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wooden frame, as they still are in the tribulum of the East, and as Dr. Daubeny1 tells us they were used in Gaul at the time of the Roman Conquest, as harrows or threshing-machines. The same writer also describes a large hollow frame armed with teeth, which served the purpose of a modern reaping-machine, and which may likewise have represented a pre-historic implement. Mr. Flinders Petrie has recently discovered in Egypt a primitive sickle, consisting of a wooden frame resembling a jawbone, into which has been inserted a number of sharp flint flakes like a saw.

The employment of women in agricultural pursuits seems to have been continued from superstitious motives in semi-civilized countries, and prevails even now in China. According to M. Huc,2 it is no uncommon sight to see a plough drawn by a woman, her husband walking behind to guide it, whilst the great agricultural festival in China, the use of terraces on the mountain sides, and the attention paid to irrigation, serve to connect the agricultural systems of China and Peru so closely, that Mr. Tylor appears to ascribe these usages in Peru to a Chinese colony. The use of ridges. in agriculture seems to have been universal. Not only do they distinguish the garden-beds in America, but Rennie describes them as underlying peat mosses in Scotland, where wheat cannot now be grown; and Dr. Daubeny tells us that among the Romans the corn was sown on ridges in wet soils, and between them on dry soils. The American corn-hills, described as used for the cultivation of maize, seems to be peculiar to that country, and although they have been adopted by some Europeans at the Cape, the natives still sow maize. on level ground; nevertheless Mr. Monteiro describes the use of little hillocks in Angola for planting the mandioca.4

1 Six Lectures on Roman Husbandry: Chas. Daubeny, M.D., F.R.S., &c.

2 Huc's Chinese Empire, ii. p. 303.

3 Daubeny's Lectures on Roman Husbandry, and Rennie on Peat Mosses.

4 See Angola and the River Congo, p. 205, J. Monteiro.

It is a difficult task to gather up the scattered threads presented to us by the study of Primitive Agriculture, but the somewhat meagre facts I have been able to collect appear to me to confirm the general conclusions of modern ethnologists. We see everywhere primitive man, a naked savage, devoid of every art excepting those necessary to self-preservation, his first improvements being the manufacture of implements of war and the chase. Man in this condition would seem to have spread gradually over the whole earth, for his relics are found everywhere, and his descendants, still in the same state of utter barbarism, are found in many outlying lands which have been cut off by changes in the conformation of the land from communication with races who have gradually acquired civilization; and may also be traced in low and outcast tribes down-trodden by conquering hordes.

The origin of civilization, like the origin of races, remains an unsolved problem. From the similarity to be traced in the monuments, myths, customs, and religions of all early civilized or semi-civilized peoples, I have been led to the conclusion that it was never independently acquired, but was the result of constant intercommunication by channels long since become impracticable, and when this intercommunication ceased, we find civilization arrested, as in America and China, and only continually and increasingly developed among nations who from war and commerce have kept up continual and constant intercourse with each other. There can be little doubt that the first great stimulus to civilization was given when man, driven by necessity, began to till the ground. The first successful efforts in this direction would lead naturally to others; but roots and fruits were evidently cultivated long before the cereals, and this early stage of agricultural knowledge is still represented among the South Sea Islanders, and among some of the lower aboriginal peoples of Asia, Africa, and America, although it is vain to conjecture when and where it first arose.

