Ancient Society. Lewis H. Morgan 1877
It is well to obtain an impression of the relative amount and of the ratio of human progress in the several ethnical periods named, by grouping together the achievements of each, and comparing them with each other as distinct classes of facts. This will also enable us to form some conception of the relative duration of these periods. To render it forcible, such a survey must be general, and in the nature of a recapitulation. It should, likewise, be limited to the principal works of each period. Before man could have attained to the civilized state it was necessary that he should gain all the elements of civilization. This implies an amazing change of condition, first from a primitive savage to a barbarian of the lowest type, and then from the latter to a Greek of the Homeric period, or to a Hebrew of the time of Abraham The progressive development which history records in the period of civilization was not less true of man in each of the previous periods. By re-ascending along the several lines of human progress towards the primitive ages of man’s existence, and removing one by one his principal institutions, inventions, and discoveries, in the order in which they have appeared, the advance made in each period will be realized. The principal contributions of modern civilization are the electric telegraph; coal gas; the spinning-jenny; and the power loom; the steam-engine with its numerous dependent machines, including the locomotive, the railway, and the steamship; the telescope; the discovery of the ponderability of the atmosphere and of the solar system; the art of printing; the canal lock; the mariner’s compass; and gunpowder. The mass of other inventions, such, for example, as the Ericsson propeller, will be found to hinge upon one or another of those named as antecedents: hut there are exceptions, as photography, and numerous machines not necessary to be noticed. With these also should be removed the modern sciences; religious freedom and the common schools; representative democracy; constitutional monarchy with parliaments; the feudal kingdom; modern privileged classes; international, statute and common law. Modern civilization recovered and absorbed whatever was valuable in the ancient civilizations and although its contributions to the sum of human knowledge have been vast, brilliant and rapid, they are far from being so disproportionately large as to overshadow the ancient civilizations and sink them into comparative insignificance. Passing over the mediaeval period, which gave Gothic architecture, feudal aristocracy with hereditary titles of rank, and a hierarchy under the headship of a pope, we enter the Roman and Grecian civilizations. They will be found deficient in great inventions and discoveries, but distinguished in art, in philosophy, and in organic institutions. The principal contributions of these civilizations were imperial and kingly government; the civil law; Christianity; mixed aristocratical and democratical government, with a senate and consuls; democratical government with a council and popular assembly; the organization of armies into cavalry and infantry, with military discipline; the establishment of navies, with the practice of naval warfare; the formation of great, cities, with municipal law; commerce on the seas; the coinage of money; and the state, founded upon territory and upon property; and among inventions, fire-baked brick, the crane, the water-wheel for driving mills, the bridge, aqueduct and sewer; lead pipe used as a conduit with the faucet; the arch, the balance scale; the arts and sciences of the classical period, with their results, including the orders of architecture; the Arabic numerals and alphabetic writing.
These civilizations drew largely from, as well as rested upon, the inventions and discoveries and the institutions of the previous period of barbarism. The achievements of civilized man, although very great and remarkable are nevertheless very far from sufficient to eclipse the works of man as a barbarian. As such he had wrought out and possessed all the elements of civilization, excepting alphabetic writing. His achievements as a barbarian should be considered in their relation to the sum of human progress; and we may be forced to admit that they transcend, in relative importance, all his subsequent works.
The use of writing, or its equivalent in hieroglyphics upon stone, affords a fair test of the commencement of civilization. Without literary records neither history nor civilization can properly be said to exist. The production of the Homeric poems, whether transmitted orally or committed to writing at the time, fixes with sufficient nearness the introduction of civilization among the Greeks. These poems, ever fresh and ever marvellous, possess an ethnological value which enhances immensely their other excellences. This is especially true of the Iliad, which contains the oldest as well as the most circumstantial account now existing of the progress of mankind up to the time of its composition. Strabo compliments Homer as the father of geographical science; but the great poet has given, perhaps without design, what was infinitely more important to succeeding generations; namely, a remarkably full exposition of the arts, usages, inventions and discoveries, and mode of life of the ancient Greeks. It presents our first comprehensive picture of Aryan society while still in barbarism, showing the progress then made, and of what particulars it consisted. Through these poems we are enabled confidently to state that certain things were known among the Greeks before they entered civilization. They also cast an illuminating light far backward into the period or barbarism.
