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in one of the publications of the Smithsonian Institution, and Mr. Blackmore was well acquainted with their interest and value. This collection formed the nucleus of Mr. Blackmore's gatherings in archeological science; but as everything must have its limit, he gave his attention chiefly to a certain class of antiquities, which is now known by the not very good name of prehistoric, but would, perhaps, be better termed primeval. This was the term adopted at its commencement by the British Archaological Association for the earliest division of the archæological periods. It is hardly necessary to add that Mr. Blackmore's museum has become one of the most valuable collections of these primeval antiquities which are known to exist, and every one who looks over the catalogue of its contents will acknowledge that Mr. Blackmore pursued a wise judgment in
restricting himself to a period, or rather, to a class. Had it been an indiscriminate collection of anything archæological that could be picked up, it would, perhaps, only have classed with the now numerous local museums which are almost unknown to science, but, as it is, it will be well-known to every body that all who wish thoroughly to study the primeval antiquities of the western world, must go for their most valuable materials to the city of Salisbury. With so noble a museum in his possession, Mr. Blackmore was naturally anxious to prevent all chance of its being eventually dispersed by giving it some permanent habitation. Naturally, the British Museum presented its claim first; Liverpool, too, had many claims on Mr. Blackmore's consideration; but he resolved, we think rightly, on giving the work of, we may, perhaps, say, his affection, to the place of his birth. It is another example of that fine old mediæval feeling which has led so many great men to seek to identify by their munificent foundations their name with the town which gave them existence. We need only point to another example of this spirit in Mr. Joseph Mayer, who, in this same year, has transferred his own noble muscum to the town of Liverpool. Mr. Blackmore has not only placed his museum in his native city, but he las built there a very handsome building, at his own expense, for its reception, and the conditions attached to the foundation are, that it shall be opened to the public without charge. The property is vested in three trustees, the founder, Mr. William Blackmore, his brother, Dr. Blackmore, and his brother-in-law, Mr. E. T. Stevens. One of the conditions of the trust is, that “should it be found that the people of Salisbury are insensible to the value of the museum, or indifferent to the means of study which it affords them, the trustees may, if they think fit, remove it to some place where it would be better appreciated and more thoroughly studied.” This is a case which we think hardly likely to present itself. At present the museum is open free of charge every day in the week, except Saturday, from two to five o'clock 1.m., and on Monday evenings from seven to nine P.M.
Some researches have recently been made on the site of the ROMAN LEAD-MINING works, on the MENDIP Hills, in Somersetshire. It appears that the Roman miners had nearly exhausted the mines in this district, and that modern mining has consisted chiefly in
extracting the rather large amount of metal left in the refuse of the Roman smelters, through their imperfect smelting. The Roman cinders were found to contain, as is the case in other parts of our island, where the Romans obtained lead or iron, large per-centages of lead, varying from five or six in the slime of old washings, to ten and even fifteen in the other refuse. A field of about fifteen acres, on the Mendip Hills, four or five miles above Blagdon, belonging to Colonel Mackenzie, of Clifton, was remarked for the circumstance that neither cattle nor sheep could live upon the coarse grass which grew upon it. It bore the rather significant name of the Town Field, which arose, no doubt, from the foundations of buildings found in some parts of it. Curiosity having been excited by these circumstances, the ground has been dug into in several places, and it was found that not only was the soil largely impregnated with lead, but lumps of very rich ore and pieces of manufactured lead were found in the earth. With this encouragement, the exploration was continued, and many articles of Roman manufacture were found, among which were enamelled bracelets, a couple of richly chased gold rings, and large quantities of broken Roman pottery of various kinds. It is further stated that there were also found pieces of pots into which they ran the lead, with portions of the lead on them, and some of the furnaces, built of stones, in which the ore was smelted. Two or three well-made drains were found three or four feet underground, intended, no doubt, to carry off the sewage from the houses. Much of the earth has been found to be so rich in lead that it will pay well for working, in the course of which we may expect further interesting discoveries.
