- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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but to the south of low cliffs. These flat cliffs were
interesting ; their top was more or less on the same
level all along, and they pierced the layer of loose
earth which mainly måkes up the plain. It looked
as though the cliffs have been planed off through
shore erosion at a time when the sea came very
much higher, and in this way a so-called "shore
flat" has been formed. The loose layers, too, of the
plain were to a great extent laid down under water
at a time when the Caspian Sea came higher, and
spread its water right up to the mountains. This
was at a geological period when the moisture in
these parts was far heavier compared with the
evaporation than it now is. This was certainly one
of the circumstances of the colder climates of the
lee Age. In those times of heavier rainfall the
Caspian spread over a vast surface many times as
great as the present one, stretching, for instance,
over the steppes of south-eastern Russia.
After breakfast wc drove in the car south over
the plain to the town of Tarki, or Tarku (which is
the original and right nåme). It lies up the steep
mountain-side, and was, as wc said above, the
principal town of the Kumyks, and the seat of their
princes or shamkhals. When wc came to the foot of
the mountain wc left the cars behind and went up
on foot. Wc went by a remarkable-looking mill,
built of stone, with a long flat roof and a heavy
overshot wheel. It was clearly a great improvement
on the highly primitive mill usually found among
the mountain people, which has a horizontal
wheel in which the water from a channel spurts

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