which a number of men are employed in dragging with ropes, and which representation was found by Messrs. Irby and Mangles in a grotto behind E'Dayr, a Christian village behind Antinoe and El Bersheh. In this picture we see represented the statue bound upon a sledge with ropes, a man standing on the knees of the colossus beating time with his hands, and giving out the verse of a song, to which the men responded; another man on the sledge at the feet of the colossus, pouring out in front of the sledge a liquid, perhaps grease, from a vase; four rows of men, in pairs, dragging the statue; Egyptian soldiers; men carrying water or grease; others carrying implements; taskmasters; and reliefs of men. In one of the quarries at El Maasara, another mode of transporting a stone is represented. "It is placed on a sledge, drawn by oxen, and is supposed to be on its way to the inclined plain that led to the river; vestiges of which may still be seen a little to the south of the modern village." Mr. Samuel Sharpe,' in his account of the mechanical arts, as practised by the Egyptians, says: "Of the various ways in which the engineering difficulties might have been overcome, we may take it for granted that the rudest was that actually used. We know that when a town was to be stormed, the military engineers were often driven to the slow and laborious method of raising against it a mound of earth of the same height as the city wall, and from this the besiegers attacked the garrison on equal terms. If an obelisk ninety feet long was to be placed upright, it was probably lifted up by means of a mound of earth. which was raised higher and higher, till the stone, which leaned on it, was set up on one end. If a huge block was to be placed on the top of a wall, it may have been rolled on rollers up a mound of sand to its place. Such labour will, in time overcome difficulties which yield more quickly to a smaller force when skilfully directed. Of the six simple machines called the mechanical powers, the Egyptians used the wedge, the lever, and the inclined plane; but seem not to have known the screw, pulley, or the wheel and axle. Though their chariots ran on wheels, they chose to drag a colossal statue on a sledge, rather than to risk the

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

1 History of Egypt, i,, 40, Ed., 1839.


unsteadiness of putting rollers under it. Though their sailors pulled up the heavy sail by running a rope through a hole in the top of the mast, they had no moveable pulley fixed to the sail whereby a man can raise more than his own weight."

Mr. Layard, in his "Nineveh and Babylon," p. 24, (1867,) gives an interesting account, with illustrations, of the bas-reliefs found by him at Konyunjik which represent the building of an artificial mound, and the process of dragging the colossal figure to its summit. "As some of the largest of these sculptures were full twenty feet square, and must have weighed between forty and fifty tons, this was no easy task when the only mechanical powers possessed by the Assyrian appear to have been the roller and the lever. A sledge was used similar to that already described, and drawn in the same way. In the bas-relief representing the operation, four officers were seen on the bull, the first apparently clapping his hands to make the drawers keep time, the second using the speaking trumpet, the third directing the men who had the care of the rollers, and the fourth kneeling down behind to give orders to those who worked the lever. Two of the groups were preceded by overseers, who turned back to encourage the workmen in their exertions; and in front of the royal chariot, on the edge of the mound, knelt an officer, probably the chief superintentent, looking towards the king to receive orders direct from him. Behind the monarch were carts bearing the cables wedges, and implements required in moving the sculpture. A long beam or lever was slung by ropes from the shoulders of three men, and one of the great wedges was carried in the same way. In the bas-relief representing the final placing of the colossal bull, the figure no longer lay on its side on the sledge, but was held upright by men with ropes and forked wooden props. It was kept in its erect position by beams, held together by cross-bars and wedges,' and was further supported by blocks of stone or wood. On the sledge, in front of the bull, stood an officer giving directions with outstretched hands to the workmen. Cables, ropes, rollers, and levers

1It may be remarked, that precisely the same kind of framework was used in the British Museum for moving and placing the great sculptures.

were used by the workmen. When moving the winged bulls and lions, now in the British Museum, from the ruins to the banks of the Tigris, I used almost the same means as the ancient Assyrians, employing, however, a cart instead of a sledge."

Of the power of numbers unaided by artificial contrivance, Dr. Charleton well observes: "Allowing them to have been as unskilful as you please in such instruments, yet consider how numerous they were, and how strenuously great swarms of them used to join hands. together in such attempts; and you have not forgot the old verse, multorum manibus grande levatur onus, many hands make light work. What prodigious matters may be effected by mere strength and hand-force of great multitudes without rules of art, may be discerned from the savage Indians; who, being destitute of other mathematicks but what nature dictated to them, and wanting the advantage of engines, did yet by their simple toil and indefatigable diligence, remove stones of incredible greatness: for Acosta (Histor. Indic., lib. 3, cap. 14), relates, that he measured one stone brought to Tiaguanaco, which was 38 foot long, 18 broad, and 6 thick: and that in their stateliest edifices were many other of much vaster magnitude.”1 ("Stoneheng restored to the Danes," p. 46.)

