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Excavation is being carried on in Egy it on a scale wholly disproportionate to the number of trained field-workers available. Yet it would not be easy for the Government to refuse the desired concessions, since they are generally presented in the name of institutions of high standing; but at the same time the would-be excavator should remember that the Government ought not to give a licence to anybody through a sort of generosity or desire to show magnanimity. It sometimes happens that ancient cemeteries or ruins are situated so far from the nearest police outpost that they are in real danger of illegal plundering by native robbers; and in such cases it is desirable that they should be excavated as quickly as possible even though the persons who conduct the work are not absolutely first-class
But it should be clearly understood that such danger from unauthorised diggers is the only possible justification for excavations which are not conducted on the strictest scientific lines and under the close supervision of first-rate men. By a first-rate man I mean an archaeologist who has been trained in his work; who is imbued with the highest principles, and is aware of his responsibility to the world; who subordinates personal interests and the interests of the institution which he serves to those of science in general ; who works for the benefit of his fellow-men, desiring only to give them in complete measure the full value of the property which they possess in the regions of the dead; whose general knowledge is such that he will not overlook any item of evidence in the ' finds' which he makes; who is prepared to sit or stand over his work all day long no matter how trying the conditions ; who is deft with his fingers as well as with his brain, being able to photograph, draw, plan, mend, and write fluently; and who can organise and control his men. There is no harm in allowing a wealthy amateur to excavate provided that he employs a trained archaeologist to do the work for him and does not interfere in it himself, and also provided that he intends to make available to the public the antiquities which fall to his share and all the information which has been gleaned. But there is very real harm done in giving concessions without the most strictly worded licences, in which are clauses precluding all unscientific work and frustrating all enterprises undertaken for personal gain. The exploiting of the ancient tombs for mercenary purposes gives the excavator far too much the appearance and character of a ghoul.
The archaeologist, so eager to add to his knowledge by new discoveries, should remember that there is already quite enough material on hand to keep him busy for the rest of his life, material which urgently requires his attention and his protection.
The standing monuments of Egypt are still unstudied in any degree of completeness; and if only the various antiquarian societies would send out their scholars to make careful records of the remains which are already accessible, instead of urging them to unearth something new, Egyptology would be established upon a much more solid basis. What scholars are thoroughly acquainted with the vast store of Egyptological material in the museums of the world, or with the wonderful paintings and reliefs upon the walls of the temples, tombs, and mortuary chapels now in view throughout Egypt? Why excavate more remains until these are studied, unless the desired sites are in danger, or unless some special information is required? Why fill up our museums with antiquities before public opinion has been sufficiently educated to authorise the employment of larger numbers of curators? Why add to the burden of Egypt by increasing the number of monuments which have to be protected? It is to be remembered that in some cases the longer an excavation is postponed the better chance there will be of recording the discoveries adequately. Our methods improve steadily, our knowledge grows, the number of expert excavators increases; and each year finds us more fit than formerly we were for the delicate and onerous task of searching the dead.
It will be seen, then, that excavation is not a thing which may be lightly entered upon. It is a very serious business, and involves a grave duty to the public. Even if the arguments in favour of scientific research which I have suggested at the beginning of this paper are considered to be those of a casuist, as no doubt they will be by a certain class of readers, no one will deny that the study of the past has a broadening influence upon our minds, and therefore is not to be trifled with.
In Egypt, where scientific excavations are conducted entirely by Europeans and Americans, one has to consider, finally, one's duty to the Egyptians, who care not one jot for their history, but who, nevertheless, as the living descendants of the Pharaohs should be the nominal stewards of their ancient possessions. What right have we as foreigners to dig out the graves of the ancient Egyptians?
Our right is a limited one. The Egyptians of the present day have no interest in antiquities except when considered as merchandise. They have no idea of what is called scientific work, and excavations conducted by them have not the slightest similarity to those under the supervision of modern archaeologists. Yet neither the activities of the native plunderer nor the pressing need for the study of the history of the Nile Valley permits the Government to refrain altogether from allowing excavation; and
therefore the work has to be done by trained archaeologists without regard to their nationality. This internationalisation of the work can be justified also on the ground that antiquities of so ancient a kind are in many respects the property of the whule world; and, following out this argument, it will at once be apparent that archaeologists must work solely for the benefit of mankind in general, since they are dealing with the property of all men. By admitting the right of non-Egyptian scientists to excavate in Egypt because all the world has the right to hold shares in these mines of information, one admits the existence of the excavator's duty to the world. That duty must never be overlooked. It consists in getting the greatest possible amount of information out of a discovery with the least possible damage to the things found. Any excavations authorised in Egypt which are not of an absolutely scientific character are injustices to the Egyptians and to all men. It is the business of the Egyptologist to work for the welfare of Egypt as well as for the benefit of the world ; and if he fails to make the relics of the Pharaohs yield their full burden and act to their utmost capacity for the purpose of teaching the Egyptians of the future the qualities of their race, and assisting the occupying Power and the world at large to estimate those qualities and their bearing on modern thought, then his excavations are not moral and should not be authorised.
