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Nāgadipa), and Hambantota in the Low-Country; and Matale, Nawalapitiya, Dimbula, Dikoya, and Maskeliya in the mountain region. He added that the Drs. Sarasin of Basle also discovered some in Uva, and in caves at Nilgala; and from Mr. Pole and Mr. Gardner I learnt that Mr. J. Still, formerly Assistant to the Archaeological Commissioner, Mr. H. C. P. Bell, met with some made of quartz and chert in the Northcentral Province.1
In a letter to the Ceylon Observer, dated August 8, 1907, Mr. Pole remarked of the makers of those found by him on the mountain ridges in Maskeliya, 'These people must have lived in cordons of single families, for they must have entirely occupied the vantage points of every spur of our mountains. Not many flakes are found in the flats.'
He expressed the opinion that 'There was never more than a single family in one spot; there was no village artizan, around whose domicile a larger number of shards and débris might be found. . . . Each man was his own armourer, found his own quartz stones, smashed off his own pieces from the native rock, just as he was able; made use of the most serviceable by coaxing off from them some extra thick edges. . . There was no getting rid of an obstinate angle in the stone fractured. There was no subsequent rounding off of the edges and corners.
'As to shape and size, they took the chance chippings of the stones, satisfied with the natural fracture, and worked the blunter edges. The material was quartz of various formations and compactness; some as clear as glass, some clouded and milky, and others of a granulated structure.' It appeared to him that the stones' had been brought from great distances --for although there is scarcely a ridge up-country on which no "flakes" occur, it will be found that the material of which they are formed exists nowhere in the vicinity.' He added that there could hardly be any distinct classification of the stones excepting into those with points and those with edges.
1 Dr. C. G. Seligmann informs me that he also found worked quartz chips under the earth in some caves now or formerly occupied by Vaeddas, and he has since published an account of them in Man.'
Mr. G. B. Gardner, of Belihuloya, had, however, a different experience, and all the worked stones which he discovered seem to have been arrow-heads. They were lying on the ground on the summit of a hill. He states (in epist.): ' They generally consist of a natural stone of the right size with one natural edge, and the other edge seems to have been chipped to make it double-edged.' These stones were not of the type of any of those found by Mr. Pole. They were roughly triangular, and were notched on both sides near the butt end for tying to the shaft. He noticed the resemblance between them and others in his collection, from Arizona and New Mexico, made by the Red Indians within the last forty years.
Specimens of all the types were sent from Ceylon to Mr. Bruce Foote of the Indian Geological Survey, and were reported by him to be identical with those which he has found throughout Southern India; he considered them to be of Neolithic age. According to Mr. Pole, the Drs. Sarasin (who, I believe, had not inspected those found by Mr. Gardner) thought them to be palæolithic, and of the 'Madeleine' or Magdalénien period-the time when the Mammoth and Aurochs and Reindeer were hunted in France and England.
Any doubt as to their date which these conflicting opinions might leave has now been definitely removed by the high authority of Mr. C. H. Read, of the British Museum-to whom I submitted Mr. Pole's tracings of typical examples of the stones and Mr. Gardner's drawing of the type found by himand who has been courteous enough to furnish me with the following expression of his opinion of their age: 'I should think there can be no question that the age of the stone implements is either neolithic or relatively modern. These stones seem to me to have much the same relation to the Vaeddas as the stone implements of North America have to the existing Red Indians.'
1 I am indebted to Dr. Seligmann for a cutting from the Ceylon Observer (weekly edition) for March 5, 1909, in which Mr. Pole gave an account of the discovery of numerous flint implements and cores in a cave on Scarborough Estate, in Maskeliya. Among them was one beautiful example' of an arrow-head, but of what type is not stated.
Through the kindness of Mr. Pole and Mr. Gardner I am able to supply illustrations (Figs. 20-34) of a typical series of these articles which will indicate their shapes and character better than attempts at description. Mr. Pole was good enough to send me tracings of many of his 'finds,' and Mr. Gardner gave me a sketch of an arrow-head. Their extremely rude nature is quite evident.
Notched arrow-heads have been found in England (rarely),' and in Neolithic Lake Dwellings in Europe-Switzerland, France, Italy-with a slight broad stem or tang' at the butt," and also in Egypt 3 and Japan ; but chiefly in North America, where many types with a straight or very slightly curved base or butt end like those of Ceylon have been obtained. These last are all illustrated by Mr. Gerard Fowke in the Thirteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, under the heading Stemmed Flints.'
After the later settlers, whether Nāgas or Magadhese, introduced the arts of smelting and working iron,5 the Vaeddas would find little difficulty, in the accessible districts, in obtaining steel axes and steel arrow-heads, which they still continue to procure by barter from the Sinhalese or Tamil smiths.
Since no stone axes have been discovered in Ceylon, it is not certain that the prehistoric Vaeddas made them. Doubtless serviceable articles of this nature would be much more difficult
Jowitt. Half-Hours among some English Antiquities, p. 45, Fig. 61.
Dr. Munro. The Lake Dwellings of Europe, pp. 65, 103, 268.
2, 4, 9.
• Sir John Evans. Ancient Stone Implements of Great Britain, p. 362.
5 I have met with low mounds and scattered fragments of refuse from very ancient smelting furnaces in three or four places in the Northern Province, but I think not elsewhere. All trace of the furnaces had disappeared. To the best of my recollection all the heaps were in uninhabited forest in places where kidney iron abounded on the surface of the ground. There were some small fragments of a very rough type of pottery mingled with the refuse in at least one of the heaps, but nothing else to assist in determining the age. The pieces of refuse resembled black slag from English smelting furnaces, and not the scoriae rejected from forges.
to fabricate than the simple tools shown in the illustration. The axe seems to be more indispensable in Ceylon than the arrow; both Vaeddas and Wanniyas (and I may add Sinhalese hunters also) are accustomed to procure a supply of food by its aid, without employing the bow and arrow. is difficult to comprehend how the aborigines could exist in the wild forests of Ceylon without it.
If they did not make stone axes, it is just possible that in some way or other the primitive inhabitants may have been able to procure metal ones. If so, they must have got them from India, as it cannot be assumed that the Nagas, who may have made them at a later date, arrived in the country until several centuries had elapsed after the coming of the Vaeddas, otherwise they would have occupied a greater portion of the island. There may have been a trade in such articles at an extremely early date. Iron or steel weapons and tools of various kinds were in common use by the Aryans in the early Vedic times, and it is possible that their manufacture may have been understood in some part of Southern India also, in the second or third millennium B.C. The Vaedda word for an axe, gal-raekki, in which the first half of the compound means' stone,' appears to refer to the sharpening of the weapon on a stone, according to Mr. Nevill's information,1 and until some examples have been discovered in Ceylon it cannot be accepted as affording any proof of the employment of stone axes by the first comers, no tradition of their use having survived.
The earliest Sinhalese iron or steel axes that have been found in Ceylon, apparently belonging to the second or third century B.C., are mere socketless celts.' They are described and illustrated in a subsequent chapter. They are of a shape which was found elsewhere in the later Neolithic period, the polished-stone age. Although such tools must have been in general use by the Sinhalese from the time of the arrival of the first Gangetic settlers, the fact that only two examples of this form of axe have been discovered, and that by the mere accident of the excavation of a deep channel at Tissa through 1 The Taprobanian, Vol. i, p. 189.