mosapore,
where it goes by the name of _langardy_; and in Cochin, on the southern
portion of the Malabar coast, where it is employed as a ferry-boat. It
also appears, by a model in the India Museum, that it is used as high
up as Patna, on the Ganges.

In Fiji we find a connecting link between the double canoe and the
canoe with the single outrigger. Here the outrigger consists of a boat,
similar in construction to the large one to which it is attached,
but smaller, and connected with the platform between them by upright

Contrivances for sailing near the wind with the single outrigger canoe
have led to the introduction of several other varieties of this class
of vessel. It is necessary that the outrigger should always be on the
windward side. The outrigger acts as a weight on the windward side, to
prevent the narrow canoe from being blown over on the opposite side.
When it blows very hard, the men run out on to the outrigger, to give
it the additional weight of their bodies. Wilkes says that whenever
the outrigger gets to the leeward side, there is almost invariably an
upset. The outrigger probably is pressed too deeply into the water,
and meeting with too much resistance, breaks the poles. To meet this
difficulty both the canoe and outrigger are, in some parts, made
pointed at both ends. When they wish to tack, instead of luffing and
coming about, they bear away, until the vessel gets on the opposite
quarter, and then, by shifting the sail, they sail away again stern
first. This system is pursued in Fiji, in parts of New Guinea, and
northward, in Kingsmill Islands (Wilkes).

Another mode of meeting this difficulty consists in having two
outriggers, one on each side. This is employed in the Louisiade
Archipelago (No. 1260), in parts of New Guinea, and to the north, in
the Sooloo Archipelago. Yet another method remains to be described. In
Samoa the canoes are built with bow and stern, and the outrigger is
pointed towards the fore part only. As these vessels can only sail one
way, the outrigger, in tacking, must necessarily be sometimes on the
leeward side; to meet this, they rig out a platform corresponding to
the outrigger platform on the opposite side; this, for distinction’s
sake, we may term a _weather platform_. It has no outrigger log, nor
does it touch the water, but when the wind blows so heavily as to
press the outrigger down on the lee side, they run out on the weather
platform, and counterbalance the effect of the wind by their weight.
This contrivance is used in some parts of New Guinea, where, it may
be observed, the varieties of the outrigger canoe are more numerous
than in most of the other islands. It is also used in the Solomon
Isles, where the weather platform is of the same width as the outrigger
platform; and probably in some of the other islands to the north.

Finally we have, in the Asiatic Archipelago, a contrivance which may
be said to be derived partly from the double outrigger, and partly
from the weather platform last described. In proportion as the simple
dug-out canoe began to be converted into a built-up vessel, and to
acquire greater beam, they began to depend less and less on the
support of the outrigger. The double outrigger necessarily presented
considerable resistance to the water, but the vessel was still too
narrow to sail by itself. A weather platform had, however, been
found sufficient to balance the vessel on one side, and the next
step was to knock off the outrigger log on the other side, thereby
converting the outrigger platform into a weather platform; the two
platforms projecting one on each side of the vessel, on the level of
the gunwales, without touching the water, and thereby acting on the
principle of the balancing-pole of a tight-rope dancer, whilst the
resistance to the water was by this means confined to that of the hull
of the vessel itself. These double weather-platform boats were also
found more convenient in inland waters, in the canals in Manilla, and

De Guignes, in 1796, mentions a contrivance of this sort in the
Philippines, but from the account, it is not quite clear whether he
refers to a double weather platform, or a vessel with an outrigger
and a weather platform. He says that the boats at Manilla are very
sharply built, and furnished with yards, which serve as _balances_,
on the windward side of which, when the wind blows hard, the sailors
place themselves to counterpoise the effect of the wind on the sails.
This contrivance does not, however, always ensure safety, for at times
the bamboos which form the balance break, in which case the boat
founders and the crew are lost. Dampier, however, in 1686, clearly
speaks of the double weather platform at Manilla. He says that the
difference between these Manilla boats and those at Guam, in the
Ladrones, is that, whereas at Guam there is a little boat, fastened to
the outriggers, that lies in the water, the beams or bamboos here are
fastened transverse-wise to the outlayers on each side, and touch not
the water like boats, but one, three, or four feet above the water, and
serve for the canoe-men to sit and row and paddle upon. He says, that
when the vessel reels, the ends of the platform dip into the water,
and the vessel rights itself. Still further north, at Rangoon, on the
Irrawaddy, we find the same contrivance described by Symes in 1795.
He says that the boats are long and narrow, sixty feet in length, and
not more than twelve in the widest place; they require a good deal of
ballast, and would have been in constant danger of upsetting, had they
not been provided with outriggers which, composed of thin boards, or
oftener of buoyant bamboos, make a platform that extends horizontally
six or seven feet on the outside of the boat from stem to stern. Thus
secure, he says, the vessel can incline no further than until the
platform touches the surface of the water, when she immediately rights;
on this stage the boatmen ply their oars.

