Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/22

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

rine mollusks—the oyster, cockle, mussel, and periwinkle being the most common. Scattered through, this mass of shells are bones of mammals, birds, and fishes, fragments of rude pottery, PSM V47 D022 Sophius Muller.jpgFig. 3.—Sophius Müller. flint flakes, an occasional implement of bone, or a roughly chipped axe or knife of flint. Here and there are to be seen signs of fires. The word kjoekkenmoedden means a kitchen-refuse heap, and that is just what we have. These "kitchen middens" are old camp sites. Here men once lived. These shells and bones are refuse from their meals; these bits of pottery are parts of their dishes; these flint and bone tools were lost or discarded by the earliest Danes. Although living mainly upon mollusks, the man of the shell heaps was also a hunter. We have referred to bones of beasts and birds in the heaps. The eminent zoölogist Prof. Steenstrup, still living though now a very old man, carefully studied the "kitchen middens." He made an estimate of the frequency of bones in the heaps; each cubic foot contains ten to twelve bones of birds and mammals. It will easily be seen that the number of individuals represented in a large heap is really very great. The mammals found most frequently are the stag, reindeer, and wild boar. The relics from the shell heaps are of very rude workmanship. Flint flakes (Fig. 4) are common; a little chipping

PSM V47 D022 Flint flake.jpg
Fig. 4.—Flake. Flint.

makes one of these into an axe, a knife, a saw, or an adze (Figs. 5 and 6). Occasionally little broad-edged chipped flints are found (Fig. 7). The type is one found in other parts of Europe, and it has given rise to considerable discussion among archæologists. There can be little doubt, however, that they are really blunt--