Popular Science Monthly/Volume 41/May 1892/Anthropological Work in Europe
|ANTHROPOLOGICAL WORK IN EUROPE.|
WITHOUT visiting either Stockholm, Vienna, or Rome, the author has recently seen many of the museums of ethnography in western Europe. It has seemed to him that a sketch of the workers and a description of the work in anthropology there might be of interest to readers of the Monthly. Hence this article, which makes no claim to exhaustiveness, but which does aim to suggest something of the intense interest now shown in that science in Holland, Germany. Switzerland, Italy, France, and England. Under the comprehensive word anthropology we comprise physical anthropology, ethnography, prehistoric archaeology, and culture history.
Museums of ethnography are far more common in Europe than with us. There are, perhaps, no large cities without such an institution, and many small towns have fine collections. In the little kingdom of Holland alone there are fully a half-dozen ethnographic museums of importance, the chief one being at Leyden. This city is the main educational town of Holland, and
|Dr. J. D. E. Schmeltz.|
its university, always famous for its corps of teachers, still holds its rank as a finely manned institution of learning. Besides the university, the town boasts of one of the best museums of antiquities in the world, particularly rich in Egyptian and Javanese objects, and the ethnographic museum, which in some respects is unsurpassed. Like many of the great collections in Europe, the latter is unfortunate in its housing. The part usually shown to visitors comprises the wonderfully rich collections from the South seas and the East Indies. These are in exceedingly crowded and ill-lighted quarters, and a satisfactory display is impossible in the present building. The African collections are in a second building as little suited to display as the first, and the rich series from Asia are stored in yet a third building. It is much to be desired that this collection might be brought together under one roof in a building of suitable character and well lighted and suitably cased. We have already referred to the wonderful series of objects from the South seas and the Indies. Many of them, brought home by the early navigators, are old, and represent the native arts before they were affected by white influence. Especially fine are the carved work, weapons, armor, and articles of dress and adornment. New Guinea is finely represented by objects from different parts, well illustrating the local variation in arts. The specimens from Sumatra, Engano, Nias, Borneo, and Java illustrate the whole life of the natives. The collection of krises, or dirks, is probably the largest in the world, and many of the specimens are masterpieces of metal-work, and the hilts and sheaths are crusted with precious stones. Dr. Serrurier, the director of the museum, classifies ethnographic objects into twelve groups—such as relate to—(1) Food, Drink, etc.; (2) Clothing; (3) House-furnishing; (4) Fishing and Hunting; (5) Agriculture; (6) Domestication of Animals; (7) Trading; (8) Manufactures; (9) Weapons and War: (10) Government and Society; (11) Toys, Music, Theatre, etc.; (12) Religion, Science, and the like. This scheme of classification runs through the whole arrangement of the museum. Dr. Serrurier is fortunate in having associated with him as conservator Dr. J. D. E. Schmeltz.
There are in the university faculty several men who, without being professional anthropologists, have more or less directly done work of importance to anthropological science. Such are the famous Sanskrit scholar, Prof. Kern; the Sinologue, Prof. Schlegel, and Dr. Thiele, of the theological school. The latter has contributed much to the present scientific study of religions. Prof. Schlegel's Chinese Dictionary is far more than a "word-book," and is a Dr. Rudolf Virchow. treasury of ethnological material to which all students must refer. With M. Henri Cordier, of Paris, Prof. Schlegel is editor of an interesting bimonthly journal devoted to Asiatic subjects—Toung Pao. The university has a chair of Ethnology, which was for several years ably filled by Prof. George Wilken, whose death a few months since was a serious loss to the institution. Prof. J. J. M. de Groot has been appointed to the position.
Prof. Kern and Prof. Schlegel, with other workers in ethnography in various countries, form an editorial committee of the Internationales Archiv für Ethnographie, a journal appearing at Leyden under the very capable direction of Dr. J. D. E. Schmeltz. Dr. Schmeltz is a rare worker. Born in Hamburg, his first important work in the field of ethnography was done upon the famous Godeffroy collection, from, the South seas. The result of his work was the well-known illustrated catalogue of that collection, which is the first work that the student of the South-sea cultures must know. Dr. Schmeltz has been Conservator of the Ethnographic Museum at Leyden for more than ten years. When the Archiv für Ethnographie was established, a little more than four years ago, he was intrusted with its management. The journal is a quarto in form, appearing once in two months, and the articles, which are always of great value, are in French, Dutch, German, and English. Every number is illustrated, and many of the plates are handsomely colored. We have laid considerable stress upon this journal because of its great value, and because it is far too little known in this country.
