Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/812

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stone, as in Fig. 8.[1] The burial-places "thus form a gradual transition from the great grave chambers, and the stone cists with their many skeletons, of the Stone age on the one side, to the insignificant grave with burned bones at the end of the Bronze age on the other." The graves were usually covered with a barrow, and this often contained several stones. The barrows are generally situated upon some height which commands an unimpeded view over the sea or some large lake. Weapons, ornaments, and vessels of earthenware or wood are often found by the remains of the dead.

The author believes, from the evidence of the finds lately made in that land, that the condition of Greece during its Bronze age was in many ways like that of the North during the same stage of its civilization; and that probably Homer's description of the heroic age of Greece would in more than one respect apply to the south of Scandinavia three thousand years ago—"at least if we do not allow our eyes to be dazzled by the poetic shimmer which hangs around the heroes of the Trojan war." But the Bronze age both began and ended in Greece earlier than in the North. There are also other countries in which the Bronze age ended later than in Scandinavia. Of these was Mexico, when the Spaniards entered upon the conquest of it. And yet in many respects, the author remarks, the civilization of the Aztecs was "as high as that of which Europe could boast in the middle ages." He expresses no inference from this remark, but presumably expects us to draw one that the Scandinavians of the Bronze age were possibly not so barbarous as we assume that they were.



THE early voyagers to America, coming from the civilized countries of Europe, were perhaps more surprised at the native inhabitants whom they found than at the broad rivers, boundless forests, or vast plains. The Indians, with their curious customs and various costumes, produced dissimilar impressions upon their different beholders. But all found that the most interesting portions of the reports which they sent back to their homes were the descriptions of the strange people whom they had seen; the report being in some cases accompanied with specimens

  1. In the middle of the bottom of this barrow was a stone cist nearly seven feet long (a), containing an unburned body and a bronze pin. Higher up were found three small stone cists containing burned bones and antiquities of bronze. Close by the little cist at the top of the barrow stood a vessel filled with burned bones, and near the cist, marked b, lay a heap of burned bones, covered only by a flat stone.