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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
CRANIA OF THE LEFT-HAND CHAMBERS.
class it belongs. Of this cranium Dr. Prichard writes to me, “ I think, with you, that this skull is that of an African.” Its characters are so well exhibited in the drawing, that I need not enumerate them, except to add, that the alveolar process of the upper jaw, which ought to have projected more forward, has been accidentally broken off. The skull is one of great weight and density, and belonged to a person about the middle age.
Here again is one of those skulls found in the left-hand cham
bers; and although it differs in some respects from the true Mongolian, yet under that variety it must be classed. Its most striking characters are its very remarkable narrowness in its longitudinal diameter, not only in contra-distinction to the
respective tongues of the different nations among whom they were scattered, yet that they would, like Jews of the present day, all understand Hebrew. But, even supposing that they were Jewish proselytes, still they were strangers, and must have belonged to separate tribes before their conversion, and consequently had skulls different in form from the Hebrew.
Regarding this miraculous gift of tongues, a friend has lately suggested to me an idea that deserves attention. It is, that these people heard a language which they themselves understood, and which, though spoken by one person, was equally intelligible to the whole multitude, and not that
Ethiopian, which is characterised by extreme length, but in comparison with all other known crania. It has an uncommon breadth and flatness of the occipital or posterior region ; and the very remarkable protuberance at the top of the head gives this skull a place among those termed pyramidal.
Dr. Prichard, who considered these heads as some of the most extraordinary he had ever seen, has stated that, in his opinion, they are of Turkish origin, and that they belonged to those tribes that possess much of the Mongolian form of skull; and, on the whole, he agrees with me as to the place I have given them—that is, although not true Mongolian, yet that they approach nearer to that race than to any other. Altogether, I am of opinion that they may have belonged to some of the Turcoman tribes, that to this day wander in hordes over different parts of those countries, called by the ancient names of Parthia, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, and Pamphylia, and extending in the form of a semi-circle from the eastern extremity of Asia Minor, between the Mediterranean and the Euxine, on the one hand, to the countries lying between the Caspian and the Persian Gulf, on the other, and mingling with the Tartar or Kalmuc hordes that extend to the north-east of the Black Sea beyond Mount Caucasus.
The Turks of the present day, it should be recollected, are not true Mongolians; for though descended from a race of Turcomans, yet now by intermarriage with the Georgian and Circassian females, the very purest and best marked of all Caucasians, they have lost the original configuration of head, except in the peculiarity of the protuberance at top, to which I before alluded. The base of this head is also remarkable for its great breadth and shortness, in a longitudinal direction.*
they were alternately addressed in the seventeen different tongues of those nations. The opinion is well worthy of consideration, and it in no way detracts from the character of the miracle, that each heard a different language from one speaker, as for instance, when they were addressed by Peter.
* As an explanation of the minute anatomical peculiarities of these heads might not be interesting to the general reader, it will be found in the Appendix, together with a description of the modern Egyptian. See Appendix n.
Lastly, the skulls found in the central apartments, one of which is exhibited below, deserve our attention. This is one of the most remarkable I have ever seen, and if it were the peculiar form of any race, as I see no reason to doubt, for there were numbers of the same kind in these crypts, that race is now either extinct, or is unknown to physiologists.
This head, which was that of a very old person, appears to have belonged to a mixed variety, and inclines more to the European or Caucasian. Perhaps it may be classed among those of the Medes and Elamites, who resided in a country beyond the Tigris, and were the same, in all probability, as the modern Persians. This skull is remarkably light, and so thin as to be almost semi-transparent; and it is curious to find that Herodotus mentions the extreme thinness of the Persian skulls, in contradistinction to the Egyptian, which were particularly dense and thick. (Herod. Thalia, xii.)
Finally, I may again add, that though I searched diligently, yet I could not find a single Jewish or well-marked Caucasian head. It may be objected to the hypothesis that these skulls belonged to the several nations that I have enumerated, that bones would not be preserved in so perfect a state for 1800 years; but the climate of Judea, and the peculiar construction of this tomb, would prevent their decaying for a much longer period. I do not think that any antiquary can instance a rock-carved sepulchre such as this having been formed after the Christian era.