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The four female figures holding the emblems of the Nag (hooded serpent) the Pudma (lotus), the Gadha (mace), and the Trisool, (trident), represent Sakhis, or attendants. The two upper figures represented as flying with cornucopia and wreaths in their hands, are probably intended for bearers of offerings, and called Powrí, but have no other purpose or meaning than for ornament to the entire piece of sculpture; such additions were entirely at the discretion of the sculptor.

The idol is about three by one-half feet (every part inclusive,) and is worked in black chlorite; it is exceedingly well executed, the jewels and the embroidery on the drapery are most exquisitely cut, and the tout ensemble may be pronounced a beautiful specimen of Hindú sculpture.


ART. V.—Papers relative to the New Coal Field of Tenasserim. No. 1.-Report on the Coal Field at Ta-thay-yna, on the Tenasserim river, in Mergui province. By J. W. HELFER, M. D.


This newly discovered coal field is a part of that great coal deposit which occupies a considerable part of the Tenasserim district, in Mergui province, and which beginning from the old town of Tenasserim, to judge from geognostic appearances, extends about forty miles to the north, about fifty towards the south-east, and to an unknown extent towards the north-east.

All this tract of country seems to be a great basin encircled by primitive, but much more transition, formations, which in

Foust of the isolated ranges emerge also in different parts of this basin, but which are easily traced and recognized as the offsets of

their more distant relations.

The present coal field lies at the southern skirt of one of these transition ranges, and the country to the south of it is apparently a great plain, densely covered either with tall forests or bamboo jungle; the Tenasserim river winds through this plain in a direction chiefly from

north to south.

In the neighborhood of the present locality no geognostic signs of



the existence of a coal bed are to be observed on the river side, save opposite to the village there is a large lump of a formation holding the medium between red sandstone, variegated sandstone, and slate clay-in this country a certain prognostication of the vicinity of coals. The river banks shew besides sandstone, of a thickness from fifteen to thirty feet, is almost universally tinged conglomerate, plastic clay, marl, and alluvium; the upper stratum,

red or ochry, by the abundance of iron oxyde with which it is impregnated.

The coal is visible either in its native locality on the side of a monLocality of the secsoon rivulet, or is to be found in pieces in the bed of the same rivulet.

tion lying bare, extent, thicknes.

This deposit is neither covered with porphyry, nor red sandstone, nor arenaceous beds belonging to intermediary formations; above it are only placed alternating beds of slate clay, either bluish grey or whitish, either friable or compact, and then carburetted Brand-striefer, and these strata taken altogether are not more than three and a half feet in thickness, above which rest the above mentioned iron-tinged earthy clay and alluvium. At this place the coal may be calculated to be seventeen feet below the surface on an average.

On the sides of this rivulet or channel, dug out by the impetus of the water, a section is exposed of fifty-four feet in length, and the same formation is traceable more than one mile to the north, and six west.

The thickness of this coal stratum is as yet not ascertained, on account of the water accumulating in the rivulet, the rainy season having begun; but it must be considerable, as at a depth of six feet no other alternating formation has been found. In consequence of this the nature of the sub-stratum cannot be yet determined.

This stratum runs nearly in a direct line from north to south, and dips under an angle of 26° east to the horizon. In two places it is contracted, in the rest uniform.

It is difficult to classify exactly this coal, on account of its modiMineralogical fications in different pieces. It belongs to the sub-genus classification. black coal, but there are several species even in the seven tons which have hitherto been brought to light.

Some pieces participate greatly of the character of Cannel-coal, these having a resinous lustre and a flat conchoidal fracture; the pieces nearer to the surface have again more of the character of slaty coal, with a slaty fracture, fragments trapezoidal; the greatest number, however, hitherto observed refer it to glance coal, sub-species pitch coal, being massive, in botryoidal loam, with a woody texture, fracture large, perfectly conchoidal, fragments sharp-edged, undeterminated angular. The dendritic texture is a peculiar feature of this coal, not observed in any of the other coal species hitherto found in the Tenasserim provinces.

A hundred grains of the coal previously reduced to small pieces were Chemical anal placed upon a platina sheet, and put over a lamp fed ysis of the coal, with alcohol; on becoming red hot, they baked slightly together, and on being removed from the fire assumed an iron grey co

The coal consi

lour; one hour and six minutes elapsed before the hundred grains were totally consumed, the residuum was greyish ashes-from 100 parts 2.8 remained of them. The ashes subjected to chemical analysis were found to consist of silica and alumina, with scarcely a vestige of iron. 1. Generally speaking the coal is very good; but one great defect cannot be concealed, and this is, that some parts dered in a practical of it are highly pyritiferous, the pyrites intersecting it in thin laminæ of a silver-white, somewhat yellowish colour. Fortunately only some parts are thus deteriorated, but even these it is to be hoped will not be lost, as the thin layers of pyrites are easily separated; that part of the coal which cannot be conveniently rendered destitute of this bi-sulphuret of iron ought to be rejected, which necessary selection will have an influence, perhaps materially, upon the price of the coal.

point of view.

We can at present speak only of the coal near to the surface and exposed partially to atmospheric influence, but it is to be hoped that the coal will be much purer the farther it is from the surface.

2. The pure coal (free from pyrites) burns freely and open; transformed into coke it bakes a little together. It emits in the beginning copious flames, which are blackish grey, and unmixed with sulphuric


General results. smithy purposes. 6. That the coal (excepting always the pyritiferous strata, especially near to the surface) is remarkably pure, and fit to burn as fuel in chim

a. That the coke of this coal is well adapted for


c. That the coal consumes slowly, maintains a considerable degree of heat, and leaves a residuum of only three per cent at the highest, and that it is therefore adapted for steam purposes.

d. That it is inferior to the Cannel coal on the little Tenasserim for the generation of gas, on account of the smaller per centage of bitumen. The locality for transport is very favourable; and the greatest advan

Locality with re

ference to access,


tage consists in the almost total absence of land carriage.*

The present coal field lies on the western side of the Tenasserim, 1712 paces following the road, and probably not more than 400 fathoms in a straight line from the river.

The Tenasserim notwithstanding its long course, continues to be a ountain stream even when already under the influence of the tides. rapid current, numerous shallows, annually chang

As such it has a

ing banks, and shifting shoals. During the dry season it is at the place

Sic in M.S.-EDS.

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