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rocks, iron clay, jasper, &c. Half a mile or less above the gurh, is a small nullá called, "Billaijooree," about fifteen yards wide, with a sandy bed, and dry except in the rainy season after heavy falls in the interior, where it takes its rise, and winding considerably, joins ultimately with the Brahmenee at this place.
About 400 yards from the mouth of the nullá, coal seams are exposed to view for some distance along the banks, alternately, on either side; these seams vary in quality and thickness, and are curved parallel with the undulations of the superstrata. In almost every place where the coal seams cease abruptly, they will be found to rest against the sandstone.
The superstrata generally consist of alluvial soil, shingle, marl, blue clay passing into peat, mixing with shale and coal of inferior quality, beneath which the good coal is found; this again rests on indurated blue clay containing particles of coal, mica, and fossil plants. The stratum is about 14 foot thick, beneath which a stiff grey clay mixed with sand and mica, is found.
I made a perpendicular cut in the north bank, at a spot where inferior specimens had been collected by workmen sent some years ago by Mr. G. Becher, executive officer of the division. Having dug down for two or three feet below the surface of the bed of the nullá, I met with a hard blue rock containing particles of coal and fossil plants, in this I bored a hole 1 foot deep, and blasted it with one pound of country powder, which enabled me to ascertain the thickness, viz. 1 foot, as before said.
Digging a few feet apart from this spot, in the bed of the nullá, the coal was three feet below the surface, without the peat and clay, &c. and under the opposite bank the coal is several feet deeper still.
I burnt a heap consisting of several maunds of the different kinds mixed together, the whole was consumed, leaving fine white ashes, but no cinder or coke. The glistening or good qualities emitted much gas, and burnt with a bright flame; the remainder soon attained a red heat with less gas-the whole gave out an intense heat.
The bed of coal thus examined is (as will have appeared) very thin,
but I should think that on mining, any quantity could be obtained, and at little cost, from its being so near the surface, and labor cheap in the extreme. It possesses, further, great advantages in being so near to a navigable river.
I shall treat hereafter on the method of working the mines, and of transporting the coal, &c. in a separate paper at the close of my report.
Coal fields of the Hingolai Tacooranee at Mungulpersád.
Of the two coal fields exposed to view, and which were visited by me, that which I have called the "Tacooranee" is the more extensive. It is laid bare by a broad nullá passing through it, called the "Sungurra," it comes from the hills in Ungool, in a south-westerly direction, and is about thirty yards wide, having a sandy bed. The coal appears on either side alternately, for a distance of upwards of a mile, the beds averaging from five to fifteen feet and more in height from the level of the sand. This coal (like that at Tálcheer) rests against the sandstone, and in some places passes into it, apparently mixing with it. The quality of the mineral varies very considerably, as will be seen by the numerous specimens presented to the Committee.
In one spot the coal has apparently been reduced to ash by volcanic action for a space of fifty yards, and upheaved above the common level of the contiguous beds; it is bounded at each extremity by dykes. of white rock.
The superstrata vary in kind and thickness; in some places there is blue clay, above which is marl and shingle; in others, simply marl and iron ore, laterite, and shingle, and frequently but a thin stratum of clay. At the spot where the "Tacooranee" (goddess) called "Hingolai" is supposed to preside, the coal is entirely bare for a space of 1000 or 1200 yards (superficial) with an undulating surface. It is at this place that at the full of the moon of Chát-Byesk, the priesthood set fire to a heap of coal, which they keep burning for three successive days, commencing the day preceding the full of the moon, when hundreds of deluded creatures flock from the surrounding country to worship the goddess of destruction, who is supposed thus to shew her presence in the burning rock. I was unable to ascertain how far up the nullá the coal is exposed to view, as the inhabitants of one state will say nothing about their own country, and still less about that of another Rája; and as the Ungool territory is only half a mile distant, without any alteration in the general appearance of the country, which is undulating, I did not deem it necessary
to proceed further. There was sufficient coal at this place to afford an ample supply for the next century.
The cost here of working either the coal or iron mines would be the same as at Tálcheer, it would, however, be necessary to construct a road (perhaps a rail road) to the river side, a distance of sixteen or eighteen miles, but perhaps less in a direct line. The nullá is not navigable at any season, however from the tolerably level nature of the country it might be rendered so for two or three months, by constructing dams and locks at convenient distances. At all seasons water is found from one to three feet below the surface of the sand; this prevented my ascertaining the actual depth of the coal measures and the quality of the lower veins.
Note on the Iron Mines.
Iron ore is found in great abundance both in Tálcheer and in the adjacent states of Ungool and Dhenkennal. There are iron works in each, and the Cuttack and Berhampoor markets are supplied by them. Some of the iron is of a superior and malleable quantity, but much of it is very coarse-grained and brittle, the prices vary accordingly.
I saw the remains of several iron works on the road between Tálcheer and Mungulpersád, the "Lohorás," or iron workers, having forsaken them last year in consequence of the famine, and subsequent pestilence (cholera) which almost depopulated the country.
