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animals. This alone would show that these erections are not old. But we have historical evidence that they were used as late as between the ninth and fourteenth centuries. They do not bear therefore upon the question of the antiquity of the European population.'
Some other prehistoric remains of a different kind have been found on the northern coast of Denmark; these are heaps of shells which lie some feet above the present level of the sea, and are 3, 5, and sometimes 10 feet high, 1000 feet long, and from 150 to 200 broad. These are not natural shell banks formed at a time when the level of the sea was higher; for we find only a few kinds of shells, all of full size, and species are intermingled which do not live at the same depth in the sea. Besides, the shells are mixed up with the bones of animals, rough stone implements, coarse pottery, charcoal, and ashes. These things were evidently left by men who lived here, and who threw together the shells of the shellfish they had eaten, the gnawed bones of animals and other refuse. Northern savants have therefore very properly called these heaps Kjökken-möddings, Kitchen middens. No human bones have been found in them. The shells are those of still existing shell-fish, and the bones those of still existing mammals and birds. The heaps therefore belong to the recent period.?
We cannot ascertain what is the exact age of the kitchen middens. Lyell and others think that they must be very old, because the oysters and other shells are not so numerous or so large now in the Baltic as they seem to have been formerly, and the cause of this is supposed to be the decrease of salt in the Baltic, which is produced by the gradual narrowing of the inlets which connect it with the salt Atlantic Ocean. The kitchen middens therefore are the product of a time when these narrow parts of the sea allowed more salt water to pass in, and this must be a long time ago. But it is impossible to calculate how long ago. Vogt will not allow that this argument of Lyell's is valid. He says that the diminution in the saltness of the Baltic would not explain the diminution in the shells; the Romans succeeded in transplanting oysters to the sweet-water lakes near Naples, and the cockles and mussels, whose shells are also found in the kitchen middens, flourish in brackish water, and even in waters which periodically become quite sweet. The reason for the diminution of these shell-fish must therefore be found elsewhere. Vogt thinks that it is to be found in the slow alteration and transformation of the sea-bed; this has been shown to be the case with the oyster beds, and is principally caused by animals which overgrow the oyster beds and gradually destroy them.
1 Cf. Edin. Rev. July 1862, p. 173. Ausland, 1862, p. 994. Pallmann, Die Pfahlbauten, p. 53.
2 Vogt, Vorlesungen, ii. 112. Büchner, Die Stellung des Menschen, p. 53. Similar heaps have been found in France, North America, and Brazil : Archiv für Anthr. ii. 321, uji. 153, 161.
3 Cf. O. Schmidt in the Oesterr. Wochenschrift, 1863, ii. 387.
Vogt observes that the black-cock is one of the birds whose bones are found, and observes that this bird no longer exists in Denmark, because the pines, whose young shoots form its principal food in spring, are no longer found there. Therefore the kitchen middens must date from a time when the pine was very common in Denmark. I am not enough either of an ornitho
i See above, p. 292.
logist or of a sportsman to say with certainty whether black-cock cannot live without pine shoots. But it does not sound very probable; at least in my old home, when I was young, there were fewer pines and more black-cock than there are now, as the former have heen largely planted, and the latter have been decimated by sportsmen.
As in the kitchen middens and lake dwellings, we can also ascertain from the remains in the bone caves and other places what was the food of men in ancient times. The implements show what kinds of tools they made and used, the graves how they buried their dead. So that in this way we can collect materials for the history of the culture of the earliest centuries in which Central Europe was inhabited. After all I have already said, I need hardly repeat my warning not to believe everything stated in popular books and pamphlets
very definite conclusions from very uncertain premises, and to found general descriptions on single observations. Because occasionally skulls of oval form, and bronze swords with small handles have been found in graves, it is said that the people who lived during the bronze age belonged to the races with oval skulls, had small hands, and were therefore of small stature. Such general statements are, of course, soon seen to be arbitrary, as on further search round skulls and swords with large handles are found.
There is another error into which people are apt to fall in this matter. The descriptions given by travellers of so-called savage races are often without further ado transferred to the so-called prehistoric races. No doubt
in the lower stages of civilisation the ancient races resembled the present uncivilised races in many ways; they made implements of stone, horn, wood, they lived by hunting and fishing, etc. So that an examination of the conditions of the present savage races may be of great use in giving us some idea of some aspects of the life of the ancient inhabitants of Central Europe ; we can, for instance, gather what was the use of certain implements, how they were made and handled, and so on. But, apart from such points, it is arbitrary simply to transfer all the conditions which are now found amongst savage races to the so-called prehistoric peoples. And yet in descriptions of what is called primæval history, we often find statements as to the religious beliefs, the morals, and social arrangements of men in the stone and bronze ages, which are based simply on travellers' accounts of the Fiji islanders, Hottentots, etc. For these things cannot be ascertained from stone implements and the bones of animals. It is still worse, as I have already said, to arrange the present savage races in a series, beginning with the most barbarous and ending with the most cultivated, and then to transfer this series to primæval times, so that the most barbarous are given as the type of the oldest races, that is, the men of the so-called palæolithic or tertiary age, the rather more cultivated as the type of the men of the neolithic or mammoth age, etc. There is no need to prove that such a proceeding cannot be called scientific. And it is plain from such descriptions as these, that primæval history is still a very young science. As inquiry proceeds, these
1 Cf. Archiv für Anthr. viii. 271. 2 See above, p. 176.
early theories will be cast off, criticism will be more freely used, and greater soberness and reticence will prevail.
A passage in a paper in the Archiv für Anthropologie, from which I have on different occasions quoted with approval, will show us how ingenuously people still write about primæval history. The author says quite naturally, “ In deciding what is the relative age of deposits and their contents, we are sometimes guided by the doctrine of the progressive development of organisms. In consequence of this the Neanderthal skull is supposed to be older than the Engis skull. And this is confirmed by the fact that the latter in its general shape much resembles several skulls found in old German or Celtic burying-places, but that up to this time no human skull has been found which can be compared to the Neanderthal skull. At any rate it shows a much lower organization than do the human remains found in the quaternary strata. Considering these facts, may we not hazard the hypothesis that in the Neanderthal skull we have the type of the man of the tertiary period ?” A single incompletely preserved skull, whose age cannot be accurately ascertained, and which is probably a diseased formation, is to represent the earliest form of skull, simply because it bears out the theory that man has developed from a pithecoid form.
One more example. It is well known that some of the most barbarous races are cannibals. Now, as according to the theory I have mentioned the first men must have resembled the most barbarous savages, it would not be surprising, says, for instance, Le Hon," 1 Archiv für Anthr. v. 118. ? See above, p. 149. 3 L'homme fossils, p. 48.