Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/375

This page has been validated.

thousand years before the time of Pheidias, were in truth the prototypes of the creations of himself and his contemporaries. This step being taken, the rest became easy. The most commonplace and ordinary relics were collected with as much avidity as they had formerly been rejected, in the belief that their simple forms would aid in the elucidation of their more complex and highly elaborated descendants. This minute attention, moreover, was not only given to the works of man, but even the remains of humanity received the attention they merited. It has been rightly thought, during recent years, that the question of race was a factor that deserved treatment in dealing with works of art of early times; and that natural evolution due to man’s tendency to change with time, might not be sufficient to account for the differences of type observed in human remains from the same country. For this reason, not only the objects associated with the burial have been preserved, but also the skeleton itself. This has been examined, measurements taken and recorded for comparison, and inferences made, sometimes of a surprising character. For example, if a cemetery be found with a preponderance of tall, long-headed skeletons in a district where the prevailing type of skeleton is short and brachycephalic (short-headed), the observer may reasonably expect a different kind of burial-furniture, and suspect an intruding race. In this particular respect, archaeology owes a signal debt to physical anthropology and to anthropological methods in general. The combination of the two is far more likely to lead to a reasonable and satisfactory conclusion than would be possible if the one branch of science had been pursued alone.

When once the existence of abundant remains of prehistoric man had been admitted, and their study had received recognition as a branch of science, the evidence supplied by the relics themselves and by their relation to Value of ethnology.extinct or existing animals would have sufficed to give a considerable insight into the conditions of primitive life. But, fortunately, corroborative evidence of the most useful kind was at hand, and has been of the greatest service in solving what might otherwise have been insoluble problems. Though the progress of civilization, and more especially the ever increasing rapidity of communication are rapidly changing the habits of life among the primitive peoples in various parts of the world, yet till past the middle of the 19th century, a certain number of tribes, if not races, were still in the Stone Age. Even at the present day stone-using tribes still exist, although by chance metal may be known to them. The importance of the study of their conditions of life and their technical processes, and of the collecting of their implements for the express purpose of illustrating prehistoric man, was recognized by Henry Christy (1810–1865), who had made extensive investigations and collected relics in conjunction with Edouard Lartet in the now famous caverns of the Dordogne, at a time when such explorations were somewhat of a novelty; and concurrently he formed a large collection of the productions of existing savage peoples, both collections after his death passing to the British Museum, his intention being that the one should elucidate the ether. (It is only fair to his memory, however, to state here that, by his express wish, the most important of the relics that he had obtained from the Dordogne caves were returned to France where they now are. Such instances of international courtesy are rare enough to deserve mention.) The value and interest of such a series can scarcely be over-rated. Almost till the 20th century, the Indians of North America, the Australian and Tasmanian natives, as well as those of New Zealand and the many archipelagoes of the Pacific, were, if not ignorant of the use of metals, at least habitually using stone where civilized man would use metal. The Maori made his war club of jade and the pounders for preparing his food of stone. The Australian had his stone axe-blade; and low as he stands in the culture scale, his spear-heads are chipped with an exquisite precision. The Papuan of inland New Guinea is still making his weapons of stone and wood; while until quite recently the North American Indian was making his delicate stone arrow-points, and the Solomon islander his beautiful polished stone axe-blades. The knowledge gained by the study of a large series of such objects enables us to fill up very many gaps in the story of early man as told by his own remains. In fact, in this respect, the value of the comparison is much greater than could reasonably be expected; for, whatever may be the reason, nothing is more marked than the extraordinary similarity of stone implements at all times and over the whole world. An arrow-point made by a Patagonian Indian, one from a Japanese shell mound, and a third of the Stone Age from Ireland, are found to be practically identical. Whether it is that the same material and the same necessity naturally produce a like result, or whether there has existed throughout a continuity of type, is a question that will never be satisfactorily answered. The results, however, are of eminently practical value. The arrow-heads of neolithic man, which are found by hundreds all over Europe, may be seen fixed in their shafts in the hands of an American Indian; rude pieces of quartz, which unmounted would escape notice as implements, are seen to make excellent tools when mounted in a handle by the Australian black, while flakes of slate find a use when mounted as skinning-knives by the Eskimo.

Now that the narrower conception of archaeology as a minor branch of classical studies has been given up, the new science has gradually won its way to universal recognition; and anthropology, a still wider subject but in many Organized study.points closely allied to the scientific study of ancient remains, has still more recently found favour at all the leading universities, and practical measures have been taken to establish the study on a firm and scientific basis. Apart from this official encouragement, much has been done towards the systematization and teaching of archaeology by practical excavators, whose pupils have attained considerable numbers and celebrity. Something has been done, too, in the national and provincial museums, to present the relics of past ages in an intelligible manner, so that the collections no longer consist of curiosities but of documents rich in instruction and interest even to the general visitor. The progress of photography, as well as the improvement and cheapening of methods of illustration, have also assisted enormously in the advance of archaeology; and similarly, the antiquities exhibited in museums and private collections to illustrate and amplify written records, have in the last generation received much attention on their own account, and have reacted in various ways on the teaching of ancient history. In some countries a further step in general education has been taken, and the lamentable waste of archaeological material arrested to some extent by the distribution of pictures and diagrams among schools and institutions, to call attention to the more ordinary local types, and to encourage those who are likely to discover them in the soil to save them from destruction and render them available for scientific study. A certain familiarity on the part of the young with the mere appearance of antiquities that come to light continually and are almost as often discarded or destroyed, would probably result in valuable additions being made to the available data.

Bibliography.—The most useful general works are the following:—Salomon Reinach, Epoque des alluvions et des cavernes (Musée de St Germain); Hoernes, Der diluviale Mensch in Europa; Sir John Evans, Stone Implements of Great Britain, and Bronze Implements of Great Britain; Boyd Dawkins, Cave-hunting, and Early Man in Britain; Greenwell, British Barrows; W. G. Smith, Man the Primeval Savage; James Geikie, Prehistoric Europe; Mortillet, Le Préhistorique; Robert Munro, Lake Dwellings of Europe; Ridgeway, Early Age of Greece; Jos. Anderson, Scotland in Pagan Times; the works of Oscar Montelius and Sophus Müller; L’Anthropologie, Matériaux pour l’histoire primitive de l’homme; Christy and Lartet, Reliquiae Aquitanicae; A. Michaelis, A Century of Archaeological Discovery (Eng. trans., 1908). See also Anthropology, and authorities mentioned there; Stone Age; Bronze Age; Iron Age, &c.; Geology; and the articles on different countries and sites. (C. H. Rd.) 

ARCHAEOPTERYX. The name of Archaeopteryx lithographica was based by Hermann von Meyer upon a feather (Gr. πτέρυξ, wing) found in 1861 in the lithographic slate quarries of Solenhofen in Bavaria, the geological horizon being that of the Kimmeridge clay of the Upper Oolite or Jurassic system. In the same year and at the same place was discovered the specimen (figs. 1 and 3)