Using the Homeric poems as a guide and continuing the retrospect into the Later Period of barbarism, let us strike off from the knowledge and experience of mankind the invention of poetry; the ancient mythology in its elaborate form, with the Olympian divinities; temple architecture; the knowledge of the cereals, excepting maize and cultivated plants, with field agriculture; cities encompassed with walls of stone, with battlements, towers and gates; the use of marble in architecture; ship-building with plank and probably with the use of nails; the wagon and the chariot; metallic plate armour; the copper-pointed spear and embossed shield; the iron sword; the manufacture of wine, probably; the mechanical powers excepting the screw; the potter’s wheel and the hand-mill for grinding grain; woven fabrics of linen and woollen from the loom; the iron axe and spade; the iron hatchet and the hammer and the anvil; the bellows and the forge; and the side-hill furnace for smelting iron ore, together with a knowledge of iron. Along with the above-named acquisitions must be removed the monogamian family; military democracies of the heroic age; the later phase of the organization into gentes, phratries and tribes; the agora or popular assembly, probably; a knowledge of individual property in houses and lands; and the advanced form of municipal life in fortified cities. When this has been done, the highest class of barbarians will have surrendered the principal portion of their marvellous works, together with the mental and moral growth thereby acquired.
From this point backward through the Middle Period of barbarism the indications become less distinct, and the relative order in which institutions, inventions and discovered appeared is less clear; but we are not without some knowledge to guide our steps even in these distant ages of the Aryan family. For reasons previously stated, other families, besides the Aryan, may now be resorted to for the desired information.
Entering next the Middle Period, let us, in like manner, strike out of human experience the process of making bronze; Hocks and herds of domestic animals; communal houses with walls of adobe, and of dressed stone laid in courses with mortar of lime and sand; cyclopean walls; lake dwellings constructed on piles; the knowledge of native metals, with the use of charcoal and the crucible for melting them; the copper axe and chisel; the shuttle and embryo loom; cultivation by irrigation, causeways, reservoirs and irrigating canals; paved roads; osier suspension bridges; personal gods, with a priesthood distinguished by a costume, and organized in a hierarchy; human sacrifices; military democracies of the Aztec type; woven fabrics of cotton and other vegetable fibre in the Western hemisphere, and of wool and flax in the Eastern; ornamental pottery: the sword of wood, with the edges pointed with flints; polished flint and stone implements; a knowledge of cotton and flax; and the domestic animals.
The aggregate of achievements in this period was less than in that, which followed; but in its relations to the sum of human progress it was very great. It includes the domestication of animals in the Eastern hemisphere, which introduced in time a permanent meat and milk subsistence, and ultimately field agriculture; and also inaugurated those experiments with the native metals which resulted in producing bronze, as well as prepared the way for the higher process of smelting iron ore. In the Western hemisphere it was signalized by the discovery and treatment of the native metals, which resulted in the production independently of bronze; by the introduction of irrigation in the cultivation of maize and plants, and by the use of adobe- brick and stone in the construction of great joint tenement houses in the nature of fortresses.
Resuming the retrospect and entering the Older Period of barbarism, let us next remove from human acquisitions the confederacy, based upon gentes, phratries and tribes under the government of a council of chiefs which, gave a more highly organized state of society than before that had been known, Also the discovery and cultivation of maize and the bean, squash and tobacco, in the Western hemisphere, together with a knowledge of farinaceous food; finger weaving with warp and woof; the kilt, moccasin and legging of tanned deer-skin; the blowgun for bird shooting; village stockade for defence; tribal games; element worship, with a vague recognition of the Great Spirit; cannibalism in time of war; and lastly, the art of pottery.
As we ascend in the order of time and of development; but descend in the scale of human advancement, inventions become more simple, and more direct in their relations to primary wants; and institutions approach nearer and nearer to the elementary form of a gens composed of consanguinei, under a chief of their own election, and to the tribe composed of kindred gentes, under the government of a council of chiefs. The condition of Asiatic and European tribes in this period; (for the Aryan and Semitic families did not probably then exist), is substantially lost. It is represented by the remains of ancient art between the invention of pottery and the domestication of animals; and includes the people who formed the shell-heaps on the coast of the Baltic, who seem to have domesticated the dog, but no other animals.
In any just estimate of the magnitude of the achievements of mankind in the three sub-periods of barbarism, they must be regarded as immense, not only in number and in intrinsic value, but also in the mental and moral development, by which they were necessarily accompanied.
