The excavation of the ruins so far described had furnished conclusive evidence of the fact that the extant structures of this site were mainly private dwellings which had been cleared by their last inhabitants, or else soon after their departure, of any objects of intrinsic value or practical utility. It was clear that my hopes for further archaeological finds of importance mainly depended upon any rubbish remains which might have been left behind. These hopes were greatly encouraged by the results of a rapid reconnaissance which, on February 3, I had been able to make of ruins reported north of my camp. On that occasion I visited or sighted more than half a dozen small groups of ruined structures scattered over an area measuring about 3 Z miles from south to north, and about two miles broad.
In a much-decayed ruin (N. v) situated about half-way to the northern limit of the site, which neither by its size nor its state of preservation would then have attracted special attention, I had come upon about a dozen of once inscribed tablets lying exposed, and in consequence entirely bleached and splintered. A search in the sand of the eroded slope to the north of the room and a little digging at the exposed edge of it had, within half an hour, put me in possession of over thirty inscribed pieces. Among the important finds which attended this rapid ` prospecting ', there was a completely preserved double-wedge, N. xv. 24 (see Plate IC), in the clay seal impression of which I at once recognized a standing Pallas with shield and aegis, and two novelties which, though small in size, could not fail to excite my utmost interest. One consisted of some narrow and thin pieces of wood (now marked N. xv. 02, 08, 09, oio), all fragmentary, showing Chinese characters arranged in single columns ; the other was a fragmentary document on leather torn into two pieces (N. xv. 29), one of them bearing a short entry in Kharosthi, which I could read without difficulty as the date record mase 4 divase w ` on the tenth day in the fourth month '. Finds so varied and occurring in such rapid succession