John Almon.

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costata, and CuctUlasa vulgaris (cast) are all found in the Miocene, and
he regards their presence as accidental.

The Oetrea Georytana, according to Tuomey, is associated, near Aikeo,
S. C, with 0, Alabamiensis, which is a species of the siliceous sand stra-
tum of Claiborne. The buhrstone of South Camlina and Oeoigia, by
their fauna, would appear to be synchronous with the above-mentioned
aand group of Alabama. The O, Georyiana may be of this age, or im-
mediately sucoeeding it, but does not occur in the older Eocene, thongh
it might be inferred from some accounts of Shell Bluff that were aaao-
eiated. Mr. Ruffin has published a diagram of Shell Bluff, but unfortu-
nately he does not mention in what stratum he found O. sellmformis^ but
he remarks that 0, Georyiana " is seen in the upper part of the perpen-
dicular face of the cliff, above the marl of the great Carolina bed ^ (to
which O. eellmformis belongs) ^ and there separated from it by a body
of from four to ten feet in thickness. . . . This complete separation
should forbid the belief that the deposit of gigantic oyster shells belongs
to the same geological formation as the great Carolinian bed below."

Whatever position in the Eocene may be assigned to Ostrea Oeoryia-
na^ it can have but one horizon throughout its vastly remote localities,
and appears everywhere to have been suddenly introduced into the Eocene
fiiuna, and to have had a short existence compared with 0. eellajvrmiif
as a deposit of six feet is the greatest thickness recorded.

6. On Human remains in Belyium ; by Mr. Dupont. (Continuation
of the account on pages 121, 122, of this volume.) — Mr. Dupont has
▼ery recently explored three other caverns in the valley of the Lease ;
bringing up to twenty-two the number of those which he has examined
in the vicinity of Dinant, since the commencement of his researches, nn-
dertaken at the expense of the State upon the recommendaUon of the
Academy. These three new caverns bear the names of Cave of Pranle,
Gave of the Germans, Cave of the Nutons of Gendron. K they have
fumiahed tern new &ct8 in regard to the study of the quaternary periodf



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Mineralogy and Qe^ogy. t6I

tliej bare prestnted facts important for the underatandiog of the relations
between the human race which inhabited the country at the period of
the reindeer and that which succeeded it. We will say a few words con*
oerningf the results obtained in these new explorations.

The Cave of Praule is situated fire hundred meters above Furfooz, on
the left bank of the Lesse, about thirty meters above the river. Breadth
of the cavern, six meters ; length, three and one-half meters in the mid-
dle; mean height, two meters. On the sides are two narrow galleries
having a depth of four and of eight meters respectively. The quaternary
sediments there were of small thickness ; they showed at the bottom, im-
mediately above the limestone floor, a thin layer of the sandy-argillar
ceotts stratified deposit with rolled pebbles and gravel arranged in seama
not continuous ; in a word, the most decided characters of the lehm or
middle period of the quaternary fonnation of the province. That de-
posit contained a humerus and a canine of a great bear. The layers
superimposed upon the preceding are, as ordinarily, yellow pebbly clay ;
they are leas than a meter in thicKness ; they contained, especially at the
bottom, bones and some worked flints. The bones indicate the following
species : bear, wolf, fox, horse, reindeer, goat. The flints, all worked in
the knife form, are few, and are derived from the cretaceous deposits.
These facts confirm the placing of the remains of the reindeer period in
the pebbly clay, and the priority of that age to the deposition of that
immense layer of clay. The small number of bones and of worked
flints inJicates a brief residence of man in that cavern, which seems
neverthel-ess to have been perfectly adapted for habitation, being easy of
access, spacious, well lighted, and very dry at that period, as is shown by
the absence of stalagmites between the lehm which then covered the
floor of the cavern, and the pebbly clay which is of a date subsequent to
man's residence there. \

The cave of the Germans is not so much a cavern as a simple shelter
fiimished by a dolomitic rock (stratum iii. of the Carboniferous lime-
stone), which overhangs, and under which the gypsies still establish them-
selves during their journeyings ; whence the name which has remained
to it, the gypsies being called Germans in that district. Shelters of this
nature are quite numerous on the Lesse, and they are all known under
the name of caves of the Germans. The following is the section of the
one in question, which is situated near the road from Hulsonniaux to
Celles : 5, at the level of the Lesse, rolled pebbles, transported from Ar*
dennes, consolidated with gravel ; 4, above, yellow clay with dolomitio
pebbles ; 3, Loess ; 2, recent alluvium, formed of little seams alternately
sandy and argillaceous like the lehm ; 1, the same, modified and mixed
with vegetable remains ; in this last bed, which forms the present floor
of the cavern, are found some flints of the knife form and a small hatchet
of sandstone, polished and irregular in surface.

