« PreviousContinue »
near the cathedral.
The instruments for 10 A. M. and M. are guspended in the free*air of the Lahoratory,i those for 5 A. M. and 10 P. M. in the south veranda of a third st
The register thermometer for extremes is also in the same veranda. The expected Standard Barometer is just arrived in the Neptune.
I.-—On the Coins and Relics discovered by M. le Chevalier Vnnrum, General in the Service of Malui Rdjzi RUNJEET Swan, in the Tape qf Manikydla. By James Prinsep, F. R. S. Sec. As. Soc. 8;c.
[Read at the meeting of the As. Soc. 20th March, 1834.]
General Vnnrumfs well imagined and successfully executed operations for the examination of the Tope of Manikyéla, near Kabul, in the year 1830, are familiar to all who are interested in antiquarian research. His own account of the excavations was published in the Calcutta newspapers of the day, and was afterwards inserted, with remarks, in Professor Wi1.soN’s essay on ancient Indian Coins, in the seventeenth volume of the Researches. Some of the coins have been the subject of discussion and investigation at Paris ; and the subsequent collections of Lieut. Buamzs, Doctor MARTIN Homcnnnusn, and especially, Mr. MasSON, who have all followed in the track pointed out by the success of General VENTURA, have materially contributed to demonstrate the value of his original enterprize, and to make us wish for a fuller account of its highly curious results. Lieut. Bunnas favored the Society with his own impressions of the importance and magnitude of the Chevalier’s labours from an ocular inspection of the Tope itself, and of the collection of relics which were shewn to him at Lahore. This is printed in the second volume of the Journal, p. 308 ; and an expression, which I ventured to use, ina note subjoined on that occasion, “ trusting that the Chevalier would no longer deem us unworthy of being made the medium of their introduction to the world,” was, in fact, a hesitating allusion to the good fortune which a letter from Captain WADE had that moment announced; but which I could hardly bring myself to believe. A more
than ordinary degree of magnanimity was necessary to induce the author of such discoveries to forego the natural desire of monopolizing a prize won by his personal achievement and labour, and at considerable cost to himself; but in the present instance it required further the self-denial and disinterestedness of a friend to whom the possession of these valuable relics was generously proffered, to enable them to reach a third party who had no such claims of friendship; and nothing to offer in recompence, but the public notice, which his position enabled him to promise, in the pages of the Journal. I should not do justice to General VENTURA, nor to Captain WADE, did I not make known circumstances so highly to their credit, and I trust therefore that I shall be pardoned by the latter gentleman for publishing the following extract from his private letter to my address, in corroboration of the above facts, from which the world will be enabled to appreciate both the extent of his forbearance, and of the sacrifice made by General VENTURA himself.
Extract of a Letter from Captain C. M. Wade, Political Agent at Lu'diana, dated 3rd June, 1833. ‘
" While at Deni Ghdzf Khan in March last, the guest of M. VENTURA, the Journal for January reached me, containing a notice of the coins found by the Chevalier at Manikydla. I showed the passage to him, and he expressed himself flattered by the allusion which you made to his labors in exposing the numismatic treasures buried under that mysterious temple. We had a long and interesting conversation on the subject, the result of which was an offer to me on his part of the whole of the Manikydla coins, together with the cylinder in which some ‘of the most valuable were found. I told the Chevalier I could never ‘think of accepting such a gift for myself, but that I should be proud of the honor of sending them in his name to you, who would be able justly to appreciate their value, and to do him the credit to which he was entitled as the author of the discovery. ‘He assented to my proposition, and promised to dispatch these precious articles to me on his arrival at Lahore, for which place he was then about to set out.”
In acknowledging this unexpected and most disinterested offer, I could not but disclaim all permanent interest in the relics, and request M. VENTURA, through Captain WADE, to consider them still at his disposal, although I should be proud, while they were deposited under my care, to do my utmost in making them more fully known to the world. _ On the 16th August, the precious packet came into Captain Wsnsfs possession, and although he was unable to find a secure opportunity of conveyance for them to Calcutta, until the beginning of the following year, still through fear of injury or displacement of the various objects,
‘'_especially the liquid contained in the cylinders, he would not open the package even to gratify the curiosity of many who wished to feast their eyes on its contents.
General VEN'rUnA’s simple request is characteristic: “ Je m’ enipresse de vous expedier mon fameux Manekiala, que vous desirez pour envoyer a M. PRINSEP: veuillez je vous prie, mon bon ami, vous servir de cette occasion pour faire agréer mes sentimens d’estime a M. PRINSEP, et de le prier en méme terns de m’ envoyer une descriptiori écrite en Franpais de ce qu’il pourra dechifl'rer des inscriptions, et empreintes de ma trouvaille.” .
