The three kinds of Minerals. The seven Metals. Mines of Gold, Silver, Iron, Lead, Zinc, Tin and Copper. The three kinds of Gem-stones. Pre- cious Stones: Diamond, Garnet, Plasma, Emerald, Carnelian, Turquoise, Ruby, Sapphire and Jasper. Stones of lesser value: Coral, Rock-crystal and Agate. Common Stones: Tutty, Copperas, Glass, Alum, Kuḥl (Antimony), Litharge, Marcasite, Sal-Ammoniac and Lapis-Lazuli. The Mineral Un- guents: Pitch, Quicksilver, Ambergris, Asphalt, Sulphur, Bitumen and Naphtha

SECTION 3. Giving an account of where Minerals are found.

In the First Part of this work* an explanation of the origin of the (three) natural kingdoms (of animals, vegetables and minerals) has been given, and it was then set forth how minerals formed three species, namely, Metals, Stones and Mineral Un- guents. Further, and when enumerating these, the manner of their formation was explained, and now it remains to name the mines in every province, where many of these minerals are found; and this will be accomplished in three sub-sections.

SUB-SECTION I. Describing the seven kinds of Metals.

Gold. There are many mines of this metal, which for the most part lie in the hot regions, but the best, for the excellence of the ore, and the quantity of the output, are those of Maghrib. It is for this reason that Maghrib-gold is now famous; and many say that from all times in Maghrib people who were acquainted with the art of Alchemy have made gold, for which cause it is that gold there is very abundant. Then the mines of Andalusia too are excellent, and very profitable. The mine at Al-Bajjah in Abyssinia gives excellent output; also those in the desert lying between Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia and the Red Sea give good profit. The mine in Sicily is known as the Gold Mountain. The mine in the Wāqwāq Isles (Japan) gives immense returns, so much so that most of the government edicts of that people are inscribed on gold. There are also gold-mines in the desert of Khutlān, which is on the borders of Turkistān: further other mines here in the Rāng Mountains; and in the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is said that, in these mines, large and small ingots lie about the surface of the ground; but it is a notable fact that if the large ingots are carried off then a death occurs among the people here. Again there is a mine between Bukhārā and Ushrūsanah; also one in the mountain near Samarqand, which is easily worked, and which is of great richness. Then there is a mine near Sijil- māsah (in Maghrib) which gives a great output, but the road thither is difficult, and the mine is troublesome to work. There is a mine in the mountains of the Īlāq district in Turkistān, and another in Farghānah. In the neighbourhood of Dāmghān is a mine in what is called the Gold Mountain, and ingots of gold are found here in the soil. This soil they wash in order to separate out the gold; and in all Īrān, at the present day, there is no other gold-mine beside this one. In Sīstān is a mine that is, in the common mouth, much celebrated, because in the times of the Sultans of Ghaznah, what resembled a needle in gold was dis- covered here on the ground. As they dug lower, [<Arabic>] it got thicker, and so increased until it became of the thickness of a great tree. In the times of the later Ghaznavids, however, the mine was laid in ruins by an earthquake, and became choked, so that its very position was hid from sight. Now all this (matter of a golden tree in the earth) is hardly credible, for how should a metal be a growing thing like a plant, seeing that metal is more of the nature of an inorganic fossil than of a vegetable? Then again, how can it be that a famous mine, productive in a high degree, should become in a moment lost to sight? The truth seems to be that the mine really never existed, and that the account of it is but a fable told to amuse and entertain ignorant folk.

