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beria. The bones of the elephant and rhinoceros occur in vast -quantifies, not only in the southern regions bul in the isles of the Frozen ocean. Several entire carcasses have also been found of the mammoth, that extraordinary animal, no longer found alive in any part of the world, but which surpasses in bulk every other species of land animal.
Chief Towns.] Astrachan, the largest town, is situated on an island in the Volga, 52 miles from its mouth- It is a place of great trade, and has extensive manufactories. Immense quantities of sturgeon and other fish are also caught in the vicinity. The population, consisting of Russians, Armenians, Greeks, Tartars, Persians, Jews, Hindoos, English, French, &c. is variously estimated from 30 to 70,000.
Tiflis, the capital of Georgia, is on the Kur, in lat. 41* 43' N. Ion. ib° E. It carries on considerable trade with Persia, and has 18,000 inhabitants, half of whom are Armenians.
Baku, in the province of Shirvan, is on a promontory which juts out into the Caspian, and its harbor is one of the best in that sea. The country around Baku yields large quantities of naphtha, which is collected in wells by the natives and used as a substitute for lamp oil. The earth seems here to be deeply impregnated with inflammable matter, and the city was formerly much resorted to by the Guebres or fire worshippers of Persia, who built various temples of stone, in one of which a blue lambent flame issued from a large hollow cane near the altar, and this the devotees of that sect believed would last till the end of the world.
Orenburg, on the river Ural, 250 miles N. E. of Astracban, is the great throughfare from Siberia to European Russia and a place of considerable trade. The country around is inhabited bj numerous Tartar tribes. Population 21,000. - Tobolsk, situated at the junction of the Tobol and the Irtish, is a place of considerable trade. Here is the general magazine for the fu^s paid by the various tribes of Siberia as a tribute to the Russian government. The population is 16,000.
Irkutsk, situated at the junction of the Irkut and the Angara, in. Ion. 103° 30' E. lat. 52° 16' N. is a place of great commercial importance, being the residence of many merchants engaged in the trade between Russia and China, which is carried on at Kiachta. It contains about 20,000 inhabitants.
Kiachta, the centre of all the trade carried on between the Russian and Chinese empires, is situated on the southern frontier of Siberia, 330 miles S of Irkutsk, and within a stone-cast of the Chinese city of Maimatshin. The great fair is held in December, whea merchants flock hither from every part of the Russian empire. They bring cloths, furs, Russia and morocco leather, and receive in exchange nankeens, silk stuffs, tea, rhubarb, &c. The town contains 150 houses.
Okhotsk, the centre of the trade with Kamtschatka and Russian America, is situated on a long n;trrow peninsula included between the river Okhota and the soa of Okhotsk. It contain? 2.000 inhabitants.
Tomsk, on the Oby, at the junction of the Tom, has considerable trade and 11,000 inhabitants. Barnaul, a mining town, and the centre of all the forges and foundries in the Altaian moun. tains, is situated near the junction of the Barnaul and the Oby, 100 miles S. E. of Kolhyvane. Yeniseisk, on the Yenisey, has 8,000 inhabitants, and a famous fair which is frequented by merchants from every part of Siberia. Yakutsk, on the Lena, has 3,000 inhabitants and a flourishing fur trade. Population.] The number of inhabitants is estimated at about 2,700,000. The mass of the population in Siberia consists of the native tribes, who are subject to the Russian government, but on whom the yoke presses very lightly, they being merely obliged to pay a certain tribute annually. These tribes are numerous and wholly dissimilar to each other. The tracts in the south and east are occupied by the Mongols, and by the Burats, a nation of the same race. They exhibit the same features and follow the same pursuits with the rest of their nation who inhabit the vast regions of Central Asia. These tribes inhabit the banks of the Selenga, of the lake Baikal, and of the Upper Yenisey. The southern parts of the government of Tobolsk are filled by various tribes of Tartars who subsist principally by pasturage, particularly by the rearing of horses. The northern districts are possessed by hunting tribes, peculiar to itself, not found in any other part of Asia. The principal are the Tungouses upon the Yenisey, the Ostiaks upon the Oby, the Yakoutes upon the Lena, the Samoieds upon the whole northern coast eastward to the Lena, the Tchoutchis at the N. E. extremity of Asia. The European inhabitants of Siberia consist almost exclusively of the troops occupying a series of fortified posts, scattered at wide intervals over this vast dominion, and the descendants of those unhappy persons who were doomed, by the government, to exile in these dreary regions. Religion.] The religion generally diffused throughout this territory consists of that widely extended system of Boodh, or of the Lamas, which has its central seat in Tibet, but is generally professed over all the east and centre of Asia. It is here called Shamanism. On the Upper Selinga, to the south of lake Baikal, is the residence of the Bandida Lama, the pope or head of the religion in this part of Asia. Christianity has hitherto made very little progress among the natives of Asiatic Russia; though considerable efforts have recently been made, and with some success, both by the Russian government and the British missionary societies. Commerce.] The commerce of Siberia consists chiefly of two branches. The first is formed by the exportation of its metals and furs; the second is a mere transit trade, consisting in the overland intercourse of Russia with the Chinese empire. The former is in a great measure in the hands of the government, who have monopolized the most valuable mines, and to whom the tribute of all the wandering tribes is paid in furs.