The process of smelting the ore is the same as that pursued in other parts of India, and which therefore it will be superfluous for me to describe.
Had I met with any iron workers I would have tried to smelt the ore with coal, as it is abundant on the surface at the coal mines, as I have before mentioned.
A great quantity of iron is made in the Sumbulpoor state also.
ART. IV.-Objects of Research in Affghanistan. By PROFESSOR LASSEN, of Bonn.
[We have the pleasure to insert the following article by Professor Lassen, and which in order that no time should be lost in its circulation, we have already caused to be published in the Newspapers of this Presidency. Such communications as Professor Lassen's queries may elicit we shall be happy to publish without delay.—EDs.]
1. A country which has hitherto not been explored, is Kandahar and its neighbourhood; the capital of Demetrius, called by his name Demetrias, was situated in Arachosia, and it seems probable, that coins of Demetrius will be found most numerously in that part of Afghanistan, if Mr. Masson should have means for sending some qualified person there. Another class of coins might also be chiefly expected from Kandahar. Arachosia belonged, at least generally, to the empire of the Arsacidæ, who can only be supposed to have occasionally possessed parts of Kabul; Parthian coins bearing a Greek legend on one side and a Bactrian on the other, will probably have been struck only by such kings, as ruled in Kabul and its neighbourhood. Vonones (or by the native legend his son Vologases) is the only known Parthian king, from whom we have as yet coins of the above description; another name found on a coin published by Swinton is not legible; a new coin was lately edited by Mr. Millingan, having no Greek, only a Bactrian legend, evidently an Arsacidan one, though not legible. It would be of great importance to complete this Parthian series, because the chronology of the Arsacidæ might then be brought to bear on that of the Indo-Scythians.
2. From the country to the westward of Kabul and the sources of the Kabul river, which the Chinese call by the name of Kissin, coins of the first dynasty of Indo-Scythians may be expected chiefly, if the researches could be extended to the neighbourhood of the Lake Yarah. Segistan still bears the names of the first Indo-Scythians, who were properly called Sacæ, and their capital must have been somewhere in Drangiana. Also the Greek king Artimachus appears from one of his coins to have reigned near the Lake Yarah, and it would not be unreasonable to expect coins of him and his successors, (perhaps even Greek monuments of other kinds,) from those tracts, if made accessible. 3. The town Nagara, mentioned by Ptolemæus, with the Greek surname of Dionysopolis, must have been the capital of some Greek kingdom, probably of Agathocles and Pantalcon, who exhibit the symbols of Dionysos on their coins. The Chinese mention Nakoloho which is the same name, as the site of the flourishing Buddhist establishment, about 400 years of our era in the Chinese place
Nakoloho on the river Hilo, which must be the Hir found on D'Anville's maps. It would be of importance to determine the exact situation of Nagara, and to ascertain, whether the name both of the river and the ancient town are not still traceable. I suppose the Hir to be Surshud. The ruin of Nagara may be expected to yield a new harvest of Greek coins, and its neighbourhood might perhaps furnish us with Greek inscriptions.
4. Sultan Baber mentions a monument in Lawghan, which the Mahomedans supposed to be the grave of Lamech; the Chinese travellers passed through this country, called by them Larpho, on the road to Peshawer, from which it may be concluded, that they went to see some Buddhist monument there. Would it not be possible to get some further information of what remains still to be found in Lawghan?
5. Pliny mentions a town Copissa, 'destroyed by Cyrus,' in the country of the Paropomasida; by the accounts of the Chinese travellers Kapisa is the valley of the Gurbad river. Are no remains to be found along that river? and is the name at present quite unknown? It would be of some interest, because it might be conjectured that the name of Kapisa has some relation to the name of the king Kadphises, who on his coins spells his name in the native legend Kapissa.
6. The Chinese speak of a flourishing Buddhist kingdom Udjana. or Ujjana, which was situated on the western bank of the Indus and on the Sewad river, the capital was not far from the last mentioned one, and was called Mangala. As far as I know, this country has not been explored at all, and might be expected to yield coins of the dynasty ruling for several centuries there: topes might also be sought for in that neighbourhood.
7. Jan Messon, as well as Sultan Baber, speaks often of a river, which he calls Baran, without giving any more definite description of its course. Is this river different from the lower part of the Penjhir? or is it only the name for a part of that river?
8. A theory has lately been set forth respecting the topes, that they are to be regarded as dehgops, and contain relics of Buddhist saints; moreover, that the coins found in them have been placed there at different times as offerings, and consequently that the date of coins found in a tope, affords no clue to the period of its erection. Now, this theory supposes that the topes had entrances and openings, by which the coins might be inserted, and the relics taken out at certain festivals to be shown to the people, as is mentioned by the Chinese travellers of dehgops. Are there any traces of such entrances or openings in any of the topes of Kabulistan ?