Sec. ü) OLD SITES IN THE SHAHPUR DISTRICT 63
and painted ware such as Nur. 1, 5 ( Pl. I) on this ground affords some useful evidence, be it only of a negative kind, for the dating of the previously mentioned sites.
A subsequent excursion made from Shahpur due east along the road towards Bhalwâl showed a large site near the village of Gurtâla at a distance of about 3 miles. The debris-covered area here measures about 380 yards from southeast to north-west and not much less across. It has been largely dug up for the extraction of saltpetre. Among the abundant potsherds fragments of painted ware, of finer execution than elsewhere and with considerable variety of designs, were frequent ( Gur. 1, 5, 8; Pl. II ) . Among relief-decorated fragments, recalling those from Rakh Chiragha, pieces with irregular tracery and volutes ( Gur. 9, 14; Pl. II) were particularly noticeable. Gur. 17 (Pl. II) is a figurine representing a grotesque beast-head. That the occupation of this site goes back to pre-Muhammadan times appears very probable. This conclusion is supported by the observations made at a smaller mound situated close to the village of Sahnu, some 8 miles farther on by the same road and similarly much disturbed by digging for saltpetre. Apart from painted and moulded pottery remains (Sahnu. 6, 13, 16; Pl. II) resembling those of Gurtâla, we collected here several much-corroded copper coins which certainly looked pre-Muhammadan. One shows a design suggesting a barbarous imitation of the figure of Athene as frequent on certain Indo-Greek coins.
A subsequent visit paid to a ruined fort near Akil Shah, about 2 miles to the north-west of the former Shahpur cantonment, showed that its remains had been occupied down to comparatively modern times. It was different with a mound examined at Chak Haripur about 6 miles to the south-east from Shâhpur. This mound rises to about 30 feet above the alluvial ground irrigated, like the rest of the neighbouring area, from inundation canals of the . Jhelum. Here the pottery showed the same types as noted before at Gurtâla. On the top of the mound, which is about 80 yards in diameter and is now occupied by the dilapidated mansion of a former Sikh Jagirdar, we picked up a large brick of burnt clay, measuring 15 x 10 x 3 inches, and thus corresponding in size to the old bricks noticed on the Sabzpind mound near Miâni.
On December 17th camp was moved to the small town of Sahiwal, some 22 miles lower down the Jhelum. Thence we visited the same day the group of large mounds collectively known as Bahûr. These are situated about 10 miles farther south, a little over a mile to the east of the village of Nihang and near the place of Muhammadan pilgrimage known as Panjpir ( the `five holy men') . The sketch plan ( Plan 6) shows the relative position and the size of the mounds. The westernmost, marked A, is about 400 yards long and rises to a height of