Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

TRAVELS IN AFRICA.

632 Literary Intelligence.— Travels in Africa. (VOL. CL.

a large fruit resembling a melon in coosistAt the Royal Geographical Society, Dec. ence, but insipid ia taste, and considera's 12th, an interesting paper was read, com- larger. This tree, then, they cut orer abesi municating some particulars of the recent 60 feet from the ground, and hollo* out ta discoveries in the interior of Africa by M. a considerable depth, almost, indeed, to the Douville, a French gentleman lately re- ground, but without otherwise cutting i turned from South Africa. This enter- down, or strippiog it of its branches, which prising traveller, who was the author of the contioue to flourish ; and the water received communication, landed first at Benguela, in in the cavity in the rainy season constitutes 1827, but shortly afterwards proceeded to a provision in the dry. The trees are also Loaudo, and thence to the mouth of the used, occasionally, as prisons ; and crimina's river Bengo, or Zenza; the latter being the are sometime starved to death in them. proper name, and the former only known to From Loando, M. Douville proceeded to the Portuguese quite at its mouth. From Ambriz; thence in a direction Dearly east this point he proceeded in a direction nearly to rejoin his bearers at Cassange, and froa east, examining the districts of Bengo, this point the most remarkable part of bis Icolo, Golungo, and Dembos, the latter an journey commenced. Crossing the Zabire, object of especial dread both to the natives (which he identified with the Couaugo, and of the adjoining provinces and to the Portu- ascertained to rise in the S.E., and not, guese themselves, in consequence of a re- as has been imagined, N.E. from its mouth, markable echo, that repeats the peals of but which receives at the same time baby thunder, which in the stormy season are and even very considerable confluents froca almost incessant, so as to produce a truly the N.E.) he penetrated to the northward, awful detonation.

visiting states of which the names even have The next provinces which M. Douville been hitherto unknown,-ascertaining the examined, were those of Ambacca and Pungo existence and position (between 3° and so Andongo, the geological formation of which of south latitude, and 299 and 30° east logo he describes as extraordinarly rent and torn gitude from London) of a great lake, called by volcanic action, now extinct. And by the natives Couffoua, but which he conthence he turned directly south through siders to be the lake Maravi of our maps ; Haco, Tamba, and Bailundo, independent in all respects resenabling lake Aspbaltes, or provinces, occupied by a fierce, warlike the Dead Sea, in its owu properties, and people, from whom, however, he met with surrounded by dark, fetid mountains, which little molestation.

are called " stinkiog" in the language of the From Bailundo, M. Douville was obliged country, (mulunda gia caiba risumla) ; to return to Benguela ; but, after a very thence crossing the equator in about 306 short repose, he again set forth, and pro- east longitude, and gaining the parallel of ceeding S.E. first traversed the province of 20 north; but then, wasted by fatigue and Nano, and thence arrived at Bihé, situate disease, having lost his wife, turning agaia in 13° 37' south latitude, and 20° 14' east to the south-west, and reaching the coast longitude from London. The general eleva- Dear Ambriz. The entire circuit accomtion of this country is about 7000 feet above plished was about 2000 leagues; including a the level of the sea ; all its rivers are rapid, direct line of 400 leagues from the seaand make a very loud noise in their beds. coast; above 200 leagues further than had

From Bihé the route pursued was first ever before beeu accomplished, and to where N. and then towards the N.E., into the the rivers fowed east. states of the Cunhinga. Thence M. Douville A bew expeditiou to explore the interior sent a large portion of his effects, under the of Africa is about to be undertaken by two care of native and Mulatto bearers, direct to enterprising individuals, named COLTHURST Cassange, which was the point towards and TYRWHITT, who are not seat out by which he purposed ultimately proceeding, Goverament, though it countenances their while he himself turned west, to examine a zeal and courage by affording them a pas. volcanic mountain on the confines between sage to the western coast of Africa in a vesLibolo and Quisama, whence he was tempt- sel belooging to the public service. The ed to return to Loando for a short time, plan proposed is to laud either at the mouth examining the provinces of Carubambé, of the Benin, Bogay, or Old Castlebar, and Massangano, Muchima, aod Quisama, on thence immediately advance into the intebis way. These are all subject to the Por- rior. It is their intention, we understand, tuguese, except Quisama, which, though to proceed in a northerly direction till they maritime, has preserved its independence; shall meet with the Bahr el Abiad, and and where the inhabitants, who suffer from then to trace the course of that river from & want of water in the dry season, have its source to its termination. Their object contrived a very singular sort of reservoir. is to solve the problein of the mighty Nile ; A large tree, not the Adausonia, but called

and we are glad to fiad that they have letthere « Imbondero," is abundant in the ters for the Pasha of Egypt, and recomcountry, averaging 60 feet girth near the mendations, in Arabic, W various native grouud, aod growing to the height of 100 chiefs who might aid them in their great feet, with spreading branches, and bearing and perilous undertakivg.

