Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/324

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taken from the Lakes of Bienne and Neufchâtel, and makes the number 19,600, more than 5,000 of which are in his own collection.

The wealth of the Proto-Helvetians, as Dr. Gross happily calls them, so manifest in the bronze age, was also as real, though less evident, in the stone age. I come to this conclusion from the presence in the ruins of that period of some classes of objects that could have reached the country only by means of a very extensive commerce. Amber was brought to them from the shores of the Baltic Sea, and rare stones of very precious qualities, from which they made their cutting-tools, came to them from still farther; nephrite, a handsome stone, clear, green, and semi-transparent, was brought to them from Turkistan, or Southern Siberia; gray jade-stone came from Burmah; and chloromélanite, a black stone with yellow streaks, also probably came from Asia, but from beds that are still unknown. The lake period was of long duration, and included the whole time in which man rose by successive steps from the primitive stages of civilization in which he was not yet acquainted with metals to the higher stages, when he became acquainted with bronze and then with iron. Whatever a certain German school may say about it, the existence of a bronze age intermediate between the stone age and the iron age is demonstrated. That such a progressive and continuous development took place is proved with strong evidence from the archaeological study of the products of human industry, and appears definitely in the study of the bones of animals gathered in the ruins of the lake-stations. In this respect, the conclusions of M. Studer are as affirmative and demonstrative as were twenty years ago those of M. Rütimeyer.

Dr. Gross distinguishes three successive periods in the stone age: A primitive, earlier period, making a poor showing of coarse potteries and imperfectly worked stones, with no nephrite or other stones of foreign origin. The station of Chavannes, near La Neuveville, is regarded by him as the type of that remote age. A second period exhibits the civilization of the stone age in all its glory. The stone instruments are finely cut, exotic stones are abundant, and the potter's art has reached an advanced degree of perfection. Locras and Latrigen represent this age on the Lake of Bienne. A third period bears evidence of the introduction of metals. The general character of the civilization remains the same as in the preceding age, with the same styles of pottery and the same abundance of stone implements. But the first tools of metal have been imported. At Finels, on the Lake of Bienne, we find copper worked in a manner still quite primitive; and at Mōrigen, in the station of Les Roseaux, we have bronze in the form of very simple hatchets. After this came the fine age of bronze, with its magnificent development of civilization; then, later, iron appeared.

Bronze, the metal chiefly in use in the finest age of the lake civilization, is not indigenous. Neither copper nor tin, the metals which alloyed with each other in proper proportions constitute this metal, is