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reverse resembles the Lantsu,or pointed variety of the Nagari Alphabet, of which we have specimens from Nipal and Tibet. The words
visible are S rz’ gag.. . . .
Obverse. A rzijé, coated, his disproportionate left hand seems to hold the hook before remarked ; the hair is disposed in curls ; on the right is a symbol resembling a tree, but it may probably be the sleeve of the right arm.
Reverse. I have little doubt that this rude figure represents a female standing, with flowing drapery ; the head and face are out of the die, but the breast and waist on comparison with other coins of the same type (for they are plentiful), fully bear out this conclusion.
The contents of this first box are peculiarly valuable, not only from the variety of coins here discovered to be contemporaneous, but from the presence of the Sassanian coin, which brings the epoch of the structure within cognate limits, unless indeed a dynasty of fireworshippers reigned in these parts previous to the formation of the last Persian monarchy by Anraxanxns in A. D. 223 : but we must postpone all speculations, and proceed with our description of the works.
The above box and its contents were found in their natural position, as deposited at the base of the square stone block of masonry which terminated there ; (I am uncertain however whether the French text will bear the interpretation I have given, or whether the square is not ahollow square or chamber " onatrouvé un carréparfait a douze pieds, tres bien établi au centre, bati régulierement en pierres de taill: et tres bien conservé :-—-apres avoir creusé dix pieds, &c.” and afterwards “ le tout an has du carré dont la batisse réguliere s'est terminée 1a.”)
On the 12th May, the perforation had reached thirty-six feet, when another copper coin presented itself.
On the 22nd May, as it was imagined that nothing more would be found in the centre of the cupola, on account of the termination of the square building, an opening was made on the northern side, of the height of six feet, and twelve broad: the excavations were pushed forward at both points.
On the 25th May, a depth of 45 feet had been attained, when on lifting up a large quarried stone, another similarly squared stone was found underneath, having in its centre a round hole ; in the middle of this hole there lay deposited a copper box, somewhat similar in form
to the gold one just described: it was perforated on opposite sides, (Fig. 12,) where apparently handles had been soldered on. The lid was decayed. Inside this box were found, Fig. 13, a little piece of cloth. Fig. I4. A circular crystal drop, and Fig. 15. A small cylinder of pure gold. (Whatever relic may have been in the gold cylinder has been lost.) 27th May. On this day, at the depth of 54 feet, another copper coin was turned up.
On the 29th, at the depth of 64 feet, an irregular hole appeared of six lines broad, in which were discovered '
Fig. 16. A copper ring, and
Fig. 17. A couree (cypraea moneta).
At ten lines lower down were also found an iron ring and three more Sassanian coins, in a very decayed state, Fig. 19.
On the last day of the same month the principal discovery rewarded the Chevalier’s labours. '
An immense stone slab seemed here to cover the whole surface : it was removed with great labour and difliculty, and underneath was perceived with joy a small chamber or basin cut into the solid stone, a foot in breadth and depth,the interior of it built up with stone and lime; in the midst of this, on its careful removal, were found, thus hermetically sealed, the second series of relics now to be described (Plate xxii.)
Fig. 19. A box of copper (supposed to be iron by M. VENTURA) filled with a brown compound liquid. ‘
Fig. 20. Within this box and liquid, abrass cylindrical box, cast and turned on the lathe :—the surface of the metal was in such excellent preservation as still to retain the fresh marks of the tool, but the pinnacle on the top of the lid was broken off by corrosion, or in consequence of a flaw at the neck. I
The lid having been made on the lathe also fitted perfectly tight, and must have kept in, without loss by evaporation, another portion of the thick brown liquid with which it was found to be filled.
On cleaning the upper surface of the lid, it was discovered that an inscription had been there punched circularly round it. The letters are formed by dots, but they are perfectly well preserved, and are of the first importance in making out the nature of the deposit. Fig. 20, 6 represents a facsimile of this inscription, which is again written below to facilitate its lecture. The character so strongly resembles an ancient form of Nagan’, such as might be used in writing, without the head-lines of book-letter, that sanguine hopes may be entertained of its yielding to the already successful efforts of our Vice-President and Captain TROYER. The same writing has been found by Dr. MARTIN and Mr. Mason in other topes. The latter has favored me (through Dr. GERARD) with a transcript of two in which he finds the same words repeated. I have placed these on the same plate for convenience of examination.
In this brass box. 20, were five copper medals, Figs. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, all differing in device, but of that kind already known to us from a multitude of specimens found in Afghanistan and Upper India, by the arbitrary name of “ Indo-Scythic coins,” and now ascribed by Mr. Mnsson writh certainty to KANERKA, Knnrmsns, &c. a
They are all wonderfully well preserved, and seem to have been selected to shew us the prototype of the very five species of coins to which the key monogram is peculiar.
