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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/708

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

anatomical dissertation on the deformities of the skulls of the Chinook Indians. M. Marcele Daly exhibited two large watercolor drawings taken by his father, many years ago, of plans of the ruined cities of Copan in Honduras, and Utatlan, the ancient capital of the Quichas, accompanying them with remarks on Central American architecture. Among its peculiarities are the presence of walls in the interior of the temple pyramids, and the thorough painting of the whole. The author considered it remarkable, too, that long houses with rows of columns were usually found near the temple pyramids (or adoratorios). Dr. Seler exhibited a number of Aztec manuscripts containing plans of the great Temple of Mexico, on which the long pillar houses were likewise seen near the temple pyramid, and remarked that they were the residences of the priests, as is expressly given out in the Sahagun manuscript. As described by M. Théodore Ber, the ruins of the ancient city of Tiahuanaco are composed of a peculiarly colored granite, which probably came from the "Island of the Sun" in Lake Titicaca, and must have been brought to the site on large rafts. Vessels with a capacity for a hundred persons are still in use on the lake. The author explained that the name of the city means "a dried shore" and discussed the probability of the waters of the lake having once reached to the spot. Among other subjects that were considered in papers and discussion were the attributes, relations, and symbolism of the Aztec war-god Huitzilopochli, by Dr. Seler; Ancient Danish Colonies in Greenland, by Prof. Waldemar Schmidt, who held that the eastern and western settlements were not on different sides of the peninsula, but both on the western side; and Vestiges of a Tiahuanaco Civilization, Aztec Cities, and Aztec Potteries in the Pampas, by Señor Moreno, of Buenos Ayres.

Attention was called by M. de Saint-Bris to the assumed Chinese documents relating to a pre-Columbian discovery of America; but their value was disputed by the Sinologue, Prof. Cordier; and Prof. Gafferal explained, with reference to the alleged pre-Columbian discoveries of the Corte Reals, that the name Antilla in Martin Behaim's globe refers to Aristotle's Antilla, and not to an America known before Columbus. From Das Ausland.

 


 
M. J. Roche, addressing the International Telegraphic Conference in Paris, recalled some of the objections that were made to the electric telegraph when it first went into practice, as being of historical interest, and as illustrating the extent to which the fear of the new controls the world. Berryer said that the wires running along the railways would cause accidents to the engineers, and with the posts would offer unpleasant sights to travelers; Pouillet said that the expense would be ruinous and without practical results; and that the invention, though an ingenious one, would not displace the old way of telegraphing.