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body of horse and chariots. Cæsar had in his company a vastly large elephant (eyssos tapos) a creature before that time unknown to the Britons. This elephant he fenced with an iron coat of mail, built a large turret on it, and putting up bowmen and slingers, ordered them to pass first into the stream, The Britons were dismayed at the sight of such an unknown and monstrous beast, (áopatov x' imepues Omelor) they Aed, therefore, with their horses and chariots, and the Romans passed the river without opposition, terrifying their enemies by this single creature." Cæsar, in his Commentaries, it is likely, omitted this account, thinking that the mention of it would detract from the honour of his conquests, since it could be no merit to conquer a people who ran away from his elephant, rather than from his troops.

Hence we may collect, l. That an elephant was in Cæsar's retinue, and that the Romans knew, that a conquest had been gained by it.

2. That it is reasonable to suppose, that as they reaped such advantage from one elephant, they would bring over more of those animals with them.

3. That as the Roman conquests were chiefly about Sussex, Essex, and Kent, it is most likely that the bones of those creatures should be found in those counties.

It cannot be proved, indeed, that these bones have not lain ever since the general flood; but an historical truth is, in my opinion, preferable to any hypothesis whatsoever. 1757, July.

J. COLERIDGE.

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Kastinskoi on the Don, Dec. 5, 0. S. 1784. MR. URBAN, In the neighbourhood of this town, which is about 30 versts from Voronetch, on the brink of the river Don, are. found a vast number of bones, of a very large size, dispersed about in the greatest disorder. They consist of teeth, jawbones, ribs, spinal vertebræ, the os pubis, hip-bones, tibia, &c. not at all petrified, but in their natural state, only somewhat decomposed by the depredations of time. They are found in a space nearly three ells in depth, and about forty fathoms in length. I called together some boors that were at work at a distance, and gave them a few copeeks for digging a couple of arshines in depth (i. e. four feet and a halt) farther upon the bank of the river; but nothing of the kind appeared. And from repeated trials made by others, we may conclude, that not the slightest vestige of similar bones

is to be perceived either above or below the before-mentioned part of the river. Now, how has it come to pass that these bones have been accumulated and circumscribed within so small a space of ground? By what singular évent has this spot been made the receptacle of so enormous a quantity? What man soever, that has seen the skeletons of elephants, would hesitate a moment to pronounce, that these bones at Kastinskoi are the bones of that animal? The like are found in different parts of Russia, and especially in Siberia. And it is above all things to be remarked, that they are commonly; not to say always, found on the very brink of rivers.

We often meet with difficulties that throw a damp on all inquiry, and seem immediately to strike us as beyond the utmost efforts of the human mind to solve. There are others which seem to solicit our research, by affording several data from whence we may set out.

From what I have laid down above, the present seems to be of the latter kind; and your readers will probably be more inclined to agree with me, when they have perused what I have to offer them on the subject. Such reasonable conclusions as any of them will please to draw, I shall be glad to see; and, having all circumstances faithfully laid before them, they will be as well enabled to reason on the matter as if they were upon the spot. We are so used to the discussion, that it grows vapid on our hands; therefore those to whom it comes with the attractions of novelty are now most likely to hit upon a true solution.

The question that presents itself at setting out is :Are we to attribute the appearance of such fossil bones in these parts to some general revolution our globe has undergone in times extremely remote; or to some particular and local event? It is very possible that these of the Don, and those of Siberia, may have been produced by the same

Will it be allowed as probable, that great troops of elephants, forced by a certain imminent danger to leave their natal soil, were reduced to perish in some country more or less remote, more or less to the north or to the south? When we consider the vicinity of Persia, does not that idea come in aid of the suggestion as to the bones of elephants on the banks of the Don? And what shall hinder us then from supposing that other troops of these animals may have ventured farther to the north, where they found that death they endeavoured to avoid at home? That the banks of rivers should be their only cemeteries, may be explained from the ravages occasioned by inandations, which may have left their carcases on these spots.

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Those whom these suppositions do not satisfy, may tell us, that a number of things are still wanting towards enabling us to form any judgment on the origin of those heaps of bones daily discovered in the bowels of the earth. It is much to be wished, that some active and ingenious naturalist would collect together all the particulars that have from time to time been given on that subject. But nothing appears to me more striking than the facts related by the Abbé Fortis, in his observations on the Isles of Cherso and Ozero, in the Adriatic. He describes two caverns in the former of those two isles; and adds, that the shores of Istria afford a great number which are very spacious. One of these two caverns is, properly speaking, composed of three grottoes, that communicate with each other. Their inside, from top to bottom, is between two beds of marble. In these are a quantity of bones, in a half petrified state, and connected together by a kind of ferruginous ochre. They lie in one of the deepest recesses of this subterranean cave, two feet above the ground, and at the depth of thirty feet beneath the superficies of the niountain, which is all of marble. These fossil bones, of which other vestiges are met with on this isle, are found scattered along the whole of Dalmatia, as they are all over the isle of Cherso. They are the bones of various terrestrial animals, some broken, and some entire. They are found in greatest quantities in vertical and horizontal gaps, and in the interstices of the beds of marble which constitute the base of the hills of this isle. Every parcel of these bones is enveloped in a coat of quartz and stalactes above a palm in thickness. The substance of these bones is calcined and shining. As they are constantly found in the isle of Cherso, in a stony and martial earth, and as these beds of marble preserve a certain correspondence with the sides of the cavern and the continent; we may suppose that these layers, alternately composed of a stratum of marble and one of bones, agree with the northern shore of the Quarnaro, as far as the isles of the Archipelago, and probably farther. At the Museum Britannicum they shew enormous jaw-bones with all their teeth, bones, and tusks, similar to the bones and tusks of the largest elephants, all of them found in the earth on the banks of the river Ohio, and sent to the Museum by the celebrated Dr. Franklin. These bones have bardly changed their nature. As to the jaw-bones, they certainly never did belong to elephants; the teeth of them are not disposed in laminæ, like those of that animal, but are of the nature of the teeth of carnivorous animals. They are attributed, till something better can be found out for them, to VOL. II.

