The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons, and Ornaments of Great Britain/Chapter 20


CHAPTER XX.

SPINDLE-WHORLS, DISCS, SLICKSTONES, WEIGHTS, AND CUPS.

Besides the weapons and implements used in warfare and the chase, as well as for various constructive purposes, there were in ancient times, as at present, numerous implements and utensils of stone devoted to more purely domestic uses. Some of these, such as corn-crushers, mealing-stones, querns, pestles, and mortars, have been treated of elsewhere in this work, when, from the connection of these instruments with other forms adapted for some- what different purposes, it appeared appropriate to describe them. There are, however, other classes, connected principally with domestic occupations, such, for instance, as spinning and weaving, about which it will be necessary to say a few words.

At how early a period the introduction of the spinning-wheel superseded to some extent the use of the distaff and spindle, it is difficult to say. It is by no means improbable that it was known in classical times, as Stosch thinks that he has recognized it on antique gems. The distaff and spindle remained, however, in use in many parts of this country until quite recently, and are still commonly employed in some remote parts of Britain, as well as over a great part of Europe. To how early a date this simple method of spinning goes back, we have also no means of judging. We know that it was in use in the earliest times among the Egyptians and Greeks; and we find, moreover, in the lake-habitations of Switzerland[1]—even in those which apparently belong to a purely stone age—evidence of an acquaintance with the arts both of spinning and weaving, not only in the presence of some of the mechanical appliances for those purposes, but also in the thread and manufactured cloth. The principal fibrous materials in use in the lake-dwellings were bast from the bark of trees (chiefly the lime) and flax. No hemp has as yet been found in any lake-dwelling. It seems probable that the raw materials employed in neolithic times in Britain must have been of the same character; but we have here no such means of judging of the relative antiquity of the textile art, as those at the command of the Swiss antiquaries. Woven tissues have, however, been found with ancient interments, apparently of the Bronze Age, by Canon Greenwell,[2] and Messrs. Mortimer, but made of wool, and not of vegetable fibre. An article on prehistoric spinning and weaving written by Dr. G. Buschan[3] is wortb consulting, as well as one by Dr. Joseph Anderson,[4] on these processes in connexion with brochs. Sir Arthur Mitchell[5] has also written on the subject of the spindle and whorl.

In spinning with the distaff and spindle, the rotatory motion of the latter is maintained by a small fly-wheel or "spindle-whorl," very generally formed of stone, but sometimes of other materials, with a perforation in the centre, in which the wooden or bone spindle was fastened, the part below the whorl tapering to a point so as to be readily twirled between the finger and thumb, and the part above, being also pointed, but longer, so as to admit of the thread when spun being wound round it, the yarn in the act of being spun being attached to the upper point. These spindle-whorls are, as might be anticipated, frequently found in various parts of the country; and though, from the lengthened period during which this mode of spinning was practised, it is impossible under ordinary circumstances to determine the antiquity of any specimen, yet they appear to have been sufficiently long out of use for local superstitions to have attached to them, as in Cornwall they are commonly known by the name of "Pisky grinding-stones,"[6] or "Pixy's grindstones." In North Britain,[7] they are also familiarly called Pixy-wheels, and in Ireland[8] "Fairy mill-stones." In Harris, and Lewis,[9] the distaff and spindle are still in common use, and were so until quite recently on the mainland of Scotland.[10] For twisting hair-lines or "imps" for fishing, stone, lead, or earthenware whorls with a hook in them are used. They are known by the name of "imp-stones."[11] Notwithstanding this recent use, the original intention of the stone spindle-whorls, which occur in Scotland, as elsewhere, appears often to be unknown. They are called clach-nathrach, adder-stones or snake-stones, and have an origin assigned them much like that of the ovum anguinum of Pliny. "When cattle are bitten by snakes, the snake-stone is put into water, with which the affected part is washed, and it is cured forthwith." Glass beads[12] with spirals on them seem to have been regarded as even more efficacious.

Spindle-whorls vary considerably in size and weight, being usually from an inch to an inch and a half in diameter, but occasionally as much as from two to three inches. They are sometimes flat at the edge or cylindrical, but more frequently rounded. They differ much in the degree of finish, some appearing to have been turned in a lathe, while others are very rough and not truly circular.


