BUILDING of the kind dignified by the name architecture, can not exist during early stages of social development. Before the production of such building there must be an advance in mechanical arts greater than savages of low type have made—greater than we find among the slightly civilized.
It is true that constructions of unhewn stones arranged upon the surface into some order, as well as rude underground stone chambers, have been left by prehistoric peoples, and that incipient architecture is exhibited in them. If we extend the conception to take in these, however, we may remark as significant, that the art was first used either for preservation of the dead or as ancillary to ceremonies in honor of the apotheosized dead. In either case the implication is that architecture in these simple beginnings fulfilled the ideas of the primitive medicine-men or priests. Some director there must have been; and we can scarcely help concluding that he was at once the specially skillful man and the man who was supposed to be in communication with the departed spirits to be honored.
But now, saying nothing more of this vague evidence, let us pass to evidence furnished by those semi-civilized and civilized peoples who have left remains and records.
We are at once met by the broad fact, parallel to the fact implied above, that the earliest architecture bequeathed by ancient nations was an outcome of ancestor-worship. Its first phases were exhibited in either tombs or temples, which, as we have long ago seen, are the less developed and more developed forms of the same thing. Hence, as being both appliances for worship, now simple and now elaborate, both came under the control of the priesthood; and the inference to be drawn is that the first architects were priests.
An illustration which may be put first is yielded by Ancient India. Says Manning:—"Architecture was treated as a sacred science by learned Hindus." Again we read in Hunter—
In Tennent's Ceylon there are passages variously exhibiting the relations between architecture and religion and its ministers. By many peoples the cave was made the primitive tomb-temple; and