From the August 15, 1936, issue


Magnificent sculptures portraying King Darius the Great on his throne have been unearthed from the ruins of his famous palaces at Persepolis.

Word of the discovery has just been received at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The institute’s expedition to Persepolis reports that the sculptures are among the finest examples of ancient art yet found.

The sculptured scenes adorned two porticos of a courtyard and represented King Darius giving audience to some petitioner, says Dr. Erich F. Schmidt, field director of the expedition. King Darius and his son and heir, Xerxes, are shown giant-size, 7 feet tall, to increase their majesty. The petitioner and the courtiers are ordinary life-size. Attendants include the carrier of the royal bow and mace, two lance carriers, and a man believed to be the food taster, who is holding a napkin.

Important clues to the burning of the Persian palaces by the conqueror Alexander the Great, in 330 B.C., have been discovered, Dr. Schmidt reports. Telltale silver coins bearing Alexander’s head prove that the palace was occupied or preserved until Alexander’s soldiers set torches to the beautiful city of Persepolis, according to legend, in a drunken carouse. The coins were found in a palace courtyard, where one of Alexander’s men must have lost them.

Another important piece of evidence, possibly explaining Alexander’s rage, is the headless marble torso of a woman found lying in a passage. The lovely statue, reminiscent of Parthenon figures in Athens, may have been one of Xerxes trophies from the sacking of Athens, Dr. Schmidt suggests. If such reminders met Alexander’s eye in Persepolis, his order to burn up the place may be understood.

So rich in buried history is the neighborhood of Persepolis that Dr. Schmidt enthusiastically calls it “an archaeological paradise.”

The cover picture shows the tomb of Darius I.


Urea, ordinarily considered a waste product of the body, is good medicine for slow-healing wounds. Its successful use on patients by physicians all over the country is reported by Dr. William Robinson, entomologist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (American Journal of Surgery).

A 2 percent solution of urea, made with sterile water, is applied directly to the wound. Relief of pain and rapid healing have followed in cases of varicose and diabetic ulcers, carbuncles, extensive infected burns, mouth infections, osteomyelitis, and certain skin infections. No ill results have so far been reported from this use of urea, and its low cost, about 50 cents a pound, makes its extensive use quite practicable. The solution is bland, colorless, and odorless, and as used medicinally comes from a manufactured product having no connection with body wastes.

The urea solution apparently achieves its effect by stimulating a “vigorous growth” of new tissue with abundant blood supply. It does not have any direct germ-killing effect on the organisms involved in chronic, pus-forming wounds. Its cleansing effect on these wounds is produced indirectly through the stimulation of the growth of new, healthy tissue.


Cancer-like behavior on the part of the white blood corpuscles, a wild, uncontrolled growth that turns them from their normal role of “cops” to the malignant one of “robbers,” follows a definite hereditary pattern, Dr. E.C. MacDowell of the Carnegie Institution of Washington has discovered, in the course of researches conducted at the institution’s Department of Genetics.

Leukemia, the disease is called in medical circles. The name is Greek for “white blood,” because of the terrific excess of white blood corpuscles that crowd the circulatory system and congest the vital organs. Because the white blood corpuscles are free to move about the body, leukemia is not susceptible to the kinds of treatment that can eradicate or check malignant tumors occurring in the “stationary” tissues. Hence, leukemia is a highly fatal disease.

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