Fig. 357.—Scampston. 1/2


Fig. 358.—Holyhead. 1/1

The specimen I have selected for engraving as Fig. 357 is one of the more highly finished class, and rather flatter than usual. It was found in draining, at Scampston, Yorkshire, and is formed of a hard slaty stone. It has been turned in a lathe on one face, and at the edge; the other face is irregular, and seems to have been polished by hand. What was evidently the upper face, is ornamented with two parallel incised circles, and there are two more round the edge. The hole seems to have been drilled, and is quite parallel. One of the cheese-like spindle-whorls, of red sandstone, and another, rounded at the rim, found in hut-circles in Holyhead and Anglesea,[13] are shown in Figs. 358 and 359. Another, of sandstone, was found in Thor's Cave,[14] Derbyshire, with various objects, some of them of iron. One of lead, 11/8 inches in diameter, convex on one face, was found in the same place. One found at Ty Mawr, Holyhead,[15] by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley, F.S.A., who kindly lent me this and the preceding blocks, is shown in Fig. 360. Numerous other specimens were discovered in the same place.

Fig. 359.—Holyhead. 1/1 Fig. 360.—Holyhead. 1/1

They are sometimes decorated with incised radial lines and shallow cavities more or less rudely executed. One such, found near Carno, Montgomeryshire,[16] has been figured. Several others are recorded as having been found in the Principality.[17] In Cornwall,[18] they seem to be especially numerous, occasionally occurring in subterranean chambers. They have also been found in considerable numbers in Scotland.[19] The half of a clay spindle-whorl was found by Canon Greenwell in the material of a barrow at Weaverthorpe.[20]

Sir Wollaston Franks[21] has suggested that some of these perforated discs may have been used as dress-fasteners or buttons, and mentions that very similar objects have been found in Mexico, which there is every reason to believe have been used as buttons. He also instances a specimen from South Wales, which has evidently had a cord passed through it, as the edges of the hole in the centre are much worn by friction. Such a view carries much probability with it, so far as it relates to the thin discs of stone with small central holes not parallel, but tapering from both faces; especially if they are in any way ornamented. Some of the rougher kind, however, may have served some such purpose as that of plummets or net-sinkers, as has been suggested by Professor Nilsson.[22] Perforated[23] pebbles of much the same form have served as net weights in Scotland, and are still occasionally in use. In Samoa, flat circular discs of stones, about two inches in diameter, with central holes, are used to prevent rats from reaching provisions, which are suspended in baskets by a cord. One of these discs strung on the cord suffices for the purpose. A specimen is in the Christy Collection. Their use is analogous to that of the flat stones on the staddles on which corn-stacks are built in this country, though in that case, the stones are to prevent the ascent and not the descent of the rats.

Judging, however, from all analogy, there can be little doubt that in most cases where the holes are parallel, the perforated discs found in Britain were spindle-whorls. As has been already observed, they are frequently formed of other materials than stone; and both the spindles of wood and the whorls of bone have been found with Roman remains.[24] They are also frequently formed of lead and earthenware. Spindles of ivory sometimes occur both with Roman and Saxon relics. I have several such, found with whorls of slaty stone in Cambridgeshire. The Saxon whorls are of the same materials and character as those of Roman age. Spindles of wood have been found in the lake-settlements of Savoy.[25] An interesting and profusely illustrated chapter on spindle-whorls will be found in Hume's "Ancient Meols."[26] Earthenware whorls, variously decorated, have been found in large numbers on the site of Troy, and with Mycenæan remains.

Allied to the whorls, but evidently destined for some other purpose, is a flat disc of shelly limestone, now in my collection, found at Barrow, near Bury St. Edmund's. It is 51/2 inches in diameter, 3/4 inch thick, ground from both faces to an edge all round, and perforated in the centre with a hole 5/8 inch in diameter, counter-sunk on each face, so as to leave only a narrow edge in the middle of the hole, which is much polished by friction. The edge of the periphery is also worn smooth. I am at a loss to assign a use to this object. In the Greenwell Collection a similar disc from the North Riding of Yorkshire shows polish on one face. A somewhat similar disc with the hole a little larger, so that it rather resembles a quoit, is in the Norwich Museum. It may be a plaything of no great antiquity. An instrument of similar form, engraved by Lindenschmit,[27] has a parallel shaft-hole. Among the North American Indians,[28] perforated discs, but with broad and not sharp peripheries, appear to have been used as a kind of quoits.

Some flat imperforate discs of stone, from two to nine inches in diameter, roughly chipped round the edges, and in one instance oval, were associated with bronze tweezers and articles of iron, in a Pict's house at Kettleburn, Caithness.[29] Two polished stone discs were found in a crannog near Maybole,[30] Ayrshire, and a nearly square piece of stone that had been polished on both sides in a crannog at Dowalton,[31] Sorbie, Wigtownshire. Others of large size occurred in another Pict's house in Orkney,[32] and were regarded as plates. Six black stone dishes, all about 21/2 inches thick, and varying from 1 foot 8 inches to 10 inches long, were found with numerous other objects, among them a copper needle, in a circular building in South Uist.[33] Other similar dishes have been found near Sand Lodge, in Shetland,[34] and elsewhere. Possibly such stones may have been used in cooking oatmeal cakes or bannocks—like the stones on which formerly "pikelets" or crumpets were cooked in Leicestershire and other Midland counties, where their modern iron substitutes are still called "pikelet-stones." Ornamented stones for toasting oatmeal cakes in front of a peat fire are or were until lately in use in Scotland.[35] Cooking slabs of thin stone are used by the natives of Guiana[36] for baking cassava bread.

