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which, by the freshet's flow, have been washed away, leaving the heavier stone implements at rest among the pebbles and sand of their shores.
What their age is no man can tell; but we do know that their use gave way to the advent of the white man; some of them undoubtedly buried or abandoned, like the tomahawk of war on the approach of the peaceful Penn and the benevolent founders of our State.
With regard to the use of the implements under immediate consideration we are left entirely to conjecture. They have not the pointed or lance form of the true spear-head, of which there are abundant specimens (a few are laid upon the table); but have an oval form, frequently without sharp edges, and have been distinguished by the term, “almond-shaped implements.” That they were “sling-stones," as some have supposed, is much less probable than that they were inserted, in rows, into wooden handles or staffs, like certain ancient weapons of war,—the beak of the saw-fish, or the shark's tooth, offensive weapons of the South Pacific islanders of the present day.
In connection with this subject, the attention of the Society is solicited to the interesting fact, that during the Stone Period the manufacture of pottery was simultaneously practised, in a rude state it is true, but sufficiently perfect to answer most of the needs of a savage existence, with attempts at ornament, and in some instances graceful forms, that show an effort for the beautiful. A band frequently surrounds the brim, occasionally turned over, although they were sometimes moulded without this ornamental form; for the makers of these utensils, like the makers of arrow-heads, had different degrees of excellence in their art, and exhibit as striking differences in correctness of eye and neatness of hand, as we see, in this our day, of skilful workmen, and the botched jobs of apprentices who have mistaken their calling.
The attempts at the ornamental decoration of pottery are frequently, if not invariably, exhibited in diagonal lines, alternating at intervals, and parallel lines, and dots; the first reminding us of the rude attempts, with a like object, in certain early samples of Saxon architecture. There is also exhibited a graining of the surface, evidently made by or with the cob,” from which the Indian corn has been removed.
These pots were round on the bottom, plain, and without legs. The material is clay, in a crude state, nothing but the stones being removed ; sand and other impurities were neglected, and they are entirely unglazed.
They were baked by the application of fire to the interior, of sufficient force to render the fragments, which are so abundant, imperishable by time or exposure.
A similar condition of art, under similar circumstances, is strik
Irish. The specimens of that art laid upon the table, were taken from a “clough” or mound in County Down, Ireland, which was opened in the present year.
These specimens show a ruder condition of art, and are ornamented by diagonal lines, also ruder than in the American specimens ; but the material, both in treatment and composition, is similar, and like them, were burnt by application of fire to the interior.
As a closing remark, the condition of the arts, as exemplified by the relics of the Stone Period, and the pottery which accompanied it, are strikingly similar, wherever and whenever that condition existed. The rude Ancient Briton, the early Scandinavian, fashioned these implements as the savage of this day fashions them, and doubtless supplied his wants, and gave expression to his aspirations by the same rude means.
Professor Trego considered the unsymmetrical and almondshaped specimens as merely unfinished or half-formed arrowheads and knives, and described rocks of red jasper near Easton, at the base of which a manufactory of implements existed in Indian times, immense numbers of perfect and imperfect specimens remaining to the present day. Mr. Foulke drew the attention of members to a recent article, written by a learned member of this Society, in “Blackwood's Magazine,” giving his opinion of the antiquity of the remains found in the Valley of the Somme. Mr. Peale alluded particularly to a specimen, placed by virtue of its material among a group of chalcedonic lance-heads collected from the region beyond the Mississippi, which was picked up upon the banks of the Schuylkill. As that material cannot be obtained in Pennsylvania the fact stands in evidence of the wide range of Indian trade in articles of warfare. Dr. Coates illustrated the use of the weapons from archæological history; and, from a comparison of the picture-writing of the Mexicans with the identical but ruder ornamentation of buffalo robes and tent covers in the Valley of the Upper Missouri, and from other things, deduced his opinion that the developement of art and civilization may be traced from the north southward. Mr. Peale, in reply to questions, described the characteristic “pecking” process by which the best Celts found were prepared for the polishing process and final perfection.
The annual report of the Finance Committee was read and its recommendations in regard to the official bonds of the late and present treasurer were adopted by the Society. The appropriations recommended for the ensuing year were ordered to be made, viz. :
For Journals, . . . . . . . . . $50
Hall, · · · · · · · · 100
. . . . . 50
Fund, . . . . . . . . . 500
Pending nomination No. 416 and new nomination No. 417 were read.
Mr. Justice tendered his resignation as a member of Council, which was accepted.
On motion of Dr. Bache Dr. Morris's resignation was accepted.
And the Society adjourned.
INDEX TO VOLUME VII.
Airy (G. B ), letter from, 396%.
Bogota, 6. N. N. G. made correspondent,
Bonn N. H. Society, letter, 3373.
Boston Athenæum, letter, 15%.
- N. H. Society, letter, 1261.
Bowditch Library, merged, 8'.
- Zoological Garden, letter, 73. Bronn (H. D.), elected, 344.
Calhoun's Ventilator, 1763.
Cambridge Philosophical Soc., letter, 19?.
-- Harvard College, 1699, 1739, 340%.
Carey (H. C.), resigned Pub. Com., 17'.
Carleton (H.), elected; accepted, 1279.
- presented, 1553.
- obs. on free agency, 336'.
- obs. on association of ideas, 4083.
– reported, 2923.
Catalogue of Library, ordered, 3261.
Chapman's portrait paid for, 337'.
- obituary read, 397-408.
Charleston Elliott Society, 1693.
- published, 177-291.
Chicago Historical Society, 295'.
Chiriqui images (Dubois), 162.
Coal, Arctic (Lesley), 293.
--- obituary printed, 156-162.
Com. Publication, report postponed, 1641.
Com. Hall, 7", enlarged, 19.
- carpet, 162', 292%.
Com. sale of Hall, report, 1652.
- named, 6', reported, 18'.
postponed, 21, 22, 125, 128", 161'.
Mr. Fraley's substitute, 22°.
amendments adopted, 1644.
Com. on Arctic expedition, 18%.