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shoots of the pine-tree. Its bones are found in the kjökkenmöddings; therefore when they were formed Denmark must have been covered with pine-trees! This supposition, it is said, finds corroboration in the peat soil of the country. Deepest down in the moss you meet with pine-trees, above these oaks, and above the oaks beech-trees occur. Here, then, Denmark had its age of pines, then of oaks, and now it has its period of beeches! The men who have left their mark on these heaps must thus have lived at the time when the pine forests covered Denmark—forests which have left clear traces of their presence in the peat of the country. Such inductions scarcely need to be characterized. Suppose our squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) were in a few years to cease from lowland Scotland, as the raven and one or two other birds of prey have done within the last thirty years, and that, after a period of sixty years, its bones should be found in a refuse-heap, into which a knife, a silver spoon, and a cork-screw had found their
An enthusiastic young naturalist having his attention drawn to it, reasons thus:-. “Where our peat-mosses reach a depth of ten feet, I have noticed that, at the bottom of these there are many shells of the hazel-nut, and traces of its wood. Overlying these the silver birch has left its roots and branches buried in the peat, and higher up still the oak is found entombed. Scotland was thus once covered with the hazel, a period of birches succeeded, and then one of oaks. It is, however,” he continues, “a well-ascertained fact that, strictly speaking, the hazel ceased at the time at which the bottom bed of peat was laid down, though it is still to be met with here and there over the country, in localities peculiarly favourable to its continuance. The squirrel, it is well known, subsisted chiefly on the nuts and the tender shoots of the hazel. At what period, then, did it cease over this area ? Happily,” continues the observer,
we can get somewhat near the truth on this question. The rate at which peat soil is formed is about one foot in two hundred years. Here we have ten feet, and in the lowermost layer occur the nuts of the hazel. But the squirrel must have perished at the same time as the general destruction of the hazels. Therefore, as the knife, the spoon, and the screw are found beside the bones, they must be of the same age—they must, say, to keep within the mark, be about two thousand years old !” Yet, on reasoning not a whit more satisfactory, men gravely ask us to renounce all chronology which is not based on such observations.
The only traces of domestic animals met with in these heaps are the bones of the dog. Those of the ox, sheep, goat, and horse, are absent.
This fact is highly suggestive. The time is not long gone by, when the only remains of our domestic animals which would have been found along with traces of man in some of our own colonies, would have been those of the faithful dog. Yet it would have been extreme folly to argue, that these men were ignorant of the use of the ox, sheep, and horse, or that they lived at a period when these animals had not been brought wholly under man's power. The very presence of bits of earthenware in the heaps, indicates that the people had come from a quarter where the industrial arts were cultivated.
I conclude, then, from this review—(1) That the absence from the kjökkenmöddings of articles characteristic of a higher civilization than those are which have been found, does not prove that such did not exist. If the dust-heaps of any of our large towns shall be taken by the followers of Lord Macaulay's chief who is destined to contemplate the ruins of St. Paul's from a broken arch of London Bridge, as supplying evidences of what nineteenth century civilization was, we can only, prospectively, wish the conquerors from the antipodes joy of their discoveries! (2) That the existence of a people using stone weapons is no proof either that they or their fathers had been unacquainted with metals. It only implies that when drifted into localities in which metals could not be found, or, if found, could not be pressed into use, they used stone as a substitute. Illustrations of this might be given from the habits of the South Sea Islanders. While in many cases the islanders use only instruments of stone, the parent tribes on the continent are familiar with the metals. (3) That there is nothing about these heaps suggestive of a higher antiquity to the men who formed them, than has been generally assigned to the tribes whose remains have been discovered in cromlechs and in surface tumuli—an antiquity in nowise at variance with received chronology. (4) That the heaps say nothing touching the question of a plurality of races. A good deal has no doubt been made of certain crania, held by their discoverers to synchronize with the stone instruments of the kjökkenmöddings, and to represent a race contemporary with the extinct animals of pre-glacial times; but the foundation alleged for such suppositions is most unsatisfactory.
3rd. Articles found in Mud at the bottom of Lakes in which Pile Habitations had been erected. The builders of these had, for the sake of security, either from other tribes or from the beasts of then abounded, driven great stakes into the earth below the water, formed a platform on these, and on this built their houses. This plan
is still followed by certain tribes in New Guinea. In the years 1853 and 1854 the dryness of the season caused the waters in the Swiss lakes to fall to a very low level. In mud dredged from the lake of Zurich for industrial purposes, stone implements, the horns of more than one species of deer, artificial stakes, &c. were found. This led to speculation, inquiry, and research. The mud of other lakes was dredged, and similar discoveries made. In the long run, the archæologists concluded—(1) That these were the remains of pile habitations—the Pfahlbauten of the Germans, Habitations lacustres of the French, and the Cranoges of the Irish antiquaries; (2) That the tribes by whom they were raised belonged to the so-called Stone Period, and that a very remote antiquity is to be affirmed of them; (3) That some of them continued down to the Bronze Period.
Grouping the Swiss lakes together, there have been discovered in them thirty-two species of mammals, eighteen species of birds, two of reptiles, and ten species of fishes. The plants found are, two varieties of cereals, one of wheat, the other of barley, nine forest trees, five wild fruit-bearing shrubs, one rush, one reed, flax, and hemp. Great numbers of flint instruments used in the chase and in war have also been obtained. The names of the antiquaries specially associated with these discoveries, are those of MM. Morlot, Troyon, Keller, Jahn, and Uhlmann. The first-named has confidently ventured on the probable age of the periods represented by these implements associated with the traces of the lake habitations. They have been found in positions whose age, he thinks, may be calculated with great certainty; and here is his reckoning :—For the Bronze Period 4000 years, and for the Stone Period 7000 years. Now, suppose we give 2000 years to the Iron Period, which is far below the mark, we would have the startling aggregate of 13,000 years thrust on us, whereas the Scripture chronology of the human period is little more than half of this. Such rash assertions should be brought out of that haze, which to the majority of readers is wrapt around them, by the scientific nomenclature with which they are associated.
Glancing back on these details, there are one or two things of great interest, and highly suggestive, which greatly modify, if they do not wholly set aside, the value of these discoveries as bases for such conclusions :
(1) The custom of building lake habitations is not of such high antiquity as many confidently suppose. In the description given by Herodotus (b. v., c. 16) of the conquests of Darius Hystaspes (Ezra iv. 5, &c.),