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'On the people of the Long Barrow Period'

Journal of the Anthropological Institute ... vol. 5 (1876), pp. 120-173

This paper shows some of Rolleston's wide reading in the anthropology of the day and also his classical education providing many additional references. See views of the site here

Introductory Remarks.---In this paper I propose to give in detail a description of the examination of three Long Barrows situated near the little village of Nether Swell, in the county of Gloucester, prefacing this account by some general remarks--firstly, as to the physical characteristics of the people of the Long Barrow period; secondly, as to the possibility of dividing that period into successive epochs;and thirdly, as to the rationale of the various modes of disposing of the dead observad in those early tumuli. In these prefatory remark I shall not confine myself to the facts observed in the Gloucestershire explorations, but shall use, for purposeoss of comparison, my records of the investigation of similar barrows carried on by me in Yorkshire and elsewhere, with the valuable assistance of Canon Greenwell.

Looking at the osteological remains as a whole, perhaps the most striking point is the great disproportion in the sizes and the lengths of certain of the long bones, and, by consequence, in heights of  the male and female skeletons respectively. The male skeletons were very ordinarily about 5 feet 6 inches in height, as against a height of but 4 feet 10 inches attained to by the female. The average difference between the statures of males and females in civilised races is about half this amount, whilst a precisely similar disproportion is observed at the present day between the stature of individuals of the two sexes amongst savages. [1] The clavicles show the disproportionate
smallness of the females even more strikingly than the bone already alluded to. Professor Busk has recorded the small size and delicate form of the clavicles from the Gibraltar caves.

To the relative size of the skulls in the two sexes in prehistoric times, the doctrine laid down by Retzius in 1845, and re-affirmed in 1854 by Hüschke, as to the upper and lower classes of modern society, and the civilised and uncivilised races of modern days, is ordinarily supposed to apply, mutatis mutandis. Broca, in his interesting paper on the " Caverne de l'homme Mort," says: "L'un des traits les plus remarquables de la serie de l'Homme Mort, c'est la grande capacité relative du crane des femmes." The head of the femaleo ccupants of this cavern, like the head of the rustic Dalecarlian females, as observedupon by Retzius, was but little--some 99.50 cub. cent. (6 cubic inches) --inferior in capacity to that of their male fellow Troglodytes, whilst the difference between the modern French man of Paris and the modern French woman is more than twice as great as this amount. Where a womanis told by symbols, no less than by precepts, as Tacitus tells us, the German women were told, venire se laborum periculorumque sociam, idem in pace idem in proelio passuram ausuramque, it is easy to understand, upon the principle of natural selection, how an equality, or, at least, a near approach to equality, in the physical, as well as in the moral and mental characterof the sexes, may come to prevail, and how the weight and stature of the entire body in the female sex may approximate to the proportion of the male sex. Such, however, is rarely the case in savage tribes and times, and what we usually find, both among modern savages, as testified to by Weisbach, and amongst prehistoric men, as I have found, is an exaggeration in the females of the disproportion which exists, even in civilised races, between their brain and their entire body weight, to the disfavour of the latter, which is relatively heavier in the other sex.

... The female skulls labelled "Swell i. a," and "Swell vi. 2, 2," show, by their measurements given below, that some, at least, of the women of the Neolithic period, in Gloucestershire, stood in the same favourable relation of cranial capacity, as to the men of that time, as that which Broca has recorded on behalf of the women of the Caverne de l'Homme Mort, whilst the other bones from these barrows speak to the existence of opposite relations between the trunks and limbs of the two sexes. On the other hand, another female skull, "Swelli. 1,22-9-1874," presents an inferiority of size as compared with the male skulls and the other female skull found in thes ame barrow and in its immediate vicinity, which may be expressed more clearly than by its detailed measurements by saying, that previously to the restoration of the larger female skull, "Swell i. a," this smaller one could be got into its interior. This shows that as great differences might exist in savage races between the skulls of the sexes as Hüschke and Broca have noted as being usual in civilised times. These latter differences we may be allowed to ascribe to differences in education; the former may, perhaps, be explained by the relatively smaller-sized crania of female savages having belonged to women who, during their early childhood, and whilst their brains were being built up, had been subject to the disadvantages of scanty diet. "Savages," Mr. Bagehot has told us, "are the poorestof the poor;" and in a stone age, devoid of cerealia, scarcity of game, or a murrain among domestic animals,would bring famine alike upon the families of the chief, with whom, I take it, we have here mainly to deal, and upon their serfs. The same privations, the subjection to which at and after the time of puberty, say 14 years of age, we have suggested as the cause of the disproportionately short stature of the women,would, if they came into play upon the same subjects when at the age of14 months, or earlier, be competent to stunt the growth of their brains in like ratio. It is, indeed,as the late Professor Phillips once remarked, something to be wondered at, considering the hardships and scanty dietary to which all, or nearly all, wild races of men are more or less subjected, that their skulls and brains should be as large as we find themto be. "Ill-filled"    skulls, consequently, to use the expressive epithet employed by Professor Cleland, are not very rare in series taken from long barrows.