The third cavern, called the cave of the Nutons of Gendron, is situa-
ted two thousand five hundred meters (in a straight line) above the cav-
erns of Furfooz, on the left bank of the Lesse; but as the river describes
numerous curves between the two localities, the real distance is more
than eight kilometers. This cavern is at an elevation of about seTeaty
Ax. Jous. 8cL— Sboosid Suns, Vol. XLIU, No. 1S&— Masob, 1807.
34



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362 ScnnHfic IntelKgenc^

maten from the river, near the Tillage of Gendron : it is excavated io
the pmtmmiU formation of Le Condroz. That is a schistose formation
with some calcareous beds alternating. The limestone has prodoced in
this cavern stalactites, which have centented the schistose bc^s together,
and have preserved it from the caving-in which is very frequent in caverns
of this sort. Width of the cavern at the entrance two and one-half meters ;
length, fourteen meters; it terminates in the form of a wedge. When
Mr. Dupont'visited it for the first time, he wa4 able to penetrate only to
a distance of eight meters ; at that point the passage was ob»trttcted by
little columns of stalactite and cones of stalagmite. The soil is form^
of a sort of mold apparently derived from the decomposition of leaves,
and resembling the detritus known under the name of heath mold (terre
de bruyere). It rested on a layer of yellow clay with pebbles of schist,
without ornaments or remains of industry, itself resting upon the rock.
The soil covered the clay only from a point eight meters from the en-
trance, and was itself covered by stalagmite, which attained, in some
places, a thickness of six decimeters.

In examining this soil, a great number of human bones were found,
which were recognized as belonging to seventeen skeletons. Although
the bones were all broken, the laborers were able to observe that the re-
mains of the headf then those of the arms and trunk, then those of the
legs, were discovered successively over a length of less than two meters.
They discovered afterward, in the same order, a second, a third, then a
fourth row of imperfect skeletons. Afterward a little skeleton was dis-
covered laid transversely. Then the longitudinal arrangement of the
bones again presented itself; the remains of the bead toward the en-
trance, those of the limbs toward the inmost part of the cave. Another
little skeleton was found, also placed transversely, and finally two others
extended, like those of the preceding rows, parallel to the axis of the
eavern. Among the human bones were found bones of foxes, badgers,
hens, Ac. At tbe entrance of the cavern was found a very small Aug-
ment of cretaceous flint in the form of a plate, with three fragments of
coarse pottery. Upon the slope of the escarpment, immediately under
the opening of tbe cave, lay two large plates of schist difiering from
that of the cave and of the surrounding country : one of these plates
measured 1*60 meters in length by 85 centimeters in breadth ; the other
1*05 meters by 1*65.

After the comparative examination which was made by Mr. Bruner-
Bey of the human remains found in this cavern, one may say, in general,
that none of the bones differs notably from the type of the reiudeer pe-
riod. As during that age, there are two forms of tbe lower jaw, one
with horizontal branches very low and stout, the other with branchea
more elevated and more slender. Nevertheless, the genian eminence,
trianprular in the external aspect, and the bifid genian eminences in the
Interior are here well marked, although the chin, always rounded, is yet
nearly vertical. As in the jaws of the reindeer period found at Furfooz, the
angle of the chin, in the pieces where it exists, is rounded, turned inward,
and very much inclined ; the condyle and the glenoid cavity have the
aame characters in the series from Furfooz and from Grendron. The mo-
lars found have generally the normal sixe, and the wearing of the crow^n