Dr. Joseph Anderson[37] has suggested that some of the small discs, with the surface highly polished, such as have been found in Scottish brochs of the Iron Age, may have served as mirrors.

Another purpose to whicb stone implements seem to have been applied, in connection with weaving and the preparation of leather, is that of burnishing or smoothing, somewhat in the same manner as is now effected by the flat-iron. An oval pebble (4 inches) rubbed all along one side was found by General Pitt Rivers in one of the pits at Mount Caburn,[38] Lewes. Sir W. Wilde, speaking of a quite recent period, observes that "it is well known that weavers in the north of Ireland used a smooth celt, whenever they could find one, for rubbing on the cloth, bit by bit, as they worked it, to close the threads and give a gloss to the surface."[39] Canon Greenwell had a celt from Yorkshire, which was used by a shoe-maker for smoothing down the seams he made in leather. The old English name for the smooth stones used for such purposes is "slickstone." In the "Promptorium Parvulorum,"[40] written in the fifteenth century, a slekystōn or slekenstone is translated, linitorium, lucibriunculum, licinitorium—terms unknown to classical Latinity. Mr. Albert Way, in a note on the word, after giving its various forms as slyke-stone, sleght-stone, sleeke-stone, &c., remarks, " In former times, polished stones, implements in form of a muller, were used to smooth linen,[41] paper, and the like, and likewise for the operation termed calendering. Gautier de Bibelesworth says,—

"Et priez la dame qe ta koyfe luche (slike)
De sa luchiere (slikingston) sur la huche."

In directions for making buckram, &c., and for starching cloth, (Sloane MS., 3548, f. 102), the finishing process is as follows: 'Cum lapide slycstone levifica.'" "She that hath no glasse to dresse her head will use a bowle of water, she that wanteth a sleeke stone to smooth her linnen will take a pebble."[42]

"Slickstones occur in the Tables of Custom-House Rates on Imports, 2 James I., and about that period large stones inscribed with texts of Scripture were occasionally thus used. (See "Whitaker, 'Hist, of Craven,'[43] p. 401, n.) There was a specimen in the Leverian Museum. Bishop Kennett, in his 'Glossarial Collections,' s.v. 'Slade,' alludes to the use of such an appliance 'to sleek clothes with a sleekstone.' " Cotgrave, in his French Dictionary, translates calendrine or pierre calendrine, as a sleekstone; and under the word "lisse" makes mention of "a rowler of massive glasse wherewith curriers do sleeke and gloss their leather." This, probably, was a substitute for a more ancient instrument of stone. Sir Thomas Browne mentions slickstones among electric bodies, and implies that in his time they were of glass. "Glass attracts but weakly though clear; some slickstones and thick glasses indifferently."[44]

I have two or three specimens of glass slickstones, which in form resemble mushrooms. The lenticular part is usually about 5 inches in diameter, and its rounded surface was used for polishing the linen. The handle or stalk is ribbed and about 41/2 inches long. They are of both clear and of bottle-green glass. A small slickstone of black glass without a handle was found in a Viking grave of a woman in Islay.[45] The same form was recently in use in Scotland. A large one is in the Kirkcudbright[46] Museum. Another[47] provided with a long smooth handle has likewise been figured.

The Ancient Stone Implements Fig. 361.—Holyhead.png

Fig. 361.—Holyhead.

A four-sided implement of stone, fashioned with considerable care, the sides flat and smooth, and with an edge at one end, was found by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley, F.S.A., at Pen-y-Bonc,[48] and is shown in Fig. 361, kindly lent to me by him. It has been regarded as a burnisher or polishing stone. A similar specimen is in the Blackmore Museum.

