functions of civilized life. His language, expressing thoughts by conventional articulate sounds, is the same in essential principle as the most cultivated philosophic dialect, only less exact and copious. His weapons, tools and other appliances such as the hammer, hatchet, spear, knife, awl, thread, net, canoe, &c., are the evident rudimentary analogues of what still remains in use among Europeans. His structures, such as the hut, fence, stockade, earthwork, &c., may be poor and clumsy, but they are of the same nature as our own. In the simple arts of broiling and roasting meat, the use of hides and furs for covering, the plaiting of mats and baskets, the devices of hunting, trapping and fishing, the pleasure taken in personal ornament, the touches of artistic decoration on objects of daily use, the savage differs in degree but not in kind from the civilized man. The domestic and social affections, the kindly care of the young and the old, some acknowledgment of marital and parental obligation, the duty of mutual defence in the tribe, the authority of the elders, and general respect to traditional custom as the regulator of life and duty, are more or less well marked in every savage tribe which is not disorganized and falling to pieces. Lastly, there is usually to be discerned amongst such lower races a belief in unseen powers pervading the universe, this belief shaping itself into an animistic or spiritualistic theology, mostly resulting in some kind of worship. If, again, high savage or low barbaric types be selected, as among the North American Indians, Polynesians, and Kaffirs of South Africa, the same elements of culture appear, but at a more advanced stage, namely, a more full and accurate language, more knowledge of the laws of nature, more serviceable implements, more perfect industrial processes, more definite and fixed social order and frame of government, more systematic and philosophic schemes of religion and a more elaborate and ceremonial worship. At intervals new arts and ideas appear, such as agriculture and pasturage, the manufacture of pottery, the use of metal implements and the device of record and communication by picture writing. Along such stages of improvement and invention the bridge is fairly made between savage and barbaric culture; and this once attained to, the remainder of the series of stages of civilization lies within the range of common knowledge.
The teaching of history, during the three to four thousand years of which contemporary chronicles have been preserved, is that civilization is gradually developed in the course of ages by enlargement and increased precision of knowledge, invention and improvement of arts, and the progression of social and political habits and institutions towards general well-being. That processes of development similar to these were in prehistoric times effective to raise culture from the savage to the barbaric level, two considerations especially tend to prove. First, there are numerous points in the culture even of rude races which are not explicable otherwise than on the theory of development. Thus, though difficult or superfluous arts may easily be lost, it is hard to imagine the abandonment of contrivances of practical daily utility, where little skill is required and materials are easily accessible. Had the Australians or New Zealanders, for instance, ever possessed the potter’s art, they could hardly have forgotten it. The inference that these tribes represent the stage of culture before the invention of pottery is confirmed by the absence of buried fragments of pottery in the districts they inhabit. The same races who were found making thread by the laborious process of twisting with the hand, would hardly have disused, if they had ever possessed, so simple a labour-saving device as the spindle, which consists merely of a small stick weighted at one end; the spindle may, accordingly, be regarded as an instrument invented somewhere between the lowest and highest savage levels (Tylor, Early Hist. of Mankind, p. 193). Again, many devices of civilization bear unmistakable marks of derivation from a lower source; thus the ancient Egyptian and Assyrian harps, which differ from ours in having no front pillar, appear certainly to owe this remarkable defect to having grown up through intermediate forms from the simple strung bow, the still used type of the most primitive stringed instrument. In this way the history of numeral words furnishes actual proof of that independent intellectual progress among savage tribes which some writers have rashly denied. Such words as hand, hands, foot, man, &c., are used as numerals signifying 5, 10, 15, 20, &c., among many savage and barbaric peoples; thus Polynesian lima, i.e. “hand,” means 5; Zulu tatisitupa, i.e. “taking the thumb,” means 6; Greenlandish arfersanek-pingasut, i.e. “on the other foot three,” means 18; Tamanac tevin itoto, i.e. “one man,” means 20, &c., &c. The existence of such expressions demonstrates that the people who use them had originally no spoken names for these numbers, but once merely counted them by gesture on their fingers and toes in low savage fashion, till they obtained higher numerals by the inventive process of describing in words these counting-gestures. Second, the process of “survival in culture” has caused the preservation in each stage of society of phenomena, belonging to an earlier period, but kept up by force of custom into the later, thus supplying evidence of the modern condition being derived from the ancient. Thus the mitre over an English bishop’s coat-of-arms is a survival which indicates him as the successor of bishops who actually wore mitres, while armorial bearings themselves, and the whole craft of heraldry, are survivals bearing record of a state of warfare and social order whence our present state was by vast modification evolved. Evidence of this class, proving the derivation of modern civilization, not only from ancient barbarism, but beyond this, from primeval savagery, is immensely plentiful, especially in rites and ceremonies, where the survival of ancient habits is peculiarly favoured. Thus the modern Hindu, though using civilized means for lighting his household fires, retains the savage “fire-drill” for obtaining fire by friction of wood when what he considers pure or sacred fire has to be produced for sacrificial purposes; while in Europe into modern times the same primitive process has been kept up in producing the sacred and magical “need-fire,” which was lighted to deliver cattle from a murrain. Again, the funeral offerings of food, clothing, weapons, &c., to the dead are absolutely intelligible and purposeful among savage races, who believe that the souls of the departed are ethereal beings capable of consuming food, and of receiving and using the souls or phantoms of any objects sacrificed for their use. The primitive philosophy to which these conceptions belong has to a great degree been discredited by modern science; yet the clear survivals of such ancient and savage rites may still be seen in Europe, where the Bretons leave the remains of the All Souls’ supper on the table for the ghosts of the dead kinsfolk to partake of, and Russian peasants set out cakes for the ancestral manes on the ledge which supports the holy pictures, and make dough ladders to assist the ghosts of the dead to ascend out of their graves and start on their journey for the future world; while other provision for the same spiritual journey is made when the coin is still put in the hand of the corpse at an Irish wake. In like manner magic still exists in the civilized world as a survival from the savage and barbaric times to which it originally belongs, and in which is found the natural source and proper home of utterly savage practices still carried on by ignorant peasants in Great Britain, such as taking omens from the cries of animals, or bewitching an enemy by sticking full of pins and hanging up to shrivel in the smoke an image or other object, that similar destruction may fall on the hated person represented by the symbol (Tylor, Primitive Culture, ch. i., iii., iv., xi., xii.; Early Hist. of Man, ch. vi.).
The comparative science of civilization thus not only generalizes the data of history, but supplements its information by laying down the lines of development along which the lowest prehistoric culture has gradually risen to the highest modern level. Among the most clearly marked of these lines is that which follows the succession of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages (see Archaeology). The Stone Age represents the early condition of mankind in general, and has remained in savage districts up to modern times, while the introduction of metals need not at once supersede the use of the old stone hatchets and arrows, which have often long continued in dwindling survival by the side of the new bronze and even iron ones. The Bronze Age had its most important place among ancient nations of Asia and Europe, and