We have let Leyden stand as the type of work done in Holland, but it is not the only center. Considerable ethnographic museums, with good workers, are located at Rotterdam, Haarlem, The Hague, and Amsterdam. Germany is full of workers in every line of anthropological study. To describe what is done at Leipsic, Halle, Berlin, Dresden, Prof. Johannes Ranke. Munich, Heidelberg, and Freiburg will give some idea of the aims and methods of the work. And first we will consider the work in physical anthropology. At Leipsic we find Dr. Emil Schmidt, extraordinary professor at the university. He offers in three successive years three courses of lectures to the students—general ethnology, prehistoric archaeology, and physical anthropology. Dr. Schmidt is a critical and careful worker, and, notwithstanding the profound abyss separating German and French workers, he is well spoken of in France. His little book, Anhropologische Methoden, is the best hand-book for the student in the laboratory or the field that is accessible. Although a man past middle life. Dr. Schmidt is an active worker, and he has just returned from a trip to India and Ceylon, where he did extensive field work. In his laboratory he has a private collection of over a thousand skulls, many of them of his own gathering. Dr. Schmidt is ingenious in suggesting new methods of work and study. He is the originator of the cranial modulus. One of the chief objects of study in physical anthropology is the skull, and it is important to have some convenient means of comparing skulls of different kinds. To compare measurements taken in one direction only, of course gives no results of value; thus, to know that one skull is nine and another is eight inches long, tells nothing as to shape or relative capacity. Authors accordingly devised the cranial index, found by dividing the length of the skull into the breadth and expressing the result decimally. If skulls had but two dimensions this index would be satisfactory; as it is, it is not perfect. A new index was devised which should take account of the height of the skull; the height being divided by the length and the result expressed decimally. By a combination of these two indices a fair idea of the skull would be given, but in a comparison of the indices of a number of skulls great difficulty arises. One expression is what is desired. After much careful study and experimental work, Prof. Schmidt worked out the modulus; the length, breadth, and height are measured and their arithmetical mean is taken.
A veteran worker is Dr. Herman Welcker, Director of the Anatomical Laboratory of the University of Halle. The building he occupies is one of the few in Europe that has been built recently and for scientific purposes. Welcker's work extends back through many years, and, although all of his suggestions have not been accepted by other workers, his contributions to craniology have been numerous and valuable. In the museum under his charge is a wonderful series of skulls, especially rich in Papuan, South sea island, and Indian specimens. One noticeable feature of the museum is the exceedingly large collection of human monsters, two-headed, cyclopean, etc. perhaps the largest in the world.
No physical anthropologist in Europe is more widely known or more respected than Dr. Rudolph Virchow, of Berlin. He is in charge of the Pathological Institute of the university, where he has a vast quantity of valuable material. Among other osteological collections are great numbers of skeletons and skulls of the Negrito pygmies. Virchow's writings have been extensive and most important. He is at present engaged upon a great work a study of crania of American Indians, from both the Northern and Southern continents. An atlas of plates will form a part of the work, and every skull will be represented as seen from five different positions. The matter of fixing a skull in position for drawing is one of no little importance, and unfortunately there is no agreement between French and German workers in regard to what shall be called the horizontal line. The French consider a line drawn from the occipital foramen to a point between the bases of the upper middle incisors as horizontal, while the Germans make it pass from the middle point of the upper curve of the auditory meatus to the middle part of the lower curve of the optic orbit. Virchow claims that the German line is preferable, as it can easily be taken on the living person, as well as upon the skull. He adds, usually with a little quiet satisfaction: "The French horizontal line throws the head up, while ours throws it more naturally and downward; they are more proud, we are modest." For years Dr. Virchow has edited the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, the official journal of the Berlin Anthropological Society, of which he has always been a leading member. Dr. Virchow's seventieth birthday was celebrated with much of German heartiness last fall, but years tell little on him, and he does a prodigious amount of work with all the enthusiasm of a young man.
