72 EXPLORATIONS IN PERSIAN MAKRAN [Chap. III
be found deposited within cairns, usually along with some pottery or other modest belongings of the dead.' Those burial cairns or Jambs, as they are known in Makrân, had been traced by me before from Zhbb far away in the north right down to the coast of the Arabian Sea.
There is no need to discuss here afresh the abundant evidence which proves that the burial customs attested by these dambs were practised during prolonged periods extending within the Iron Age down to some centuries after our era. There will be an opportunity presently offered for considering some questions relating to these customs in connexion with the great site of Damba-kôh. Here it will suffice to state that the cairns found at Suntsar were all of the simplest type, consisting of rough circles of stones with a low heap of earth and gravel in the centre, ordinarily overlaid with a few larger stones. Six of the cairns were opened within the short time available before our start. All of them contained small pieces of human bones, in some cases associated with potsherds. In one cairn there was found a small patera-shaped pottery bowl, Suntsar. 1 ( Pls. III, xxxi), wheel-made, of red body, 6i inches across at the mouth, with a short stem and a foot 2/ inches across. Other finds were part of a wooden comb ( Suntsar. 2; Pl. X ), cut into a concave curve from edge to edge, and fragments of clear white glass.
A march of some 21 miles due west across absolutely waterless ground was made trying by a violent gale from the south. Short showers of rain accompanied it without laying the dust raised; By nightfall we reached a halting-place marked as Wan on the quarter-inch Survey map, No. 31. G, where water could be obtained from a small stream. Next day, after a couple of miles, the track passed into an area of much broken and utterly barren hills, and crossed the undemarcated Persian border. The route thence led west along the foot of the low Sâmân hill chain until, after about 16 miles, the wide flat plain formed by the alluvial deposits of the Baba' river was entered ( see Map, Sheet I) . The main portion of the Dashtiâri tract consists of this great expanse of level clay which extends for more than 45 miles from north to south with a width nowhere less than 20 miles. The potentially fertile soil supports low scrub in patches. But cultivation is wholly dependent on the scanty and very erratic rainfall, which in certain years fails to fill even the embanked pools that generally furnish the only supply of drinking-water. Hence the present occupation of the tract is limited to a few hamlets, and even at these it is mostly intermittent.
The difficulties in the way of cultivation have become still more marked over the eastern portion of the area since the Bâhû river fed by streams from the
b See N. Balûcbistân Tour, pp. 46 sq., 54, 70, 76 sq.; Tour in Gedrosia, pp. s4, 56, 74 sqq., 85 sqq., 149 sq., &c.