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was of an earlier type, the socket being formed by widening out the stem and turning over the two wings thus formed. It thus bore some resemblance to the early Egyptian digging tool. It is possible that the earliest form used in Ceylon had no socket, but in its mode of attachment to the handle resembled the African implement, the pointed stem of which passes through the shaft. The correct modern Sinhalese shape is shown in Fig. 239.
I have met with no example of a Sinhalese Pickaxe, Yawula. It is certain that as it is constantly employed in Southern India some form of this implement was made in the island at an early date for excavating hard soil. Those used by the Oṭṭas or South Indian Telugu excavators are thick and very heavy tools, with rectangular arms.
A Mason's Pick-Hammer of uncertain age was found by Mr. S. Burrows in his excavations at Anuradhapura (Fig. 226). The modern form of the socket shows that this example is not a tool of extremely early date. Its use has been discon
tinued by the masons of modern times.
Worn examples of the small Trowel, Henda (Spoon), used for pointing the joints in masonry have been found both at Tissa (Fig. 235) and Anuradhapura. They have a general resemblance to the tools now used in Ceylon for the purpose, being much narrower near the stem than European tools.
The Jumper, or Hand-drill for boring holes in rock, with a cutting edge slightly wider than the stem, is a tool of pre-Christian times, and a well-used example of it (Fig. 232) was found at Tissa, with a stem 120 inches thick. This implement was employed for cutting the earliest type of wedge-holes, which have a cross section in the form of a pointed ellipse, and a rounded bottom. I have not succeeded in fixing the period when they were abandoned in favour of rectangular holes ; it was during very early post-Christian times.
The Mason's Chisel, Gal-Katuwa, as well as the pointed Punch, must be equally old, and a short and worn specimen of the latter tool was obtained at Tissa (Fig. 233), as well as a chisel (Fig. 234). In addition to their use in actual stone cutting these tools were employed in making the rectangular
wedge-holes that were adopted in place of the early elliptical
The Carpenter's Chisel, Niyan-Katuwa, must have been used at a very early date, possibly even before the mason's tools were introduced into the island. Examples of it found at Tissa (Figs. 228 and 229) were flat and thin, and were evidently employed without handles. At a later date the form slightly changed, and the chisels, though still without handles, were much thickened and had square heads for receiving the blows of the mallet. The cross section of their upper part is a square with rounded angles, changing into a flat form as the cutting edge is approached. The illustrations (Figs. 230 and 231) show two in my possession of the type still occasionally found in remote villages of the interior.
Smith's Chisels (Yakaḍa-Kaṭuwa) for cutting iron or other metals were also met with at Tissa. They were of a square section excepting at the cutting edge.
No ancient example of a Saw, Kiyata, has been discovered yet, so far as I am aware, although it is a tool of very early date. A saw for cutting ivory is mentioned in the Jātaka story No. 545 (Vol. vi, p. 129). The ordinary tool now used by carpenters is a Frame-Saw resembling a fret-saw, the cutting part being made from a narrow strip of thin steel. When in use it is held by the upright end nearest the workman. Primitive saws were of course of a much simpler shape, and some of them probably resembled a form which is still, I believe, sometimes used, of a curved leaf shape with the teeth on the concave edge. No trace of the employment of any kind of saw for cutting stone has been observed by me.
No early specimen of a Smith's Hammer, Mitiya, was discovered at Tissa, but one (Fig. 227) that I obtained in a village in the North-western Province is evidently of the primitive. form, and is a very interesting relic of the artificers of old. It has a peculiar shape, with a thick elongated head which tapers at the stem nearly to a point. The section of the head is square with the angles bevelled off, so that at the end it becomes nearly a circle. There is no socket; the narrow stem is passed through a hole bored in the handle, which is
prevented from splitting by two flat wrought-iron rings that are shaped to fit close on the handle, and are crossed over diagonally from opposite sides of the stem, as shown in the illustration. This way of fixing the handle copies the method of attaching the socketless 'Celt' to its shaft. A tool of the same shape would doubtless be used as a Sledge-hammer by the early stone-cutters, for breaking large stones. Mr. F. Lewis has kindly sent me a sketch of a hammer head of a shape still in use, found by Mr. Bell in his excavations at Polannaruwa (Fig. 236).