Of the many other workers in physical anthropology in Germany Prof. Friedrich Ratzel. we can mention but one—Dr. Johannes Ranke, of the University of Munich. He is perhaps the only full and regular Professor of Physical Anthropology in Germany. Since 1866 Prof. Ranke has been editor of the Archiv für Anthropologic, and since 1877 of the Urgeschichte Bayerns. His work, Der Mensch, in two large volumes, is the best elementary work on descriptive anthropology. His laboratory is well equipped in part with instruments of his own devising. One of the most important operations in anthropology is finding the internal capacity of the cranium. There are a host of methods. The difficulty is that no two methods give the same result, and no single method in the hands of two unskilled observers gives exact agreement. The thing desired, then, is to work out a method of "cubage" that shall give invariable results. Dr. Ranke has attempted this. His students are given a bronze skull of known capacity. This is filled with millet seed rammed in tightly with a wooden plug. The filling is afterward turned out and measured. Every step in the operation is subject to fixed rules. When a student gains such skill that he succeeds always in getting the capacity of this standard skull exactly, he is considered competent to measure the capacity of real crania. In drawing skulls most German workers use an instrument called a diopter, which produces a drawing of the natural size. Dr. Ranke has ingeniously attached a pantograph to the diopter in Prof. Ad. Bastian. such a way that a correct reduced drawing may be produced at one operation. His craniophore—an instrument for supporting a skull in a horizontal position for purposes of study—is the simplest and best made, but is, of course, suited only to the German horizontal.
In German Switzerland, at Basel, is Dr. Kollman, best considered here, as he is of the German school. Prof. Kollman is a born teacher, and every specimen in his Anatomical Museum of the university is considered as instruction material, and is so mounted or prepared as to make its teaching value the greatest. The subject of prehistoric races has taken much of his attention, and a large case in the museum is devoted to a series of casts or originals of such skulls. Particularly interesting is the large series of prehistoric Swiss skulls representing the types described in His and Rutimeyer's classic work. Dr. Kollman has introduced some exceedingly long and difficult words into the nomenclature of physical anthropology—leptoprosopic, chæmæprosopic, etc. They are descriptive of cranial forms, and are intended as classificatory; it is doubtful, however, whether they really express natural types or simply artificial and arbitrary groupings.
As to ethnography, Germany is permeated with it, Magnificent collections are numerous, and workers are everywhere. Leipsic is a center of work. Here is the collection at which Dr. Klemm worked so diligently, now in charge of Dr. Obst. Only a small part of the treasures of this collection are on display. These are crowded, poorly arranged, and badly lighted; and a vast quantity of precious things are stored away, where they must be deteriorating in value as the months pass. In the university is Prof. Friedrich. Ratzel, best known to us for his Volkerkünde—an introduction to ethnography. Dr. Ratzel is now revising this work, and he has lately issued a yet more valuable treatise—Anthropogeographie. Ethnography is most interesting to him in its geography, and he at present lays especial stress upon the local distribution of customs and arts. Prof. Ratzel is a favorite teacher, and has sent out many young men imbued with his methods. Among these, one of the most promising is Dr. Heinrich Schurtz, privat-docent at the university, whose recent Philosophie der Tracht is an application of Ratzel's methods to the study of dress.
Drs. Meyer, Lueders, and Buchner are doing fine work with the museums at Dresden, Hamburg, and Munich, and deserve more than a brief reference. But the ethnographic work of Germany Dr. Eduard Seler. and of the world culminates in Berlin. Adolph Bastian is the director of the museum, the leader of the corps of able workers who carry it on. He is a man whom years do not make old; one who has unquenchable fire and enthusiasm. He is decidedly the right man in the right place. The Government has been liberal to him, but he continually needs new funds for more and greater enterprises. No one recognizes more clearly than he the importance of doing ethnographical work now; to-morrow will be too late. Old tribes are dying out; new customs are being introduced; native cultures
are being swept away, or rapidly modified by contact with the civilization of the white man. Illustrations of such cultures must be saved now or never. "It is a burning house, and the main purpose is to gather material for the future to use. And contents are lost while we wait." So his prodigious accumulations are here—for example, Dr. Grunwedel, who has direction of the India collections, has upward of twenty-four thousand objects in his charge. Prof. Bastian is a great traveler and a busy writer. Scarcely a year passes without an important work from his pen.