PART 11.]

[ 633 ]

ANTIQUARIAN RESEARCHES.

VITRIFIED FORTS OF SCOTLAND AND THE ORKNEYS. In our previous volumes we have occa- that fire has not been employed in the consionally noticed these curious remains of an struction, but towards the demolition of such unknown but distant period as being pecu- forts as display the marks of vitrification. liar to Scotland. (See our vols. xciv. ii. 5. The opinion that the vitrification of 260 ; xcvii. i. 624, &c.) Considering the these forts was the result of beacon-fires. interest they are calculated to excite iu the This theory has met with many supminds of the antiquary, the historian, and porters, particularly among the contributors the philosopher, the following general dis- to Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of quisition, accompanied by some curious facts Scotland. But the most able advocate of and recent discoveries, may not prove unio- this opinion is Sir George Mackenzie of teresting.

Coul, Bart. in an article on vitrified forts, By a vitrified Fort (says Dr. HIBBERT in written by him for Dr. Brewster's Encyclothe “* Archæulogia Scotica," vol. 1v.) is im- pædia, ard in luis published letter addressed plied an area of ground, often of a round or to Sir Walter Scoit, on the vitrified fort of elliptical form, and evidently selected for Koockfarril. The chief arguments for this some natural defence possessed by it, which opinion are, that the marks of fire are incliis further protected by one or more inclosing cative of an accidental rather than of an inramparts, formed by stones ; these stones tentional effect, and that vitrified forts are showing, to a greater or less extent, marks generally situated on lofty insulated hills, in of vitrification, by which they are cemented such a chain or mutual connection as to altogether. None of these vitrified forts ex- low of telegraphic communications to be hibit, as from many writers we should be er- conveyed from one station to another at a roneously led to suppose, any regular ma- considerable distance. sonry in their structure. Uphewn fragments In a communication read to the Philosoof stones, and water-worn bouldors, some. phical Society of Manchester, by Dr. Millitimes mingled with smaller gravel, appear in gan, the author is of opinion that these a quantity almost exceeding belief, following beacon-fires were in use among the earliest the contour of the summit of a mountain, inhabitants of Caledonia ; and he supposes or, as in the instance of a fort which is si- that, as the invasion of Agricola was attuated in the Kyles of Bute, following the tended by a fleet on the coast of Scotland, contour of a small holm or islet, elevated a the fires seen in the interior of the country, few yards only above the level of the sea ; which Tacitus describes as the flames of and in cases where, owing to the more ex- dwellings kindled by the inhabitants, might posed nature of the ground, a stronger de- bave been sigoal-fires communicating from fence is demanded, a double or eveo treble hill to hill, as, for instance, from Stone rampart of the same rude materials is added. haven to Bute, where a line of vitrified furts

The vitrification which characterizes these may be traced; and that this telegraphic forts is, in soine few of them, displayed to communication was the prelude of the battle

extent that is perfectly astonishing : of the Grampians. Various other writers, while in other instances it is with difficulty however, assign to these forts a much later to be detected. In short, no two forts in date, particularly the contributors to Sir their degeees of vitrificatiou are in any re- Juho Sinclair's Statistical Reports. They spect conforınable to each other; and it is of conceive that they were in chief requisition importance to add, that throughout Scot- as beacons during the descents of the Northland similar forts appear, having no marks men, which lasted several centuries. This of vitrification whatever. These forts first last opinion many, if not most, of the vitrimet with scientific attention about half a fied sites which have been examined, tend century ago, when various theories were pro- greatly to support. The coasts of Scotland posed to account for the origin of their vie began to be annoyed by the predatory visits irification, which theories may be reduced of the Vikingr about the end of the eighth to the following heads :

century; but it was not probably until the 1. The notion that the vitrification ob- Scots bad obtained a complete ascendency servable in these forts was the result of vol- over the Picts, by which both were united

under one government, that systems of bea2. The theory, that vitrification was arti- cons were forined to provide against the ficially induced, as a cement for the consoli- sudden descents of the Scandinavians, whu dation of ramparts of loose stones.

invaded them from the Danish or Norwegian 3. The theory of Dr. Anderson, that vi- shores, or from countries which they subsetrification was promoted by the employment quently colonizer, namely, from Shetland, of a peculiar vitrescible ore.

