9to THE SACRED HILL OF SISTAN
structures within this circumvallation, are of great size, from 22" to about 17" long, 15" to 12" wide, and of an average of 4-5" in thickness. The main lower gate appears to have stood near the southeastern corner (Fig. 459), where two towers, one octagonal and another round and very slender, were evidently intended for its protection.
Within this wall the lower slope on the south is covered with remains of vaulted rooms and passages, occupying irregular terraces and often apparently built in tiers. Debris and refuse here fill the lower rooms, many of which were probably abandoned while the place was still occupied, as described in the case of Tabbas-i-Mazena. A little experimental digging in one place showed that, under a surface crust of hard salt-permeated clay, midden refuse was still well preserved. From the first I was struck by the abundance of potsherds showing fine red clay and a make greatly superior to the present ware of the country. Most common among these were pieces of terra-cotta-like quality with the outside surface ribbed in neat regular bands, of the type shown by the specimens Gha. 02, 7, 8 (Pl. CXV).4
Through this agglomeration of ruined quarters of a humbler sort a still recognizable roadway winds up to the foot of a high wall supporting a terrace (Fig. 460). Behind this very massive wall the terrace rested on vaulted rooms probably in several stories ; all of these appear to have fallen in long ago, as shown by hollows on the top. The road ascending along the foot of the terrace passes through a narrow gateway into a kind of outer court enclosed by comparatively well preserved vaulted structures. The vaults here are constructed with those slanting arches of brickwork which are still ordinarily used in Sistâ.n for spanning rooms of moderate size without the use of any centering. From this court the road turns back along the top of the terrace, some 4o yards long, until it reaches near its western corner the imposing arched gateway seen in Fig. 465. This appears to have been surmounted by battlements, and is flanked above by narrow openings, which seem as if intended for use as a kind of machicolation. To a small vaulted passage, i, built against the wall to the left of the gate I shall have to return farther on in connexion with an interesting discovery made there.
Through this gate access lies into an open inner court, measuring about 241 feet by i4 , and from this through a passage into a vaulted entrance hall. As this is better preserved than the rest of the structural remains around the great inner court and shows some characteristic architectural features, a brief description will be useful. The entrance hall, ii, consists, as the plan, Pl. 53, shows,
4 Typical specimens are described by Mr. Andrews as follows :
Gha. oi. Fr. from wall of pottery vessel. Wheel-made ; dark grey-brown, unglazed. Incised pattern ; near one edge, a pair of annular lines with, between edge and lines, band of elongated almond-shaped depressions slightly oblique and hatched transversely with raised lines. 2i" X 4i".
Gha. 02-4, o6-8. Frs. of pottery vessels. Wheel-made ; various shades of terra-cotta. All strongly and approximately regularly ribbed horizontally on outer surface, and some, more faintly, ribbed internally. The ribs constitute a definite style of ware, and are apparently made with a short-toothed tool in which the teeth (forming the grooves) are rounded, and the spaces sometimes rounded and sometimes square. The number of ribs is approximately four to the inch, but oq has broad rounded channels with only a rounded ridge between. In this case four ridges occupy ii". 07, washed over with more ferruginous clay of a fine rich red colour. Gr. fr. 3-i" 31-". Pl. CXV.
Gha. 09, 014, 015. Frs. from rims of pottery vessels. Wheel-made, terra-cotta. 09, probably bulbous, with bands of slightly raised and burnished lines on shoulder and neck. Short neck curves in, and then rolls slightly outward and then again inwards, tucked under outward rolled rim. xi" X211". 014, 5#"Xi". 015, rim thick, rounded on upper surface, and outer edge regularly nicked (cable ?).
Gha. oIo, oil, 012. Frs. of pottery vessels. Wheel-made ; terra-cotta washed with richer red. on- shows double curve in its height, faintly ribbed horizontally inside and out. 21"X Ii". ozo, 012, faintly ribbed inside and with band of 15 thin burnished lines near one edge, and a few carelessly drawn lines near opposite edge. 2"X3". PI. CXV.
Gha. 013. Fr. from wall of pottery vessel. Wheel-made ; terra-cotta. Surface weathered. On outside a pair of raised bands, one broader than the other, and nicked (pearls or ` nail ' orn.). I i" X 116".
Ruined quarters on lower slope.
Ascent to high terrace and gateway.