has already been mentioned above, during the Neolithic period
there came to Indonesia not only stone implements for immediate
economic use, but also beautifully shaped stone axes which served
a sacral purpose. Both types were, however, tools according to
their shape and purpose. The former were used by all in the performance
of their everyday tasks in agriculture, tree filling, hunting,
etc., whilst the latter, the 'irrational' implements, were in
the hands of those who performed certain sacral actions, such
as sacrificial slaughter of animals.
other objects made of stone also play a considerable part in Neolithic
culture. They represent something special in so far as they have
not the slightest connection with the term implement as such.
They are to be found practically everywhere in the world where
civilization has developed. Colossal and mysterious, they excite
the imagination of the observer of today. Thus in northern districts
of the Netherlands we find tumull, and in Brittany table-shaped
stones and tall upright monumental
stones, as silent witnesses of a Neolithic culture long ago extinct.
And die Breton terms dolmen and menhir are employed by archeologists
when referring to similar objects the world over. These megaliths,
i.e. large stones, are so widespread, and are so much alike, that
it was even thought that they had been brought to far distant
parts of the earth from Egypt, the land where megalithic culture
develop.-d on the most grandiose scale.' Be that as it may - and
the last word has by no means been said on this theory - the fact
remains that, apart from the single exception of Australia, megalithic
culture has existed throughout the world, and here and there is
still inexistence even today. In Indonesia, too, megaliths arc
to be found in many places. In most cases they bear witness to
civilizations which have ceased to exist. Buton, Nias Island,
on the other hand, an island off the west coast of Sumatra, megaliths
are still venerated objects, whilst on Sumba and Flores in the
Lesser Sunda group stone
sepulchral monuments are still being erected at the present day.
it should not be supposed that megaliths are necessarily always
stones of considerable size, although the term 'large stones'
might lead to this misconception. On the contrary, smaller stone
objects must, also be classed as megaliths, inasmuch as they were
evidently made with some particular sacral purpose in view, and
have no connection with implements in the ordinary sense of the