Orkney, Caithness, Sutherland, the He4. The theory of Lord Wondbouselee, brides, Ireland, or the Isie of Man. The

Gent. Mag. Suppl. CI. Part II.

[ocr errors]

canic agency.

Porifed Forts of Scoilea adie Orte
W: 5, as we learn from ces casos passa
Sca, u see of the sos: cuoret de process es benga
2015suces ba be North. sez: za bezce sites ezers
* 3 ss to sa loca ty for the greatest 6. The peoret
or sports or vorte sses. The steder
such as have bees traced wibo SLS & of restenous ETE

pabae

secas ses e se fraksis Dapus, and is a direction Durata sa fie Crearty to Fort 42- Scotissi, of web wers pustu, na de estimates a sweaty; bus is sites, and se secas.sk. 1 is prutate is: 1223 Kiul spoest on be their vissza, se evesta. foed to be much more. Tv The forests Sosiasi. vir sed es.sesces appear sear Hosts, cos- che fossseen:) cesty, bectes sparesty as the use of coast a aheadases or accident sacez trom k ssari's Head to tbe noch Britais. Apan ske po er the Dee. More sooth, a chain of nitrie enumerated cbe cas, se fred sites, size or tes ia sumber, appears to 75 or Sets Sr', the eti: have covered signals from the line of cras: broad-leared or #rebels, wh ch streiches froa k scarcise to the Tay, mountaia ash , the cos.. being prolonged from Szosebaves or Das- tbe alder, the treaba dee to the Deighbourhood of Dunkeld or tremula), the bird cherry Creti. On the west coast, again, we fod and the saagh or sallon. simi'ar vitnbed sites at Bate, Cantire, Isla, Keeping, ches, this ancient Loch Erive, Loch Sunart, Fort William, or of Scotland steadily is ries, a: Arsa g. The ouaber which subsists on iDeans illogical to extend nach the west vet remains to be ascertained ; shou: the causes which xould reduce i twelve bave been ecumerated. As Gal- in a country overspread wide loway, three occur, apparently as signals arable land was also puch as against the marauding colonists of Ireland. the spoils of deose woods and in

At the hill of Cowdenkoors, on the bor- kiddied upon every occasive of ders of Berwickshire, although its some religious sacrifice, or of stara by mit has been fortified, it is on the flank of proach of an ipvading ebeay. Isa this eminence, where little or no defence ap- effects indicative of immense piesa pears, but which commands the view of a forest trees, the vitrifving actice of considerable tract of country in the porth would be heightened by Faroeringe and nurth-east, that a small cairn of vitrified of wind, as by a blast furnace of s. stones is to be detected. In many other intensity, are post truly marverplaces, also, vitrification is rather to be ob- times appeariog to vie with the resu served on the unprotected side than upon volcanic incandescence. the defended summit of a hill; which cir- The thirteenth or fourteepth cz. cumstance night lead us to suppose, that form the closing period to which s signals of alarma were often intended to be limit the data of vitribed sites. The concealed from an invading enemy, with the lish, in their expedition against Ses design that a readier chance of success might endeavoured to clear the soil of its exte be afforded to stratagems of repulsion. or bering woods; and it is recorded thas, sa surprise,

expedition of the Duke of Lancaster, ed? Wallace, who wrote in the year 1700, thousand batchets were beard resounds has stated, that even at that late period the through the forests, which at the sade sa people of Orkney had in every isle a wart- ment were consumed by spreading to hill or ward-hill, which is the most conspi- Lastly, as Mr. Tytler has added, many cuous and elevated part of the isle, on which, tricts were soon afterwards brought into car ja eme of war, they keep ward; and when tivation, and converted into fields and me they see the enemies' ships approaching, dow-lands. After the period of the ther put a fire, thereby to give notice to the struction of Scottish forests, it would be for adant isies of the pearness of the enemy, cile to expect that any records would indand to actveruse them to be on their guard, cate the continuance of vitrifying causes. or to come to their help; this they distin: The hill which, as a signal of war