.... Professor Bischoff, however, in his well-known paper on "Die Grosshirnwindungen des Menschen," speaks of certain fissures, without any well-defined character, which appear on the boundary between the parietal and occipital lobes, and says that they correspond to a "fissura occipitalis externa" which appears in the human foetus, but is normally limited in duration to the seventh and eighth months of intra-uterine life. Though brachycephalic skulls have not, as yet, been proved to have been found in Great Britain in any primary interments in the barrows of which I am writing, and though brachycephalicskulls from the United Kingdom, and, indeed, I am inclined to think, from European countries generally, are ordinarily well- and not "ill-filled" skulls, it may, nevertheless, be allowable to say here that the "brachycephalic angustiores," as Professor Cleland would call the brachycephali of several other parts of the world, frequently present the depressions of which I have been writing. An excellent instance of the postero-parietal inward pinching of the skull-walls was furnished to me quite recently by a Maori skull presented to the University Museum by Dr. Batt ,the skull having a latitudinal index of 79, and possessing also markedly the contour which induced Retzius to class the Maoris as "brachycephali."

When we come, however, to compare the Long Barrow people with the still surviving inhabitants of the Southern Sea Islands, a comparison first instituted by Dr. Thurnam, we must guard ourselves from supposing that "ill-filled" skulls are by any means the rule amongst the ancient British inhabitants of this country, as they are amongst the little favoured indigenes of Australia and Tasmania. Dr. Thurnam's own tables of the capacity of the skulls and the weight of the brains of the modern English and the ancient Briton, which show that the larger quantities characterise the older-race, furnish the needful qualification to his above-cited comparison. To this I would add, that in none of the Long Barrow skulls which I have had the opportunity of measuring has the altitudinal index been found to be lower than the latitudinal; and that a point of degradation, therefore, has been found wanting in this series which Professor Busk has observed to exist in some priscan dolichocephalic skulls, and in Tasmanian and Bushman crania amongst those of modern savages. The same facts may be expressed in another way by saying the "Sion Typus" of Ilis and Rütimeyer, a type which Rütimeyerhas spoken of as characterised by "Kräftigkeit und Würde," is by no means sparsely represented in the Long Barrow series, the larger female skulls corresponding very closely with the description given by those anthropologists of that type, whilst many of the male skulls, in which the smoothly-swelling lobes outlines and rounded-contours of the female skulls are replaced by muscular ridges, vertical carinae, and foreheads sloping in correlation with heavy lower jaws, might be taken as fair, if not precisely accurate, representatives of the Hohberg type which is so closely allied to it.

... As regards the age of the Long Barrows, there is no doubt that, whatever other traces of the presence of man may be found in these islands, they are the earliest sepulchral evidence of his existence here. The huge cubical bulk of some of these tumulis is an à priori argument for their antiquity. Pristine or priscan man, like the modern savage, grudged no labour less than that which was spent on piling up a huge burial mound. My friend Mr. H. N. Mloseley, naturalist on  H.M.S. "Challenger," in recording his observations on the Kudang tribe of Australians living near Cape York,tells me that though they are destitute of almost everything in the way of property, having neither perforated stones to help them to dig roots--as have the Bushmen--nor boomerangs, nor tomahawks, nor any shaped stone implements, nor canoes; living, not on the available wallabies and phalangers, but on fish, reptiles, invertebrata, and vegetables; having the scantiest clothing, and sometimes, even in the cases of adults, none at all; being, finally, below savagery, as understood by a good judge of it Professor Nillson in having no chiefs; they nevertheless take great pains with the burial of their dead, marking out and adorning the graves with posts, and decorating them with the bones of the dugong. It is true that the Long Barrow people can be proved to have been in a higher state of civilisation than are these miserable Kudangs, by the purely quantitative considerations--firstly, that their barrows are so large as they are, and, secondly, that they contain so few skeletons.