Ascending next through the prolonged period of savagery, let us strike out of human knowledge the organization into gentes, phratries and tribes; the syndyasmian family; the worship of the elements in its lowest form; syllabical language; the bow and arrow; stone and bone implements; cane and splint baskets; skin garments; the punaluan family; the organization upon the basis of sex; the village, consisting of clustered houses; boat craft, including the bark and dug-out canoe; the spear pointed with flint, and the war club; flint implements of the ruder kinds; the consanguine family; monosyllabical language; fetichism; cannibalism; a knowledge of the use of fire; and lastly, gesture language. When this work of elimination has been done in the order in which these several acquisitions were made, we shall have approached quite near the infantile period of man’s existence, when mankind were learning the use of fire, which rendered possible a fish subsistence and a change of habitat, and when they were attempting the formation of articulate language. In a condition so absolutely primitive, man is seen to be not only a child in the scale of humanity, but possessed of a brain into which not a thought or conception expressed by these institutions, inventions and discoveries had penetrated; and — in a word, he stands at the bottom of the scale, but potentially all he has since become.
With the production of inventions and discoveries, and with the growth of institutions, the human mind necessarily grew and expanded; and we are led to recognize a gradual enlargement of the brain itself, particularly of the cerebral portion. The slowness of this mental growth was inevitable, in the period of savagery, from the extreme difficulty of compassing the simplest invention out of nothing, or with next to nothing to assist mental effort; and of discovering any substance or force in nature available in such a rude condition of life. It was not less difficult to organize the simplest form of society out of such savage and intractable materials. The first inventions and the first social organizations were doubtless the hardest to achieve, and were consequently separated from each other by the longest intervals of time. A striking illustration is found in the successive forms of the family. In this law of progress, which works in a geometrical ratio, a sufficient explanation is found of the prolonged duration of the period of savagery.
That the early condition of mankind was substantially as above indicated is not exclusively a recent, nor even a modern opinion. Some of the ancient poets and philosophers recognized the fact, that mankind commenced in a state of extreme rudeness from which they had risen by slow and successive steps. They also perceived that the course of their development was registered by a progressive series of inventions and discoveries, but without noticing as fully the more conclusive argument from social institutions.
The important question of the ratio of this progress, which has a direct bearing upon the relative length of the several ethnical periods, now presents itself. Human progress, from first to last, has been in a ratio not rigorously but essentially geometrical. This is plain on the face of the facts; and it could not, theoretically, have occurred in any other way. Every item of absolute knowledge gained became a factor in further acquisitions, until the present complexity of knowledge was attained. Consequently, while progress was slowest in time in the first period, and most rapid in the last, the relative amount may have been greatest in the first, when the achievements of either period are considered in their relations to the sum. It may be suggested, as not improbable of ultimate recognition, that the progress of mankind in the period of savagery, in its relations to the sum of human progress, was greater in degree than it was afterwards in the three sub-periods of barbarism; and that the progress made in the whole period of barbarism was, in like manner, greater in degree than it has been since in the entire period of civilization.
What may have been the relative length of these ethnical periods is also a fair subject of speculation. An exact measure is not attainable, hut an approximation may be attempted. On the theory of geometrical progression, the period of savagery was necessarily longer in duration than the period of barbarism, as the latter was longer than the period of civilization. If we assume a hundred thousand years as the measure of man’s existence upon the earth in order to find the relative length of each period,- and for this purpose, it may have been longer or shorter,- it will be seen at, once that at least sixty thousand years must be assigned to the period of savagery. Three-fifths of the life of the most advanced portion of the human race, on this apportionment, were spent in savagery. Of the remaining years, twenty thousand, or one-fifth, should be assigned to the Older Period of barbarism. For the Middle and later Periods there remain fifteen thousand years, leaving five thousand, more or less, for the period of civilization.
The relative length of the period of savagery is more likely under than over stated. Without discussing the principles on which this apportionment is made, it may be remarked that in addition to the argument from the geometrical progression under which human development of necessity has occurred, a graduated scale of progress has been universally observed in remains of ancient art, and this will be found equally true of institutions. It is a conclusion of deep importance in ethnology that the experience of mankind in savagery was longer in duration than all their subsequent experience, and that, the period of civilization covers but a fragment of the life of the race.
Two families of mankind, the Aryan and Semitic, by the commingling of diverse stocks, superiority of subsistence or advantage of position, and possibly from all together, were the first to emerge from barbarism. They were substantially the founders of civilization. But their existence as distinct families was undoubtedly, in a comparative sense, a late event. Their progenitors are lost in the undistinguishable mass of earlier barbarism. The first ascertained appearance of the Aryan family was in connection with the domestic animals, at which time they were one people in language and nationality. It is not probable that the Aryan or Semitic families were developed into individuality earlier than the commencement of the Middle Period of barbarism and that their differentiation from the mass of barbarians occurred through their acquisition of the domestic animals.
