Popular Science Monthly/Volume 19/September 1881/Popular Miscellany


Science in Politics.—"Science and Civil Liberty" was the subject of an address by Dr. W. R. Condell at a recent meeting of the Scientific Academy of Springfield, Illinois. Its object was to show the important bearing of the physical sciences on political science, and their claim to be regarded in suggesting and instituting reforms. Accepting Mr. Spencer's principle that the social aggregate must be determined by the units composing it, he derived the corollary that any social or political system, arbitrary in its nature, and not determined by the nature of the units, must be disastrous to the units or individual citizens. The scientific study of the mind from the physical side must have an important bearing upon the subject of crime as well as on other social questions which have never been solved by existing methods. The metaphysical school, whose deductions rested on a less solid basis than the hard facts of nature, had had too much influence in our legislation. Science, Dr. Condell believed, should be acknowledged as the supreme political standard; and not till this result had been consummated would perfect civil liberty be realized.

Somnambulism.—The phenomena of somnambulism arise from the fact that the faculties are unequally suspended during sleep, so that one set of organs may be active while the others are dormant. It is frequently accompanied by dreams, which arise out of a similar condition of the nervous functions. Several incidents, illustrating the manner in which the partial suspension, partial activity of the faculties affect the somnambulist, are related in an English magazine. A boy, on his way to the sea-side, had traveled by steamer, railway, and coach, from six o'clock in the evening till four o'clock on the next afternoon, without cessation and with hardly any sleep. Shortly after going to bed, his companion was awakened by a crash of glass, followed by hysterical cries, and, on looking for the boy, found that he had got up, broken the window, and gone. He was found in the road, wounded in the feet. It appeared from his story that, when half asleep, he thought he saw a mad bull rushing at him. Catching hold of the curtain, which he thought was a tree, he swung himself over the hedge by which the tree grew—the window, open from the top—then jumped and ran away, breaking the window with his heel, and cutting his feet on the sharp stones. In this case the impression left on the mind of the sleep-walker was so strong as to enable him to tell all that he thought and imagined during the dream. In the next incident no trace of remembrance survived. A servant-girl came down at four o'clock in the morning, and asked her mistress for some cotton to mend her dress, which she had torn. While she was looking in her work-box some one offered her an empty spool, but she refused it, and taking up her gown pointed to two holes which she said she wanted to mend. A needle was threaded for her with black cotton, but she rejected it, saying she wanted brown cotton. Some one spoke, and she said that it was her mistress; but it was not. Her vision was thus shown to be keen, but her hearing dull. She was wakened with considerable difficulty, and, seeing the cotton-box disturbed, asked why it had been meddled with. Several questions were asked her during the following day, to test her recollection; but she could not recall her sleep-walking, or anything that had taken place during the night. A miner near Redruth arose one night, walked to the engine shaft of the mine, and safely descended to the depth of twenty fathoms, where he was found soon afterward sound asleep. He could not be wakened by calling to him, and had to be shaken. When awake, he could not account for the situation in which he found himself. Morrison, in his "Medicine no Mystery," tells of a clergyman who used to get up in the night, light his candle, write sermons, correct them with interlineations, and go to bed again, while he was all the time fast asleep. A similar story is told of an English dissenting preacher, who had been perplexed during the week about the treatment of the subject of his Sunday's sermon, and mentioned his perplexity to his wife on Saturday night. During the night he got up and preached a good sermon on the subject in the hearing of his wife. In the morning his wife suggested a method of treating the subject, based upon his sleep-work of the night before, with which he was much pleased; and he preached the sermon with no knowledge of its real origin. The "Lancet" has a story of a butcher's boy who went to the stable in his sleep to saddle his horse and go his rounds. Not finding the saddle in its usual place, he went to the house and asked for it, and, failing to get it, he started off without it. He was taken from the horse and carried into the house. A doctor came, and while he was present the boy, considering himself stopped at the turnpike-gate, offered sixpence for the toll, and this being given back to him he refused it, and demanded his change. A part of the change was given him, and he demanded the proper amount. When awake afterward, he had no recollection of what had passed. To prevent sleep-walking it is necessary to remove whatever is the occasion of it, if it arises from any definable disorder. Often, however, it can not be referred to any complaint; then the best that can be done will be to take precautions against the somnambulist running into any danger.