Silver. Of silver-mines there are many, mostly in cold countries, and the best, by reason of the purity of the ore, and the abundant output, are those in the Frank countries, which lands have ever been famous for their silver-mines. But there are silver-mines in Khutlān on the Turkistān border; also the mine in the Samarqand mountain, which is easily worked, and gives good returns. In the mountains of Jīruft in Kirmān there is a mine, and one in the Dihistān hills, this last being called Silver-hill; and there are others in the Īlāq province of Turkistān, and in the Rāng Mountains also of Turkistān, and in this latter mine there is the same peculiarity already noted in the gold-mine there (noticed above), namely that the larger ingots must not be carried away (or a death occurs). Then there is a mine in the Farghānah province, another in Bukhārā of Transoxiana, another in Shāsh (Tāshkand) of the same. Further, in Andalusia are silver- mines, and one at Sīmkūh (Silver-hill) lying between Fārs and Jawāshīr (Kirmān city). Also one at Lūlū in Asia Minor, than which in all Persia there is no mine richer in its output. In the mine of Ṭabarak near Ray, whatsoever amount be spent thereon, that sum only does it give back in metal: hence for the most part it is left unworked. In the times of the Saljūqs, however, it was continuously worked, for they said: ‘Although it give no tangible increase, yet since silver is the chief revenue in the world, even this increase of metal is to the good.’

Iron. Of this metal there are many mines, and in the king- dom of Bāmiyān is a district called the Iron Foundry (Āhan Kār). In Arabia is Mount Qusās, where there is a mine producing ex- cellent iron, from which steel is made, hence the Qusāsī swords are famous and much to be relied on. There is also a mine in the Khwāf district of Quhistān, and another in the Qārin Moun- tain of Kirmān. From the mine near Ṣāhah (or Ṣāhik) in Fārs excellent steel is got; also from the Quṭruh mine in the same province. Further there is the Kūrah mine in the district of the Two Ṭārums [<Arabic>] near Qazvīn; the Huwayn mine in the moun- tains of Little Lur; and the mine near Ganjah of Arrān; finally, the mine near Kalantar (Kalanbar) on the borders of Ādharbāyjān.

Lead. Of this metal many mines exist, and the most famous are those of Mount Damāvand. Then there is the mine near Bukhārā, also one in the Ushrūsanah province, and that in the Farghānah mountains.

Zinc. This metal is not found in Īrān, and philosophers have said regarding it, that it might be taken as a comparison for non-existence. In certain books, however, I find it stated that mines of it exist in China, where they make of this metal arms for war, and it gives an edge that is harder than iron.

Tin. Of this there are numerous mines, but the most famous and the most productive are the mines at Qal`ah, on the Indian frontier of China, and it is for that reason it is known (in Arabic) as Qala`ī. According to another account there is a mountain in Andalusia called Qal`ah, where there is a mine producing also lead (Arzīz), and it is from this mountain that the tin takes its name*. There is also a mine at Mān-Rūd of Lesser Lur, where pieces of tin are found weighing each two Mithqāls, each like an acorn with a hole through in the middle. Then there are the tin-mines of the Islands of Kallah and Sarbuzah in the Indian Sea, and there are mines in the Frank Country.

Copper. Of this metal there are many mines, and the most famous for their output are those in the provinces of Gīlān and Ādharbāyjān. Then there are the mines in the mountains near Bukhārā, and in Ushrūsanah, also in the province of Farghānah. There is a mine in the Mountain of Jawshan, lying to the west- ward of Aleppo in Syria, and Qazvīnī* reports that originally this gave an enormous output, but that the mine lost all prosperity from the time when the family of the Commander of the Faithful, Ḥusayn, the son of `Alī—upon whom be peace—were brought past this place as prisoners (after the massacre at Karbalā); for the people here had mocked them in their misfortunes, though the women of Ḥusayn’s family were perishing from the oppres- sive heat, and the children were falling down exhausted. And to the present day, no matter what is spent upon working this mine, it gives but a poor return. Lastly, there is the mine on Mount Sablān in Ādharbāyjān, which produces excellently pure copper.

SUB-SECTION II. Describing Stones.

There are many kinds of gem-stones, and we shall describe those that are most famous and of greatest price in three cate- gories, namely those that are precious stones, then those that are of lesser value, and finally common stones.

Of precious stones there are nine kinds.

Diamond. In the first part of this work it has been described how these stones are found in the valleys of the Ceylon moun- tains, [<Arabic>] but that from fear of the vipers that live in these valleys none dare go there. Hence only by tricks and artifices, using birds to carry forth the same, is it possible to get the stones out from these valleys, and it is because of this that all the pieces of diamond are so small.

Garnet. The best and most famous mines of this stone are in the Frank Country, and these too are in the westernmost parts of that land.

