228 FROM GALEHDAR TO BUSHIRE [Chap. VIII
glazed pieces, no definite chronological indication being afforded by them. The same remarks apply to the pottery remains found over an extensive area of low debris about half a mile to the south from the foot of the spur, evidently from completely decayed dwellings built, like those of Warâwi, with rubble and mud plaster.
Crossing ground cut up by branches of the flood-bed, we reached a line of low limestone hillocks which crop out down the middle of the wide valley trough. The westernmost of these had been described as bearing traces of an old settlement, but the only remains definitely recognizable were a circular well cut through the rock at its foot and a cistern similarly cut at the foot of another hillock.
After returning thence to Warâwi, I visited a series of small caves visible across a wide boulder-strewn fan at a distance of about 11-miles to the north-east of the village. These have been roughly excavated, undoubtedly by the hand of man, in the comparatively soft limestone conglomerate of a low ridge at the foot of the northern range of hills. The caves, of which I counted at least thirty, riddle the narrow end of the ridge for a distance of some 150 yards, about half of them lying on the opposite side of the ridge where it is adjoined by a deep ravine. These caves, which vary much in size, consist mostly of a small roughly circular or oval chamber measuring up to 15 or 16 feet across and provided with little niches on the sides, probably meant for storage. Quite low passages lead from some of these small caves to others on the opposite side of the ridge. There was nothing to suggest that these rough excavations had served as places of burial. Their probable use as troglodyte dwellings was indicated by small built-up platforms found in front of some of those facing towards Warâwi village. Nowhere did the floor seem to be overlain by refuse such as might result from long-continued occupation. But there was evidence of the caves being still occasionally used as shelters by herdsmen. The absence of any provision for water by storage tanks or wells was puzzling.
On returning in the evening to Warâwi I was met by the disappointing intelligence that letters from Zâl Mirza, the Tarakuma headman, received by both Sohrâb Khan and the commander of our escort, emphatically declared his inability to supply transport for our proposed move to Ishkanân or to ensure our safety on the journey. The tribe was described as being wholly out of hand owing to the disturbing effect of the fighting between the troops and the Qashqais supporting `Ali Khan's rising. In the face of this report Sohrâb Khan could not be expected to offer effective aid towards an attempt to reach Lar via Ishkanân. It was equally obvious that our small escort of conscripts could not have protected our party from being plundered en route. So, however reluctantly,