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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: August 2010
  • First published in: 1863



THE ages of stone and bronze, so called by archaeologists, were spoken of in the earlier chapters of this work. That of bronze has been traced back to times anterior to the Roman occupation of Helvetia, Graul, and other countries north of the Alps. When weapons of that mixed metal were in use, a somewhat uniform civilisation seems to have prevailed over a wide extent of central and northern Europe, and the long duration of such a state of things in Denmark and Switzerland is shown by the gradual improvement which took place ia the useful and ornamental arts. Such progress is attested by the increasing variety of the forms, and the more perfect finish and tasteful decoration of the tools and utensils obtained from the more modern deposits of the bronze age, those from the upper layers of peat, for example, as compared to those found in the lower ones. The great number also of the Swiss lake-dwellings of the bronze age, (those already discovered amounting to about seventy,) and the large population which some of them were capable of containing, afford indication of a considerable lapse of time, as does the thickness of the stratum of mud in which, in some of the lakes, the works of art are entombed.