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A PERILOUS ADVENTURE.
one single European or well-marked Caucasian head could I find among the numbers scattered in the chambers; and as all who did not belong to that family, must have been strangers in Jerusalem—and as these heads belonged to races of mankind that we know did not inhabit Judea for the last two thousand years, they must have been foreigners; and this has led me to conjecture, that this tomb, which is situated in the acknowledged site of the field of blood, may be one of those sepulchres of the actual Aceldama that was purchased by the priests “to bury strangers in."
Although aware of the danger I incurred, and the uproar that it might occasion if discovered, I could not possibly resist the desire I felt to bring some of these curious skulls with me to Europe ; knowing the interest they would excite amongst those who have studied the physical history of the human specieseven though they had not been discovered in the field of blood. So, tying two of them in my handkerchief, and fastening it to the saddle, while I persuaded my enthusiastic friend, the baker, whom I before introduced to my readers, and who acted as our guide that evening, to carry two more of them for me beneath his beneesh, we in this way set forward to the city at sunset. I must confess that it was not without some feelings of trepidation I passed the Mooslim guard, as I dashed through St. Stephen's gate, and galloping up the Via Dolorosa, safely gained the convent with my prize.
Let us now consider who those strangers may have been that are referred to in the inspired record, and briefly inquire, to what race of men these remarkable skulls belonged. To enter at all upon the disputed point as to the many varieties into which the human family may be divided, or to discuss the opinions that have been set forth as to their common origin—a question which to the present time occupies the attention of the most learned philosophers and physiologists—would take up more space in a narrative of travel than the limits and purpose of the present work permit, or than would be interesting to the general reader. It is sufficient that we adhere to the most acknowledged general principles that are received at the present day by those learned in the physical history of man. Nor would it in the slightest degree interfere with the end and purpose of the following
OPINIONS OF DR. PRICHARD.
inquiry, whether we adopted the arrangements of Cuvier, Blumenbach, Lawrence, or Dr. Prichard, or examined these heads according to the rules of the facial angle of Camper, the vertical view of Blumenbach, or the more advisable plan of the general observation of the cranium by Prichard ; the object being to know, if possible, to what races these heads belonged, and to what country they can be referred.
I may here remark, that this beautiful and most interesting subject of the physical history of the human race, has of late years become one of such general and popular inquiry, that I presume the readers of these pages are so far acquainted with its outlines, as to be able to go forward with me in this investigation, without any preliminary observations upon that branch of science. I may also add that, having had frequent communications with Dr. Prichard upon the subject of these heads, his opinions very nearly coincide with those which I had previously stated in writing to my esteemed friend, Professor Graves ; and, lest it might be supposed that the former great authority was in any way biassed by a knowledge of where or under what circumstances these heads were procured, I can only say, that casts of the four skulls which I removed from this tomb were forwarded to Dr. Prichard, with a note from Professor Graves, requesting his opinion upon them, but giving no clue whatever as to the locality, or stating how, or in what place, they had been discovered.
Though there are some objections to it, yet for every useful object of this inquiry, the three great divisions of man into the Caucasian, Mongolian and Ethiopian, with the two intermediate varieties of the American, as the link between the first and second, and the Malay between the second and third, as adopted by the German school, will answer our purpose.
Although colour, language, religion, history, tradition, and antiquities, may be called in as auxiliaries, yet it is now universally admitted by the first authorities in this science, that to the form and character of the head can we alone refer in order to determine the varieties of man, either existing or extinct. “Thus," says a distinguished writer, “of all peculiarities in the form of the bony fabric, those of the skull are the most striking and distinguishing. It is in the head that we find the varieties most strongly characteristic of different races. The characters of the
DIVISIONS OF THE HUMAN FAMILY.
countenance and the shape of the features depend chiefly on the configuration of the bones of the head."*
The Potter's Field was bought to bury strangers in—but who were these strangers ? I believe that all those who were not Jews, were considered strangers in Jerusalem ; and who they were we
* A brief summary of some of the most prominent and distinguishing characteristics of each of these grand divisions may illustrate our subse. quent remarks.
First- The Caucasian or öoidal head is of an oval shape, possessing great symmetry and beauty of outline, with a high expanded forehead, and an oval face, having the forehead, cheek-bones, and teeth, all on the same plane, when the person stands erect. The zygomæ or bony arches in front of the ear are on the same plane as the temples or the side of the head; and a line dropt from the upper edge of the orbit falls direct upon the lower margin of the same cavity. With this external configuration there is in general high intellectual endowment; and the features, colour of skin, hair, and complexion, are too well known in these countries to require description, Under this head (though there are many shades of difference) may be classed the great Iranian or Indo-Atlantic nations—including at the present day all the Europeans, except the Finnish tribes of Lapland, and the Esquimaux; the south-western Asiatics; and those of the northern parts of Africa, between the shores of the Mediterranean and the Atlas mountains ; the different countries that have been peopled from Europe, particularly America; with the Jews, Bedawces, and high-caste Hindoos; and of the ancient nations, the Syrians and Assyrians, Medes, Persians, Chaldeans, and ancient Egyptians, with the Guanches of the Canary Archipelago, Celts, and Cimbri.
