Sec. i] BURIAL SITES OF DAMBA-KÔH AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD 73
hills of Sarbaz has changed its course westwards. Abandoning its former channels it has turned into a narrow deep-cut bed which precludes its water being utilized for irrigation even when the river is in flood. Thus we found the hamlet of Basôt, passed a couple of miles after entering upon the alluvial plain, completely deserted. Marks of old cultivation long ago abandoned were to be seen in places before the hamlet of Baliar Mach was reached after a march of 24 miles. There a well and a small grove of date-palms accounted for continued occupation.
Above the level plain east of the Bahia river there rise abruptly isolated rocky ridges resembling islands, and composed of layers of clay and calcareous sandstone. One of the largest of them, situated about 2i miles to the north of Baliar Mach and known as Damba-kbh,s bears the extensive burial site to which Major Mockler had first called attention.? Its southern extremity, as the sketch plan ( Plan 7 ) shows, rises in a series of connected hillocks to heights from about 210 to 350 feet above the alluvial flat at its foot. The slopes and parts of the crests, too, of the hillocks are occupied by burial cairns for a distance of about three-quarters of a mile from north to south and for more than half a mile across. These are all constructed with uncut slabs of stone from rock in situ, but vary in size and shape. A rough enumeration, made by the Surveyor and recorded in the plan, shows a total number of more than 1,700 cairns. As others are to be found in scattered groups along the hill slope farther north, it appears probable that the total number for the whole site cannot fall much short of two thousand. As shown by the photograph ( Fig. 24) taken from the southernmost hill-crest, the whole picture conveys a curious impression, as if the hill-sides had suffered from eruptions like small-pox.
A completely isolated small hillock, Dam. I, situated to the south-east in a small valley and rising at its north-western end to a height of about 140 feet, bears the remains of much decayed dwellings built with uncut stones. Plentiful pottery debris covering the slopes and other indications left no doubt from the start about this hillock marking a site occupied by the living. The same was the case at a spot about a quarter of a mile off to the south, and measuring about 90 yards in diameter, where the ground was thickly strewn with potsherds. I shall further on discuss the remains of the hillock, Dam. I, and of this small tati, to use the term familiar to me from desert sites of this kind in the Tarim basin. Past the eastern foot of the ridge there runs a depression, filled with
6 See Map, Sheet I. The Survey map, No. 31.G, north. For other topographical rectifications see based here and elsewhere in this area on `recon- below, pp. 78 n. 15, 135 n. I, 170 n. 2.
naissance work' only, shows the ridge, with the entry ° Cf. J.R.A.S., 1877, pp. 126 sqq.
`Damba-kôh, Ancient Caves', about 1 miles too far