Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/32

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SOCIAL LIFE IN ENGLAND

wine, no tea, no coffee, no butter, no sugar, no potatoes, no eggs, no fowls—food stuffs apt to be popularly considered as essential to life. Nevertheless, the ancient Briton was a man of fine build and strong physique, ever ready to do and dare. True, he was short-lived in comparison with modern man, as he died about the age of fifty-five, but he was longer-lived than his predecessors, who had died for the most part at forty-five: so presumably the conditions of life were already improving.

The ancient Briton wore his hair long and shaggy, the women arranging theirs in shocks or pyramids held together by metal hairpins twenty inches long.

Though the skins of animals may still have clothed a number of the primitive inhabitants of these islands, yet the majority probably dressed in cloaks of wool or garments of linen. Woollen caps, woollen shawls with fringe at the end, and woollen gaiters have been found in graves belonging to this period, suggestive, it has been pointed out, of Dr. Jaeger's modern manufacture. Remains of leather, representing some sort of primitive boots, have likewise been found, together with other interesting relics of the period. Their occupations were more varied than those of their prede-