Scientific Serials

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    la'Anthropologie, tome iv. No. 5, September-October, 1893.—Dr. E. T. Hamy contributes a paper on the Merovingian and Carolinian crania of the Boulogne district. In the first volume of the Revue d' Anthropologie, Broca published a paper on the nasal index, in which he stated that of all European groups whose crania he had measured, the French group of Chelles, Champlieu, &c. was alone mesorhine, having a mean nasal index of 48 87, and he concluded that this anatomical peculiarity was derived from a cross with some more or less Mongoloid people previous to their appearance in the West. Dr.Ilamy now gives a detailed description of thirty-five crania, twenty male and fifteen female, taken from four Merovingian burial places in the Boulogne district, and in the second part of the paper he gives a comparatve study of the crania, of a later date, exhumed by M. l'Abbé Debout from the mound of Tardinghen; some of them from the surface, and others from graves beneath flagstones, the Merovingian age of the former being clearly indicated by the articles buried with the bodies, and the latter probably belonging to the end of the Carolinian period. A critical examination of these crania leads to the conclusion that the original type of the inhabitants was altered by foreign occupation, and that the elements thus violently introduced were eliminated little by little, and the primitive population, thrown into the shade for a while, gradually regained their supremacy. Undoubtedly there remain on the coast of the Channel, especially on the Pas-de-Calais, many tall and strong men, with fair hair, ruddy complexion, narrow head, and long face, who represent, to some extent at least, with fidelity the Saxons or Franks from whom they are descended, but the brunettes who surround them are more numerous than they, and are gradually absorbing them. To take one example only: in the canton of Marquise, the school population, consisting of 1750 boys and girls, yields 913 subjects with dark hair (of whom 163 have black hair), against 779 blondes (54 of whom have red hair); consequently 52˙2 per cent. are dark, and only 47˙8 per cent. fair, and as these are for the most part childien whose hair has not yet attained its final colour, some of those now classed as blondes will become brunettes as adults.—M. E. Deschamps describes some instances of albinism observed by him at Mahé, on the coast of Malabar, and M. Salomon Reinach contributes the first part of a vigorous attack on “Le Mirage Oriental,” in which he argues that credit has been given to the East for a far greater influence upon European civilisation than has really been exercised by it. Mycenæan civilisation is entirely of European origin; it is only orientalised on the surface by contact with the civilisations of Syria and of Egypt. Greece, the Archipelago, and the coast of Asia Minor aie the places where, in a remote antiquity, European, Asiatic, and Egyptian influences mingled.—Dr. P. Topinard continues his memoirs on the distribution of the colour of the eyes and of the hair in France, the subject of the present essay being the chart of red hair. He arrives at the following conclusions: (1) That, as in the British Isles, where red hair is comparatively common, and in Italy, Turkey, and Armenia, where it is seldom met with, so in France it is more commonly found in the middle of the country than elsewhere; (2) that in those French departments in which the blonde type predominates, red hair is twice or three times as frequent as in those inhabited by people with dark hair; (3) that, probably, red haired people are allied exclusively to the blonde type, of which they are a simple normal variety, without any anthropological signification. M. Topinard has consequently reunited the cheveux blondes and the cheveux roux under the name of cheveux clairs.

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