Inland Navigation.] Notwithstanding the course of tbe grest rivers is from south to north, the merchants carry on a navigable intercourse from west to east, with very few interruptions, across the whole of Siberia. Soon after crossing- the Ural mountain* they descend the Tobol to Tobolsk; then descend the Irtish to its junction with the Ohy, and then by ascending that river and one of its tributaries, they come almost to Yeniseisk. After a short land carriage they embark on the Yenisey, and by the Tungouska and Angara are conveyed to Irkutsk. A short land carriage then places them upon the Lena, which they descend, till a little below Yakutsk they find a tributary which conveys them to the foot of the Stanovoy mountains; after the laborious passage of which, they find a small river, which transports them to Okhotsk, on tbe shore of the sea of the same name. Tbe merchants trading to China follow the same route, as far as Irkutsk; thence they cross the lake of Baikal, and ascend the Selenga to Kiachia, the theatre of this commerce.
Kamtschatka.] Kamtschatka is a large peninsula forming part of the government of Irkutsk, and lying between the Pacific ocean on the east and the sea of Okhotsk on the west. It is traversed through its whole length from N. to S. by a chain of lofty mountains. The number of inhabitants by the last census was only 2,843. They live almost exclusively by fishing and hunting. Instead of rein-deer they use dogs to draw their sledges over the snow and ice.
Inlands.] The Aleutian islands are about 40 in number, and extend in the form of a bow from the peninsula of Kamtschatka to that of Alaska in North America. Tbe inhabitants are few in number and subsist principally by fishing and hunting*. The Knrile islands extend in a S. W. direction from the southern point of Kamtschatka to the isle of Jesso, which belongs to Japan. Several of the islands at the southern extremity of the group are subject to theJapanesa. The population of the whole is said not to exceed 1,400.
Situation and Extent.] Arabia is bounded N. by tbe pachaltcs of Bagdad and Damascus in Asiatic Turkey; E. by the Persian gulf; S. by the Indian ocean; and W. by tbe Ked sea. It extends from 12° to 34° N. lat. and from 33° to 69* E. Ion. Tbe ar-», according to Arrow smith's chart, is 1,090,000square mile*
Dhuiemt.] Arabia was divided by the ancients into three parts ; Arabia Felix, or Happy Arabia, comprising the southwenteru part of the country, bordering on the Indian ocean, and on the southern part of the Red tea; Arabia Pttrota, lying on the Red sea north of Arabia Felix; and Arabia Duma, much the largest division, embracing all the eastern and northern part of the country. These names are still in common use among Europeans; the native*, however, divide the country into five parts, as follows, I. Yemen. 2. Hedsjas. 3. Oman. A. Laeh$a. b. A'tdt* jed. The first of these seems to correspond with Arabia Felix; the second with Arabia Petroea, and the three last with Arabia Deserts.
Fact of the Country.] Arabia is an arid desert interspersed with a few fertile spots, which appear like islands in a desolate ocean. Stony mountains and sandy plains form the prominent features in the surface of thin vast peninsula. To the north it shoots out into a very extensive desert, lying between Syria and the countries on the Euphrates. The whole const of Arabia, from Suez to the head of the Persian gulf, is formed of a plain called the Tehama, which presents a picture of the most complete denotation. The interior is diversified by extensive ranges of mountains, but there is no river of any consequence in all Arabia, almost every stream either losing itself in the sandy plains or expanding into moors and fens.
