For the better understanding of the contents of this chapter on the prehistoric races of Scandinavia, it may be well, in the first place, to give the usually accepted classification of the “ages” of primitive man. None of these prehistoric ages are sharply defined, but run by degrees into each other. This classification specifies not divisions of time but degrees of development, indicated by the materials used for domestic and warlike implements by man before the historic period. There are threethe stone, bronze, and iron ages; the first being the earliest, and the last gradually merging into the historic period.
1. During the earlier stone age the climate was colder than now; then man in Europe co-existed with the mammoth, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, musk-ox, and other large and small mammals. The implements used were of rough stone, and pottery and metals were unknown. The people dwelt in caves, living principally on the flesh of reindeer, which were then found in Central and Southern Europe; hence they were called “cave men,” and the time the ” reindeer period.”
In the later stone age the great mammals had become extinct. Metals were as yet unknown ; but hand-made pottery was used. To this age. belong the Scandinavian refuse-heaps (kjokkenmaddinger), some of the Swiss lake dwellings, and most of the burial mounds described in this chapter. Rough stone implements continued to be used, as, in fact, they did through the subsequent ages, but most were polished.
2. The bronze age is characterized by the use of that metal, and of gold, amber, and glass for ornaments. The pottery was better made, with geometrical markings. Stone continued, to be used for arrow-heads, spear-points, and knives. The characters of the tumuli and their contents are described beyond.
3. Of the iron age it will be sufficient to say here that the use of the Ordinary metals was known, and that civilization had advanced from the savage and nomadic state to that of agricultural communities, with fixed habitations, laws, and government, and that then was ushered in the historic age, which was semi-barbarous at best, judging by modern standards.
The two most essentially heterogeneous races now inhabiting the Scandinavian peninsula belong to the straight-jawed division ; but the Lapps are brachycephalic, while the others are dolichocephalic. The greatest number of skulls found in grates of the stone age are dolichocephalic, but a good many are brachycephalic, or similar to those of the Lappsthus showing that two different races must have inhabited the country during this period. Generally the dolichocephalic skulls are even more elongated than those of the present people. ‘To which-of these types those of. the earlier stone age in Scandinavia belonged can only be conjectured, as no graves of that period are as yet known in the country. It is, in-deed, highly doubtful if it had any inhabitants during this remote age ;-at any rate. this has not been proved with any degree of certainty.
After the geological separation of Scandinavia from Northern Germany by . an intervening ocean, as explained in the chapter on “Geology,” there were no reindeer in Sweden ; the kjokkenmoddinger do not contain their bones, though these occur in the peat bogs of Denmark and Sweden, as migration from the south was no longer possible. The ure-ox lived there then, and even in the succeeding age.
The builders of the stone-age graves were a strong people, acquainted with the use of fire, having domestic cattle, and, to some extent, were agriculturists.
Among the oldest traces of man in Scandinavia, as we have said before, are the kjokkenmoddinger, or piles of kitchen refuselike the modern dust-heaps, containing all kinds of household rubbishfrom which we can form an idea of the habits of life among these people. These heaps consist of oyster and mussel shells, bones of fish, birds, and mammals, such as the deer, hog, beaver, seal, ure-ox, bear, fox, wolf, lynx, mar-ten, etc., with remains of clay vessels. That, however, certain parts of Sweden were inhabited at the time of the Danish shell heaps, is shown by the fact that flint implements of the same shape as those of the kjokkenmoddinger have been found in Skâne.
These heaps prove that the inhabitants of the North, in pre-historic times, and perhaps only three thousand years ago, lived in a most primitive state. Among and near these are found great numbers of rude implements and tools made of flint, bone, horn, and of broken flint chips also fireplaces made of a few stones put roughly togetherone of the oldest examples of man’s ingenuity showing that the people at that period were exclusively hunters and fishermen. Large numbers of these stone implements are found in the museums of Sweden and Norway. The refuse heaps on the peninsula of Scandinavia, though very ancient; are of a later date than those found in Denmark.
It is only necessary to compare the rude flint implements of the earlier stone age in Skâne with the fine ones from a later period, to see what progress man had made before the discovery of the use of metals. Of utensils there have been found only the clay vessels before mentioned, one of which had been taken from a grave in Skâne; the other is a clay vessel from a grave mound at Herrljunga, in Vestergotland. The tools found in the refuse heaps are the coarsest, and the progress to more finished ones has naturally been slow.