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the mahmout, the existence of which is totally destitute of all probability

In the cabinet of the Royal Society at London there is a large piece of the rock of Gibraltar, containing a great quantity of fragments of human bones; which, although they have not changed their nature, are perfectly inherent to the mass of the rock.

Mr. Thomas Falkner, in his description of the country of the Patagonians, relates, that a very large quantity of what to all appearance were human bones, of extraordinary magnitude, are found on the banks of the river of Carcarania or Tercero, at a little distance from the place where it falls into the Parana. They are of different sizes, and seem to have belonged to people of different ages. Mr. Falkner says,

"he has seen the bones called tibia, ribs, sternums, fragments of sculls, and particularly molar teeth, which are above three inches in diameter at the root. I am assured,”

" that the like bones are found on the banks of the Parana, Paraguay, and even in Peru.”

When I passed through Chirikova, about thirty versts from Simbrisk, I was shewn various bones of elephants, found in different parts upon the two shores of the Sviæga. The inhabitants produce likewise several little works carved out of the tusk of one of these animals discovered twenty-five years ago in the same place, the ivory of which is very yellow. A much greater number of these bones, and even the scull of an elephant, were dug up near Nagadkina, on the bank of the rivulet Birutsk, which runs into the Sviæga. The people here have made a number of little toys, &c. of the ivory found in these parts, which differs in no respect whatever, and cannot be distinguished, from the finest ivory ever used. The point of the tusk, employed in these works, is the only part of it that is the least (alcined, and began to exfoliate. "But is it not to the last degree astonishing, that a bone should be preserved, in a hot climate, without undergoing the slightest alteration, through an almost infinite succession of years?

It is pretended, that near the village of Nagadkina the remains of two ancient entrenchments still exist; and that, whenever the earth is turned up about them, they are sure to find a quantity of human bones. If this be true, though I could learn nothing probable abont it, it would occasion a sort of little triumph to some authors, who are of opinion, that all these elephant-bones, found under ground in the ditferent countries of the North, belonged to those animals that were brought by the armies that came on expeditions

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into these parts. But this opinion may be overturned by a host of reasons more triumphant still. And it is much more natural to carry back the origin of these remains, scattered even as far as the banks of the Frozen Sea, to revolutions much more remote, and of far greater importance, even subversive of the whole face of the globe we inhabit.

The opinions of naturalists on the origin of these skeletons of exotic animals are very various. Some, with all possible subtilty and ingenuity, have advanced, that the climates of the earth have successively changed their nature; and, that those which are at present cold, were bot a great number of ages ago. Others attribute it to the deluge. But perhaps there may be no necessity for wandering so far into the darkness of antiquity. In the year 1767, as they were digging a well near the Birutsk, at the depth of a fathom and a half they found a quantity of human bones, without the smallest trace of a coffin, or any thing that might serve as such; and similar bones are often found in the neighbourhood of that stream. Sometimes, it is said, the iron heads of pikes are found among the bones, and parts of other offensive weapons; which indubitably prove, that a battle has formerly been fought in these parts. Now we know that a great many of the Asiatic nations used elephants in war. It has been thought apparent, therefore, that these carcases of exotic animals were buried in the neighbourhood of the Volga several centuries perhaps, but not so many thousand

years ago as some suppose. But how are these pretended mahmout-bones often covered with so many layers of earth, and actually found in the cliffs that form the very banks of the river? It is thought not difficult to explain it. We know that the current of the immense rivers that traverse Russia frequently undermine and cut their most solid banks, and that the soil where rivers, both great and small, have formerly flowed, is now quite dry: The Volga, even in our days, has swallowed up whole islands, and formed new ones in other parts. Nay, sometimes it leaves its ancient bed, and forms another. This is proved by all those hillocks of sand, irregularly placed, and containing a very great quantity of fluviatile shells. This once laid down, we may easily conceive bow those regular layers have been formed with which these elephant-bones are covered. And we see too how it is possible that a certain quantity of these bones may have been detached from a former place by the waters, and carried lower down by the current and then covered afresh with earth. These, however, are far from solving the different appearances of those numberless collections of

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