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thing which could be saved from total de- used for a hearth, a heap of corn and a struction by being packed in the peat mealing-stone to grind it on, a store of which was slowly growing and enclosing it flax with bits of made cloth, and the clayduring the whole history of the place. weights which were all that remained of the The unhewn trunks or hewn boards of the simple loom. To map out the settlement platform fell in if they were not burnt, and in this way is, of course, a task requirlie there still, showing how they were made ing endless care and patience; but Robenfast above to the tops of the piles with hausen has been very fortunate in its prowooden pins. From each hut rubbish and prietor and explorer. For the last ten lost articles were dropped into the water, years since he discovered the place, almost till the remains of the hut itself came down as soon as lake dwellings were thought of, on top. This natural museum forms the Herr Messikomer has been excavating, so-called 'relic-bed,' which is simply the preserving specimens, trying experiments lower level of peat upon the lake-bottom. to realise the savage arts of the former Scoop up a shovelful of it and examine its owners of his estate - qualifying himself, contents. Lumps of a kind of soppy clay in fact, for life in a primæval Stone Age. are the remains of the compo,' as a build- It must really have been a shock to him er would call it, with which the platform when he had the misfortune of finding cerwas thickly plastered. Bits of charcoal tain earthen crucibles, with lumps of meltare everywhere, and it is not to be sup-ed bronze in them, which showed that even posed that they came from the fire-places at Robenhausen primitive simplicity had above, for only ashes are ever thrown away not held out quite to the end. But no from a wood-fire; they must always indi- bronze implement has been found, so that cate the remains of wood-work that has while these melting-pots clearly show the been burnt down. Sherds of pottery, of first appearance of an Age of Bronze, it course unglazed, but of tolerable quality, may, at least, be argued that the settlecome up in abundance; there is no end of ment scarcely survived the intrusion. the fish-scales and nut-shells; and bones are found by tons, dexterously broken in to get at the marrow. But as Herr Messikomer began to explore, foot by foot, this great rubbish-field, he became aware that these things are not mixed indiscriminately. The contents of each dwelling lie under it: here was a granary, and it was full of corn when it was burnt down, for the charred grains of barley may be scooped up by handfuls, and if you are fortunate you may even secure perfect ears with the beard on; and here was a flax-store, for there is the flax in hanks of spun thread, and in cords, nets, and plaited or woven cloth, and hard by are numbers of the earthenware cones which served for the weaver's loomweights. It used to be thought that the lake-dwellers must have kept their cows and pigs, sheep and goats, in secure pens on shore; but here it was clearly made out, for the first time, that the cattle were kept out in the lake, for their stalls are marked among the huts by the mass of stable-refuse, and there is even some reason to think that the natives gathered it into lived long enough in their new huts for a manure heaps to carry to their fields. In bed of peat, three feet thick, to grow up one spot the places and sizes of six sepa- beneath them, full of meat-bones and potrate huts were marked out, not by the sherds. Then a destruction like the first posts or siding-boards of the huts them- took place, and the charred heads of the selves for these were no longer to be piles remain to show how the settlement distinguished but by finding in each of was burnt to the water's edge, while again six places, at equal distances, a set of re- the layer of charcoal, with the usual mains evidently belonging to a separate relics of corn and fruit, cloth and imestablishment, namely, the great stones plements, mark the extent of the burnt vil
As far as topography and other material details go, the history of the place may be made out with the most curious accuracy. Herr Messikomer, excavating at the edge of the Aa Brook Canal, found a state of things which at first puzzled him extremely. Below three feet of peat he came upon the remains of the earthen flooring of the lake-platform, with bits of cloth, charred apples, and such things, among it; but below this the peat began again, and lay for two or three feet above another bed of flooring and remains. At last he came upon a clear section farther on, and found evidence of three settlements, one above another. The first settlers had driven piles in the shell-marl of the lake-bottom; but before very long their village was burnt down, leaving a bed of bits of charcoal, mixed with grains of wheat and barley, bits of thread and cloth and fishingnets, all charred likewise by the fire, and thus in beautiful preservation for antiquarian purposes. The inhabitants set to work again, drove piles in great numbers, and