This constitutes one out of many points of evidence that might be
mentioned, serving to show that the arts and culture of the Burmese,
and of all this part of Asia, have been derived from the Malay
Archipelago more probably than the reverse.

The outrigger canoe itself has never, I believe, been known on the
Irrawaddy within the memory of man, but, as already seen, it is used in
the Nicobar and Andaman Isles and on the coast to the south.

These outriggers, or balancing platforms, appear gradually to have
diminished in size as the vessel increased in beam, and there can be
little doubt that the rude stages or balconies outside the gunwales
represented in the models of many of the larger vessels used in these
seas are the last vestiges of the outrigger. No. 1278 of my collection
is an example of this.

7. _Rudders, Sails, and other Contrivances._

All the various items of evidence which I have collected, and
endeavoured to elucidate by means of survivals, whether in relation to
modes of navigation or other branches of industry, appear to me to tend
towards establishing a gradual development of culture as we advance
northward. Although Buddhism and its concomitant civilization may have
come from the north, there has been an earlier and prehistoric flow of
culture in the opposite direction--northward--from the primaeval and
now submerged cradle of the human family in the southern hemisphere.
This, I venture to think, will establish itself more and more clearly,
in proportion as we divest ourselves of the numerous errors which
have arisen from our acceptance of the Noachian deluge as a universal

As human culture developed northward from the equator toward the 40th
parallel of latitude, civilization began to bud out in Egypt, India,
and China, and a great highway of nations was established by means of
ships along the southern margin of the land, from China to the Red Sea.

Along this ocean highway may be traced many connexions in ship forms
which have survived from the earliest times. The _oculus_, which,
on the sacred boats of the Egyptians, represented the eye of Osiris
guiding the mummy of the departed across the sacred lake, is still seen
eastward--in India and China--converted into an ornamental device,
whilst westward it lived through the period of the Roman and Grecian
_biremes_ and _triremes_, and has survived to this day on the Maltese
rowing-boats and the _xebecque_ of Calabria, or has been converted
into a hawser-hole in modern European craft. The function of the
rudder--which in the primitive vessels of the southern world is still
performed by the paddlers, whilst paddling with their faces to the
prow--was confided, as sails began to be introduced, to the rearmost
oars. In some of the Egyptian sculptures the three hindermost rowers on
each side are seen steering the vessel with their oars. Ultimately one
greatly developed oar on each side of the stern performed this duty;
the _loom_ of which was attached to an upright beam on the deck, as
is still the case in some parts of India. In some of the larger Malay
_prahaus_ there are openings or windows in the stern, considerably
below the deck, by which the steersmen have access to two large
rudders, one on each side; each rudder being the vestige of a side oar.

Throughout the Polynesian Islands the steering is performed with
either one or two greatly developed paddles. Both in the rudder of the
Egyptian sculptures and in the _gubernaculum_ of the Roman vessels,
we see the transition from the large double oar, one on each side,
to the single oar at the stern. The ship of Ptolemaeus Philopator
had four rudders, each thirty cubits in length (Smith’s _Dict._, s.
v. ‘Navis’). The Chinese and Japanese rudder is but a modification
of the oar, worked through large holes in the stern of the vessel;
which large holes, in the case of the Japanese, owe their preservation
to the orders of the Tycoon, who caused them to be retained in all
his vessels, in order to prevent his subjects from venturing far to
sea. The _buccina_, or shell trumpet, which is used especially on
board all canoes in the Pacific, from the coast of Peru to Ceylon, is
represented, together with the _gubernaculum_, in the hands of Tritons
in Roman sculptures (Smith’s _Dict._, s. v. ‘Navis’), and the shell
form of it was preserved in its metallic representatives.