But when a small number of individuals can get large structures erected for their lodgment, either when dead or alive, the society in which they have lived, or are living, has attained some elevation, howeverl ow, in the road leading upwards from sheer barbarism ... Considerations of less generality, but not, perhaps, less convincing as regards the early date of the Long Barrows, are drawn from the facts,that in none of them in Great Britain has any metal implement been found, at least in connection with a primary interment; that tanged and barbed arrow-heads are similarly wanting in these tumuli, so far as Great Britain is concerned, though they have been found in such structures both in Denmark and in Brittany; thirdly, that when they do contain burnt bones ,those burnt bones are never found in urns; and, fourthly, that a very much larger proportion of the bones from these tumuli present the manganic oxide discolouration, so characteristic of antiquity, than has been observed in the series of bones from any other ancient burial places.

If it is easy and safe to speak of the Long Barrows en masse as being undoubtedly the oldest sepulchral monuments with which we are acquainted, much difficulty and danger attaches to any attempt at dividing the Long Barrow period into different epochs. If we know, as we do know on irrefragable evidence, that two modes of disposing of the dead so diametrically different as inhumation and cremation have been practised contemporaneously, and by the same people, on the same area, it is impossible, it may be thought, to lay weight on any differences in sepulchral details for proving differences of date. Again, it may be urged,and should be borne in mind, that, in a country intersected by woods and water as Great Britain was in, and long after, the period we are dealing with, tribes living at what we now consider but short distances from each other, might be practically quite isolated, and develope thus entirely independent manners and customs. And, thirdly, though Diodorus Siculus has told us 'that peace ordinarily prevailed between the multitudinous kings and chiefs in this island, we may set our knowledge of the condition of things, as to war and peace, prevailing among savages of the present day against this statement. I have been informed by the Rev. W. G. Lawes, who was for many years a missionaryin Savage (Niue) Island, that he found that very few of the natives had ever been more than two or three miles from the place they were born in, the condition of blood-feuds which prevailed between the various septs and clans rendering it unsafe to do so. Analogous accounts are given to us by Australian travellers, and enable us to understand that very complete separation of one tribe from another may be compatible with this living in the immediate neighbourhood of, and contemporaneousy with, each other. On the other hand, it is not impossible that the arrangements noted in some Long Barrows may indicate an approximation towards the practices characteristic of the Round Barrow period, and may, consequently, be considered as denoting that these barrows belonged to a later age than others in which no such arrangements have been detected. The great and cardinal difference observable between Long Barrows lies in their containing burnt or buried bodies. The immense majority of the Long Barrows in the south of England were erected for inhumation, whilst exactly the reverse of this has been the rule in the Northern Counties.

