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ground was then hoed, after which common manure was spread over the field by the hand amongst the plants, the weeding and hoeing were repeated at intervals several times. The crop was nearly destroyed by small insects, and by frost. The Nurma cotton produced at these villages on this occasion, required the seed to be separated from the cotton by the churkee, or rollers; while the seed of real Nurma cotton from Cholai Muhasur is easily and immediately separated from the seed, merely by rolling it lightly with a wooden pin, or by picking it with the hand.
3rd Query.—Do the natives largely manure the fields for Narma cotton; and is a peculiar manure used?
3rd Answer.—This I have written to inquire at Cholai Muhasur.
4th Query.—At what season is Nurma cotton sown, and in what manner; when is the crop ready, and after gathering, how is it cleaned?
4th Answer.—After the first fall of rain in June, in the same method as country cotton. The crop is gathered about October or November at seven or eight intervals, according to the favourableness of the season, and is cleaned by the hand, or a small wooden rolling pin. The cleaning is evidently very much neglected, as the Nurma cotton is brought from Cholai Muhasur in the same dirty state as the specimen seat. Before spinning, the Nurma cotton is pulled out for six hours by the fingers, and then is drawn out and dusted by a small apparatus, (or "pinjurs,") of a catgut thread struck by a mallet, and is then rolled on small sticks, from which it is placed in paper sheaths to spin off, each sheath having a leather wrapper to give a firm hold, and also to prevent the perspiration soiling the contained cotton. It is span by very small wheel, having a very fine spindle.
5th Query.—What is the price of the best Nurma cotton, and to what country is it exported?
5th Answer.—Formerly as there was a great demand at Chanderee, and as the supply from Cholai Muhasur was in a degree limited, the Nurma cotton cost Chanderee rupee 1 per seer; now the demand has so gready fallen off, that three seers can be had for the same sum. This cotton is alone imported to Chanderee from Cholai Muhasur; it is not known to be imported into any other place; for several years Nurma cotton has not even been brought to Chanderee; the finer cotton Mamoodie being in very little demand, the trade has vastly diminished. Rich natives only make inquiries for this fine cloth, which is sold in a veryfew shops. The Nurma cotton of which these Mamoodies are now made, has heen in the Chanderee godowns for five or six years past, and does not spoil by keeping.
674 Query.—How many years does the Nurma cotton remain in the soil?
6/4 Answer.—One year only.
Itk Query.—What soils are deemed the best for the Nurma cotton? Specimens of the soils are required.
1th Answer.—The light brown loams are deemed the best cotton soils. The Sersode soil is only sent; one specimen from the surface; one from 8 inches deep ; one from 1^- feet deep.
8/4 Query.—The nature of the soils and minerals around the cotton fields?
8/4 Answer.—These specimens for reasons stated have not been brought.
9th Query.—Are the Nurma cotton fields watered or not; and if watered, how often?
9th Answer.—They are never watered, being left solely dependent on the rains.
10/4 Query.—When the Nurma cotton plants are about to flower, are the tops broken off or not?
10th Answer.—The plants are always left in their native luxuriance.
11/4 Query.—A specimen of Nurma cotton is required.
11M Answer.—The specimen of Nurma cotton is one imported at Chanderee from Cholai Muhasur; there is also a specimen of the deteriorated Nurma cotton from seed, as stated, sown at Chanderee.
12/4 Query.—When the Nurma crop is ripening, is the plant liable to disease?
12/4 Answer.—The Nurma plants produced at Chanderee were much injured by insects and by frost. The insects were like those moths that destroy woollen cloths.
13/4 Query.—When the fields of Nurma cotton produce plentiful crops, what tax is paid per beegah?
13/4 Answer.—From eight annas to one rupee a beegah, as for other wops.
14/4 Query.—At Chanderee how deep are the wells, and in what stratum is water found?
14/A Answer.—About forty cubits deep the water is found in sandstone: the water is excellent.
15th Query.—Specimens of the thread of which the fine Mamoodies are made are required?
15/A Answer.—Two skeins or "pucheries" of the thread are sent, the finest weighs 2\ mashas, and costs 4 annas; the coarser weighs 2| mashas, and costs 3£ annas; one of these "pucheries" cannot be spun in less than four days. They are spun by all parties, and when collected, are arranged according to their fineness.
Gwalioh, March 17, 1842.
Note.—My readers may recollect, that " Nurma" cotton from the neighbourhood of Herat, was one of the samples of the staples of trade between Sinde and Khorastn, and that "the foreign origin" of the Nurma grown in Bundelkhund was then accounted for by me by the natural supposition, that the fine cotton was brought into the country by the early Mussulman invaders; an opinion which I still adhere to. |Tl
On a Cylinder and certain Gems, collected in the neighbourhood of Herat by Major Pottinger. By the Editor.
