Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/22

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SOCIAL LIFE IN ENGLAND

parts of the world, that we get a picture—half-imaginary, if you like—of the social condition of primitive man in this land, which was then a part of the European Continent. He has many names. He is called Palaeolithic Man, that is. Old Stone Man, or the Cave Man. He was short of stature and heavy of limb. He made his home in a cave where such existed, which afforded him shelter from the rain and a refuge from the wild beasts that shared the country with him. It has been suggested that he must have been a good sportsman, or these very beasts would have exterminated him altogether. His weapons were limited to stone, ivory from the tusks of the mammoth, and bone from the bison and reindeer, whose flesh formed his food. The pre-historic hunt was rather to procure the means of existence than for the pleasure of killing. With his ponderous stone implement, early man slew his beast; with a flint knife, or by means of hot pebbles, he cut up the flesh; he cooked it over his fire, kindled by the friction of sticks, in a vessel of wood or skin. There was no waste, for he scraped the skin inside with a sharpened flint, made a bone needle, and threading it with a reindeer sinew, he stitched for himself a garment for the cold weather. Stringing together