We will begin by asking whether there is any reason for supposing that the builders of these two kinds of Barrows, separated thus in space, were also separated in point of time? Some weight, though not much, may be laid upon the fact that cremation was, in Great Britain at least, the rule during the bronze age, as it is possible to suppose that the practice of cremation was borrowed by the people of the latter part of the stone age from the strangers who introduced them to the use of metal.  A survey, however, of the records of the "Steingrüber" of Scandinavia, Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, and North Germany, such as is given by Weinhold in his "Toten-Bestatung," 1859; or in the 24th Bericht of the Schleswig-Hlolstein-Lauenburg "Gesellschaft fur Alterthuimer" for 1864, will not suggest that time rather than,or even in co-operation with, severance in locality, has had any thing to do, necessarily with the causation of this difference. Dr. Anderson,* however, appears to think that,in the long cairns of Caithness, burial may have preceded cremation; and it seems likely that the short cairns, whilst affined to the Round Barrows by this character of shortness, were at once later in date than, and yet genealogically connected with, the long cairns. And in the short cairns cremation was the rule. Some fragments of pottery with a thong-pattern, closely similar to, or identical with, that so familiar to us from the round barrows, were found by me in a cremation long barrow near Market Weighton, in the East Riding of Yorkshire; and the same may be said of some pottery found with leaf-shaped arrow-heads by Dr. Andersoni, in a short cairn in Caithness. This may seem to give some stronger ground for supposing the cremation barrows to have been later in date than the other. Very similarly patterned pottery, however, is figured by Dr. Thurnam from a chambered long barrow at West Kennet, Wiltshire, and its presence there would, of course, invalidate any argument which its presence in a cremation barrow might have tempted us to draw. That presence, however, in the Wiltshire barrow is supposed by Dr. Thurnam to have been due to a subsequent intrusion into, oroccupation of, this chambered barrow by the metal-using Belga. But the fact that much pottery, elegantly marked and delicately made, albeit not lathe-turned, has been found in Continental barrows of the stone period, may make us think Dr. Thurnam's suspicion somewhat unreasonable, and, if we do think it so, the argument from the presence of such pottery in the cremation long barrow in the East Riding falls to the ground.

If it is unsafe to suppose it to be anything more than a probability that the practice of cremation may be considered to mark a later, and the practice of inhumation an earlier, epoch in the Long Barrow period, there is still less reason for suggesting that the unchambered long barrows were anything but contemporaneous with the chambered. But a question may arise as to whether those long barrows in which the receptacle for the dead took the shape of a closed "cist," without any passage or gallery leading to the exterior, as in the chambered barrows, may not, as being more nearly approximated in shape to the cists in the round barrows of later times, have been also nearer to them in point of date. The Long Barrow in which the closed cist has taken the place of the galleried chamber is by no means so common as either the chambered barrow or the unchambered, used for inhumation, or the cremation long barrow. A very competent antiquary* has expressed himself to me as doubting whether true cists are ever found as the primary places for interment in such barrows. Several instances, however, have been put on record in which there seems to be much reason for accepting the description of the existence of such cists so placed. The account of the exploration of the Littleton Drew Long Barrow, successively by Sir Richard Colt Hoare and by G. P. Scrope, Esq., M.P., given in the description of P1. 24 of the "Crania Britannica"; and that of the exploration of the tumulus at Charlton Abbots, given by L. Winterbotham Esq., in the "Proceedings of the Societyof Antiquaries," April 19, 1866, appear to me to give trustworthy histories of such discoveries; and other examples may be found in Dr. Thurnam's paper on 'Long Barrows' in the "Archaeologia" for 1869. Weinholdt divides the Hiinenberge into two classes, accordingly as they contain "cists," or chambers with galleries.1 In a long barrow," Swell vi.," I found what appeared to me to have been a closed cist, containing a considerable number of human remains, and also the skeleton of a dog, as will be related at length further on. This receptacle had been much disturbed, and I shall not, therefore lay any weight upon the presence, a short distance above it, of some fragments of finer, thong-marked pottery than I have seen from any other long barrow; still,some traces of a passageor gallery leading to it would, I think,have been discovered if they had existed. The bones from this, as also from another somewhat similarly dilapidateds epulchre in the same barrow, had less of the manganicoxide discolouration than was observable upon bones from the galleried chambers in this district; and though this may be explained as being due to some chemical difference in the soil, it is also possible that it may indicate a lesser antiquity in the bones so affected, as compared with the others.

On the whole, I am inclined to think that indications are not wanting which suggest to us that inhumation will ultimately be shown to have been the earliest mode of burial practised in these, as yet the earliest of known sepulchres; that inhumation in galleried chambers was probably the earliest variety practised, at least where the necessary slabs for the construction of such chambers and passages were available; but that burial without burning, and also without any cist or chamber whatever, may, in other districts not so conditioned, have been contemporaneous with burial in chambers; and finally, that inhumationin cists without passages leading down to them, and cremation, mark later epochs in the Long Barrow period. The questions are in need of furtherevidence for their definite solution, and they are beset with numerous difficulties and sources of fallacy.

