Page:Primitive Culture Vol 1.djvu/78

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habitable earth. The examination of district after district of the world has now all but established a universal rule that the Stone Age (bone or shell being the occasional substitutes for stone) underlies the Metal Age everywhere. Even the districts famed in history as seats of ancient civilization show, like other regions, their traces of a yet more archaic Stone Age. Asia Minor, Egypt, Palestine, India, China, furnish evidence from actual specimens, historical mentions, and survivals, which demonstrate the former prevalence of conditions of society which have their analogues among modern savage tribes.[1] The Duke of Argyll, in his 'Primeval Man,' while admitting the Drift implements as having been the ice hatchets and rude knives of low tribes of men inhabiting Europe toward the end of the Glacial Period, concludes thence 'that it would be about as safe to argue from these implements as to the condition of Man at that time in the countries of his Primeval Home, as it would be in our own day to argue from the habits and arts of the Eskimo as to the state of civilization in London or in Paris.'[2] The progress of Archæology for years past, however, has been continually cutting away the ground on which such an argument as this can stand, till now it is all but utterly driven off the field. Where now is the district of the earth that can be pointed to as the 'Primeval Home' of Man, and that does not show by rude stone implements buried in its soil the savage condition of its former inhabitants? There is scarcely a known province of the world of which we cannot say certainly, savages once dwelt here, and if in such a case an ethnologist asserts that these savages were the descendants or successors of a civilized nation, the burden of proof lies on him. Again, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age belong in great measure to history, but their relation to the Stone Age proves the soundness of the judgement of Lucretius, when, attaching experience of the present to memory and

  1. See 'Early History of Mankind,' 2nd ed. chap. viii.
  2. Argyll, 'Primeval Man,' p. 129.