Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/24

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
4
SOCIAL LIFE IN ENGLAND

than his predecessor. He brought over with him the animals which are domesticated in England to-day—the dog, the sheep, the cow, and the pig. Instead of the woolly rhinoceros and the curly-tusked mammoth, we find forest and marsh alive with wild boars, reindeer, wolves, and wild cats.

The New Stone Man was far more accomplished than the Old Stone Man. His weapons, though still exclusively of stone, were far more highly finished implements wherewith to kill, the fine polish and thin cutting edge denoting superior skill and intelligence. With these he began to clear the thick forest, and in the clearing to make for himself a dwelling, which was a sort of artificial cave. He dug a pit to a depth of some ten feet below the surface, and covered it with a roof of interlaced sticks plastered together by clay. He entered it by a sort of tunnel sloping down to the floor, which also answered the purpose of chimney.

Near his dwelling he sowed wheat or flax, to be utilised for the rough weaving of those early days. For in these ancient habitations of Neolithic Man have been found stone spinning-whorls, chalk weights to stretch the warp, and long combs to push the woof; two bits of their dresses have been