948 IN THE DESERT DELTA OF SISTAN
Ruined cir- Proceeding beyond this in the same direction, we crossed a belt of low dunes, overrunning
tion of unmistakable Yârdangs up to 8 feet or so in height, before reaching the large ruined circumvallation
Kalât-i-gird. known as Kaldt-i-gird at a distance of close on 3 miles from the fort of Ràmrûd. It takes its name,
' the round fort ', appropriately from the shape of the enclosed area, which, as the sketch-plan, Pl. 57 shows, is almost circular. The main circumvallation has an inside diameter of a little over 16o yards, and consists of a wall, about 8 feet thick, strengthened by round bastions (Fig. 483). It appears to have been built of sun-dried bricks which, where examination was practicable, measured 13-14"x 14" x 3". This main wall has suffered greatly from wind-erosion and shows large breaches through both the NW. and SE. segments ; in many other places the top has become serrated from the same cause.
Later fort On the west a portion of the circumvallation has been walled off, obviously at a later date ;
within. for the walls here are far better preserved and the structures found within still rise from 1 to 12
feet in height. In the rest of the circumvallated area no structures whatever survive. Additional bastions had been inserted in the original circumvallation to strengthen it where it was used for the later fort. This was obviously adapted for a smaller settlement at a period when the site was reoccupied after prolonged abandonment. Burnt bricks, 12" X I 2" X 2", used on the top of the wal 1 and bastions of the inner fort, suggest later repairs. Later construction is indicated also by the bricks used for the quarters within. They measure approximately 11"x 6"x 2" and thus differ appreciably from those in the original circumvallation. Another proof of the far greater age of the latter is afforded by the condition of the open ground within it, which in some places has been scoured out by wind-driven sand to a depth of 15 feet below the original level. I noted that within the inner enclosure fragments of manifestly late glazed pottery were far more common than in the walled area outside.
Dating of The seven small Muhammadan coins found here are, like six more picked up outside, much
occupation. worn and corroded and still await identification. But on one of them the date of A. H. 692, corre-
sponding to A. D. 1293-4, was read at the time, and another (Pl. CXX, Fig. 21) has been recognized by Mr. J. Allan as issued by Qutb-ud-din, Shah of Nimröz, i. e. Sistân (1331-83 A. D.). Among the plain red pottery debris found in abundance within the main circumvallation and outside it, only very few showed the ' ribbing ' characteristic of the type so common at pre-Muhammadan sites. By all these indications I am led to conclude that the ruins of Kalat-i-gird belong to two distinct periods of occupation. The earlier may correspond, perhaps, to that of Zahidàn, closing approximately with the fourteenth century ; of the later one it would not be safe to state more than that it must have been separated from the former by a considerable interval, but on the other hand cannot be as recent as that of the last settlements at Machi and Ramrûd.
Ruins out- Of ruined structures found close to the circumvallation of Kalat-i-gird there are several which
side Kalàt-i- may date from the earlier period of Muhammadan occupation. One ruin a quarter of a mile to gird.
the NE., of which the walls decorated with rows of arched niches still rise to a height of about 20 feet, comprises a hall quite open to the south, measuring 36 feet by 24. The fact that the ground at the SE. corner of this hall has been lowered by wind-erosion 6 feet below the wall foundation indicates an early date. So also does the size of the bricks, 14" x 13" x 3", which agrees with that found in the outer circumvallation. The same size of bricks was also noted by me in the remains of another ruined hall, about 15o yards to the SW. of the former. It was of interest to observe the marked effects of wind-erosion on some Muhammadan tombs in the vicinity of the fort, obviously dating from the earlier period of its occupation. Around one of them, a structure origin-
ally domed (Fig. 504), situated about two furlongs to the NW., the soil has been undercut to a depth of 8 feet below the foundation, causing one of the four corners of the structure to fall and threatening