Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/783

This page has been validated.

Large pits are often seen in the vicinity of casas, whence the material used in making mortar was taken. The mortar used is of excellent quality, resembling fire-brick.

In concluding this brief sketch of the ancient remains of the Verde Valley, I would remark that they still present the most inviting field for the researches of the student of American anthropology and the included sciences of archæology and ethnology. From a merely superficial examination of their works much information has been derived concerning these remarkable cultures of our southwestern territory. In order that our knowledge of them may become as comprehensive as the material procurable for study will permit, it is desirable that a systematic exploration of these ruins be undertaken at once, either through private enterprise or by some one of the educational institutions of our country, before the treasures contained in them become scattered through the curiosity of unscientific relic-seekers. The writer's experience proves that an enormous mass of information and a large collection of valuable specimens would result from such an examination. Once possessed of these collected facts, it remains but to construct them by synthesis into a positive knowledge of much that relates to these people, than whom none are more interesting to the American anthropologist.


HOW to dispose of the earthly tabernacle after the spirit departs has always been a question of importance to the living. Some of the most imposing buildings in the world have been tombs; the pyramids of Egypt, and the Taj Mahal, that "dream in marble," will occur to every one. The widely prevalent notion that the dead require the conveniences needed in life, has preserved to us many relics of nations passed away, and to the habit of lavishing ornament upon places of burial we owe some of our finest specimens of early art. Even to this day, and in this Christian country, we attach an importance to the place and the manner of burial that seems hardly consistent with our professed belief that, in the words of the poet—

"What the women lave
For the last sleep of the grave,
Is a tent that I am quitting;
Is a garment no more fitting;
Is a cage, from which at last
Like a bird my soul hath passed."