lage. When it was renewed for the third scarcely any geographical change has haptime, the builders had left off using stems pened since the time when the settlements. of fir-trees for their piles, and had taken were inhabited, in many places -- in the to splitting oak trunks instead; and such a Lake of Geneva, for instance - the remains depth of mixed peat and rubbish had ac- of the piles may be still discerned under cumulated on the spot since the days of the water, standing as they always stood, and first inhabitants, that these last ones sim- sometimes still five or six feet high from the ply drove their piles far enough into it, ground. Among these piles, strange to not reaching the ground of the lake at all. say, there lie bones, and potsherds, and This new settlement only covered a part weapons on the lake-bottom, just as they of the old site; but it was long inhabited, were dropped so many centuries ago, and and, unlike the others, it was not burnt the antiquary, paddling slowly above the down. It seems, indeed, that the peat had sites of such villages, sees his specimens at last grown so high that the lake became lying and picks them up with a pair of tongs a mere bog, and the settlers abandoned made to work with a cord at the end of a their homes. The peat grew till it reached long pole. How quiet has been their restthe top of the water, and since then the ing-place for ages, we may judge from M. decaying marsh-plants and the dust have Troyon's finding in one place a group of accumulated into the half-foot of mould earthenware fragments and putting them which covers the whole peat-field. This together into a large and complete vase, part is now cut for fuel, and in having it and in another securing a pair of bronze dug in places beyond the limits of the set- bracelets at one haul of the dredge -- one tlement, which were then open lake, greenish and incrusted from having lain on Herr Messikomer made one of the most the lake-bottom in full sight from boats curious of his many acute inferences as to ever since it was dropped, the other sunk the history of his lake-men. In examining far enough into the mud to have remained the peats laid out to dry, it is seen that a as fresh as if but just out of the castingdistinct strip of bog, a few hundred yards mould. It was formerly held a doubtful wide, running north from the settlement, point whether the primitive dwellings were is full of bits of charcoal; but on both really built standing in the water, or whether sides of the strip there is none. Now, the they were not rather huts built on the low deadliest combination of circumstances to lake-banks, and protected by pile-dams a Swiss village is still, as of old, a fire from the flood. But it is now quite clear which happens when the furious south that the huts certainly stood on platforms wind, called the Föhnwind, blows. There on piles in the water, so that the accumuis little help against the conflagration then, lating peat or mud received all that dropped and hardly a town in central Switzerland from them, generation after generation. At has not at one time or another been thus Wangen, on the Lake of Constance, when devastated or utterly destroyed. When the water is low, we can now walk dryshod ancient Robenhausen was burnt -- whether to the furthest piles of the old settlement; the first or the second time we do not but this is because the mould, sand, and know the track of the fierce south wind gravel have accumulated over the spot since that swept the flames from hut to hut is it was founded, so that even when the water still marked by the shower of embers is high part of the village is now on shore. which it carried along northward and But there has been no general shifting of dropped into the muddy lake. level in the lakes of Switzerland since the Elsewhere in Switzerland, in places at time of the lake-men, and often things are the edge of the great lakes, where no peat just as they were. It is so at Morges, grows, the alluvial mud deposited in the where the piles of a considerable settlement quiet bays chosen by the old settlers often are to be seen some 500 feet from the shore, imbeds the remains of their villages. It and 8 or 10 feet below low-water mark: among them lie some of the old timbers, and a dug-out canoe was to be seen halfburied in the mud. If the townspeople would only build there a group of fishermen's huts on piles, such as actually stood in the last century in the Limnat which flows into the Lake of Zürich, we should have the old Morges settlement at once restored to something of its pristine appearance.
so at Meilen, where the first discovery of them was made in excavating the deep mud-flats; and in other places, where the deposit is shallower, the dredging-machine travelling over the muddy bottom of the lakes still brings up remains in great quantities, though unfortunately much damaged in the process. On such ground the antiquary works with gentler means, dragging a toothed scraper from his boat and bringing up the mud in scoops. Where
In these old hut-platforms we see before
stormy waves of a great lake, which would have swept away their solid woodwork while passing harmlessly through open lines of piles.
