Natural History and Science.
Rise of the Nile. In the light of the recent observations made by
English engineers in Nile hydrography, Ventre Pacha, in a very able
and interesting article, has deduced important conclusions from the record
of the high Niles (XXIInd to XXVIth Dynasty), marked on the quay at
Karnak and discovered last year by Legrain. He thus shows that the
bed of the Nile has risen '096 m. per century in the last 2800 years,
while the level of the cultivated Nile valley has risen by deposit much
more rapidly, viz. at the rate of "143 m. per century. Owing to this
disproportionate rise of the soil, the difficulty of irrigation during low
Nile has much increased. Ventre Pacha also points out that a graffito
at Luxor recording that the temple was flooded by an exceptionally
high Nile in the 3rd year of Osorkon II. had been interpreted in an
exaggerated sense : one of the newly-discovered records gives the exact
height of that inundation (A. Z. xxxiv. 95).
Botany. Two fragments of wood of about the XXth Dynasty prove
on examination to be Dalbergia melanoxylon, one of the Leguminosae,
still grown in Egypt. This is therefore presumably the ancient hebn'i,
ebony, of Egypt (Dr. Beauvisage, Bee. de Tr. xix. 77).
Medical. Lange identifies the words for finger, toe, nail, &c, in the
Ebers Papyrus; also the expressions for the degree of heat at which
the medicaments are to be swallowed or applied, viz. " at pleasant heat,"
"at linger heat" (such as the finger can bear), " at spitting heat" (so
hot that the patient spits it out? hardly referring to the bubbling of
boiling water?), and " between the two heats " (A. Z. xxxiv. 76).
Loret identifies the words for "groin'" and "perineum," and endeavours
to unite a number of words, ad, at, ader, aadt, under one root connected
with the breeding of animals.
A long series of gynaecological prescriptions and a short veterinary
text. Griffith, Hieratic Papyri of Kahun and Gurob.
Dr. von Oeeele is publishing a history of medicine before Hippo-
crates (Geschichte der vorhippocratischen medicin), in autograph.
Metrology. A weight of 270 deben, with the name of Taharqa,
confirms the reading deben, first proposed by Spiegel berg, for what was
formerly read uden (E. Brugsch Bey, A. Z. xxxiv. 84).
Mathematics. Hultsch, Elemente d. Aegyptischen Theilungsrechnung,
pt. I., from thoAbh. d. phil. Gl. d. Konigl. Sachs. Gcsells., Bd. xvii. 1895.
This careful examination of Egyptian methods of division did not reach
me in time to be noticed in last year's Report. The materials are of