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 Somewhere there, also, are copper mines; and a spring of asphaltus; scorpions of enormous size,1 both with and without wings, are said to be found there, as well as tarantulas, remarkable for their size and numbers. Lizards also are mentioned of two cubits in length. At the base of the mountains precious stones are said to be found, as those called the Lychnitis (the ruby) and the Carchedonius (the carbuncle?). In the plains are found great quantities of oyster and mussel shells, similar to those mentioned in our description of Ammon. There is also a tree called melilotus, from which a wine is made. Some obtain two crops from the ground and have two harvests, one in the spring, the other in the summer. The straw is five cubits in height, and of the thickness of the little finger; the produce is 250-fold. They do not sow in the spring, but bush-harrow the ground with bundles of the paliurus, and find the seed-grain sufficient which falls from the sheaves during harvest to produce the summer crop. In consequence of the number of reptiles, they work with coverings on the legs; other parts of the body also are protected by skins.
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