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VOLUME XIX

CONTENTS FOR FEBRUARY

NUMBER 2

Frontispiece, Portrait of Dr. Frederic Augustus Lucas..

130 Director of the American Museum of Natural History Human Culture...

N. C. NELSON 131 A culture center as the point of a pyramid from which we may look down upon a historical succession of cultural stages and look out upon an identical geographical distribution, the most primitive in time corresponding with the most remote in space

Diagrams by the Author illustrating the "age and area hypothesis
Nature Reflected in the Art of the Ancient
Chiriquians...

...GEORGE GRANT MACCURDY 141 The art of the New Stone age reflects almost exclusively man's zoölogical environment, as

illustrated by pottery from Panama Peace Conditions

.JAMES G. NEEDIIAM 152 The Method and Knowledge of Science.

WINTERTON C. CURTIS 155 In which the Author contends that human progress has not come by the method of intuition,

but by the accumulation of facts and their interpretation by the common sense of science The Hoactzin-Only Survivor of an Ancient Order of Four-footed Birds....

....

.EDWARD M. BRIGHAM 163 Discovery of the quadrupedal character of the young and observations on their habits and habitat

With illustrations from C. William Beebe's Tropical Wild Life in British Guiana Notes by a Collector in the Colorado Rockies...

.A. E. BUTLER 170 Russian Explorations of the Siberian Ocean in 1918.... A. W. GREELY 182 Recollections of Travel in Peru..

ROLLO H. BECK 183 With illustrations of Colorado scenery and flora, by the Author Some Vanishing Scenic Features of the Southeastern United States....

... ROLAND M. HARPER 193 Destruction in the Southeast. from economic causes, is already well under way, so that it is time to take action in these states for the preservation of the flora for scientific study and of

the scenic features for their natural beauty Nature's Mobilization...

VICTOR E. SHELFORD 205 Millions in food and money may often be saved by accurate knowledge of the time and condi

tions under which various insect pests appear and develop in field and orchard Yachting in the Seven Seas....

...F. A. G. PAPE 211 Strange sailing craft, faster than any modern racing yachts, invented in days when speed meant opportunity for plunder and piracy

With illustrations from original drawings by the Author, of Malay, Arab, and other racers The Myth of the Monkey Chain...

E. W. GUDGER 216 The Remaking of a Muscum Collection...

F. A. LUCAS 222 Additions and reorganizations in the American Museum's hall of Primates

With photographs of some of the Museum's Primate groups Notes

227

MARY CYNTHIA DICKERSON, Editor

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[graphic]

Photograph by Champlain Studios FREDERIC AUGUSTUS LUCAS

Director of the American Museum of Natural History Before coming to the American Museum as director, in 1911, Dr. Lucas had many years of museum service as curator-in-chief of the Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences and as curator of the Division of Comparative Anatomy of the United States National Museum. He has given his labors not alone to the technical branches of zoology, but he has also furthered by his writings and his museum policies the broader fields of popular scientific education

--See “The Remaking of a Museum Collection," page 222

NATURAL HISTORY

VOLUME XIX

FEBRUARY, 1919

NUMBER 2

Human Culture

ITS PROBABLE PLACE OF ORIGIN ON THE EARTH AND ITS MODE OF

DISTRIBUTION

The time is ripe for organized interpretatire work in world archæology, and such interpretation is of interest and importance, not only to students of anthropology, but also

to the students of ererything else that is human

By X. C. NELSON

With illustrations from original diagrams by the Author

T

HE origin of human culture is a To the iconoclastic scientist of the question which has challenged last few decades such explanations have