A question has been raised as to the sepulchral character of the great CIRCLES OF STONEs, such as STOXHENGE, AVEBURY, etc., and Mr. William Cunnington, the well-known secretary of the Wiltshire Archæological Society, stating that he had made numerous excavations within the circles at Avebury, and found no traces of sepulchral interment, and that in Scotland similar searches had been made with the great circle known as the “Stones of Stenness," in Orkney, with a similar result. We would suggest that in both cases the search was made rather under a misunderstanding. Had there been any sepulchral deposit in any of the great monuments of this class, we presume that it would probably have been above ground, and not beneath—perhaps in something resembling a cromlech, covered by a mou
hound, which in the course of ages has been, through some cause or other, cleared away. We should not advise digging in the expectation of finding an interment of human remains, but with the hope of finding some articles of man's making which
may throw light on the date of the erection of the monument. We confess, however, that though the origin and design of these great monuments is still a profound mystery, we can hardly imagine, from their magnitude, that they are sepulchral.
Mr. Roach Smith has given, in his “ Antiquarian Notes," in the “Gentleman's Magazine " for September, an account of the remains of ROMAN TOWNS IN FRANCE, which we strongly recommend to all readers. It is written in the clear and instructive style for which
that eminent antiquary is well known. These notes are the result of an antiquarian excursion in France, made during the month of August. At Champlien, on the edge of the forest of Compiègne, are found the very remarkable remains of a town, the name of which is not known, with a theatre and temple, which have been entirely laid open, and have presented a very large collection of sculptures, and monuments of various descriptions, the more interesting of which are deposited in the great museum formed by the present Emperor, in the palace of Compiègne. Among these Mr. Smith points out agricultural implements in iron, utensils for cooking and other domestic purposes, personal ornaments in vast numbers, and especially the gilt leaden tickets for the theatre, at Champlieu just mentioned, which are circular in form, with figures of deities, and one or two inscribed with the word MEDIO and numerals, referring, as he supposes, to a central position in the grades of seats. At Mont Berny, near Pierrefonds, on the road from Champlieu to Soissons, another Roman town has been uncovered, and the ruins are again of a most interesting character. Mr. Smith calculates that the excavations already extend over about twenty acres, and this is only a part of the extent of the town. The rooms laid open, he says, may be reckoned by hundreds, some of large dimensions, many of middling size, but the far greater number small. The Roman name of this town is also entirely unknown. The objects found in the course of the excavations are deposited with those of Champlieu, in the museum of Compiègne. Mr. Roach Smith's excursion extended to Soissons, the Augusta Suessionum of the Romans, and to Laon, the Lugdunum of the Remi of Gallia Belgica.
It is perhaps worth our recording that early SEPULCHRAL INTERMENTS, consisting of cinerary urns of rather rude construction, sunburnt, and not made on the potter's wheel, have recently been found at Wavertree, near Liverpool. They are described as discoloured by smoke, as though burning matter had been put into them.
SEPULCHRAL DEPOSITS, undoubtedly Of The ROMAN PERIOD, have also been discovered in digging for brick-work in a valley between Dover and Folkstone. They consisted of three urns, of rather unusual form, a skull, round which was a circlet of bronze, two tazzas, or cups, and a few brass coins of Severus, Constantine, and Posthumus. In one of the urns, which had been broken and mended with rirets before it was used for this interment, a bronze fibula was found. Another was ornamented with bands alternating with rows of knobs.
PROGRESS OF INVENTION.
UTILIZATION OF WOOLLEN AND OTHER Rags.-Hitherto, rags have been, with the exception of woollen, employed only in the production of paper, and other matters not constituting articles of clothing. Woollen rags have been formed into shoddy, a wool which has been rendered of an extremely short staple-and therefore is inferior as a material for textile fabrics-by the mode employed for tearing the rags asunder. A large amount of the shoddy found in commerce is little more than a woollen powder: yet there is no reason why the staple of the wool obtained from worn-out textile materials should not be nearly as good as it ever was, nor why the same wool should not be manufactured advantageously over and over again ; in which case our stock of materials would, in practice, be greatly increased, and clothing, for the poor at least, be greatly and most beneficially reduced in price. Ingenuity has at length discovered a means of not only preventing the destruction or serious damage of a vast amount of wool, but also of disintegrating, without injury, other textile matters, and separating the woof from the warp, when this is desirable from their being of different colours or materials. After the fabric has been separated into threads, these are opened by suitable apparatus, so that the wool, or other fibre of which they are composed, is not broken or damaged. The contrivance used for the purpose is simple, and mainly consists of hooks judiciously ranged.
