Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/723
THE CAVE-DWELLERS OF FRANCE.
proves just nothing, because it proves too much. By parity of reasoning, the Greeks would have gone naked also. But we find in the caves all the necessary outfit of the (Troglodytic) tailor. There are needles of bone and of reindeer-horn, some of them being mere awls, but
others having an eye to hold the thread. Some of these needles were very slender, and a needle-case, made of a bone from a bird, has been found, which might contain several of them. Lartet and Christy discovered the mode of manufacturing these needles. They give an engraving of the metacarpal of a horse, having a number of parallel cuttings lengthwise, all executed with a fine saw. The work was incomplete, but it is evident that here we have needles in process of manufacture.
The threads they used were doubtless of various kinds. But did they employ for this purpose vegetable fibres, or fine strips of hide? It is possible, or even probable, that they used both; but this at least is certain, that they made threads, or, at all events, cords, out of tendons. They removed carefully from the members of animals the long tendons, as is shown by the scratches on the bone at the point of insertion.
Needle-work implies clothing, not simply that primitive garment which consists of an animal's skin thrown over the shoulders, but a more complete vesture, made up of sundry skins. The quantity of needles and awls, and of scrapers for preparing skins for use, which we meet with in the caves, shows that the use of clothing was general among our Troglodytes.