The sail, in its simplest form, consists of a triangular mat, with
bamboos lashed to the two longer sides. In New Guinea and some of the
other islands, this sail, which is here seen in its simplest form, is
simply put up on deck, with the apex downwards and the broad end up,
and kept up by stays fore and aft. When a separate mast was introduced,
this sail was hauled up by a halyard attached to one of the bamboos,
at the distance of about one-fifth of its length from the broad end,
the apex of the bamboo-edged mat being fastened forward by means of
a tack. By taking away the lower bamboo the sail became the _lateen_
sail of the Malay pirate _proa_, the singular resemblance of which to
that of the Maltese galley of the eighteenth century (a resemblance
shared by all other parts of the two vessels) may be seen by two models
placed side by side in the Royal United Service Institution. Professor
Wilson observes that the use of the sail appears to be almost unknown
on either continent of America, and the surprise of the Spaniards on
first seeing one used on board a Peruvian _balza_ arose from this known
peculiarity of early American navigation (p. 218). Lahontan, however,
in 1684, says that the Canadian bark canoes, though usually propelled
by paddles, sometimes carried a small sail. He does not, however, say
whether the knowledge of these has been derived from Europeans. Mr.
Lloyd also mentions small sails used with bark canoes in Newfoundland.

The _crow’s-nest_, which in the Egyptian vessels served to contain
a slinger or an archer at the top of the mast, and which is also
represented in the Assyrian sculptures, was still used for the same
purpose in Europe in the fifteenth century, was modified in the
sixteenth century, and became the mast-head so well known to midshipmen
in our own time. The two raised platforms, which in the Egyptian
vessels served to contain the man with the fathoming pole in the fore
part, and the steersman behind, became the _prora_ and the _puppis_
of the Romans, and the _forecastle_ and _poop_ of modern European
vessels. The _aplustre_, which, in the form of a lotus, ornamented the
stern of the Egyptian war-craft, gave the form to the _aplustre_ of the
Greeks and Romans, and may still be seen on the stern of the Burmese
war-boats at the present time.

       *       *       *       *       *

All these numerous examples serve to show that where civilization has
advanced the forms have been gradually changed; where, on the other
hand, it has not advanced, they have remained unchanged. Sir Gardner
Wilkinson and others have pointed out the striking resemblance between
the boats of the ancient Egyptians and those of modern India. ‘The
form of the stern, the principle and construction of the rudder, the
cabins, the square sail, the copper eye on each side of the head, the
line of small squares at the side, like false windows, and the shape
of the oars of boats used on the Ganges, forcibly call to mind,’ he
says, ‘those of the Nile, represented in the paintings of the Theban
tombs.’ We have also seen (p. 214) that the inflated sheep-skin still
serves to transport the Mesopotamian peasant across the Euphrates, as
it did when Nimroud was a thriving city. The skin and wicker tub-shaped
vessels still float down the Euphrates with their cargoes to Baghdad,
are broken up, and the skins carried up the river again on mules, as
they were in the time of Herodotus, upwards of 2,000 years ago. What
is there to prevent our believing that the primitive vessels which we
have been describing in the southern hemisphere, the representatives of
some of which have been discovered in river deposits of the stone age
in Europe, may have been in use in the countries in which they are now
found, as long, and longer--far longer?

What reason is there to doubt that the rude bark-float of the
Australian, the Tasmanian, and the Ethiopian; the catamaran of the
Papuan; the dug-out of the New Zealander; the built-up canoe of
the Samoan; and the improved ribbed vessel of the Ke islander, are
survivals representing successive stages in the development of the art
of ship-building, not lapses to ruder methods of construction as the
result of degradation; that each stage supplies us with examples of
what was at one time the perfection of the art, inconceivable ages ago?
Some, as we have seen, especially the more primitive kinds, spread
nearly all over the world, whilst others had a more limited area of
distribution. Taken together, they enable us to trace back the history
of ship-building from the time of the earliest Egyptian sculptures to
the commencement of the art.

