Sec. i] FROM KERMAN TO TAL-I-IBLiS 167
peremptory order of the Naib before the men had removed more than about 8 or 10 inches of soft clay or dust covering the slope. In view of this unwarranted interference and the humiliation it incidentally involved, I found it necessary to forgo further attempts at trial excavations until the effect of the representations addressed to Tehran could make itself felt. Judging from the official attitude previously observed at Kerman, a return there appeared to involve the risk of indefinite delay. This might have meant our reaching the mouth of the Gulf too late for the programme of field work to be carried out along its trying coast during the short period of comparatively favourable climatic conditions. So I decided to continue the journey there and reluctantly to restrict myself to surface observations until arrival at Bandar Abbas. There I could hope for a change of escort and the removal of the obstruction imposed from Kerman.
The materials we were able to collect at Tal-i-Iblis are fortunately ample enough to prove that the site marked by the mound and the debris area around was occupied during the chalcolithic period and during that only. This is proved on the one hand by the type of the painted pottery remains and on the other by the total absence on the mound or in its immediate vicinity of any glazed ware or other objects that could be attributed to later times.6 The pottery, with the exception of a few coarse fragments which look hand-made, was all wheel-made. The body varies considerably in colour, various shades of cream, light pink, grey, and brown being represented. A fine well-levigated clay is found in a number of dark-grey pieces and in the fragment Ibl. 142 (Pl. XXIV ) of a thin-walled jar of deep terra-cotta colour. Some pieces of grey and cream ware (105, 167, 184) belong to small vessels having a ring foot. Another and larger piece (104; Pl. XXIV) belongs to a flat-bottomed base. The painted designs are practically all monotone and applied without a slip. The colour used for the patterns varies from black to brown and brownish pink, the difference being probably due to the varying strength of the paint. In one fragment (121; Pl. XXIV) part of the design appears in a dark brown and another part in a reddish brown, but no polychrome effect appears to have been intended.
The designs, all geometrical, show remarkable variety in their motifs, as shown by the specimens reproduced in Pl. XXIV. Simple wave lines, whether by themselves ( 87, 132) or combined with other elements (139), are common; so also are zigzags, as in the design of 40, 90, and hachures (52, 124, 141, 142) . More elaborate patterns are formed with lozenges (58, 95, 168, 175), mostly hachured, or triangles placed between or outlined • by plain bands (16, 108) .
6 A few fragments of glazed pottery, evidently up to the east of the river-bed and near the southern quite late and of coarsely incised ware, were picked edge of the debris area.