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0190 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 190 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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But this negative evidence assumes a definite antiquarian interest when considered in the light of another observation. I refer to the fact that wherever we found mounds, whether adjacent to present cultivation or not, it was from ganâts that the water for irrigating land near them is likely to have been obtained, just as it is now. From this it seems safe to conclude that cultivation dependent on the system of underground canals, widespread and old as it is in Iran, was not yet known in chalcolithic times. That it was fully established in the Arsacidian period and then already considered of ancient date is proved by an interesting passage of Polybios which connects its introduction in certain parts of Western Asia with the very beginning of Achaemenian rule.2 If we take into account the presence of chalcolithic sites low down both on the Bampûr river and also, as we shall see, on the Haiil Rûd, it seems justifiable to conclude that the complete absence of remains of chalcolithic times in the intervening area points to ganât irrigation not having been known as yet in that period, and further that this area bore even then a distinctly desertic character. Considering the importance which the ganât system has had for the greatest part of Iran all through historical times, the indication thus furnished of a definite terminus post quem may claim special interest.

The ground traversed by the route we had followed may claim interest also from the point of view of historical topography. For there can be little doubt that Alexander's line of march from the capital of Gedrosia towards Karmania lay across this area and probably along this, the nearest and most practicable, route. We have seen that the Gedrosian capital where Alexander rested his army after the terrible march through Makran must have been situated some-

where in the neighbourhood of Bampûr. That his way to Karmania, the present Kerman, led past Jiruft, the fertile tract on the upper Haiil Rûd, is made

certain, as I shall have occasion to show farther on,3 by the indication which Arrian's Indikê affords as to the position of the place where Nearchos found Alexander encamped after having started in search of the king from Harmozeia, the present MInab.

From Arrian's account of Alexander's move into Karmania it is clear that after the army's arrival at the capital of Gedrosia its sufferings had come to an

end.4 We may account for this partly by what Arrian tells us about the timely

help which Alexander's worn-out force had received in the matter of transport. We are told of Stasanôr, the satrap of Areia and of the Zarangians ( i.e. Herat

and Sistan), and Pharismanês, son of Phrataphernês, the satrap of Parthyaea and Hyrkania ( i.e. the provinces south and south-east of the Caspian) , that `in setting out to join Alexander they took with them a multitude of beasts of

2 Cf. Polybios, Reliquiae, x. xxviii.   3 See below, p. 157.   4 Cf. Anabasis, vi. xxvii 1.