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0457 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 457 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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Sec. i]


measuring about 44 yards by 18 inside, which we passed about I miles before reaching Atishkadah. Our guide declared the two to be of the same age. But while glazed fragments were plentiful, no ribbed pottery was to be found here, and the walls were built of sun-dried bricks, about II" x 7"x 2". Everything clearly indicated construction in late Muhammadan times.

Mr. Tate refers to ruined towers in this neighbourhood which served as watch-towers in recent times, but which he assumed to have been originally Zoroastrian ` towers of silence ' or ` Dakhmas'.8 This induced me to visit from Shahristân a locality to which I heard the name of Dakhma actually applied. It is probably that to which he alludes as being situated on a mound by the side of the track leading past Shahristân to Nasratâbâd. A little beyond the village of Malik-Haidar and close on 4 miles beyond Shahristân a small gravel-covered plateau bears some decayed sepulchral domes amidst Muhammadan graves. The name suggests that the place was once used for disposing of the dead in the orthodox Zoroastrian fashion ; but no trace of a Dakhma survives. About a mile to SSW. another little plateau rising about 3o feet above the plain bears a circular walled enclosure about 8o feet in diameter, built of stamped clay, with a gate opening about 6 feet wide. Some 6o yards off to the north there is another of the same type, over 140 feet in diameter. These enclosures, which looked as if intended to shelter sheep, account for the name Akhur, ` manger ', by which the place is known. This is applied in Sistân to any ruin of more or less circular shape and usually associated with Rustam's legendary steed Rakhsh. There was nothing here to suggest a Dakhma. Two ruined square towers crowning small isolated mounds some 200 and 30o yards off to the west and north-west are proved by their small bricks to belong to Muhammadan times.


Site known as Dakhma.



Fragments of plain pottery. Shahr. 04, 05, 015, 018. Plain. Red, well washed. 04, flat, with chamfered edge. 21"x 28". 05, shows very faint rib-marks. 2 /' X ,4". 015, shows ribbing more pronounced on lower edge, gradually dying away to perfectly smooth surface near neck. s"x 3z". or8, part of base of jar with simple disc foot ; a faint incised annular line above and perhaps a potter's mark (character ?) within an ellipse on bottom. Ch. 3k".

Shahr. 012, 085, 039. Plain, red, with richer red surface, burnished in bands and lines. 012, dull surface. 24"X I. Pl. CXV. o35; 2"X 2". 039, has two very thin burnished lines, wide apart, and a few incised annular lines inside. I3_"x II". Pl. CXV.

Fragments of decorated pottery. Shahr. 02. Mouth with strongly everted lip. On shoulder a row of leaf impressions, spatulate shape, filled with faint ` herring-bone ' hatching. 3;}"X 21". Pl. CXV. 03. Shoulder and part of neck. A raised annular band with row of dents made with blunt stick. 31"x 2f". Pl. CXV. 09. Loop handle with part of lip and shoulder. Handle impressed with row of triangular dents. Upper surface of lip with similar ornament but larger. Raised rib round centre of neck ornamented as handle. At root of neck a band of indented triangles. The two zones of neck separated by the centre rib are ornamented with deeply cut large triangles. II. 2i" ; hor. ch. 2e". PI. CXV. 023, shows three rows of closely impressed leaf shapes with square ` gradini ' serrations,

A slightly raised annular line below. 2"X Ir. Pl. CXV. oro. Thickened simple lip with raised band below and obliquely drawn, faintly combed festoon ornament below hand. Upper edge of lip has series of small notches. 24"X 2". our. Shoulder of vessel with mouth. Outside, a raised band with shallow dents. Below, traces of incised curves. 3"X I$". Pl. CXV. 014. From shoulder of large jar. Divided into zones by incised lines. Beginning at top, a row of triangular dents. Next a zone of incised meander with small triangular dent at each bend above and below. Below, a narrower zone of roughly drawn meander with a few dents. 54"X34". Pl. CXv. 017. Part of flat circular disc (lid ?) ; shows circular band of two shallow incised lines with the intervening rib dented. Within circle, a band of combed festoon. Without, bands of combed meander. 2i" x 21". Pl. CXV. 033. Probably part of very large vessel. Ornamented with band of fluting, a row of impressed rings and channels. Below, a zone of large zigzag or triangles composed of lines of impressed rings. 4"x 4" X é". Pl. CXV. 036. Part of mouth and neck. Below lip, outside, a raised rib with notches. Above and below, roughly incised single-line meanders. 2"X 14" Pl. CXV. 037. Part of shoulder of jar. A broad zone at base of neck divided into panels (` triglyphs ') of straight vertical combing alternating with wavy or zigzag vertical combing, very shallow. Above zone horizontal wavy combing, and below zone festoon combing. 3"X ri". Pl. CXV. o8. Part of shoulder and loop handle of vessel. Round

8 Cf. Seistan, p. 191.