SUBSTITUTION OF AN ELECTRIC CURRENT FOR A FULMINATE, WITH FIRE-ARMS.-An application of electricity, more curious perhaps than useful, has recently been made in France. Instead of placing a fulminate within the cartridge, and thus rendering it liable to explode accidentally, a very fine platinum wire is inserted into it. This, by a simple mechanism, is connected at pleasure with two very minute galvanic batteries, which are enclosed in the stock, and becoming incandescent, explodes the powder. The arrangement acts extremely well; but, for various reasons, it does not seem likely to be ever employed in practice, except perhaps for artillery.
The British Association met this year at Dundee, on the 3rd of September, and on the whole its proceedings were very successful, though its managers having mistaken the spirit of funkeyism for that of science, had elected a President without information or attainments corresponding with his position, and the subject of their choice, the Duke of Buccleuch, was unable to prepare anything that could fairly be called an “address.” One of the most important items in the Report of the Society related to the arrange
ments which the Board of Trade have sanctioned, and by which the Kew Observatory becomes the centre of a system of observations, constituting a “Meteorological Department,” to be supported by the Government, and to furnish materials for publication.
The Council of the Royal Society, on the 13th of December, 1866, nominated the following Fellows of the Society as the Superintending Meteorological Committee : General Sabine, Pres. RS, Mr. De La Rue, Mr. Francis Galton, Mr. Gassiot, Dr. W. A. Miller, Capt. Richards (hydrographer of the Admiralty), Col. Smythe, and Mr. Spottiswoode; and on the 3rd of January, this Committee appointed Mr. Balfour Stewart as its Secretary, on the understanding ibat he should, with the concurrence of the Kew Committee of the British Association, retain his present office of Superintendent of the Kew Observatory.
It is proposed to have observatories in the following places : Kew (central observatory), Falmouth, Stonyhurst, Glasgow, Aberdeen (probably), Armagh, and Valencia.
Different branches of science were fairly represented in the different sections, the general arrangements being the same as last year, except that the Anthropologists, with whose shallow pretensions the public are now pretty well acquainted, were not allowed a separate section for their chief occupation of abusing the negro. In the Physical section, Dr. Moffatt detailed some experiments and observations on phosphorus, and stated that phosphorus in a nonluminous state did not produce ozone, and looking at the sea as the chief source of that substance, he asked if it could not be ascribed to marine phosphorous which seems a doubtful opinion. Mr. Spiller described the employment of superphosphate of lime in aqueous solution for the purpose of hardening Caen stone. It acts upon the carbonate of lime forming Badiker's salt, 2 Ca O, HC, PO, +4 Ag. The igneous rocks of Scotland formed the subject of Mr. Geikie's address in the Geological section, and Dr. Sharpey gave a slight sketch of sundry physiological investigations. In the department of Anatomy and Physiology, Dr. Richardson recounted his aumoniacal theory of the coagulation of the blood. The address of Sir Samuel Baker in the Geographical and Ethnological section contained nothing worthy of note. In the Economic Science section Prof. Levi read the report of the Committee on the Uniformity of Weights, Measures, etc., in which the completion of the mural standard was announced. The Committee recommend making the metrical system compulsory, at no distant period. In the Mechanical Science section, Mr. Fernie read a paper on the iron and steel shown at the Paris Exhibition. He thought England bad not been surpassed by France in any department. He mentioned a process of stamping, by which a complicated article, composed of several pieces were welded together, and stated that one English house had specimens equal to the French. The manufacture of steel in large masses by Krupp, and the Boceum Company, excelled anything of the kind done in England, the work of the latter being especially worthy of notice. Sir John Lubbock delivered an able address on the antiquity of man.