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eastern face of the table-land, four miles west of Tilothoo, also in the Sone river, eight miles west of the Koel river, where jutting into the river its causes rapids; and again at Jadonathpoor, four miles from the Mirzapoor and Shahabad boundary.
Iron Ore.-This is found in large quantities at and near to Soorkee or Sirkee, so named after the red appearance of the soil, which for miles round about is highly impregnated with the red oxide of Iron, and which is situated on the southern edge of the table-land. The ore lies scattered over a large surface of ground, extending for about four miles east and west, what may be under the surface remains to be seen. The principal manufacture of iron from this ore is at Sunda, a village two miles from the edge of the table-land. Specimen 115 is the ore pounded and broken ready for fusion; 116 is the iron as produced after once smelting, in which state it sells for its weight in rice; 117 is the ore three times smelted, and now sells for one and a half ana for a kucha seer, or three anas for a pukha seer. Iron ore appears scattered all over the table-land but in small and insignificant quantities generally. At a spot named Sulya, at the head of the Mukree-k'hoh valley, are immense heaps of iron slag, scattered here and there amongst the hills and in the jungle, and by the hill men said to be remnants of the extensive iron founderies in the days of the now almost extinct races of Khyrwars and Cheeroos, a peculiar and now scattered race, but who profess once to have been a powerful people, having their own kings and princes ruling over them; in appearance these men are very like the Kols, Bheels and Gonds of central and western India; in their customs, religion and roving habits they also resemble them, and living in the same range of mountains, the Vindhyan range, as their confréres, there is little doubt that they are one of the scattered remnants of the races who formerly inhabited the Gangetic plain long since driven from that fertile tract by a more civilized race.
Indurated Reddle-Geru, (Hindustání.)
Large beds of this mineral are situated on the summit of the tableland, the principal ones being at Mundpa and Chuthans; great quantities are carried away by the Pussarees on bullocks and exported to Benares, Patna and other large cities; it is used in dyeing, as a pigment, and for a variety of other purposes. The beds extend for about two miles north and south, and the spots from whence extracted are
usually six or seven feet below the surface. The value of a bullock load at the spot costs about three anas.
Laterite. Large quantities of this curious mineral are seen scattered about on all parts of the table-land, but nowhere did I find it forming strata or beds.
Alum ore-Martial pyrites-Sulphate of Iron-Potstone.
Beds of the above mentioned minerals, occur associated together in five different spots in the hills, viz. two mines in the Koriyari-k'hoh, under the Fortress of Rhotas, one at Telkup four miles north of Rhotas, one in the valley of the Doorgoutee river, and one in the Soogeak'hoh; these two last mines, I believe are totally unknown to Europeans, and would be well worth exploring. A description of one mine will suffice for the whole, as neither in quantity, quality or relative situations, or in arrangement of strata do they differ in any one respect. At the foot of the sandstone precipices, from eight hundred to a thousand feet in height, these mines appear as dark burnt masses of horizontally stratified rocks, of several hundred feet in length and from fifty to two hundred feet in vertical thickness. The arrangement of strata is as follows: sandstone a thousand feet, indurated potstone thirty feet, dark schistose rock or ore of alum ten or twelve feet; what may be under this, remains to be discovered. The ore when exposed to the air becomes covered with a yellow spongy efflorescence, which has a small trace of sulphur in its composition; associated with this ore is another, mostly in small irregular masses, similar to the odds and ends of stone lying about a stone cutter's yard; it is a black, heavy martial pyrites or sulphuret of iron; the saline crystals on this ore, some a quarter of an inch in length, are of a beautiful pale blue color, deliquesce upon the slightest exposure to moisture, and when shut up in a box or bottle, the crystals dissolve, and re-crystallize into soft and light masses resembling snow, which under a lens display a most elegant assemblage of delicate and perfectly formed white crystals. These crystals dissolved in a decoction of gallnuts or black tea make an excellent clear writing ink.
These mines are not worked to any extent; only a few maunds of sulphate of iron, under the native name of Kussis, being made during the year and exported to Patna and Dinapore, where it is used as a dye for Calico, and in the manufacture of leather.
I was informed by the zemindars at the mines of a curious circumstance connected with this ore, which is, that the ore never looses its qualities of yielding the sulphate, though washed and rewashed year after year, during the process of extracting the salt; like the Soda lands in Behar, it appears to have the power of re-producing what, to all appearance, had been expended.*
Potstone.-Large quantities of this useful stone are found associated with the alum ore; also in spots where the alum does not exist. At the village of Pitteean, on the northern face of the hills, a very fine potstone of a dark blue colour is quarried and exported to Benares for the manufacture of Linggas, images, pestles, mortals, bowls, &c. It underlies the sandstone, and extends for about two hundred yards along the base of the hills. In the valley of Doorgawtee I picked up a considerable quantity of dark black stones used by goldsmiths as touch-stones in testing gold.
Queries on the Archæology of India.-By the Rev. JAMES LONG.
In my occasional researches into the Archæology of this country, the following subjects have frequently presented themselves as requiring elucidation-perhaps through the medium of this Journal light may be thrown on them by correspondents in various parts of the country-some of them may afford a very useful theme for Essays.
1. What are the grounds for believing that the aborigines who now occupy the Hills of Birbhúm, Rajmahal, Shergatty, &c. ever lived in the plains of Bengal?
2. Any historical documents giving a description of the cities, population, &c. formerly in the Sunderbunds.
3. When was the temple of Kali Ghat built? What circumstances led to its being established in that particular locality?
4. What accounts are there of the condition of Dacca in the time of the Romans?
* This admits of easy explanation. The one is a sulphuret of iron, which by ex posure to air and moisture, gradually absorbs oxygen and is partially converted into the sulphate. On washing out the latter, the remaining insoluble sulphuret, exposed to the same influence, will continue to yield repeated supplies of the sul. phate till the whole be exhausted.-EDS.
5. What was the state of Bengal about the commencement of the Christian era?
6. Why was Nudiya selected as a seat of Sanskrit learning? What accounts have we of it before the time of Lakhman Sen in the 13th century?
7. Tamluk was a seat of Buddhist learning in the 4th century-have we any other traces of Buddhism in Bengal proper at that period? Was Buddhism then in the ascendant at the court of Gaur?
8. The causes by which Tirhut became such a seat of learning? 9. What were the reasons of the degeneracy of the Bengal bráhmans before the time of Adisur? Was it in any degree owing to their being infected with Buddhist notions?
10 What language was spoken at the Court of Gaur previous to the Musalman invasion? Was it Hindi or Bengálí or Sanskrit ? What is the earliest authentic account we have of Bengal?
Specimen of the Language of the Goonds as spoken in the District of Seonee, Chuparah; comprising a Vocabulary, Grammar, &c., by O. MANGER, Esq., Civil Surgeon, Seonee. (Communicated by LieutCol. SLEEMAN).*
* A short vocabulary of the Goond language was published in the Journal, No. CXLV; but the present is much more copious and valuable. It is greatly to be desired that gentlemen engaged in ethnological researches among the Hill tribes, whether of Central India, or of our Northern or Eastern frontier, would concur in the adoption of a uniform and well selected vocabulary of English words for translation into the langauges of these interesting people. This would confer great additional value on such collections, which would thus admit of ready comparison one with another; whereas from the absence of any such system, it is often no easy matter to find in any two independent vocabularies half a dozen words that admit of collation. We purpose publishing a vocabulary of the kind for circulation among such as have the opportunity of prosecuting these researches, the value of which can scarcely be overrated, and shall be thankful in the meantime for any hints upon the subject that we may be favoured with.-Eps.