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[118] general and intelligent interest in these remains, that in 1840 an excellent collection of articles made by the Mound-builders was suffered to pass into English hands.

Then a change took place. These relics became matter not only for curiosity-seekers, but for serious study. People began to recognize that a forgotten past might be partly restored through these fragments. We cannot know who were the kings of these people or what the results of their battles. We cannot know of their statesmen and political triumphs,--if so be that there were statesmen and politics among them. In short their history, in the old-fashioned sense, is sealed to us. What can we learn?

For one thing. we may learn something of the antiquity of man. If the geologist tells us that the gravel from which certain stone tools are dug was deposited a certain number of thousands of years ago, the man who made them must be of similar antiquity. Of course the geologist may be mistaken, and so our estimates of the age of man must be open to revision.

Again, we may find out something about the habits and skill of the people of these remote ages. We may watch the development of man from age to age, seeing hown he gradually improves in manual skill and intellectual forethought. We may at some time be able to trace a race history through these broken relics of past ages.

Again, we may preserve the skeletons that are exhumed. These, especially the skulls, are valuable race indices. Perhaps we may be able to establish the continuity of some of these people with some modern races.

Wise men earl! in the century heg — an to recognize

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