It is out in wider lakes that we find the ancient builders constructing themselves settlements which correspond to our modern breakwaters, such as those of Portland Harbour or Falmouth Docks. They drove piles in the lake-bottom, and then proceeded to drop heavy stones among them from boats or rafts, till the piles stood firmly imbedded in a solid stone island. They probably found it easier to raise the bottom round the piles, than to drive the piles into the bottom. Such stone-hillocks under water are not uncommon in Switzerland, and the fishermen call them steinbergs. There is a fine one in the Bielersee, which lies seven or eight feet under
us the rude and early type of structures in common use in our wooden piers and bridges, in the pile-built houses of the Low Countries, or of the dismal flats of the lower Mississippi, where the inhabitants cross to their outbuildings on pile-bridges, and talk of the high land when they mean a mud-bank four feet above highwater mark. But the lacustrine dwellings of early Europe show also types of two other constructions still carried on in modern times. One of these is the fascinework used so successfully by Stephenson in making his railway across the quaking Chat Moss by laying brushwood and faggots, and as the bog swallowed them up, laying yet more and more, till at last they bore their load. Under similar circumstances the ancient inhabitants of the little swampy Moosseedorf, near Berne, appear to have made their communication with the water, covering two or three acres of shore by a road of piled faggots whose ground; and the piles are still to be seen trace is still marked by the remains of cross projecting from it. Of course such a vast branches lying in the peat. But they some-structure as this could not pass unnoticed; times carried out the same idea on a large but Roman remains are found not far off, scale, and this in early Stone Age times. and till Swiss antiquaries became alive to At Niederwyl, near Frauenfeld, there have the existence of their ancient lake-men, been found the wonderfully perfect ruins these piles were thought to belong to some of an island of timber and faggots, built up Roman work. But the place is, in fact, an from the bottom of a little boggy lake, immense Bronze-Age settlement, full of since grown into a peat-moor. The com- the most interesting remains. The stones mon pile-construction would not have an- which form the great mound are waterswered here, for the piles would have given worn boulders of quartz and granite, sideways, or quite sunk in the soft, swampy brought with great labour from the heights ground, under the heavy pressure of the above Nidau, while at St. Peter's Island, a huts; and they were therefore only driven little way off, where there is another steinin small numbers to serve as a framework berg, a canoe fifty feet long and three or and binding for beds of sticks and brush- four feet wide, hollowed from a single wood, which were sunk into their places by trunk, was found at the bottom, freighted layers of sand and gravel laid on the top with stones for banking up the piles: no of each; and thus the wooden and earthen doubt it had been overloaded and had layers alternated throughout the pile to the sunk there. In the Lake of Neufchâtel is surface of the water. On this artificial another steinberg, that of Marin, which island the builders framed a solid structure contains in vast quantities the relics of an of logs, and covered the whole with a rude Iron-Age settlement: such as above fifty board-platform. On this platform stood iron swords, some with their sheaths, iron the huts, and the stumps of their side-posts lance-heads, shield-plates, hatchets and were found, with even the skirting-boards clasps in profusion, and even a linch-pin which formed the lowest part of the side and a couple of snaffle-bits. walls. No doubt we have in the drawings of this platform, as it first came to light, a representation of what the ordinary platform on piles would have looked like. The thick earthen floor, laid to keep out the damp, was still there, and even the very hearth-stones were in their places on the ground-floor of the huts as when they were deserted. These fascine-settlements were not so common as those supported on piles; in fact, though suited to the peculiar circumstances of a small and swampy pool, they would not have stood against the
From such Swiss constructions as these we pass naturally to the stockaded islands of Scotland. The crannogs proper, as Mr. Stuart calls them in his account contributed to Mr. Lee's work, combine in a very curious way both the Swiss types, the fascineisland, and the steinberg. A double enclosure of piles of young oak-trees was set up in the lake-bed; the outer palisade to serve as breakwater and fortification, the inner to form the wall of the artificial island, which was made by sinking logs in the bed of the lake, and heaping on the wood a
mass of earth and stones. But the group of crannogs of Loch Dowalton in Wigtonshire, when left exposed by the drainage of the lake, proved to be even more exactly like the fascine-islands of Niederwyl and Wauwyl, for their surface of stones rested on layers of brushwood, logs, and stones, down to the lowest stratum of fern spread on the bottom of the loch. In Ireland and Scotland together there are near a hundred crannogs known, but in the Irish ones it was usual to take advantage of a natural island, and to complete it by palisades and heaps of stones, into a strong and habitable fortress.
and kill their bears and eat them. The enemies against whom the lake settlements were built as fastnesses were not bears, but men.
