EARLY MAN woollen homespun in the form of cloaks, caps, leggings and sandals. Personal ornaments consisted of golden beads and earrings, necklaces, bracelets, collars and coronets made of stone, glass, bronze or bone. The graves or sepulchral barrows of this age were generally speak- ing circular in form, and intended for the interment of the cremated remains of only one person, whilst the oval barrows of the neolithic age had been constructed for several interments, and sometimes fur- nished with a central chamber of stone. THE PREHISTORIC IRON AGE The introduction of iron which succeeded the bronze age is closely associated with the appearance in these islands of the Brythons, a race of Celtic language from which the name of the chief island of the group is derived. There are two good reasons which account for the rarity of antiquities of this age. One, which is obvious to all, is the perishable nature of objects composed of iron, and the other is the comparatively short duration of the period when compared with that of the bronze or of the neolithic age. The circumstance however which gives so much interest to everything connected with this period is that it witnessed the origin and partial development of a very remarkable form of decora- tive art, which has received the designation of Late Celtic art. During the bronze age attempts at ornament were feeble and inef- fective, and consisted of little more than circles, pellets, zigzags and parallel lines or dashes. In the Late Celtic art, on the contrary, we find introduced for the first time curved forms of a remarkable and peculiarly elegant character, consisting in the main of spirals and curved trumpet-shaped forms, the origin of which is involved in some obscurity, but may perhaps have been derived originally from natural foliage. This form of art survived long after the appearance of the Romans in Britain, upon whom it exercised considerable influence, and indeed it survived as a living art during the pagan times of Britain. 1 Surrey has furnished but few examples of Late Celtic art. Among a number of enamelled bronze objects found at Farley Heath, and described some years ago by Mr. Martin F. Tupper, 2 was a fibula, 3 inches in length, of the safety-pin type which is probably of late Celtic workmanship. Other objects found at the same . ,, r j Hi- i i_ i LATE CELTIC FlBULA > FARLEY place included enamelled circular fibulae and two HEATH (two views). enamelled four-legged stands, which are now in the British Museum. These however are probably of the Roman period. During the prehistoric iron age of course iron was in general use, but bronze was used for ornaments, and it is not improbable that some 1 Charles H. Read, F.S.A., Parliamentary Return en Celtic Ornaments found in Ireland (1899), p. 8 ; and Mr. Arthur Evans's Monographs. ' Farley Heath : A Record of its Roman Remains and other Antiquities (1850), p. 25. 247
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/301
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.