In the latter part of the stone age domestic animals had been introduced, as shown by the bones of cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, and dogs found in the graves. No matter how low a people are, they wear ornaments of some sort, and, accordingly, in the stone age beads of bone and amber were worn, as found in graves in Vestergotland.
No graves of the earlier stone age have been discovered on the peninsula of Scandinavia, but a great many exist belonging to the later period of that epoch. These graves may be classified in four groups: Stone-heap graves (stendosar); passage, or gallery graves (ganggrifter) free-standing stone coffins (hcillkistor); and stone I.ORN ° F’.I`I’ SPLINTERS coffins covered by a mound of earth or stones, showing a considerable advance during the latter part of the stone age. The stendos graves are the oldest, and the coffins covered with mounds the latest, and show the transition to the bronze age.
The study of these graves is one of intense interest, and I never could stand before them without a feeling akin to reverence, for they. embodied the vanity of human life : man cornes, goes, and is forgotten ; the tomb that is revered today by a whole people is desecrated by those who follow them in the wake of time.
The stendosar, cromlechs, or dolmens that have been found, consist of from three to five stones, raised in the shape of a ring, with a large block on the top. These were intended for a single body, buried in a sitting position, accompanied by flint implements and weapons; the walls of the chamber are formed by large thick stones, standing up-right, reaching from floor to roofon the inside smooth, but on the outside rough; the floor consists of sand, gravel, and the like; the roof is formed by one, sometimes by several large blocks of stone, which also are smooth on the inside, but other-wise irregular. The form of the chamber is square, pentagonal, oval, or nearly round; its length varies between 8 and 15 feet ; width, 5 to 7 feet; and height, 3 to 5 feet.
Most of them lie in or on top of a mound which almost always leaves the roof, and in most cases part of the walls, uncovered. The mound, which is generally round, some-times oblong in Sweden, is surrounded at its base by stones, often very large. When this is oblong, the stone grave lies nearer to one end than the other: occasionally two graves are found in such an oblong shape.
The stone grave shown on page 337 is near Haga, in Bohus-Ian; the chamber, nearly square, is surrounded by five wall stones; its length on the floor is 7 feet, width and height nearly 6 feet ; the greatest length of the roof-stone is 10 feet. When pressed hard in one place by its border, the big stone is made to have a rocking motion, which gives rise to a hollow, muffled sound. Such a position has been observed at various stone graves in the North, and in other countries.
Gallery graves (ganggrifter), described and figured here (they have all been built by dolichocephalic races), were probably for the families of the chiefs, and intended to last for generations; they there-fore do not belong to the savage period, though of the stone age. No traces of the dwellings of this period have been discovered, as they were probably more or less underground, constructed of small stones, which would fall in, or of earth, which would in time disappear. These graves consist of a chamber, and a narrow gallery leading into the same ; the whole is covered by a mound, the base of which is generally surrounded by a circle of larger. or smaller stones. The illustration on page 338 gives an idea of these graves, which are some-times very large.
The chamber in a passage grave is either oblong, square, oval, or nearly round ; the walls resemble those of the cromlechs, and are formed by large upright blocks, not quite smooth, though even, on the inside; the interstices are generally carefully filled in with stone fragments, gravel, and the like ; sometimes birch bark is found between the blocks. The roof is formed by immense flat slabs or blocks, smooth on the underside but rough on the top; the interstices between these are closed in the same manner as those in the walls. The floor is sometimes covered with small flat stones, but is usually of earth.
On the long side of the chamber-the eastern or southernthere is an opening from which a passage is built in the same manner as the chamber, only longer and narrower. This pas-sage, at least its inner part, is covered with blocks resembling the, roof blocks of the chamber, but smaller. Near the inner opening of the passage and the outer end of its covered part is quite often found a kind of door-setting, consisting of a threshold stone and two narrow door-posts.
A passage grave near Karleby church and Falkoping was opened in 1872; just inside the threshold was found, a flat nearly rectangular limestone slab, of the same width as the outer door opening, which had probably served as a door, although it had fallen down. The Swedish passage graves vary much in size. The length of the chamber is from 11 1/2 to 23 feet, its width 5 to 10 feet, and height 3 to 4 feet. The passage is often as long as the chamber, frequently longer; its width 2 to 4 feet, and height 3 to 5 feet. Some in the neighborhood of Falkoping, where most graves of the stone age are found, are much larger, the chambers being from 30 to 40 feet in length. The largest passage grave in Sweden is one near Karleby church. The chamber, which is covered by nine large granite blocks, is 52 feet in length, width 7 feet, length of passage 40 feet.
