ANCIENT SITES. 9
Several other kurgans that we examined, which had been partially cut away for brick-making, etc., and some of these were much larger and higher than that at Anau, showed the same horizontal stratification of earth, burnt earth, ashes, charcoal, and fragments of bones and of pottery. In the upper part of some of these we observed traces of walls of unburned bricks. The only artifacts found in
Fig. 4.—Section through a Small Muffle-shaped Object in the Anau Tumulus.
these were the simplest form of flat stone for grinding grain (like those found in the Anau kurgan) and some flat stones, each with a hole drilled wholly or partially through it from both sides.
The absence of easily obtainable stone for construction throughout the lowlands of Turkestan determined the use, almost exclusively, in construction, of clay, both unburned and burned. Unburned clay predominated immensely, used both as sun-dried bricks and in heavy layers of raw clay. In consequence of this, all ruins older than a late Mussulman period are represented only by accumulations of earth filled with broken pottery and fragments of burned bricks. These accumulations are flat-topped mounds, ranging up to half a square mile or more in area and from 15 to zo feet upward in height, and in places, as at Merv, occurring in groups covering many square miles. They occur within areas in which now, or formerly, water was accessible, and are found also more or less buried in sands beyond the mouths of the retreating rivers, in places once fertile and now desolate.
Ruins near Atrek River.—A type of regional desolation and abandonment is in the territory between the lower Atrek and the Caspian. Here, over an area of many square miles, are the ruins of cities, 3o or 4o miles from the river Atrek, the