, once guished by the number of fres. Mast of the vitrified forts show internal of stately trees, is now illumined with little

proudly blazed with the lavish conflagratioa evidence of their having been in use for some such iperdental purposes as beacon-sigoals. gloria mundi.

more thao a paltry tar-barrel! Sic transi Where the stones which have received the With these preliminary observations, we full force of the fires appear of inconsider. shall now proceed to notice some interesting *ble derth, a complete fasion of the part facts, as connected with recent discoveries. has taken piece; but, in other examples, che

la a late Number of the Philosopbica! fused matter has rua among the stones ia Magazine, the particulars of a vitrified fort small streams. le asi every case vitibi- found at Dudex":

is the Isle of Buie,

ves

an.

Vitrified Forts at Dunnochgoil and Elsness. 635 ed by Samuel Sharp, Esg. probably not vitrified, as no traces of them the writer) is on a

are now apparent : the ground below is scatJe south-west corner of the tered with fragments of rock, some of which rhaps the point uearest to doubtless formed the walls. It is at some distance

The heights were estimated by, guess, itations, and higher ground. and the distances by pacing, and have no now little

more than the claims to exactness. a b perhaps 70 feet which may be traced by the above the shore, nearly perpendicular ; bc ef lations ; but at one part the ditto, not so perpendicular; l 15, n 40, a

than a foot high, built of rather steep ascent; ad and hg 40, nearly nut much larger than bricks, perpendicular. fication formed into one solid

Between d and h the side is kept perpenlike the slag of a furnace. The dicular by building, without vitrification or est be described by reference to apparent cement. Each chamber is about ig figure.

40 paces long, and 25 paces wide, the space between the chambers 3 paces, the gradual ascent from q above 100 paces.

The sides b a b and i f'q are each about 100 yards from the sea; and near V are the traces of a landing-place on the beach, which however must be either modern or accidental, as they could hardly have withstood the waves of so many centuries.

Dr. Macculloch, after describing in the Geological Transactions, vol. ii. the Fort of Dun MacSpiochan, near Oban, combats at length and successfully the opinion, that the vitrification was the effect of natural causes; but the opinion could never have been held by one who had seen this fort in Bute, where the traces of art are so evident and so undeniable. The wall must have been first built, and then made compact and solid by vitrification, which must have required a considerable fire to be moved from place to place, as the work proceeded.

In the Edinlurgh Journal of Science, for Oct. last, there appears an interesting communication by Dr. Hibbert, on the discovery of some very extensive vitrified remains at Elsness, in Orkney; where no such remaids have heretofore been discovered. Although we read in the Orkneyinga Saga of

pumerous beacon-signals having been lighted From q there is a gradual ascent to the up in Orkney and Shetland, yet, as these outer chamber e f g h, which appears to islauds, from remote historic times, had have been surrounded on two sides e fand been destitute of forests, no fire had been fg by vitrified walls. Between the outer raised of sufficient intensity to leave any chamber and the inner one, a b c d, there marks of vitrification whatever upon the is a slight descent, which may however for- mounds of stone on which the inflammable merly have been a ditch of some depth. materials had rested. This chamber was apparently fortified by vi- Elsness, lying to the south of the island trified walls, not only outwards on the sides of Sanday, is a promontory rather more ab and b c, but also on the side cd against than a mile long from north to south, and the outer chamber. The remains of the about half a mile broad. It was evidently wall are mostly little more than foundations, the stronghold of a Scandinavian chief, one but for part of the way between b and c it is of the ancient sea-kings, being dignified by more than a foot high.

the presence upon ic of the remains of a There were no traces of art to prove burgh, or circular fort, as well as of a large that the neighbouring height ņ was any sepulchral tumulus, which hears the name part of the fort, though it is made probable of Egmond's How, and of a number of by the absence of all remains of wall on the smaller cairns ranged near it in a semicircuside a dhg. The walls were probably only lar form, which, perhaps, were likewise the two or three feet thick, which, at least on

ancient resting places of the brave. Anothree sidles, was all that was necessary where ther contiguous site, which, by means of a the situation made them only accessible to low continuous mound of earth, is made to missiles ; and if there were originally any take the form of a large crescent, indicates others besides those mentioned, they were by this particular structure the place of a