The isolated stone coffins are formed of flat upright stones, and are four- sided, though the two longer sides are not parallel, thus making the coffin narrower at one end than at the other. Most of them have probably been covered with one or more stones, although these, in many places, have long ago been destroyed or removed; sometimes they are still found in their places. The direction of these stone coffins is almost always from north to south, and they are generally surrounded by a hill of more or less stone-mixed earth. This form of grave has probably arisen by omitting the passage. Several intermediate forms have been found, showing how the passage was gradually lessened, until it can only be traced in the open narrowing southerly end of the coffin. Such ,an intermediate form is a grave at Vdmb Nedregdrden, near Skofde, Vestergotland; from the eastern side extends a short passage, which, unlike that of the regular passage graves, runs in continuation of the grave in the same direction, nearly as wide as the grave itself. The communication between the passage and the grave is not formed by an opening between the door-slab and the side stones of the passage, but by a nearly circular hole, 12 feet in diameter, in the end block. The length of the coffin, excepting the passage, is 13 feet. In this grave were found, in 1859, several skeletons, five poniards and spear points of flint, two flint arrows, two whetstones of slate, and a bone needle.
The length of the stone coffin is generally from 8 to 13* feet, width 35 to 60 inches, and height or depth 2 to 5 feet. A few, especially in Vestergotland, are from 19 to 31 feet in length. The longest known grave of this kind in Sweden is one lying on Stora Lundskullen, in Vestergotland. Its length is 34 feet, and width 8 feet. A spacious grave of this form is shown in the engraving, which, like many others with stone coffins, was by the people called the “giant house :” it lies far in the woods at Skattened, in Vestergotland, near Venusborg. This sepulchre, which runs from north-east to south-west, is 21i feet long on the eastern side, which is somewhat curved, and 20 feet on the western, which is nearly straight. The width is 7 feet at the north-eastern end, which consists of one flat stone, and 5 feet at the south-western, which is open, and opposite which the coffin grows narrower. The height of the stones is from 5 to 6 feet; they all stand close together, and are skilfully arranged, so that each one, without disturbing the evenness, laps a little over the preceding one, thus supporting it. Of the cover-stones, which probably have been five or six, only two are left, with, a piece of a third ; all now have fallen into the grave. At the south-western end lies a stone which probably belonged to the roof, or served as a door. The bottom of the coffin seems to be sunk about two feet below the surface of the ground, and on three sides is surrounded by a stone heap, over which the walls rise only a few inches.
Nearly all other stone, coffins, like the gallery graves, are without a stone at the southern end. This cannot be accidental, and is a point of some importance, as this opening at the end probably may be considered as a continuation of the entrance to the passage graves, which also pointed towards the south. Another fact, which supports the opinion that the stone coffins were open at the southern end, is that many be-come lower and narrower towards that end. Air additional reminder of the entrance of the passage grave is the opening sometimes found about midway on the eastern length of the stone coffin. In 1875 a coffin at Herrljunga, in Vestergotland, was examined, and such an opening, 8 feet in width, was found, the length of the grave being not less than 30 feet.
Sometimes the isolated stone coffins are not entirely open at the southern end, but have simply an opening (rounded above) in the stone at this end, 2- feet in height and 16 inches in width. Besides the stone coffins above described, there have been found several entirely covered with earth or stones, which evidently belong to the stone age. They are generally formed of upright flat stones, and covered with others, in the same manner as the before-described stone coffins ; but they are usually smaller, from 6 to 10 feet long, and closed on all four sides. Sometimes, however, there is found in the south-ern end such an opening as is mentioned above. One of the most remarkable of this kind is that near the passage graves at Karleby, close to Falkoping, which was explored in 1874. Under a large but not very deep stone mound was found a grave made from limestone flats, divided into a large chamber and two smaller ones outside; the roof had also been made of similar stones, and even with the surrounding ground. In the partition stone, between the grave proper and the inner room, was found a rounded opening, 2 feet in width; the out-side of this opening was closed by a kind of door, consisting of a smaller flat slab, kept in place by round stones. In the partition between the inner and outer ante-chambers was also an opening 22 feet in width, which, however, was in the up-per end, and was closed by a larger flat. The length of the larger chamber in the centre was 13 feet, its width 64 feet, and height 6 feet. In it were found more than sixty skeletons, and by their sides a large number of poniards, spear points, arrow-heads, and other works of flint, showing that the grave belonged to a period when stone implements were still used. It was, therefore, of much importance to find among the skeletons in the lower part of the grave a couple of bronze beads and a spear-point of the same metal, showing that the bronze age had commenced in Vestergotland at the time the grave was in use. This is not the only case in which both stone and bronze implements, probably belonging to the earlier bronze age, have been found in these graves.