The American department of this vast collection is exceedingly valuable. There is but little from the Indians of the United States; from ancient Mexico and Peru, from the modern South American tribes, and from the Northwest coast the representation is magnificent. The culture of Eskimos, of Tlingits, Haidas, and Bilgulas are fully shown. Some very choice Mexican antiquities collected by Humboldt are here. Here, too, are three of the exceedingly rare and interesting mosaics from Mexico made by overlaying forms of wood with bits of turquoise, obsidian, and shell. Perhaps a score such are known in European museums: seven are at London, three at Berlin, two at Copenhagen, and five at Rome. They are among the most curious and interesting Aztec objects. There are fine series of pottery from Mexico and Yucatan. The collection of Peruvian pottery is wonderfully complete, and is no doubt the finest on public display in the world. Reiss and StubePs great collections, upon which their famous work, The Necropolis of Ancon, is based, are here, and include the finest general series of Peruvian antiquities on exhibition especially rich in wrapped mummies, fine cloths, and household goods. As for modern ethnography, there are series of objects from almost every tribe from the Caribbean Sea to Cape Horn. All this wealth of materials is under the care of Dr. Edward Seler, whose special work upon Mexican subjects has made him known to Americanists.
The men at Berlin are all hard workers. Dr. F. von Luschan, curator of the African department, exemplifies this. Himself a specialist in biblical archaeology, and frequently in the field overseeing excavation, he allows no opjwrtunity to pass unimproved for gathering anthropological material of every kind. In addition to his regular work he has, while in the field, taken photographs and anthropological measurements of more than three thousand persons, some of them among barbarous and little-known tribes a work which alone would not represent an idle life.
We can refer to but two more of the German workers Dr. Richard Andree and Dr. E. Grosse. Richard Andree, of Heidelberg, has the heartiest admiration for our American ethnographers and their work, and it is certain that they reciprocate. His writings are always clear and direct. His latest work perhaps is his Ethnographische Parallelen—a good example of his style and ability. As editor of the geographic journal Globus, Dr. Andree is known the world around. At the old University of Freiburg, in the most picturesque part of the Rhine mountain country, is in progress one of the most hopeful works in anthropology in Europe. Dr. E. Grosse is there developing a museum and a department of anthropology. No effort is made to collect a great mass of material, but carefully selected specimens are arranged so as to show man's progress from the oldest age of stone to the present time, and so as to present pictures of life in various existing tribes of savage or barbarous men. Nothing is here done in physical anthropology, but lectures are given in ethnography and culture history, and these are exceedingly popular. Dr. Grossed work is unobtrusive, but it is sure to be far-reaching.
Much of the value of collections is lost by bad arrangement. Nowhere is there such pains taken in display as at Copenhagen. Dr. Richard Andree. The results are beautiful, although nowhere have greater disadvantages had to be overcome. The Ethnographical Museum is the oldest in existence, having been founded in 1847 Inspector Steinhauer, now seventy-five years of age, has had the arrangement in charge. Dr. Kristian Bahnson, a specialist in American ethnography, is his assistant. To Inspector Steinhauer was given an old palace, with many small rooms, not at all adapted to the housing of a great museum. He has done wonders; not an inch of space is lost, and great ingenuity is displayed in making available what must at first have looked like useless wall-room and passage-ways. The collections are arranged first by countries or tribes, and the material from any one region is rigidly classified into groups: (1) Religion; (2) Men; (3) War; (4) House; (5) Industry and Art; (6) Amusement. Within the cases themselves the objects are arranged with the greatest care so as to produce the most pleasing effect possible. In the same building is the Museum of Northern Antiquities, under charge of Dr. Sophus Müller. Denmark is classic ground for the prehistoric archæologist. Scarcely a foot of its surface but what has yielded relics. Its peat-bogs, kitchen-middens, and tumuli are famous. Here are found the finest flint-chipping in the world, the most interesting of bronze implements, the finest gold ornaments of the bronze age, and vast quantities of specimens illustrating the early age of iron. No student can afford to neglect this collection. The Museum of Northern Antiquities is exceedingly popular with the Danish people, who are very loyal in sending to it specimens they may find. The Government itself is very wide awake to the importance of such, work as is here done, and has acted vigorously in the matter of preserving tumuli and other monuments of the past.