What were the motives that have induced men in so many different places to go out and build their damp and inconvenient abodes in lakes? It is obvious that the main reason which accounts for the existence of houses on piles all over the world does not hold here. The ancient Swiss were not driven by floods to build their huts on high scaffolds, like the Guaranis of the Orinoco, whose fires Sir Walter Raleigh saw gleaming high up among the trees, or like the Burmese, through whose hamlets the traveller in the rainy season passes in his boat. Again, it was held for years, and by some of the ablest Swiss archæologists, that fear of wild beasts was one reason which drove the old inhabitants to live out in the lake; but the notion is untenable.* The lakedwellers belong to a comparatively recent period in Europe; the mammoth, the cavetiger, and the hyæna, were no longer in the land, as in the days of the earlier and ruder cave-men. Their wild beasts were only the bear, the wolf, and the fox, though no doubt the country swarmed with these. But the notion of people living in the water to be out of the way of bears or wolves, is an undeserved slur upon the lowest savage. A bear is, indeed, an ugly antagonist, especially to hunters whose best weapons are but stone-pointed spears and arrows; yet though savages may shrink from even mentioning his dreaded name, call him Grandpapa' to propitiate him, ask pardon of his dead carcase, or even put the pipe of peace into his mouth to engage it to take no vengeance, nevertheless between hunger and hatred they get the better of their fears,
Though the arts of fortification and siege have now taken up means so much more effective than in past times, we can see that in old days such fortresses as the 'Moat' at Eyteham, which was built in Edward the Second's time, with its walls rising sheer from the water, or Leeds Castle, on its three little lake islands joined by draw-bridges, must have been places of great strength. So the stockaded islands of the Irish lakes were the ordinary strongholds of the country from old up to almost modern times. Thus, to quote but one of many records, even in 1567 the official report of one Thomas Phettiplace describes O'Neil as not trusting to his castles for safety, for that fortification which he only dependeth upon is in sartin ffreshwater loghes in his country, which from the sea there come neither ship nor boat to approach them, which islands hath in wars to fore been attempted, and now of late again by the Lord Deputy there, Sir Harry Sydney, which, for want of means for safe conduct upon the water it hath not prevailed.' Convenience of fishing and boating has, no doubt, in some cases induced people to build houses in the water; but, on the whole, the evidence as to lake settlements converges to the opinion that safety from enemies was their main motive. Captain Burton's Iso took to the lagoon to be safe from the King of Dahome. Even in 1810, the Dutch in the East Indies were hard put to it to suppress the rebellion of the native lake-town of Tondano; they were obliged to build boats to carry cannon to reduce the place; and, having succeeded, they never allowed so dangerous a fastness to be rebuilt. How strong the ancient Prasian pile-villages were, comes out very curiously in a remark of Herodotus, who mentions in quite an incidental way that when Darius sent his General Megabyzus to carry off the Paonians, he reached Lake Prasias, but the dwellers in the lake settlements there were among the tribes whom he failed to subdue.
Thus, too, security from attack was clearly the motive of the Swiss lake-men of Robenhausen in driving their herds to stables in the lake, along a mile or more of pier from the pasture-lands of Kempten. Against enemies assailing them with spears and arrows from boats and rafts at a dis
We should have roundly asserted such a thing to be out of the question anywhere, had it not been for recollecting a remark of one Gasparo Balbi, a Venetian jeweller, who was in Pegu in 1583, who accounts for the houses on piles as for safety from tigers. Yet even here the real motive was very likely the annual inundation of the country. Respecting tance, and from storming parties clamberthe pile-dwellings of Lake Maracay bo in South ing up their scaffolds, their position was America, the remarkable statement has been made
that the Indians resort to this aquatic life to escape very strong.
the mosquitoes, which infest the shores.