Certain marks on the top stone seem to indicate that sacrifices to the dead were prevalent; holes about two inches in width are found on the roofs of some cromlechs and passage graves. It is probable that sacrifices, under one form or an-other, were common during the stone age. Such a grave, with recesses on the roof-stone, is found near Fasmorup, in Skane, and is shown on, page 341. Another such grave is situated near Tanurn church, in Bohuslan.
Stone implements have often been found, which, doubtless, were carefully buried with a purpose, although they cannot be considered as grave-finds. We instance a few of these : Near Ryssvik, in Southern Smaland, were discovered, in 1821, fifteen large, welll polished axes, placed in a semicircle; in 1863 a similar though smaller find was made near Bro, in Nerike, where five large well-polished axes were found lying in a row on the shore of the partly dried lake 11fosjon ; near Knem, in Tanum parish, Bohuslan, were found, in 1843, seven saws, a spear-point, and a scraper, all of flint, beside each other under a flat stone; near Skarstad, in Bohuslan, were found, in 1843, beneath a smooth slab, ten flint saws of the same shape ; also, in Skee parish, in Bohuslan, some years ago, ten similar saws, wrapped in birch-bark, were unearthed. Similar finds have been made in peat-bogs. Thus, in 1863 were discovered in a bog near Halmstad twenty of these saws buried close together.
The province of y esterg)tland is the richest in relics from the stone age. Next in richness are Skane, Bleking, Halland, Bohuslan, Dalsland, and the south-western part of Vermland. On the plain around Fahllkoping are still found, in spite of centuries of cultivation, a larger number of graves of the stone age than anywhere else; rich in reminiscences of this era are also certain parts of Smaland, especially the western districts and that part of the interior around the large lakes and waters which, through the rivers of Blekinge and Halland, are connected with the sea.
It seems the more remarkable, therefore, that not a single grave of the stone age has been found on the east coast, and also that the scattered relics of this period, so numerous in the western coast districts, are very seldom found in the eastern, north of Kalmarsund ; and that both graves and antiquities of this age are very rare in Gotland and Oland, which are so rich in relics of the later periods of the heathen time. It is worth special mention that the different antiquities and grave-forms are not uniformly distributed over that part of Sweden which was inhabited during the stone age. The implements typical of the oldest stone age hitherto known in Sweden have nearly all been obtained in Skâne ; and in this province have also been found a comparatively large number of flint axes, belonging to the more recent stone age, which in the country north of Skâne are more rare.
All this seems to show that Skâne was not only the most thickly, but one of the earliest inhabited parts of the peninsula. Still more remarkable is the distribution of the different forms of graves. These, as already mentioned, are : (1) Steudosar cromlechs; (2) Passage graves; (3) Free-standing stone coffins; and (4) Stone coffins covered with mounds of stone or earth; which latter belong to the end of the stone age, and were also in use daring the first period of the bronze age. Now it hap-pens that cromlechs are found only in Skâne, Halland, and Bohuslän, and on the island of Oland, where, however, thus far only four have been discovered, and these very close together. With the exception of this solitary group, the cromlechthe oldest form of grave now known–is seen only in Skâne and on the west coast; the most northerly one in Sweden lies near Masselberg, Bohusian : in Norway only one is known, not far from the boundary of Bohuslan.
