Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 88.djvu/117

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Popular Science Monthly

fitting tunics, others possess a distinct Western cut, while others again wear loose-fitting gowns, reminding one of a lady's tea gown.

The headgear is equally as varied, that of the Sultan's personal bodyguard consisting of a highly embellished pyramid shaped hat with a wide brim in front and two laps that fall down over the ears. So far as the weapons are concerned, they are about as varied and wonderful as the uniforms. Some men are armed with long pikes, others with lances, still others with old-fashioned, long-barreled muskets bearing ludicrously long bayonets.

PSM V88 D117 Possible remnant of the tower of babel.png
A lonely pile, worn by ages of weather is the world's only claimant to the honor of being the Tower of Babel

Was This the Tower of Babel?

IT is doubtful if there is any place in the world so rich in ancient remains as the valley of the Euphrates, in Mesopotamia. The result is that to archaeologists and scholars the place is a veritable "Tom Tiddler's ground," and new "finds" are constantly being reported. When it is remembered that tradition places the site of the Garden of Eden here, while amongst its many ruins are those of ancient Babylon, the promising nature of the valley to the scientific excavator becomes apparent.

It is near the ruins of Babylon that we find what many scholars believe to be the remains of the Tower of Babel—an immense cube of brickwork, called by the natives Birs Mimrud. Recent exhaustive examination of the strange pile and its site has revealed the fact that the tower which once stood here consisted of seven stages of brick work on an earthen platform, each stage being of a different color. The tower boasted of a base measurement of nearly six hundred square feet, and rose to an unknown height. Even to-day the ruins rise some hundred and sixty feet above the level of the surrounding plain.

PSM V88 D117 Walnut logs for gunstock.png
Here is one reason why walnut furniture is likely to be popular and expensive before long. This pile of American walnut logs is waiting to be cut up into gunstocks for the soldiers of Europe

Piles of Walnut Logs for Gun Stocks

THIS pile of logs represents about one-fourth of the material needed to fill a large war order received by an Iowa sawyer. His mill has a capacity of one million gun stocks a year. These walnut logs are valued at about sixty thousand dollars, and will make two hundred and fifty thousand gun stocks. Five car loads is the daily capacity of this part of the plant. Each tree is inspected by an agent of the company before it is cut.