[graphic]

IVard

636

Vitrified Forts at Elsness in Orkney. [VOL.C weaponshaw, or the site where a tribe was factorily, than by contrasting them with the accustomed upon any hostile alarm to repair appearances induced on subjacent stones by fully arıned. Again, about three quarters of the fires of the kelp-burners of Orkeer; a mile to the north of Elsness, close to the where, if vitrification is at all produced, it is ancient church named Mary Kirk, may be slight in the extreme, and rarely caso traced the limits of an ancient ting, where, stones to an extent exceeding a fex iechas. in Pagan times, the functions of the priest This difference would indicate that a vitriand the judge were combined.

cation, in order to be considerable, must be a work of time, demanding that the sur cairo, for perhaps a century or more, should be the unvaried site on which beacoe-bres were kindled.

The cairns of Eisness are not, however, da Marykirk

all vitrified alike. Oo some of them a single burnt stone could not be detecttd, while in other instances a cairn would almost put ca the appearance of one compact burnt mas. Too many of them also were concealed by : thick sward, so that their character for vitrification still remains indeterminate.

From these facts we may proceed to the following conclusions :

For three or four centuries, that is from Burgh

the 10th to the 14th, the Scandinavian presemi-cir of earth Egmond's How

vince of Orkney, always impatient of the control of the mother country, had no ede

mies to contend with so formidable as the Bay Elsness.

kings of Norway, who frequently paid them But the most interesting remains of which hostile visits, to reduce them to submission. Elsness can boast, are the beucon cairns with Against these incessant invasions the Orcawhich it is studded over ;-many of these dians were generally well prepared by keep exhibiting unequivocal testimony of a vitri- ing up a careful watch in their more northfication quite as intense as is to be traced in erly isles, which, upon the first approach of any vitrified fort of Scotland.

an enemy from the shores of Norway, should These round cairns, of which Dr. Hibbero convey signals to a fleet anchored in a coacounted more than twenty, are from three venient porc, and ready to put to sea, there to five yards in diameter, and elevated from to contend with its foes long before they two to three feet above the surface of the could possibly land. These simple historiground. The stone fragments, of which cal circumstances are abundantly uofolded they are composed, which had evidently been to us in the Orkneyinga Saga: Our inquiry, collected from the beach, consist of what therefore, becomes comprised in the follor. geologists would name an argillaceous schist; ing questious ; First, In what part of Orkney being, in this instance, an equivalent of the were its ancient gallies inost commonly Mansfield slate. Their fusibility they have moored? And secondly, lo what unanger chiefly derived from the felspar, or rather were timely signals conveyed to the fleet the alkali, which they contain. The bicu. thus moored to arm and put to sea ? minous matter which inay often he found to The first of these questions is soon reinto their composition, and which, if

solved. It is evident, that, as hostile ate constantly present, would materially add to tacks were chiefly to be dreaded from the their fusibility, is but an occasional occur- north, the most dortherly harbour which

could afford good shelter and depth of water Altogether, these muunds answer to the for ships, provided also that it was situated description given by Martin of the ancient on the east coast of Orkney, would be prebeacons of the Isle of Harris, another early ferred : as these two circumstances of situacolony of the Norwegians : “ There are, tion united, would be requisite for readily says this writer, "several heaps of stones clearing out to oppose a hostile fleet, adcommonly called Karnes on the tops of hills vancing in its proper course from Norway. and rising grounds on the coast, upon which Now, the most portherly island, lying also the inhabitants used to burn heath as a sig. to the east of the Orkney group, is North pal of an approaching enemy.”

Ronaldsay ;—but here there is no harbour The result produced upon the loose stones,

whatever. Nor is the island of Sanday, the which in the form of cairns supported the next in succession, much more fortunate ; fuel, is most astonishing. In some in. its navigation being greatly obstructed by stances, the vitrification has extended to the surrounding shoals of sand, whence the very buttom of a cairn, showing an almost islund has derived its name. In short, there entire compact mass. Nothing, in short, is no port whatever which could have afcan display the effects exhibited more satis- forded any convenience to early war ships,

ente

rence.

« AnteriorContinua »