Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/275

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261
TRACES OF AN EARLY RACE IN JAPAN.

the sea-shore—nearly, if not quite, half a mile. And that an upheaval has taken place since the deposits were made, there can be no doubt. Geological evidences are not wanting to support this view; these various deposits, remote from each other, such as the Denmark, New England, and Florida deposits, have each their peculiarities. In the Danish heaps there seems to be a scarcity of pottery, but an abundance of flint-chips and rude stone implements, as well as implements worked out of horn and bone. The New England shell-heaps are not rich in pottery fragments, the stone implements are rude and scarce, but the implements of horn and bone are comparatively not uncommon, those worked out of bone being more common. In the Florida deposits fragments of pottery are more abundant; and while rude stone and bone implements are found, the larger shells seem to have furnished them with material for many of their implements. Prof. Wyman has figured many of them in his memoir on the fresh-water shell-heaps of Florida, and Dr. Stimpson has figured an awl in the American Naturalist, which was made out of the spirally grooved columella of Fasciolaria. While the pottery of Denmark and New England is ornamented by incised lines and "cordmarks," the Florida pottery bears the marks of stamps by which they impressed a rude ornamentation upon their vessels. The Omori shell-heap has also its peculiarities: 1. The extreme abundance of pottery, both in fragments and nearly perfect vessels. From the great quantity found there, one is led to believe that in past times it was a famous place for its manufacture. Yet in the excavations no masses or unfinished vessels were found to justify this assumption. 2. The great variety in the form of the vessels and remarkable diversity in their ornamentation. From these characters alone one might infer it to be of more recent origin. Its rudeness, however, and the absence of anything like lathe-work or glazing, show it to be ancient.[1] A greater portion of the pottery has the twisted cord-mark so common in most of the early pottery. Much of it has incised lines, and small fragments show a peculiar carving, made after the clay was dry, but before baking.

The ornamentation in these fragments is almost precisely similar to the Aino style of ornamenting. In other pottery also the peculiar way in which spaces between curved lines are " filled in," either by "cord-marks " or punctures, again recalls the Aino. ' And had nothing else been found in the deposit, the remains might have unhesitatingly been referred to the Yessoines. Such comparisons are unsafe, as Mr. Frank H. Gushing, of the Smithsonian Institution, finds similar pottery

  1. A writer in one of the Yokohama papers calls attention to the fact that a fragment of glazed pottery was found, when the excavations were first made, against the exposed bank of the railway. He might have added that an English button and the soldered disk of a tin preserving-can were also found! Such a one, finding a living toad in a granitic crevice, would be likely to infer, either that the toad was as old as the granite, or that the granite was as recent as the toad.