116 IN THE BAMPUR BASIN [Chap. IV
Close above the huts of Baghshat there descends a small valley known as Zehlambân. A gently sloping terrace in the middle not far above its mouth is covered with low, rudely laid-out cairns of the usual type over an area measuring about 250 yards from east to west and more than 100 yards across. A dozen of
these cairns were opened. Small bone fragments and potsherds were found in all of them, while five of them proved to contain also complete vessels of coarse
hand-made pottery. All of them had flat bottoms, lacking bases. The fabric is
of the poorest, being porous clay covered with a whitish slip. A bronze finger ring and small stone beads originally forming three strings were also among
the finds. More Jambs of the same type were said to exist higher up the main valley near the Kamsaptar of the Survey map, on the route towards Khwâsh, and also at Sahigân in a side valley to the north-east of Dâmin.
On March 9th we started from Dâmin for Aptâr, a fairly large oasis some 12 miles to the east of Irân-shahr, which claimed a visit as being of some local
importance. The track led first across a succession of detritus ridges into a wide
torrent-bed joining the Dâmin river lower down. Leaving this, after 9 miles we reached the bed of a smaller tributary, at the mouth of which nestles the little
oasis of Katukân. Its 40 or 50 huts were almost all deserted at the time. Fortunately one of the few villagers left behind had learned of our digging at Dâmin, and took us to a small gravel plateau overlooking the date-palm groves from the south-east, where old pottery might be seen. The plateau, measuring about 200 yards from east to west, proved to be occupied by the ziârat of
Baba. Haji, and most of the ground around it to be covered with Muhammadan graves. In digging these much of ancient pottery had been unearthed, as proved
by the plentiful fragments of painted prehistoric ware which could be collected
on the surface. From the specimens reproduced in Pl. XI it will be seen that the decorative designs on this ware, which is mostly of grey colour, correspond
very closely with those found on the chalcolithic pottery of Bampûr and Dâmin.
Geometric patterns, hachured, cross-hatched, or in fasces (Kat. 4, 22, 24, 27, 28, 33, 010) prevail. Sometimes the outlines of the shapes are scolloped, as in
Kat. 1-5, 25. The row of stylized mountain sheep reappears in 20, 011 with raised ridges, straight or wavy, separating the decorative bands. That there is close agreement also in shapes is proved by the well-preserved small bowl, 018, and the little jar, 017 (Pl. XXXI I) . These were obtained from villagers who had taken them into use. The bowl, which is a warm grey colour, has a roughly painted border on the outside, and the jar shows the bulging sides common in the Nâl type of pottery. Other finds, too, such as the fragments of an alabaster cup and of a glass bangle decorated like one from Bampûr, point to an approximately identical period.