Nor does the interest of this inquiry confine itself to the development
of ship-building. As affecting the means of locomotion, it throws light
on the development of other branches of culture in early times. For
even if we set aside exceptional instances in which individual canoes
have been driven away to great distances--such as the case in which
an Esquimaux in his kayak was picked up off the coast of Aberdeen, or
that of a Chinese junk having been wrecked on the north-west coast of
America, which might or might not have produced permanent results--and
confine ourselves to those cases in which the distribution of like
forms of vessels proves that there must probably have been frequent
communication between shore and shore; and if we further assume, as I
propose to do, that the existing means of communication in the Pacific
in a great measure represents the amount of intercourse that took place
across the sea in prehistoric times, that is to say, in times prior to
the earliest Egyptian sculptures, we find no difficulty in accounting,
by this means, for the striking similarity observable in the arts and
ideas of savages in distant lands; for not only have these vessels
been the means of conveying from place to place the material form of
implements, such as celts, stone knives, and so forth, which, being
imperishable, have been handed down to us unchanged, and the forms of
which we know to have spread over large geographic areas; but also each
voyage has conveyed a boat-load of ideas, of which no material record
remains, in the shape of myths, religions, and superstitions, which
have been emptied out upon the seashore, to seek affinity with other
chatter that was indigenous to the place.

Thus, by means of intercommunication, no less than by spontaneous
development, have been formed those numerous combinations which so
greatly puzzle the student of culture at the present time.


[219] A Paper read at the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain
and Ireland on December 22, 1874, and published in the _Journal_ of
the Institute, vol. iv (1875), pp. 399-435. (N.B.--This paper was
not furnished by the author with either plates or references. The
latter have been supplied, so far as possible, on pp. 229 ff.: for
illustrations, reference should be made to the section on Navigation in
the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford.--ED.)

[220] (The _Catalogue of the Anthropological Collection lent by Col.
Lane Fox to Bethnal Green Museum_ (London, 1874, parts i and ii) only
contains ‘Weapons’; part iii was never issued.--ED.)

[221] _Notes and Queries on Anthropology, for the Use of Travellers
and Residents in Uncivilized Lands_, drawn up by a Committee appointed
by the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1874); 3rd
edition, 1899, published by the Anthropological Institute, 3 Hanover
Square, W.

[222] ‘Primitive Warfare,’ pp. 127-30, 148-51, above.

[223] Address to the Anthropological Department at the Brighton meeting
of the British Association, 1872. _Report Brit. Assoc._ (London, 1873),
p. 161.

[224] Since writing this I have seen the illustration in Sir H.
Rawlinson’s note to this passage, in which he gives it as his opinion
that this is the meaning and use to be ascribed to these pins; and he
says that this system is still employed in Egypt, where they raise an
extra bulwark above the gunwale. Rawlinson, _Herodotus_ (1862), vol.
ii. p. 132.

[225] _Denmark in the Early Iron Age_, by Conrad Engelhardt (London,
1866), p. 31.

[226] ‘On Vessels of Papyrus,’ by John Hogg, Esq., M.A., F.L.S.;
_Magazine of Nat. Hist._, vol. ii (1829), pp. 324-32: cf. p. 206, above.


P. 189. Steinitz, _The Ship: its Origin and Progress_ (London, 1849),
Pl. ii (frontispiece): cf. pp. ix, 4.

    Gregory, ‘Expedition to the NW. coast of Australia,’ _Roy. Geogr.
    Soc. Journal_, xxxii. (1862) p. 376.

P. 190. Cook, _Voyages_ (ed. London, 1842), vol. i. p. 204.

    Kitto, _Pictorial Bible_, note on 2 Sam. xix. 18.

    Pliny, ix. 10 (cf. vi. 24); Diodorus, iii. 21, 5; Strabo, p. 773;
    turtle-shell boats were in actual use among the ‘Turtle-eaters’
    (_Chelonophagi_) of Carmania and the islands of the Red Sea.

