Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/237

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

in Strabo that has been pointed out to me by M. P. Tannery. Strabo (book xv, chapter xi, 10) mentions tin-mines in Drangiana, a region which corresponds with our Khorassan, below Herat, and toward the western boundaries of modern Afghanistan.

While tin is rare throughout the world, it is very different with copper, the ores of which are found at a great number of points. The mines of Sinai, not to mention more distant ones, were celebrated in ancient Egypt. The extraction of metallic copper from its ores is also easy. Reasoning from these facts, many archaeologists have supposed that an age of pure copper, or an age in which arms and tools were made of this metal, preceded the bronze age. In order to judge the value of this hypothesis and determine the date at which this ancient navigation began, it would be necessary to possess the analyses of the most ancient objects to which a certain date can be fixed, among the remains of antiquity that have come down to us. According to analyses of this character, bronze existed in Egypt nearly two thousand years before the Christian era. The analysis of the figurine of Tello seems to indicate, on the other hand, that tin was not yet known at the time when that object was made, or that it had not yet been brought to the Persian Gulf. This is, however, only an induction, since some religious circumstance or another may have determined the exclusive employment of copper in the making of the figurine; and it would be necessary to examine many more objects and more various to reach certainty in that matter. It has, nevertheless, seemed to me that it would be interesting to indicate the problems of a general character that are raised by the analyses of the metals of Tello.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique.




DOUBTLESS you have all seen, during the last ten years, numerous references in newspapers, magazines, etc., to the necessity of forest-preservation. This plea, however, even in this country, is not as novel and of as recent date as may be imagined. As far back as our colonial times, the fear of an exhaustion of lumber-supply alarmed New England legislators; and as early as 1801, the Massachusetts Society offered its prizes for timber-planting. We may smile over the fears of those times when railroads had not yet revolutionized methods of transportation, bringing the whole world under contribution for supplies. Yet, while those fears were premature, they were nevertheless prophetic, and the very railroads which have opened up the vast forest

  1. A Lecture given at the National Museum, Washington, D.C., April 2, 1887.