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Mineralogy and Ckology. 36S

is eircukr in all. In one jaw with very high horizontal brinche^ the two
iint niolani are of equal sise : that is a fact which is observed also in the
jaws of the reindeer period of Furfooz. The molars have likewise only
four tabprcles. Finally, in two pieces there exists also a strongly marked
aymphyscaj prognathism. One jaw of an old man presents, besides this
considerable prognathism, genian eminences much blunted, but the chin
is prominent The most p^ect fragment of the npper jaw is orthogrna-
thous. Except the middle incisors, Uie teeth are small. Among the sepa-
rate teeth is noticed a very stout canine. Two temporal bones belonging
to individuals not of the same age, also exhibit perfectly the peculiarities
of the type of the reindeer period ; the mastoid processes are short and
rounded ; the glenoid fossae are narrow and deep ; the post-mastoideal
part is very thick, and the depressions of the inferior cerebral lobes on
the inner surface are deep. This last peculiarity is noticed likewise on a
fragment of a frontal bone of the ordinary thickness; it bears all the
characters of the ancient race : external orbital process and root of the
noee very broad ; superciliary arches very prominent ; glabella triangular
. and depressed. A femur, scarcely epiphysized, is forty-two centimeters
in length ; its circumference below the trochanter minor is eleven centi**
meters ; the length of the neck is twenty-two millimeters ; the circum*
ference is one hundred and two millimeters ; it exhibits, moreover, the
double curvature peculiar to the race of Furfooz, the very large trochan*
ter minor ; the rough line is very prominent, although flattened.

From what has been said above, it is seen that the Cave of the Nutons
of Gendron was a sepulchral cavern. But when did it serve that pur-
pose f This is what Mr. Dupont says on that point

The bones and the earth which encloses them are above the yellow
pebbly clay. Now, in the province of Namur, the remains of the rein-
doer period are always found beneath the yellow pebbly clay. This rule
is confirmed by each new exploration, without having offered as yet a
single exception. The superposition of the ossiferous soil above the peb*
biy clay demonstrates then that the skeletons in question are of date sub-
sequent to the reindeer period. It remains to endeavor to refer them to
a definite time within the period limited on the one side by the deposit
of pebbly clay, and on the other by the present time. The mode of
burial indicates great antiquity ; it can scarcely be met with except in
the dolmens.

We have said that three fragments of coarse pottery were found at
the entrance of the cavern* Mr. do Mortillet, who has examined themi
describes them as follows :

** Two of the fragments evidently formed a part of the same vessel,
and traces are seen of the bourrelet which formed the opening; tha
other is red on one side, black on the other. This pottery was made by
hand, without any use of the wheel. It is very pooriy baked, and con-
sequently has not passed through the oven. Powdered calcite was mixed
with the clay, to give it consistency, and prevent it from cracking whije
drying and especially on the approach of fire, the baking being done
probably before the vessels were perfectly dry. The outer surface of the
fragmenis shows a polishing which has left numerous little strise, as if it
had been done with a bunch of grass or straw dipped in a barbotte (fine



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S64 Scientific InidUgenee.

day suspended in a lai^e quantity of water). These three fragroeiDti
offer then all the characters of very ancient pottery. In material, in
composition, they seem to belong to the plastic art of the dolmens; Init
the border which surrounds the opening on two of them and the applica-
tion of a barbotte would perhaps prove them to be a little more reoent.
It seems then more natural to refer them to the period of transition be>
tweei^ the stone and the bronze. We are thus brought, says Mr. Duponti
to consider this race as the same that constructed those fortresses with
Cyclopean walls of which numerous examples are found in the provinoei
and as belonging to the same age with the celebrated remains collected
at Chauvaux by Mr. Spring.**

In regard to the origin of the humus or soil which covered the skele*
tons, it is quite difficult to explain. It is certain that Uie existence of
the humus, and consequently the introduction of the leaves which formed
it, is more ancient than the layer of stalagmite which covers it, a layer
which attains, in certain places, a thickness of six decimeters. It is cer-
tain also that, since the formation of the layer of stalagmite, no more
humus has been formed, for the stalagmite contains none and is covered
by none. It follows from this that a long space of time roust have passed
since tlie introduction of the leaves, for the rock in which the cavern
is found is formed of sehi^t, in which the limestone appears only in rare
beds fifteen or twenty centimeters in thickness. This last remark agrees
then with the preceding in attributing to the burials a very remoie anti-
quity. If now one recalls the discovery, at the entrance of the cav^ni,
ci large plates of schist, not derived from the walls of the cavern, nor
from the surrounding country, and consequently evidently brought from
elsewhere, one would be tempted to see in these plates the fragments of a
flagstone which had closed artificially the entrance of the cavern, and
bad been subsequently removed and broken. If such was the case, the
presence of the soil or rather of the decomposed leaves under the stalag-
mite would be explained with difficulty by a natural introduction. Per-
haps it might be better explained by supposing, for burials of that re-
mote peri<3, a custom still used by the Peaux-Uouges of Brazil and the
New-Caledonians, a custom which consists in wrapping corpses in a layer
of leaves, and placing them thus enveloped in caves, in dolmens, and
hanging them upon trees. Admitting this supposition, we should under-
stand why dolmens are so rare in the province of Namur, numeroos
caves presenting themselves in many places to the men of that age to
serve exactly the purpose of dolmens, and exempting them from erecting
monuments whose construction must then have required great labor.
We are thus led to consider sepulehral caverns as natural dolmens, which
were used in the period of tlie reindeer or in the period of polished
atone.

