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With some difficulty, and aided by the omnipotent backsheesh, I procured a skull from one of the native graveyards, which I sent to Dr. Alex. Macalister, Professor of Anatomy at Cambridge, who kindly gave me the measurements, which are as follows. He says:

"It is the skull of an old female.

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Orbital height 33
width

37

Basi-alveolar length 84

-nasal

Capacity 1,120 cubic centimetres."

Dr. Macalister adds: "It is interesting that a somewhat similar skull, 181 mm. long, 119 mm. broad, 121 mm. high, and 1,100 cc. in capacity, was dug up in an alluvial bed at Sinai, and is now in the Hunterian Museum, No. 675."

The most startling point in these data is the extremely small

chest-measurement of this tribe of Arabs, which is so low as to be almost pathological. One modifying circumstance, however, is to be found in their extreme leanness, amounting to semi-starvation, and possibly their lung-space may be more extensive from above downwards than with us.

I will pass over the Alawîn tribe in a few sentences, as I regret to say I did not measure them so extensively as I did the Towara. I measured some with regard to height alone, and the average I got was 5 feet 2 inches, but possibly this is too low, and 5 feet 3 inches would be safer.

Their muscles, especially of the upper extremities, were very poorly developed, while they nearly all, except the sheik, exhibited marks of inferior intelligence; about five or six out of our twenty men were decidedly half-witted, and all of them had the habit, common among such people, of repeating over and over again everything that is said to them, or that they say to one another. They appeared half-starved, and used to chew continuously the dried beans provided for the camels. They have splendid teeth, very firmly fixed in the jaw, and their sight is remarkably keen. They nearly all turn in their toes when walking.

I should remark that these tribes with whom we came in contact seem to be below the average Arab, as far as physique is concerned. Sergeant Armstrong, who was with us, and has worked for many years in Palestine and been among the tribes on the other side Jordan, says that they are a much finer race of men, and Mr. Merrill, the American Consul at Jerusalem, who explored the East of Jordan for the American Society, corroborates his opinion. Possibly the fact that the Towara are a small tribe, and are not allowed to marry out of it, may partially account for their deterioration.

Owing, no doubt, to their habits, the Arabs seem to be most subject to the diseases due to exposure; but as far as I could judge, these diseases have a tendency to the chronic or subacute form, rather than the acute. Two I particularly noticed as almost universal, that is, chronic bronchitis, of a dry kind, and without emphysema; and chronic articular rheumatism.

The first cannot fail to force itself on every traveller's attention, as it gives rise to a peculiarly irritating paroxysmal cough, rather canine in character, which, as the Arabs sat round our tents at night, often disturbed our slumbers. The second, that is, rheumatism, I noticed when taking the measurements of a series of the men; nearly all their shoulder-joints creaked and groaned as they raised them; and this will account for the curious inability of the Arabs to move about or do any work in the morning before they are "thawed," and rendered supple either by fire or by sun. It seems, at such a time, as if all their joints were temporarily ankylosed, so stiff and unpliable are they.

In certain districts, notably Akabah, they suffer from ague, but this disease is not common among the Arabs proper. The late Professor Palmer states that "they are sometimes visited by an

epidemic, not cholera, probably the plague, which they call 'the yellow pest.' It comes with the hot winds, and strikes them down suddenly in the midst of their occupation, but it is said never to attack the country of our Lord Moses, where grow the shiah and the myrrh, that is, the elevated granite-region about Mount Sinai."

They use a few of the native plants for medicinal purposes, but only a few, in comparison with the rather large supply of plants with pretty decided properties. For instance, they do not know the value of the castor oil plant, which grows freely in the Ghor es Safieh.

However, several species of wild melon, of the family Bryoniae, allied to the Elaterium (which also grows in these parts), are in common use as purgatives; the native method of using them is ingenious. A fruit is split into halves, the seeds scooped out, and the two cavities filled with milk; after allowing it to stand for some time, the liquid, which has absorbed some of the active principle of the plant, is drunk off. A milder remedy is camel's milk, which appears, under some circumstances, to be purgative to the Arabs.

The order Composite furnishes several medicinal herbs of which the Arabs make use. The Santolina fragrantissima, a graceful plant of a sage-green colour, bitter taste, and strong fragrant smell, furnishes them, in the form of an infusion, with a carminative, good for colic and all painful affections of the abdomen. In the bazaars of Cairo the fragrant dried heads are sold for the same purposes as camomile. I was told that there are no snakes

in the districts where the plant grows and the natives believe that the smell of the plant is sufficient to drive reptiles from a house, and it is used for this purpose in Cairo and other towns.

Another plant of the same order is an Artemisia, or wormwood with a very strong aromatic odour and bitter taste. The fellaheen use it to put in their bedding to drive away vermin.

A very striking plant, which often hangs in graceful dark green festoons from the granite walls of the gorges of Arabia Petræa, is the caper plant (Capparis spinosa). The natives are very fond of the fruit, which has a warm aromatic taste, and they stroke the region of the epigastrium appreciatively after eating one or two. The cortex of the root is said to be aperient and diuretic. Another fairly common plant is a Hyoscyamus, called by the natives sekharan, with fleshy leaves and purple flowers. The dried leaves are used by the natives to smoke, and produce a kind of intoxication or delirium; and an infusion of the fresh leaves possesses strong narcotic properties. It is nearly allied to the mandragora, which becomes common on the limestone downs in the south of Judæa. The Arabs are extraordinarily susceptible to narcotics. Our tobacco they could not smoke at all; a few whiffs make them giddy, and give them a headache; even a "Richmond Gem" cigarette is too much for them. Only two mineral substances appear to be regarded by the Bedawin as medicinal. One of them is sulphur, the other is a kind of common red coral, found on the

shores of the Red Sea and Mediterranean, and sold in the bazaar at Gaza. As far as I could gather, they only use this as a charm. My remark about the keen sight of the Wâdy Arabah Arabs is not founded on any actual measurements; we thought that their discrimination of distant objects was superior to our own. On the other hand we considered ourselves superior to the Towara or Sinaitic Arabs, but so many of them had suffered from ophthalmia that they were hardly normal specimens. And, of course, with regard to the Alawîn the objects were not unfamiliar to them.

ANTHROPOLOGICAL MEETINGS DURING THE AUTUMN.

THE fifty-fifth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science will be held at Aberdeen under the Presidency of the Right Hon. Sir Lyon Playfair, K.C.B., F.R.S., commencing on Wednesday, September 9th. The Anthropological Section will be presided over by Mr. Francis Galton, F.R.S., the President of the Anthropological Institute.

The fourteenth meeting of the French Association for the Advancement of Science will be held at Grenoble, from the 12th to the 20th of August. The Anthropological Section will be presided over by M. Philippe Salmon. One of the most interesting subjects to be discussed at this meeting relates to the reputed Miocene anthropoid of Thenay-a subject which attracted much attention at the meeting held last autumn at Blois. M. d'Ault Dumesnil will describe the geological characters of the sections which were specially opened last September, in order to determine the precise age of the flint-bearing beds, and M. Daleau will exhibit and describe the flints obtained from these excavations; while a Committee appointed to inquire into the curious crackled surface of the Thenay flints will present its report. The subject of Tertiary Man will also be discussed by Prof. G. de Mortillet. M. E. Chantre will describe the prehistoric relics of Dauphiné, the district in which the meeting is to be held; and M. A. Villot will read a dissertation on the Antiquity of Man in the Alps of Dauphiné.

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