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0012 Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1
Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1 / Page 12 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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viii   PREFACE

adopt an obstructive attitude. The objection raised to my entry into Chinese Turkistan was removed through the intercession of Sir Miles Lampson. But obstruction was subsequently continued by means of dilatory tactics on the part of the provincial authorities and evasive proceedings at Nanking. An account of the difficulties put in the way of useful work has been furnished by me in a letter published in The Times of July 16th, 1931. As it is reproduced below in Appendix B, I content myself here with quoting its last paragraph:2

`Perhaps the time may not be too distant when competent Chinese scholars will be prepared to recognize that researches bearing on the cultural past of their country have suffered by the obstacles which unjustified agitation has raised against continued work of a confrère who has done as much as any one to throw light on the great and beneficent part played by ancient China in the history of Central Asia.'

Recognizing the serious loss of time and effort involved in further struggle against systematic obstruction, I had, by March 1931, while making my way once more round the Tarim basin, taken initial steps towards the realization of an alternative plan, kept in view from the first. This contemplated archaeological explorations in south-eastern Iran. Their chief object was to extend the operations by which I had, in the cold weather seasons of 1926-7 and 1927-8, succeeded in tracing and examining many ancient sites, mainly prehistoric, widely scattered through British Baluchistan and Makran, into neighbouring regions of southern Persia.3 There was reason to hope that researches conducted on similar lines in parts of Iran, as yet little known in their antiquarian and geographical aspects, might throw further light on the character and relation of those prehistoric civilizations of which my preceding explorations had brought to light plentiful relics between the south-eastern border of Persia and the hill tracts overlooking the Indus Valley.

My application, intended to secure from His Iranian Majesty's Government the desired permission and facilities, specially indicated the need of trial excavations. It also contained the request that, subject to the conditions laid down in the recent law concerning antiquities in Iran as regards the ultimate disposal of finds, permission might be granted for the temporary transfer to London of all objects recovered in the course of trial excavations for the purpose of their detailed examination there within reasonable limits of time. On the recommendation of Sir Evelyn Howell, then Foreign Secretary to the Government

2 See Appendix B, pp. 248 sqq.   and Northern Balûchistân, and An Archaeological

3 For a detailed record of these explorations see Tour in Gedrosia ( `Memoirs of the Archaeological my reports, An Archaeological Tour in Wazzristân Survey of India', Nos. 37 and 43, 1929 and 1931).