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0091 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 91 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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Since the 1st of March our expedition had included a new Swedish member, Dr BIRGER BOHLIN, a palaeontologist from Uppsala. For two years he had been in the service of the Geological Survey of China and superintended the excavations in the celebrated Chou-k'ou-tien caves forty kilometers south-west of Peking. There he had found, among other objects, half a lower jaw, with several teeth intact, of Sinanthropus pekinensis, one of the oldest known representatives of human kind. That same year BOHLIN's successor, W. C. PEI, dug up the first complete cranium of this species, that lived at least 500,000 years ago.

BOHLIN now prepared to leave for Sinkiang, to open up a completely new field of work in my service. He was to be accompanied by a new Chinese member, Mr PARKER C. CHEN, who would act as assistant to AMBOLT in the latter's astronomical and geodetic work.

My own plan was to return to Sinkiang at the end of April. In order to avoid the monotonous Siberian railway on which I had travelled so many times, I resolved if possible to travel by car from Kalgan over Urga, Uliasutai and Kobdo to Chuguchaq and Urumchi. I sent a detailed telegram to the government of the Mongolian Republic to apply for the necessary permit, without, however, receiving any reply. For other reasons this projected journey was inhibited, and I sent a wire cancelling my first telegram. Just half a year later I was informed at the Mongolian Legation in Moscow that the permit had been granted, but that the reply had not been sent off on account of my second telegram.


On April 21st I had another attack of the malady that had confined me to my bed in February, and this upset all my plans.

I had promised a lecture for the 25th in the lecture-room of the P. U. M. C., and now here I was in bed with an insufferable neuralgic ache in the back. But the lecture had been advertised for a couple of weeks already, and it would have been very unpleasant to let the managers and the public down. HUMMEL therefore gave me a morphine injection and I drove off to the lecture, feeling it as a regular punishment. I was led forward to an arm-chair on the platform, and began by telling the very distinguished audience that if under the effects of the morphine injection I should happen to say anything too fantastical they were not to believe a word. But all went well, and by half-past eleven the ordeal was over.

The end of April and the beginning of May were for me a very trying period. The ache grew worse, and I was once more admitted to the P. U. M. C. hospi-