the thought and imagination of too often been only mere nonsense. We man since long before the days of writ- are still trying to explain the many ing. Nearly every people, whether of gifts which our rude predecessors have high or low attainments, possess myths left us to enjoy; and our explanations, and legends to account for the principal partial and imperfect as yet, are at inventions and technical processes of best written in terse technical language which they make use. Prehistoric man which only the specialist is supposed evidently recognized that such ordinary to understand. But some day when things as hammerstones and houses and the matter-of-fact investigator has domestic hearth-fires had not always finished the skeletal structure of his been; that, in short, somebody invented thought on the subject of human culthem or brought them from else- ture a gifted imagination will arise to where, and the person who accom- clothe it and make it live. Of such plished such a feat for the general en- poetic nature is undoubtedly much of hancement of human life was usually the lore, like the Prometheus story, immortalized as a culture-hero. Our which has come down to us from the best known and classic example is ancient East. Originally based at least doubtless the Greek story of Prome- in part on sound observation, it was theus, who, with the aid of Minerva, adapted so that all who saw and heard the goddess of wisdom, went up to might understand, each according to heaven to light his torch at the chariot his capacity. We of the West with our of the sun and thus brought down fire cut-and-dried views on every subject as a gift to man. The implication is have all too commonly insisted on that Prometheus literally stole the literal interpretation where only sugsacred flame and for this crime he was gestion to encourage original thought duly punished. But the gods had been was intended. outwitted; and though they raged, they And what now of our modern explawere doomed, for with the help of fire, nation of human culture? We of the man proceeded to make himself master present generation think that we have of the earth.

done much in building the aëroplane : but in the process which we call cul- widely separated parts of the world, ture history, the making of a simple they had probably a common center of pointed stick for digging edible roots origin. This center of origin is not yet out of the ground, was hardly less im- definitely located but we know at any portant. If now we should attempt to rate that it lies much nearer the cenname all the discoveries and inventions ter of the earth's land formation than which lie between these two extremes we it does to any one of the various conshould be astonished at how much was tinental extremities. In other words, , really accomplished before our own day. it lies nearer to the meeting place of

We need not, however, go to such Europe, Asia, and Africa (a great tralengths here but we may properly ask ditional center of origin, it is well to when and where the more important recall) than it does to the Cape of inventions were made. When did man Good Hope, or to the far away island actually first make use of fire? Where of Tasmania, or to the still more diswere our numerous domesticated plants tant Cape Horn. and animals first brought under con- The whole question is one of protrol? What people made the first loom, found interest and importance, not only the first potter's wheel, the first flint to students of anthropology, but also to knife? The answer to these and sim- the students of everything else that is ilar questions is not yet recorded in human. The subject is here approached books, nor is it handed down in reliable from the point of view of several years' form as oral tradition. The material archæological work done under the ausfor the answer is scattered all over the pices of the American Museum in the world, even in places where we should Pueblo region of the Southwest. Cernot have expected men to congregate. tain conclusions developed from this For the most part the data lie buried investigation are of such a nature that in ruins located on the desert and on they seem to throw light not only on the the plain as well as in the forest and archæological problem presented by the among mountain fastnesses; they oc- whole American continent but on the cur in mounds and in cemeteries, in problem presented by the entire world. caves and in rock-shelters and even in peat bogs and the muddy depths of lake Discovery in the American Southwest bottoms. The fact of these occurrences

of the Apparent Law of Distriof the record of early human life and

bution of Human Cultures activity has become known largely In 1912 the writer began archæologithrough accident and it is only of late cal investigation in a hitherto unexthat we have begun honestly to admit plored section of the Pueblo area known their significance and to go deliberately as the Galisteo basin, directly south of in search of them.

and adjacent to the city of Santa Fé, Where this search will ultimately New Mexico. The region, which was lead we do not precisely know. But abandoned by native settlers finally with respect to the time and place of toward the end of the eighteenth cenorigin of many of the fundamental ele- tury, comprises about twelve hundred ments which go to make up what we square miles and contains upward of term human culture a definite opinion one hundred ruins, about sixty of which is slowly gaining ground. Briefly are small, even insignificant, while the stated this opinion is, first, that the remaining forty attain, some of them, most widely distributed inventions like the size of respectable towns. After fire-making and flint-chipping are the having spent a whole season sampling oldest; and, second, that because these seven of the larger settlements, it beinventions are so nearly identical in came apparent that in addition to being

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