34 ADAMITES AND PREADAMITES.
instances. So, finally, the small bronze chariot exhumed from a tumulus in Mecklenburg recalls the wheeled structures fabricated for Solomon by Hiram of Tyre. (I. Kings, vii, 27-37.)
From time immemorial, civilized nations have recognized three
ages in the history of socie ty—the stone, bronze and iron ages.
Archmology justifies this belief. In the stone age, the metals were unknown ; in the bronze age, bronze displaced stone to some extent ; and in the iron age, iron came into use for cutting instruments. While these are the successive stages in the social development of peoples, they by no means serve as chronological landmarks for mankind at large; since different tribes and nations and races have passed out of their stone age at very different epochs, and many tribes still remain in their stone age. Researches have shown that the stone age must be sub-divided into three epochs:—the Palaeolithic or Rude Stone Epoch, the Reindeer Epoch and the Neolithic or Polished Stone Epoch. In the first, human skill was very little developed, and man lived as contemporary with the mammoth, cave-bear, cave-hyena and other extinct quadrupeds, whose bones occur in caverns and river-drifts. In the Reindeer Epoch, human works were of a higher order; the animals just mentioned had chiefly disappeared, and the bones of the reindeer are most abundantly associated with human relics. In the Neolithic Epoch, stone weapons and implements were ground and polished, and some domestic animals had made their appearance.
The physical conditions of Europe on the first advent of the Stone Folk were strikingly different from the present. The continent was then just emerging from a secular winter which had buried all the mountains and plains beneath a mantle of glacier material as far south, probably, as the Pyrenees. England and Scandinavia had been connected with the continent; the English channel and the German ocean had been dry land, and the Thames had been a tributary of the Rhine. A subsidence now took place which made Great Britain an island. An amelioration of the climate caused a rapid melting of the glaciers; the land was extensively flooded and the drainage of the continent now began to mark out and to excavate the river valleys of the modern epoch. The cave-bear, mammoth and other quadrupeds of Pliocene, time