Imágenes de página

In this paper it has not been attempted to enter into any details, but merely to trace the foundation of Photography, which was laid in the five years commencing with 1839, after which period I have had but little practical acquaintance with the science.

The history of the progress of the science and the art of Photography, affords a striking illustration of the gradual manner in which many interesting discoveries are developed. After the publication of the discoveries of Daguerre, for a short period a feeling of universal astonishment was excited. But this gradually subsided; whilst, at the same time, Photography, as a science, was progressing. In 1850 the writer of the article, "Photogenic Drawings," in the Penny Cyclopædia says,* "Now that the first novelty has worn off, "the interest taken by the public in the discovery has greatly "diminished." Six years subsequently, in the supplement to the same work, after describing the progress that had since been attained, the writer remarks,+ " Of an art so new, it would be "premature to attempt to enumerate the advantages." And so to the present time, new appliances of the art are continually being brought into operation; and we may now say that there scarcely exists a family within the pale of the civilized members of the human race, that is not, to some extent, indebted to the Photographic art. Several sciences have also received its aid, Astronomy and Archæology amongst the number; and from time to time we still hear of some new application of this valuable and interesting art. As a science its resources have been more slowly developed, but may ultimately be found of equal value.

* See volume xviii, page 113.

+ See first supplement, article “Photography," volume xii, page 420.





By Professor J. Y. Simpson, M.D. (Edinburgh),
Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

(READ 12TH JANUARY, 1865.)

LATELY the attention of archæologists has been strongly called to cup and ring sculpturings on stones and rocks in various parts of Great Britain and Ireland. The lapidary surfaces are not smoothed or hewn in any way to receive the sculpturings. The sculpturings themselves consist of incised cuttings of various forms. The principal or generic types, however, hitherto observed are the following:

1. Hollow rounded excavations or cups-varying from one to three or four inches in diameter; but shallow in proportion to their breadth.

2. Cups of the preceding type encircled by one incised ring. 3. Cups surrounded by a series of concentric and enlarging complete rings.

4. Cups with an enclosing ring or series of rings but the rings rendered incomplete by a straight radial groove or channel traversing them from the centre to the circumference. 5. Similar series of concentric rings without a central cup; and

6. Series of encircling rings made by a spiral line or volute. These lapidary archaic cuttings have now been found in many different localities; and in some localitics in great abundance. On rocks and monoliths on the banks of the Add in Argyllshire, I have counted nearly two hundred ring and cup cuttings, in a district about six or eight miles long and two or three miles in breadth. Above three hundred groups


of the lapidary circles have been discovered within the last few years within the county of Northumberland alone.

The cup and ring cuttings have been discovered in a variety of relations or positions. I have seen them sculptured on the surfaces of rocks in situ; on large stones placed inside and outside the walls of old British cities and camps; on blocks used in the construction of the olden dwellings and strongholds of archaic living man; on the interior of the chambered sepulchres and kistvaens of the archaic dead; on monoliths and on cromlechs; and repeatedly in Scotland on megalithic or so-called "Druidical" circles.

The Calder Stones near Liverpool afford a very interesting and remarkable example of these cup and ring carvings upon this last variety of stones-or, in other words, upon the stones of a small megalithic circle. Some of the Calder Stones afford ample evidence of modern chiselling, as remarked by its sharpness and outray figurings. But in addition to these there are cut upon them-though in some parts greatly faded away-sculpturings of cups and concentric rings exactly similar to those existing in various parts of England and Scotland. These archaic carvings upon the Calder Stones are remarkable not only from their perfect and entire similarity to the sculptures found elsewhere; but still more so from the fact that we have here presented upon a single circle, almost every known and recognised type of these cuttings; thus affording one strong proof among many others that the cup and ring cuttings are all of one class of art and of one origin, though somewhat diverse in form and type.

The Calder circle is about six yards in diameter. It consists of five stones which are still upright, and one that is fallen.

[ocr errors]

I have received, for example, from my friend Dr. Wyse, a sketch of a sculptured stone obtained from an ancient " weem or underground house in Forfarshire, where some of the lapidary circles are so precisely similar in appearance to those on the inner surface of the largest Calder Stone, that, though the two stones are hundreds of miles apart, they look as if they had been carved by the same hand, and had met, too, with the same form of disintegration.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »