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He does not give this table as strictly correct, the smaller numbers indeed, are, he believes, accurate, but the larger ones might doubtless be increased. For instance, in several places the simple flint-flakes, heavy whetstones, and irregular hammers were not all collected ; again, in many cases no account had been kept of common objects which had been given away. For these and other reasons, the table, striking as it is, is less so than a more accurate one would have been.
Again, it must be remembered that Moosseedorf and Nidau are within fifteen miles of one another, and that the Pont de Thiele and Nidau are on the borders of the same lake.
But it is not only in the presence or absence of bronze that the Pfahlbauten differ from one another; there are many other indications of progress. We cannot expect to find much evidence of this in the implements of bone or stone, because they were gradually replaced by bronze; but, as has already been mentioned, the better forms of stone axe, and those which are perforated, are very rare, or altogether absent in the stone age, none having been found at the Pont de Thiele, at Moosseedorf, or at Wauwyl, and only two at Wangen.
Again, it is not only by the mere presence of bronze, but by the beauty and variety of the articles made out of it, that we are so much struck. In a collection of articles made at any of the stone age settlements, one cannot fail to remark the uniformity which prevails. The wants of the artificers seem to have been few and simple. In the Bronze age all this is altered. We find not only, as before, axes, arrows, and knives, but in addition swords, lances, sickles, earrings. bracelets, pins, rings, and a variety of other articles. Moreover, it is a very remarkable fact, especially when we consider the great, I might say the immense number of bronze celts which are found, that scarcely two of them have been cast in the same mould.
The pottery again tells the same tale. There is no evidence that the potter's wheel was known to the men of the Stone age, while there is proof that it was in use in the Bronze age. Again, the materials of which the Stone age pottery is composed are very rough, and contain large grains of quartz, while that of the Bronze age is much more carefully prepared. The ornaments of the two periods show also a great contrast. In the Stone age they consist of impressions made by the nail, or the finger, and sometimes by a cord twisted round the soft clay. The lines are all straight, or if curved are very irregular, and badly drawn. In the Bronze age all the patterns present in the Stone age are continued, but in addition we find circles and spirals; while imitations of animals and plants are characteristic of the Iron
Here again is a table abstracted from a larger one given by Professor Rutimeyer :-1, represents a single individual ; 2, several individuals; 3, denotes the species which are common; 4, those which are very common; and 5, those which are present in great numbers.
A glance at the table will show that wild animals preponderate in the Stone age of Pfahlbauten at Moosseedorf and Wauwyl, tame ones at the Bronze age settlement of Nidau.
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Thus, then, we see that the distinction between the ages of stone and bronze is by no means confined to the mere presence of metal. Some may consider that the evidence is not yet sufficient to justify any conclusion. Still the nature and execution of the ornaments—the manufacture of the pottery, the presence of the potter's wheel, the greater variety of requirements as evidenced by the greater variety of implements, the indications of more advanced husbandry, the diminution of wild animals and the increase of tame ones—all indicate a higher civilization for the inhabitants of Morges and Nidau, than for those of Moosseedorf and Wauwyl.
The speaker then pointed out, in a few words, the distinctive features of the earlier stone, or drift period. The stone hatchets of this age are invariably left rough, not one out of several thousands which have now been discovered showing any trace of being polished; while
* At first wild, subsequently domesticated.
those of the second stone period, that to which the Swiss Lake-habitations belong, are as invariably ground. Secondly, the greater antiquity of the drift hatchets is indicated by the position in which they are found; and, thirdly, by the remains of extinct mammalia, such as the mammoth and the woolly-haired rhinoceros, with which they are found.
Thus then we can break up the history of the human race in Europe into four more or less well-marked periods. First, the Drift or Mammoth period ; secondly, the later Stone age, to which the Danish Kjökkenmöddings and some of the Swiss Pfahlbauten belong; thirdly, the Bronze age; and fourthly, the Iron age. These four ages will doubtless ere long be again themselves subdivided. Already we may distinguish between a first and a second Iron age ; and the Kjökkenmöddings certainly indicate a less advanced civilization than that represented by the Pfahlbauten. This, however, may possibly be accounted for by their geographical position.
There are two cases in which, by comparing the changes which had taken place since the Roman period with those which have occurred since the later Stone age, an approximate date (of from 5000 to 7000 years) has been obtained for the latter. In both these cases the speaker, having been over the ground, could find no flaw in the argument. Such calculations are, however, very uncertain ; but if they are confirmed by similar ones made elsewhere, they may eventually lead us to something like a correct chronology.
Mr. Lubbock then concluded as follows:
“ History, indeed, will not help us in our difficulty. The record of a nation's life could not be written until the discovery of letters, themselves one of the most marvellous products of human genius. No trace of them has yet been discovered in the Bronze age; but even assuming, which is not impossible, that writing was then discovered, still this carries us back but a single step, and it is evidently as impossible for a nation to record its own origin and the commencement of its civilization, as it would be for any of us to describe from recollection his own birth and infancy.