7. Vokatut eruptions in Hawaii ; by Rev. T. Co an. (From a letter
to J. D. Dana, dated Hilo, Hawaii, Aug. 31, 1866.]r~I wr<^ you FeK
S'Zth of an eruption in Mokuaweoweo on the summit of Mauna Loa. Thia
was first noticed at Hilo about the last of Dec 1865, and we continued
to see the light and smoke until the last of April, or four months. I am
told by Mr. Richardson, who keeps a good hotel at Kilauea, that from
his place he occasionally saw steam rising from that crater during all



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Mineralogy and Otology, tM

li aj. It now teems quite extinct, and though the action for two nnonthe
was vigorous and the light vivid, the lavas never overflowed the rim of
the great crater or burst out laterally. Like raost of the eruptions in
Kilauea, the action was confined within the walls of the old crater.

In May, June, and July, the action in Eilauea was greatly increased.
It was often intense and vehement The old south lake (Ualemaumau)
overflowed several times, and a chain of lakes, three, four, and sometimes
five or sii, opened on a curved line from N.W. to N. and N.B. from
the old lake. The action in this chain of lakes was often violent Jets
of lava wem thrown 60, 100 and 200 feet high ; the lakes overfiowed,
and fiery rivers seethed along the northern and eastern walls of the
crater, sweeping around beyond the eastern sulphur banks. This curved
line of action is about four miles long, and the igneous stream was in
some places half a mile wide. The new deposits lie in strata of 60 to
100 feet in thickness. Cones and domes of lava were also raised, and
yawning fissures opened, interrupting the traveller in crossing the bottom
of the crater. At different times, and sometimes for many days, the
fiery flood swept up to the path by which visitors go into the crater and
cut off all ingress by the usual route. Many parties were obliged to
view the surging waves from above, without being able to enter the crater.
Occasional earthquakes shook down avalanches of rocks from the walk
of the crater, and frightened the spectators.

During all this action, extending more than half round the crater, the
central area, an elevated plateau, remained undisturbed, unless it may
have been raised quietly, which is probable, by the forces below. This
4sentral table has been, for years, 200 feet higher than the surrounding
area between this and the outer walls. For a few weeks past the action
in Kilauea has been feebler, but we have no assurance that it will not
increase at any time.

There has been a vast filling up and an upraising in Kilauea sinet
1B40. Should you now visit it you would recognize nothing except
the outer walls and the surrounding regions. Internally aU is changed
and all is new. The lavas now stand higher in the crater than before
the ffreat eruption of 1640. Whether the wails will sustain the preesure
until the vast pit fills and overflows the outer rim, or whether they will
be rent and give lateral vent to the fusion, as in 1840, remains to be seen*
And whether the cessation of action on Mt Loa, about the last of April,
had any influence on the ^increased action in Eilauea in May, June and
July, we leave for the geologist to determine.