Leaving these coins, as already familiar to us, although by no means exhausted in interest :—within this brass cylinder and buried in the brown liquid appeared a gold cylindrical box, Fig. 21. four inches long, by 1% inch in diameter ; the lid fitting closely on the interior of the cylinder‘, which it entered to the depth of 1% inches.
This box was also filled with thick brown liquid mixed up with a multitude of fragments of what M. VENTURA supposed to be broken amber (ambre brisé). Fig. 22, a, b, c, d, e, will give some idea of their appearance when washed. They were of alight yellow or topaz colour, Which was driven oil’ by a red heat, leaving them colourless. The first conjecture supposed them to be fragments of a glass vessel, which burst into pieces from the expansion or fermentation of its contents ; and that the small bit of string, Fig. 23, might have been used to bind the cover P
Within the box was discovered also, Fig. 24, a small gold coin weighing precisely 30 grains (% drachma). The device resembles in some respects the larger gold coin in the first gold box.
Obverse. The king holding the spica and hook, (quere, sickle ;) dress as before described, and characters on the margin decypherable ; as, ONlKIKOPANO—the rest illegible.
Reverse. A sacred personage standing with his hand out-stretched in an inn. pressive attitude ; his head surrounded with a halo or rather sun, as distinguished from the moon on the other coin. The four-pronged symbol occupies a place to
the right, and on the left are some indistinct letters, KNIIPO. The head of the figure is rather out of proportion, but the execution is otherwise very good.
There is also another minute coin of gold, fig. 25.
But the article of chief value in this cylinder is decidedly
Fig. 26 .A plain disc of silver, upon which have been engraved certain letters, evidently calculated and intended to explain the purport of the whole mystery. The characters are precisely those of the lid of outer brass cylinder : but their combination is different. There can be little doubt of their afiinity to the Sanscrit, but the difliculty of decyphering them is enhanced by the substitution of the written hand, for the perfect Nagari, which it is clearly proved, from the coins discovered in the first box, to have been well known at the same period. The difference is such as is remarked between the mahijanf, and the printed Nrigari of the present day.
I am unprepared to speak of the nature of the brown liquid, which must therefore furnish matter for a separate notice.
In the same receptacle of stone and lime were deposited outside the copper box a collection of forty-four copper coins : all matching with one or other of the five types so carefully preserved within the brown liquid.
On the 2nd of June, one more copper coin was extracted, and on the 3rd of the same month, six more of a similar nature.
Onthe 8th June, the opening perforated from above met that from the side, and reached the earth beneath the foundations. The excavations were however pursued to a depth of twenty feet below the level of the structure without making any further discovery, until the setting in of the rains finally obliged the Chevalier to discontinue his operations.
I had delayed the publication of the above narrative in hopes of obtaining a section of the building, and a ground plan of the spot,which Captain WADE had obligingly written for at my request ; but the lamented illness of General VENTURA and his visit to Loodiana for medical ‘advice have precluded the possibility of its arriving within a reasonable time ; it may however still reach me ere I resume the subject, which I must now drop, to admit of the insertion of Captain Gnanmfs and Mr. M.4sso1v’s further details on this interesting field of discovery. I have before alluded to Dr. M.srvrm’s prosecution of excavations at Jelalabad: the extent and success of these, from Dr. Gunnnrfs account, is much greater than might have been expected. While he was pursuiiig" his search in this direction, Mr. Mnsson was equally active in the plains of Beghram; where his good fortune in the discovery of coins and his talent in decyphering, arranging, and describing them, and eliciting useful results, have been made conspicuous by the valuable memoir read on the 30th April, to the Society. A subsequent note from him to Dr. GERARD, (from which extracts will be given presently,) puts us in possession of the progress of his operations on the Topes up to the end of March last. Dr. GERARD himself also remained at Kabul some time, zealously pursuing the same inquiries. '
Thus we shall bring together in one view the history of the opening of the Punjab mounds up to the present time, when we may suppose them to be nearly exhausted of their treasures ; but we must remember that, however successful subsequent researches may have proved,——to the Chevalier VENTURA must be awarded the palm of originality in these discoveries: while he alone perhaps could have commanded sufficient influence, from his position in a dominant court, to overcomeall the scruples and difliculties which the first enterprise of the kind naturally presented. When once it was found that treasures lay hidderi under the topes, a stimulus was furnished for the prosecution and completion of similar researches, and I fear it must be added, for the demolition of these mysterious monuments of past ages.