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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/757

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A YEAR OF GEOGRAPHICAL WORK.

other route from Greytown, by San Juan River and Lake. Prof. James Orton, of Vassar College, just returned from South America, has added a great deal of valuable knowledge of the geography and zoology of Amazonia. Hurlbut has crossed the Cordilleras from Lima to Lake Titicaca, while Captain Musters has journeyed through Patagonia. A narrative of the valuable explorations of SeƱor Raimondi in the little-known portions of Peru, to the west of the Andes, is to be published by the Peruvian Government.

The main geographical work of Europe has been the carrying out of those valuable national topographical surveys on which, as the recent Franco-Prussian War shows, the fate of nations may depend. The agreement of the Meteorological Congress, held at Vienna, was unanimous as to the great importance of synchronous meteorological observations all over the world. The scientific results of the Challenger's voyage, and of Prof. Mohn's deep-sea investigations to the north of Europe, were next alluded to.

Asia has been the scene of considerable activity in geographical exploration. Elias has traveled, almost alone, from Peking to St. Petersburg, across Chinese Tartary. The Russian capture of Khiva will produce important geographical and political results. Among the most important of recent geographical expeditions is that of Mr. Jacob Halevy, through Yemen, in the Arabian Peninsula.

Both the English and the American societies have been surveying and exploring in Palestine, the labors of the former being nearly ended, those of the latter only entered upon. The English expedition, under Captain Warren, employed chiefly in exploring Jerusalem, with branch expeditions to the plain of Philistia, and the comparatively unknown regions east of the Jordan and Mount Lebanon, has settled disputed questions, determined astronomically the position of many places, aided in elucidating ancient history, and also added much to our knowledge of local topography. The British Ordnance Survey of the Peninsula of Sinai has, among other things, remarkably corroborated the truthfulness and accuracy of Biblical history, as did also the examination of the desert of the Exodus by Prof. Palmer and Mr. Drake. By arrangement with the English society, the country lying to the east of the Jordan and Dead Sea has been undertaken by the American Palestine Exploring Society, under Lieutenant Steever, U. S. A. This embraces the lands of Moab and Edom, where the celebrated Moabite Stone was found, which illustrated so fully the origin and history of our alphabet, and the art of writing. The surveys for the various railroad routes between London and India were then briefly alluded to.

The geographical intelligence from Africa is varied, but not so interesting as during the previous year. It embraces Nachtigall's journey in the Wadai country; that of Rohlfs from North Africa to Lagos; the Livingstone relief expedition of Cameron; Sir S. Baker's efforts to suppress the slave-trade in the Upper Nile region; Miani's travels