24 THROUGH CHI LAS, DARÉL, AND TANGIR [Chap.I
and covered with jungle, they bore clear evidence of the diminution suffered by the population of Darél since those settlements were occupied. Of ` desiccation ' such as might have taken place since that abandonment or possibly caused it, I saw no indication. In more than one instance, e. g. at Bojô-kôt and Tarônali-kôt, small well-kept irrigation channels were seen still carrying plenty of water past jungle-covered terraces to fields in the valley below. On the other hand I noticed that the present villages, whether open or walled, such as the central townships of Mankial and Samagial, all occupy ground that could be far more profitably used for cultivation if pressure of population required it.
I may now proceed to record briefly the ruined sites round Mankial in the order in which I was able to visit them. About half a mile to the south-east of Dalôt, on a rocky prominence overlooking the open valley ground occupied by the fields of Mankiâl, lies Ramal-kôt, a walled enclosure, roughly oval, its longer axis measuring about a hundred yards. Abundant fragments of pottery, proving prolonged occupation, lay among the walls of the ruined dwellings that filled the interior." The top of a little rocky knob about a hundred yards lower down bears another walled enclosure, but smaller, known as Zhômi-kôt (Fig. 20). Parts of the enclosing wall showed large roughly cut stone blocks up to four feet in length. Proceeding to the south-west along a small canal which skirts the steep slope of the Dalôt plateau and brings water from the mouth of the Shigo-gah Nullah, I was next taken to the ruins of terraced dwellings known as Tarônali-kôt. They occupy the rocky side of an offshoot of the spur that descends from the Chilidar peak and flanks the Shigo-gah valley. No enclosure was found here, nor was one needed in view of the natural strength of the position.
Following the aforesaid watercourse, which is carried with much ingenuity along the precipitous rock slopes, we reached the ruins of Bojô-kôt about half a mile farther. They consist of a series of fortified dwelling-places occupying walled terraces along the narrow crest of a steep rocky spur. These terraces, twenty to thirty yards in width, rise in succession to a height of about 15o feet above the canal ; and masses of debris from their ruined dwellings covered the steep slopes. The photograph (Fig. 19) shows the fine view opening from this point up the Shigo-gàh valley and at its mouth the rocky knoll which bears a similar group of ruins known as Shivo-kôt.
About 150 yards to the south-west of Bojô-kôt and on a level about too feet lower than its foot, I was shown a much-decayed terrace the top and slopes of which were covered with remnants of burned human bones mingled with fragments of roughly decorated pottery. On scraping the soil here with improvised implements we soon found evidence, in the form of beads, bits of glass and metal ornaments, that the place had served in pre-Muhammadan times as a burial-place for human remains which had previously been subjected to burning. A descriptive list of the specimens collected is given at the close of this section. From the condition in which many of these small objects were found it appears probable that they must have been picked up with the bone fragments from the funeral pyre. Others, such as the ornamented plaques in silver and the small amulet case, Dar. 02 (Plate XI), had probably been removed from the corpse before burning and subsequently deposited with the bone remnants in separate small receptacles. That these ordinarily consisted of pottery urns or the like could safely be concluded from the quantity of potsherds found in the soil and from the analogy of exactly corresponding finds at Buddhist sacred sites so wide apart as Shôrchuk and Sahri-bahlôl."
No coins were found at the site, nor any other definite chronological indication. The ornamental motifs on the small metal objects, unmistakably evolved under the influence of Indian
11 For a specimen, see below, p. 29. Report, N.W. Frontier, 1912, pp. 13 sq.
12 Cf. Serindia, iii. p. r r9r ; Stein, Archaeol. Survey