I have selected the gems figured in the annexed plate from among a collection placed in my hands by Major Pottinger. The cylinder (Fig. 1.) is a very curious relic indeed. It was found on the hills close to Herat by an Eimauk woman, from whom, I believe, Major Pottinger purchased it. The material of which it is composed, as well as tie figures, and Cuneiform characters upon it, having equally baffled conjecture and ordinary investigation, I sent the impression, taken in sealingwax, to Major Rawlinson at Candahar, requesting him, acquainted as he is with gome of the forms of the Cuneiform character, to give me his opinion upon it; while I applied to my friend, Mr. Piddington, now Curator of the Geological branch of the Museum of the Asiatic Society, to determine, if possible, the material of which the cylinder was composed. His opinion, in which Professor O'Shaughnessy concurred, was given me as follows:—
"At the request of our Secretary, I have examined this precious relic as to its physical properties. Its dimensions are,
Diameter, .. .. .. .. .. 0.5
Diameter of the hole, .. .. .. 0.2
"The hole is not drilled through the exact centre, and, as may be seen by looking into it, has been drilled from opposite ends. Its hardness is very considerable, as a good file will scarcely touch it. It is magnetic, but not strongly so, and its spec. grav. by two trials at a temperature of 82* is 4.97. Neither nitric nor muriatic acids produce any effect on its surface. Its colour is a dark blaCk grey, with minute shining specks, (probably of magnetic oxide of iron or mica,) only seen in a strong light, or by a magnifier.
"As it is by far too valuable to take even the minutest portion for a blowpipe analysis, I am deprived of any farther means of ascertaining what it can be. Its high specific gravity places it far out of the class uf basalts, to which it would at first be referred on a cursory inspection; snd its hardness out of the magnetic iron ores. I am inclined to think it a ferruginous tdtanite, analogous to that described by Klaproth from Aschaffenbourg, in Silesia. Perhaps, though not exactly a physical property, I should not omit to remark the admirable sharpness of the characters, which it is doubtful any metallic tool could have produced.
"I add here from the London translation of 1801 of Klaproth's Essays, p. 504, the chemical characters of his fossil:—
'Colour.—Iron black, accompanied outwardly by a moderate, inwardly by a stonger, metallic lustre.
'Fracture.—Uneven and of a fine grain; fragments indeterminately angular.
'Hardness.—Very brittle and hard, and only with difficulty ground to a subtle powder, wliich is black.
'Specific Gravity, 4.74.—(This was probably at 60°.)
'Magnetism.—Not attracted by the magnet even in the small splinters, nor does it attract the least particle of iron. The more remarkable is it, therefore, that it attracts and repels the poles of the magnetic needle, or any moveable magnetic bar.
'Composition.—Oxyde of Iron, 78. Oxyde of Titanium, 22=100.'
"So far Klaproth. I may add, that the degree of magnetism which he here describes, is that which our cylinder also possesses, and which is Bow well known to be merely an inferior degree of the same element."
The character Major Rawlinson informs me, is the third, or mixed order of the Cuneiform writing. He supposes the inscription to express some formula of prayer, or adjuration. 'The cylinder being evidently an amulet to be worn suspended round the neck, or the arm, or perhaps on a string round the middle, as with the amulets of a somewhat similar shape worn by children in this country, his conjecture is in all probability correct. The figures and emblems on the cylinder have yet to be explained. The man holding a dagger, is perhaps in the act of binding himself to some compact, religious or civil, the conditions of which are expressed in the inscription in the presence of a priest, some emblem having reference to the rite, being apparently the image of a bird, being set up between the two? Or is the supposed priest in the long striped robe a female figure? I have taken much pains to arrive at even a plausible conjecture respecting the upright emblem, as a clue would be readily found to the meaning of tbe whole, could this type be traced. All I can say on the subject is, that such an emblem is figured in Rich's Memoir on the Ruins of Babylon, in No. 1. a. of the plates which illustrate that interesting notice. "No. 1," says Mr. Rich, " is a black stone of an irregular shape (in part broken and defaced,) about one foot in length, and 7y inches in breadth. The figure; on it a and b, have been supposed to represent the Zodiac of the Babylonians ;" an inscription is partly legible, I should observe, on the stone, written in the first form of Cuneiform writing. The figures on the stone (a) are those of a dog, or wolf, and of a bird seated upon a staff or rest, set upright in the ground. The shape and attitude of the bird would incline one to conclude that the artist intended to represent a crow or raven. The idea that the emblem is Zodiacal, is, I think, borne out by the nature of the figures on (b), the other part of the same stone, which represent an antelope, a human head with ram's horns, an altar, two human figures, and others which are indistinct. I am more impressed with the theory of the Zodiacal character of the bird emblem, from having found it with other similar figures, in a plate Vol. II. of Kerr Porter's Travels.
I have by me drawings by the late Edward Conolly of several similar rude figures of birds, of which he gave me the following notice : "These are from Seistan; these small copper images are however found in the ruins of old cities in all parts of this country, and have been dug oat of topes." Mr. Rich observes, "small figures of brass or copper are also found at Babylon :" (?) of a similar description with the above. (?)
This suffices to establish the fact, that such an image as that figured on the cylinder, was for some purpose as yet unknown to us, but having reference, probably, to a religious rite, in common use among the ancknt