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the Stone-Age maintained themselves longest separate from the overpowering influences of the advancing Bronze-culture.
Closely connected with this considerable progress in the structure of graves was an evident progress in the manufacture of implements weapons and ornaments. Man was no longer content, as before, to use the flint blocks lying scattered on the surface and hardened by the action of the atmosphere. From these as a rule he could fashion only small flint implements. By and by he came to the knowledge that flint when just exhumed from its natural bed in the earth is more brittle and easy to work. Workshops were established in flinty localities of France Belgium and England, and even regular flint mines with extensive subterranean passages. Larger and handsomer implements were here produced in great numbers, and a considerable traffic carried on even with distant regions. Many of the flint implements, especially axes, were now polished to a degree hitherto unknown; whereas such a polishing in the older periods of the Stone-Age had been limited to implements of softer kinds of stone.
By the side of the newer and handsomer forms thus gradually called into being by greater prosperity increasing requirements and extended communications, the productions of the Later Stone-Age in the western lands. had this in common, that not a few of the older typical forms, especially of axes and chisels, were retained. In these and in many other respects the stone articles in western Europe form a peculiar group, evidently distinct from the antiquities of stone in the North, e.g. in Holland, Hannover, Mecklenburg, and the old Danish
lands,1 where a still greater independence and variety of forms everywhere asserted itself. Specially was this the case in the northernmost part of this European group, in the Scandinavian lowlands, where flint abounds. Here the culture of the Later Stone-Age, so far as concerns objects of stone, presents itself in a peculiar and highly-developed shape hardly surpassed elsewhere. Very large manufactory-finds prove that here also, as in western Europe, stone implements were extensively produced and other districts also supplied with them.
If the stone graves of the North cannot compare in size and decoration with many of the monuments of western Europe dating from the close of the StoneAge,—the cause of which ought perhaps to be traced to the difference between the softer and more workable kinds of stone in west Europe and the hard granite of the North,-yet numerous Northern stone graves also present an imposing magnitude as well as distinct and very noticeable characteristics. In spite of the differences between the monuments and antiquities in the Western and Northern groups the internal agreement between the two groups both in style of structure and contents of the stone graves are still in many details so great, that they evidently not only stand on the same level, but the Northern must be regarded as a continuation and progressive development of the Western. Like a foreign plant reared and fostered under a more favourable climate, the comparatively high culture of the Later Stone-Age enters Denmark
1 Including Slesvig (north of the Eider) Scania Halland and - Blekinge. Vide Map.
at last by way of north-west Germany, where doubtless the earliest germs had been laid of the peculiarities destined at a later time to produce a more fully marked individuality in the Scandinavian North.
Not less slowly than in other lands of Europe must the new culture have moved up step by step to the then still thickly wooded peninsula of Jutland. The nearest accessible sea-coasts fjords and river-banks, which had as yet been occupied only by roving hunter and fisher folk, could not here suffice for a permanently settled and steadily growing population, who now regarded hunting and fishing as a matter of minor importance, and more and more felt the increasing necessities of life. Little by little from the coasts and river-banks they must have cleared the dense primeval forests laboriously with fire and stone axes and opened up the interior.
Slowly then this wood-felling population with its need of larger dwellings its cattle-rearing and, as we know, with the rudiments of agriculture would work its way up the peninsula. But a long period must have elapsed ere they had reached a point north enough, namely about the middle, to enable them to expand further eastwards over Fÿen Seeland and the remaining Danish islands. One result of this was that the primitive conditions of the Early Stone-Age culture could still linger for a long time unmolested in remote regions of Denmark by the side of the new culture in its gradual advance from south and west. More particularly in the extreme north of Jutland in the most easterly parts of Seeland and in Scania would these conditions. be the last to suffer disturbance and final expulsion.
It was indeed natural in itself for the older hunting and fishing people in the Danish lands to feel the effects of the higher culture more and more firmly established in their immediate neighbourhood. First and fore
most they must soon have become possessed of the better hunting weapons and tools imported by the newcomers. Proof of this occurs in the numerous scattered objects of fine form and workmanship which are found mingled with objects otherwise characteristic of the Earlier Stone-Age. From other discoveries it is not improbable that some of the earlier inhabitants may by degrees have adopted the new culture more extensively, and soon in part or wholly altered their previous mode of life.
For such minglings and transitions there was time enough, before the new culture could finally and fully overspread the whole land. But in general it cannot possibly have taken root in Denmark only among the native races of earlier times. Were that the case, the regular transitions at all points would have been beyond measure more evident. On the contrary the contents of the monuments left by the Earlier Stone-Age stand in far too sharp and definite a contrast to the singularly uniform contents of all the barrows and "Giant-chambers" and of all the larger finds gathered from the Later Stone-Age as well in Denmark as in the neighbouring lands more to the south and north. It is altogether inconceivable that races so rude and cut off from the rest of the world, as Denmark's primeval inhabitants, should have been in a better condition than other similarly situated peoples not merely at once and thoroughly to adopt a higher civilisation of
alien origin, but even to carry it on to a pitch of development elsewhere unknown. Even apart from the eloquent contents of the stone graves the mere consideration of their distribution their huge structure their mutual agreement and general exterior both in other lands and in the North lead us involuntarily to recognise that, just as in the West and South, they are derived directly or principally from new powerful tribes pushing on more and more northwards, before whom the older and weaker hunting and fisher folk must as a rule have vanished or sunk into dependence and thraldom.
The examination and comparison of the unburnt bodies laid in the stone graves have as yet failed to show the particular race in which we should definitely class those more powerful tribes. But this much already has been deduced from the mixed and various forms of the skulls,2 that in this respect no great difference can be indicated between the populations then and now existing in Denmark and the rest of the North.
Such was doubtless the manner in which the higher dominant people arrived during the Later Age of Stone. For them too the mild Danish lowlands presented no less allurements than for their primeval hunting and fishing predecessors. There was no dearth of game and fish; and the takes must now have been greatly facili
2 Against the statement of Sir Charles Lyell (Prim. Man, p. 15–16). Mons. Reclus makes a strange assertion in the "Universal Geography," vol. ix. p. 59, concerning the existence in Denmark till the sixteenth century of "a people of very feeble cranial capacity." Such exist in all civilised countries, but are hardly to be regarded as typical.