From the Fire Drill, by means of which fire was obtained from two pieces of wood, and which may date from Neolithic times, were developed the other forms of drills for boring holes through wood, stone and metals.
The common Bow-drill, Dunu-Buruma, is the simplest tool of this type, being merely the Fire-drill fitted with a steel point or 'bit.' It is worked by a bow with a slack string which is turned once round the shaft of the drill. Usually there is a small bobbin-shaped drum fixed on the shaft, round which the bow-string runs, the necessary downward pressure being applied to the end of the shaft by the left hand, with some protecting material such as a half coconut shell intervening between the palm and the shaft.
The Fixed Drill, At-Buruma ('Hand Drill '), is worked by two cords pulled by the right and left hand alternately, one being wound on the axle or drum as the other is unwound. In this form it is used by smiths for drilling holes in iron.
The Pump Drill, Tarapane, is also probably an early tool, though no very ancient example of it has been discovered. An important desideratum to make it effective is a substantial weight attached to the shaft of the bit. The illustration (Figs. 240 and 241) shows one in my possession, with an admirably cut stone weight of 3 lbs., which was prepared for this purpose apparently many centuries ago. It was obtained in a village of the North-western Province. With such a load fixed on the shaft the drill becomes a most effective tool. The cord is a narrow strip of deer-skin or goat-skin, passing through a hole at the top of the drill shaft, and knotted through others
bored near the ends of the transverse bar. The bar is held at each end, and works the drill as it is lowered rapidly. When the turning of the drill has all but unwound the cords, the pressure on the cross-bar is suddenly relaxed, and the momentum then carries on the movement, and re-winds the cords in the opposite direction, ready for another quick lowering of the bar. The length of the cord is just sufficient to allow the cross-bar to reach the weight when lowered.
From the accurate shapes of the crystal and other relicreceptacles which have been described in a former chapter,
FIGS. 240, 241. The Pump Drill.
it cannot be doubted that the ancient Sinhalese were well acquainted in the third century B.C. with the use of a Fixed Drill and also of some form of Lathe. There are references at the middle of the second century B.C. to pearls and gems which were hung in festoons, for drilling which the former tool would be indispensable. A large Lathe must also have been employed in pre-Christian times, for cutting the larger relic-cases of gneiss and limestone which were found at the early dagabas at Anuradhapura.
The Bellows, Mayina-Hama, employed in early times would be of the kind still used by some of the village smiths, it being
impossible to make one of a simpler form. It is constructed out of two skins, which at the present day are those of goats, but originally would be small deer-skins, to the neck of each of which a tube is attached, the other ends of both tubes passing on the ground into a single much thicker and shorter tube of hardened clay which leads the air into the back of the furnace of the forge. A thin piece of wattle-and-daub walling intervenes in order to shield the bellows-man from the heat. At the upper and lower lips of the mouth at the outer end of each skin a strip of smooth wood is attached, having a length nearly equal to the width of the mouth. The person who works the bellows squats or sits down at the end of it or between the skins, and by means of a loop on each upper strip of wood, through which his hand is half passed, raises and then closes the mouths of the skins with his right and left hands alternately, pressing down on each skin after closing it so as to force through its pipe the air which it contains. In this simple manner an intermittent current of air is sent into the fire, the efficiency of the bellows of course depending on the rapidity with which the bellows-man works.
The use of this primitive form of bellows is widespread; it was employed in Ancient Egypt, and is found in India and Africa at the present day. In West Africa the bellows-man sits on a log, and opens and shuts the mouths of the skins with his feet, the toes being passed through the loops for the purpose. I have often utilised the skin-bellows on small works in the jungle when an additional forge was needed for a short time for repairing miners' or masons' tools, and I found it fairly effective for heating such small pieces of steel; but it is not of much utility for any welding purposes.
The early smiths experienced the same difficulty; to make the thicker kinds of tools they built up the shape by welding thinner plates together, but they were not able to do it so thoroughly as to render the junction lines indistinguishable. The thicker kinds of chisels were made by wrapping a piece of flat iron round a central rod or core, and welding all together. Captain Robert Knox described a different form of bellows which was employed down to about the middle of last century