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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/706

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the presence of the names referred to could be explained by assuming that a few Basques had occasionally reached Canada in Spanish ships. Señor Fabié announced that the Spanish Government was contemplating the full publication, on the approaching four-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America, of the manuscripts in its archives by and concerning Columbus.

The antiquities of Mexico and South America were the foremost subjects for discussion at the second session. The relics called agripearls were the occasion of a long debate. They were formerly regarded as peculiar to the Old World, particularly to Africa, but they had recently been found in all parts of America. According to Tischler's researches, the technic of the colored glass pearls corresponded exactly with that of the Venetian Millefiori glasses, and was so essentially different from that of the ancient Roman glasses that they must be ascribed to the beginning of the Renaissance. M. de la Espada agreed as to the European origin of the pearls, and that they had been used in America as ornaments for horses but not for men. Some ancient Mexican mosaic decorations upon human bones were described by M. Andrée as showing a high development of technic and taste. Only eighteen pieces of this kind are known, which have been placed in European collections. Some of them are masks worked out of real skulls or of wood, and others are figures of animals, etc. The mosaic is composed of small pieces of turquoise, malachite, or mussel-shell, pressed into a foundation of pitch, and forming a carefully elaborated design, or representing in colored shadings the forms of the human face. The Berlin Museum possesses a skull-mask of this kind, a head of a puma, and a figure composed of the fore-parts of two animals.

Prof. Morse presented a paper by Mr. Gushing, on the object and methods of the Hemenway Archæological Expedition into southwestern Central America. The exhibition arranged by the Berlin Museum contains the results of the excavations made by Mrs. Hemenway on the Rio Salado in Arizona. It has been shown that the desert which now exists in that territory was formerly a richly populated and cultivated region. The remains of seven cities and of extensive canals for conducting the waters of the Salado and another river over the land have been discovered. The condition of the ruins indicates that this ancient, pre-Columbian civilization was destroyed by an earthquake, after which the inhabitants probably emigrated to Mexico.

Senhor Netto, of Brazil, had examined a series of mounds of elliptical ground-plan, with a head-shaped annex, in which were found relics of a people who might be distinguished from the present Indians chiefly by the prominence of female influence among them. All the vases and urns, some of which were quite