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The earlier efforts of mankind to assure an abundance of food consisted largely in the performance of magical ceremonies, frequently orgiastic in character. It is sometimes forgotten that such methods, even after regular cultivation had come into being, long continued to survive in close association with what we should consider more rational procedures. Yet this is a fact which we need to keep steadily in mind while we try to work out the early history of the traction-plough, which here refers to ploughs drawn by animals, especially those of the ox-kind,
So many local and overseas enquiries have been received that the Archaeological Committee of the University of Pretoria feels that a preliminary account of the excavations being conducted at Mapungubwe is desirable. I have accordingly been authorized to publish the following statement.
In ‘ A note on certain Agate Beads ’, printed in the Antiquaries Journal (x, 149), Mr H. C. Beck drew attention to their obscure origin. In addition to a recent distribution of 500 to 1000 roughly made agate beads, which may have come from the sale of the belongings of an old sea-captain, Mr Beck gave fourteen finds unconnected with this recent distribution, which included a comparatively small example found by Woolley at Ur in a layer confidently pronounced to date from before the ‘ Flood ’, one bead from Algeria, a string from Jerusalem, one bead from an Irish bog, a string from near Frankfort, one bead from a Merovingian grave, a string from Brittany associated with the dolmen period, others from Nantes, Orleans and elsewhere in France, and four finds from the Sudan, two being from Omdurman, where it is stated that they are occasionally dug up, and one from the 25th Dynasty treasury of Sanam at Dongola.
The distribution of woodland and the stages of its gradual disappearance were of fundamental importance in the early historical geography of England. Wood was a valuable element in medieval economy and one of the chief factors affecting the nature of settlement, The evidence concerning the extent of the woodland in early England is of two kinds : (1) the surface geology, which provides a basis for the reconstruction of the original extent ; (2) the statistics of the Domesday Book: these refer to the eleventh century, but they may have some retrospective value. The present essay is an attempt to examine the Domesday evidence for the south and south-western counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
This paper has nothing to do with the Celtic, Roman, or Teutonic origins of the ancient field-systems of cultivation. Even if those controversies had not been decisively settled by air-photography and its latter-day discoveries, I possess no special competence for the task. I am here concerned with the form of the plots or fields themselves in which these cultivation-systems were carried on. And we possess abundant evidence that what are classed by competent investigators as ancient ‘ Celtic-fields ’—irrespective of whatever methods of cultivation or of crop-rotation prevailed within their borders—were quite frequently of the same irregular shapes as the later English fields ; of which countless numbers may still be seen.
On a recent visit to Rye I had an opportunity to see what is now becoming of rare occurrence in England— the construction of a large fishing lugger on the clinker system of overlapping the upper edge of each plank or strake in the sides by the lower edge of the one above, the two being riveted together at short intervals.