P. 191. Kalm, _Travels into North America_ (London, 1771), vol. ii. pp.

    Raleigh’s Expedition; Amadas and Barlawe, _The First Voyage to the
    Coasts of America_ (= Pinkerton (1811), vol. xii. p. 567).

    Columbus, _The Journal of Christopher Columbus, &c._; transl.
    Markham (Hakluyt Society, 1893), p. 39, mentions dug-out canoes
    (cf. pp. 58, 94), but not the use of fire.

    Mouat, _Adventures and Researches among the Andaman Islanders_
    (London, 1863), pp. 315-6; only hand-hollowing in use in his time:
    no mention of Blair here: perhaps a verbal communication to the

    Symes, _An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava_ in 1795
    (London, 1800), p. 320 (= Pinkerton (1811), vol. ix. p. 500).

    Turner, _Nineteen Years in Polynesia_ (London, 1861), pp. 425-6.

P. 192. Wood, _Natural History of Man_ (London, 1868-70), vol. ii. p.

P. 193. Wilkes, _United States Exploring Expedition_ (Philadelphia,
1845), vol. ii. p. 150 (Samoa); vol. v. p. 322 (Manilla); vol. v. p.
353 (Sooloo).

    De Guignes, _Voyages à Peking, Manille, et l’Ile de France_ (Paris,
    1808), vol. iii. p. 402.

    De Morga, _The Philippine Islands_ (1609); transl. by Hon. H. E.
    Stanley (Hakluyt Society, 1868), p. 272; two types, (_a_) ‘made
    of one very large tree’; (_b_) ‘also _vireys_ and _barangays_ ...
    joined together with wooden bolts.’

    Symes, _An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava_ in 1795
    (London, 1800), p. 320 (= Pinkerton (1811), vol. ix. p. 500).

P. 194. Turpin, _Histoire de Siam_ (Paris, 1771), vol. i. pp. 34-6.

    Pietro della Valle, _Viaggi_ (Brighton, 1843), vol. i. pp. 602-3.

    Duarte Barbosa (Magellan), _A Description of the Coasts of East
    Africa and Malabar_ (1514); transl. by Hon. H. E. Stanley (Hakluyt
    Society, 1866), p. 9.

    Livingstone, _Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa_
    (London, 1857), p. 64.

    Barth, _Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa_
    (London, 1857), vol. ii. p. 469; the tributary is the _Faro_; Yola
    is the adjacent town.

    Grant, _Walk across Africa_ (London, 1864), p. 304.

    Condamine, M. de la, _Relation abrégée d’un voyage fait dans
    l’intérieur de l’Amérique méridionale_ (Paris, 1745), p. 63 (at

P. 195. Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (London, 1862), vol. i. p. 169.

    Bartram, _Travels through N. and S. Carolina, Georgia, &c._
    (London, 1792), p. 225.

    Kalm, _Travels into N. America_ (London, 1771), vol. ii. pp. 240-2.

    Pliny, xvi. 40 _Germaniae praedones singulis arboribus cavatis
    navigant, quarum quaedam et triginta homines ferunt._

    Keller, _Lake Dwellings of Switzerland_ (transl. by J. E. Lee, 2nd
    ed., 1878), p. 45, Pl. x. 8.

    Sir W. Wilde, _Catalogue of the Antiquities of the Museum of the
    Royal Irish Academy_ (Dublin, 1863), vol. i. pp. 202-4.

    Ware, _The Antiquities and History of Ireland_ (London, 1705), p.

    Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (London, 1862), vol. i. pp. 153, 160.

P. 197. Cook, _Voyages_ (London, 1842), vol. i. p. 193.

P. 197. Barth, _Travels_ (London, 1857), vol. ii. p. 469.

    Byron, _An Account of the Voyages undertaken ... for making
    Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere ... by Commodore Byron,
    &c._, by John Hawksworth (London, 1773), vol. i. p. 79.

P. 198. Duarte Barbosa, _A Description_, &c. (Hakluyt Society, 1866),
pp. 14-15.

    Denham and Clapperton, _Travels in Northern and Central Africa_
    (London, 1826), p. 60 (Denham).

