130 IN THE BAMPUR BASIN [Chap. IV
stretching up to its foot would facilitate such eruptive material being carried down by floods. But it was rather puzzling to find small quantities of the same
black stone deposited also throughout the layers of the mound where exposed by cutting trenches. The only explanation which suggests itself to me is that these stones got embedded in the earth used for mud walls of dwellings or else were laid down to form a flooring for mat-huts or similar primitive habitations. The painted pottery found both on the surface and at varying depths of the mound (for specimens see Pl. XIX) shows such common characteristics that it can safely be attributed to a single protracted phase of production. Its chief
features may be briefly described as follows. The fabric is generally a well levigated and thoroughly burnt clay over which in most pieces a pale-buff slip
has been applied. In some fragments the slip is red, turning sometimes into
reddish-brown, purple, or plum colour. The paint used for the design is ordinarily black, but in some cases shading into purple or brown. In one or two
polychrome specimens (532, 534; Pl. XIX) a grey tint is also employed in the
design. In comparatively rare pieces a polychrome effect is obtained by adding over a white, buff, or red ground designs in black and purple, or else over
ground partly red and partly purple a decorative pattern in grey and black. On
some pieces one or more zigzag lines are reserved in the ground colour, running through heavy masses of black or black and grey. Such examples have usually
also broad patches or bands of dull crimson (532, 534) . In almost all painted pottery the colours resist any moderate rubbing. This, however, is not the case where crimson is applied; this colour is usually not fired on, or else the colour is non-vitrifiable and is therefore not fixed by firing.
In the patterns the predominance of straight lines is a very striking feature, and this makes the variety of the patterns produced with these limited com-
ponents, as illustrated by the specimens shown in Plate XIX, all the more remarkable. Triangles, squares, lozenges, and zigzags are the commonest elements used. In their combination we note real inventive power. Hachuring and cross-hatching is in frequent use to give `body' to designs. On the other hand, patterns composed of curved lines, such as leaf-shapes, festoons, &c., are extremely rare. This and the total absence of animal figures or representations of natural objects such as trees constitute a marked difference from the decoration of painted ware found at other Bampûr sites. If to this difference is added consideration for the abundance of worked stones and hand-made pottery, including mat-marked ware such as 258 (Pl. XIX), it seems justifiable to draw the conjectural conclusion that the remains of Chah Husaini belong to an earlier phase of chalcolithic civilization than those, fairly uniform in type, recovered from the other sites we succeeded in tracing within the Bampûr area.