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0467 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 467 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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span of what must have been the vaulting of a room over which once rose one of the two large wheels of the mill measures 2I2 feet.

To the east of the small village of Burj-i-Afghan, situated about 3 miles NW. of the Ziarat of Bibi-döst, rise the scattered ruins of large mansions, imposing even in their state of far-advanced decay. Several are built on massive foundations of stamped clay and show their defensive purpose by their plan. The walls of the central hall are in most cases decorated with rows of pointed arches in brickwork. What vaults I examined showed slanting voussoirs of the same type as at Ghaghashahr. But in the ruin represented in Fig. 496 I noticed the same transitional combination of a true arch with a revetment of bricks set on edge along the curve, as described above in the case of a structure at Mil-i-Kasimabad.10 The usual size of the bricks here and at the ruins of Kala-i-nau to be presently noticed is 12"X 12"x 2". About a mile to the east of the village lies a small circular fort, about 210 feet in diameter within, defended by a double enclosure. The inner one, built of stamped clay and 18 feet thick, still rises to close on 20 feet in height, while the outer one, at 40 feet distance and of far less massive construction, has almost completely been effaced except on the south. ` Ribbed ' potsherds were noticed in plenty, showing mostly such softly rounded ribs and channels as are seen in B.-i-A. oi, Pl. CXV. Specimens of glazed ware and of fragments otherwise decorated are described in the List below and illustrated in Pl. CXVII.

The last group of ruins visited lies to the west of the bed of the Rûd-i-Naseru, the nearest of them some 5 miles to the NW. of Burj-i-Afghan and beyond the well-tilled lands of Bulai village. Among scattered dwellings, for the most part badly decayed, evidently owing to moisture, rise two mansions of imposing dimensions. Fig. 484 shows one of these, with its high pointed gateway and the multiple rows of arched niches decorating the walls of the large halls within. Owing to the moisture which reaches this area from the spillage of canals, the surface is covered with scrub or else shows salt-incrustation. Hence very little pottery debris is to be seen among these ruins. Judging from their general appearance and the absence of vaulting of the Western type, I believe them to date from approximately the same early Muhammadan period as the rest of the sites visited from Kasimabad.

.In the closely occupied tract of Mian-kangi stretching from the Rûd-i-Pariûn to the Siksar river, which marks the Perso-Afghan border, remains of any antiquity above the ground seem to be confined to the bridge of Takht-i-pul and the ruined mound of Karku-shah, both described by Mr. Tate.11 The remains at the latter are those of a small stronghold built on what obviously is an isolated clay terrace or Mesa. Most of the ground on the top and slopes is occupied by the dwellings of a modern village. On the slope along the NW. side of the mound, the line of a much-decayed wall, built of sun-dried bricks or stamped clay and apparently strengthened by bastions, survives for over too yards. Above this the line of an inner enclosure is traceable for about 26 yards. Within this rises the ruin of what may have been a central keep. Judging from its NE. wall, which alone shows its full length, 46 feet outside, the whole of this structure was very solidly built. This wall, 8 feet thick, had a plinth of burned bricks, which now is exposed to a maximum height of over 5i feet. These bricks are of the unusually large size of 252"x 16-"x 2". The upper portion of the wall is built of sun-dried bricks not differing in size from those found in early Muhammadan ruins ; it still stands to a height of II-12 feet.

Karku-shah in all probability marks the position of Karkûyeh, an important place mentioned by early Arab geographers on the route from Herat to the capital of Sejistan ; for its distance from Zaranj, as recorded by Istakhri, three farsakhs, agrees closely with that from Karku-shah to Nad-`AII.12 But the scanty remains just described afford no indication of the position of the

10 See the arch to the right of the man in Fig. 496.   12 Cf. Sir Henry Rawlinson's ` Notes on Seistan ', Journal

11 Cf. Tate, Seistan, pp. 203 sqq.   R. Geogr. Soc., 1873, pp. 286 sq., 294.

Ruined mansions of Burj-iAfghan.

Ruins near Bulai


Remains at Karku-shàh.

Karkuyeh of Arab geographers.