Mr. Syer Cuming[49] mentions the discovery, at Alchester, Oxfordshire, of a flat pyriform piece of red sandstone, 31/2 inches long, 31/4 inches wide, and 1 inch thick in the middle, with the edges rounded, and the whole surface, with the exception of the obtuse end, polished; and he inclines to the belief that it was employed in smoothing hides and rendering them pliant for clothing. Another "slickstone for tawing or softening hides by friction," formed of quartz, 61/8 inches broad by 21/2 inches in height, with a depression on either side to admit the finger and thumb, and having the surface rounded and polished by use, was found at a depth of three feet in the ground at Culter, Lanarkshire.[50] In the Shrewsbury Museum[51] is a perforated stone in shape like a broad hoe, but with rounded edges; it is thought to be a currier's tool. Three flint pebbles found with late Celtic enamelled bronze horse-trappings at Westhall, Suffolk,[52] and having one or both of their sides much rubbed down, may possibly belong to this class of objects. Sir R. Colt Hoare[53] speaks of "the hard flat stones of the pebble kind, such as we frequently find both in the towns as well as in the tumuli of the Britons," but does not suggest a purpose for them. Polished pebbles have not unfrequently been found in tumuli with stone weapons and implements. One tapering toward the ends, which are rubbed flat, was found by Mr. Bateman.[54] Another was found in a barrow near Ashford-in-the-Water.[55] It is possible they may, as subsequently suggested, have been ornaments or amulets; but some pebbles, polished on part of their surface, as if by use, have been found in tumuli by Canon Greenwell.

A "smoothing- stone" of hard grey stone, with a short tang apparently for fixing it in a handle, has been engraved by the Rev. Dr. Hume.[56] He does not, however, state where it was found. A somewhat similar implement is engraved by Schoolcraft,[57] which he thinks may have been designed for smoothing down seams of buckskin. As stated at page 416, I have seen a stone which had been used for this purpose in England.

Granite and other pebbles are used as ironing-stones in Orkney[58] and in Scotland. Several have been described by Professor Duns.[59]

Dr. Keller[60] has shown that, in connection with what was probably the earliest form of loom, weights were employed to stretch the warp. These, however, in Switzerland, seem to have been for the most part formed of burnt clay, though possibly some of the stones which have been regarded as sinkstones or plummets, were used for this purpose. Some of these have already been described.

Loom weights of burnt clay have been found in Scotland[61] and of chalk[62] in Sussex. I have one of burnt clay from Cambridge.

Another domestic use to which stones were applied was as weights for the balance or scales; though we have no evidence at present that in this country, at all events, any weighing apparatus was known so early as the Stone or even the Bronze Period. Among the Jews the same word אֶבֶו (Eben) denoted both a stone and a weight; and we have a somewhat similar instance of customs being recorded in language in the case of our own "stone" of eight or fourteen pounds. Discoidal weights formed of stone are not unfrequently found on the sites of Roman occupation.

The moulds in which bronze weapons and tools were cast, were often made of stone, but for any account of them I refer the reader to my book on "Bronze Implements."

Another class of domestic utensils, frequently found in Scotland and the adjacent islands, consists of cup-like vessels formed of stone, of various degrees of hardness, and usually provided with a small projecting handle.


Fig. 362.—Scotland.



Fig. 363.—Sutherlandshire.

Fig. 362, borrowed from the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland,[63] will serve to show their general character. Of the two cups here engraved, one was found near a megalithic circle at Crookmore, Tullynessle, Aberdeenshire, and the other in another part of Scotland. The material is described as a soft calcareous stone. One of steatite or "pot-stone," with a large unpierced handle, was found in a cairn at Drumkesk,[64] near Aboyne, Aberdeenshire; and two others, one with the handle projecting from the side, and the other with a long straight handle, at Strathdon[65] in the same county. Two others, one of them of micaceous sandstone, ornamented with a band of rudely-cut projecting knobs, and the other with incised lines in zigzag herring-bone patterns, were dug out of a large cairn on Knockargity,[66] and others at Cromar,[67] also in Aberdeenshire. One ornamented in a similar manner was found at Needless,[68] Perth. Others have been found in cairns in Banffshire,[69] Morayshire,[70] and Sutherlandshire,[71] the engraving of the last of which is here reproduced as Fig. 363. It is 61/2 inches in diameter. They have also been found in brochs, in Caithness,[72] Shetland,[73] and in a "fort" in Forfarshire.[74] They have likewise been discovered under various circumstances in Aberdeenshire,[75] at Balmoral,[76] and in Forfarshire,[77] Perthshire,[78] and the Isle of Skye,[79] as well as in the Isle of Man.[80] They occur, though rarely, in Ireland.[81] I have one from Trillick, Tyrone.


Fig. 364.—Faroe Islands.

In former times these cups were regarded as "Druidical pateræ;" but Sir Daniel Wilson[82] has pointed out that in the Faroe Islands, a similar kind of vessel is still in use as a lamp or as a chafing-dish for carrying live embers. He has engraved one of them in the cut here reproduced. The same kind of rude lamp or cresset is in use in Ceylon.[83] These Scottish vessels probably belong to no very remote antiquity.