Anthropology is by no means neglected in Switzerland. With men like Vogt and Kollman in physical anthropology, with museums of ethnography at Basel, Bern, and Zurich, it is still true that the department of prehistoric archæology leads the rest there. This is quite natural, for every lake has its old village sites and every town of consequence has its collection of "lake-dwelling" antiquities. There are more than two score such, of some importance, in Switzerland. Certainly those at Bern and Zurich may be taken as good examples. The former, under Dr. van Fellenberg, represents very fully all three of the great "ages" of the archæologist. The oldest lake-dwelling villages of Europe date back to the age of stone (the neolithic period); many were of the bronze age; some were of the early part of the age of iron. Some Prof. Paolo Mantegazza. of the sites were occupied continuously from the older to the later time, while others represent only a single period. At Zurich are the collections upon which Dr. Keller's work was based, and very much valuable and interesting material from recent explorations undertaken quite near the city. Dr. Heierli, who teaches prehistoric archæology in the University of Zurich, has still a largely unworked field in Lake Zurich. It is a mistake to think of the lake-dwelling sites as "worked out."
Italy is very active in anthropological work. At Turin Prof. Guido Cora conducts a geographical journal which contains much ethnographic matter; in the same city Prof. Lombroso experiments, writes books, and edits a journal, to which is due much of the present interest in criminal anthropology. In Florence are Mantegazza, Giglioli, and Regalia. At Perugia, Belluchi works away at the stone age of Italy. In Rome is one of the great ethnographic museums of the world, with Pigorini as director and Coligni as assistant. Two of these workers occupy unique positions. Prof. Paolo Mantegazza is President of the Anthropological Society of Italy, editor of an anthropological journal, Director of the National Museum of Ethnography and Anthropology, and professor in the university. We mention these titles because they suggest his work. Physical anthropology, man himself, is his specialty. Mantegazza has traveled much and has written works of value as a result—such are his monograph upon the Lapps and his work on India. But the books to which his fame is most due are of a more general character. Such are his Physiology of Pleasure, Physiology of Pain, and Physiognomy and Expression. The latter has been published in America in English, and will give a good idea of his style. His trilogy on love—Physiology of Love, Hygiene of Love, and Ethnography of Love—has created a sensation. The German translation of these has sold by tens of thousands; a similar success has attended the French edition; and in Italy they are seen everywhere. Mantegazza's mind is intensely analytic. This is shown both in his writings and in his museum. Nowhere else, so far as we know, is analysis applied to anthropological material. He divides it into groups illustrating: (1) Comparative anthropology, (2) biological anthropology, (3) artificial deformations, (4) pathological anthropology, (5) psychological anthropology, (6) ethnical anthropology. It must be confessed that having divided his material in this way he makes no attempt to arrange it afterward in the cases. In this museum, Prof. Mantegazza has upward of four thousand skulls, two thousand of which are Italian. One of Mantegazza's latest ideas is a psychological museum, in which, by objects, the workings of the mind are to be illustrated. This museum has been begun, but it will be long before the plan can be fully developed. By profession Henry H. Giglioli is a zoologist. In charge of the department of vertebrate zoology at the University of Florence, his work in that line speaks for itself. Interested in ethnography by a voyage he made around the world, he has gathered a collection of stone implements unsurpassed perhaps by any other private collection. The idea of the series is not to illustrate the stone age of any one place or people, but by carefully selected specimens from every part of the world to show all types of stone implements. Prof. Giglioli has also much interest in the persistence of the use of stone tools into later culture stages.
