"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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August 22, 1926 : Head Camp (Lower & Upper) ; Rouffaer River

August 22

Le Roux and I went downstream a couple of miles with 5 Dyaks and a canoe to a large boulder bar in the river. Le Roux took a couple of panorama pictures and we collected a lot of fossil ammonites that occur in a very hard fine grained black rock that is quite abundant here. This rock is also loaded with iron pyrites, and when a boulder is broken open it glistens like it was filled with polished gold. The fossils are also usually largely replaced with pyrites. The black sand, resulting evidently from the erosion of this formation, is "golden" in places, as the pyrites appear to {p. 219} be lighter than the rest and pile up on top in big windrows. The abundance of pyrites in this rock is astonishing and the sand in many places is half composed of it. In the middle of the afternoon the transport returned from Motor Camp, with notes from below and bringing Saleh. It appears Prince has developed tropical malaria and the navy doctor advises his immediate return to Java. Stanley and Dick with a canoe and 4 Dyaks came upstream with the transport one day from Motor Camp where they will wait several days (the Papuans permitting) working with the Papuans and taking pictures and collecting ethnological material. Dr. Hoffman is now at Motor Camp and has malaria again. The rest of Ipoei's Dyaks came up on this transport.

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