A shallow one-handled saucer or stand of Kimmeridge shale was found at Povington, Dorset,[84] but was probably intended for some other purpose than the Scottish cup. It has been suggested that it was for holding the flakes of flint supposed to have been used for turning the armlets and other objects of Kimmeridge coal, many fragments of which, as well as numerous pieces of flint, were found with it; but it seems more probable that the turning tools were of metal. It may be an unfinished lamp-stand, or possibly a lamp.

Cups, however, formed of shale, and most skilfully made, have occasionally been found in barrows. The most remarkable is that which was discovered in a tumulus at Broad Down,[85] near Honiton, by the Rev. Richard Kirwan, to whom I am indebted for the loan of the full-sized figure (Fig. 365) on the next page. The woodcut gives so perfect a representation of its form that any detailed description is needless. Its height is 35/8 inches, and its greatest diameter, which is at the mouth, 3 inches. Its capacity is about a gill. The material of which it is formed appears in all probability to be Kimmeridge[86] shale, though it is difficult to pronounce on this point with certainty. In another barrow, also on Broad Down,[87] Mr. Kirwan came upon a bronze spear-head, or rather dagger, which had been attached to its haft by rivets, lying on a deposit of burnt bones; and at a distance from it of about 3 feet he discovered a drinking-cup of shale, of almost similar form and size to that previously found. It is about 31/4 inches high, and 3 inches in diameter at the mouth, and is now preserved in the Albert Museum at Exeter. One very remarkable feature about these cups is that they have been turned in the lathe, and not made by hand;

The Ancient Stone Implements Fig. 365.—Broad Down or Honiton.png

Fig. 365.—Broad Down or Honiton.

and it has been suggested that by the use of the pole-lathe, the great apparent difficulty of leaving the projection for the handle would be entirely removed. I had already arrived at this conclusion before seeing, in Mr. Kirwan's paper, the views of a "skilful practical turner" on this point; but it may be well to describe the simple instrument known as a pole-lathe, with which most of the constituent parts of a Windsor chair are turned at the present day.[88]

On the bed of the lathe, which usually consists of two pieces of squared wood nailed to two standards fixed in the ground, are two wooden "heads," both furnished with pointed screws passing through them, to form the centres on which the piece of wood to be turned revolves. This, after having been chopped into an approximately cylindrical form, is placed between the two centres, and above the lathe is fixed a long elastic pole of wood, to the end of which a cord is attached, connecting it to the end of a treadle below the lathe. The cord is hitched round the wood, and adjusted to such a length as to keep the treadle well off the ground when the pole is at rest. When the treadle is pressed down with the foot, it draws down the pole, and the cord in its passage causes the piece of wood to revolve. When the pressure is relieved, the elasticity of the pole draws it back in the opposite direction, so that the workman by treading causes an alternate rotary motion of the wood. He turns this in the ordinary manner, except that his tool can cut only intermittently, that is, at the time when the revolution is towards, and not from him. If now, a projecting stop were attached to the object in the lathe, so as to prevent its making a complete revolution, it is evident that a portion like that forming the handle of the cup might be left unturned. Still, in the case of these cups, something more than the ordinary pole-lathe with two "dead" centres must have been used, as with such a lathe, it would be almost impossible to bore out the hollow of the cup. It appears probable, therefore, that a mandrel-head with a "live" centre, like that of our ordinary lathes, must have been used; though probably the motion was communicated by a pole and treadle, and not, as with modern foot-lathes, by a large pulley on a cranked axle.

We shall subsequently see that the waste pieces of Kimmeridge shale, to which the unwarrantable name of "coal-money" has been applied, testify to the use of such a lathe. Whatever may be the date to which the manufacture of this shale into bracelets and other objects was carried down, it seems probable that, assuming this cup to have been of home manufacture and not imported, the use of the lathe was known in this country in pre-Roman times. In the Broad Down barrow no other object accompanied the burnt bones, and in the trunk-interment in the King Barrow, Stowborough,[89] near Wareham, cited by Mr. Kirwan, where a somewhat similar cup appears to have been found, there was no weapon nor trace of metal, unless it were what was imagined to be some gold lace. The ornamentation of this cup is different from that of the Devonshire specimen, and the workmanship appears to be ruder. It was described at the time as of wood, but was probably of shale, as has been suggested by Dr. Wake Smart.[90] Some fragments of cups of shale with flat handles were found in the Romano-British village at Woodcuts.[91]

The Ancient Stone Implements Fig. 366.—Rillaton.png

Bottom of Cup.
Fig. 366.—Rillaton, height 31/4 inches.

