Page images

forms of European celts may be recognized in our Bundelkund ones, though in the illustrated catalogue of Irish antiquities in the Dublin Museum there is nothing figured like the stone hammer or mallet found by me at Powari. The most probable use for which this article was designed was probably pounding, but it is doubtful if it was not furnished with a high celt-shaped handle, as just above the neck it has suffered fracture. It is also fractured at the base, seemingly from accidental usage, but enough remains of the smooth basal surface to indicate its form beneath, and show the purposes to which it was probably applied. The neck or shoulder is very smoothly finished, but more specimens are required to indicate the normal shape of the perfect instrument. Weight 1 lb. 9%oz. Only one other blunt weapon was found, which though perhaps used for similar purposes is much lighter and very different in shape, which is much that of a common native wrought iron pestle. It has afiat top at one end and probably a blunt edge at the other, though now much worn down. It was never very highly finished and weighs only 9% ounces. One of the most interesting celts in the collection is the very rude one which exhibits scarcely any signs of manufacture, and might readily enough be mistaken for an accidental fragment of rock. The natives, however, about Karoi possessed suflicient archaeological acumen to perceive its nature, and have adorned it with a daub of red paint as Mahadeo, together with others of greater pretensions to divine honours than it. Whether accidentally or not, it exhibits the inacquilateral outline observable in many finished celts, and which was for some cause or other intentionally produced. The must curious point, however, about it is the presence of a few notches in the edge, which, as the stone is much decayed, may have originally been more conspicuous. That they are notches there is no doubt, but to have served any purpose, they must once have been much deeper, when they might have acted as a rude saw, the only instance of such a tool in stone 1 am acquainted with. Of many score celts, this is the only one of this rude type I have seen. The one marked from Debru ghat on the Soane is perhaps as unfinished, but it may once have hada finer edge, and its claims to be considered a celt are not conclusive.

The small fragment from Sibdilla is interesting as showing how certainly the mcrcst portion of a celt may be recognised, as regarding this fragment, small as it is, there can be no doubt ; and as proving incontestably the former extension of these relies, on a very large area, as Sibdilla is a town of Behar not far from the hills, but 200 miles east of the Tons and the celt district proper about Karoi or Tirhowan.

Most of the celts it will be seen once possessed a very sharp edge, but there are some in the collection as Nos. l2,_l3, 17 which though well-finished, never seem to have been ground down to a cutting edge and were probably used for other purposes than the sharp edged ones, though what precise use that was, can scarcely be guessed at. For comparison with these implements, I have laid on the table a few stone chips for which I am indebted to Major Haughton from the Andamans, the most finished of which might have been intended for arrow-head, but the majority of which chips seem merely intended to be used with the fingers in dividing fish or flesh. The round stone is also from the same quarter and seems to have been used for much the same purposes as the stone hammer from Powari. The four chips marked. with a cross may have very well been intended for tipping arrows, to be used only against fish, but none of them would have been very effective against the Andaman pig or indeed any land animal. As, however, the Andamanese chiefly depend on fish, which they shoot with arrows for their food, Major Haughton is probably correct in regarding many of these chips as arro\v-heads, though of a far slighter character than the arrow-heads which are usually found accompanying celts. The small agate fragment from Behar bears the appearance of being the remnant of a larger shear, and whether intended as an arrow-point or not, is, there is little doubt, an artificially formed piece of stone.

A lump of chert from which chips have evidently been struck oil‘ was found by Major Haughton together with the chips in a native encampment and but from the place it was found in, would never have attracted notice, though on examination it is clearly enough seen to be the parent of chips, such as accompany it. The following table gives the weights and dimensions of the long and short axes and thickness of twelve selected celts, all from the Karoi district, varying from 4lbs 9 oz. to 2 oz. 335 Grs.——the great bulk of the collection, however, ranging from % to 1% lbs.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]
[ocr errors]

The material of which these stone weapons from Buncllekund are manufactured differs somewhat in mineral composition and texture, but is, I believe, without exception selected from the geological group named ‘ Semries’ by Professor Henry Medlicott in his report on the district. A sort of greenstone is usually selected, but sometimes a more distinctly schistose rock, and in one case (Fig. A,) a piece. of limestone has been used, though in the highly finished ones only the harder and better adapted stones seemed to have been used.

The small fragment from Sibdilla is made of a softish schist ill suited for such a purpose and which has evidently broken along a natural flaw or parting in the stone.

What is remarkable is, that, abundant as quartzite is, it has never been used for the manufactu1'e of celts, though perhaps quartz weapons, especially of small size, may eventually be found. Neither have I ever noticed any celt manufactured from the compact Vindhyan sandstone of the country in which they occur. Too little is, however, known at present of these relics to base any reliable surmise on, and I shall therefore refrain from any further remarks, beyond expressing a hope that the notice will serve to stimulate inquiry, and prove what an interesting field of archaeological research lies, as it were, at our doors, and how much light a little energy and zeal may be expected to throw on the unwritten history of the Archaic races of men in India.

Mr. Theobald also exhibited an engraved figure of Athene Pro

« PreviousContinue »