“Have we, then, no alternative but to give up the past as hopeless ? Is Stonehenge, for instance, never to be anything more to us than an object of ignorant admiration, and is it destined eventually, as it would then perhaps deserve, to be swallowed up by the advancing wave of cultivation ? Must we, in the eloquent words of Palgrave, 'Give it up, that speechless past; whether fact or chronology, doctrine or mythology; whether in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America ; at Thebes or Palenque, on Lycian shore or Salisbury Plain : lost is lost ; gone is gone for ever.'
“Surely this is not so. If, as is becoming more and more probable, the law of causation has held good throughout the history of our world, if nature has remained the same, and the present has always been the natural consequence of the past, then it follows that the past has already written its own history on the present, and the interpretation of the record is a question not of possibility, but of time and perseverance.
“But for the present, we must content ourselves with much humbler results. It is much if the clouds of ignorance are in places clearing away; if from the summit which we occupy we can catch occasional glimpses of the distant past far away beneath our feet.
“So far as these Lake-habitations are concerned, and so far as one short hour would permit, I have endeavoured to give you a faithful account of the discoveries already made, and in doing so have confined myself almost entirely to a simple statement of facts ; fearing, lest perhaps imagination, tempted by opportunity, might lead us away from truth. For imagination is a bad master, though a good servant; and yet it is almost as necessary to progress in science and the arts as heat is to life.
“From the stamped bricks of Assyria to the modern printing-press seems but a step ; and yet mankind hovered on the brink of discovery for more than 3000 years. So again the piles in the Swiss lakes had long been known, objects of antiquity had even been found among them ; yet these were in themselves but barren observations, and have might so remained until now, if the genius of Dr. Keller had not supplied the spark which kindled the dead facts into a living science.
“And yet science is considered by many, perhaps by most of us, as hard, dry, and unpoetical. If the absolute necessity of teaching in our schools some few of the discoveries made in the last 1800 years, is day by day more generally recognized, still it is rather regarded as an evil, than welcomed as a blessing, from the fear lest, in developing the memory, we might tend perhaps to cramp the imagination. Yet science is not only truer, but more sublime than mythology; grander than the disreputable deities of the Greeks, or the old fairy tales of Europe.
“Poets have invented no monsters more wonderful than those which geology has revealed to us. The laws of nature are more powerful and more subtle than any of the genii in the Arabian Nights'; and the philosopher who can place himself in harmony with nature, and avail himself of the opportunities by which he is surrounded, need envy neither Merlin his magic, nor Aladdin his lamp.
“ Can anything be more magnificent than the last triumph of chemistry, when, not content with the conquest of this world, she soars into the heavens, and by means of his own light, analyzes the sun himself? Or turning once more finally, and but for a moment, to our immediate subject, surely his imagination must be dead indeed who feels no emotion at the spectacle of an ancient and long-forgotten people, after slumbering for centuries in the grave of oblivion, rising thus, as it were, to take once more that place which properly belongs to it in the history of the human race.”
[I trust that I may be permitted here to acknowledge the great courtesy which I received from Dr. Keller, Prof. Desor, Col. Schwab,
MM. Forel, Ullmann, and Rochat, and indeed from all the Swiss archæologists. Col. Suter and M. Gilliéron also most kindly gave me an opportunity of examining for myself the Lake-dwellings at Wauwyl and the Pont de Thiele, which they have respectively so well studied. But to M. Morlot my thanks are chiefly due, for having devoted to me a month of his valuable time, and for other acts of kindness too numerous to be specially mentioned.]
GENERAL MONTHLY MEETING,
Monday, March 2, 1863.
WILLIAM POLE, Esq. M.A. F.R.S. Treasurer and Vice-President,
in the Chair.
Edward Atkinson, Esq.
Henry Lainson, Esq. The Rev. Henry Blunt,
Thomas Leckie, M.D. Col. Craven Hildesley Dickens, James Lees, Esq. Frederick William Gingell, Esq. William MoKeand, Esq. Ernest Hart, Esq.
Abraham Pope, Esq. William Hartree, Esq.
John Rivington, Esq. John Hogg, Esq. M.A. F.R.S. John Rutherford Russell, M.D. William Wood Humphry, Esq. John Benjamin Smith, Esq. M.P. William Edward Kilburn, Esq. George S. Trower Esq. were elected Members of the Royal Institution.
The PRESENTS received since the last Meeting were laid on the table, and the thanks of the Members returned for the same: viz.
Brahmans. Edited by Max Müller. Vol. IV. 4to. 1862.
Memoirs. Six Parts. 1859-62. 8vo.
ments Inédits sur l'Histoire de France :
Tome II. 4to. 1861.
(1661-72.) 4to. 1861.