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0549 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 549 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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Khitai-shahri. The fragments found here are of the Lou-Ian and early Tun-huang types : red and grey pottery with cable bands in relief and incised wavy bands, &c. made with a multiple tool.

Kuchâ. The pottery found here is Chinese and of well-known types, such as Northern Chinese celadon, Tzechow stoneware, and marbled ware with green glaze which are likely to be of the Sung or Yüan periods, and blue and white of Ming date. A piece of green-glazed pottery from Tonguz-bash, in this district, is an earlier type dating between Han and Tang.

Liil--tiigh (Marâl-bâshi). Two fragments found here are coarse, grey, hand-made pottery of primitive appearance.

Sistân. The Sistan and Khorâsân finds roughly divide themselves into two groups—(I) the unglazed pottery which is almost entirely pre-Muhammadan, and (2) the glazed pottery of the Muhammadan period.

In Group (r) there is a large and well-defined sub-group of buff or reddish buff pottery made on the wheel and ornamented with painted designs in thin black slip. With this are a few pieces of fine, hard, slaty grey

pottery similarly ornamented. The designs on this ware (see Pl. cxiiI, cxiv) are so distinctive in type that

it is possible to say with certainty that this painted pottery belongs to the chalcolithic culture represented
in the pre-Sumerian sites of Mesopotamia ;1 in Persia—at Muhammadabad, Anau, and in the Darragaz

district (see Percy Sykes, History of Persia, vol. i. p. 57) ; in Manchuria, at Sha Kuo Tun ; at Yang Shao in Honan (see J. G. Anderson, Palaeontologia Sinica, Series D, vol. i. fasc. 1, Peking, 1923, and Bulletin of the Geological Survey of China, No. 5, 1923), and in more recent discoveries by J. G. Anderson in other parts of North-Western China. The dating of these various sites ranges from about woo to 5000 B. C.

The Sistân sites (see above, Chap. xxx. ii) on which this painted ware was found are marked SS. (Shahr-i-sakhta) ; Mounds I–III ; R.R. ; K.G. ; Machi. Specimens of similar wares without painted decoration were found on the same sites.

The remaining pottery of group (I) has not necessarily any relation to this Neolithic sub-group. It consists chiefly of wheel-made red pottery, well finished and ornamented with incised, stamped, or relief designs of

a simple kind—such as combed lines and festoons, leaf-shaped stamps, punched circles, raised bands, plain, notched, or milled, &c. (see Pl. cxv). In one small group a polished red surface is relieved by mat rings lightly scraped on the wheel (cf. a similar technique on pottery found at Toyuk).

Pottery of this description comes from the sites Gha. (Ghagha-shahr), Shahr. (Shahristan), and Gh. Ta. (Ghala-tappa). On the site marked Gha. red pottery was found, some of which had the lightly scratched wheel-rings noticed in the previous paragraph and some a strong ribbed exterior which appears to be a common feature of the pottery found on Sasanian sites.

The Atish-kadah site produced fragments of red ware, plain or with simple incised patterns of rings and wavy bands ; one piece has a festoon pattern incised with a multiple tool. This site is reputed to be Sasanian ;

and a comparison of the pottery found here and on the Shahristan site would seem to indicate that much of the Shahristan red pottery is also of the Sasanian period. Ribbed red pottery of Sasanian type also occurs among the K.G. finds.

Group (2) includes the Muhammadan pottery found in Sistân and elsewhere in Khorâsân (Pl. cxvIii).

It is mostly buff or red, or a sandy white earthenware, with painted designs in blue and brown under a colourless glaze or in brown-black under a turquoise glaze, and it ranges in date from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century.

Such wares were found on the following sites : Bibi-dost, Gh., Sal., K.G., R.R. (one piece), Machi, Mound I, Surhdik, Pusht, Burj-i-Afghan and at Mujinâbad in Persia.

Site A near Sistân (see above, ii. p. 938) produced several interesting types (Pl. Cxvii). Some recall the Persian pottery of ninth to eleventh centuries with incised ornament and green glaze on a red body, while a large group resembles the Samarkand pottery of the twelfth to fourteenth century. This has a red body dressed with white slip and gaily decorated in black, brown, red, and ochreous yellow slips together with metallic pigments (yellow and manganese purple) under a colourless glaze. Some of the ornament is graffiato. The designs are mostly of the arabesque kind commonly found on Muhammadan pottery, common features being a black dentate border on the lips of bowls, &c., and the use of dotted patterns.

1 See Dr. H. R. Hall's notes on the Excavations of 1919 at l\Iuquayyar, el-Obeid, and Abu_Shahrein, in the Centenary

Supplement to the J.R.A.S., 1924. See also Henri Frankfurt, R. Anthrop. inst., Occasional Paper, No. 6, 1924.