« PreviousContinue »
urns at Cae Mickney, Anglesey (Fig. 12), and in a group of cairns or family burial place at Porth Dafarch on Holyhead Island, described by Albert Way. One of these is represented in Fig. 13. It was inverted over the small vase or food vessel. Both these vessels bear the usual Bronze-Age patterns in chevrons and right lines.2 These three cases may be taken to illustrate the contents of the normal burial places of the period, in which, although cremation was the rule, in some cases the practice of inhumation was still continued. Various personal ornaments, bronze daggers, flat celts, stone maces, and well-fashioned flint implements, were buried
with the dead from a religious motive, and probably for use in the land of spirits. In this connection we may note a remarkable discovery in a cairn in Llandyssilio, Pembrokeshire, of a small vessel (Fig. 14), found along with an "incense cup," and a bronze dagger. It is ornamented both on the outside and inside with vertical ribs, reaching from the flat base to the rim, the spaces between the ribs being countersunk, and the whole forming "a miniature Stonehenge."
1 Arch. Camb, 1868, p. 222-231.
2 Romilly Allen, Camb., 1902, p. 182. are dealt with in this
"The Chevron and its Derivatives," Arch. The details of the Bronze-Age ornamentation valuable essay.
In my belief this conclusion of Fenton and Way' is probably true, and I feel inclined to class it with the group of hut urns described by Lord Avebury in 1865, that were used in Italy and Germany in the Bronze Age. In this case, however, it is not the habitation but the temple that is represented, as may be seen from the comparison of Fig. 14 with the figure of
Stonehenge restored, Fig. 15. Whether it be intended to represent Stonehenge, or some other stone circle, is an open question, but it certainly proves that the cult of Stonehenge extended into Wales, where there are many stone circles, which stand in the same relation to
1 For full account see Fenton, Arch. Camb., 1860, p. 32, and Albert Way, Arch. Camb., 1868, pp, 256, 257.
2 Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, 2nd ed., pp. 50, 53.
that great temple as our parish churches stand to Westminster Abbey.1
With the introduction of bronze into Britain a marked change took place in the burial customs in the practice of cremation and urn burial, hitherto unknown. Sometimes, however, the dead were buried in the old Neolithic fashion, not only in cairns but in caves. In the sepulchral cave at Gop, near Prestatyn, Flintshire, close to the great cairn that yielded nothing to exploration (Fig. 16), a stone chamber (Figs. 17 and 18) was found to be packed with skeletons of all ages that had been interred in the crouching posture, with fragments of urns (Fig. 19) that may have contained the ashes of the dead. There were also links of cannel coal, or Kimmeridge shale, and a polished flint flake2 (Fig. 20), all belonging to the Bronze Age. The skeletons in this family vault, and especially the long, oval skulls, are identical with those of the Neolithic farmers of Perthi Chwareu and Cefn, showing that descendants of the Neolithic people were in the Vale of Clwyd in the Bronze Age. There was, however, one female skull of the broad type that proves that the Broad-heads were also present in Wales, and that they were beginning to be mingled with the Neolithic aborigines. It illustrates the fact that the invasion of Britain by the Broad-heads in the Bronze Age did
1 I am unable to accept the view advanced by Lockyer, Stonehenge and other British Stone Monuments Astronomically considered, 8vo., 1906, that Stonehenge and other megalithic remains and dolmens in Britain were made by "Astronomer-priests" from Egypt or Assyria, with an eye to the observation of the stars. There is no evidence that astronomy was known in Europe in the Bronze Age, or that any observations then made were sufficiently accurate to afford a means of dating any of these remains by the use of modern instruments. Nor is there any proof of any such expedition from Assyria or Egypt. The old view that the larger circles were originally derived from the round hut or its enclosure, and intended for worship, probably, of the sun, and that the cromlechs and dolmens were the burial places of the dead, is still held by all the leading archæologists of the day.
2 Dawkins, Arch. Journ., 57, p. 323-341.