The package has just now reached Calcutta under charge of our associate Sir JEREMIAH BRYANT.
I hasten to make known its curious contents to the Society, con. fining myself on the present occasion to a description of the several articles in the order of their discovery, of which we have a full account in the “ Etat des travaux,” published by Mr. Wuson, as already noticed, in the As. Res. vol. xvii., page 601 :—The articles, being separately and carefully packed, left no difficulty in recognizing then-1 from the circumstances there indicated.
Description of General Ventura’s operations.
The excavation was commenced on the 27 th April, 1830, at the very bottom of the cupola on the south side, where having met with nothing but loose materials, the work was of necessity discontinued.
On the 28th April, the cap of the cupola was laid open, and there at the depth of three feet, six medals (or coins) were discovered.
On the 1st May, at the depth of twelve feet, a square mass of masonry was found, exactly in the centre of the mound, and regularly built of quarried stones, in very good preservation. On piercing ten feet into this, a medal was found in the middle of a clod of earth.
On the 6th, a silver coin and six copper coins were met with at the depth of twenty feet.
I I am not able to recognize the coins discovered up to this period, and I conclude they have been mixed with the general heap of scattered coins, all being of the same nature.
On the 8th May, the workmen came upon a box of iron (probably copper) which was broken by a stroke of the pick-axe. There was in
this box a second smaller box of pure gold, (fig. 1, Plate xxr.) with an ornamental top, in the centre of which is inserted a stone resembling the opal but friable and adhesive to the tongue like tabasheer ; it is reserved for future exa.minati0n:this box contained the following articles:
Fig. 2. One medal of gold, weighing 122 grs., or two drachmae (the same as was depicted from a sealing-wax impression, in the As. Res.
Obverse. There is also a description of this coin in the Journal, ii. 38, but both that and the drawing (Pl. ii. Fig. 18) are imperfect, when compared with the real coin, of which I have now endeavoured to give an exact etching. The sceptre held by the king on the obverse has a knob like an ear of wheat. The projection behind the cap is a double fillet or ribband, and not hair: the side-flap on the contrary has more the appearance of hair, and the mustaches are well defined : the left hand holds a hook or key, or it may be a small sickle, with which the ear of corn has been cut? the legend,if Greek, is considerably corrupted (see vol. ii. p.38), but the central part . . ANOPA. . may be traced on many of the copper coins.
Reverse. The seated figure on this side appears at first sight to have four arms : but on closer inspection, what was taken for one right arm may be asword belt, and the up-lifted left arm may represent the curved part of a bow ; the resemblance to wrist bangles and hands however is strong. The half moon behind the shoulders seems to prove the figure to be a sacred or symbolical personage, although the chair is a Grecian fauteuil, and the head-dress resembles a close helmet. The epigraphe on this side can hardly be other than MANAOBA. . . . I‘O : the first may be connected with the name of the sacred personage, or the locality ; the last two letters maybe the date, 73, of some unknown era.
Fig. 3. A gold ring, set with a pale sapphire stone, having characters engraven upon it, apparently Pehlevi, (fig. 3, a.) Fig. 4. Asinall bit of pale_rnby, (Bales or Balakshani ruby, see vol. i. 358.) Figs. 5, 6, 7, Three very small silver coins. Fig. 8. A thin silver Sassanian coin, similar to those so frequently met with in Persia; weight 60 grs. or 1 drachma. Obverse. The king’s head, bearded, and having flowing curled hair : the cap peculiar for its central ornament of feathers, which somewhat resembles the Egyptian symbol of two wings supporting (in this case) a half moon, and star. The
characters are Pehlevi and illegible.
Figs. 9 and 10. Two silver coins, resembling the Sassanian piece in thinness and general character, but destitute of the fire altar; weight about 50 grains each.
Ohverse. - A beardless head, with well marked Indian features: the head-dress has a kind of tirsfil in the centre, and two flowing ribbands. A name very plainly
» written on the field in an unknown character. The whole is encircled with an in.
scription at once recognized to be in Sanscrit characters; these have been also engraved under the coins, to shew the coincidence of the two inscriptions, one of which will materially assist the decyphering of the other‘.
Reverse. Head of a female, front face, with very singular headdress : necklace and rows of pearls on the boddice : legend in the ancient Persian character not
easily legible. It is copied in 10, a. Fig. 11. The last coin of this series is a silver coin, already depicted as 43 of Mr. W1Ls0N’s plates, very rude in execution, but of strong relief.
The fabrication of this is decidedly Hindu, and the inscription on the
‘* A few more of these curious coins have been received in KERA'MAT Ar.r’s collection, but I do not introduce them here, being desirous of exhibiting the Monikyttla treasures unmixed. One bears the name of KRISHNA as Sri Votsu Déva._