Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/132

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108
THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY

olution in weapons and implements; but it did not suffice to change the general character of men's surroundings. Much the same daily life that was being led by the more settled Neolithic men 10,000 years ago was being led by peasants in out-of-the-way places all over Europe at the beginning of the eighteenth century.[1]

People talk of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age in Europe, but it is misleading to put these ages as if they were of equal importance in history. Much truer is it to say that there was:

(1) An Early Palæolithic Age, of vast duration; (2) a Later Palæolithic Age, that lasted not a tithe of the time; and (3) the Age of Cultivation, the age of the white men in Europe, which began 10,000 or at most 12,000 years ago, of which the Neolithic Period was the beginning, and which is still going on.

 

§ 2

We do not know yet the region in which the ancestors of the white and whitish Neolithic peoples worked their way up from the Palæolithic stage of human development. Probably it was somewhere about south-western Asia, or in some region now submerged beneath the Mediterranean Sea or the Indian Ocean, that, while the Neanderthal men still lived their hard lives in the bleak climate of a glaciated Europe, the ancestors of the white men developed the rude arts of their Later Palæolithic period. But they do not seem to have developed the artistic skill of their more northerly kindred, the European Later Palæolithic races. And through the hundred centuries or so while Reindeer Men were living under comparatively unprogressive conditions upon the steppes of France, Germany, and Spain, these more-favoured and progressive people to the south were mastering agriculture, learning to develop their appliances, taming the dog, domesticating cattle, and, as the climate to the north mitigated and the

    east Europe sporadically in the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty. This must be distinguished from the copious useful iron which appears in Greece much later from the North. — J. L. M.

  1. People were probably healthier and longer lived in the Bronze than in the Neolithic age. The disparity of stature between male and female was much less. — G. Wh.