Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/138

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They dressed chiefly in skins, but they also made a rough cloth of flax. Fragments of that flaxen cloth have been discovered. Their nets were made of flax; they had as yet no knowledge of hemp and hempen rope. With the coming of bronze, their pins and ornaments increased in number. There is reason to believe they set great store upon their hair, wearing it in large shocks with pins of bone and afterwards of metal. To judge from the absence of realistic carvings or engravings or paintings, they either did not decorate their garments or decorated them with plaids, spots, interlacing designs, or similar conventional ornament. Before the coming of bronze there is no evidence of stools or tables; the Neolithic people probably squatted on their clay floors. There were no cats in these lake dwellings; no mice or rats had yet adapted themselves to human dwellings; the cluck of the hen was not as yet added to the sounds of human life, nor the domestic egg to its diet.[1]

The chief tool and weapon of Neolithic man was his axe; his next the bow and arrow. His arrow heads were of flint, beautifully made, and he lashed them tightly to their shafts. Probably he prepared the ground for his sowing with a pole, or a pole upon which he had stuck a stag's horn. Fish he hooked or harpooned. These implements no doubt stood about in the interior of the house, from the walls of which hung his fowling-nets. On the floor, which was of clay or trodden cow-dung (after the fashion of hut floors in India to-day), stood pots and jars and woven baskets containing grain, milk, and such-like food. Some of the pots and pans hung by rope loops to the walls. At one end of the room, and helping to keep it warm in winter by their animal heat, stabled the beasts. The children took the cows and goats out to graze, and brought them in at night before the wolves and bears came prowling.

  1. Poultry and hens' eggs were late additions to the human cuisine, in spite of the large part they now play in our dietary. The hen is not mentioned in the Old Testament (but note the allusion to an egg, Job vi, 6) nor by Homer. Up to about 1500 b.c. the only fowls in the world were jungle denizens in India and Burmah. The crowing of jungle cocks is noted by Glasfurd in his admirable accounts of tiger shooting as the invariable preliminary of dawn in the Indian jungle. Probably poultry were first domesticated in Burmah. They got to China, according to the records, only about 1100 b.c. They reached Greece via Persia before the time of Socrates. In the New Testament the crowing of the cock reproaches Peter for his desertion of the Master.