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The ARCHEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE of ANCIENT BRITISH LAKEDWELLINGS and their relation to ANALOGOUS REMAINS in EUROPE. BY ROBERT MUNRO, M.A., M.D.

It appears to me that the time has now arrived when an effort should be made to interpret the historical value of the antiquities recovered from the sites of ancient lake dwellings, now so numerously discovered and recorded in this country. For the purpose of furthering this object I have prepared a short epitome of the main facts of these discoveries, together with certain inferences which they appear to me to suggest, with the view of eliciting the opinions of members of this Institute, many of whom are particularly competent to deal with the problem. However much variety or novelty may add to the interest attached to such discoveries, it must never be forgotten that their scientific value is to be determined by the extent to which they can be made to enrich our knowledge of the past phases of human civilisation. When we consider that ancient authors are not altogether silent on the habit which prevailed among some races of erecting wooden abodes in lakes and marshes, and that some of the Swiss lake villages were occupied as late as the Roman period, and that frequent references have been made in the Irish annals to stockaded islands, and that a similar custom is found to be still prevalent among some of the ruder races of mankind in various parts of the globe-it is somewhat remarkable that the investigation of these rich repositories of the remains of prehistoric man should have been so long overlooked.

To the late Sir W. R. Wilde we are indebted for the first systematic examination of any of the Irish crannogs. This was as early as 1839, and consequently preceded the discovery of the Swiss lake-dwellings by fifteen years.

The first examined was that of Lagore, in county Meath, full particulars of which are given in the first volume of the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. After this other crannogs were discovered in rapid succession, and it soon became apparent that they existed very generally over the county. When Sir W. R. Wilde published his Catalogue of the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy in 1857, he states that no less than forty-six were known, and adds that he had no doubt that many others would be exposed to view as the drainage of the country advanced, a statement which has been amply verified because every succeeding year has seen an increase to their number.

According to this author crannogs "were not, strictly speaking, artificial islands, but cluans, small islets or shallows of clay or marl in those lakes which were probably dry in summer time,

but submerged in winter. These were enlarged and fortified by piles of oaken timber, and in some cases by stonework. A few were approached by moles or causeways, but, generally speaking, they were completely insulated and only accessible by boat; and it is notable that in almost every instance an ancient canoe was discovered in connection with the crannog. Being thus insulated they afforded secure places of retreat from the attacks of enemies, or were the fastnesses of predatory chiefs or robbers, to which might be conveyed the booty of a marauding excursion, or the product of a cattle raid."

A more recent explorer of Irish crannogs, Mr. W. F. Wakeman, thus writes: "The Irish crannog, great or small, was simply an island, either altogether or in part artificial, strongly staked with piles of oak, pine, yew, alder or other timber, encompassed by rows of palisading (the bases of which now usually remain), behind which the occupier of the hold might defend themselves with advantage against assailants. Within the enclosure were usually one or more log houses, which no doubt afforded shelter to the dwellers during the night time or whenever the state of the weather necessitated a retreat under cover."

As indications of the social economy and industries of the occupiers of these crannogs were found a vast collection of articles made of stone, bone, wood, bronze, and iron; and within the last few years, according to Mr. Wakeman, many fragments of pottery of a similar character to the fictile ware used for mortuary purposes in the prehistoric and pagan period have also been found in some of them.

Soon after the discovery of the Irish crannogs, the attention of archæologists was directed to remains of lake-dwellings in Switzerland. It appears that during the winter of 1853-4 the inhabitants of Ober Meilen, near Zurich, took advantage of the low state of water in the lake to recover portions of the land, which they enclosed with walls, and filled in the space with mud. When the workmen began to excavate, they came upon heads of wooden piles, stone celts, stags' horns, and various kinds of implements. The late Dr. Ferdinand Keller, President of the Antiquarian Society at Zurich, hearing of the discovery, took up the matter with much energy, and after careful investigation of the remains at Ober Meilen, came to the conclusion that the piles had supported a platform, that on this platform huts had been erected, and that, after being inhabited for many centuries, the whole wooden structure had been destroyed by fire.

The discovery at Zurich was almost immediately followed by the discovery of similar structures in the other Swiss lakes. Owing to the vast system of drainage carried on since, there has been a great increase to their number, so that, at the present

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time, it is well ascertained that there was scarcely a sheltered bay in any of the lakes of Switzerland and Central Europe, but contained a lake village. The most common plan adopted by the constructors of these ancient dwellings was to drive numerous piles of wood, sharpened sometimes by fire, sometimes by stone celts, or, in later times, by metal tools, into the mud near the shore of a lake; cross-beams were then laid over the tops of these piles and fastened to them either by mortises or pins of wood, so as to form a platform. In certain cases the interstices between the upright piles were filled with large stones, so as to keep them firmer.

Other erections were made by layers of sticks laid horizontally, one above the other, till they projected above the surface of the water, and thus presented a somewhat solid foundation for the platform. Upright piles here and there p netrated the mass, but rather served the purpose of keeping it together than of giving any support to the platform. These are called fascinedwellings, and occur chiefly in the smaller lakes, and belong, for the most part, to the stone age.

The regular pile-buildings are far more numerous than the fascine-dwellings, but, notwithstanding the simplicity of the structure of the latter, they do not appear to be older than the former, and it is a matter of observation that the civilisation of the fascine-dwellers corresponds with that of the inhabitants of other settlements of the stone age-in fact, no difference has been observed between the earliest and the latest dwellings, except that the latter, as the result of improved tools, were constructed in deeper water.