Coming, in the third place, to a consideration of the modes of burial observable in long barrows, and the rationale to be given of them, I have to say that one peculiarity appears to me to characterise all long barrows, whether they contain burnt or unburnt bodies, and that this peculiarity is, that whether the number of bodies be large or small, they occupy but a relativelv small part of the entire tumulus. In other words, the bony remains, burnt or unburnt, are huddled together in short compass, whilst, so far as we see on the first contemplation of their arrangement, they might have been disposed with little or no more trouble at intervals throughout the tumulus. A segment or two of the entire length of the barrow has been employed for the reception, all the rest has been erected forthe honour of the dead. In a long barrow near Market Weighton, containing some twenty-six burnt skeletons, the whole number were found within a distance of 60 feet from its east end; of the set wenty-six, twenty-one were buried in a segment of 32 feet in length, and of these twenty-one, seventeen lay in a length of 17 feet. In another barrow, also of the cremation variety, near Kirkby Stephen, and 179 feet in length, the whole number of burnt bodies amounted only to seven, but they were crowded into a segment of the barrow which was but 3 feet 6 inches wide and 12 feet 6 inches in length. A chamber 7 feet by 4 feet, in one of the Gloucestershire barrows, " Swell vii.," contained, even after having been exposed to rifling by the rustics of the neighbourhood during a period of many years, remnants of no less than nine adult skeletons. Another receptacle which I examined in another barrow (" Swell vi.") close by, and which I believe to have been a cist, though, from its having been disturbed, it is a little unsafe to speak quite positively, contained within a space of 5 feet 6 inches by 4 feet, parts of two adult unburnt skeletons, male and female respectively, parts of three children about 7 or 8 years of age, and the skeleton of a dog buried with the woman's skeleton; whilst a similar receptacle in the same barrow, examined by Canon Greenwell, contained parts of no less than ten human skeletons. all but one of which had belonged to adults, packed together within an irregularly-shaped space ..., which was 8 feet 6 inches long, and 4 feet broad at one end and 3 feet at the other. When these crowded masses of bones are looked at in situ, they strike the observer as having certain sets amongst them left in their natural relations and juxtapositions, whilst certain other bones have been somehow dislocated away from their normal connections. The upper cervical vertebra, for example, I find myself to have noted as retaining, in many cases their position of approximation to the lower jaw and the base of the skull; the same is recorded occasionally of a larger or smaller number of the dorsal and lumbar vertebra and of the patella in their relations to the tibia and femor whilst portions of the pelvis, of the feet, of the humerus and of the scapular arch, may also be found all close together. It may be well to give here an extract from the notes taken of part of the excavation carried out in a cremation Long Barrow near Kirkby Stephen in Westmoreland "Monday, Aug. 24, 1874.- Two strong adult men were represented, within a circle of 1 foot 6 inches diameter by portions of their lower jaws, of their skulls, of their second cervical vertebre, and of their scapule. A fragment of an occipital bone was seen looking upwards, with the proximal and of a right humerus on one side of it, and the distal of a left one on the other, and portions of an atlas also in relation with it. But fragments proving the presence of two odontoid vertebra, and shortly afterwards of two lower jaws, were found close by, as also an os calcis and an astragalus, which last were less than an inch from a clavicle, whilst, finally a, number of vertebrae were found in opposition and parts of two scapulae were in relation with the head." In the case of a third skeleton, out of the seven found in this barrow, a patella, the only one found in the entire set was found in opposition with the proximal end of a tibia. In the cases of the bones whence evidence was drawn for the presence of four other burnt skeletons in this large barrow, it seemed from their condition of arrangement, or rather disarrangement, that they must have been disarticulated before they were burnt.

The plan employed for burning bodies in the cremation long barrows examined by me, with the help of Canon Greenwell, as also in others examined by him previously and independently, was that of packing the boldies - whether fresh or dried whether still in continuity or, disarticulated along the central axis of the barrow - together with wood and stones. The combustible and transpirable mass thus formed reached half, or much less than half, the entire length of the barrow. It was bounded and supported on either side by the lateral masses of the barrow in which in some barrows a system of flues for favouring draught appears to have been provided by the mode adopted for arranging the large stones of which they were made up, and which, in other barrows appear to have been made up of turfs which would serve as non-conductors by abutting up on the central combustible strip. In the barrow near Market Weighton the turfs must have been arched over the central strip ,thereby greatly favouring calcination, as in a kiln, whilst externally they were supported by lines of stone rubble which kept them in place.This short description is sufficient, perhaps, to convince the reader of what examinations lasting many days, convinced the writer was the case - viz. that whatever was done in a cremation barrow with more or few skeletons was done at one time, once and for all.

