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0196 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 196 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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march of April 2nd took us first across an alluvial flat cultivated in patches to a chain of low rocky hillocks known as Surkh-galât. On an isolated small `kopje'

near its end, reached after a march of 5 miles, we found the remains of a small

walled enclosure about 18 yards in diameter, built with sun-dried bricks. In the absence of any pottery near by, the time of occupation remained uncertain. But

we had proceeded only about a mile and a half beyond when we passed a typical tati area, where wind erosion has laid bare plentiful pottery debris manifestly dating from different periods.

This area, measuring about 600 yards from east to west with a maximum width of close on 400 yards, had been mentioned to me at Tumbut under the

name of Tump-i-Surkh-qalat, the `Mound of the red fort', though it rose nowhere

more than a few feet above the level of the flat alluvial ground around. Besides plain pottery bearing slips of pink, buff-white, or greenish colour there were

picked up here painted fragments ( see Pl. xx for specimens) showing geometric patterns in black (Kal. 1-5, 7, 9) and resembling the ware of Chah Husaini also in ground colour and fabric. But in addition there were numerous pieces ( see Kal. 2, 11) where the decorative scheme is made polychrome by the addition of

purple or red. The appearance of volutes in some painted designs also suggested occupation continued into later prehistoric times. Worked stones in the shape

of flint blades and flakes were frequent. Some fragments of decorated glass bangles turned up here also as at prehistoric sites of Bampur, Makran, and Sistan.

In view of this varied character of the finds picked up here on the surface it is certain that the Tump-i-Surkh-qalat marks a site occupied for a prolonged period.

The force of wind erosion, which has reduced the mound to its present insignifi-

cant height, was appropriately demonstrated to us by the violence of a sandstorm which overtook us soon after passing the site, and obliged us to halt in semi-

darkness for hours on a stretch of utterly bare ground. The gale with its driving sand continued also after we had reached ground covered with slight scrub and had been able to pitch camp at the hamlet of Hazar-shah, to which a small canal carries water from the Halil Rûd.

A march of about 18 miles to the north-west carried us on the following day first across low broken ridges, and then over gravel dasht with gradually increasing vegetation into the wide trough which holds in its centre the fairly large oasis of Kahnû. Drainage from the hill ranges to the west and south-west, which in the Kôh-i-Kalmurz and Kôh-i-Gireh rise to heights over 5,000 feet, assures an adequate supply of water for its gancits. But none of this drainage reaches the Halil Rai, towards which the trough slopes down. The date-palm groves and fields irrigated by the ganâts stretch in a more or less continuous line