Thus while in Europe there is a Stone age, divided into periods according to various types of implement disposed in geological strata, and followed in orderly succession by the ages Origin and of Bronze and Iron, in Africa can be found no true spread of Stone age and practically no Bronze at all.
The Stone Age represents the early condition of mankind in general, and has remained in savage districts up to modern times, while the introduction of metals need not at once supersede the use of the old stone hatchets and arrows, which have often long continued in dwindling survival by the side of the new bronze and even iron ones.
In the shadowy age which preceded the Stone age and hardly ended later than 10,000 B.C., the cave-dwellers of the Dordogne could draw elks, bisons, elephants and other animals at rest or in movement, with a freshness and realism which to-day only a Landseer can rival.
The Bronze Age is also characterized by the fact that cremation was the mode of disposal of the dead, whereas in the Stone Age burial was the rule.
NEOLITHIC, or Later Stone Age (Gr.
Reinach, therefore, supposes that in the Stone age which succeeded, pictorial art was banned because it had got into the hands of magicians and had come to be regarded as inevitably uncanny and malefic. This is certainly the secret of the ordinary Mahommedan prohibition of pictures and statues, which goes even to the length of denying to poor little Arab girls the enjoyment of having dolls.
Pegs, new, and ALOos, stone), a term employed first by Lord Avebury and since generally accepted, for the period of highly finished and polished stone implements, in contrast with the rude workmanship of those of the earlier Stone Age (Palaeolithic).
And yet in the European Stone age which followed, the age in which the great menhirs and cromlechs were erected, in which the domestication of animals began and the first corn was sown, we find in the strata no image of man or beast, big or little.
But evidence bearing on the Stone age in Africa, if the latter existed apart from the localities mentioned, is so slight that little can be said save that from the available evidence the palaeoliths of the Nile valley alone can with any degree of certainty be assigned to a remote period of antiquity, and that the chips scattered over Mashonaland and the regions occupied within historic times by Bushmen are the most recent; since it has been shown that the stone flakes were used by the medieval Makalanga to engrave their hard pottery and the Bushmen were still using stone implements in the 10th century.
The dolmen-builders of the New Stone Age are now known to have long occupied both Korea and Japan, from which advanced Asiatic lands they may have found little difficulty in spreading over the Polynesian world, just as in the extreme west they were able to range over Scandinavia, Great Britain and Ireland.