Sec. ii] OLD SITES IN THE SHAHPUR DISTRICT 61
about which I had received information through the helpful local Naib Tahsildâr, Lâla Indar Sain. The use of a motor-car placed them within convenient reach. At a distance of about 5 miles to the south-east of Bhera the Reserved Government Forest of Rakh Chiragha contains a conspicuous mound known as `Amrawall. Ali'. It rises to about 20 feet and measures some 240 yards in diameter. Among the broken pottery which thickly covers its surface relief-decorated pieces were plentiful. Among the designs impressed from moulds I noted that several well known from the decorative style of Gandhâra, such as the four-petalled clematis, open lotus and rosette, recur frequently and are usually surrounded by a pearl border ( see Amra. 3, 5, 7, 8, 14; Pl. I) . Amra. 14 is a fragment of a mould and therefore indicates local production.
As the pearl motif is definitely associated with Sasanian art, it appears very probable that the occupation of the site dates back to that pre-Muhammadan period when the artistic influence of Iran made itself felt in the north-west of India. The painted pottery showed simple designs in black over red ground, such as horizontal bands and festoons, affording no definite chronological clue. Three more mounds known as the Surkanwâli, Harmalwâli, and Rattapind 'Ails' were visited within the same area. They lie in a line approximately to the north-east at distances of half a mile to one mile from each other. The mound of Rattapind, the largest of the three, measures about 260 by 220 yards and rises to 20 feet in height. Relief-decorated pieces of the same type ( see R.P. 6, 7, 11, 13; Pl. I ) were found at all these sites. The mound of Rattapind yielded in addition three moulds of hard-baked clay for producing pearl border and leaf-shaped ornaments in relief ( see R.P. 1, 2, 3 ; Pl. I) . A few fragments of blue-glazed ware agreed with the previously suggested date.
A subsequent drive of some 12 miles along a branch of the Lower Jhelum Canal then brought us to the old town of Miâni, once a prosperous place as shown by the fine wood-carved gates and façades displayed here as at Bhera by decaying old houses. The plentiful supply of timber brought down on the Jhelum accounts for this lavish use of architectural wood carving in both places. In much of its designs it is easy to trace the survival of motifs familiar from the Graeco-Buddhist reliefs of Gandhâra. Returning towards Bhera we visited the large and very conspicuous mound known as Sabzpind situated at 3 miles' distance from the west gate of Miâni and close to the railway line. It measures some 500 yards from east to west, with a maximum width of more than half its length, and rises to fully 40 feet in the centre. Erosion has cut deep ravines into the mound, disclosing everywhere layers of debris full of potsherds, broken bricks, and ashes. Bricks have been brought from this debris and deposited on three low barrows supposed to mark the burial-places of holy `Naugaz Sahibs' on a