Second— The Mongolian division have heads characterised by height and breadth, as compared with those already described ; and the more strongly marked races of this variety have pyramidal heads, formed by the bases of two triangles meeting at the junction of the cheek-bones and the zygomæ ; the facial-angle is more retreating than the former, and there is extreme narrowness from before backwards. Confluent features, and large, deep orbits, set widely apart, characterise this race; a line dropped from the upper edge of the orbit falls without its lower; the teeth are somewhat projecting ; and the zygoma is on a plane much more laterally extended than the temples or side of the head. The people of this race are smaller in stature than the Caucasian, have yellow or olive complexions; long, straight, and generally black hair, and rather scanty beards; the base of the head is broad, fat, and short. Under this class of heads come those nations denominated Turanian, including the extensive people of the Chinese, Japanese, and Siamese nations; and all the north-eastern Asiatics, particularly the Calmuc Tartars, Tungooses, and other nomadic tribes of Siberia; the Esquimaux,
THE STRANGERS IN JERUSALEM.
learn from the Acts of the Apostles, which states, that on the day of Pentecost such strangers (immediately after the Aceldama was established) were assembled in Jerusalem from different parts of the world; and who, upon hearing of the descent of the Holy Ghost, and that the apostles spoke in different languages, came together to witness the miraculous gifts. These strangers were Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene ; and strangers of Rome, Proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians. *
and Laplanders, with the inhabitants of Thibet, Monguls, and Burats : and although it is not quite so well determined, I think that we may also place the wandering tribes of Turcomans under this division.
Third–The Ethiopian heads are characterised by extremely narrow and retiring foreheads; great depth of head from before backwards ; flatness of the temporal regions; projecting muzzle and cheek bones; flattened zygomæ projecting laterally very little beyond the side of the head; and teeth set at a small and outward angle with the jaws. A line dropped from the upper edge of the orbit falls within its lower ; there is general thickness and density of the bones of the head; the features are those known under the name of negro; the colour varies from dark olive to jet black; the hair is short, thick, curled and woolly; and the beard very scanty. This form of head, denominated Prognathous, is found in those extensive nations of negroes inhabiting central Africa, and the whole slave population of the world; except, perhaps, those negroes of Mozambique, who are characterised by high, though narrow and conical foreheads.
Fourth— The American variety, intermediate between the Caucasian and Mongolian, partakes more of the traits and contour of the latter; having the peculiar conformation of cheek-bones and pyramidal skull, characteristic of that race. This division includes all the aborigines of the new world, and perhaps the Hottentots and Bushmen.
Fifth— The Malay, another intermediate race between the Mongolian and Ethiopian, but partaking more of the latter, are also known under the name of Papuas, and may be enumerated as the vast tribes inhabiting the Indian Archipelago, New Holland, New Zealand, the aborigines of Australia, and some tribes of Southern Africa.
Those heads that are altered by artificial pressure and other mechanical means, could not be considered in the above brief sketch.
* I am fully aware of the opinion of Adam Clarke, that all the people enumerated in Acts, ch. ii. v. 9–11, were Jews; and that the “ Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea,
CRANIA OF THE RIGHT-HAND CHAMBERS.
To which of these nations, and under which variety of the human species are we to refer the skulls found in the righthand chambers of this tomb, as shown in the accompanying representation? Undoubtedly to the Ethiopian; and under that
head may be classed the strangers from Egypt, Lybia, and perhaps Cyrene ; for the Abyssinian and Ethiopian nations were included in the first, and of such was, in all probability, the Eunuch of Candace. Lybia was a term among the Greeks to signify Africa generally.
A glance at the figure of this head, at once shows us to which
and Cappadocia; in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia ; in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and Proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians,” were either Jews or Proselytes; but I confess that I do not see that such an inference can be drawn from this passage. If all these several nations were either Jews or Proselytes to the Hebrew faith, why should both the Jews and Proselytes be enumerated among them? We know that Jerusalem was at this time one of the greatest marts, as well as one of the greatest thoroughfares of the world ; and besides, many other nations came up to worship at the temple, and to fill the courts of the Gentiles, who were not purely Israelites; but, even supposing that these were Jewish proselytes, still they were strangers at Jerusalem, and belonged to nations with heads differing in form from the Jewish ; and if they were Jews, it is more than probable that although they spoke the