Parasites in Food and Drink.—M. Milne-Edwards has recently expressed some interesting views suggested by the discussions concerning trichina, respecting the hygienic questions which are connected* with the establishment of colonies of intestinal worms, or microbes, within human bodies. He believes that certain religious precepts and certain established usages, among people whose civilization is very ancient, are based upon acquaintance with the inconveniences that may result from the alimentary use of particular meats or waters. He thus deduces, from the aptitude of the hog to transmit his parasites to man, the reason for the prohibition of pork among the Israelites and Mohammedans, and for the Biblical distinction between pure and impure animals. He also attributes to the very ancient recognition of analogous facts the general use of hot drinks, like tea in China and other countries of the extreme East, where the natural waters are often charged with noxious animalcules or polluted by unclean animals. As bearing on this point, he cites the ravages caused in Cochin-China by a microscopic eel, which produces a persistent endemic diarrhœa. These animals have a faculty of multiplication in the human intestine, that is illustrated by the fact that a single patient is said to have evacuated more than a hundred thousand of them within twenty-four hours! The simplest prudence should suggest the expediency of boiling the drinking-water wherever they abound.

The Great Vienna Telescope.—The equatorial telescope which has just been constructed by Mr. Grubb, of Dublin, for the observatory at Vienna, Austria, is the largest refracting telescope that has yet been made. It has an aperture of twenty-seven inches, or one inch more than that of the instrument in the Naval Observatory at Washington, and is thirty-three feet six inches long, with a tube of steel three and a half feet in diameter in the middle, and tapering to each end. The moving parts, including the tube, polar and declination axes, counterpoise, and various adjustments, weigh altogether between six and seven tons, yet the whole apparatus is under such control that one person can move it about and manipulate it with ease. The motion on the axes has been facilitated by the application of antifriction apparatus to them, so that it has not been necessary to make them disproportionately small, as has been the case with the axes of previous large instruments. The circles are carefully and accurately divided on a band of gold, and so adjusted and illuminated that the observer can, without stirring from his chair, read all of the circles of the instrument through a single reader-telescope attached to the side of the main tube. The builder of the instrument had great difficulty in obtaining perfect glass for the objectives, and more than a year, from October, 1879, to December, 1880, was spent in trying to produce a good lens; nevertheless the instrument was completed in less than half the time stipulated for by the Austro-Hungarian Government. The observatory in which the telescope is to be placed is an imposing edifice of three hundred and forty by two hundred and forty feet, and stands at an elevation of two hundred feet above the city, upon grounds of between fifteen and sixteen acres in extent.

The Cave-Temples of India.—Dr. James Fergusson's recent work on the "Cave Temples of India" abounds in illustrations of the manner in which the art of building in stone has been developed from wooden construction. The beginning of the use of stone in India is fixed, in Dr. Fergusson's opinion, at the period of the reign of Asoka, b. c. 250, for no stone buildings of an architectural character have been found the date of which can be proved to be earlier than that of this monarch. Moreover, all the older examples are, in all their details, so clearly copies of original types in wood, that it is improbable that they could have been executed by a people who had any previous knowledge of the principles of stone architecture. All caves, down to the seventh century, show the gradual transformation from wooden forms into those of stone. The modifications may be traced onward through nine centuries—all that was of stone being copied literally from carpentry forms, till the process was nearly complete, and forms, originally distinctly wooden, had become appropriated to stone architecture. All this seems to have been effected without any direct foreign influence. The earlier caves are adorned with sculptures in preference to painted figures, but the later ones are covered with paintings of a high order of art and great historical interest, with colors perfectly fresh, while sculpture, where it occurs at all, occupies a subordinate position. No figure of Buddha occurs before the end of the first century. The liturgical forms, in all the older caves, express a simple but exclusive type of relic-worship. About one thousand distinct caves in India are mentioned as having architectural importance, of which three fourths belong to the Buddhists, one fifth to the Brahmans, and five per cent, to the Jains. The Buddhist caves are the oldest and the most interesting. They are all true caves, excavated at right angles to the face of the rock in which they are formed, with designs appropriate to their situation in it. The caves of the Brahmans are often copies of structures whose outlines have no reference to the position in which they are placed, or the material out of which they are carved. The Buddhist caves seem to have been gradually developed from single plain cells cut into the rock, the dwelling of a single anchorite, into groups of eighteen or twenty cells, arranged around a hall sixty or seventy feet square, the roof of which was supported by pillars elaborately carved, the whole forming a vihara or monastery. Such caves are usually found grouped together, five or ten, and even fifty or sixty in immediate juxtaposition, so as to form an establishment capable of accommodating a large number of monks. To each of the groups was attached one or more chaityas or "church-caves," as they might be called, which were analogous in form and use to the choirs in Christian churches. The finest of these is that of Carlee, near Poonah.