Plasma. The Plasma of the Franks is famous, and in the Īl-Khānid Tansukh Nāmah it is stated that there is in Turkistān a city that was founded by Afrāsiyāb, where there is a Plasma mine, and the colour of the stone is like the corundum. Further, at Dizmār in Ādharbāyjān there is a mine of Plasma, where water, exuding from the stone, congeals after the fashion of ice and petrifies.

Emerald. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is reported that there is one mine of emeralds only, namely in Mount Muqaṭṭam, in the Ṣa`īd province of Upper Egypt, (the same mountain also which in the northern part of the range near Cairo) overhangs Qarāfah. In the whole world there is no other emerald mine but this.

Carnelian. There is of this stone an excellent mine in Yaman, and the Yaman Carnelian is famous. This mine is known by the name of Qusās*.

Turquoise. There are many mines of this stone, but the best mine is that of Nīshāpūr, by reason of the good quality of the stones and the little labour of getting them. In the mountains of Nīshāpūr there are pits dug where the Turquoises are found, and thence come the best stones. These Nīshāpūr Turquoises were famous; but of late years scorpions have come to be found in these pits, and in fear of them the people have ceased to work the mines. There are also the Ṭūs mines, but these give fewer Turquoises than those of Nīshāpūr. Then there are mines in the mountains lying between Bukhārā and Ushrūsanah, also mines in Farghānah, and in Kirmān, but in this last-named province the Turquoises are immature and unformed, and hence fetch but a low price.

Ruby. In the early times no Rubies were found, hence it is that in histories so little mention is made of this stone; but of later years they have been discovered in the Badakhshān Moun- tains, where there are excellent mines. Also on the high-road into Ādharbāyjān there is a mine, but the Rubies from here are immature, being of a dark colour and tinged with blue; and hence these fetch no great price.

Sapphire. The Sapphire mines lie near the equator, for there the power of the heat is greatest, and the Sapphire is only able to get to its maturity after the lapse of time under a power- ful heat.

Jasper. This stone is of diverse sorts. One kind is like Copperas, and the jewellers know it as Crystal-copperas. The best Jasper is that which is perfectly [<Arabic>] uniform in tint, or which displays colours (in bands) so that each is entirely singular: and of this sort is that which comes from Yaman and is called Yamanī Jasper, and it is clear as crystal.

Stones of lesser value.

Coral and the Coral stone. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm there is said to be a mine of this stone in Andalusia, and except for this one there is no other in the rest of the whole world.

Rock-crystal. This is found in India, in the mountains of the province of Kashmīr. It is also found in the hills of the Frank countries, but though in the Frank country it is found in greater abundance, the best is the Indian Rock-crystal. In the crystal mine it is impossible to work by day, for the effect of the sun’s rays is to make it like a burning-glass, so that it burns the clothes of the workmen.

Agate. Mines of this stone exist in Yaman, and in some other places; but there is none that is harder than that coming from Yaman.

The Bezoar Stone and Amber are of the value of Carnelian, and they are of diverse sorts.

Common Stones. These are of all kinds, and in the first part of this book they have been already described; hence we shall only need to mention here the mines of those sorts which are of some more particular value.

Tutty. There are many mines of this, and in Īrān, in a village near Kirmān called Dih Tūtiyā Garān, Tutty is got from the mine as a heavy ore, which being moistened is made up into the form of bars, each an ell in length. When dry these are put in a furnace, and the action of fire extracts the Tutty, which remains in the shape of the bars, and like sword sheaths, which are then taken out.

Copperas. There are numerous mines of this, but those in the Kingdom of Īrān only need here be mentioned. There is a mine in the Huwayn Mountain in Little Lur, where a mineral spring produces Copperas of diverse kinds. Then there is a mine in Mount Damāvand, and another in the Two Ṭārum districts of Qazvīn.

Glass. Its source is the stone for striking fire (flint), and this is found in all countries. Whether it be opaque or clear depends on the art of him who makes it; and the best glass founders are those of Aleppo. The glass bottles from here are perfectly trans- parent and very famous.

