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Horses and Battle-axes

  • Grahame Clark
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1 In R. Pumpelly’s Explorations in Turkestan, p. 385. Washington, 1904.

2 M. Rostovtzeff, Iranians and Greeks, p. 109 and pl. XXI. Oxford, 1922. See also E. H. Minns, Scythians and Greeks, fig. 48. Cambridge, 1913.

3 Published for the first time in 1930, Rydbeck’s hypothesis was made more widely accessible in Medd. från Lunds Univ. hist, mus., 1933-4, pp. 77-98.

4 The following finds are well authenticated :—

Ullstorpsån. A skull dredged from the bed of the stream which divides the parishes of Ullstorp and Qvarrestad, nr. Ystad, Scania. The flint dagger blade, which had been driven into the skull with great force at the juncture of the sutures on the forehead, was broken, but can be attributed with a margin of a century to the period of the stone cists. Ymer, 1901, pp. 79-91.

Knaggegård, Luttra ksp., Västergotland. Bone from passage-grave with inventory dating from the period of the stone cists. Rydbeck, op. cit.; Torseke, Fjälkestad ksp., Scania. Tooth from stone cist, ibid. ; Stora Förvar, Stara Karlsö. Horse bones from the upper level of stone cist age. J.-E. Forssander, Die Schwedische Bootaxtkultur, 211, Lund, 1933.

J. G. Anderson (Ymer, 1901, 89) has argued authoritatively against the occurrence of wild horses in Scandinavia. The only evidence to the contrary is a find from a shell-bank in Bohuslän (T. J. Ringström, Vertebratfynd i finiglaciala skalbankar vid Uddevalla, 13), but it is notoriously difficult to date such finds decisively. Of the numerous bog-finds the only one to be dated pollen-analytically proved to be of the Iron Age (Rydbeck, op. cit., 78-9). It would therefore appear that horse bones from early sites in Scandinavia can safely be related to domesticated forms introduced from without.

The absence of horse bones from the rich fauna of mesolithic stations in Denmark, whether bog-finds, or kitchen-middens (Clark, The Mesolithic Age in Northern Europe, 226-8), argues against the presence of wild forms in that country. The horse bones from the southern chamber of the passage-grave at Stenstrup, Höjby ksp., Seeland, were of stone cist age and so confirm the Swedish evidence.

5 G. Rosenburg, Kulturströmungen in Europa zur Steinzeit, 1931, 15.

6 e.g. E.S.A., 11, 54 and fig. 39

7 E.S.A., X, 166.

8 P.Z., 1930, XXI, 2-20 and fig. 13.

9 See the sites listed by Schnittger (P.Z., 11, 178).

10 P.Z., IV, 368-73.

11 op. cit. 210-3.

12 The Prehistoric Foundations of Europe, 237. London, 1940.

13 e.g. That from the La Tène 1 burial at Trugny, Aisne, referred to by Déchelette (Manuel, III, 1202). By La Tène III times there was already a variety of forms, some attached by knobs, some by buckles, e.g. the Stradonitz find (ibid. 1203). An interesting point noted by Déchelette is the frequency with which single spurs are found with early burials. Riders commonly made do with a single spur as late as Merovingian times.

14 e.g. A figure of a mounted woman bequeathed to the University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Cambridge by Professor Sir William Ridgeway.

15 Rostovtzeff, op. cit. 130.

16 This can be seen very instructively in the University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge, where an iron stirrup left behind by the Huns in Hungary is exhibited side by side with gilt tomb models and bronze originals of T’ang date.

17 The Origin and Influence of the Thoroughbred Horse. Cambridge, 1905, 498-9.

18 That the use of chariots in China goes back to the Shang dynasty is proved by chariot burials and quantities of gear from Anyang, as well as by inscriptions on oracle bones from the same site recording war chariots in the reign of Wu Ting (1324-1266 B.C.). Under the Chou dynasty (traditional dates 1122-256 B.C.) the importance of states was reckoned in terms of the number of chariots they could muster—we read of ‘a state of a hundred (or a thousand) chariots’, just as in medieval Europe power was calculated in terms of mounted knights. H. G. Creel gives much information in The Birth of China, London, 1936, especially pp. 149 ff. According to Joseph Wiesner (Fahren und Reiten in Alteuropa und im alten Orient. Leipzig, 1939, pp. 89-90), the Emperor Wu Ling (325-299 B.C.) led mounted archers, but cavalry did not take the place of chariots for nearly 200 years.

