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for their dead or provided them so well for the other world, as they evidently did in general, to judge by the structure and contents of the stone graves. In all of these are seen traces of fire charcoal ashes and stones rendered friable by fire; in many also not a few split and scorched bones of beasts, and sometimes even of men. Either fires must have been kindled in the graves to purify and hallow them on the occasion of various successive burials, or more probably a kind of sacrifice and burial-feast was observed; and this may possibly account for the broken bones and teeth of the animals which were eaten, especially of horses (and men?) and for the numerous remains of broken pottery. In the immediate neighbourhood of the grave chambers there are distinct traces of similar funeral banquets.
A skull exhumed from a stone grave at Naes on the island of Falster seems to point to a barbaric religious custom. The crown displays an oblong regularly formed aperture, the edges of which are ossified, proving that the individual in question must have lived for a long time after the excision was made. In corresponding stone graves in France it has been observed that it was not unfrequently the custom to cut out similar oblong or round apertures with flint knives. Pieces of the skulls of living persons, especially of children, were thus removed, partly to cure or protect them from spasms and other sicknesses, partly to give them a religious sanctity. In proof of the reverence and respect paid to people thus in fact trepanned, many finds in France show that even after their death small circular pieces of their skulls were often sawn or cut out to be carried as amulets by the survivors. Such can be clearly recog
nised in the objects taken out of the French stone graves. In the Danish graves amulets of this kind cannot as yet be indicated with certainty. Meantime there is already extant from a stone grave in Seeland a round piece cut out of a skull, which strongly reminds us of the French amulets in question.
On the other hand among the amber ornaments deposited in the grave chambers of Denmark are an extraordinary number shaped like axes or hammers. To judge by the general wide dissemination in the North of these marked forms, there is every probability that these axes had, in accordance with what has been observed in the lands of the West and South, a symbolical significance most likely associated with ideas of a mighty deity of thunder-Thor. Distinct traces of his worship show that it was also general in early times among the Finns and Celtic peoples. It is probable that the axe-shaped amber ornaments were carried in the belief that they gave protection and health to the wearer of the amulet.
In this respect it is not without significance that axes of various sizes were in the same way perforated and hung up or carried as amulets in other lands also. This was the case for instance in Greece and to the east even as far as China, where they were afterwards sometimes provided with magic inscriptions. They are indeed almost all over the whole world still called by the common people "Thunderbolts" (Tordenstene),
6 Vide" Arts," figs. 25, 26. Amber necklaces are mentioned by St. Eloi in the eighth century as among the traces of heathen superstition. -Jones, "Credulities," p. 170.
7 And in Japan.
being supposed to have fallen in a thunderstorm or to stand in intimate association with the lightning and its effects. Long after the close of the Age of Stone people still continued in the classic South to carry small stone axes; and, as in our own days in the Scottish Highlands,8 they retained the custom of setting antique flint arrowheads in gold or silver, and wearing them, evidently in the belief that they would bring luck. True, the Northern stone graves have failed as yet to reveal on the side walls of their chambers such carved or painted figures of axes as the stone chambers in the West and central parts of Europe have to show. Nor do the largest and finest polished flint axes in the North appear, as in west Europe, to have been found in the grave chambers. But on the other hand the largest and most beautiful stone implements occur in the North usually in conjunction with other objects likewise very rarely found or unknown in the graves, and precisely in hoard-finds, under conditions which point to a religious origin. Whole rows of uniform large flint axes curved knives scrapers &c. have been so frequently deposited under large stones in fields or bogs,-some of which were perhaps lakes at that time,-and often so evidently by design as to exclude all question of their having been accidentally lost. In the north of Jutland in one spot thirty lance or spear heads were lately picked up, all of the same kind of red flint. In north Slesvig a still greater number of flint implements was
8 Cf. J. Anderson, "Scotland in Pagan Times (Bronze and Stone Ages)," p. 380.
9 The belief in "lucky stones," i.e., stones with a hole through, is still very common in the north of England.
found, of various forms, but especially axes, in a meadow laid in regular layers divided by sand. In other places, quite up to the north of Sweden, stone implements have been fixed with their ends down in circles of various size. More particularly has this been the case with the curved crescent-shaped knives. In this respect an extremely remarkable agreement prevails between what has been observed in the Scandinavian North and in the distant North America. Pieces of amber both manufactured and raw are frequently hoarded together in bogs, sometimes in pots, carefully surrounded with stones. In a bog in Jutland a considerable number were found encompassed by three large flint axes piled in the form of a high-pitched roof. Still less as a rule can we admit that certain kinds of stone implements or that the numerous bits of amber found under exactly the same conditions can have been merely chance-forgotten treasures. We are naturally therefore obliged to suppose that such deliberate deposits, as observed in many other lands of Europe and elsewhere, were most probably made as offerings to the gods, and thus as gifts expected to bear fruit to the benefit of the owner in this life and the next. This much in fact appears established by the experience gained from America and other quarters, that the larger hoards of superior implements weapons and ornaments, and even of the comparatively rare material of which the ornaments were made, during the Stone-Age universally represented a certain worth or fortune; much as in later times a larger or smaller portion of the metals, then strange and therefore precious in the North, whether wrought or unwrought,
constituted actual treasure for the owner or a definite sum in the ordinary traffic of the country.
A similar distinct difference between the nature of articles essentially sepulchral and the hoards of offerings found in fields bogs and lakes is also unmistakable in the succeeding Age of Bronze. It is not impossible that here again closer communications between the culture of the Stone-Age and that of the Age of Bronze will come to light.
But not to lay too great weight on such questions of the future, there are facts enough to render it more and more manifest that the Later Stone-Age people consisted of strong thickly settled well-to-do races remarkably capable of progress, who, though prepared to appropriate a new culture, could not have adopted it all at once. Just as clear must it be that such races could not at a single blow have submitted to subjugation, not to say expulsion, by a people of higher standing, even though the latter had advanced at once with all the superiority acquired by long practice in the use of improved weapons and implements of metal. It is tolerably certain that the southern North was now more clear of woods and open to strangers than before. But to balance this the population of these countries could offer a very different resistance to that which they had themselves encountered in their day, when at the time of their extension over the old Danish lands they had stood opposed to more roving weaker races, who were merely hunting and fishing savages. Be that as it may, the people of the Stone-Age could never so long have maintained an independent existence, favourable in many respects to their peculiar culture, even in