Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/23

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15
ARCHÆOLOGY IN DENMARK.

point arrowheads; one Danish specimen has been found still attached to its slender shaft. The pottery fragments from the shell

PSM V47 D023 Knife or scraper.jpg
Fig. 5. — Knife or Scraper. Flint.

heaps are usually small, plain, and very rude and coarse. Bone piercers and combs are found occasionally. All the relics and the conditions of life hinted at by the food supply indicate that the primitive Danes were a low and savage people. Sir John Lubbock reproduces a picture of their life, no doubt very similar to that of the modern Fuegians. He says: "On the low shores of the Danish archipelago dwelt a race of small men, with heavy, overhanging brows, round heads, and faces probably much like those of the present Laplanders; living in tents of skin, they had weapons and implements of stone, bone, horn, and wood. Their food, consisting mainly of shellfish, comprised also fish and game. Probably eating was gorging and marrow was a delicacy. They were not summer visitors, but may likely enough have migrated frequently." (Not literal quotation.)

Yet this savage or barbarous man was not entirely without

PSM V47 D023 Flint axe.jpg
Fig. 6. — Axe. Flint.

brute helpers. Among the mammalian bones in the heaps are those of the dog. Of course, the question arises whether these are the remains of wild dogs hunted as food, or those of domesticated or semi-domesticated dogs living about the settlement. Steenstrup's attempts to answer the question are sufficiently well known. He observed that nearly all the long bones of animals and birds were reduced to shafts, the heads or extremities having disappeared; he observed also that short bones were rare or almost lacking — there being fully twenty or twenty-five long bones for every short one. Struck by these facts, he experimented with dogs, giving them bones to gnaw. He found that they devoured short bones and gnawed the heads off the long bones, leaving the shafts in precisely the condition of those from the shell heaps. He concluded that dogs, at least half tamed, lived around the village and gnawed the bones thrown upon the refuse heaps.

The Danish shell heaps are old. Worsaae estimates that they date to 3000 to 2000 b. c.