138 TO RÜDBAR AND JiRUFT [Chap. V
camp during my visit to Chah Hasan and could no longer be recalled. It was also uncertain whether a well with sufficient water for our large party could be found within convenient reach of the site. That this must have received water in early times from the Halil Rûd is certain. In fact, on continuing our march for 2 miles we arrived at a well-marked dry bed, some 60 yards wide, which at certain seasons was said to be reached by floods from a river branch known as Jû-i-Shahabad. After another 4 miles' march across a scrubby steppe we passed through a stretch of cultivated ground which appeared to have been recently reclaimed. Finally, we struck the narrow belt of cultivation on the river's left bank near the huts of Regabad. As the river was said to be rising in flood, a safe ford had to be sought a couple of miles lower down. Its inundation bed there proved fully half a mile wide and the main channel holding water at the time about 35 yards across, with a depth of 3 feet. Judging from this and the canals subsequently encountered on both sides of the river, I was led to conclude that the average volume of water carried down by the Halil Rûd from the high ranges and plateaux south of Kerman is considerably greater than the drainage gathered in the Bampûr river.
The tump reported at Tumbut, when visited next morning, proved to be a small mound situated amidst fields about a mile to the west of the hamlet and only 20 yards in diameter. It is thickly coated with salt efflorescence. Probably owing to this and to the alluvium which irrigation has deposited around it, no pottery was to be found on the surface. The heat, which had made itself felt increasingly during the last few days on this low ground—Tumbut lies at an elevation of only about 1,500 feet above sea-level—made it advisable to husband our time. I therefore decided to move first to the large mound known as Tumpi-surkh, situated some 5 miles to the north-west of Tumbut. A visit to Qalati-ganj, a ruined site reported some 18 miles to the south-west at the foot of a low range of hills just visible from Tumbut, was to depend on the specimens of pottery to be brought from there by a local retainer of Sirdar Husain Khan. Of any mounds lower down the Halil Rûd I could learn nothing locally.
Surface finds at Tump-i-surkh pointed to a site of chalcolithic occupation inviting trial excavation. But the difficulty about getting our baggage camels across deep-cut irrigation channels en route caused delay. So I used the interval for the examination of a mound reported near the village of Mini to the north, beyond the left bank of the river. It was reached after another 8 miles' ride partly across cultivated ground, and partly across the wide inundation bed of the river, here thickly covered with tamarisk scrub and swampy in places. The mound, measuring some 120 yards in diameter and rising to 15 feet in the middle, bears on the surface plenty of coarse plain pottery of the same varied