The most advanced portion of the human race were halted, so to express it, at a certain stages of progress, until some great invention or discovery, such as the domestication of animals or the smelting of iron ore, gave a new and powerful impulse forward. While thus restrained, the ruder tribes, continually advancing, approached in different degrees of nearness to the same status; for wherever a continental connection existed, all the tribes must have shared in some measure in each other’s progress. All great inventions and discoveries propagate themselves; but the inferior tribes must have appreciated their value before they could appropriate them. In the continental areas certain tribes would lead; but the leadership would be apt to shift a number of times in the course of an ethnical period. The destruction of the ethnic bond and life of particular tribes, followed by decadence, must have arrested for a time, in many instances and in all periods, the upward flow of human progress. From the Middle Period of barbarism, however, the Aryan and Semitic families seem fairly to represent the central threads of this progress, which in the period of civilization has been gradually assumed by the Aryan family alone.
The truth of this general position may be illustrated by the conditions of the American aborigines at the epoch of their discovery They commenced their career on the American continent in savagery; and, although possessed of inferior mental endowments, the body of them had emerged from savagery and attained to the Lower Status of barbarism; whilst a portion of them, the Village Indians of North and South America, had risen to the Middle Status. They had domesticated the llama, the only quadruped native to the continent which promised usefulness in the domesticated state, and had produced bronze by alloying copper with tin. They needed but one invention, and that the greatest, the art of smelting iron ore, to advance themselves into the Upper Status. Considering the absence of all connection with the most advanced portion of the human family in the Eastern hemisphere, their progress in unaided self-development from the savage state must be accounted remarkable. While the Asiatic and European were waiting patiently for the boon of iron tools, the American Indian was drawing near to the possession of bronze, which stands next to iron in the order of time. During this period of arrested progress in the Eastern hemisphere, the American aborigines advanced themselves, not, to the status in which they were found, but sufficiently near to reach it while the former were passing through the last period of barbarism, and the first four thousand years of civilization. It gives us a measure of the length of time they had fallen behind the Aryan family in the race of progress: namely the duration of the Later Period of barbarism, to which the years of civilization must be added. The Aryan and Ganowanian families together exemplify the entire experience of man in five ethnical periods, with the exception of the first portion of the later period of savagery.
Savagery was the formative period of the human race. Commencing at zero in knowledge and experience, without fire, without articulate speech and without arts, our savage progenitors fought the great battle, first for existence, and then for progress, until they secured safety from the ferocious animals, and permanent subsistence. Out of these efforts there came gradually a developed speech, and the occupation of the entire surface of the earth. But society from its rudeness was still incapable of organization in numbers. When the most advanced portion of mankind had emerged from savagery, and entered the Lower Status of barbarism, the entire population of the earth must have been small in numbers. The earliest inventions were the most difficult to accomplish because of the feebleness of the power of abstract reasoning. Each substantial item of knowledge gained would form a basis for further advancement; but this must have been nearly imperceptible for ages upon ages, the obstacles to progress nearly balancing the energies arrayed against them. The achievements of savagery are not particularly remarkable in character, but they represent an amazing amount of persistent labour with feeble means continued through long periods of time before reaching a fair degree of completeness. The bow and arrow afford an illustration.
The inferiority of savage man in the mental and moral scale, undeveloped, inexperienced, and held down by his low animal appetites and passions, though reluctantly recognized, is, nevertheless, substantially demonstrated by the remains of ancient art in flint stone and bone implements, by his cave life in certain areas, and by his osteological remains. It is still further illustrated by the present condition of tribes of savages in a low state of development, left in isolated sections of the earth as monuments of the past. And yet to this great period of savagery belongs the formation of articulate language and its advancement to the syllabical stage, the establishment of two forms of the family, and possibly a third, and the organization into gentes which gave the first form of society worthy of the name. All these conclusions are involved in the proposition, stated at the outset, that mankind commenced their career at the bottom of the scale; which modern science claims to be proving by the most careful and exhaustive study of man and his works.