The graves next in age, the passage graves, are very numerous in Skâne, but especially in Skaraborgslan of Vestergotland ; a few also are found in Bohushin. Of the 140 passage graves at present known in Sweden, more than 110 are in Skaraborgslan, and most of them near Falkoping. From the part of Vestergotland belonging to Elfsborgslan only two graves with plain passages occur, and they differ considerably from the passage graves proper. The stone tombs, which seem to be the latest graves of the stone age, have a much wider distribution than the older forms. Free-standing ones of the latter (ha llkistor) are very numerous in Vestergotland, especially in Elfsborgslan, in Bohuslan,Dal, and South-west-ern Vermland. The mound-covered sepulchres belonging to the stone age are found in nearly all provinces where the older forms of graves occur; they also occur in Blekinge, Smâland, South-western Ostergotland, and on the island of Gotlandin other words, in those neighborhoods where the other forms have not been found. The cromlechs (stendo-sar), it must be remarked, always occur near the sea, seldom more than seven miles from the coast. The other graves of the stone age are, as before mentioned, often found far in-land; but they almost always are near a lake or river having connection with the sea, and which still are, or have been, important.
All this proves decidedly that Skâne and the west coast were first occupied by the original inhabitants; that the population afterwards gradually spread towards the north and north-east, and entered into the interior by following the rivers and the shores of the large lakes, or the coast of the Baltic ; and that the eastern parts of the countrySmâland and Ostergoitland- as well as Gotland, were the first, towards the end of the stone age, in having any population worth mentioning. Of how little importance the population of the eastern was in comparison with that of the western provinces is well shown in Sodermanland, where the relics of the stone age are much more rare in that part lying near the Baltic than in the south-western part, in the neighborhood of Wingaker. The explanation may be found in the fact that one branch of the population went from the important settlements in the northern part of Vestergotland, over Nerike, into Western Sodermanland. It is also evident from the preceding facts that the people who left behind them these antiquities must have come from the south, or rather south-west–that is, from Denmark. This migration from the south-west is the more remarkable, as that from the south-east and the regions to the eastward, during the following periods and up to the later centuries, has been of so much more importance to the country. When it is remembered what important parts Oland and Gotland played during the iron age, it merits special attention that the relics from the stone age are so rare on these islands.
Besides the already mentioned antiquities from the stone age, which have been found only in the southern and middle parts of Sweden, in the northern parts are to be seen several antiquities of polished stonegenerally slatewhich them-selves show that they do not belong to the South Scandinavian stone age, nor to the people who built cromlechs and passage graves. These antiquities, called ” arctic,” have been found mostly in Norrland and Lapland, where stone articles of South Scandinavian types are very rare. That the last named be-longed to a different people from the arctic ones is shown by the fact that the two kinds have never been found together; that the arctic antiquities show great similarity to those found in Finland; and that Lapps, Finns, and kindred people inhabited northern countries, where stone implements of the same shapes and material as those of South Scandinavia are almost unknown.
In a few instances the spear-points and knives of slate peculiar to the arctic stone age have been found in Svealand,* south of Dalarne, and in Gotaland, and it is at present difficult to explain this fact, unless by the supposition that the Lapps once dwelt, though in small numbers, south of Dalelfven, or that the slate implements were in use by the South Scandinavian stone age people, who got them from their northern neighbors. As it therefore seems probable that in the peninsula have been found remains of two different peoples, who dwelt here in their stone age, it becomes a question of importance in what relation as to time the arctic stone age stands to the South Scandinavian. Did the former begin earlier or later than the latter?
Daring the latter part of the stone age in Scandinavia considerable progress had been made in agriculture and cattle-raising, though hunting and fishing were still very important occupations.
The knowledge of bronze-working among the people of the peninsula came, no doubt, from the south and southeast.
The engraving on page 347 shows a section of a large grave near Dommestorp, in Southern Halland, belonging to the bronze age, which a few years ago was very carefully examined. In the middle of the bottom of the mound, at a, was built a large stone coffin, 6 feet in length, containing human remains, which had not been cremated. In three other places, higher up in the same mound, and near the edge, were found three smaller stone coffins, only 1 to 2 feet in length, filled with burned bones. In one place, near the coffin in the top of the mound, a clay pot with burned bones had been deposited, and at the coffin b was a flat stone, covering a hole, which also contained burned bones. The large coffin, and the one in the top of the mound, and one of the two other small coffins, contained, besides the bones, antiquities from the bronze age; and there is no doubt that the other three also belong to the saine period. It is evident that the large coffin with the unburned bones in the bottom of the mound must be older than the others, as the large one could not have been built without disturbing the smaller.
