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0215 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 215 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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Sec. iii]   THE BASIN OF JiRUFT   155

comprises no remains of inlaid glass bangles such as were recovered at prehistoric sites.'

The ruined site which I have just briefly described, and which may conveniently be called after the village of Behkird, is undoubtedly that of the city which the early Arab geographers mention under the name of Jiruft, as the chief place of the whole district still called after it. Among the notices extracted and translated in Dr. Schwarz's very helpful work Iran im Mittelalter6 the following may briefly be reproduced here. Istakhri notes of the city of Jiruft that `it is two miles long, a chief mart for the trade of Khorasan and Sijistan. The amenities of the cold and the warm land are here combined: there are to be had here snow' and fresh dates, walnuts and lemons. Water is taken by the people from the Diwrûd.$ Jiruft is very fertile, its fields are artificially irrigated.' Mugaddasi calls Jiruft `the pleasantest of the provincial capitals, a treasury of fruits and cereals'. He expatiates on the amenities of the town and its environs, on its good bazars and baths, but also refers to its excessive heat, local diseases, mosquitoes and snakes. `The town is fortified and has four gates.... The chief mosque is situated on the outskirts of the town, near the gate towards Bam, far away from the bazars; it is built with bricks and plaster. Drinking water is obtained from a river which sends its water through the streets and bazars, has a rapid flow and could work twenty mills. The city is larger than Istakhr. For the building of houses mud is used, for foundation walls stone.' Snow [for the cooling of drinks] is brought from a distance.... The country outside the town is exceptionally pleasant.' As Yaqût repeating the descriptive details of older geographers refers to Jiruft as a `great and important' place, it may be concluded that the town was still flourishing at the beginning of the thirteenth century.

Conditions had sadly changed after the Mongol conquest of Persia; for there can be no doubt that it is the site of the Arab geographers' Jiruft to which Marco Polo refers when he describes his passage through `the city called Camadi' on his journey from Kerman to Hormuz about A.D. 1272. After describing the route which must have taken him from Kerman past Rayin and across the high range of Sardilyeh down the valley of the Rild-i-shôr, the great Venetian relates: `After you have ridden down hill those two days you find yourself in a vast plain, and at the beginning thereof there is a city called Camadi which formerly was a great and noble place, but now is of little consequence, for the Tartars in their incursions have several times ravaged it. The plain whereof I speak is a very hot

5 Cf. above, pp. 109, 128, 129.

6 See pp. 240 sqq.

7 Persian officials stationed about Jiruft still get snow readily brought from Jabal Bàriz.

8 For this designation of the Halil Rûd, cf. Schwarz, loc. cit., p. 215.

9 For the correctness of this statement, see above, p. 152.