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as to present to the eye the appearance of a mound of earth. In rare instances, they have small stone enclosures, but invariably contain the remains of burnt corpses in clay vessels that resemble urns. Frequently on the summit or side of a mound, is found an un with burnt bones, whilst the bottom of the hill contains the real burial-place, namely, a giant's chamber with its unburnt corpses and stone utensils. And this is one of numerous proofs that the Bronze age succeeded the Stone age.
During this period, a considerable variety in the manner of burying is observable. The sword and ornaments of the deceased were laid on the ashes of the funeral pile, were covered with a heap of stones, and in the earth raised over this, was placed the urn containing the remains of the body. Instead of the urn a stone chest, about half a yard long, was sometimes constructed. Many of the “hills” contain from thirty to seventy urns, and these were no doubt family burial-places.
The antiquities of the Bronze age do not seem to have been developed out of those of the former period. The transition is sudden, and tells of the coming in of a new people. Instead of the simple, uniform implements of stone, we discover metal weapons, utensils and ornaments, many of the latter being of gold, and all elegantly wrought. Amongst the antiquities are found the peculiar kind of axe called the celt, knives very nearly resembling those of the present day, swords, battle-axes, daggers, lance-heads, shields, and the war-trumpet called the lur, sometimes in such good preservation that it may be blown; hair-pins, combs, bracelets, and gold cups highly ornamented.
The use of stone did not cease on the introduction of bronze; stone implements are found in the Bronze graves.
There are no traces of written characters during the second period, but towards the end the ornaments convey the impression that writing must have been understood. The mixed metal of the Bronze age, it must be observed, contained nine-tenths copper and one-tenth tin, neither of which is to be found in Denmark, nor is there any country from whence they could probably be brought, Britain excepted.
The graves of the Stone age are found in Denmark. principally along the coast, and in particular districts; in one parish, there yet stand above a hundred Stone graves. The graves and giants' chambers of this period are likewise found in the south-west of the present Sweden, namely, in the old Danish countries of Schonen and West Göthland, a few in the east and north, but none in Norway. Almost all north Germany, parts of England and Hol. land, the west and south of France, Portugal and Spain, contain Stone graves coinciding with those of Denmark; and the contents are everywhere the same.
The peculiar graves of the Bronze age have about the same extent as those of the preceding period in Sweden and Norway; but in other countries they are not so limited. Thus from these investigations we learn, that whilst the first inhabitants of Denmark and northern Europe lay along the coast and subsisted on hunting and fishing, only the people of the second period were enabled by their metal implements to penetrate the country, and construct boats that could be available for extended navigation. It is also evident from the intermixture of the stone and bronze antiquities, that there was no extermination of one race by another, but a gradual absorption, that mysterious process by which peoples disappear, to vulgar eyes" leaving not a wreck behind."
Now arises the question, who were the people of the Stone age? Not the Finns, whose descendants are the present Lapps, says Prof. Worsaae ; and not the Celts, for these burned the dead, and extended over districts where no Stone graves are to be found. Thence he concludes that the Stone people are unknown to history. Nevertheless, though this people were not the nomade ancestors of the Finns or Lapps, the probability is that they were a Tatár tribe, perhaps mixed with some of the earliest of the Indo-European stock.
The people of the Bronze age stood on the same grade of culture as the Celts; yet Prof. Worsaae cannot bring himself to suppose that they were anything but the Gothic ancestors of the present Danes. His principal, if not only, reason for this is, that the Bronze age lasted into the eighth century. But this age may have been common to Celts and Goths, as the fact of an equality of culture
makes evident. Moreover, we have seen that a great variety is observable in the graves of the second period. And, as will appear subsequently, Celts from Denmark did arrive in the British Isles.
When the Indo-Europeans entered Europe, they came in contact with Tatár tribes on the north, and with Basques, Etruscans and Illyrians on the south. At the dawn of European history, we find the Celts widely spread through the continent, and especially in possession of all the northern and western coasts. That they should leave unexplored the shores of Denmark, is what we cannot reasonably suppose, seeing that they held possessions in Gaul, Spain, Italy and the Low Countries. In the south we find them in contact with, and a terror to, the Greek-Latin race, in Spain mixing with the ancestors of the Basques, where they were known as the Celtiberians. And as various evidences tend to show, in the north they were mixed with the Tatár people of the Stone age of Denmark. On the east of the Celts pressed the Goths, and behind these, but with the interposition of Tatár and some other peoples, came the Slaves and Lithuanians.
THE FIRST COLONISATION OF THE BRITISH ISLES.
WHEN Cæsar arrived in Britain, he found it a thickly populated country; and this alone may account for the unsatisfactory information he has transmitted to us concerning the people. He divides the natives into two parts: the inland people, or aborigines, and the inhabitants of the coast, whom he apparently supposes to be all Belgæ. It is quite probable that some of the tribe named did migrate to the opposite shore, but, beyond a doubt, all authentic traditions of this nature had disappeared long before the visit of the Roman general to Britain.
Our British ethnography has remained to the present day in the same rude state in which we received it from Cæsar-the conjectures of Tacitus concerning the Silures and Caledonians notwithstanding. On historical grounds, we believe the first inhabitants of Britain to have been Celtic-using the name in rather a vague sense; and yet limiting our argument even to the monuments of the country, it will be seen that this current view is open to much doubt.
Burial-places and giants' chambers precisely similar to those of the Stone age of Denmark have been found in these islands, if not numerous, at least very widely spread. It must be remembered that we have no systematic account of these antiquities in Britain, and that before any record of them was made, numbers may
have been destroyed. The sepulchres of this class are known as “ cromlechs;" they are so called in Ireland and Wales, and the name is current in the archæology of England.
The description of a burial-place in Pembrokeshire called Y Gromlech, leaves no doubt of its identity with the Stone chambers. It consists of " several rude stones pitched on end in a circular order; and in the midst of the circle, a vast rude stone placed on several pillars. The diameter of the area is about fifty feet. The stone supported in the midst of this circle is eighteen feet long and nine in breadth; and, at one end, it is about three feet thick, but thinner at the other. There lies also by it a piece broken off, which seems more than twenty oxen can draw.
It is supported by three large rude pillars about eight feet high; but there are also five others which are of no use at present, as not being high enough to bear any weight of the top stone. Under this stone the ground is neatly flagged, considering the rudeness of monuments of this kind."* Several monuments of this description are mentioned in the same
St. Iltut's hermitage in Brecknockshire, is constructed of three large stones fixed in the ground, with a fourth for a cover, and forms an “oblong but,” open at one end, about eight feet in length, four in width, and nearly the same in height. This seems to be most generally the present shape and size of such chambers. Arthur's Stone in Glamorganshire belongs to the same class. Cromlechs are found in Anglesey, and in some other counties in Wales, of which two in Denbighshire are improperly called kist vaen, or stone chests. And most probably the “ Picts' houses” of the Orkneys, described as "overgrown with earth,” are sepulchres of the Stone age.
The latest and most reliable work on the ancient burial-places of the British Isles,* unfortunately shows that this department of archæology is yet in its infancy. From the subject as it there stands, no safe conclusions can be drawn. Ireland must, however, have many cromlechs; and a giant's chamber is described as having been discovered at New Grange, near Drogheda. The
# Camden's Britannia.
+ Archæological Index, by J. Y. Ackerman, 1847.