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animals, and sometimes depicting single human beings, or battle and hunting scenes, while those in the New

Stone Age condition of culture appear usually not to have this power, and confine themselves to conventional decoration of pottery and weapons. Primitive man of to-day delights in the dance, for which he decorates himself with paint, feathers, fillets, and such necklaces and amulets as pleased the eyes of prehistoric man, who, though we have evidence of it, doubtless loved

dancing too. For such dancAN AUSTRALIAN METHOD OF OBTAINING FIRE

ing as primitive peoples A pointed stick is twirled

engage in is both a social rapidly in the groove

observance and an expression

of emotions, a symbolical representation of the great events of life, or perhaps of the phases of nature. It contains the germ of the drama. It is a mode of self-expression, and selfexpression is one of the first necessities of the human spirit.

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CHAPTER XV

THE USERS OF BRONZE

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EXT to the invention of fire-making the most important step in the material progress of

mankind was the discovery of the art of metalworking. Where the discovery took place, or whether there were several centres of invention, we cannot be sure, nor can a general date be named when the use of metal superseded that of stone. In some remote parts of the world the use of stone weapons and tools went on for thousands of years after it had been abandoned in others; the date of the adoption of metal in place of stone was often separated by centuries even in the case of countries lying not far apart. Stone implements, moreover, continued to be used after the introduction of metal, and are constantly found in graves together with bronze. In the early days of metal-working the centres of manufacture would be few, and the implements and weapons of metal consequently scarce and costly. Those of stone would continue to be used for some time, partly from conservative feeling, but chiefly from necessity, though their general inferiority might be well recognized. And when the use of metals had quite superseded that of stone for ordinary purposes articles of stone would continue to be made for employment in religious ceremonies, and would be treasured as amulets, or charms against misfortune, because of a supposed holiness attaching to them on account of their connexion with those 'good old days

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when the gods walked on earth, and men were braver and more beautiful, and the harvests more abundantdistance in time as well as space lending a glamour not possessed by what is near. Thus flint flakes and stone

. implements were placed in graves as a sign of religious feeling, and for this reason the custom was discouraged after the introduction of Christianity as a relic of paganism. It was encouraged, however, as a sign of abhorrence in the case of suicides, to whom Christian rites were forbidden. Thus in Hamlet the priest, speaking of Ophelia, says:

Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
She should in nd unsanctified have lodg’d,
Till the last trumpet ; for charitable prayers,
Shards, flints, and pebbles should be thrown on her.

Thus a mode of prehistoric burial survived in tradition and was looked upon as befitting a person who had put himself outside the pale of the Christian Church. Where the knowledge of the former employment of flint implements has been lost flint arrow-heads and axes are often believed to be thunderbolts fallen from heaven, and are regarded with superstitious reverence.

Though the Age of Metals opened at such widely separated times in different parts of the world, and though, owing to the overlapping of different stages, no exact date can be assigned to it in any country, we may say that in Northern Europe it succeeded the Stone Age—which had lasted for an immense length of time, to be measured only by geological epochs—about two thousand years before the Christian era.

The period from 2000 B.C. down to the beginning of recorded history is usually divided into two, according to the metal which was then most important to the human race---an Age of Bronze and an Age of Iron. The Age of Bronze ended in Europe between 1000 and 500 B.C.

Bronze is, of course, not a simple metal, but an alloy consisting of copper combined with about 10 per cent. of tin. It is not probable that the making of such an alloy was prehistoric man's first essay in the working of metals. Some of the American Indian and Eskimo tribes learnt, unaided by the white man, to hammer out implements of copper, which often occurs in a comparatively pure state. Prehistoric man might easily have made the same discovery, but though copper implements made by him have been found, and appear to have preceded in many parts of the world those made of bronze, they have all been made by casting melted metal, a process which involves quite new methods and is not derived, as in the case of hammered copper, from the manufacture of flint. It is likely enough, however, that the invention arose from the chance melting of a piece of surface ore on the domestic hearth. Some reflective mind would be struck by the advantages of the new material, notably that many implements could be made from the same mould. Experience would show that they had one great drawback in comparison with those of stone. The metal was soft and its cutting edge soon dulled. Copper ore, however, often occurs in association with tin ore, and an alloy of the two metals accidentally made would be found to be greatly superior in hardness to the pure copper. The admixture of tin with copper would be repeated, and experiment would discover the proportion that made the best alloy. The invention would be transmitted from region to region. The peoples who had been using copper would abandon its use for that of bronze, while those who were still employing stone would pass at once to the use of bronze without any intermediate stage.

As regards the origin of the invention, it is almost certain that Egypt and Mesopotamia produced bronze some four thousand years before the Christian era, and as these countries have copper, but no tin, while copper and tin are found associated abundantly in Southern

China, it is possible that it was from the Far East that the Near East derived its knowledge, and then transmitted it to the West.

Many countries of Europe, however, have both tin and copper ores, so that the discovery may have been made in one of them and carried

eastward-in which case it COPPER AXE-HEAD FROM

must have been made as EGYPT early as 4000 B.C.

It seems on the whole more likely that the invention was made independently in different countries and that the knowledge diffused from more than one centre.

A number of new wants would be created by the new metal industry, and the satisfying of these would lead to a great development of trade and intercourse. Countries which possessed supplies of tin and copper, and which had also a knowledge of metal-working, would export manufactured articles of bronze, and a traffic in the raw materials would be carried on between the sources of supply and centres unprovided with metals but acquainted with the nature of the alloy and skilled in fashioning it. The inhabitants of Cornwall were producing tin, and probably also copper, at a

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