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0120 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 120 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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scrub and lined by tamarisks; this is obviously one of the former beds of the Bahû river. It has been closed in places by low dams meant to catch rain-water and thus to facilitate cultivation, now abandoned.

The cairns, as already stated, vary considerably in construction. Some of them are built with roughly rectangular walls formed of irregular slabs of freestone rising to 4 or 5 feet in height. The space enclosed by these walls measures usually from 5 to 6 feet square and is filled with loose earth, over which large flat stones have been laid to form a kind of roofing. Frequently one of the side walls shows a small opening similarly roofed over, and intended to represent an entrance. Some of the cairns of this type found near Group II, at the foot of the southernmost hillock, had their roofing stones removed ( Fig. 22 ) . They appear to have been among those which Major Mockler had opened and described as `small houses'. Often the walls, set up without earth or plaster between the courses, have fallen away, leaving the cairns in the condition of shapeless stone heaps. Cairns of another and very frequent type present the appearance of mere small mounds of closely packed uncut stones, arranged in a rough circle or oval. But in their case, too, there is always an interior space containing loose earth heaped over the burial deposits. It will be seen from this that the types of construction used for these burial cairns correspond closely to those observed at the large burial-grounds examined on my former Makran tour at the sites of Jiwanri and Zangian.8

The same remark applies to the character of the deposits found within the

cairns, of which altogether forty-two were opened. On the day after our arrival at Balûr Mach, Mir Ahmad Khan, the aged chief of Qal`a-i-Bâhû, had joined us, and with his readily offered help it became possible to collect from the few scattered hamlets east of the river the needful number of labourers for trial excavations. After starting these daily I was able to leave their supervision to Dr. Fâbri for the rest of the time, and thus became free for the long rides which were to acquaint me with other old remains Mir Ahmad Khan knew of in this tract. The cairns chosen for examination belonged to three distinct groups, those marked II and III being situated near the foot and top, respectively, of the southernmost hillock, and that marked IV on the slope of the one farthest away to the north-east.

The objects found in the cairns of all three groups were of the same general

character, though the extent of deposits varied. They comprised throughout fragments of human bones, usually small, none showing signs of burning. Close to these there were placed, usually against the enclosing wall of the cairn, either complete pottery vessels or potsherds of varying sizes. The former were

8 See Tour in Gedrosia, pp. 78 sqq., 87 sqq.