The cultivation of the cereals, however, represents a

great advance in agricultural skill; but that this also was acquired at a very early period, the records of Egypt and China, and the relics from the Swiss lake-dwellings sufficiently prove; and that it was not acquired independently by the lake-dwellers is evident from the identity of the corn found with that grown in Egypt. The independent acquirement of agriculture in America has been affirmed by many, but I venture to believe it to be not yet proven. The absence of wheat and barley prove nothing, for the earlier civilizations of America were confined to tropical and semi-tropical regions, where these grains if introduced would not supersede maize, which there grows to perfection. It must not, however, be forgotten that all American legends-and legends usually have some basis of fact-unite in ascribing the cultivation of maize, as well as other customs wherein the civilized races of America resemble the ancient civilized races of the Eastern hemisphere, to foreign civilizers entering the country from the sea; and if maize be indeed indigenous to America, its presence in Asia and Africa prior to the time of Columbus, if proved, as I believe it can be, would go far to establish the fact of an intercourse subsisting between the hemispheres in prehistoric times. Nor must we forget, that the absence of cereal agriculture in those islands which may be supposed to represent the ancient steppingstones between the continents, may be accounted for, by prejudice and superstition, since the natives even now grow cereals very sparingly, whilst the cultivation of maize among races quite as low in the human scale in Africa, Madagascar, and New Guinea, would seem to point to the plant as a native of those regions as well as America, or to the extreme antiquity of its introduction to the Eastern hemisphere.



Metallurgy next to Agriculture as a Civilizing Agent-Gold the first Metal used-The Use of Copper-Commercial Intercourse consequent upon Metallurgy-Serpent Worship-The Good Serpent always connected with the Precious MetalsTotemic Origin--Do they really store Glittering Things?—The Nagas of India and of Egypt-Cadmus-Quetzalcoatl-Osiris -Silver-Smelted Metal probably unknown-Indian Legend -Melted Gold conferring Immortality-The Serpent Myth in America- Atlantis.

NEXT to a knowledge of agriculture, which can be traced back to neolithic times, the metallurgic arts have been the most potent aids to the civilization of mankind. Undoubtedly gold was the first metal known, and its use may date back to the Stone age, for as it is found in a pure state in many countries, it would probably be seized upon for ornamental purposes by savages, who would soon learn that it might be beaten into shape with a stone hammer; but, singularly enough, the first definite traces of metallurgy show the art in an advanced stage, in which the metal used was bronzea compound metal requiring much skill in the manufacture, and a considerable commerce to obtain the copper and tin necessary for making it; and this presupposes a knowledge of the art of navigation, for copper and tin are not to be found everywhere, and there is reason to suppose that the early workers in bronze, coming from the East or from the shores of the Mediterranean, sought their tin in Britain, and carried the knowledge of the art of smelting and welding metals over a considerable part of the world.

Archæologists look back to a period before the age of bronze, in which pure copper was used, beaten out, and not smelted or mixed with alloy; and it is indeed found that some of the earlier metal implements classed as bronze consist in reality of unalloyed copper, the requisite strength being obtained by beating together several thin layers of metal and lapping over the edges. This, which may be regarded as the earliest form of metal work, is found in some of the Swiss lakedwellings; also among those curious discoveries recently made in Spain by the Belgian brothers Siret; among the Egyptian finds of Mr. Flinders Petrie, as well as in American mounds, and among the Eskimo. It is with these early metal workers that we first meet with that singular and very wide-spread religion known as serpent worship.

Among the very early hunters and cave-dwellers of paleolithic and neolithic times there is no prominence given to the serpent, although, as I shall show later, they do not appear to have been wholly destitute of religion. But presently from these caves emerges the serpent-not a thing of evil, carrying with it death and destruction, but a bright and glorious form adorned with a royal crown of glittering gems; and as he glides majestically over the earth man follows in his trackno longer the wild hunter, content with rude stone weapons of the chase, but before him he pushes the ploughshare deep into the bosom of the virgin soil. In his hand he bears a metal sickle wherewith to reap the primal harvest, and turning his eyes to the bright luminary above him, he bends his knee and worships the source of light and life, and says to the stones beneath his feet, "Ye are like my earth-mother of old, dark and sterile, until the bright sun-god looked upon her and sent his messenger the serpent to teach her children wisdom."

Little as we know of the religion and habits of thought of our remote ancestors, the innumerable legends which have descended to us in which the serpent plays an important part, cannot fail to strike us

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