Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/464

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448
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

mony which marks it; and, with the continued militancy that compounds and recompounds social groups, there goes at once the development of political distinctions and the development of ceremonies marking them. And, as we before saw that growing industrialism diminishes the rigor of ceremonial rule, so here we see that it tends to destroy those class-divisions which militancy originates, and to establish others which indicate differences of position consequent on differences of aptitude for the various functions which an industrial society needs.

 
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ORIGIN OF THE PLOW AND WHEEL-CARRIAGE.
By E. B. TYLOR, F. R. S.

THOUGH much has been written on that great engine of civilization, the plow, yet the whole line of evidence as to its development from the simplest and earliest agricultural implements seems never to have been put together, so that I venture to lay before the Anthropological Institute the present notes.

Not only the beginning of agriculture, but the invention of the plow itself, is prehistoric. The plow was known to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, and the very existence of these nations points to previous thousands of years of agricultural life, which alone could have produced such dense, settled, and civilized populations. It was with a sense of what the plow had done for them that the old Egyptians ascribed its invention to Osiris, and the Vedic bards said the Açvins taught its use to Manu, the first man. Many nations have glorified the plow in legend and religion, perhaps never more poetically than where the Hindoos celebrate Sitá, the spouse of Râma, rising brown and beauteous, crowned with corn-ears, from the plowed field; she is herself the furrow {sitâ) personified. Between man's first rude husbandry and this advanced state of tillage lies the long interval which must be filled in by other than historical evidence. What has first to be looked for is hardly the actual invention of planting, which might seem obvious even to rude tribes who never practice it. Every savage is a practical botanist, skilled in the localities and seasons of all useful plants, so that he can scarcely be ignorant that seeds or roots, if put into proper places in the ground, will grow. When low tribes are found not tilling the soil, but living on wild food, as apparently all mankind once did, the reason of the absence of agriculture would seem to be not mere ignorance, but insecurity, roving life, unsuitable climate, want of proper plants, and, in regions where wild fruits are plentiful, sheer idleness and carelessness. On looking into the condition of any known savage tribes, Australians, Andamaners, Botocudos, Fuegians, Esquimaux, there is always one or more of these reasons to account for