    Barth, _Travels_ (London, 1857), vol. iii. p. 293.

    Grant, _Walk across Africa_ (London, 1864), p. 196.

P. 199. Cook, _Voyages_ (1842), vol. i. p. 425 (Friendly Islands); pp.
95-7 (Otaheite).

    La Perouse, _Voyage autour du monde_ (Paris, 1897), Atlas, No. 61.

    Wilkes, _United States Exploring Expedition_ (Philadelphia, 1845),
    vol. i. pp. 331-2 (Wytoohee); vol. ii. p. 157 (Samoa).

P. 200. Williams, _Fiji and the Fijians_ (London, 1858), vol. i. pp.

    Wilkes, l. c., vol. v. p. 52.

    Wallace, _The Malay Archipelago_ (London, 1869), vol. ii. p. 159
    (the long journey); p. 92 (nail-less boats); pp. 183-6 (the Ke
    islanders). [The author’s text has been amended to conform with the
    statements of Wallace.--ED.]

P. 201. Dampier, _A New Voyage round the World_ (London, 1729), vol. i.
p. 429.

    Turpin, _Histoire de Siam_ (Paris, 1771), vol. i. p. 36.

P. 202. Duarte Barbosa (Magellan), _A Description_, &c. (Hakluyt,
1866), pp. 147-8.

    Marco Polo, _Travels_, transl. by Sir H. Yule (London, 1903), vol.
    i. p. 108.

P. 203. Lobo, _A Voyage to Abyssinia_ (London, 1735), p. 24.

    Isaiah xviii. 2; see Kitto’s _Pictorial Bible_, note on 2 Sam. xix.

P. 204. Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (1862), vol. i. p. 169.

    Sir Gardner Wilkinson, _The Manners and Customs of Ancient Egypt_,
    3rd ed., 1878, vol. ii. p. 208, No. 403 (No. 399, 1st ed.).

    Lucan, _Pharsalia_, iv. 136 _Conseritur bibula Memphitica cymba

    Plutarch, _de Iride et Osiride_, 18.

    Pliny, vii. 56 _Nave primus in Graeciam ex Aegypto Danaus advenit:
    ante ratibus navigabatur, inventis in Mari Rubro inter insulas a
    rege Erythra_ (cf. ix. 10, and note on p. 190 above). _Reperiuntur,
    qui Mysos et Troianos priores excogitasse, cum transirent adversus
    Thracas. Etiam nunc in Britannico Oceano vitiles corio circumsutae
    fiunt: in Nilo ex papyro, et scirpo, et arundine._ [The quotation,
    as given in _J.A.I._, iv. 414, is inaccurate.--ED.]

    Huxley, _Trans. Int. Congr. Preh. Arch._, Norwich, 1868 (London,
    1869), p. 92; see also p. 147 above.

P. 205. Owen, _Journ. Anthrop. Inst._, vol. iv. p. 240.

    Rosellini, _Monumenti dell’ Egitto e della Nubia_ (Pisa, 1834),
    Mon. Civ., Pl. cxix. 1, cxvii. 3 (= Plate XV. 109-11 herewith).

P. 206. Prideaux; Markham, _A History of the Abyssinian Expedition,
with a chapter ... by Lieut. W. F. Prideaux_ (London, 1869), p. 101.

    Denon, _Voyages dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte_ (London, 1807),
    vol. ii. p. 72.

    Belzoni, _Narrative of Operations and Recent Discoveries ... in
    Egypt and Nubia_ (London, 1820), p. 62; (holds nine persons).

    Bruce, _Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile_ (London, 1790),
    vol. v. p. 6.

P. 207. Pliny, xiii. 2 refers to wooden boats; v. 2 to wickerwork:
_ibi Aethiopicae conveniunt naves: namque eas plicatiles humeris
transferunt, quoties ad cataractas ventum est_.

    Belzoni, _Narrative of Operations_ (London, 1820), pp. 380-1.

    Pliny, v. 2 (above). Lucan, _Phars._ iv. 136 (above).

    Herodotus, ii. 96. Wilkinson (Birch), 3rd ed., vol. ii. p. 307.