From the remains found on the sites of these lacustrine villages, it is inferred that their occupiers were acquainted with agriculture, and grew wheat and barley; that they had domesticated animals, such as cats, dogs, pigs, oxen, horses, sheep, and goats; that they used as food, besides the flesh of domesticated and wild animals, fish, milk, corn-meal boiled or baked, hazelnuts, plums, apples, pears, sloes, blackberries, and raspberries; that they were acquainted with the principles of social government and the division of labour; that they made urns and culinary vessels from coarse pottery without a knowledge of the potter's wheel, as well as a variety of implements, weapons, and ornaments, of stone, bone, horn, wood, bronze, and iron; and that they manufactured cloth and ropes from bast and flax by means of looms, and the distaff and spindle. Their clothing consisted of skins of animals sometimes prepared into leather, as well as cloth plaited or woven from flax. Of the kind of huts or buildings erected over the platforms, little is known owing to their complete decay from exposure to sun and rain. They

Gai (No. 1) had two necklaces of string, one of which was black from long use, but the other was newly and neatly made of a whitish fibre twisted evenly round a narrow strip of some red cotton fabric: with this he was willing to part, receiving in exchange a bead necklace I had brought with me.

Dau (No. 2) had no necklace.

Both women had small coloured bead necklaces similar to the one I had just bestowed upon Gai; they wore the usual short cotton shirt, and had a piece of the same material wound round the upper part of their persons; they had also bands of fibre round their heads, apparently to keep the hair from falling over the face when cooking or stooping, &c.

Kōap (No. 4) is the first Shom Pen I have seen with the disfigurement so common among the coast people, i.e., with the front teeth of the upper jaw encrusted together so as to protrude and prevent the lips from closing; it would be a matter of difficulty, if not an impossibility, for one tooth to be extracted without the others.

At the further end of the hut, opposite the entrance, as is also the custom of the coast people, was a sanded hearth, on which were standing three of the sack-like cooking vessels peculiar to the Shom Pen (called te-ag); they were of different sizes, and I observed that the sides were kept apart by means of sticks placed across inside.

The impression we produced upon our new acquaintances was apparently favourable, for they intimated through our guides that if we returned in a few weeks' time they would be willing to accompany us on the return journey.

On our way back to the coast we sighted a small canoe containing a young couple (called Patōi and Tain), belonging to the community we had just been visiting, who had, it seems, been absent on some fishing expedition; immediately on perceiving us they turned and paddled away rapidly until assured by the shouts of our coast companions that they had no cause for fear, when they allowed us to come up with them and showed no further signs of alarm, but willingly walked with us and accepted presents of beads, tobacco, biscuits, &c.

In noting down the words for common objects as spoken by these (dakan-kat) people I found that in most instances they differed from the equivalent used by the Shom Pen of Láfúl and Ganges Harbour. Each community of the tribe appears to "within the memory of living men"; this probably indicates the period during which less hostile relations have existed between the coast and inland tribes.

1 This necklace measures 10 feet 9 inches in length, and the red cotton foundation is inch in width.

2 When fire is not otherwise obtainable, the Shom Pen produce a flame by means of the ordinary fire sticks.

possess a dialect more or less distinct, but this is what might reasonably be expected when we consider the isolation of the several encampments, and the difficulties of intercommunication, apart even from the hostile relations in which they stand towards one another.

The surprising discovery was made on this trip that the Shom Pen, or at any rate certain sections (viz., those at Láfúl and Ganges Harbour and on the west coast), are in the habit of constructing rafts and boats, the latter not only for their own use, but also for purposes of sale, or more properly speaking, of barter, with the coast tribes. We saw both rafts and canoes; the former are made of bamboos neatly tied together, and the latter are not distinguishable from those seen at the coast villages, except perhaps from the fact that they are not quite so carefully finished. The size of the canoes made for their own use varies from 6 to 10 feet, but we are informed that much larger ones measuring sometimes as much as 20 to 24 feet are made for the coast tribes to whom it seems that the finishing of these crafts is invariably left.

The Shom Pen do not venture out to sea in their skiffs, but use them merely for crossing the rivers or creeks near which their encampments are situated, or for skirting along the coast where they plant fishing stakes which are similar in every respect to those seen in Malay villages.

After leaving dakan-kat and the west coast we went to the Ganges Harbour community, which had not been visited since the unfortunate disappearance of one of its members and two other youths in September, 1884 (vide ante p. 438). We took the precaution of sending our guides in advance to reconnoitre, and were informed on their return that only two men were within hail as far as they could ascertain, but that these were unwilling to accept their assurance that friends were about to pay them a visit. Nevertheless we proceeded on our way, taking presents and my camera. I found that one of the men was Poko, father to Dehonha, one of the missing lads; nothing worthy of note transpired during the visit, but I succeeded in taking a photograph of the clearing, with the three tiny huts and their occupants.

We noticed that the trunks of the cocoanut trees were encircled with pieces of the stems of the thorny calamus, evidently with a view of warning strangers that the fruit was not to be touched. Among the coast tribes a similar practice obtains, but they deem it sufficient to tie a leaf round the trunk, and the vast majority accept the token as a warrant of ownership.

It is said that the Shom Pen bury their dead, but do not

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