Nearly every mound of the bronze age, in which a grave with unburned bones has been found, has also contained graves with burned bones; but the former has always been nearer the bottom than the latter. It follows, therefore, that graves of the bronze age with unburned remains must be considered older than the graves with burned bones. It may be added, in confirmation of this, that several graves with un-burned bones, considered as belonging to the early period of the bronze age, are very similar to those belonging to the next preceding period of the stone age, and that those of the end of the bronze age have developed out of those belonging to its beginning; hence it may be said that the form of the Swedish graves runs in an unbroken chain of development, the beginning of which is the large grave-chamber of the stone age, and the end the insignificant preserving places for handfuls of burned bones. The oldest known graves, of the bronze age in Scandinavia are stone coffins enclosing several skeletons; these finally decrease in size, until they become only about 6 feet long, or just large enough to contain one body. These stone coffins, of the length of an average man, are interesting, as indicating the transition to the small ones containing burned bones; some of these, of a size calculated for an unburned body, have contained only a small heap of burned bones, and evidently belonged to the period when the cremation of the dead began to prevail.
Many of these little stone coffins are only large enough to enclose a clay pot, in which the bones were collected. Some-times no coffins were found, but only clay pots with ashes, a small bronze knife, a bit of a bronze saw, or something of that kind. Finally, in some eases the bones were put singly in a hole in the mound, and the whole covered with a stone slab. From traces in graves of this age it is probable that in Scandinavia serfs were sometimes buried with their roasters. Of furniture and utensils nothing has been preserved. except vessels of burned clay, bronze and gold, and here and there some of wood, which of course were very common, but have rarely withstood the ravages of time. Theclay`vessels are of many different forms, but often inferior to those of the stone age in ornamentation and purity of the material used.
In two graves, which certainly belong to the period in question, round boxes of thin wood with covers, nearly like those still in use, have been found. Most of the bronze vessels have the form herewith shown, and are not unfrequently found, together with a kind of cover of bronze, either provided with two handles like the utensil, or with wheel-formed buttons, to which the straps joining vessel and cover were fastened. The latter is always so much smaller that it apparently lias, not been put immediately upon the vessel, but has been fastened a little above it. The use to which these vessels were put is as yet unknown.
The gold vessels found in Blekinge have; in all probability, been used as drinking bowls; they are very thin, ornamented with figures in raised work, and probably belong to the later periods of the bronze age.
Near Kivik, in Skane, is situated a-large stone mound, in the centre of which a capacious stone coffin was found. This coffin is fourteen feet long, three feet wide, and four feet high. The inside of the stones are cut as shown in. illustration below; the signification of them is yet in dispute, and the grave probably belonged to the earlier par(tl of the bronze age.
On the drawings on the rocks in many places are seen horses and oxen, and in the graves are found remnants of hides, woollen clothes, sword and poniard scabbards of, skin, works in horn, etc. That the horse was used for riding can be seen on the rock drawing near Tegneby, Bohnslan (p- 351). Wagons also were used, as seen on the coffin slabs near Kivik.
On a rock drawing at Tegneby, in Bohuslan, a man is seen ploughing. The plough is of the most primitive kind, and is drawn by two animals, probably oxen or bulls. This large tracing is highly interesting as one of, the’ oldest indications of agriculture found on the peninsula of Scandinavia. Other reminiscences thereof are the simple scythes of bronze found in Ôstergotland. The grain was probably crushed’ in a handmill.
On the rock drawings are often seen human figures, some times of nearly natural size; but none of them give any idea of the clothing worn during the bronze age. Recently there have been opened a few graves, which in an’ unexpected manner have let us know how the people dressed &tiring the bronze age ; the most remarkable of these is a large mound at Dommestorp, in Halland, which contained a coffin made of care-fully joined stone slabs, about forty inches in’ length. When the cover stones were removed the coffin was found entirely free from sand or earth, so that its contents could be easily examined. On the bottom lay a few pieces of burned bone, over which was ‘spread a kind of woollen shawl; this extended over the whole coffin, and was laid in folds, in which was placed a bronze poniard, enclosed in a well-made and perfectly preserved leather scabbard with bronze clasps. The shawl was about five feet long and two feet wide; the color is now brown, but at each end was a light yellow border about four inches wide. Unfortunately, the cloth was so decayed that pieces only could be secured, which are now preserved in the National Museum in Stockholm.
