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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

When compared to European skulls


The

top of Kuh-i-Kwajah is even now a favourite spot for people to be laid to their eternal rest, and near this Ziarat were to be found a great many graves which were quite modern. These modern tombs, more elaborate than the old ones, rose to about five feet above the ground, had a mud and stone perforated balustrade above them all round, and three steps by which the upper part could be reached. They seldom, however, had more than three bodies in each tomb.

We found on the ground a very curious large hollowed stone like a big mortar, which seemed very ancient. Then further were more old graves in rows of five, six, eight, and more. When one peeped into the broken ones, the temptation to take home some of the bleached skulls to add to the collection of one's national museum, and to let scientists speculate on their exact age, was great. But I have a horror of desecrating graves. I took one out--a most beautifully preserved specimen--meaning to overcome my scruples, but after going some distance with it wrapped up in my handkerchief I was seized with remorse, and I had to go and lay it back again in the same spot where it had for centuries lain undisturbed.

I examined several skulls that were in good condition, and the following were their principal characteristics. They possessed abnormally broad cheek-bones, and the forehead was very slanting backwards and was extremely narrow across the temples and broad at its

highest portion. The back portion of the skull, in which the animal qualities of the brain are said by phrenologists to reside, was also abnormally developed, when compared to European skulls. The top section (above an imaginary plane intersecting it horizontally above the ear) was well formed, except that in the back part there was a strange deep depression on the right side of the skull, and an abnormal development on the left side. This peculiarity was common to a great many skulls, and was their most marked characteristic. Evidently the brains of the people who owned them must have constantly been working on a particular line which caused this development more than that of other portions of the skull.

[Illustration: A Bird's Eye View of Kala-i-Kakaha, the "City of Roars of Laughter."]

The upper jaw was rather contracted and mean as compared to the remaining characteristics of the skull, slanting very far forwards where it ended into quite a small curve in which the front teeth were set. The teeth themselves were extremely powerful and healthy. The bumps behind the ear channels were well marked.

The whole skull, however, as seen from above, was more fully developed on its right side than on the left; also the same abnormal development on the right side could be noticed under the skull at the sides, where it joins the spinal column. In a general way these skulls reminded one of the formation of the skulls of the present Beluch.


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