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nomenclature that the various names found on maps and in accounts by different writers for the same place is attributable. Along the border between the Afghan and Belo'ch tribesdouble names are found, Afghan and Belo'ch, for well-known places. Thus Ka'li' Chuppri' (Belo'ch) and Tor Tsappar (Pathan) are names for the same prominent peak at the head of the Han Pass, both signifying the Black Hill.

A noticeable point also is the constant recurrence of the same names, especially for districts and hills, in different parts of the country. This is probably due to the fact of the places being so named from some peculiarity or special conformation.

Uncertainty of Information.-The difficulties of obtaining correct information were aggravated by the fear of the various tribes of each other, their ignorance corresponding with their fear. And this added to the well-known vagueness of all oriental information resulted in one's being seldom able to obtain any knowledge, except of the vaguest and most uncertain kind, of any part of the country before actually passing over it. Careless Nomenclature by Explorers.-It may be as well to remark here on the careless way many explorers name the places and encampments at which they halt-a habit that renders the identification of places on their different routes very difficult, and their information liable to be useless, as will be seen by a reference to Appendix D, attached hereto. That it is not easy to avoid misnaming places in such a country as Afghanistan may be gathered from the foregoing paragraphs, but unquestionably carelessness as to this point adds much to the difficulties of geographers and others who have to compile the results of the accounts of travellers, or, in other words, to make them of use. A case in point is the naming by the Quartermaster-General's Department of the camping-ground preceding Chimja'n along the Tal-Cho'tia'li Field Force Route. This is given as Oboskoi in their map. Now O'bushtkai (also spelt Obuski by the staff) is where the first column halted, and is not within 4 miles of the point so marked on the map, viz., where the second and third columns halted, which was really at a place called Khwa'ra, as shown in the writer's map. Again the Quartermaster-General's Department's map of the route shows Yusuf Kach in the River Ro'd Gorge as a camping-ground, and not I'sab Kach (or I'saf Kach), although it had been expressly pointed out by their own Department (Mackenzie's Route, in Central Asia,' Part II.; 'Afghanistan,' Route No. 35) that the name was I'sab Kach, not Yusuf Kach. The difference in these names may be better expressed in English: thus, I'sab, I'sav, or I'saf = Esau; Yu'suf Joseph. Although the writer differs in several


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important particulars from the Army Staff and other authorities in his nomenclature, he does not pretend to absolute correctness as to this point, but would merely put forth a claim to carefulness."

The Tal-Cho'tia'li Route considered as a route.-Attached to this (Appendix A) will be found a detailed journal of each day's march, and it is proposed here to discuss the Tal-Cho'tia'li Route only as a route. Now a route may be practicable or otherwise according to the nature of its roads, rivers, mountains, passes, climate, products, inhabitants, and means of locomotion. Each of these points will be here therefore considered.


System of Spelling adopted.—But before proceeding further, and in order to render the following pages the more intelligible, an explanation of the system of spelling the names of places and foreign words found herein will be given. The spelling adopted purports to be according to Dr. Hunter's modification of Sir W. Jones's system of transliteration. The Hunterian system is, however, not strictly carried out, the only diacritical marks used being that to mark the long vowels, and the "italic" sign to mark certain peculiarities in the consonants. The object aimed at is general intelligibility, not strict scientific spelling.

Table of Sounds.-The following table of vowel and consonantal sounds will aid the general reader in mastering the system of spelling herein employed.

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The points of difference are discussed in his Paper on the inhabitants of these districts, published in the 'Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,' 1880. VOL. XLIX.

Many of the vowel sounds are such as cannot be rendered in English characters. The common termination ai is very peculiar it is pronounced with a closed mouth, and sharply as one syllable, though probably it should be two distinct syllables, á í. Many people write it ae.

Each vowel syllable should be pronounced, but for the sake of clearness the distinct syllables o' and i, when occurring as a termination in juxtaposition, are written óï.

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Very hard varieties of the above the Hindost. 3 and 83.

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A very guttural g=.

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(A sharp final aspirate, as in Jehovah, usually not heard in English

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German milch, or Scotch loch-Arabic



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Very hard varieties of the above-Hindost. and “.

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Double consonants all each distinctly pronounced as in the Italian tutti.