Lunar "Craters."—M. Faye recently delivered a lecture at the Sorbonne, on the volcanoes of the moon, the substance of which was an essay to show that there are no volcanoes in the moon. Volcanic action can only take place where water is present. The moon having no water, the idea of such action there is precluded. M. Faye supposes that the so-called "craters" of the moon were formed, not by erruptive action, but by the action of the fused mass of the interior upon the crust, after it had begun to solidify. The liquid mass was subject to tides, which, surging against the crust under the influence of the earth's attraction, washed holes in it, when the fluid rose above it, and formed ridges around the holes, in the same way as the tidal waters of the sea act upon shore-ice. The ridges thus left formed the rings or circles of the "craters." The continuing solidification of the fused matter finally caused a formation of a bottom to the crater. Sometimes the bottom, not yet firm, would yield to the pressure of the molten mass beneath it, which, rising through it again, left the central hills which are remarked in some of the circles. M. Faye does not deny that water may have once existed in the moon, and have been finally absorbed in the solid matter, but he asserts that it could never have existed in the shape of seas, or in such quantities as to occasion volcanic action. If it had so existed, evidence of its action on the land would still be visible; but no feature of the moon's surface exhibits an appearance attributable to any known action of water. The appearance of the craters is, moreover, not like that given by terrestrial volcanic action, but is that which would be given by the agency M. Faye supposes.

Arrow-Poison of the South-Sea Islands.—Herr Weisser, of the German war-ship Ariadne, has obtained from a Christianized native of the South-Sea Islands a description of the preparation of the poisoned arrows and spears of his people. It is a matter of intricate processes, and is the peculiar business of a class who possess the secret. The spear and arrow heads arc made from the arm and leg bones of persons who, having died of acute diseases, have been buried for five or six months. The spearheads are made of the larger bones of the leg, to which the shaft, inserted in the hollow, is bound with a string of bark. The other bones are sawed with an instrument made from the spines of an echinus into pieces an inch or two long, and ground down to a fine point for arrow-heads. The poison is prepared from several plants, three of which are almost invariably used. The most poisonous of them is the toto, a large tree, bearing handsome white flowers and a red, almond-like nut, the juice of which, sprinkled into the eyes, produces blindness, taken internally, death, and which seems to be allied to the spurges. Another plant, called pulu, is of the family of the dogbanes; and the third plant, called nasola and fanuamamala, is another spurge, represented in Samoa by three species. The leaves of these trees, stripped of their stems and points and dried, are pulverized; a powder of the scrapings of old weapons is added; the mass is wrapped up with a sea-worm (holothuria) in a leaf of colocassia. The foul liquid which results from the dissolution is thickened with more of the powder into a thin paste; earth gathered from the neighborhood of a wasps'-nest, and pulverized with a thigh-bone, is put in; the mixture, having been dried in the sun, is treated with the oil of an old cocoanut; a dark, cloudy oil is formed after a month of manipulation, and this is put away for a year till it becomes of the consistency of fat, when the poison is considered ready for use. The spear and arrow heads are smoked in a furnace prepared for the purpose with a particular wood. The manipulator takes a small portion of the poison, rubs it carefully upon the arrow-head, and again smokes the latter. The prepared heads are wrapped in the dried flower-stalk of a tacca-plant, and are then put in a quiver made of the cylindrical stems of the banana, and hung over the fire to dry, for dampness spoils the preparation. The poison is fatal if taken internally, but no man ever thinks of revenging himself on his enemy by administering it to him. Women, however, are said sometimes to rid themselves of an unloved husband in this way. The effect of wounds by the poisoned spears and arrows is ordinarily great local pain, followed by general disturbance of the system, ending in a few days in convulsions, lockjaw, and death. Sometimes, if the wound is cut out immediately, the patient recovers; at others, the disease assumes a more gradual form, but ends quite as malignantly. Lockjaw appears in every fatal case. Some men pretend to be acquainted with antidotes, but their first care on being called to a patient is to remove everything that might excite him to convulsions. The father of the native who furnishes the description of the poison assured him that he had been often wounded, and had averted the evil effects by cutting himself in different parts, so as to draw away the poisoned blood.