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


1 "In his interesting 'Himalayan Journal,' (vol. ii., p. 276,) Dr. Hooker states that he found the Khasias, a wildish hill-tribe, on the mountain confines of Upper India, still erecting megalithic structures. He remarks that among the Khasias, funeral ceremonies are the only ones of any importance, and they are often conducted with barbarian pomp and expense; and rude stones, of gigantic proportions, are erected as monuments, singly or in rows, or supporting one another, like those of Stonehenge, which they rival in dimensions and appearance.'

"In reply to personal enquiries by Sir James Simpson, Dr. Hooker informed him

In answer to your query, Do you remember any recent erection, any arrangement the same as the cromlechs-viz., two, four, or six upright stones supporting a large mass ?-this is a common erection now in vogue, such as are put up annually during the cold season. The whole conutry for many square miles was dotted with them and they are annually put up. Some I saw were quite fresh, and others half finished, and had I been there during the dry season, I was told I could have seen the operation. A chief or big man wants to put up such a cromlech, to commemorate an event or for any other purpose; he summons all the country-side, and feeds them for the time. They pass half the time in revelry, the other half in pulling, hauling, pushing and prizing; it is

But enough, if not more than enough, upon the transport of stones and colossi in early times with scanty and simple means. Those who would go farther into this interesting subject should turn to the tenth volume of the Wiltshire Archæological Society's Magazine, where they will find a paper by Mr. A. C. Smith, in which the method of moving colossal stones as practised by some of the more advanced nations of antiquity, is much more fully discussed than can be done here.

And now having, at last, brought our huge block to the place where it is to be set up, the next thing to be done is to "dress" it. With what instrument is this very hard stone to be worked? Our masons have stone hammers and stone chisels, and, it may be, bronze tools besides. But bronze is a rather soft metal for such tough work. Sir Gardner Wilkinson, in a note to ch. 86 of the second book of Herodotus (Rawlinson's translation), says that in metallurgy the Egyptians possessed some secrets scarcely known to us, for they had the means of enabling copper to cut stone without hardening it by an alloy, and of giving to bronze blades the elasticity of steel with great hardness and sharpness of edge. With the possession of such a secret, we can easily understand how this wonderful people were able to chisel out their great granite statues and obelisks-but it is not likely that our Celtic ancestors had any such means of hardening their bronze. What can be done, however, with flint in cutting stone, is told us by Mr. E. T. Stevens, in his interesting and valuable work, entitled "Flint Chips," p. 495: "In the museum at St. Germain," he writes, "There are some blocks of granite, upon which figures resembling those upon the stones of Gavr Inis have been cut with an ancient flint tool within the last two or three years, and Sir James Simpson has proved experimentally that ring and cup-cuttings can be produced upon the Argyleshire schist and hard Aberdeen

all done by brute strength and stupidity. They have neither science nor craft, nor any implements of art but the lever. I was told that the ashes of the burnt dead were often deposited under them; but could not make out that this was a general custom. The whole country is studded with stone erections, usually a cromlech, with a row of tall stones behind it.'"--From Col. Sir Henry James' work on Stonehenge published in connection with the Ordnance Survey.


granite, with a flint chisel and a wooden mallet. In the Edinburgh Antiquarian Museum there is a block of grey Aberdeen granite from Kintore it is one of the ancient sculptured stones of Scotland, and has upon one side two crescents, &c. On the back of this hard granite Mr. Robert Paul, the door-keeper of the museum, tried, at Sir James Simpson's request, the experiment alluded to, and cut in two hours two-thirds of a circle, with a flint and a wooden mallet. The flint used was about three inches in length, an inch in breadth, and about a quarter of an inch in thickness. The circle which was sculptured with it in the granite is seven inches in diameter, and the incision itself is nearly three quarters of an inch in breadth, about a quarter of an inch in depth, and very smooth on its cut surface. In sculpturing the circle, the sharp tips of the flint tool from time to time broke off, but another sharp edge was always immediately obtained by merely turning the flint round, This experiment shows conclusively that such sculptures might have been produced during the Stone Age," and also that, even without metal, all that was done to the sarsen and other stones at Stonehenge might have been effected by flint alone. Dr. Thurnam was of opinion, that, in making the mortises and tenons, the stones, after certain chippings had been made, had been rubbed into form by means of stone mullers, with sand and water."

If we may judge from the feet of the fallen trilithons, the part to be imbedded in the ground was, in some instances, by chipping made smaller and narrower than the part to stand above ground; and it would appear from the statement contained in the following cutting from a Salisbury newspaper of October 3rd, 1863, attested by Mr.

1 Though hundreds of beautiful stone axes and ornaments have been found in the Britanny tumuli, no weapons of metal have yet occured in them. It has been supposed that the carvings on some of the stones could not have been cut without metal. Actual experiments, however, as Messrs. Bertrand and de Mortillet have shown me, prove that the stone can be cut with flint, while bronze produces no effect on it."-Sir J. Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, p. 110, second edition.

"The irregular form and size of these mortises and tenons justify the conjecture of William Smith, the geologist, that these had been formed by friction with stones and sand."--Crania Britannica.

« ForrigeFortsett »