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0419 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 419 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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rooms ', many of which had probably been used as stables at one time or other, were filled with refuse almost to the domed ceiling. This had obviously accumulated through big holes in the floors of the rooms above and had reduced those below to the condition of dustbins. In many places the same had in due course happened to rooms of the upper tier, and others had again been built on the top. I could not have wished for a better illustration of the way in which those remarkable refuse heaps excavated by me at the Miran fort in 1907 had gradually been formed within the warren-like quarters of its Tibetan garrison of the 8th-9th century.4 Evidently there, too, the construction of fresh mud hovels above was found to involve less effort than the clearing out of steadily accumulating rubbish.

After leaving the fortified town, now deserted for the most part, by the track leading to Dastgird, we passed, over a distance of more than five miles, patches of intensive cultivation alternating with bare gravel ` Dasht ' and abandoned village sites of no great age. But close to the west of the hamlet of Khurumak I was shown a debris area of the ` Tati ' type, fully half a mile square and manifestly much older. It is known as Shahr-i-Raukdn from another hamlet farther south. Occasional finds of antiques here were acknowledged ; but I obtained none beyond fragments of glazed and decorated pottery which could be picked up in abundance. The specimens described in the List below, of which some are illustrated in PI. XV, XVIII, seem to point to occupation of the site down to late medieval times. It deserves to be noted that some of the pieces (Khu. 07, 16, 27, 31), as pointed out by Mr. Andrews, are probably of Chinese manufacture. A determination of the approximate age of these may help towards dating the prevalent local ware.

The fine old ` Naib ' of the tract, Muhammad Yûsi-lf Khan, who very hospitably received me for the night in his defensible manor house, could give no definite reason for the extensive decay of Tabbas. The fourteen Karézes now in use were said to yield sufficient water for the land actually under cultivation, and more could easily be constructed if only money enough were available for the purpose. The unsettled condition of the country made it impossible to raise the necessary capital, while the population, which had been kept down in the old days through the recurring Turkomàn raids, had not yet grown sufficiently to exert any pressure.

Debris area near


Cause of limited cultivation.


General Note.

All fragments except 056 are glazed. The body varies in colour from light terra-cotta to pale buff or white. Colours used in decoration are blue, green, and black. Glaze varies from nearly white to green-blue. It is probable that some of the frs. are Chinese ; 027 and 035 seem to be a true Chinese porcelain.

Khu. or, 03, 04, 05, 06, o8, 015, 017, 018, oxg-25, 028, 030, 032, 036, 037, 041, 047-9, o52. Frs. of blue and white pottery. Body light buff ; granular glaze, pale starch, greenish white and tones of ivory white, mostly crackled but adhering well. Painted decorations in various tones of blue, from strong ultramarine to dull grey-blue. Outlines frequently in dark grey. Patterns all fragmentary and generally floral. Perso-Chinese. Annular lines appear at suitable places, such as round lip, foot, or shoulder.

Glaze of 024 036, slightly ` lustred '. All pieces moderately well executed. Gr. fr. (024) 4i"X Ii". PI. CXVIII.

Khu. o2. Bronze disc, with scalloped edge. Diam. i". Pl. CXVI.

Khu. 07, o16. Fr. of rim of pottery bowl (?), in two pieces. Body porcellaneous frit, white, covered with thin white glaze. Edge slightly scalloped. Painted in blue with fine black outlines. Inside, a floral scroll, border in white on blue ground, with paler blue outer bands ; below, plain white. Outside, a broad border containing dragon and clouds. Below, further pattern indicated. Probably Chinese. 2i"X I1"X â". Pl. CXVIII.

Khu. o26, 050, 053. Frs. from pottery vessels ; 026, pale terra-cotta body with lighter unglazed slip outside, and olive-green glaze inside. 050, buff body, with faint traces of greenish glaze inside ; outside, thick dark turquoise glaze, dull from weathering. 053, part of straight rim of vessel glazed unevenly inside and out like 026. Edge of rim unglazed. Av. size, I " X r X

Khu. 027. Fr. from rim of pottery vessel. Hard white porcellaneous body. Thin, hard, starch-coloured glaze.

4 Cf. Serindia, i. pp. 459 sqq.