112 IN THE BAMPUR BASIN [Chap. IV
it appeared to me very unlikely, if not altogether impossible, that this ground of Sardagah could ever have been irrigated from the Bampûr river. It is certain that water from any other source is not available now for permanent cultivation or settled occupation on this ground. The question of `desiccation' is thus raised here, but must be considered elsewhere.
Of other minor sites reported I was able from Bampûr to visit the one at Dambiân or Seh-kandaki, situated about 2-i miles to the south-east and near the left bank of the river. From it had been brought some stone beads and a large coarsely painted jar, Dbn. 1 (Pl. IT), with angular handle and upright spout. Examination of the ground was made difficult by a rain-storm; but the frequency of relief-decorated and glazed pottery sufficed to indicate later occupation. Another site reported by the name of Maulâ. to the south-east, in the direction of the well of Gwarpusht, lay too far off to be visited from Bampûr, and on our subsequent journey down the left bank of the river, after excavating at Khurâb, time could no longer be spared for it. There is reason to regret this as the specimens of painted pottery brought from there, such as Mau. 1, 6, 8, 9, 12, &c. (Pl. IX) with their characteristic black designs of mountain sheep, trees, &c., leave no doubt about their marking a place of prehistoric occupation.
SECTION II—UP THE BAMPUR RIVER
On March 3rd we left Bampûr for Tran-shahr up the Bampûr river in order to visit the head of the basin where information previously gathered seemed to point to the presence of some old sites. There was an additional reason for this move in the fact that the fort now renamed Iran-shahr, and formerly known as Qaldt-i-NâsirI, had been the seat of Persian administration in Baltichistân for a long time past. It now holds the chief garrison of the province, except during the summer months, when, owing to the great heat and other drawbacks of the climate, most of the troops are withdrawn to Khwâsh in the Sarhad hills. The route followed on the march of some 16 miles led partly along the edge of cultivation and partly through a riverine belt where plentiful kahûr trees and other jungle vegetation attested the presence of subsoil water and fertile ground suited for agricultural occupation. Abandoned irrigation channels and gancits were met with in places, attesting that this tract had at a time not very distant supported a larger population than that to be found in the scattered small hamlets along the right bank of the river.
Iran-shahr, apart from its large square fort built in the second half of the last century and now kept in good repair, had little of interest or resources to offer. The two little villages clustering amid date-palm groves near it are known