Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/265

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VIII. Remarks on the Vitrified Forts of Scotland

By J. Mac Culloch, M.D. F.L.S. Chemist to the Ordnance, and Lecturer on Chemistry at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich.
V. Pr. Geol. Soc.

THE contest about the vitrified forts of Scotland having for some time ceased from an apparent want of new matter, it may be deemed superfluous to revive it by the description of any more of these extraordinary structures. But some appearances which seemed to have been overlooked having occurred to me in examining these works, I thought it might yet be interesting to those who took a part in the former discussion, to receive any additional remarks which might assist in clearing up the points in dispute.

As far as archæology is concerned in the question, I deem it useless to enquire to what æra they are to be referred. That they belong to a people who had not learned the Roman arts is probable, since they contain no calcareous cement. But that this is a certain conclusion I am not inclined to admit, as the knowledge of a simple fact among a savage people does not necessarily imply the power to direct it to use. The ability to detect calcareous stones, the means of quarrying them in certain situations, and the power of transporting them from great distances to places where they do not naturally exist, must have been possessed by these people before they could have directed to any useful purpose this naked truth derived from their conquerors. To instance only those vitrified forts which are found in Galloway. There is no limestone to be pro-