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IF one looks at a world map, or better still at a globe, one sees that Asia can easily be thought of as the central part of the world from which all other parts radiate-the Americas as well as Europe and Africa-whilst Indonesia and Melanesia provide a fairly good land bridge to Australia. In considering the Polar Regions it is important to realise that the Behring Strait has never been a barrier between the Asiatic and American continents. Eskimo live on a narrow strip of land on the Asiatic side, as well as along the coasts of the American Arctic, whilst those on the Diomede Islands in the middle of the strait up to recent times would sail in their skin boats to both Asia and Alaska in the summer, and travel thence by dog-sled in winter, Trade between the two continents has always been of considerable importance.
At the end of the last war it became known to archaeologists in this country that there had been published in Germany in 1943 the first part, itself in two massivevolumes, of a monumental survey of the Spanish chambered tombs by Dr and Frau Leisner. Die Megalithgraber der Iberischen Halbinsel-I Der Suden was sponsored and produced by the Romisch-Germanische Kommission, and for the first time the results of the excavations of Siret, Bonsor and others were presented to scholars in a manner which set a new standard in the publication of such material. The work is noteworthy not only for its detailed and informed discussion of the tombs and their contents, but for its scheme of total presentation of the evidence in visual form and to uniform conventions of scale and draughtsmanship, supported by photographs where necessary.
The Oxford Dictionary defines magic as ' the pretended art of influencing the course o f events by compelling the agency of spiritual beings (black magic) or by bringing into operation some occult controlling principle of nature (white magic) '. The great gaps in our knowledge of disease, coupled with the patient's demand that all disease shalI receive treatment in spite of our ignorance, insure the survival of many practices falling within this definition of white magic. But in the dawn of medicine it was black magic that predominated. To primitive man illness is a mysterious occurrence without any obvious cause ; his earliest explanation was the belief that an evil spirit had entered into the sufferer and his first attempts at treatment were directed to driving the demon out. Our oldest medical treatise is the Ebers papyrus, found in Egypt a century ago but dating from the reign of Amen-hetep I of the 18th dynasty (about 1550 B.c.). The Smith papyrus is even older but is mainly concerned with surgical conditions. The Ebers papyrus prescribes invocations to be uttered when taking a dose of medicine: ' Come remedy, come drive it out of this my heart, out of these my limbs ' ; ' Oh demon who dwellest in the body of . . . son of . . . come forth.' These invocations have their modern counterpart in the Latin imperatives and the symbols, deliberately unintelligible to the layman, which the doctors of today are trained to append to their prescriptions. And the numerous medicines mentioned in this pharmacopoeia are of a highly obnoxious character, emetics and purges, calculated to make the body of the patient SO unpleasant an abode for the resident demon that he would be glad to quit if not forcibly ejected with the physical evacuations. Lizards, stinking fat, the excreta of human beings, donkeys, dogs and cats, putrid meat, are all prescribed. Castor oil and mandragora are listed amongst the herbal remedies. The belief that a medicine must be nasty to be beneficial though now obsolescent in England lasted to our own day: Gregory's powder and other nauseous remedies remain vivid memories of the older generation and historically they owe their origin to their unpleasantness.
In the course of excavation, diggers at many sites come upon a layer in the accumulated debris having such a considerable ash content as to convince them that the settlement occupying the site at that particular period had been destroyed by fire; and this supposition is of course strengthened if the ceramic forms or other cultural objects contained in the mound change at this point. While in very many instances these deductions are probably correct, it is the purpose of this paper to examine what destruction by fire entails in the way of preparation, how it is affected by the style of structures involved and whether the total destruction of villages by fire or their inhabitants by the sword is as simple a procedure as would sometimes appear to be imagined. Having taken part in the destruction by fire of a number of villages of the type that obtains, and must have obtained for centuries past, in the Indo-Afghan borderlands, I have learned by experience that the casual application of a torch will not necessarily set fire to anything.
HODDOM lies in Dumfriesshire on the east bank of the Annan, about 10miles from the Solway. The valley, which now carries the main road and the railway from Carlisle to the north, has always been an important line of communication and Hoddom lies at a point where the river is easily passable. The name first appears in records of the 12th century, when the church of Hoddom was claimed as a possession of the See of Glasgow. But the importance of the site is far older as is shown by the magnificent series of crosses, illustrated in this article. The tradition of Glasgow would carry the story of Hoddom even further back, connecting the church with St. Kentigern, the founder of the See. The crosses have been found at various times in and around the site of the demolished parish church. The finest pieces, after a chequered history, unhappily disappeared during the second world war. It has therefore seemed desirable to publish a rather fuller record of the more important monuments, illustrating them with the excellent series of photographs taken by Dr 0. G. S. Crawford in 1936, when they were preserved at Hoddom Castle1. I am much indebted to Dr Crawford, who suggested the prepara- tion of this account and placed at my disposal his series of photographs. At Hoddom I had the assistance of Mr R. C. Reid, who made arrangements with the Dumfriesshire County Council and the Church of Scotland for the removal to the Burgh Museum of Dumfries of the later stones, which still lay in the kirkyard. In the course of unearthing stones half buried in the soil, opportunity was taken to re-examine the masonry of the medieval church. I would express my best thanks to Mr Reid and to all others con- cerned, to Mr A. E. Truckell, Curator of the Burgh Museum, and Miss B. Blanche for assistance in the preparation for publication of the later stones ; the drawings of the later stones are by Miss Blanche. Fig. I is reproduced, by kind permission of the Ashmolean Museum, from the late W. G. Collingwood's original drawing (Northumbrian Crosses of the Pre-Norman Age, fig, 51).