The Secular Changes of Level in the Earth's Crust.—Professor Suesz, author of a work on the "Origin of the Alps," recently delivered an important address before the Geological Institute at Vienna, on the fundamental causes of the repeated changes which have taken place in the distribution of land and water on the globe. He assumed that, as viewed in the light of more recent observations, the question did not concern apparent elevations or depressions of land within particular spaces, but dealt with an increasing prominence of the whole northern polar cap of the earth, far down into the temperate zone, effecting a real change in the form of the planet. Howorth, who thought he had detected an elevation of the land toward both poles, and a depression near the equator, concluded that the solid part of the earth was steadily suffering a contraction in the equatorial regions, and becoming projected toward the magnetic poles. Robert Chambers, in England, forty years ago, and Domeyko, in Chili, inferred from the repeated occurrence of terraces, apparently showing that the land had risen, that a force was at work changing levels which embraced the whole planet; and, in later times, many who have studied the subject most thoroughly, as Pettersen, have not repressed their doubts of the sufficiency of the common theory of elevations to account for the phenomena which they have observed. Many have been led, from the force of these facts, to embrace the theory of Adhemars and his followers, Croll and Schmick, that accumulations of great masses of water take place alternately around one and the other pole; but the presumption of alternation is contradicted by the fact that terrace-formations occur along the coasts of South America, South Africa, and Southern Australia, which seem to be as remarkable and as regular in their distribution as those which have been observed in the northern hemisphere. In order to be accurate in expression. Professor Suesz does not speak of elevations or depressions either of the land or the sea, but of displacements of the coastlines; of negative movements when the result is an apparent elevation, positive movements when it is an apparent depression of the land. Using these forms of expression, the height of the upper level of a series of terraces does not represent a measure of the rising of the land, but the amount by which the sum of the negative movements of the shore-line since the time when it was at its highest level is greater than the sum of the positive movements. That repeated changes from one movement to the other are the rule is shown by the step-like form of the coasts at points where many traces of them have been left, as at Van Rensselaer Harbor, Port Ffoulke, and Cape York, in the Arctic regions. Sometimes they so balance each other that the coast-line is substantially stationary for a long time, when a steep cleft in the rocks is formed, as above Montreal and at the Island of Tromsoe. We know nothing of the laws that govern these oscillations. Many of the comparisons of level hitherto made have been liable to error, arising from regarding the partly compensated sum of the several movements in one place and the latest observed movements in another place as of equivalent value. Many examples show that a positive movement has taken place on the coast of Europe within historical times, reaching at Naples to the holes in the pillars of the temple of Serapis at Puzzuoli; at a later period, perhaps between the fifth and ninth centuries, a negative movement began, of which we can not definitely say whether it still continues or not. The oscillatory character of the changes can hardly be comprehended from the point of view of a movement of the solid part of the earth's crust; it might rather be compared to the breath of a living body. Some investigators, as Charles Darwin and Kjerulf, have adopted the theory of interrupted or rhapsodical elevations, instead of the old one of symmetrical oscillations; but the extent of the terraced shores shows that this view is erroneous. Such shores have been found everywhere in high northern latitudes, so far as their wastes have been penetrated. They are also extensively found, but generally diminishing in height, down in the temperate latitudes. In other words, around the north pole, and far down toward the south, the sum of the negative movements of the coast-lines is greater than the sum of the positive movements, but the sums become more nearly equal as we come south. The opposite is the case in the tropical waters, in the regions of the coral reefs, where the sum of the positive movements is in excess. Farther to the south, beyond the twenty-fifth to the thirty-fifth parallels of latitude, there begin again to appear, in South America, in South Africa, Southern Australia, and New Zealand, terraced lands like those of the north, the same excess of negative movements, the same signs of oscillation, as in the north. The gradual tendency to a higher exposure of the land toward both poles has been noticed in single large tracts by many observers in North America, in England, Scotland, Scandinavia, China, Australia, and South America. When we consider as a whole the character and extent of these movements, as recent observations have defined them, and regard the compensatory results of the excess of positive movements toward the equatorial regions, and of the negative movements toward the neighborhood of the poles, we shall be convinced that we should no longer speak of an inexplicable oscillation of the lithosphere. We have, in fact, to do with continuous changes in the figure of the fluid covering of the earth. Since the epoch of the maximum of cold, which Hochstetter believes came upon both hemispheres at once, an excess of positive results has taken place in the direction of the poles, causing an accumulation of water around them, and this has been followed by an accumulation in opposite directions, or toward the quator, causing a change of form which is still going on.

