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The cult of the war-hero which may be considered as a variation upon that of ancestor-worship, is found in India in its fullest development among the Rajputs. The clans of these people, together with those of their numerous offshoots, claim to represent the Vedic Ksatriya or warrior caste, ranking next in order to that of the priestly Brahmans in the Hindu hierarchy of caste. By virtue of this (presumed) high social position the Rajput despises manual labour as beneath the dignity of his ancestry, often his sole inheritance. Until the Pax Britannica brought lasting peace. and order to the land, war and forays were the Rajputs' main occupation and pastime. Warlike virtue was esteemed above all else; the martial deeds of great warriors formed the dominant theme of the songs of the tribal bards. A code of chivalry was evolved, acknowledged and practised generally, and this in great measure moderated the trials and alleviated the hardships suffered by the defeated and despoiled.
The publication of Dr Daniel's last essay on the typology of British chamber tombs seems to make it desirable to offer such a note as present circumstances allow on the writer's excavations in the Hebrides, subsequent to the publication of his papers on the Rudh' an Dunain tomb in Skye and the Clettraval tomb in North Uist. For to Dr Daniel the Hebrides are something of a mystery, and a good deal of an embarrassment, lying as they do between the Clyde group of tombs and the groups of Caithness and the Orkneys, and yet not playing the part that could be desired in any line of typo-logical development. To Dr Daniel the area is one of mixed culture but the explanation, though it may be true, is a little like a confession of uncertainty—a little like the late M. Reinach's ultimate explanation of Glozel. Fresh facts would, it is felt, be welcome.
In 1937 the writer described in ANTIQUITY a series of cottages—the dwellings of crofters—in Llanychaer and adjacent parishes of northern Pembrokeshire. These were two-roomed stone structures with a central doorway on one side: the door opened into the living room where the most striking sight was the great open fireplace at the gable end, the chimney structure of which projected into the room. A number of such dwellings has recently been examined in a coastal district of the same county to the south of Milford Haven, in Castle-martin parish. These show variations in the character and plan of the open fireplace, which are of interest, and probably also of cultural significance; they also provide fresh evidence of the hearth-dairy association manifested at Llanychaer.
In his article on ‘The Strategy of Anglo-Saxon Invasion’ in the March number of ANTIQUITY,1 Mr K. D. M. Dauncey discusses the cremation cemeteries of Norfolk and Lincolnshire, and endeavours to draw from their distribution and their supposed relationship to the inhumation and the mixed cemeteries of the same and neighbouring areas certain conclusions which, if justified by the available evidence, would be of considerable historical importance. His claim is that the pure (or nearly pure) cremation cemeteries of this region can be regarded as ‘ primary’, not only from the chronological standpoint, compared With the inhumation or mixed cemeteries, but also socially, as indicative of military rather than civilian settlement. Their distribution is thus held to reflect certain strategic conceptions determining the course and the character of the earliest Anglo-Saxon occupation of the eastern Midlands.
Much has been written about the revival of Celtic art in Britain during the last century of the Roman occupation, but so far evidence for similar movements in other parts of the Roman Empire has received but little attention from British archaeologists. Yet it is now nearly half a century since M. P. Gavault, a French archi- tect, excavated a 4th-5th century Christian church at Tigzirt on the Mediterranean coast west of Port Gueydon, and drew attention to the unclassical character of the ornamentation of the supports to the clerestory arches in the church. His suggestion was that the ornamentation was inspired by pre-Roman, Carthaginian originals, and implied a popular movement away from classical design.
Owing to the fog of War, and because I live abroad, I did not hear about the discovery in the Dordogne (September 1940) of Lescaux—a hitherto unknown painted cave of the utmost interest—until after my article ‘Palaeolithic Paintings-Magdalenian Period’ was in type (see ANTIQUITY, June 1942). Had I known of it, some modification in the treatment of my thesis would have been necessary. This new material, however, does not stultify the general trend of my argument; it tends rather to support it, if the scarcity of information I have is correct. No comprehensive survey of this new treasure-house of Palaeolithic art is yet available, but an article written by the L'Abbéenri Breuil for L'Academie des Belles Lettres leaves no doubt as to its outstanding importance. He says of it: ' Si l'Altamira est le Capitale de l'Art pariél, Lescaux est le Versailles '. I understand also that the L'Abbéwhose judgment in these matters is hors concours, inclines to the view that the Lescaux paintings, though of the highest quality, are late Aurignacian in date. They belong therefore to the period of climatic amelioration known as the Achen retreat, which separates the two final glacial advances Wiirm I and Würm II. This dating is borne out by the fact that the animals depicted belong much more to a ‘steppe and forest’ fauna than they do to a colder ‘tundra’ one. There are for example no mammoths and no reindeer, but there are many horses, a Considerable quantity of cattle (Aurochs ?) bisons, and a Saïga antelope—the head only, attached to a strange composite animal.