- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
39

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUGASUS
39
although Strabo long ago remarked that according
to what he had been told "the streams were rich
in gold, which is washed out by the barbarians by
means of pierced hides and skins with the hair on,
and in this way has arisen the tale of the Golden
Fleece".
There are considerable deposits of silver, zinc,
and lead in the Ossetes’ country west of Vladi
kavkaz. There is also some iron and a little copper;
but the most important mines beyond all comparison
are the manganese mines in Georgia, on the south
slope of the mountains west of Kutais. An American
company under Harriman got a concession in 1925
for working these mines, which are, perhaps, the
most important in the world’s rnarket for the
production of manganese. It was a great concern,
yielding a large yearly royalty; but owing to
disagreements it has now been given up, and the
working has been tåken over again by the Soviet
government. West of Kutais there are also coal
mines. Sulphur, of course, is found in Daghestan.
Of rivers there are in particular four large ones,
two north and two south of the Caucasus; and
possibly they are related with the four rivers which
were believed in the Middle Ages to come forth
from the mountain in Paradise; but the mountain
and rivers were shifted to the North Pole. The
Kuban rises by Elbruz, runs out north over the flat
land, and then west into the Sea of Azov. The
Terek rises on the south side of Kasbek, runs first
east, then north in a foaming course through narrow
clefts down past Vladikavkaz and over the flat

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