It is, however, but right to mention that a wooden cup with a handle at the side, and which had been turned in a lathe, was found in a barrow in Schleswig,[92] in a coffin made from the trunk of an oak, together with a skeleton wrapped in woollen cloth, a bronze dagger, and other objects. Professor Worsaae attributes these objects to the Early Bronze Age. Mr. Kirwan has cited another instance of a somewhat similar cup, found with "coal-money."

It is true that these instances afford no actual guide as to date, but the interments were clearly not Roman. Some clue, however, is afforded by the discovery of the gold cup shown in Fig. 366, not unlike this in form, in a barrow at Rillaton,[93] Cornwall, accompanied by what appears to have been a bronze dagger;[94] but the best evidence as to the date to be assigned to this class of cups is probably that of the very remarkable and beautiful specimen formed of amber, and found in a barrow at Hove,[95] near Brighton.

The Ancient Stone Implements Fig. 367.—Hove.png

Handle of Cup.
Fig. 367.—Hove.

In this instance an interment in a rude oaken coffin was accompanied by the amber cup, here, by the kindness of the Sussex Archæological Society, reproduced, a double-edged battle-axe of stone (see Fig. 119, p. 186), a bronze dagger, and a whetstone. This cup is 31/2 inches in diameter and 21/2 high, about 1/10 inch in thickness, and its capacity rather more than half a pint. It is perfectly smooth inside and out, and, so far as I could judge from seeing it through glass in the Brighton Museum, it was turned in a lathe. It has been suggested by Mr. Barclay Phillips that some process like that of boiling amber in spirits of turpentine may have been known by which it would be rendered plastic; but this seems hardly probable.

It is, of course, possible that such an object as this may have come by commerce into Britain; and, indeed, amber is one of the articles mentioned by Strabo as exported from Celtic Gaul to this country. In the case of the shale cups, however, the evidence seems in favour of their having been articles of home manufacture, and we shall shortly see to what an extent jet was used here in early times for ornamental purposes.

So far as amber is concerned, it is to be remembered that after storms it occurs in considerable quantities along the eastern coast of England, and on the southern coast at all events to Deal. An important work on the amber ornaments of the Stone Period has been published by Dr. Richard Klebs[96]

Vessels without handles were also occasionally formed of stone. Six or seven of these, of various sizes and forms, were discovered in a "kist-vaen" in the Island of Unst,[97] and are now for the most part in the British Museum. Four of them are of a rude quadrangular form, with flat bottoms, and from 31/2 to 7 inches in height. The other three are oval. They are formed of schistose rock, and some of them still bear traces of the action of fire. Sir Wollaston Franks, with reference to these vessels, has stated that stone-vessels of a rude type are still in use in some remote parts of Norway. One is engraved, as ancient, by Nilsson.[98]

The Ancient Stone Implements Fig. 368.—Ty Mawr.png

Fig. 368.—Ty Mawr. 2/3

Several were found in the ancient dwelling at Skara, Orkney,[99] one of which is hexagonal.

A small stone cup, found by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley in an ancient circular habitation at Ty Mawr, Holyhead, is, through his kindness, shown in Fig. 368.[100] A more oval cup, somewhat broken, was also found.

An oval stone cup (41/2 inches long), apparently made out of half of a rounded boulder from the beach, was found in a barrow at Penmaenmawr.[101]

A circular cup or mortar, barely 4 inches in diameter, from Anglesea, is engraved in the Archæological Journal.[102]

Some small cup-shaped vessels of chalk, probably used as lamps, were found by Canon Greenwell, in the excavations at Grimes' Graves.[103]

A cylindrical stone vessel, 5 inches high and 61/2 inches in diameter, with a cup-shaped cavity above, and a small hole below, as if for fixing it on a stand, was found at Parton, Kircudbrightshire.[104] Another, found with a polished stone hatchet in a cairn in Caithness,[105] is of circular form, ribbed externally like a melon.

Cups without handles have been found in Orkney[106] and Caithness, some with a place for a wick, so as to serve as lamps.

In a cist in a barrow in Orkney[107] the cinerary urn was formed of "mica stone," about 191/2 inches high and 221/2 inches in diameter, and covered with a lid of undressed stone. Another of nearly the same size was found in a barrow at Stennis.[108] Another stone urn and two stone dishes, with handles or ears, were found in a grave in Forfarshire;[109] and two stone urns, one within the other, were turned up by the plough at Aucorn,[110] near Wick, Caithness.[111] One of these was 13 inches high and 21 inches in diameter, with two handles rudely cut in the sides. The other was 8 inches in height and 111/2 inches in diameter, and was provided with a stone lid. Long oval vessels from Shetland[112] probably belong to more recent times. The "mell"[113] for preparing pot-barley may be still in use.

