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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/14

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and most enduring type of architecture, and facilitates by its form the erection of the highest stone structures. The rounding dome of an earth mound and the angular side of a rock pyramid are the result of material only.

If we now turn to China as a possible region from which migrations may have come in the past, we have only to study the historical records of that ancient people to realize how hopeless it is to establish any relationship. Let one study the Ceremonial Usages of the Chinese (1121 b. c.—translated by Gingell), and he will then appreciate the wonderful advancement of the Chinese at that early date—the organized government, the arts, customs, manufactures, and the minute observances and regulations concerning every detail of life. With these records before him he may search in vain for the direct introduction of any art or device described in this old Chinese work. A few similarities are certainly found between the East and the West, but these arise from the identity in man's mental and physical structure. With two legs only, for example, it is found difficult to sit on a seat comfortably in more than a few ways. One may sit with both legs down, with one leg under, with legs crossed a la Turk, or the unconventional way throughout the world with one leg over the other at various angles. It would seem with this limited number of adjustments that any similarities in the attitude of certain stone statues in America and Asia could have but little weight. Prof. F. W. Putnam believes that he has established an Asiatic origin of certain jade ornaments found in Central America. If this conclusion could be sustained, we should then have evidences of contact with an Asiatic people in the stone age, which in itself was one of great antiquity for the Chinese, and one long antedating the origin of Buddhism. In the Chinese work above alluded to the whetstone is mentioned for sharpening swords, and the craft employed in polishing the musical stone. Confucius also. refers to the musical stone in his Analects. This is as near as we get to the use of stone eleven hundred years before Christ. It is to the merit of Putnam to have first called attention to the fact that many of the jade ornaments, amulets, etc., of Central America had originally been portions of jade celts. The discovery is one of importance, whatever explanation may be reached as to the origin of the stone. In Costa Rica these celt-derived ornaments have been cut from celts composed of the native rock, and it would seem that these old implements handed down in the family led to their being preserved in the form of beads, amulets, etc., much in the same spirit that animates us to-day in making paper-cutters, penholders, and the like from wood of the Charter Oak, frigate Constitution, and other venerated relics. Among other evidences of contact the existence of the Chinese calen-