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of those who, centuries ago, climbed the hill, thanks to Buxton and its waters, with a vigour unknown before, to offer to God their due thanksgiving for renewed health and strength. St. Anne's does not possess, hanging up on its walls, crutches and other evidences of returned strength (almost miraculous) which were formerly so familiar a sight. But it has a possession just as valuable -the affection for its venerable structure, and still more ancient history, felt by hundreds living in all parts of the country, who have learned within its walls to bestow their gratitude on the real Author of their present health and happiness.
ORNAMENTS OF JET AND CANNEL COAL,
ON CUP-AND-RING MARKINGS,
SLATE WEAPONS, AS CHARACTERISTIC OF THE
BY THE REV. H. J. DUKINFIELD ASTLEY, M.A.
(Read at the Buxton Congress, July 21st, 1899.)
NE of the most interesting, and at the
same time most instructive, facts in anthropology is the universal taste for adornment, personal or otherwise, which exists among human beings. The love of ornament seems to be—if we may use
the phrase—inherent in the human race; the more primitive the race, the more universal it
appears to be. Among savages, and races not far removed from barbarism, this love of ornament is found chiefly characteristic of the men; as civilisation advances, it is relegated more and more to the women, until it becomes almost entirely confined to them. In the primitive stage of culture, man is in the same condition as the lower creatures, and ornaments are used for almost the same purpose.
Among insects and birds the males are adorned with all the colours of the rainbow, while the females are content to array themselves in more sober drabs and browns; so the Red Indian, and the Negro, and the New Zealander, adorns himself with all the bravery he can muster ; while his wife, as the household drudge, has to be content to do the work, and go unadorned. Even down to the last century, among the most civilised nations of Europe, the “beaux” and “macaronis” shone resplendent in gorgeous silks and satins of varied hues, and adorned themselves with jewellery of all kinds. To-day the South African millionaire is content to appear in white shirt-front and black frock coat; gay attire is left to his lacqueys, and gold and diamonds adorn the ample proportions of his comely wife, or display to greater perfection the budding beauties of his fair daughters.
Among primitive races, this love of ornamentation is found sometimes combined with great artistic ability; sometimes it takes forms the most grotesque, and apparently absurd.
It is not my purpose in this Paper to speak of ornaments in the shape of fine clothes, nor of gold-work or jewellery. Dr. Schliemann at Mycenæ and Troy, Dr. Montelius in Scandinavia, Dr. Phené in Britain, and many others, have demonstrated to what perfection of workmanship the primitive artificers bad attained in the latter respect, after the discovery of metals from the Bronze Age downwards; and no modern goldsmith, with all the resources of science, can rival the exquisite torques and bracelets and brooches found in Mycenian, or Scandinavian, or Celtic barrows and graves. I
propose to go a step further back in the history of man's evolutionary progress, and, with the help of examples drawn from races who are at the present time still in the Stone Age, to endeavour to throw some light on the probable age to which certain ornaments and weapons recently discovered, and upon which much discussion has arisen, belong.
back for a moment to the earliest remains of our race: it is well known that in days so remote as those in which the mammoth and the reindeer roamed over the Central Plain of Europe, and extended as far south as to what is now the coast of the Riviera, our Palæolithic ancestors—if they were indeed such, and were not all extinct before Neolithic man appeared upon the scenewere fully possessed of what we cannot but call the artistic instinct. Savages no doubt they were, perhaps cannibals, rather from the oft-recurring lack of food when
game was scarce and agriculture unknown, than from any other cause ; but, like many modern savages, such as the Fijians and others, they were not devoid of intellectual ability and manual skill. There are no personal ornaments remaining from their days, but no one is now ignorant of the remarkable evidences of their art which have been found in the caves of Perigord and the Dordogne in France, and in Switzerland. These consist of drawings of the animals with which they were familiar, executed on bone by means of sharp-pointed flint or bone tools, much in the same way as the modern Esquimaux depicts the objects with which he is familiar. Whether the Palæolothic artist was drawing a mammoth, or a reindeer, or a horse, he did it with wonderful accuracy and attention to detail, and not without spirit. The drawings of a mammoth on a piece of mammoth ivory, and of the naked man and horses' heads, from the cave of La Madeleine, in the Dordogne, of the former of which a cast may be seen in the British Museum, and another of a reindeer feeding, from the grotto of Thayngen, near Schaffhausen, are particularly interesting considering the remote age from which they are derived; for they prove that then, as now, “man was man, and master of his fate."
Between the age of Palaeolithic man and Neolithic man in Western Europe, there is a great gulf fixed. How many centuries elapsed we shall never know, but in the interval the mammoth became extinct, the reindeer migrated to the north, the climate became more temperate, and—most important change of all-Britain became detached from the Continent. All these changes took time, and in the interval all traces of man disappear. Roughly speaking, we may say that in N. Europe Palæolithic man was contemporary with the Fir, Neolithic man with the Oak; and, we may note in passing, Bronze Age man with the Beech, the Alder, and the Ash. Whether any of the older primitive races survived, and became blended with the advancing Neolithic peoples, is, as we
1 One example was found in the Cresswell Crag cave, in Derbyshire, in the seventies, by Prof. Dawkins and the Rev. J. M. Mills. It is a sketch of a horse's head on bone, and is figured in the Professor's books. Up to the present time it is unique in Britain. See figs. 1 and 2.
have seen, doubtful, and indeed hardly probable. Like the mammoth, as the climate changed, they died out ; their modern representatives, though not descendants, have been found in the Esquimaux of North America, and in the now-extinct Tasmanians. The Neolithic races of Western Europe, however, are in one unbroken line with ourselves. They belonged to the Ugrian stock, and their representatives are to be found to-day in peoples so far apart as the Lapps and Finns in Northern Europe, and the Basques in the country on both sides of the Pyrenees; while their blood, although swamped in the advancing tide of Celtic and Teutonic invasion, is still largely intermingled with our own; and, indeed, the inhabitants of South Wales, the Silures of Tacitus, were of almost pure Neolithic race, and their descendants may be seen among the numerous so-called Welshmen who are short, squat, thick-set, long-headed, with straight black hair and dark complexion, and whose whole physique betrays their origin, however proud they may be of their fancied Celtic blood. The length of time during which the Neolithic Age lasted varied much in the different countries of Europe. Greeks and Romans had left it far behind at the dawn of history ; Dr. Montelius dates its close in Scandinavia about 1500 B.C. ; in our islands it probably lasted quite 500 years longer, when the great Celtic immigration began.
It is not my intention to dwell at all upon the state of culture, conditions of life, social progress, tribal arrangements, etc., of man in Neolithic times. Doubtless these differed considerably in different localities, and at the close as compared with the beginning of the period. Though possessed now of a knowledge of agriculture, and capable of doing good work with his beautifully-polished implements of flint or other stone, man was still a savage, or, at any rate, a wild creature; largely dependant on his prowess in hunting for his means of livelihood, and engaged in continual warfare with his neighbours: as is testified by the multitudes of polished stone arrowheads and spearheads which have been found in his settlements.
All this has been described fully in the learned works