Alum. That from Yaman is well known. In this province there is a hill where there is a spring; and the water from this, when it has passed out and run some distance, petrifies. From here the white Yamanī Alum comes, and there is also black Alum.

Kuḥl. (Antimony for the eyes.) There are many mines for collyrium. One mine is in the mountains of Iṣfahān, and this gives excellent collyrium. Another mine is in Mount Damāvand: likewise there is a mine in Andalusia, and the peculiarity of this mine is that the works give the greatest output in the quarter when the moon is waxing to her full.

Litharge. There are many special mines [<Arabic>] for this mineral, and it is also to be obtained in silver-mines; as, for example, in Mount Damāvand.

Marcasite. There is a mine of this stone in Mount Huwayn in Little Lur, and this gives the Marcasite spotted with gold, from which when melted the gold remains as an ingot.

Sal-Ammoniac. There are many mines of this, and in Īrān there is one in the mountains of the Nīmrūz province. There by day you will see smoke, and by night a flame of fire, which comes forth from the mines; and when the men go up thither they clothe themselves in wet felts, for otherwise they would get burnt. The mine here named is the best for output of any known, but there is another mine in Transoxiana, and another at Uzkand.

Lapis-Lazuli. The best mines of this stone are in Badakh- shān, but there are mines also in Māzandarān, and others at Dizmār in Ādharbāyjān, and there is also one in Kirmān*.

SUB-SECTION III. Describing the Mineral Unguents.

Pitch. There are numerous mines for this, and according to the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm the best of all is that lying between Bukhārā and Ushrūsanah; there is also a mine in Farghānah.

Quicksilver. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated that the best Quicksilver mines are at Barānis in Andalusia; and there is here a spring where Quicksilver and water ooze out together. It is exported thence to all lands. There is also a mine between Bukhārā and Ushrūsanah, and another mine in the Farghānah province.

Ambergris. There is much difference of opinion as to its origin, and this point has been discussed in the first part of this book: all accounts agree, however, in stating that Ambergris is from the sea, and that it is not found in Īrān.

Asphalt (Qīr). There are many springs of this. Among those in Īrān is that known as `Ayn-al-Qayyārah in the Mosul district, which gives its name to the neighbouring village. It has a large output. There is also a spring between Bukhārā and Ushrūsanah.

Sulphur. This is of diverse colours, and there are many mines of it. Among those in Īrān is that on Mount Damāvand. On the summit of this mountain they have dug pits to the number of seventy, from which they get the brimstone. One, the largest of these pits, it is impossible to get near to, by reason of the Sulphur vapour that gathers here, which same will cause anyone to faint. The common people say that (the two fallen Angels) Hārūt and Mārūt are imprisoned in this pit, and that the brimstone here found is formed from their breath, [<Arabic>] but this is a statement which is of no authority. There is also Sulphur in the mine at Bāmiyān, where there is a spring; and here the water bursts forth with such violence that the sound of it may be heard at some distance away, but when the water has run for a certain distance it petrifies, and then forms the brimstone. There is also a Sulphur mine in the Huwayn mountain of Little Lur, giving brimstone of diverse colours; and in various other countries also there are mines where Sulphur is found, as, for example, at the Barānis Mountain in Spain.

Bitumen (Mūmiyā). There are many springs of this, and of those in Īrān there is the well at the Āyī village in Shabānkārah. Here there is a hill, and drops exude from its side, which harden so as to form what is like wax (mūm): this they call Āyī-wax (Mum-i-Āyī) from which the name Mūmiyā has come, and this is the proper name of the substance. There is also a spring of this at Dih Ṣāhik in the district of Arrajān in the Fārs province, and another near Mosul.

Naphtha. There are many springs of this, but the most abundant in the Kingdom of Īrān is that at Bākū. Here over a tract of land they have dug wells to get down to the Naphtha source, and the water which rises in these wells carries the Naphtha on its surface. There is also a spring in the Mosul district, and another in the country between Bayāt and Banda- nījīn. In other countries too there are springs; as that lying between Bukhārā and Ushrūsanah, also the spring in Mount Asīrah in the province of Farghānah.