Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/325

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mediate types? Here also all individual variations occur, seemingly in utter defiance of any law. The Italian is as apt to be straight-haired as the Norwegian; in either nation the curly variety seems to occur sporadically. Yet common observation, to say nothing of microscopical examination, would naturally class the population of Europe among the fine-textured, wavy-haired races of the earth. One never sees the wiry form so familiar in the American Indian, or the frizzle of the full-blooded negro. Are we to infer from this that the people of Europe, therefore, are, like the Polynesians and Australians, the result of an ethnic cross between other more primary types? Certainly the study of the head form, with every extreme known to man within the confines of the single continent, seems to discredit this possibility. The only alternative is to consider this texture of hair to be a more liquid characteristic, so to speak, than the shape of the head; in other words, to assume that a few drops of alien blood might suffice to produce an intermediate texture of the hair, and yet not be adequate to modify the head form. If this were indeed so, then we might imagine that, even while our three European races have kept reasonably distinct in head form, intermixture has nevertheless taken place to some extent in every nook and corner of the continent; and that this infinitesimal crossing has been enough to modify the hair texture. But we are now wandering off into vague hypothesis. There is yet enough that is positively known to demand our attention without indulging in speculation. We have stated the situation; let the reader draw his own conclusions.

II. The earliest and lowest strata of population in Europe were extremely long-headed; probability points to the living Mediterranean type as most nearly representative of it to-day.

Of these most primitive races, coexisting with a fauna and flora now extinct or migrated with change of climate from central and western Europe, oftentimes no remains exist except the skulls by which to judge of their ethnic affinities. We know more, in fact, concerning their culture than their physical type in the earlier stone age at least; but it is nevertheless established beyond all question that they were dolichocephalic, and that, too, to a remarkable degree. This feature characterized all subdivisions of the populations of this epoch. Many varieties have been identified by specialists, such as the stocky, short-statured Neanderthal type and the taller and more finely molded Cro-Magnon race. The classification of each nation differs in minor details, but they all agree in this, that the population both of the early and the late stone age was long-headed to an extreme.

The present unanimity of opinion among arch├Žologists concerning this earliest dolichocephalic population is all the more remark-