P. 208. Homer, _Odyssey_, v. 241-261. Smith, _Dict. Gr. and Rom.
Antiq._, s. v. ‘Navis.’

    Nydam boat. Engelhardt, _Denmark in the Early Iron Age_ (London,
    1866), pp. 29-39, Pl. i-iv.

    Tacitus, _Germania_, 44.

P. 210. Regnard, _Œuvres_ (Paris, 1854), vol. i, _Voyage de Laponie_,
pp. 51, 100.

    Outhier, _Journal d’un Voyage au Nord, en 1736 et 1737_ (Paris,
    1744), pp. 60-1.

    Bell, _Travels from St. Petersburg in Russia to diverse parts of
    Asia_ (Glasgow, 1763), vol. i. p. 168 ff.

    Atkinson, _Oriental and Western Siberia_ (London, 1858), pp. 14-15.

P. 211. Belzoni, _Narrative of Operations, &c. ... in Egypt and Nubia_
(1820), p. 62.

P. 212. Wilkes, _U. S. Exploring Expedition_ (Philadelphia, 1845), vol.
i. p. 127. [Pritchard.]

    Kalm, _Travels into North America_ (London, 1771), vol. ii. p. 298.

    Lahontan, _New Voyages to North America_ (London, 1735), vol. i.
    pp. 26-9.

P. 213. Lane-Fox (Pitt-Rivers), _Report of the British Association_,
Brighton, 1872 (London, 1873), p. 163.

    Steinitz, _The Ship: its Origin and Progress_ (London, 1849), Pl.
    xvi. 6.

P. 214. Layard, _Nineveh and its Remains_ (7th ed., London, 1848), vol.
ii. pp. 381-2. Cf. Herodotus, i. 194.

    Lempriere, _A Tour from Gibraltar to Tangier_ (London, 1793), p.

P. 215. Herodotus, i. 194.

    Kitto, _Pictorial Bible_, note on 2 Sam. xix. 18. Layard, l. c.

    Hamilton (Alexander), _A New Account of the East Indies, 1688-1723_
    (Edinb. 1727), vol. i. p. 88. They are described, even later, by
    Sir R. K. Porter, _Travels in Georgia_, &c., 1817-20 (London,
    1821-2), vol. ii. p. 260; and figured in Rawlinson, _Herodotus_
    (1862), vol. i. p. 268, after Chesney, _Expedition for the Survey
    of the Euphrates and Tigris_ (London, 1850), vol. ii.

    Buchanan, _A Journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore,
    Canara, and Malabar_ (London, 1807), vol. ii. pp. 121, 141, 151,

P. 216. Cook, _Voyages_ (London, 1842), vol. ii. pp. 303-4.

    Frobisher, _The Three Voyages of Martin Frobisher_, ed. Collinson
    (Hakluyt Society, 1867), p. 384.

    Kerguelen, _Relation d’un voyage dans la mer du Nord_ (Paris,
    1771), pp. 178-9.

    Kalm, _Travels into North America_ (London, 1771), vol. ii. p. 241;
    iii. p. 16.

    Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (London, 1862), vol. i. p. 148.

P. 217. Caesar, _de Bello Civili_, i. 54.

    Lucan, _Pharsalia_, iii. 131-5.

    Bellenden, _The History and Chronicles of Scotland_, &c. 1536
    (Edinburgh, 1821), vol. i. p. lix.

    Sir W. Wilde, _Catalogue ... of the Royal Irish Academy_ (Dublin,
    1863), vol. i. p. 204.

    Ulloa, _A Voyage to South America, 1735_ (London, 1807), vol. i.
    pp. 182-5.

P. 218. Bartolomew Ruiz. See Benzoni, _Historia del Mondo Nuovo_
(Venice, 1572), p. 165 (figure): reproduced in Benzoni (ed. Smyth:
Hakluyt Soc., 1857), p. 243: cf. Winsor, _Narrative and Critical
History of America_ (London, 1886), vol. ii. p. 508 (figure).

