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comply with the instructions of Bertillon in taking the eleven measurements of his system (each twice), take two photographs, record a careful description of facial peculiarities, and then of distinctive scars and marks would require more time than can ordinarily be given to each recruit at his examination.
Again, as has been pointed out by Lieutenant Colonel Greenleaf, it is well to avoid for recruits the use of a system such as that of Bertillon, which is associated with the detection of criminals. Even the present system has been objected to on the score of its similarity to that used for the identification of criminals, and still greater would be the objection if exactly the same system was used. It is not the greater personal exposure or indignity in the Bertillon system but its use with criminals that is objected to.
There would be a certain advantage if a common system of identification could be used for all classes, private individuals, soldiers, sailors, and criminals, but in the present state of feeling in our community it cannot be. Some such system as that now in use in the army must for the present at least be relied on.
Lastly, the success which has attended the use of the army system, covering a period of nearly six years, is perhaps the best proof of its value. Failures to identify have been made, no doubt, but the large number of undesirable men excluded from the ranks amply justifies its inception and continuance. It met with little favor with the military authorities at first, but it is now relied on as an indispensable agency in maintaining discipline and in improving the standard of character in the ranks of the army.
SPIRITUALITY AMONG BURMESE AND SHANS.— The Burmese and Shans have an idea that a man's spirit takes the form of a butterfly, which leaves him when he is asleep or unconscious. They have a great objection to arousing any one suddenly from sleep " for fear," as they say, “that his butterfly may not return in time.” On the return of a family from a burial, old men tie up the wrists of each one to prevent the butterfly escaping. This string remains till it falls off, worn out. Priests and chiefs are burned, as being a more honorable treatment than burial. It is said that when a woman dies pregnant her soul passes into torment, and her husband has to enter a monastery and become a priest for a certain time to secure her release.- Woodthorpe in Jour. Anthrop. Inst., August, 1896.
A GIGANTIC EARTHWORK IN NEW MEXICO
CAPTAIN D. D. GAILLARD, U. S. A.
During the progress of the survey of the international boundary line, United States and Mexico, in July, 1892, there was encountered in Animas valley, Grant county, New Mexico, about 11 miles east of the point where the boundary line between New Mexico and Arizona intersects the international boundary line, a peculiar topographic feature, which appeared to be artificial, and if so was probably a prehistoric dam.
I ordered the topographic party under my charge to locate the so-called dam and to determine the elevation of its crest and foot slopes, lack of time preventing a more extended survey. Their notes have now been plotted by me for the first time, and the result is shown in the accompanying illustration. The following brief account of the surrounding region and of the dam itself may throw some light on the subject.
Description of the Region This portion of Animas valley lies between the San Luis mountains on the east and the Guadalupe mountains on the west. It is practically a basin here, but a few miles north of the boundary line the low part of the valley narrows and the drainage is to the north; about three to four miles south of the boundary line is a "divide” separating the waters flowing south into Cajon Bonito from those flowing north into Animas valley.
The annual rainfall of the region is now about 12 to 14 inches, more than half of which occurs between July 1 and September 15, while the evaporation is probably at least 75 inches per annum. The climate is delightful and the region abounds in game, although in Cajon Bonito, six or eight miles south of the boundary line, is the only perennial stream for many miles.
The greater part of the valley is covered with an alluvial soil, apparently of great fertility. The amount of alluvium diminishes to the westward of the dam and the soil contains more gravel as the foothills of the Guadalupe mountains are approached.
No deposits of sand were observed within several miles of the dam. Even after the heavy rains of midsummer the water stands only in broad shallow pools in the lower parts of the valley.
Description of the Dam Measured along the axis of its crest, the dam is 5.5 miles in length, while its crest is from 22 to 24 feet higher than the foot of its eastern slope. At the point where the change of direction in the dam occurs is a breach through which passes the drainage of a watershed of about 25 to 30 square miles. Were this breach repaired and the adjacent portions of the dam brought up to the prevailing height, it would be capable of forming a reservoir with an average length of five miles and a width of one-quarter of a mile. The maximum depth would be about 20 feet and the mean depth about 10 feet. The area would be one and one-quarter square miles only. Practically all of this water could be drawn out at the point where the breach occurs and used to irrigate the portions of the valley to the eastward.
The dam is composed, as judged by surface indications only, of the stiff
' sedimentary material of the surrounding valley. Its slopes and crest are regular and covered during the rainy season with a luxuriant growth of grass, but are entirely bare of trees or bushes. It has the appearance of great age, and there is now no evidence either of irrigating ditches or of excavations from which material has been obtained. As shown in the distorted sections, the foot of the western slope is from zero to 4.96 meters (average 2.92 meters) higher than that of the eastern slope, apparently due to deposits which in the course of time have been collected by the dam and have covered the lower portions of the original western slope. If such is the case, deposits might also account for the absence of evidences of irrigating ditches and excavations and for the present small width of the body of water which would be impounded were the breach in the dam repaired and the reservoir filled.
At Y a small pool of water remains for several days after rains and is eagerly sought by hundreds of cattle, which have trampled down the slopes in the vicinity, so that the latter are somewhat irregular.
The materials of the dam, the direction of its axis, the regularity of its slopes, the uniformity in elevation of its crest (for