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0126 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 126 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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small site may safely be assumed to have been coeval with the construction of the cairns, and to date approximately from the same period as the remains of Damba-kôh.

A third and more distant site visited under Sirdâr Mir Ahmad's guidance lay beyond the hamlet of Ruhgam, which was reached after a ride of 11 miles to the north-east of Damba-kôh. The flat waste passed on the way showed in places decayed old dykes and traces of abandoned cultivation. Ascending a shallow valley northward for about 2 miles from the few mat huts of Ruhgam, we arrived at the point where a low ridge flanking the valley on the west ends in a small bluff. This falls off with almost vertical cliffs towards a wide depression to the north. The bluff rises about 120 feet above the bottom of the valley, and being detached from the ridge offers a defensive position of considerable 'natural strength. The steep ascent leading up from the south-west passes three successive terraces, each about 20 to 30 yards wide, all covered with the remains of much decayed dwellings. Their walls, 5 feet thick in places, are built with massive undressed slabs of calcareous sandstone quarried on the spot and laid in rough courses without earth or plaster. Between the first and second terrace a gate can be recognized. The scantiness of potsherds, all undecorated, suggests that the small stronghold served only as a temporary refuge.

About one third of a mile to the south-west there starts a series of cairns extending for about 400 yards on low terraces along the foot of the ridge. They show exactly the same type of construction as those at Damba-kôh. Owing to the distance and the difficulty of securing adequate labour their clearing would have involved much sacrifice of time, and so could not be attempted.


On the night before the visit to Ruhgam, four Persian soldiers sent by the military commandant of Châhbâr had arrived, thus enabling me to discharge our Makrân Levy escort and to arrange for our onward journey. My intention was to proceed first to the Dashtiârï tract west of the river and, after examining what old sites might be traced in that somewhat less sterile area, to make my way to the sea coast at Châhbâr. Clouds had been seen to gather on the distant hills to the north, and however welcome rain might be for the poor occupants of the arid plain below, parched by a drought of more than a year, the resulting flood of the Baba river would threaten to cut us off from any further move for days if not a couple of weeks.

Our march on January 16th, starting from our Ladak camp north of Damba-