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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/256

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

No cold winds of importance seem then to have blown with blighting effect from glaciated or snow-clad districts. (Mars in our own time appears to enjoy winters somewhat of this character, though a little colder, with a temporary snow cap.) The seasons as we know them in temperate and arctic climates, however, seem to be largely the result of the glacial epoch, and its persistent legacy the arctic and antarctic ice caps. If we could once manage to get rid of those, it is possible that our planet might again enjoy in all its zones the mild and genial preglacial winters.

These are rough notes, 1 know; mere adumbrations of a probable truth: but adequately to develop the subject would require a very big volume. My object here is simply to suggest that in many inquiries, both into human and animal or vegetable life, we must never take the existence of seasons as we know them for granted, except in very recent times. The year, for organic beings, means essentially the seasons; and the seasons may mean and have meant many separate things, as time and place vary—heat and cold, food and scarcity, foliage and leaflessness, drought and wet; longer or shorter days, the midnight sun and the winter darkness; hibernation and wakefulness; the egg, the cocoon, the seed, the plant, the flower, the fruit; dormancy or vitality. According as human life started at the poles or the equator, for instance, it would view in the beginning many things differently. All I wish to point out now is merely this, that we must bear such possibilities ever in mind; and that we must never take it for granted in any problem, human or biological, that the seasons were always just what we know them, or that the year to any organic being meant anything more than the seasonal cycle then and there prevalent.—Longman's Magazine.

 


 
In the excavations of the ancient cemetery of Antinoe, near Lyons, France, a "party dress" of the time of the Emperor Adrian, very fine silks, jewels, etc., have been discovered. One sarcophagus held the remains of a woman musician with a rose chemise, a cythara, pearls, castanets, etc.; in another was a child's costume with its little laced shoes, its vest ornamented with flowers appliqués, and its robe of gauffered crape. It appears that the women of sixteen hundred years ago dyed their hair with henna, and twisted ribbons round their heads. Nothing changes.

M. A. Thieullen, publishing the results of fifteen years' studies among the flint implements of the French beds, draws the conclusions that the elaborate palæolithic flint axe and hammer and the typical neolithic implements were luxuries used by the more distinguished members or for the more important purposes of the flint-implement-using community, while the ruder implements which are found in enormous numbers were the objects of general and daily use throughout all the flint-using ages, whether palæolithic or neolithic.