    Condamine, M. de la, _Relation abrégée d’un voyage fait dans
    l’intérieur de l’Amérique méridionale_ (Paris, 1745), p. 30 (on the
    Maranon, not the Chinchipe R.). ‘Un exprès que j’avois dépêché de
    Tupenda ... avoit franchi tous ces obstacles sur un petit radeau
    fait avec deux ou trois pièces de bois, ce qui suffit à un Indien
    nud et excellent nageur, comme ils le sont tous.’

    Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (London, 1862), vol. i. p. 177.

P. 219. Bonwick, _Daily Life of the Tasmanians_ (London, 1870), p. 51.

    Williams, _Fiji and the Fijians_ (London, 1858), vol. i. p. 76.

P. 220. La Perouse, _Voyage autour du monde_ (Paris, 1797), vol. ii. p.

    Wilkes, _U. S. Exploring Expedition_ (Philadelphia, 1845), vol. i.
    p. 331.

    Cook, _Voyages_ (London, 1842), vol. i. p. 425.

    Wilkes, l. c, vol. ii. p. 151 (Samoa); iii. pp. 365-6 (Fiji); v.
    pp. 11-12 (Bowditch Island).

P. 221. Dampier, _A New Voyage round the World_ (London, 1729), vol.
i. p. 215 (at Guam in the Ladrones; elsewhere he notes them ‘only at
Mindanao’ in the Philippines, pp. 298-300).

P. 221. Pigafetta, _Voyage round the World_ (= Pinkerton (1811), vol.
xi. p. 325).

    Wilkes, _U.S. Explor. Exped._ (Philadelphia, 1845), vol. v. p. 52
    (Kingsmill Is.).

    Dampier, _A New Voyage, &c._ (1729), vol. i. p. 298 (Kingsmill Is.,
    and Ladrones).

    Baines, quoted in Wood, _Nat. Hist. of Man_ (London, 1868), vol.
    ii. p. 8.

    Cook, _Voyages_ (London, 1842), vol. i. p. 425.

    Wilkes, l. c., vol. iii. p. 365 (Fiji); ii. p. 151 (Samoa).

P. 222. Wilkes, l. c., vol. iii. p. 365 (Fiji); v. p. 52 (Kingsmill).

P. 223. De Guignes, _Voyages à Peking, Manille, et l’Ile de France_
(Paris, 1808), vol. iii. p. 402.

    Dampier, _A New Voyage round the World_ (London, 1729), pp. 298-300.

    Symes, _An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava_ in 1795
    (London, 1800), p. 223 (= Pinkerton (1811), vol. ix. p. 455).

P. 226. Wilson, _Prehistoric Man_ (London, 1862), vol. i. p. 175.

    Lahontan, _New Voyage to North America_ (London, 1735), vol. i. p.

    Lloyd, _Journ. Anthrop. Inst._, vol. iv. p. 28.

P. 227. Wilkinson (Birch), _Manners and Customs of the Ancient
Egyptians_ (3rd ed., London, 1878), vol. ii. p. 219.

Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press by HORACE HART, M.A.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note

Illustrations have been moved next to the text which they illustrate.

The following apparent mistakes have been corrected:

p. xvi "parodoxical" changed to "paradoxical"

p. 35 "haves hown" changed to "have shown"

p. 46 "which I I am" changed to "which I am"

p. 51 "which they resemble." changed to "which they resemble.[19]"

p. 56 (note) "172-80" changed to "172-80."

p. 62 (note) "DC." changed to "D.C."

p. 76 "glaves" changed to "glaives"


p. 158 "Pescheira" changed to "Peschiera"

p. 172 "the Caucasus:" changed to "the Caucasus;"

p. 186 (note) "The former" changed to "The latter"

p. 198 "mats’." changed to "mats.’"

p. 198 "persons’." changed to "persons.’"

p. 214 "Bagdad" changed to "Baghdad"

The following possible mistakes have been left as printed:

p. 31 use it.

p. 72 (1846), vol. ii. 1. p.

The following are used inconsistently in the text:

blowpipe and blow-pipe

Butan and Bootan

cocoa-nut and coco-nut

firearms and fire-arms

gipsies and Gipsies

pl. and Pl.

sheepskin and sheep-skin

shipbuilding and ship-building

wickerwork and wicker-work

Inconsistent punctuation in plates XV and XVI has been retained.

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