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0304 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 304 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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in a still more convincing fashion by the examination of the abundant remains of painted pottery uniformly brought to light through the debris layers which our trial trenches at the Tal-i-pir disclosed.

The decoration of these pottery fragments is all monotone, though the colours, owing to the different strengths of paint used or to imperfections of the burning, vary from black to shades of brown and dark red. The colour had been applied before burning and hence is not affected by washing, but often the painted surface, owing to inadequate burning or the action of salt in the soil, has rubbed off, leaving the patterns imperfect. The body of all the ceramics, both painted and plain, varies from a fine hard clay, perfectly baked, to coarse ware often imperfectly fired and hence more liable to the action of damp and of salt in the soil. The prevailing colour of the ware is a dirty yellowish-grey, but in a small number of pieces of superior texture (v. 7; vi. 43) the colour is creamy and in others (vi. 8, 9) a light red. Apparently all this pottery was wheel-made. Neither burnishing nor slip has been noticed.

The fragments are mostly from cups and bowls varying greatly in size and shape as shown by the specimens in Pls. XXVIII, XXIX. Among them may be specially noted several pieces showing a ring foot (xi. 6; xii. 12) and bottom portions of cups with a pointed conical base ( iii. 6; iv. 16; xii. 18) . Among remains of flat-bottomed vessels of different sizes, that of a bowl, ii. 26, decorated inside with a diaper of lozenges, deserves special mention as having been found, at a depth of 3 feet, holding a small collection of flint blades. Slightly lower down there turned up some human bones and, on the same level close by, a skull.

Among the decorative painted designs simple bands and stripes of varying widths commonly line the inner or outer rims. Very frequent are designs corn-posed of hachured squares or oblongs, whether complete or halved, and grouped in different schemes, as seen in i. 7; ii. 66; v. 15, 28, 50; vi. 34, 44, 71; vii. 3, 25, 36, 37; xi. 26. Triangles, mostly hachured, in various combinations are also very frequent, alternately reversed (i. 11), or with points touching bases or arranged in hour-glass fashion (v. 43 ; xi. 17) . Comb-like or feathered attachments are seen in ii. 26; iii. 15; vi. 11. Lozenge diapers appear in v. 34; xi. 26. Disks and circlets are found reserved in a solid black ground in vii. 6; viii. 9, 11, or hachured inside (v. 2) . Simple but characteristic motifs of a geometrical kind are heart shapes (v. 36; vi. 21) ; crosses (viii. 16) , and `sigmas' (vi. 11, 33) . While most of these designs can be paralleled also from the chalcolithic painted pottery of Baltichistân sites, the insertion of fine dotted lines, as in ii. 1, 25; vi. 9; xi. 3, 24, provides a clear and significant link with the ceramic style of the Persepolis mound and of numerous chalcolithic sites subsequently surveyed by me in