But it would be interesting whether, like so many savage
pounded in the early days of the lake-investigations, that the piles were the remains of great beaver-villages, the fishermen of Thonon and Evian might have been now telling as matter of history legends of these gigantic beavers, and pointing in confirmation to the supposed remains of their dams still standing in the water. Unless a tradition of lake settlements can be proved to have existed before 1853, the time when the news of the discovered lake dwellings spread throughout Switzerland, we must continue to believe that they were utterly forgotten up to the time when the antiquaries succeeded in re-constructiug something of their annals. These at least touch history at their nearer end, for the latest IronAge villages come down to the GalloRoman period. Backward from this they extend, we know not how far, into a dark and distant past. Their race, and the dates of their occupation, cannot yet be made out with any approach to certainty; yet we find among the ruins of their homes the materials for determining much of the history of their culture. It will be best to give a brief account of this interesting series of facts and arguments, before concluding, with such few and doubting remarks as may be made on their place among European tribes, and their date in the calendar of history.
tribes, the early Swiss had hit upon the de- If science had accepted the theory provice of setting a besieged village in flames from a distance with flights of fire-javelins or arrows. Against such an attack the besieged would have had little chance when the invaders' boats were once in numbers in the lake around them; and very likely the conflagrations, which we know so often devastated the settlements built with such painful perseverance, were frequently the work of hostile hands. M. Le Hon, instead of reproducing Dr. Keller's ideal restoration of a Swiss lake village in peaceful occupation, has chosen for a 'sensational' frontispiece to his work on Fossil Man' the moment of a conflagration in the midst of a raging tempest, with the wretched natives plunging headlong into the lake, or escaping in their canoes. On the whole, we prefer the quieter pictures, which show the natives at their every-day work, fishing, paddling in dug-out canoes, or hanging out their nets. Such drawings give great reality to our ideas of Swiss lake-men, while almost all their details have some sort of evidence to rest on, except, perhaps, the circular huts which are still sometimes represented. M. Troyon cleverly calculated the shape and size of these supposed circular huts, from the curvature of the bits of clay-plastering which had fallen into the water, baked to brick when the wattled huts were burnt down. But his ingenious argument has come to nothing on closer ex- By all who take an interest in the probamination of these irregularly-warped frag- lem whether or not human civilisation is to ments, and it is undervaluing the construc- be considered a product of gradual develtive skill of the lake-dwellers to suppose opment upward from an early savage state them wasting a considerable fraction of the of mankind, it will be seen as a highly implatform-space acquired with such enor-portant fact that the history of the Swiss mous labour, by building circular huts on lake-dwellers is the history of a gradual it instead of the oblong ones usual else- development in civilisation. They make where, and of which remains are actually found at Niederwyl.
their first appearance as thoroughly in the Stone-Age as the South Sea Islanders who We have seen that many lake settlements, planted the iron nails in expectation of such as those now actually inhabited in the reaping a crop of these valuable vegetables. Eastern Archipelago or in Dahome, the At Wangen, or Moosseedorf, or the fascine medieval ones of Ireland or Syria, and the platform of Wauwyl, there has not been more ancient ones still of Lake Prasias, found among the thousands of stone hatchcome within the range of written history. ets, knives, and arrow-heads, any trace of But no history mentions the Swiss lake metal. They must have lived for many dwellings; they were utterly forgotten by centuries in such places as these, with only the people who have since lived on the implements of stone, horn and bone, and shore hard by and paddled day by day over even these often of lower quality than such their sites. There was indeed a paragraph as are found among the modern Maoris or in our newspapers three or four years ago, Caribs. They used the ordinary stonein which a traveller declared that he had flake knives, leather-scrapers, spears, arrowfound on the south side of the lake of Ge- heads, and celts, of savages all over the neva a real tradition that people here once world; at Robenhausen the stone hatchetlived in villages out in the lake. But sto- blade has even been found in its hole in the ries in the form of tradition are hopelessly very wooden club which served as its hanvitiated when they embody, as this does, dle, and at Moosseedorf the little jagged the results of modern scientific opinion. I stone saw was picked up in the worm-eaten