Persian Opium.—The production of opium has greatly increased in Persia within the last two years, and the quality of the drug has been correspondingly improved. Previous to 1876 the average annual production was about 2,000 cases, and the largest return in one year did not exceed 2,600 cases. The amount for 1878-'79 was 6,700 cases, and the estimate for 1879-'80 is for 7,100 cases. Great care is now taken to prevent adulteration, but this does not appear to be always essential. Five sixths of the product is sent to China. For this market the drug must be fine and prepared in oil, but need not be rich in morphia. It can be largely swelled up with foreign substances, with but little danger of detection by the testing processes in use there. It is said that pure and superior opium, though not so finely manipulated, has been rejected in China, while the fine opium, containing admixtures, has found favor and a fair market. The preparations intended for England are made especially pure, and yield an average of about twelve per cent, of morphia, while those intended for China yield from nine to ten per cent.

Mortality in Different Pursuits.—The reports of the British Registrars-General show that the annual death-rate in the United Kingdom is about one in forty-five of the entire population. The larger, but not the largest, towns lead in the rate of mortality, and the rural mainland districts occupy an intermediate place between them and the insular districts, the extremes varying by about fifty per cent. As between the three great classes into which the population may be divided the laboring, the trading and professional classes, and the gentry and titled the chances of life are very nearly equal, although a slight advantage appears to be shown in favor of the first class. The trades most unfavorable to long life are, as a rule, those which tend to expose the operative to an atmosphere loaded with dust, or compel him to deal in one way or another with poisons. Dry grinding, as practiced on needles and forks at Sheffield, is the worst; working in coal-mines is next in deadliness. Gilders and silverers of glass are exposed to vapors of mercury; workers in brass are liable to diseases produced by exposure to volatilized oxide of lead; all who work in paints are subject to great risks; soldiers and sailors have their lives shortened by the exposure they have to undergo, or by diseases brought on by their habits of living. Bakers, tailors, and milliners are liable to consumption; compositors peculiarly so. Pressmen fare better than compositors, probably because their work is more active. In the country, farming appears to be the most healthy of occupations, while that of the innkeeper is the most fatal. Butchers die comparatively early, as also do brewers, draymen, and generally those who have much to do with establishments for eating and drinking. The over-exertion of those who follow athletic pursuits appears to conduce quite as much to short life as does the sedentary strain of the student. It seems to make but little difference in the "expectation of life" of in-door workers whether their labor is hard or not; but those who are employed out-of-doors have a chance of living six years longer, if their work keeps them busy and active, than if it is a mere matter of routine and standing around; and a "comparison of the tables leads us to the conclusion that the life of the out-door worker with little exercise is worse than that of the sedentary in-door worker, whether with little or with great exercise." The most curious fact brought out is that the scavengers, dustmen, and cleaners of sewers in London are reckoned among the healthiest of the population.