19 F. W. Albright in Archiv. für Orientforschung, 1930-1, VI, 216-21.

20 Albright, op. cit. 220. The high esteem in which chariots were held is also reflected in correspondence between princes, as for instance in the letters from Tushratta, king of Mitanni, to Amenhotep III of Egypt, found at Tell El-Amarna. A characteristic formula of greeting runs ‘may it be well with thee, with thy government, with my sister and thy other wives, with thy children, with thy nobles, with thy chariots and horses, with thy land and with everything which is thine. . . .’ The Tell El-Amarna Tablets in the British Museum, p. XXXVII. London, 1892.

21 Born in 1858 Kossinna first enunciated his gospel in 1895 in his famous harangue at Cassel. A notable Nordic type himself, he devoted his time as Professor of Prehistory at Berlin (1902-31) to reiterating his central theme. He founded the periodical Mannus in 1908 and in it gave currency to the views of himself and his pupils. He was undoubtedly capable of engendering intense enthusiasm and before he died he had become a national figure. That his aggressive Pan-Germanism was rooted in a sense of inferiority is nowhere more clearly shown than in his article ‘Höhepunkte nordindogermanischer Kultur’, Mannus Z. 1919-20, 11-12, 249-75, written at a time of national defeat. In this revealing effort he seeks to restore his countrymen’s faith by ‘recalling’ their legendary prowess in remote antiquity.

22 e.g. G. Contenau, La Civilisation des Hittites et des Mitanniens, 1934, pp. 122 ff.

23 op. cit. 33 n. 3.

24 e.g. by von Bissing, Archiv. für Orientforsch., 1936-7, 11, 325 ff.

25 op. cit. 216-9.

26 viz. on the grave of User (Thebes no. 21), dating from the reign of Thutmose I (1545-14).

27 Of the eight representations on the stelae at Mycenae the best known has been reproduced in ANTIQUITY (1936, pl. opp. p. 408).

28 G. Karo, Die Schachtgräber von Mykenai, no. 240 and pl. XXIV. Munich, 1930.

29 W. von Reichel, Homerische Waffen, 2nd edition, p. 13, fig. 17c.

30 ‘Neues über Pferd und Wagen in der Steinzeit und Bronzezeit’, Mannus Z., 1933, XXV, 123-36.

31 For a good photograph see G. Schwantes, Geschichte Schleswig-Holsteins, abb. 837.

32 P.Z., 1912, IV, 201 ff.

33 Danmarks Oldtid, 11. Kobenhavn, 1939, 105 ff.

34 W. Wreszinski, ‘Lowenjägd im Alten Aegypten’, Morgenland, hft. 23. Leipzig, 1932, abb. 33.

35 Ridgeway, op. cit. fig. 69.

36 op. cit. 123.

37 Wiesner, op. cit. 34.

38 The Tell El-Amarna Tablets, XL.

39 E. Meyer, Reich und Kultur der Chetiter, fig. 45, 1914.

40 op. cit. 240.

41 e.g. Wreszinski, op. cit., figs. 39 and 60.

42 ‘Das gezähmte Pferd im neolithischen und frühbronzezeitlichen Europa’, Anthropos, 1935, XXX, 803-23 and XXXI, 115-29 ; ‘Das gezähmte Pferd im alten Orient’, ibid. 364-94.

43 Childe in The Danube in Prehistory, 263. Oxford, 1929. But cf. Tompa (24-5 Ber. Röm.-Germ. Komm., 1924-5), who merely illustrates examples from Füzesabony, dating from Tószeg D (pl. 42, 1 and 2). One may hope for further information when the definitive account of Tószeg at length appears.

44 T. E. Peet, The Stone and Bronze Ages in Italy and Sicily, 353. Oxford, 1909.

46 R. Forrer and R. Zschille, Die Pferdetrense in ihrer Form-Entwicklung. Berlin, 1893.

46 e.g. the type examples for stages II and III came from a pile-dwelling (Corcelettes) now assigned to the Late Bronze Age.

47 Sophus Muller in his ‘Charrue, joug et mors’ (Mém, de la Soc. Roy. des Antiq. du Nord, 1902-7, 55-9, was one of the first to emphasize the resemblance, though he spoilt it by trying to derive the northern bits from Assyrian ones of the 8th century B.C. Pieces of horn cut from near the tip form the basis of the cheek-pieces of a Frankish bit from Wülflingen, illustrated by Forrer (op. cit., pl. VIII, 9). Professor V. G. Childe has kindly referred me to a bronze bit from a Hallstatt burial at Langenfeld in the Prähistorische Stratsammlung at Munich (Naue coll. no. 95. 185. 2), the cheek-pieces of which reproduce the horn form very convincingly.