Paris epitomizes France, and certainly the character of French work in anthropology is fairly shown if that of the capital is described. Anthropology is more cultivated in Paris than anywhere else in the world, and every department is there developed. The ethnographic collections are at the Louvre, the Trocadéro, and the Musée Guimet. It is a pity that the material from Africa and the South seas now at the Louvre is not sent to the Trocadéro and incorporated in the collections there under charge of Dr. Hamy. The Trocadéro is a beautiful building, and the collections it contains are of great importance, but it is not adapted to their suitable display. Dr. Hamy has made the best of his circumstances, Prof. Henry H. Giglioli. and his cases and wall trophies (usually an abomination in a museum, but here a necessity) are true works of art. The hall devoted to African specimens is wonderfully fine, and the collections from South America, Mexico, and Yucatan are quite as good as any in Europe. One feature of this museum is that it contains a fair representation of the ethnography of Europe—a thing exceedingly rare. The Musée Guimet embodies a brilliant idea, the illustration of the world's religions. It grew out of an expedition sent to Asia to study the religions of Japan and India. The collections belong to the state and occupy a building constructed for the purpose and beautifully arranged. The display halls are erected about a triangular court, and the two in front are connected by a rotunda. This contains a valuable library composed entirely of works devoted to religions. So far only Buddhism is represented with any degree of fullness. The arrangement is geographical. The religions of India, southeastern Asia, and China occupy the first floor of one gallery, while in the upper floor are objects illustrating the worships of ancient Greece and Rome. In a second wing are the Japanese series on the first floor and religious objects from ancient Egypt on the second. The third hall is as yet largely unoccupied. The chief criticism that one might make of this museum is, that the specimens are all choice pieces; there is little to show the common idols or the mode in which worship is conducted. On the walls in the galleries and the rotunda are many paintings by Félix Regamy representing sacred places, temples, and religious ceremonies.
In America no French anthropologist is so well known as A. de Quatrefages, whose Human Species and Natural History of Man are here widely read. Up to the very date of his death, early in the present year, the old man lived among his books and kept at work, although he was in his eighty-second year. A zoölogist by training, he was one of the few prominent workers in that field who held out against Darwinism and other forms of transformist doctrine. His writings have been of the greatest importance. With his assistant naturalist, Dr. Hainy, he wrote Crania Ethnica, a standard work on the characteristics of race as shown in skulls. His Migration of the Polynesians, Fossil and Savage Men, and the Pygmies, are others of his works that are well known. De Quatrefages was officially connected with the Museum of Natural History, and under his directorship much of the material in the Galerie d'Anthropologie was gathered, and the Laboratory of Anthropology of the museum, perhaps the best equipped and most convenient in the world, was established. This laboratory is situated near the house where De Quatrefages Prof. G. de Mortillet. lived (which was, by the way, the home of Buffon). It contains office-rooms for the corps of workers, Doctors Hamy, Vérneau, and Delisle. Two large rooms are supplied with tables, instruments, and materials for the use of students. An excellent dark room for photographic work, rooms for preparation of material, for modeling and casting in plaster, are all provided. A fair library for reference is also connected with the laboratory. The Galerie d'Anthropologie of the museum contains a vast quantity of varied and interesting material, probably the greatest collection in the world. Thirteen rooms are too small for its suitable display. Over two thousand skulls belonging to the collection are packed away for lack of space for them in the cases. One of the rooms is devoted to fossil men, and here are many original pieces of great value and world-famous, such as the Cro-Magnon skulls and the Mentone skeleton.
Besides the work at the museum, there is at Paris a very broad work centering at the School of Medicine. This work is carried on through three distinct agencies, the society, the school, and the museum and laboratory. The Société d'Anthropologie de Paris was founded May 19, 1859, by Paul Broca and a handful of other Dr. Paul Topinard. interested men. It is the oldest existing anthropological society, and perhaps the largest. Always aggressive, it has done much to develop anthropological study throughout the world. During his lifetime Broca continued to be a power in its work, and his influence largely trained a body of younger men to take his place. The society publishes its Bulletin, and has accumulated a library of some eight thousand volumes. The School of Anthropology is an outgrowth of the society. At first an individual enterprise, it was "recognized of public utility," March 23, 1889, and now receives support from the Government. This season lectures were given on various subjects, more or less directly included under the name anthropology, by twelve professors. The schedule is here copied:
Monday, 4 p. m., G. de Mortillet: Prehistoric Anthropology. 5 p. m., Mathias Duval: Anthropogeny and Embryology.