In like manner, the great period of barbarism was signalized by four events of pre-eminent importance: namely, the domestication of animals, the discovery of the cereals, the use of stone in architecture, and the invention of the process of smelting iron ore. Commencing probably with the dog as a companion in the hunt, followed at a later. period by the capture of the young of other animals and rearing them, not unlikely, from the merest freak of fancy, it, required time and experience to discover the utility of each, to find means of raising them in numbers and to learn the forbearance necessary to spare them in the face of hunger. Could the special history of the domestication of each animal be known, it, could exhibit a series of marvellous facts. The experiment carried, locked up in its doubtful chances, much of the subsequent destiny of mankind. Secondly, the acquisition of farinaceous food by cultivation must be regarded as one of the greatest events in human experience. It was less essential in the Eastern hemisphere, after the domestication of animals, than in the Western, where it became the instrument of advancing a large portion of the American aborigines into the Lower, and another portion into the Middle Status of barbarism. If mankind had never advanced beyond this last condition, they had the means of a comparatively easy and enjoyable life. Thirdly, with the use of adobe-brick and of stone in house building, an improved mode of life was introduced, eminently calculated to stimulate the mental capacities, and to create the habit of industry- the fertile source of improvements. But, in its relations to the high career of mankind, the fourth invention must be held the greatest event in human experience, preparatory to civilization. When the barbarian, advancing step by step, had discovered the native metals and learned to melt them in the crucible and to cast them in moulds; when he had alloyed native copper with tin and produced bronze; and, finally, when by a still greater effort of thought he had invented the furnace, and produced iron from the ore, nine-tenths of the battle for civilization was gained. Furnished with iron tools, capable of holding both an edge and a point, mankind were certain of attaining to civilization. The production of iron was the event of events in human experience, without a parallel, and without an equal, beside which aid other inventions and discoveries were inconsiderable, or at least subordinate, Out of it came the metallic hammer and anvil, the axe and the chisel, the plough with an iron point, the iron sword; in fine, the basis of civilization, which may be said to rest upon this metal. The want of iron tools arrested the progress of mankind in barbarism. There they would have remained to the present hour, had they failed to bridge the chasm. It seems probable that the conception and the process of smelting iron ore came but once to man. It would be a singular satisfaction could it be known to what tribe and family we are indebted for this knowledge, and with it for civilization. The Semitic family were then in advance of the Aryan, and in the lead of the human race. They gave the phonetic alphabet to mankind and it seems not unlikely the knowledge of iron as well.
At, the epoch of the Homeric poems, the Grecian tribes had made immense material progress. All the common metals were known, including the process of smelting ores, and possibly of changing iron into steel; the principal cereals had been discovered, together with the art, of cultivation, and the use of the plough in field agriculture; the dog, the horse, the ass, the cow, the sow, the sheep and the goat had been domesticated and reared in flocks and herds, as has been shown. Architecture had produced a house constructed of durable materials, containing separate apartments, and consisting of more than a single story; ship-building, weapons, textile fabrics, the manufacture of wine from the grape, the cultivation of the apple, the pear, the olive and the fig, together with comfortable apparel, and useful implements and utensils, had been produced and brought into human use. But the early history of mankind was lost in the oblivion of the ages that had passed away. Tradition ascended to an anterior barbarism through which it was unable to penetrate. Language had attained such development that poetry of the highest structural form was about to embody the inspirations of genius. The closing period of barbarism brought this portion of the human family to the threshold of civilization, animated by the great attainments of the past, grown hardy and intelligent in the school of experience, and with the undisciplined imagination in the full splendour of its creative powers. Barbarism ends with the production of grand barbarians. Whilst the condition of society in this period was under- stood by the later Greek and Roman writers, the anterior state, with its distinctive culture and experience, was as deeply concealed from their apprehension as from our own; except as occupying a nearer stand-point in time, they saw more distinctly the relations of the present with the past. It was evident to them that a certain sequence existed in the series of inventions and discoveries, as well as a certain order of development of institutions, through which mankind had advanced themselves from the status of savagery to that of the Homeric age; but the immense interval of time between the two conditions does not appear to have been made a subject even of speculative consideration.
1. The Egyptians may have invented the crane (See Herodotus, ii, 125). They also had the balance scale.
2. The phonetic alphabet came, like other great inventions, at the end of successive efforts. The slow Egyptian, advancing the hieroglyph through its several forms, had reached a syllabus composed of phonetic characters, and at this stage was resting upon his labours. He could write in permanent characters upon stone. Then came in the inquisitive Phoenician, the first navigator and trader on the sea, who, whether previously versed in hieroglyphs or otherwise seems to have entered at a hound upon the labours of the Egyptian, and by an inspiration genius to have mastered the problem over which the latter was dreaming. He produced that wondrous alphabet of sixteen letters which in time gave to mankind a written language and the means for literary and historical records.