8. Notice of a Human Skull, recently taken from a Shaft near AngeVe^
Cfalaverae County ; by J. D. Whitnbt. — This skull was taken from a
shaft sunk on a mining claim at Altaville, near Angel's, in Calaveras
county, hy Mr. James Matson. By him it was given to Mr. Scribner, of
Anffel*^ and by Mr. Scribner to Dr. Jones. Mr. Matson states that the
skull was found at a depth of about one hundred and thirty feet, in a
bed of gravel five feet in thickness, above which are four beds of oonsoli*
dated volcanic ash, locally known as ^ lava ;'' these volcanic beds are
separated from each other by layers of gravel, and Mr. Matson gives the
following as the section of the various deposits passed through in sinking
the sha^ which is one hundred and fifty-three mt deep, to Uie bed roek :



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1. BIsck kT«« 40 feet

2. Gravel, S "

8. Light Ura, 80 **

4. GraTel. 5 -

5. Light lava. 16 -

«. Gravel, «6 -

7. Dark browo lava, 9 **

8. Gravel, 6 -

9. Bed lava, - * 4 **

10. Red gravel, 17 «

168 feet
The fikuli was found, accordiop^ to Mr. Mataon, in bed No. 8, just above
the lowest stratum of lava. Widi the skull were found fragments of
silieified wood, the whole being covered and partly incrusted with stony
matter, so that the fact of its being a skull was not recognized until after
it bad passed into Mr. Scribner^s bands, by whom it was cleaned and
presented to Dr. Jones.

The skull is said by Mr. Matson to have been taken from the sbaft
February 25th, 1866, and it came into my hands in the July following,
when I immediately proceeded to the locality, but found the shaft tempo-
rarily abandoned and partly filled with water, so that it was impossible
at that time to make any farther search in the bed from which the skuli
was procured. A careful inquiry into all the circumstances of the alleged
discovery, and an interview with all the persons who had been in any
way connected with it, impressed upon my mind the conviction that the
facta were as stated above, and that tbere was every reason to believe
that the skull really came from the position assigned to it by Mr. Mateou.
8tiU, as it is evidently highly desirable that as large an amount of evi-
dence as possible should be accumulated in regard to a discovery of so
much importance, I made arrangements that I should be notified when-
ever the sbaft was reopened and the water taken out, and hope at a
fiiture meeting to be able to lay before the Academy the results of a
personal examination of this interesting locality, and of further excava-
tions in the bed from which the skull was taken.

Assuming the correctness of Mr. Matsou^s statements, (his relic of hn-
nan antiquity is easily seen to be an object of the greatest interest to
the ethnologist as well as the geologist The previous investigations of
the Geological Survev have clearly demonstrated the fact that roan was
contemporaneous with the mastodon and elephant, since the works of his
hands have been repeatedly found in such connection with the bones of
these animals that it would be impossible to account for the facta ob-
served on any other theory. (See Geology of California, vol. i, p. 252.)
But in the case of the skull now laid before the Academy, the geological
position to which it must be assigned is, apparently, still lower than that
of the mastodon, since the remains of this animal, as well as the elephant,
which are so abundantly scattered over this State, are always (;o far aa
our observations yet extend) limited in their position to the su|>erficial de-
posits, and have never been found at any considerable depth below tiio
surface. There is every reason to believe that these great proboscidiaoa
liired at a very recent date (geologically speaking), and posterior to tbe
opoch 'Of the existence of glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, and also after



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Mineralogy and Geology. M7

the close of the period of activity of the now extinct rolcAOoes of that
great chain. In fact, they belong to the present epoch. The bed, on the
other hand, in which this skull was found, must nnve been deposited at
a time when the volcanoes of the Sierras were still in vigorous action,
and, as seems to us highly probable from a careful consideration of the
geological structure of the region, previous to the glacial epoch of the
Sierra, and also previous to the erosion of the cafions of the present
rivers. No pains will be spared, however, to investigate all the condi-
tions of the occurrence of this skull, and they will be fully reported on
at a future time.

The portions of the skull which are preserved are, the frontal bone,
the nasal bone, the superior maxillary bone of the right side, the malar
bones, a part of the temporal bone of the left side, with the mastoid pro*
cess and the zygomatic process, and the whole of the orbits of both eyes.
The base of the skull is imbedded in a mass of bone breccia and small
pebbles of volcanic rock, incrusted with a thin layer of carbonate of lime,
which appears once to have extended over the whole surface of the skull
and of which a considerable portion still remains, the rest having been
removed apparently in the process of cleaning. Under the malar bone
of the left side, a snail shell is lodged, and partly concealed by the brec-
cia of bone wedged in the cavity. This shell is the Helix Mormonum^
according to Dr. Cooper, a species now living in the region where the
sknll was obtained. Although not competent to express a decided opinion
on the subject of the ethnological relations of this skull, I should suppose
that it belonged to the type of the Indians now inhabiting the foot-nills



Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 31 of 102)