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0094 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 94 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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walled-up terrace of similar construction which extends the natural edge of the plateau to the south-west.

The mound distinctly suggests a much decayed Stûpa which has completely lost its facing. On my first visit it was declared to have been occupied within living memory by a Muhammadan shrine believed to have been built by Shah Kamir, a holy man whose grave a short distance to the east of the hillock is still venerated. Many of the rough stone blocks belonging to the mound and the supporting terrace below it, as well as material from similar coarse masonry once extending the plateau eastwards, had been carried off for the construction of a large well, some 15 feet in diameter and some 30 feet deep, from which water is raised for irrigating fields and a plantation of trees to the south of the hillock.

The greatest part of the plateau to the east and north of the `Stûpa mound' was found on my visit to be covered with debris from the reported ancient temple. The position of its walls was clearly marked by four trenches forming an oblong of about 50 by 40 feet close to the north of the `Stûpa mound'. From them the fine slabs of red sandstone used in the construction of that ill-fated bridge at Chôa Saidân Shah had been excavated some eight years before my visit under the orders of the Assistant Commissioner at the time. A solid mass of coarse masonry and debris rising within this oblong to a height of about 12 feet above the bottom of the trenches ( Fig. 17) showed that the floor of the temple must have been well raised above the natural level of the plateau. The mound thus formed was covered with rough building stones and fragments of carefully cut slabs of red sandstone, some bearing marks of relief decoration. Everything pointed to a richly ornamented Hindu shrine having been upheaved and extensively quarried, probably long before the remaining walls and foundations had been subjected to final exploitation.

In the course of the systematic clearing which was carried out over the whole of the temple site and the remainder of the plateau, it was found that the solid masonry of rough stone blocks set in earth which lay exposed on the mound rested on and around great boulders, forming part of the natural ground of the hillock. Obviously these had been utilized to provide a raised platform for the base of the temple. Adjoining the trench marking the position of the wall on the east side there was laid bare, on a lower level, a flooring about 6 feet wide consisting of rough slabs fitted into each other. It probably indicated the position where the entrance of the shrine was approached by stairs. Among the debris overlying this approach fragments of elaborately carved pieces of red sandstone, all forming parts of architectural decoration, such as small architraves, brackets, columns, &c., first turned up in abundance. It seemed clear that all these had