Tuesday, 3 p. m., Fr. Schrader: Geographic Anthropology. 4 p. m., André Lefevre: Ethnography and Linguistics. 5 p. m., Georges Hervé: Ethnology.
Wednesday, 4 p. m., J. V. Laborde: Biological Anthropology. 5 p. m., Mahoudeau: Zoölogical Anthropology.
Friday, 3 p. m., Fauvelle: Conferences. 4 p. m., Bordier: Medical Geography. 5 p. m., L. Manouvrier: Physiological Anthropology.
Saturday, 4 p. m., Ch. Letourneau: Sociology. 5 p. m., A. de Mortillet: Comparative Ethnography.
All these courses are absolutely free to the public, and an average attendance of some two hundred persons shows that they are appreciated. The Museum and Laboratory of Broca is the third agency of this work at the buildings of the School of Medicine. During his lifetime, under the directorship of Broca himself, and since then usually under Dr. Paul Topinard, they are very largely the work of these two men. The laboratory contains a full series of all instruments that have been made for anthropological investigation, and the material in the museum practically illustrates the whole history of such work in France.
The Professors de Mortillet are father and son, and they have been connected with all the work on prehistorics that France has done. Gabriel de Mortillet has brought order out of chaos, system out of confusion, by his terminology of prehistoric chronology. His system is accepted very widely throughout western Europe. It is somewhat the fashion in America to decry it, but we believe that the nomenclature will become more and more fixed. It will not probably fit our American conditions, but for France and its neighbors it apparently expresses facts. G. de Mortillet's little book, Le Préhistorique, is a model of compact statement and sound criticism. The larger work, the Musée Préhistorique, is the result of joint labor of father and son, and is based upon the unrivaled collections from drift gravels and caverns of France, which they have so beautifully arranged at the museum at St. Germain. Prof. Adrien de Mortillet is a skillful artist, and his lectures are always illustrated with rapidly drawn crayon sketches.
A sketch of French work that omitted Dr. Paul Topinard would be very faulty. An old pupil and friend of Broca, he has done much to carry out his master's work. No one, save Broca, has done more to direct French work in anthropology. In many ways his influence has been felt as teacher in the school, as Director of the Broca Laboratory, as editor of the Revue d'Anthropologie in the past, and of L'Anthropologie at present. Some years ago his little book, L'Anthropologie, an introduction to physical anthropology, caused a real sensation and gained deserved recognition. Later, a much larger work, Elements d'Anthropologie Générale, appeared, a most valuable manual for the laboratory and for students. Within a few months he has brought out a new book upon the relation of man to the animal world.
In England there is considerable work in progress, though not so much as we might expect when we remember that it was there that Lubbock's works and the famous books of Tylor, Spencer, and Maine appeared. The British Museum has some rich collections in ethnography and prehistoric archaeology. The department is in charge of Mr. A. W. Franks and Mr. Charles Reade. The best cataloguing in Europe is done here. Every specimen is numbered. The number, together with a description and history of the specimen, a carefully made pen-and-ink drawing, and references to literature, are all entered upon a large card. These cards are afterward arranged and cared for as usual in card catalogues. We can hardly refer even to some of the more interesting specimens. Magnificent series from the South seas, from Australia, and New Guinea are here. Many objects are of especial interest as having been collected in Captain Cook's voyages. These are not simply interesting as mementoes of the great traveler, but because they present us results of the native industries unaffected by white contact. It is curious to notice how widely scattered Cook's specimens are. Many are here at London, others are at Berlin, Bern, Florence, Leyden, Oxford, and Australia! Of American objects the British Museum has some of extraordinary interest: Prof. E. B. Tylor. seven of the Mexican mosaics; choice things from Peru; a good Central American and Antillean series, and a fine lot of old Eskimo objects. The anthropological material at the Royal College of Surgeons is extensive and very valuable.