From Danish mounds we know that the women’s dress during the bronze age consisted of the same two principal parts as at the present time in use among the -peasants ; but if the men’s clothes found in them can be regarded as a sample of their common dress, it shows a great difference even from that of the early historic times-especially the absence of trousers, which were commonly worn by all Germanic nations, though not by the Celtic tribes and the people of Southern Europe.
Many sewing implements of the bronze age, needles, awls, small pincers, and thin knives, almost always made of bronze, have been found in the graves. There have, however, been found a pair of pincers and an awl of gold. The awls, of course, were put in handles, and a few such, of bronze, bone, and amber, are still preserved; scissors were also in use. The needles are like those of the stone age, and made of bronze or bone ; they are, however, less numerous than the awls, owing probably to the fact that the last were used to sew leather and skins, and the needles for sewing woollens, which were less used, and wore costly.
Knives found in the later bronze age were probably used in the making of clothing of skins, in cutting the leather and the fine strings or threads of skin with which the sewing was done : with the awl the holes were pierced, and with the pincers the thread was drawn through. They were probably also employed for other purposes.
The simple ornaments of the stone age were replaced in the bronze age by more beautiful and varied ones, principally of gold and bronze. Combs were of bronze or horn. . As a general rule, the implements from the earlier period of. the bronze age are remarkable for their beautiful designs, while during the later period they are much inferior. The same’ is true of the earlier period of the iron age, as compared with that of the later.
The weapons were, to a great extent, the same during the bronze age as in the stone age, i. e., poniards, axes, spears, bows and arrows, and probably clubs and slings. The most promin9nt arm of defence was the shield ; to these may be added swords, and in a few instances helmets. In connection with the arms may also be mentioned the magnificent battle-horns of bronze found in several places. The shields were generally made of wood or leather, and seem to have been ornamented with a round bronze plate, with a point in the middle ; they were sometimes entirely of bronze. Of swords and poniards over 500 have been found in Sweden. Fine bronze axes were found near Eskilstuna, not massive, but consisting only of a thin shell of bronze, moulded on clay, which is still inside; they, therefore, could not have been used for actual warfare, but for purposes purely ornamental. A similar difficulty in distinguishing between battle-axes and axes used as tools occurs during both the stone and bronze ages.
The engravings on page 356 show vessels from rock tracings in Bohuslan. A similar one at Tegneby, in the same province, is of very large size-26 feet in height and 16 feet in width. They are all believed to belong to the bronze age : 1, From the difference between them and those on the Runic stones from the iron age. 2. The depth, for on the Runic stones the outlines only are given. 3. The different shapes of the swords. 4. The different shapes of the vessels those from the bronze age having the ends unlike each other, while those of the iron age are alike. 5. The absence of runas. It is known that runas were used during the earlier periods of the iron age, but in no place have they been found on the rock tracings. 6. Dissimilarity of religious symbolic sigusthe “wheel” and “angular cross.” Both these symbols have, without doubt, been used as such, though at different periods. During the bronze age only the wheel was in use, the cross first appearing during the iron age. All this indicates that the rock tracings must have been made before the iron age ; it is, therefore, only necessary to as-certain whether they belong to the bronze age or the preceding period.
The frequent appearance of swords on the rock tracings shows that these could not have been made during the stone age, in which the sword was unknown. Most of the tracings at present known in Sweden occur in Northern Bohuslan, Ostergotland,and South-eastern SkAne, and more rarely in Blekinge, Dal, Vermland, and Upland ; two are also known in Angermanland and Jemtland, of which one, perhaps, be-longs to the same period as those of the more southerly provinces. In Norway have recently been found numbers of rock tracings, especially in that part of the country adjoining iBohusla.n. Great difference can, however, be shown between these tracings in different parts of the Scandinavian peninsula.. Those of Bohuslan, for instance, often represent men and animals, while this is rarely the case with those of other provinces. In Ôstergotland swords and shields, not carried by men, are not unfrequently represented, which hardly ever occurs on rocks in Bohuslan. Vessels are seen on most tracings, but their shapes are not the same in different provinces; in almost all, however, occur the wheel-shaped symbols, the small bowl-formed recesses, sandals, and other figures. The tracings are always cut on rocks polished by the ice of the glacial period,
During the later periods of the bronze age the custom of burning the dead was introduced into Scandinavia; but in the earlier part the bodies were buried unburned.