Stone vessels, one with a movable bottom and partly filled with burnt bones, have been found in the Shetland Isles.[114]

Stone vessels have also been discovered, though rarely, in barrows in England. One such was found by Mr. Bateman, in company with a small bronze bucket with an iron handle, in a barrow at Wetton.[115] It is only 4 inches high, and carved in sandstone, with four grooves running round it by way of ornament. It is probably of late date.

A few urns formed of stone have also been found in Ireland.

One of the varieties of steatite has long been in use for the formation of hollow vessels for cooking and other purposes, and is still known by the name of Pot-stone in English. Many of the cooking vessels of the Eskimos are made of this material.

I now pass on to the consideration of personal decorations formed of stone.

  1. Keller, "Lake-dwellings," p. 326. Desor, "Les Palafittes," p. 30.
  2. Arch. Journ., vol. xxii. p. 253. "Brit. Barrows," pp. 32, 376.
  3. Arch. f. Anthr., vol. xviii. (1889), p. 235. See also Zeitsch.f. Ethn., vol. xxviii. (1896) p. 473.
  4. Proc. S. A. Scot., vol. ix. p. 548.
  5. "The Past in the Present," (1880), p. 1.
  6. Arch. Journ., vol. xxvi. p. 184.
  7. Ib. xxvi. p. 184.
  8. Wilde, "Cat. Mus. R. I. A.," p. 116.
  9. Proc. S. A. Scot., vol. iv. pp. 72, 119-286.
  10. Proc. S. A. S., vol. iv. p. 259.
  11. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xv. pp. 149, 156.
  12. Proc. S. A. S., vol. v. p. 313.
  13. A. J., vol. xxiv. p. 250; xxvii. p. 160. For others from Anglesea see Arch. Camb., 5th S., vol. ix. p. 242.
  14. Reliquary, vol. vi. pp. 207, 211.
  15. Arch. Journ., vol. xxvi. p. 304.
  16. Arch. Camb., 3rd S., vol. iii. p. 305.
  17. A. J., vol. viii. p. 427. Arch. Camb., 2nd S., vol.iii. p. 223; 3rd S., vi. p. 376.
  18. Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. iv. p. 170. Journ. R. I. Corn., vol. ii. p. 280.
  19. Proc. S. A. Scot., vol. iv. p. 54; v. pp. 15, 82; vi. p. 208. A. J., vol. x. p. 219.
  20. "Brit. Barrows," pp. 116, 196.
  21. Arch. Journ., vol. ix. p. 11; xxiv. p. 250
  22. "Stone Age," p. 81.
  23. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xxiii. p. 213.
  24. C. R. Smith's "Cat. Lond. Ant.," p. 70. Lee's "Isca Silurum," p. 47.
  25. Rabut, "Hab. Lac. de la Sav.," 2me Mém., pl. vii. 1.
  26. 1863, p. 151.
  27. "Alt. u. h. V.," vol. i. Heft ii. Taf. 1, fig. 1.
  28. Schoolcraft, "Ind. Tribes," vol. i. p. 83.
  29. Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. i. p. 268. Arch. Journ., vol. x. p. 219.
  30. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xv. p. 108.
  31. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xxiii. p. 217.
  32. Arch., vol. xxxiv. p. 135.
  33. Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. iii. p. 125.
  34. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xxiii. p. 216.
  35. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xi. p. 351. Sir A. Mitchell, "The Past in the Present," p. 239 et seqq.
  36. Im Thurn, "Among the Indians of Guiana," 1883, p. 427.
  37. Proc. S. A. S., vol. x. p. 717.
  38. Arch., vol. xlvi. p. 430, pl. xxiv. 21.
  39. "Cat. Mus. R. I. A.," p. 45.
  40. Camd. Soc. Ed., p. 458.
  41. A polished flint is still used for producing a brilliant surface on some kinds of coloured papers which are known as "flint-glazed." See "Flint Chips," p. 101.
  42. Lilly's "Euphues and his England," ed. 1617.
  43. 2nd ed., p. 468.
  44. "Vulg. Errors," ii. c. 4.
  45. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xiv. p. 64.
  46. Proc. S. A. S. vol. xv. p. 192.
  47. Trans. Lanc. and Chesh. Arch. Soc., vol. iii. p. 256.
  48. Arch. Journ., vol. xxvi., p. 321.
  49. Arch. Assoc. Journ., vol. xii. p. 177.