In one of the buildings of the South Kensington Museum is Mr. Francis Galton's anthropometric laboratory. Mr. Gait on is President of the British Anthropological Society, and the author of various important works upon Heredity, African Peoples, and Human Faculty. He is extremely ingenious in devising apparatus and experiments for determining the degree of development of various faculties. In this laboratory any visitor may be examined and measured free of charge. The examination includes, besides the regular anthropological measurements, tests of eyesight, hearing, color-sense, quickness of muscular blow, etc. The results of the examination are fully recorded on blanks prepared for the purpose, a copy of the record being given to the subject. Many thousands of persons have been measured in this laboratory, and the public has thus been made acquainted with the subject of anthropometry. Mr. Galton is now much interested in studying means of personal identification, and is studying finger-tip impressions as identification material. All at present measured in the laboratory leave their finger-tip marks behind them.
Americans are particularly interested in the little Blackmore Museum at Salisbury, although at present it cuts no great figure in anthropological work. There is here a good building with fair collections of prehistorics and some ethnographical specimens. The bulk of the collections made by Squier and Davis in their exploration of American mounds, and described in their famous work, the Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, is here. This collection includes a larger number of stone pipes of the "mound-builder type" than any American collection. There are also good things from Central America and Peru. In addition to the specimens, there are in this building a great series of photographs of American Indians and a wonderful library of Americana. The story of William Blackmore's life is almost a romance, and this little American museum in the quaint old English town is one of the strangest of strange things. Would that funds and workers might be supplied to make it felt as a power in the study of American anthropology!
Both of the great universities are at work. Oxford owns the Pitt Rivers Museum, unique in conception. The collection is due to the initiative of Colonel Lane Fox (General Pitt Rivers), and has grown and developed under his guidance and that of Prof. E. B. Tylor and Mr. Henry Balfour. The objects of the museum are set forth in the following announcement, which is posted in various places:
"The specimens, ethnological and prehistoric, are arranged with a view to demonstrate either actually or hypothetically the development and continuity of the material arts from the simpler to the more complex forms; to explain the conservatism of lower and barbarous races and the pertinacity with which they retain their ancient types of art; to show the variations by means of which progress has been affected and the application of varieties to distinct uses; to exhibit survivals or vestiges of ancient forms which have been retained through natural selection in the more advanced stages of arts and reversions to such types; to illustrate the arts of prehistoric times as far as practicable by those of existing savages in corresponding stages of civilization; to assist the question of the monogenesis or poly genesis of certain arts—whether they are exotic or indigenous in the country where they are now found; and, finally, to aid in the solution of the problem whether man has arisen from the condition of the brutes or fallen from a high stage of perfection. To these ends objects of the same class from different countries have been brought together, but in each class the variations from the same locality are placed side by side, and the geographical distribution of the various arts is shown by distribution maps. Special finds serving to illustrate the correlation of the arts or of forms have been kept together. The collection was begun in the year 1851, and has accumulated gradually." Only a few of the series displayed can be mentioned—the gun, from the matchlock up to the present (this is the series, the working out of which by Colonel Lane Fox led to the founding of the museum); origin of geometrical patterns; development of forms and ornament in pottery; from the parry-stick to the shield; dress development; fire-making devices; etc. The museum has grown to large proportions, and Mr. Balfour, the able curator, is now overhauling and rearranging the whole. Prof. Edward B. Tylor, who reads courses of lectures upon the History of Culture to Oxford students each year, has exerted a vast influence upon anthropology, not only in Great Britain and America, but also throughout Europe. His great works, Early History of Mankind and Primitive Culture, and his remarkable little Anthropology, have been to many workers their first inspiration.
At Cambridge anthropological work is more recent than at Oxford, but it is now on a good basis and must prosper under Baron Anatole von Hügel. The collections are in part prehistoric, in part ethnographic. There is a very good local series of prehistorics, some of the latest additions coming from excavations in the immediate neighborhood of Cambridge almost on the very grounds of the university. The chief ethnographic treasures are the collections from Fiji, gathered by Baron von Hügel himself, which are unequaled.
"We have aimed in this brief sketch to show where work in our subject is done in Europe, to mention a few of the workers, and to point out something of their methods and plans.