There have been three theories put forward to account for the facts observed as to the human remains found in Long Barrows. The first of these may be called the Successive Interments Theory. It is expounded by Professor Nillson, who however, deals only with non-cremational, galleried tumuli. Now the very 'raison d'etre of a gallery is the facilitation of successive interments; but the construction of a cremation barrow is incompatible with such an object. The second of these theories may be called the OssuaryTheory; and this, though combated by Professo Nillson is not incompatible with his own theory, and, indeed, as regards chambered barrows, ought to have that theory combined with it. There is much evidence in its favour as regards every variety of long barrow.

The third theory may be called the Human Sacrifice Theory, for which much evidence may be adduced from the practices of other nations, but for which the remains as far as I have been able to judge, from British barrows do not furnish any proof. ...

Dr. Thurnam, however, based his support of the human sacrifice theory, not merely upon literary evidence, but also upon the appearance which the bones themselves from these barrows presented. Some of these bones are in the Oxford University Museum, viz. those from Ebberston, referred to as being calculated to "convince the most incredulous;" and others in the Cambridge University Museum I have been, by the kindness of Professor Humphry allowed to inspect and examine. I have to say that, after repeated and careful examination of these bones, with the assistance of skilled anatomists, I am entirely convinced that they do not fairly bear the interpretation which Dr. Thurnam has put upon them. The "perfectly sharp and clean" edges of the broken bones, and the 'porcellaneous character" of the fragments themselves, happened one day to see reproduced by an accidental breakage which occurred in one of the skull-bones from the Market Weighton long barrow, and my eyes were opened to the necessity of no longer taking the theory in question for granted. On further examinlatio, and after repeatedly submitting the Ebberston series of which Dr. Thurnam wrote, l.c., to the inspection of others in whose judgment I had confidence, was compelled to give the theory up.

What has compelledme to the acceptancoef the Ossuary theory, is, firstly, its all but absolute indispensability for the explanation of the appearances met within cremation Long Barrows; secondly, the fact that, in many receptacles for unburnt bodies, the arrangement which those bodies presents is not that which they would have if they had been, one after the other, disturbed to make room for fresh immigrants thirdly, the fact that the practice of storing bodies in provisional receptacles, en attendant a final sepulture is one which has been practised all over the world; and, fourthly a consideration of the circumstances which would be likely to throw a number of corpses upon the hands of a tribe in the Neolithic age, and the difficulties which those very circumstances would put in the way of their disposing of them at once.

The first three points need no further explanation; upon the fourth I will say a few words. At the present day, with all our means and appliances, severe cold produces a high mortality; even in a small village several old people may be sometimes reported to us as being all lying dead within its precincts qt one time. If this is the case in modern England, what must have been the case in neolithic Britain? and in the presence of severe frost, and possibly deep snow how was such a population as a tribe of the Long Barrow period to get rid of its dead out of its sight? I owe a reference which throws much light on these questions to Dr. Joseph Anderson's paper in the "Proceedings of the Society of Antiquares of Scotland, May 13 1872, p.526. This reference is to a passage in King Alfred's version of "Orosilus," where we read that it was the custom of the Esthonians to keep the body of any one who died one month, or even two months, or, in the case of kings, even half a year, before burning it.

In following up this line of illustration I came upon the following lines relating to the manners and customs of the Russians, and addressed from Moscow, to Spenser by a lesser poet, one G. Turberville. They may be verified by a reference to " Hakluyt's Voyages," vol. i., ed. 1809, p. 433. Speaking of a Russian winter, Turberville says:-
The bodies eke that die unburied lie they then
Laid up in coffins made of firre, as well the poorest men
As those of greater state. The cause is lightly found,
For that in wintertime they cannot come to break the ground.
Returning from comparative civilisation to a consideration of what would be likely to happen in still earlier days, we may say that, out of a number of bodies stored up till it should be possible or convenient to deposit them finally in a tumulus, some would become more, some less, some, perhaps, entirely disjointed; for the practiceof stacking or storing the dead, though originated probably by the necessities of cold weather, would be continued as well recognised principles would lead us to expect, irrespectively of times and seasons, when it was once well established. Thus the partial retention and partial loss of the natural connections of the bones observed in these barrows would both alike receive an explanation, and be seen to depend upon the greater or less resistance which their ligaments had offered to the attacks of putrefaction.

