Sec. iv] THROUGH THE HILLS OF MAKRAN 99
local belief that in such cases valuables might have been buried with the dead may account for the opening of the previously mentioned tomb structures.
All over the burial-ground of Chihil-dukhtarân fragments of glazed pottery could be picked up in plenty. Apart from fine glazed ware in shades of plain blue and green, there were pieces showing graffito designs under a green or yellow glaze (Geh. 58, 64, 66) closely resembling such decorated ware from Qal`a-i-Jamshid and Tiz. Other glazed fragments with patterns in brown over a buff ground show a type of decoration which is represented among the medieval pottery found by me at Awaran and Miri-but in Balûchistan,l and which appears to be related to Samargand ware of the thirteenth to fourteenth century. Some fragments of porcellanous ware, decorated in blue over white (Geh. 24, 34) , are probably of Chinese make or else Persian ware imitated from it. There were found also pieces of good enamelled tile work, including some with blue and lustre decoration which Mr. Hobson in Appendix A ascribes to the fourteenth century.la From the evidence of all these ceramic remains it may safely be concluded that burials continued here down to late medieval or even more recent times.
This account of old remains at Geh may be completed by brief references to a few places visited to the south of the plateau bearing the wheat-fields and date-palm groves of the oasis. About a quarter of a mile below the junction of the two kaurs a terrace above the left bank of the river-bed, known as Aspimangal, bears remains of an enclosing wall built with rubble, and within it low debris heaps from decayed structures. The scanty pottery found supplies no clue to approximate dating. On the opposite bank the small spur of Sohren-dug, the `red hillock', shows similar stone heaps from decayed dwellings. Above it the crest of the isolated hillock of Char-takan is crowned with the roughly built stone walls of what obviously was a small defensive post. Here, too, no chronological data could be obtained from the scanty potsherds.
It had been my wish to make my way to Bampur by the most direct route leading across the range in the north past Hichan and Sarhao. But Sultan Agha Husain Ansari, the obliging commandant of our escort, apprehended serious risks of attack, if we followed this route, from the wild Baluch nomads of Lashar occupying those hills. He dwelt so persistently on his responsibility in the event of an encounter with the tribesmen, who had so far resisted all revenue demands of the Persian authorities, that in the end I felt obliged to agree to the move by the more devious route, leading first to Bint and thence up its river to Fanuch, by which the flank of the Lashar tract would be turned. It was easier for me to accept the detour since previous information suggested that both Bint and Fanuch had at one time been possessed of some local resources.
1 Cf. Tour in Gedrosia, pp. 131, 171, Pl. XXXIII. la See below, p. 246.