The graves of the bronze age are generally covered by a mound of sand and earth or stones, of-ten containing several burial-places. Many stone mounds do not belong to the bronze age, but to more recent periods of the heathen times, so that it is often impossible, without a knowledge of its contents, to determine to which period a mound belongs.
The graves generally lie on a high hill, with an unobstructed view of the sea or large sheet of water. The stone mounds, especially of this age, are situated on high rocky points.
During the stone age, to judge from the known finds of all antiquities, hardly more than Gotaland and certain parts of Southern Svealand were inhabited ; before the end of the bronze age the country north of the Malar, possibly also north of Dalelfven, had been occupied. Although the settlement of Norrland by other people than Lapps probably did not occur until the iron age, two finds have been made in Medelpad which evidently belong to the bronze age : one is an exceedingly well preserved sword from Njurunda, and the other a chisel from Timra. In Finland, where the antiquities of the bronze age are quite rare, a sword has been found near Storkyro, not far from Wasa ; and on the Norwegian coast bronze arms occur still farther north, even to Nordre Trondhjems and Tromso amts.
As antiquities from this age must also be regarded the few stone implements of South Scandinavian types met with north of the Malar, sometimes as far north as Skelleftea. Besides these traces of a population in these northern parts related to the bronze age people of Southern Scandinavia, there has recently been found in Lapland a remarkable relic of that age of another people, namely, a hollow chisel; it differs entirely from those heretofore found in Scandinavia, though corresponding exactly to those found in Russia and Siberia.
Before closing our remarks on the stone and bronze epochs, it may be noted that the antiquities of the stone age are alike in the three Scandinavian kingdoms, and also in the northern part of Germany, and undoubtedly came from a people of the same origin. Several finds of that age have been found as far as the Salten fjord, latitude 67°, and even on the island of Senjen, latitude 69° 20′; but both in the north of Sweden and Norway these are very rare, and are generally met with single; and no graves belonging to that age have been found in those regions.
It is especially in the southern part of the Scandinavian peninsula and in Denmark that they have been discovered in great number. In Norway they are most ‘ common near the Christiania and Trondhjem fjords, Lister ‘and Jaederen districts. Some have been. examined inland; those of slate have been discovered only in the north.
The. stone age was, no doubt, of a longer duration in the Scandinavian countries than in the rest of Euope, and the people there attained a higher civilization, as ‘shown by their implements, which exhibit finer patterns and more finished workmanship.
The implements belonging to the bronze age contain generally ninety per cent. of copper and ten per cent. of tin. They are mostly cast, their ornaments being partly engraved, partly hammered after casting. The finds of that age have been met with hitherto in Norway as far as 66° N. in small number; they are most common in the Jaederen and Stavanger districts, and more so near the shore than inland. These, like the antiquities of the stone age, are far more numerous in the southern part of the peninsula and in Denmark. In Norway burned and unburned bodies have not as yet been found together in the same mound.
It is only from the two later periods of the iron age, mentioned in the following chapter, that Norway shows a population approximate to that of the other two Scandinavian kingdoms. The finds of the earlier iron age occur in Norway in the graves, while those of the two later periods must have been buried as treasure, as they consist often of objects of gold.
More or less extensive attempts to decipher the Scandinavian rock-tracings have been made, but with no decided results. It has been claimed by some Scandinavian archæologists that certain figures have a symbolical signification, which, no doubt, is the case. For instance, the concave recesses represent a drink or liquid; a curved line a wave, etc.; a group consisting of a ship, a bee, and such a curved line, were considered to express mead-horn, in the figurative sense of ” the ship of the beevawe” (the honey-drink); a small cup with a spear-point near it was explained as meaning blood, or “the drink of the spear.”
But although we cannot hope to learn the correct interpretation of these tracings, they are not entirely incomprehensible to an intelligent observer. They tell a great deal about peace-able occupations and deeds of war on land and sea of which otherwise nothing would be. known ; they tell of agriculture and cattle-raising; of the use of the horse for driving and riding; of vessels and navigation, for both trading and warlike purposes, showing that even at this early period the people undertook those voyages to foreign lands which, during the Viking age, culminated in their renowned expeditious.