I will now commence a detailed account of the examination of three Long Barrows, situated near the village of Nether, or Lower Swell, near Stow-on-the-Wold in the county of Gloucestershire. Three persons, the Rev. David Royce, Canon Greenwell, and my self, were concerned in their examination. ...


[1] * The lato Sir Andrew Smith, K.C.B., informed me, that from extensive observations, carried on for a period of seventeen years ,in South Africa, he could assure me that the Amakosa Kaffirs to the eastward of the colony averaged near 5 feet 8 1/2 inches, women 5 feet 1/2 inch. (See "Archaeologia," 1870, vol. xlii. p. 457, where I put this observation, and a number of other measurement bearing upon this point, on record.) Gustav Fritsch, in his work, "Die Eingeborenen Sud Afrikas," s.17, gives 1718 cm. (5 feet 7 /12 inches) as the average stature of men of that race of Kaffirs just mentioned and at p. 24 he says of the females: "Pilegen die weiblichen Individuen in der Entwickelung den mannlichen nach-stehen was wohl in der unterdriickten politischen Stellung der Frauen seinen Grund hat;" but he does not give their exact stature. At p. 216 this author says, "Die Frauen der Ova-herero erscheinen in gleicher Weise wie der übrigen Sud Afrikanischen Nigritier in Vergleich mit den Männern unbedeutend," and at p. 277 he gives1604 cm. (5 feet 3 inches) for the average stature of ten male Hottentots, as against 1442 (4 feet 8 inehes) for the average attained from measuring four females of the same tribe. When, however, the stature of the male members of a race falls as low as that just given for the female Hottentot, the stature and other dimensions of the sexes appear to be nearly identical. This is the case with the Bushmen (see p.398, l.c.). The measurements, however, given by Weisbach in the Anthropological part of the "Reise von Novara," 1867, p. 216, do not show that the discrepancy between the stature of the sexes of savage races rises in a direct proportion with their savagery, the greatest difference put there upon record being that between Javamen, 1679 mm., and Java women, 1461-2, and amounting to 8 inches, whilst the difference recorded between Australian men and Australian women is only 65 mm. (2 inches). A similar disproportion, and one even greater than that recorded by Weisbach for the Javanese males and females, has been reported, to me as the rule amongst the Japanese; whilst, on the other hand, a "Report on the Aborigines of Victoria," 1859, p. 45 (cit. Davis, "Thesaurus Craniorum," p. 3641), gives 5 feet 6 inches as the average height of eleven Australian men, as against 4 feet 10 inches of an Australian woman. (See, however, Davis,"Phil. Trans." for 1868, p. 524.) The honourable position assigned to, or obtained by, the female sex amongst the Germanic races may be considered as testified to by the near approach to equality in stature which, even in ancient times (see "Smith's Dictionary of Geog.," Art. 'Germania') was observed to exist between the sexes. Likarzig, however, most surely under-estimates the difference when, in part following Quetelet and Bednar, he gives, in his great work,"Das Gesetz des Wachsthumes," p. 4, Taf.i., ii., iii., iv., 175 cent. (68.899 inches) as the average male stature, and 173 cent. (67.111 inches) as the average female stature. The rationale of all this lies in the earlier attainment of puberty by the female sex in our species, and the consequent early consignment of the females, in savage varieties of it, to child-bearing and hard labour. Mr. Dobson's paper on the" Andamans and Andamanese," published in the preceding number of the Journalof this Institute, p. 457, furnishes a good illustration of this principle. (See especially Plate xxxi.) [NB only one note has been copied across from the original as serving to demonstrate the sort of resources that Rolleston used in his anthropological/ archaeological work]

AP transcribed December 2012

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