  50. Arch. Assoc. Journ., vol. xvii. p. 20, pl. v. 1.
  51. Arch. Camb., 4th S., vol. xiii. p. 224.
  52. Arch., vol. xxxvi. p. 456.
  53. "South Wilts," p. 124.
  54. "Vest. Ant. Derb.," p. 29.
  55. Arch., vol. xii. p. 327.
  56. "Ancient Meols," p. 314.
  57. "Ind. Tribes," vol. ii. pl. 50.
  58. Mitchell's " Past in the Present," pp. 122, 128-132. Proc. S. A. 8., vol. xii. p. 268.
  59. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xiii. p. 279.
  60. "Lake-dwellings," p. 331.
  61. Proc. S. A. S., vol. ix. pp. 154, 174, 557.
  62. Arch., vol. xlvi. pp. 468, 493.
  63. Vol. i. p. 117. Wilson's "Preh. Ann. of Scot.," vol. i. p. 207.
  64. Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. iii. p. 266.
  65. Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. v. pp. 30, 83.
  66. P. S. A. S., vol. vi. p. 89.
  67. "Cat. Arch. Inst. Mus. Ed.," p. 20.
  68. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xxii. p. 111.
  69. P. S. A. S., vol. i. p. 138.
  70. "Cat. A. I. Mus. Ed.," p. 18. P. S. A. S., vol. i. p. 267.
  71. Arch. Journ., vol. xxvi. p. 186.
  72. Arch. Scot., vol. iii. app. 50.
  73. Arch. Scot., vol. iii. app. 89.
  74. P. S. A. S., vol. ii. pp. 64, 71.
  75. P. S. A. S., vol. vii. p. 320.
  76. Ibid., vol. v. p. 82.
  77. Ibid.
  78. Ibid., vol. vi. p. 12.
  79. Ibid., vol. i. p. 180.
  80. Arch. Journ., vol. xiii. p. 104. "Cat. A. I. Mus. Ed.," p 47. P. S. A. S., vol. ii. p. 330. Arch. Camb., 3rd S., vol. xi. p. 429.
  81. Wilde, "Cat. Mus. R. I. A.," p. 114.
  82. P. S. A. S., vol. i. p. 118. "Preh. Ann. of Scot.," vol. i. p. 208.
  83. Arch. Journ., vol. xiii. p. 104.
  84. Engraved in Arch. Journ., vol. xvi. p. 299.
  85. Arch. Journ., vol. xxv. p. 290. Trans. Preh. Cong., 1868, p. 363. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. ii. p. 619; xii. p. 124.
  86. See Pengelly in Tr. Dev. Assoc., vol. iv. p. 105.
  87. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. iv. p. 302, pl. iv. 2.
  88. The pole-lathe is also still in use in the manufacture of metallic cocks in which the revolution of the barrel being turned has to be stopped before the complete circle has been gone through.—See Timmins's "Birmingham and Mid. Hardware District," (1866), p. 291.
  89. Hutchins' "Dorset," vol. i. p. 38. Gough's "Camden's Brit.," vol. i. p. 70, pl. ii. Warne's "Celtic Tumuli," § 3, p. 4.
  90. Warne, l. c.
  91. "Exc. on Cranborne Chase," vol. i. pl. xlviii.
  92. Arch. Journ., vol. xxiii. p. 35.
  93. Arch. Journ., vol. xxiv. p. 189, whence the cut is borrowed.
  94. Erroneously called a celt by Mr. Kirwan.
  95. Arch. Journ., vol. xiii. p. 183; xv. 90. Sussex Arch. Coll., vol. ix. p. 120.
  96. "Der Bemstein-schmuck der Steinzeit," Königsberg in Pr., 1882.
  97. Mem. Anthrop. Soc. Lond., vol. i. p. 296, pl. i. Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. iii. p. 51.
  98. "stone Age," pl. x. 210.
  99. Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. viii. p. 213.
  100. Arch. Journ., vol. xxvii. p. 160, pl. ii. 2.
  101. Arch. Camb., 5th S., vol. viii. p. 56.
  102. Vol. xxvi. p. 288.
  103. Journ. Eth. Soc., vol. ii. p. 430.
  104. P. S. A. S., vol. vii. p. 478.
  105. P. S. A. S., vol. vii. p. 502, fig. vii.; viii. p. 232; xxix. p. 6.
  106. Proc. S. A. S., vol. xi. pp. 82, 83.
  107. Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. ii. pp. 4, 59; vol. x. p. 539.
  108. Proc. S. A. S., vol. x. p. 539.
  109. P. S. A. S., vol. ii. p. 191.
  110. Proc. S. A. S., vol. x. p. 538.
  111. Ibid., vol. i. p. 149.
  112. Proc. S. A. S., vol. x. p. 548.
  113. P. S. A. S., vol. xii. p. 263.
  114. Wilson's "Preh. Ann. of Scot.," vol. i. p. 206. Hibbert's "Shetland," p. 412. "Cat. Mus. Soc. Ant. L.," p. 18.
  115. "Ten Years' Dig.," p. 173.