Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/362

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346
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

all probability through a long succession of ages; and he has shown us so clearly what were their weapons and tools, of which any vestiges remain, and how they were made and used; and has correlated them so accurately, as far as might be, with similar objects found in all quarters of the globe, as well as with those described by classical writers, or in use by modern savages, that in reading his work we know not which most to admire, the industry shown in the collection and examination of such a vast amount of material, or the skill with which the information thus obtained has been methodized and arranged. The book completely exhausts the subject, and will long continue to serve as a perfect manual for the collector, as well as furnishing most useful materials for archaeologists and anthropologists.

Those who are not already somewhat versed in this science will be astonished to learn the infinite variety of uses to which the apparently stubborn and unmanageable rock called flint has been converted. We may, perhaps, doubt if in the very earliest ages it was used for purposes of warfare, and we prefer to give our progenitors the benefit of that doubt, and to believe that those were "golden ages"—times of primitive piety and peace; and that it was only for purposes of husbandry, and the chase, and domestic use, that they worked up the materials found in their plains and valleys. Thus, we find descriptions of celts, or axes for felling trees, or hewing canoes, hoes, threshing-machines—as now used in the East—or perhaps harrows, scrapers for preparing skins, arrows for birds or other "small deer," knives, gouges,

PSM V02 D362 Arrow head.jpg
Fig. 4.—Arrow-head, Isle of Skye.

saws, mullers, or pounding-stones, chisels, hammer-axes or picks, and polishing or grinding stones, of which there must have been great need; nor were the women of the period left destitute of their share of the stony spoil; for we find in these pages descriptions and figures of rings, armlets, amulets, spindle-whorls, pestles, and, in the cave-deposits, needles of bone of admirable workmanship, which might have been, and probably were, drilled by flint-flakes.

As these primitive people have left us no record of their progress in arts and manufactures, and the material evidences bearing on the