Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/29

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was also fashioned into ornaments. Gold, too, was known and widely used.

We have emphasized the fact that the dead were buried during the neolithic. At the beginning of the bronze age inhumation

PSM V47 D029 Band of bronze.jpg
Fig. 17.—Band of Bronze.

was also practiced. Stone cists of full size were constructed in many cases; in others very curious coffins, made by splitting oaken tree trunks and then hollowing the two pieces, one into a trough and the other into a cover, were constructed. As time passed cremation was practiced; the ashes were buried in stone cists, which gradually diminished in size until at last they were only about a foot square. In these latter cists the ashes were frequently placed in a vessel of clay. Finally, the cists disappeared, and the clay urn containing the ashes might be simply covered with a flat stone and buried in the ground. As cremation gained and the grave cists diminished in size, the gifts placed with the dead became fewer and less important; real objects were replaced by inferior ones or miniature make-believes. Had we only the PSM V47 D029 Gold cup.jpgFig. 18.—Gold Cup. relics from the graves we would be led to think that art degenerated during the bronze age; but the contrary was really true. The objects found in the peat bogs and elsewhere show an improvement and progress in artistic work.

Certain grave mounds in Jutland have informed us as to the dress of the people of the bronze age. In them were found oaken coffins such as we have described above. In these, wrapped in cow-skin shrouds, have been found the remains of men and women, more or less preserved, with garments and funereal objects almost intact. High woolen caps, with knotted cords all over the outside for ornamentation; wide mantles cut round; mantles of mixed wool and hair; waistbands bound around with a tasseled girdle;