Conditions of Color in Flowers. The physiological processes of the coloring of flowers and the relations of different agencies, as light, temperature, the nature of the soil, and natural selection, are examined by F. Hildebrand in a work on the present variations and former development of the colors of flowers. The variations in the colors of flowers seem to be without limit, yet they are controlled by laws both in nature and in cultivation. Each kind has certain directions in which variations are more likely to take place, which are limited in extent, and are denoted by the colors which its congeners prefer. The character of the variations which any one species will take corresponds with the variation direction of other species of the genus, and can not be essentially changed by cultivation. All colors may be made to turn to white. Blue-blooming species may be made to vary to violet and red, but not, with the single exception of the blue hyacinth, to yellow. The variations of red-blooming species incline toward the colors of the nearest related species; if both yellow and blue kinds occur among the latter, the inclination is rather to the yellow tints, but a pure blue is never reached. Efforts have been made without success to produce blue pinks, zinnias, roses, hollyhocks, ranunculuses, primroses, and balsams. A yellow-blooming species will not vary to clear blue, even when there is a blue species in the same genus. Generally, the yellow-varying species belong to such genera as move in the red and yellow circle of colors, and the variations occur inside of this circle. The membrane of the plant-cells is nearly colorless. Colors arise either from the chlorophyl, the coloring-matter connected with the solid bodies within the cells, or through the coloring of the cell-juices, or by changes taking place in both the chlorophyl and the cell-juices. The red and orange colors are generally derived from the chlorophyl, as is exemplified by the fact that the red and orange masses in many flowers are frequently developed out of masses that were before green. The chorophyl is seldom replaced by a red or blue grainy matter. White is readily produced, for all that it requires is the absence of chlorophyl or its presence in only a limited quantity. Other colors are produced by the coloring of the cell-juices with other matter than chlorophyl. So originate the rose-red flowers, some of the fiery red, most of the violet and blue. If no coloring takes place, the flower is white; hence the abundance of white flowers, and their occurrence whenever a species is made to vary. If a change takes place in both parts, if the chlorophyl is modified and the cell-juice is colored too, mixed colors, both bright and dark or dusky ones, are produced. A bright red often becomes prominent in this way, which, when combined with yellow arising from the chlorophyl, gives such colors as we find in the canna and nasturtium. Dark colors are produced by the association of green or yellow grains of chlorophyl with a violet juice, as in the nightshade. We look for the origin of diversities of color to conditions of light, temperature, and soil, and to the operation of natural selection. Different plants require different degrees of light and heat for the formation of their colors. Ferns and conifers need but little. Different colors require different degrees for their development; yellow is an exception, for it seems to be found equally well under the most varied circumstances. Some red flowers, as the tulips, color well in the dark, and the blues and violets seem partly independent partly dependent on the light. The crocus takes on its deep-blue violet in the dark, while the Prunella grandiflora remains white. A steady supply of nutriment is essential. Askenasy tried some cut branches of foxglove and other plants in a glass exposed to a strong light. The first flowers that came out were bright, but the others grew paler, and the last were nearly white. The failure of nourishment neutralized the stimulating effect of a strong light. The effect of these external agencies is dependent on the disposition of the flower to particular colors. They may aid the tendency, but do not perceptibly modify it. The supposition that particular seasons are favorable to the development of particular colors is not fully established; and the real amount and extent of the influence of changes of season on color is not ascertained. The investigation of the effect of the soil is attended with great difficulties. When we change the soil, we change other relations, as those of light and temperature, without being able to measure the part that each may have in producing the result we see. By introducing changes in all the conditions we cause an abrupt modification in the life of the plant, by which it becomes more docile to our treatment. Hence most of the variations take place under cultivation. Variation once started, further changes are comparatively easy. Natural selection operates to perpetuate variations. Those colors which stand out most distinct from the surrounding green attract the insects which act as fertilizing agents, and become predominant and permanent.

A Fortress of the Polished-Stone Age in Spain.—M. A. F. Nogués, mining engineer, gives in "La Nature" an account of a fortified camp of the polished-stone age, situated on the plateau of Maestrazgo, Spain, which was discovered by the Abbé Ambrosio Sans, and which he has recently visited. The work is situated on the elevation called the Muela de Chert, which constitutes the highest groups of hills of the plateau, rising 2,880 feet above the sea. The end of the plateau shows a steep limestone ledge inaccessible at almost every point. At a considerable distance from this point, the lines of the fort are marked by an irregularly disposed mass of weather browned stones running across the ridge which is the continuation of the Muela, and separating the higher parts of the eminence from the lower levels of the plateau. A real fortified inclosure is thus formed, defended on one side by the natural precipitous escarpment, and by the wall along the rest of the circuit. The curved part of the wall, for a length of about eight hundred feet, is built of stones without mortar, arranged from the level, not of the surface of the ground, but of excavations made in the mountain by the prehistoric builders. On the south, the wall ends at a short distance before reaching the precipice; and here are found traces of an opening or the gate to the inclosure, which is about eight feet wide at the bottom. In the interior of the fortification are a smaller wall, still intact, and piles of stones, the remains of former habitations, the greater part of which have, however, disappeared. Those which have been traced were of an oval form, about twenty feet long by six and a half feet wide, sometimes grouped, sometimes isolated, but arranged apparently so as to conform to some politic regulation. When the ruins were first discovered, the bones of many animals which are now extinct in Spain, as well as those of some still living in the country, were found at the bottom of the wall. Without the inclosure were found stone implements, polished hatchets of a white, reddish-veined quartz, lance-points of blackish dioritc, and other objects of the polished stone age. Such a work could only have been constructed by a settled population, who had already attained considerable numbers. No traditions of the historic period mention such fortifications; and on this fact, as well as on the occurrence of the remains of animals that have not lived in Spain for time immemorial, is based the presumption that the structure dates from an extreme antiquity. This is one of the most important works of this kind that have attracted the attention of European archæologists.