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taken a moment. It was upon the nose of a ridge, running out from the mountain and overlooking a long and beautiful valley below it, - a most picturesque spot. The first that we came upon were placed within a raised place twenty-four feet square, facing east and west. In or on this platform were a dozen and more of these structures. They were much broken up and falling to decay. As originally built, they consisted of slabs of unhewn stone, three placed on end, and another immense one laid across them, giving an opening at one end, and making a nice “ cubby-house,” large one measured eight feet in length and four in breadth. We crawled under this, though the slab was partly fallen down, and calling for the hoe, I scratched away the soil that was below, in hopes of finding flooring. I think I was not mistaken, for I found a flat stone wherever I dug, and it sounded hollow. I did not scratch away all the mould, as it was not easy work, and it was a sheer impossibility to attempt to move the slab, in hope of finding anything beneath. There were six of these cromlechs in a row, and we made out three rows pretty clearly.
The platform itself was neatly walled up with square unhewn stones, and raised about three feet above the ground. A couple of rods down the hill were several others of the same style, but not enclosed with any wall, or, at least, with none well preserved. We pried open one that seemed closed, but found only a heap of cobble-stones. We needed a force of men to make proper investigation, and had to leave such further and more thorough search for another time. Leaving Mr. Burnell here, Mr. Taylor and I walked on for about half a mile, in hope of finding others on the side of a knoll. But none were visible, and after a rest we returned.
PULNEY HILLS, May 31, 1862. Yesterday I had a tramp indeed. A little after six I was off on pony with the horse-keeper and a Coolie who carried my lunch and a hoe. By nine o'clock I reached a river not far from the first-seen cromlechs. There, seated on a flat rock, the water foaming all about me, I ate my cold eggs and biscuit, and then went on to the old spot. I set the boy at work digging in one to see if he could find a slab below, corresponding to the slab above. He soon came to one, though it was well covered with rocks and loam. At the end of this cromlech was another apartment of about like size, full of cobble-stones. To get at this end of the slab, I must remove part of the pile. It was hard work in the hot sun, but we finally succeeded in uncovering both ends. The slab was very heavy, a foot thick, three feet wide, and five feet long; it was impossible to lift it. All I could do was to feel underneath. There was clearly a hollow, but whether anything was in it I could not tell, though I pulled out a handful of damp leaves. After digging awhile I pushed further on in search of new cromlechs. After riding two miles along a mountain-slope I came to another spur of the mountain, jutting out into the valley. . . Of a sudden, looking about me I espied what I most wanted to see, - cromlechs. They were on the brow of the hill, in exactly similar position to that of the old ones. But they were much finer, in a better state of preservation and larger. One slab was enormous. It was full eight feet high, six feet long, and a foot and a half thick, standing perfectly perpendicular on edge. This had nothing to correspond with it, but abreast of it and in perfect line were two well-shaped apartments measuring each about six feet in length and three in width, about four or five feet high, three-sided, with no slab on top. Then, on what would answer as the opposite side of the street, was another row, but in a very tumbled-down condition, and at one end of the street was another smaller one, facing in the opposite direction. They all face either east or north.
It was very evident where the slabs came from, for the brow of the hill was a bare, stratified gneiss rock, easily peeling off into thick slabs, and the places from which they were taken were plainly marked. Some of these cromlechs also were wholly shut up, and I should like to look beneath. I dug again here in search of a lower slab, and after digging over a foot, came to one. So all, thus far examined, have slabs below. Now the question is, have these cromlechs relics of any kind beneath ? The slabs are so heavy that it would require a strong force of natives to lift them, and I want to get up an expedition that shall do up the thing thoroughly. When you remember that these have an antiquity probably equal to that of Celtic remains in Britain, that the most primitive of the inhabitants here have not a whisper of tradition about them, you will admit that they possess an interest of no common kind. But they are hard to get at in one day, and there is no village handy. There are villages below you, and most lovely spots are they in; I think I shall try to reach one and stay there a day or two, making explorations.
Another trouble is the rain, as I can testify. I got back for dinner at the brook by two o'clock, and at three I was ready to start, but already the drops had begun to fall, and I was a hard five miles from home. But I buttoned up my coat, spread my umbrella and started on.
First came an awful tug on foot up a high hill for nearly a mile. The grass was so tall that you could often find the path only by shuffling with your feet. Coming down the soft grass felt nicely, but now it needed but a few wisps to put you into a pleasant state of wetness. Pony and the men followed dolefully on, and before we had reached the summit, we had it in fuss and fury. Once a year we have such rains at home, but not oftener. Here among the mountains they are truly fearful. The little bridle-paths were full of water rushing along, and as we turned one corner of a hill and another, the rising wind came swooping upon us from one quarter or another, till it seemed as if old Boreas would split his cheeks. Finally it came with such a burst, that I burst out laughing and struck up Yankee Doodle and Star-Spangled Banner. It was a ride worth riding. The road was bad, and I had every now and then to get off and lead pony, not risking my neck on him, and it was impossible to get out of a walk. So we had to grin and bear it, plunging along through the swash for two hours and a half, till within half a mile of home.
[A few days after this David was obliged to leave the Hills, without an opportunity for further search; but several weeks later he made an excursion with Mr. Washburn and Mr. Capron to Mânâ Madura, to examine some remains which had been discovered by Mr. Capron while engaged in building a house at this place.]
TIRUPUVANAM, Sept. 20, 1862. We have come back from our tour of scientific research in the vicinity of Mânâ Madura. We reached the village near which the relics are at dusk, and passed the night. . . . . Before five in the morning we set out for the remains, about half a mile off. All that is seen above the surface is the rim of an earthen pot, about a foot and a half or two feet in diameter. There were some dozen or more to be seen. So we set to work to dig one up. It was about two feet deep, without a cover and filled tight with gravel. We dug out the gravel and at the bottom found two little pots, of such pottery as all vessels are made of in this country. Their shape, however, differs from the one common
and in one we found about half a skull, much worn and its form preserved only by being imbedded in earth. Several teeth and remains of other bones were also discovered. We had two or three Coolies to work for us, and opened four more. On the outside of one we found a lot of vessels, broken and whole, of various forms, one kind a very graceful cup, not unlike a finger-bowl. In each jar we found several vessels,
, and always remains of bones, though almost all were undistinguishable for rottenness. The object of the jars however was clear; the place was a burial-ground and a very ancient one too. No one now can tell anything of the origin of the jars. The people say that formerly there was a caste that did not die, and that such people were placed alive in these jars, with a little rice and water in the cups. Thirty years ago there was a forest over this spot, of large trees. Whose are these remains ? I suppose they are allied to old relics found