Climate.] In the mountainous parts the climate is temperate, bat in the plains intolerable heat prevails. A hot and pestiferous wind, called the Simoom, frequently blows over the desert and instantly suffocates the unwary traveller; and whole caravans are sometimes buried by moving clouds of sand raised by the wind. In almost every part of the country they suffer for want of water.
Soil and Productions.] The soil, wherever it is well watered, exhibits an uncommon fertility, but where this is not the case it degenerate* into a waste, affording barely a scanty support to ft few wild animals and the camels of the wandering Arabs. The most fertile district is Yemen or Arabia Felix, which in m.my parts is cultivated like a garden- The principal productions are coffee, myrrh, aloes, frankincense, pepper, and tropical fruits.
AnimaU.] The camel and the horse are produced in greater perfection in Arabia than in any other country. The camel is wonderfully fitted by Providence for traversing the hot nnd parched desert. His stomach is formed for the retention of a large supply of water, and he is thus enabled to travel for six or eight days without drinking. His feet are made of a hard fleshy substance, well fitted to resist the heat of the sand. The ordinary pace of the camel employed in caravans is slow; being at the rate of two or three miles an hour for seven or eight hours in a day. He usually carries 800 pounds on his back, which is not taken off during the journey : when weary be kneels down to rest, and sleeps with his load upon his back.
The Arabian horses have been celebrated In all ages. Tbey ar« remarkable for speed, admirably adapted for battle, very sprightly, full of fire, and they never appear fatigued ; they are besides extremely docile'. Nothing can exceed the care taken by the Arabs in training their horses, and very particular attention is paid to the purity of the breed. Their pedigree is counted as carefully as that of their masters, being often traced an far back as 2,000 years. A horse of high birth will sell for a thousand crowns.
Chief Towns.] Mecca, celebrated as the birth-place of Mahomet, is situated in a dry, barren, and rocky country 40 miles inland from the Red sea, in lat. 21° 18' N. It is entirely supported by the concourse of pilgrims from every part of the Mahometaa world. The chief ornament of Mecca is the famous temple, in the interior of which is the Kaaba or house of the prophet, a plain square building built of stone- The most sacred relic in the Kaaba is the stone said to have been brought by the angel Gabriel to form the foundation of the edifice. The grand ceremony through which pilgrims pass is that of going seven times round the Kaaba, reciting verse* and psalms in honor of God and the prophet, and kissing each time the sacred stone. They are then conducted to the well of Zemzem, situated in the same part of the temple, where they take large draughts, and Undergo a thorough ablution in its holy waters. Another ceremony, considered as of equal virtue, is the pilgrimage to Mount Arafat, situated about 30 miles to the south of the city. The population of Mecca was formerly estimated at 100.000, but is now reduced to 16,000 or 18,000, the resort of pilgrims within a few years having greatly diminished. Jidda on the Red sea serves as the port of Mecca.
Medina, 176 miles N of Mecca, is celebrated as containing the tomb of Mahomet, around which 300 silver lamps are kept continually burning. The population is 6,000. Jambo on the Red sea is the port of Medina.
Mocha, situated near the southern extremity of Arabia, i< the principal port on the Red sea, and the channel through which almost all the intercourse of Europe with this part of the world is carried on. The great article of export is coffee, which is celebrated as the finest in the world. The population is estimated at 6,000.
Sana, the capital of Yemen, is a handsome city situated 1SI miles N. N. E. of Mocha.
Mascat, the principal port on the eastern coast, carrier on aa extensive trade with the British settlements in India, the Malay peninsula, the Red sea, and the eastern coast of Africa. It is under the government of an Independent chief. The Arah* of Mascat are considered fine sailors, and their power at sea was at one time so formidable, and exercised in so piratical a manner, as to give serious alarm to the English. Of late, however, they have become quite civilized and orderly, and Europeans are now treated here with more respect than in any other part of Arabia.
Curiosities.] Near (he head of the Red sea, 150 mile* S. E of Suez, is Mount Sinai, where God delivered to Moses the ten commandments, and immediately west of it is Mount Ilortb, where the