To the few Egyptologists of what one may call the modern scientific school these principles are so obvious that it may seem somewhat absurd to put them into words as I have done here. I am, however, answering the repeated inquiries of the traveller in Egypt; and, moreover, it is an unfortunate fact that high principles on the subject of excavation are conspicuously absent among all but this small group of Egyptologists. The savant is often possessed only by the joy of discovery and the mad desire to find something new. He rushes into excavation like a fighter into the fray, and the consequence is disastrous. He should realise far more keenly than he sometimes does the seriousness of his undertakings and the great responsibilities which are involved. It is only by this realisation that he can justify his labours in the field. It is only by the most scrupulously conscientious work that he can convince the interested public at all of the morality of excavation.
ARTHUR E. P. B. WEIGALL, Inspector-General of Upper Egypt, Department
of Antiquities (Egyptian Government).
VIVISECTION AND THE CENTRAL
EVERY calling has to contend with obstruction, and to labour twice over because of this obstruction. Voices are raised against progress by reactionary members of the callings, who fear to move lest mistakes are made, and therefore not only are content to perpetuate the old mistakes but actually prevent, or at all events hinder, others in casting new moulds and forging new weapons for further progress. There is, however, a healthy side to the action of the reactionist within the calling affected. He offers destructive criticism, which bids the others consider carefully and weigh all the pros and contras before an advance is registered. The obstructionist who stands outside the affected calling takes up quite a different position. Here a side issue frequently leads him to take action in attempting to prevent the useful work of progression. There is no question of an opinion which is worth holding being put forward. Objections are raised on grounds which scarcely affect the seeker after truth, and which depend on opinions which may appeal to the general public, if the public be not instructed in the details of the subject-matter. It is not necessary to quote examples of the effect of the two forms of obstruction to progress in the various phases of public and private life. Let it suffice to deal with the example indicated by the title of this article.
In December 1884 a remarkable letter was published in The Times newspaper over the initials ‘F.R.S.' in which the public was told of a man who was suffering from a tumour of the brain, which would necessarily have terminated within a short space of time in death if left alone. The diagnosis had been correctly made, the tumour definitely localised to a certain spot in the brain, and for the first time in the history of surgery (according to F.R.S.) the operative removal of the tumour was undertaken, thanks to knowledge solely and only acquired by experiments on the lower animals. The man survived the operation, but succumbed some weeks later to accidental blood poisoning. This letter appears to have had a curious effect on the minds of some of the readers of The Times, and a few days later several replies were published, among which one from the then Bishop of Oxford may be briefly mentioned. This dignitary VOL. LXXII-No. 426
of the Church thought fit to argue that the end achieved did not justify the means used in acquiring the knowledge necessary for this operation. He weighed the lives of rabbits and monkeys against human lives, and declared bimself in favour of sacrificing the latter. It can well be pointed out that even if a large number of experiments had to be carried out to gain such knowledge as that referred to, the quantum of life thus sacrificed must remain infinitesimally insignificant in comparison with the measure of human life and suffering that has been saved in the course of a decade. And it is not improbable that the world will last for a few more centuries !
The subject is a wider one than ‘F.R.S.'s' letter in 1884 would lead the uninitiated to suppose, and in order that some idea may be formed, it is necessary to trace the knowledge possessed to-day of the physiology and pathology of the central nervous system back to the time when this knowledge was evolved. In the following pages an attempt will be made to sketch the outline of the evolution from chaos to useful knowledge, and to show in the light of some confirmed and confirmable results what have been the fruits of this knowledge.
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM First, a definition. The nervous system includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves. In the earliest days of which we have scientific records, the brain was regarded as an organ the function of which was to keep the heart cool. Hippocrates, though the Greek father of medicine, did not investigate the physiology of the brain. Aristotle, the anatomist and philosopher, taught the doctrine mentioned, apparently without dreaming that it might be wise to measure the temperature of the brain and heart. It was not until over a century and a half of the Christian era bad passed that the correctness of the Aristotelian view was questioned. Galen, a man whose spirit of investigation singles him out from among the scientists of all times, accepted nothing on hearsay, and demonstrated by means of experiments on animals that the brain was the seat of the senses, of movement, and of the perception of sensation. He found that when certain portions of the brain and nervous system were removed, injured or diseased, paralysis of definite portions of the body resulted. From the time of Galen, therefore, and by the experimental method alone, the fundamental physiological reason of the presence of the brain has been known.
The brain being the seat of the perception of sensation and the origin of voluntary movement occupies the position of a central telegraphic depot for all nerve messages. What about the wires ? Galen further realised that if paralysis resulted