Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/554

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tifully polished flint, chert, and jade. In the possession of the writer is a granite axe-head from a dolmen in the center of France, on which great pains have been spent to give it a polish. Some of the flint spear-heads worked by them are marvels of labor and ingenuity. A large core of flint has been taken, and out of it a flake has been got which has been not only worked into a flame or tonguelike shape, but has been diagonally grooved throughout on one side for ornamental purposes. One such, over a foot in length, of milk-white translucent flint, was found in a dolmen on the Lot a few years ago. It was scooped out with forty diagonal spiral lines. The labor expended upon it is incredible. This race was acquainted with pottery. It did not burn its dead at first, but very frequently scraped the flesh off the bones before consigning the remains to the sepulchre. The bones preserve the scratches made by the flint scrapers, and they are not always correctly placed to form the skeleton in its tomb, a left arm being sometimes put to a right shoulder; and sometimes important bones are missing. After a while bronze became known to the race of the megalithic monuments. It was introduced from the south; it seems to have traveled up the basin of the Po.

In 1880 the Baron de Baye published the results of some remarkable discoveries made by him in the chalk of the Marne. Here he discovered a number of caves sealed up, and completely untouched, that had been the sepulchres of men of the polished stone age. There was much about them that was extraordinary; one feature was a rude representation of a woman, always on the left side of the entrance into the sepulchral chamber. Along with this woman was figured, carved in the chalk, a flint hatchet; color had been applied to distinguish the flint stone from the horn handle into which it was fixed. In these mortuary caves a great number of remains of human beings was found. Some of the caverns were clearly family sepulchres. Some contained a large number of dead who had obviously been killed in a battle. But what specially concerns us now is the fact that, among the skulls recovered from these caves, a certain number showed that they had been trepanned, precisely as had been the skulls obtained by Dr. Prunières from the caves and dolmens of Lozère. Not only so, but the dolmens of Algeria have given up skulls treated in like manner, so have some found in Denmark. Obviously the very unpleasant custom of cutting slices out of the skulls of some of their members was continued in this race from their first appearance in Europe to their final disappearance in Africa.

M. Cartailhac, in his La France préhistorique, says: "A considerable number of our sepulchres contain perforated human skulls. The openings, without being geometrical in shape, are sufficiently regular; they approach more or less the shape of an