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same moss of Hatfield, as well as in that of Kincardine and several others, Roman roads have been found covered to a depth of 8 feet by peat. All the coins, axes, arms, and other utensils found in British and French mosses are also Roman; so that a considerable portion of the European peat bogs are evidently not more ancient than the age of Julius Cæsar. Nor can any vestiges of the ancient forests described by that general along the line of the great Roman way in Britain be discovered, except in the ruined trunks of trees in peat. Deluc ascertained that the very site of the aboriginal forests of Hircinia, Semana, Ardennes, and several others are now occupied by mosses and fens; and a great part of these changes have, with much probability, been attributed to the strict orders given by Severus and other emperors to destroy all the wood in the conquered provinces. Several of the British forests, however, which are now mosses, were cut at different periods by order of the English Parliament, because they harboured wolves or outlaws. Thus the Welsh woods were cut and burnt in the reign of Edward I., as were many of those in Ireland by Henry II. to prevent the natives from harbouring in them and harassing his troops. . . . In June 1747 the body of a woman was found 6 feet deep in a peat moor in the Isle of Axholm in Lincolnshire. . . . In Ireland a human body was dug up, 1 foot deep in gravel, covered with 11 feet of moss."1 In a peat moss at Gröningen, a coin of the time of the Emperor Gordian was found at a depth of 30 feet, and in the lowest part of the peat bogs in the Somme valley, which are
| Principles of Geology, iii. 205. Cf. Nöggerath, Op. cit. p. 24.
30 feet deep, a boat laden with bricks was discovered. At Flensburg, in recent years, Roman remains were found, for instance, bronze shields ornamented with dolphins and heads of Medusa ; these were at a depth of 10 or 11 feet. In one of his books, Lyell reminds us of the important fact, which he has already observed before, that in England and Ireland bogs have burst in historic times, and have emitted great quantities of black mud, which have spread like a stream of lava, and have sometimes overflowed woods and houses, and have covered them with a layer of mud 15 feet thick.
All these details confirm the following observation of Vogt’s.“Even although we may be able to explain tolerably in detail the botanical and chemical formation of peat, we have got no nearer to answering the question as to the rate at which peat grows within a certain time. We do not know in general how long a peat bed of about 1 foot in thickness would take to grow, nor hare we obtained up to the present time any scientific data by means of which we can ascertain the rate of growth in any given time for any single peat moor. A little reflection will tell us beforehand that this growth must be different in different peat moors, and even that it must have varied in a given place at different periods." Consequently peat is of no use as a measure of time, and all the calculations as to the antiquity of man which rest on this, may be unhesitatingly classed as geological fancies.
i Quarterly Review, Oct. 1863, p. 378.
Home and Foreign Review, Oct. 1863, p. 736. 3 Principles of Geology, iii. 208. 4 Archiv fiir Anthr. i. 13.
LAKE DWELLINGS AND OTHER PREHISTORIC
PROBABLY no discovery in archæology or primæval history has attracted so much and such widespread attention as that of the so-called Lake Dwellings. The literature on the subject is already enormous, although the discovery is hardly thirty years old. In order to ascertain how far the lake dwellings can help us in calculating the antiquity of man, we must first shortly recapitulate the facts about them, and in doing this we must separate poetry from fact, and trustworthy observations from arbitrary assumptions.
In January 1854 the water in the lake of Zurich sank lower than it had done for centuries, 1 foot lower than it did in the year 1674, when the water was said to have stood lower than it ever did before. The inhabitants of the shores made use of the large tracts which lay dry for buildings. Amongst others, some landowners at Obermeilen tried to reclaim a piece of land from the lake, by erecting a square of wall in the bed of the lake, and then filling up the walled-in space with earth, which was dug up from the lake bed in two different places. The workmen had first of all to remove a layer of yellowish, grey mud, i} feet thick ; underneath this they found a stratum of black muddy earth from 2 to 3 feet thick. In this stratum im
plements of flint, bone, and horn of different kinds were found, pieces of stags' horns, bones of animals which had been pierced, etc., such as had been fished and dredged up from the bottom of the lake in former years ; also potsherds, nutshells, decayed grass and leaves, and suchlike, lastly the heads of thick wooden piles, of which a great number stood in rows in the ground, 1 to 1ļ feet apart, and which had become so soft that they could easily be cut through with the spade. The schoolmaster of the place called the attention of antiquaries in Zurich to this discovery. The latter, and among them more especially Ferdinard Keller, made wider and more careful investigations, and it was soon discovered that these were the traces and remains of old human dwellings, which had been erected on the piles driven in to the bed of the lake, and which for this reason are called Pfahlbauten, also lake dwellings."
In the course of the next few months the traces of similar dwellings were found in several other Swiss lakes, for instance, in those of Bienne, Neufchatel, Geneva, etc. At the present time about 200 lake dwellings are known to exist in Switzerland, for which many thousand piles have been used. In the course of the next few years the traces of lake dwellings were discovered in other countries, in Southern Germany, in North Italy, in Mecklenburg, Pomerania, etc. For some years they were regularly the fashion. “The lake dwelling fever,” says Lindenschmit, “spread far
1 In French, constructions, stations or habitations lacustres ; in Italian, abitazioni lacustri or palafitte; and from this in French (see Desor), palafittes.
2 Pallmann, Die Pfahlbauten, p. 56. 3 Archiv für Anthr. i. 52.
beyond the antiquaries amongst whom it originated, and reached even into the circles of the bureaucracy, so that the discovery of lake dwellings was recommended and ordered as something affecting the reputation of the country.” At any rate many people supposed that their country was inferior to others, so long as it could not produce the traces of lake dwellings. So far did it go, to give an instance, that a Viennese paper triumphantly announced that Austria was no longer shut out from the ranks of the countries in which lake dwellings had been found, as traces of the latter had been discovered at Olmütz, and that not in a lake, but in a river, a fact which was hitherto unparalleled ; although it was true that no piles had been found, but only several kinds of implements and tools, bones of animals, etc., and a few beams of wood in a horizontal position. This shows that Lindenschmit was not far wrong in saying that in consequence of the general fever some savants suffered from an intermittent weakness of sight and of judgment; a lake dwelling without piles reminds us of Hamlet with the Prince of Denmark omitted.
The Swiss savants Ferdinand Keller, Rütimeyer, Heer, Troyon, Morlot, Desor, and the Germans Hassler, Lindenschmit, Hochstetter, Franz Maurer, Moriz Wagner, Pallmann, and others have taken a leading part in the scientific examination of the lake dwellings, and of the questions to which their discovery gave rise. The following observations are founded on their investigations.
The discovery of the lake dwellings created all the more sensation because not the smallest recollection of their existence had been preserved in Switzer