3. “Strabo,” 1, 2.
4. Homer mentions the native metals; but they were known long before his time, and before iron. The use of charcoal and the crucible in melting them prepared the way for smelting iron ore.
5. The researches of Beckmann have left a doubt upon the existence of a true bronze earlier than a knowledge of iron among the Greeks and Latins. He thinks ‘electrum,’ mentioned in the “Iliad,” was a mixture of gold and silver (“History of Inventions,” Bohn’s ed., ii, 212); and that the ‘stannum’ of the Romans, which consisted of silver and lead, was the same as the ‘kassiteron’ of Homer (lb., ii, 217). This word has usually been interpreted as tin. In commenting upon the composition called bronze, he remarks: “In my opinion the greater part of these things were made of ‘stannum,’ properly called, which by the admixture of the noble metals, and some difficulty of fusion, was rendered fitter for use than pure copper.” (lb., ii, 213). These observations were limited to the nations of the Mediterranean, within whose areas tin was not produced. Axes, knives, razors, swords, daggers, and personal ornaments discovered in Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, and other parts of Northern Europe, have been found, on analysis, composed of copper and tin, and therefore fall under the strict definition of bronze. They were also found in relations indicating priority of iron.
6. The origin of language has been investigated far enough to find the grave difficulties in the way of any solution of the problem. It seems to have been abandoned, by common consent, as an unprofitable subject. It is more a question of the laws of human development and of the necessary operations of the mental principle, than of the materials of language. Lucretius remarks that with sounds and with gesture, mankind in the primitive period intimated their thoughts stammeringly to each other (- v. 1021). He assumes that thought preceded speech, and that gesture language preceded articulate language. Gesture or sign language seems to have been primitive, the elder sister of articulate speech. It is still the universal language of barbarians, if not of savages, in their mutual intercourse when their dialects are not the same. The American aborigines have developed such a language, thus showing that one may be formed adequate for general intercourse. As used by them it is both graceful and expressive, and affords pleasure in its use. It is a language of natural symbols, and therefore possesses the elements of a universal language. A sign language is easier to invent than one of sounds; and since it is mastered with greater facility, a presumption arises that it preceded articulate speech. The sounds of the voice would first come in, on this hypothesis, in aid of gesture; and as they gradually assumed a conventional signification, they would supersede, to that extent, the language of signs, or become incorporated in it. It would also tend to develop the capacity of the vocal organs. No proposition can be plainer than that gesture has attended articulate language from its birth. It is still inseparable from it; and may embody the remains, by survival of an ancient mental habit. If language were perfect, a gesture to lengthen out or emphasize its meaning would be a fault. As we descend through the gradations of language into its ruder lengthen out or emphasize its meaning would be a fault. As we descend through the gradations of language into its ruder forms, the gesture element increases in the quantity and variety of its forms until we find languages so dependent upon gestures that without them they would be substantially unintelligible. Growing up and flourishing side by side through savagery, and far into the period of barbarism, they remain, in modified forms, indissolubly united. Those who are curious to solve the problem of origin of language would do well to look to the possible suggestions from gesture language.
7. The Egyptians are supposed to affiliate remotely with the Semitic family.
8. Whitney’s “Oriental and Linguistic Studies” p. 341.
9. M. Quiquerez, a Swiss engineer, discovered in the canton of Berne the remains of a number of side-hill furnaces for smelting iron ore; together with tools, fragments of iron and charcoal. To construct one, an excavation was made in the side of a hill in which a bosh was formed of clay, with a chimney in the form of a dome above it to create a draft. No evidence was found of the use of the bellows. The boshes seem to have been charged with alternate layers of pulverized ore and charcoal, combustion being sustained by fanning the flames. The result was a spongy mass of partly fused ore which was afterwards welded into a compact mass by hammering. A deposit of charcoal was found beneath a bed of peat twenty feet in thickness. It is not probable that these furnaces were coeval with the knowledge of smelting iron ore; but they were not unlikely, close copies of the original furnace.- Vide Piguier’s “Primitive Man,” Putnam’s ed., p. 301.
10. Palace of Priam.- II., vi, 242.
11. House of Ulysses.- Od., xvi, 448.
12. Od., vii, 115.