Open main menu

Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/14

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

longer doubtful, and others, as archaic in form as any, are found belonging to reigning families of chiefs, and still used by them. Last, not least, Dr. Schliemann's explorations at Hissarlik have deprived the prehistoric advocates of one of their most plausible arguments. At a depth of 81/2 metres from the surface he found the remains of a walled city, with paved streets, and rich in gold, silver, and copper, with their alloys electron and bronze, and every sign of a high civilization. Above this, through four or five metres of successive deposits, indicating probably a duration of twice as many centuries, no trace of metal was found, but, as he expresses, an "ungeheure menge," and, in another place, a "kolossale menge," an unlimited number of rude stone implements of every sort. Above this again the remains of the Greek city of Ilium Novum.

If this were the case in Asia Minor in historic times, it is in vain to argue that, when the imported civilization of the Romans passed away, the Britons may not have returned to their old faith and old practices, and adhered to them till a new conquest and a new faith led to their being finally abandoned. It may, or it may not, have been so, but till some better argument than has yet been brought forward is adduced to prove that it was not so, the à priori argument of improbability will not now avail much. Whenever the facts, as stated in the "Rude Stone Monuments," are admitted, or any better set of conclusions substituted for them, their history may be added as a fifth volume to this work. Till then, people must be content with the hazy nihilism of the prehistoric myth.