Comparative Table of Hunterian and Phonetic Spelling.—In order to aid in the identification of the names occurring here with those in other journals and maps, a comparative table is attached (Appendix C), showing the spelling of place names according to the Hunterian and the ordinary military phonetic systems. Accentuation has not been shown in the spelling, as not being of sufficient importance, and all oriental words used in the paper are explained.


Afghan Roads in general.-Firstly, then, as regards roads. It is necessary before discussing them to explain what is meant by the term "road" when applied to Afghanistan. Roughly a "road" may be defined as a beaten track leading to a certain place; and, like all oriental tracks or roads, it runs as straight as possible to the point aimed at, without reference to gradients and obstacles, or to easier and more practicable lines near at hand. As the only means of locomotion, besides walking, which the Afghans have are horses, donkeys, and bullocks, to which may be added, along the main trade-routes, camels, no such thing as a wheeled conveyance being known in the country, a mountain road or track is capable of being, and indeed usually is, a very rough one. When asked to describe the nature of a track, the local mountaineer will describe it as practicable for sheep and goats and man only, or for donkeys and bullocks, or as too narrow in the case of a pass for packanimals; under all of which conditions a road will be considered bad. But if a horse or pack-animal can traverse it, then the track is called good, or, to use the local expression, "a royal road." Now, a reference to the map of Eastern Afghanistan I will show it to consist of mountains of considerable height, intersected by numerous valleys of no great length or breadth, so that such a track as that above described, from any one distant point to another, will alternately cross a series of mountain tracts and valleys by the shortest practicable route. And in travelling what one finds practically is this, that one goes first along the bed of a mountain torrent, then over the (Ko'tal) pass or watershed whence it springs, then down a second streambed on the opposite side, and then along a valley; which operation is repeated to the journey's end. Such then is an Afghan road, and, as long as a horse or pack-animal can traverse it, one road is as good as another, and the only considerations which will make an Afghan guide diverge from the shortest

way are, (1) the fear of the inhabitants, and (2) the watersupply en route. A main road or line of communication differs in no way from any other "pack-animal" road, except that it usually consists of half-a-dozen or so of tracks running across country in parallel strings, but this is not always an infallible indication, as the writer once found to his cost. He started with a convoy from the Ka'bul gate of Candaha'r for Kela't-iGhilzai, and on getting clear of the broken land immediately round Candaha'r, went along a road consisting of a quantity of parallel tracks, which formed to all appearance the Ka'bul road, but found they terminated abruptly at a village about 5 miles out, between which and Candaha'r there was a large trade, and had to find the real Ka'bul road across countrywhich, by the way, provided there are no impracticable ravines to interrupt him, is about as good a way for the traveller to go in this country as any. When a traveller or army has followed any particular line, it means not that that was the best or easiest, though it was probably the shortest, road, but that it was the line decided on from time to time according to information received regarding water, people, supplies, the actual state of the track at the time, and so on.

Roads along the Route of the Tal-Cho'tiali Field Force (second column). Having said this much by way of preface, let us discuss the line followed by the second column Tal-Cho'tia'li Field Force with regard to its actual state and its capabilities of improvement. Leaving Kala Abdullah Kha'n, the road runs at first nearly eastwards, along the north end of the Pishin Valley to Khu'shdil Kha'n, for about 30 miles, during which, as it stands, it may generally be called bad in anything but fine weather, i. e., it is a track running across a country for the most part stony and water scarce, and intersected by several streams, of which the Khojak, the Arambi, the Chór, the Tóghai, the Muzarai, the Pishin Lo'ra, and the Barso' are all capable of proving formidable obstacles after rain. The country itself is liable to be violently flooded after rain in the hills, and in the lower lands the soil is clayey, heavy and slippery in wet weather. And yet the line taken by the force is the best, for the alternate routes from A'li'zai via Bagarzai to Khu'shdil Kha'n runs further from the hills, and the rivers, instead of being mere mountain-torrents with hard stony beds, have become formidable streams, with deep, overhanging, soft and clayey banks. There are, however, no real engineering difficulties along the route, nor would large bridges be required for the rivers; a good road could in fact be easily constructed. In the next 15 miles to Balozai Ka're'z the road goes over

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