Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/651

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

The argument for the Russian locality is known as Latham's Sarmatian hypothesis. It takes for a starting point the position that one important prerequisite for the development of the Aryan race was that in its nascent stages at least it should be kept pure. It is well known to geologists that at a not very remote period Europe and Asia Minor were continuous across the Bosporus, the barrier being about two hundred feet above the sea. Going east from this point we encounter the Black Sea, at present on a level with the Mediterranean; the Caspian, eighty-five feet above; and the Aral, one hundred and fifty-seven feet above. Therefore, at the time that Europe and Asia Minor were continuous, all this area represented by the above-mentioned seas and the intervening land was one vast sheet of water, which in connection with the mountain ranges would effectually bar the progress of a non-maritime people, thus preserving it from contamination with other races and at the same time leaving it a vast area in which to develop. If the Aryan race existed at this time, this was no doubt an ideal place for its development. Moreover, the wide area covered gave room for considerable differentiation in language before it began to spread over India and the rest of Europe, as many dialects must have prevailed, with considerable difference between those of the central tribes and those of the periphery.

When by the erosion of the Bosporus the land was drained and assumed its present condition, the race is supposed to have spread in all directions. This spreading from a central point appears, in view of the great diversity of the Aryan languages, yet all with an Aryan root, as more reasonable than the hypotheses, like that of the Caucasian region, which necessitate their spreading in successive migratory waves.

As to the origin of the Aryan race all is as yet speculation. On this point the Uhlans have the field. That there was a race or a people speaking the root tongue of all the Indo-European tongues is beyond dispute, but that all the Indo-European people speaking the so-called Aryan languages are of this race is not so clear. Whatever the truth may be as to the original seat of the Aryan race and as to its origin, they seem to be a distinct people and not to have developed from fossil or pal├Žolithic man, as we know him, unless perhaps Pruner Bey's idea (alluded to before) may prove to be true, viz., that the Furfooz man developed into a so-called Mongoloid race, and the Aryans are a division of this race.

We have seen in some of the abodes of fossil men described that there was evidence that they had mixed and acquired some of the customs of another, more advanced, so-called neolithic race. These neolithic men may have been and possibly were the pio-