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0508 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 508 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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[Chap. XXX

rooms as in R.R. v, and remains of slender towers at the corners, could still be made out. The eastern wall showed a facing of bricks set on edge as in R.R. iv, v, their size, 24-25"x 12-13"x 4", being also the same. The outer walls are apparently 4. feet thick and still rise to about 12 feet. Among the debris at the foot of the western wall we picked up the broken triangular arrow-head R.R. XVIII. oI (PI. CXVI), resembling in shape specimens found in the Lop Desert.5

From R.R. xviii no further ruin could be sighted to the NW. But after proceeding in that direction towards low scattered terraces south of Kundar and crossing the caravan track, we came upon the ruined mound R.R. xlx, situated at a direct distance of 3 miles from R.R. xviii. It could be clearly recognized as marking the remains of a watch-post of the regular type, probably of the smaller size, like R.R. v. It still rises about 12 feet above the level ground at its SE. corner and in its lower part shows courses of large bricks set on edge, similar to those found in the ruins previously described. As we are here approaching the area subject to annual inundation from the Hamûn, the soil is increasingly affected by salt efflorescence. Hence if there ever was a post nearer to its edge its remains would probably have suffered even more from moisture. No such ruin could be seen in the direction of the Haman, only two modern-looking sepulchral domes near the well of Chah-i-Rigawak. So our search was not extended beyond R.R. xix. This, however, suffices to show that the line of defensible stations rested its western flank on the marshes of the Haman, whether R.R. xix actually was the very last on that side or not. On the other hand, in view of its distance from R.R. xviii, there is good reason to believe that on our progress from R.R. XVIII, necessarily somewhat circuitous with no definite landmark to guide us, we missed the position of a probable intermediate station. From R.R. )(Ix a small mound was indeed sighted in line with R.R. xviii ; but the necessity of finding our way, before darkness set in, to the camp which had been sent ahead to the Asik well beyond Hauzdar, prevented an examination of it. I was unable to visit it subsequently as I had intended, for my route on my return to the southern delta a month later took me too far eastwards.

We may now turn back in order to follow up the line of watch-stations where it continues to the SE. of R.R. iv. Going a little over half a mile ESE. of this ruin I reached the site of another post, R.R. Iv. a, decayed into an almost shapeless mound. The lines of the outer walls, still traceable in places, seem to form a square of approximately 64 feet. Dips running from N. to S. on

the top of the mound mark the place which the vaults of the ground floor had occupied before falling in. Also the position of the entrance on the south could thus be made out. Fragments

of coarse undecorated pottery, not of the chalcolithic type but of a kind found also at other watch-stations, abound on and around the mound. R.R. iv. a lies close to the right bank of the same old canal bed which farther down passes R.R. iv. Is it possible that the two posts were placed close together in order to provide additional facilities for watching masked ground ?

About 14 miles to the east rises the ruin R.R. xi' (Fig. 492), already referred to as occupying the top of a terrace strewn with the debris of prehistoric pottery. Owing to far-advanced decay the

dimensions indicated in the sketch-plan, Pl. 59, could only be roughly determined. The structure

was certainly of the usual pattern with three vaulted chambers below, but its size, about 43 feet by 40 outside, was smaller than that of R.R. iv. The photograph in Fig. 492 shows the ogival

vaulting of one chamber and on the right the position of the entrance. The next post, R.R. xi'. a, slightly more than one mile to SSE., is in a still more ruined state, the remains rising to only about 6 or 7 feet above the ground. It was evidently of a smaller size like the preceding post. The larger type, about 64 feet square, is met with again in the post R.R. XIII, situated about if miles

Line traced to post R.R. xix.

Likelihood of an intermediate post.

Position of R.R. Iv. a.

Ruined posts R.R. XII, XII. a, XIII.

5 See above, i. p. 279 ; C. xcvi. 013, 16, &c., Pl. XXIII.