48 Anthropos, XXX, 823.

49 Amarna (Wiesner, op. cit., pl. II, 3) ; Gaza (Petrie, Ancient Gaza, III, pl. XXV, 221 and IV, pl. XXXV, 558).

50 Gaza (ibid., IV, pl. XXXV, 555).

51 Gezer (R. A. S. Macalister, The Excavations at Gezer, 11, fig. 214) ; Mycenae (Reichel, op. cit., 142, fig. 90).

51A Miletus (Wiesner, op. cit., pl. 11, 4) ; Amarna (ibid., pl. 11, 5).

51B Hermes, indeed, follows Petrie in ascribing the Gaza finds to the Hyksos, relegating them to c. 1700 B.C. (Anthropos, XXXI, 381) ; but vide supra 56.

52 e.g. L’Anthropologie, 1926, XXXVI, 297-308.

53 O. Montelius, Altere Bronzezeit, abb. 3 ; Ebert, X, taf. 70a.

54 Schetelig and Falk, Scandinavian Archaeology, 188, fig. 10.

55 R. Forrer, Char de Culte à quatre Roues et Trône. Strassburg, 1921.

56 ‘Bildliche darstellungen auf ostgermanischen tongefässen der frühen Eisenzeit’, IPEK, 1928, 25-48.

57 A. Furtwängler, Meisterwerken der griechischen Plastik, 259-61.

58 ‘Der Bronzeräderfund von Stade’, P.Z., 1927, XVIII, 154-86.

59 op. cit., abb. 19b.

60 Deutsche Vorzeit, abb. 15.

61 Déchelette, Manuel, II, 289-90.

61A Similar wheels are still found on ox-waggons in different parts of Europe, e.g. J.R.A.I., 1881, 80, fig. 12 ; ANTIQUITY, 1929, pl. II, opp. p. 341.

62 No adequate drawings of the wheel have been published, but Déchelette’s photograph suggests that the system of tie-pieces, set in grooves, was more complex than existing line illustrations suggest (e.g. F. Keller, The Lake Dwellings of Switzerland and other parts of Europe, 1866, pl. VIII, 20).

62A Brøndsted, op. cit., I, 149, fig. 93.

63 E. Sprockhoff, Die Nordische Megalithkultur, 136, fig. 91.

64 Ebert, X, taf. 70.

65 P. Vouga, La Tène, 96. Leipzig, 1923.

66 Reichel, op. cit., fig. 70.

67 op. cit. 41-53.

68 For an amusing picture of a laden ass in ancient Egypt, see G. Hatt, Landbrug i Danmarks Oldtid, 1937, fig. 37.

69 For a clay model (LM) of an ass carrying water-jars, see The Palace of Minos, 11, fig. 79. Traces of a pack may be seen on the ass in the Early Bronze Age plough-scene from Cyprus published by Dikaios in Man, 1933, no. 134; also Archaeologia, LXXXVIII, pl. IX.

70 See, e.g. Dr G. B. Grundy, Arch. J., LXXIV, 83 ff.

71 I base my illustration (fig. 9) on Vouga’s suggested reconstruction rather than on that exhibited by the National Museum of Antiquities, rightly condemned by him, although illustrated in his book (op. cit. fig. 10).

72 For Anatolia the best reference is Kurt Bittel, Prähistorische Forschung in Kleinasien Istanbuler Forschungen, bd. 6, pp. 147. Istanbul, 1934. A useful series of battle-axes is illustrated.

73 S. Fuchs, Die griechischen Fundgruppen der frühen Bronzezeit und ihre atiswärtigen Beziehungen. Berlin, 1937. Especially pp. 95-139.

74 At Eutresis (H. Goldman, Excavations at Eutresis in Boeotia, 123 and fig. 169. Cambridge, Mass., 1931) and at Hagios Mamas (Heurtley, Prehistoric Macedonia, 172 and fig. 46a. Cambridge, 1939), both sites which have yielded battle-axes, a few corded ware sherds have been obtained. So far as I know, no similar finds have been made in Asia Minor.

75 Virchow in Z. für Ethn. Verh., 1879, 269.

76 e.g. Fritz Schachermeyer, ‘Wanderungen und Ausbreitung der Indogermanen im Mittelmeergebiet’, Hirt Festschrift, 233-5. Heidelberg, 1936.

77 As in the Ur representations the two wheels have been shown one in front of the other, and the high front of the vehicle has by the same convention been unfolded so as to be fully visible in profile. See E. Meyer, Reich und Kultur der Chetiter, figs. 43, 44.

78 See Hilzheimer, ANTIQUITY, 1935, XI, 133.

79 Claude Schaeffer has shown (‘Neues zur sumerischen Anschirrung’, P.Z., 1935, XXVI, 203) that Hilzheimer erred when he wrote of noje-rings.

80 Referred to the latter part of the 3rd millennium by Rostovtzeff (Syria, XII, 48-59) and other leading authorities (e.g. H. R. Hall and W. Andrae).

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