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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/143

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

race upon the mountain-spurs and the upper valleys. Herr Eckert reported to the Congress concerning the progress he had made in determining the differences in the skulls of the sexes. The feminine skull appears to be marked by a smaller volume, greater delicacy in the contours of the orbits and the structure of the jaws, the absence or inferior importance of the frontal sinus, a more gradual passage from the forehead to the root of the nose, and a flattening of the parietal bone. A discussion took place respecting some Arabic silver ornaments and filigrees of the tenth and eleventh centuries which have been found in Northern and Eastern Europe. Virchow has concluded, from the occurrence of these articles, that an extensive trade existed in the ninth and tenth centuries between the regions of the Volga, the Baltic ports, and the northern countries, and the coasts of the Black Sea and the East. These Arabic ornaments are very abundant in the province of Posen, in some parts of Russia, and in Gothland, and Arabic coins are found in Norway and Iceland. A paper was presented by Professor Ranke, based on the statistics of recruits for the year, which appeared to show that a relation exists between the character of the country and the size of the men who inhabit it. The higher mountain regions appear generally to produce the larger men. M. Kollmann, of Switzerland, read a paper showing that prognathism, which is believed to be an exclusive mark of inferior races, is of frequent occurrence among civilized people. The prognathous jaws which have hitherto been found in Europe have been considered as abnormal cases, or as examples of alveolar prognathism; but it is impossible exactly to separate alveolar from real prognathism. Some skulls from the heart of Germany, by whatever rules or lines they are measured, show a greater degree of prognathism than those of the negroes of Australia; and the conclusion can not be avoided that this feature is shared to a considerable extent by civilized people. An interesting communication was made concerning the skull of Emmanuel Kant, whose remains had been exhumed in order to place them in the tomb built for them by the city of Königsberg. Two skeletons were found together, but the remains of Kant were identified by comparing the skull with the cast which was preserved in the archives of Königsberg, with which it was found to correspond exactly. The bones of the nose were turned toward the right, and the superciliary arch had a greater development on the same side. The greatest cranial length was 182 millimetres, the height 132 millimetres, and the breadth 161 millimetres, while the mean breadth of Prussian skulls is only 144·6 millimetres. The forehead had none of the majesty attributed to a thinker; it was not broad, and was a little retreating. The temples had a fullness that compensated for this lack, and the left temple showed a protuberance in the region of the third frontal circumvolution, the region in which the faculty of controlling articulate speech is supposed to reside. The only extraordinary feature of the face was the height of the orbits.

 

Life and Nature in the Campos.—Dr. D. Christison's narrative of his journey to central Uruguay, given before the Royal Geographical Society last fall, is full of curious illustrations of the primitive character of the life in a country which, although it has great capacities for development, is as yet hardly known abroad. The region to which the description applies is the estancia of San Jorge, on the south bank of the Rio Negro, almost in the center of the republic, which embraces an area of three hundred and sixty-four square miles. The journey from Montevideo was made in a diligencia, an open omnibus in three compartments, holding twelve passengers, and drawn by six half-broken or unbroken horses, which are driven in a manner peculiar to the Campos. In order to prevent accidents from unperceived faults in the roads, a cuartiador rides about twenty yards ahead of the team and conducts it by means of a rope which at one end is fastened to the wagon-pole and loosely connected with the bridles of the leaders, and at the other end is attached to the saddle of his own horse. The stages are short, but the stops are very long, for the horses have to be driven in from the plain, and much talking has to be done before those which are needed are lassoed and harnessed to the wagon. "Sometimes an animal is selected,