The opening into the narrow pass above the Siri Bolan
Artist: Atkinson, James (1780 - 1852)
This is plate 7 from 'Sketches in Afghaunistan' by James Atkinson. While billeted with the Army of the Indus as Superintending Surgeon, Atkinson made beautiful sketches of the landscape and scenes in Afghanistan. These drawing would become an evocative record of one of the most disastrous and bloody campaigns in British military history: the first Anglo-Afghan war of 1839-42.
He made many views of the forbidding passes the troops had to traverse. Here they are shown fending off an attack from the fierce Baluchi tribe, who continually sprang out of their hideaways in the steep ravines. Atkinson wrote: 'The rocks on each side of this Pass are projecting and stupendous, and in the narrowest passages, almost perpendicular. Immense blocks of stone are scattered about all the way and the scenery is of a more magnificently wild character and of a bolder form than any hitherto met with. Many impediments to the march through the Pass, had been removed by the Engineers, but it was still an arduous task ..."