118 IN THE BAMPUR BASIN [Chap. IV
of 2 to 3 miles from Aptâr a number of ruined bands, or embankments, with terraced ground above them. These afford clear proof that cultivation dependent on rain floods only, and without the help of gandts, had been possible on this ground at a period perhaps not very distant. The ruins reported at Mistâbâd in a nook of the hills near the southernmost bed of the Kunâru Kaur proved to be those of small mud-brick structures clearly dating from Muhammadan times, as shown also by the pottery around them. Moving thence to the north-west for 2 miles across the scrub-covered plain and its torrent-beds we came upon a debris area bearing the name of Kalêra, which measured about 600 yards in length and about 200 yards across. Glazed relief-decorated pottery showed it to be a site occupied during the Muhammadan period.
SECTION III—THE BURIAL SITE OF KHURAB
On March 10th Iran-shahr was regained after a 14 miles' march across a sandy waste furrowed by innumerable stony flood beds, and on the following morning we started down for the examination of sites reported on the left bank of the Bampûr river. Its bed was crossed some 31- miles from Iran-shahr, above a roughly constructed barrage. This diverts the water from the shallow channel into canals to irrigate what cultivation there is along the right bank towards Bampûr. The bed of the river, where we crossed it, was fully 400 yards wide and was filled with luxuriant tamarisk scrub. But what water there was in the shallow little stream passing down it was gathered solely from springs rising in the bed a short distance higher up. This scanty supply of siâh-db, `black water', corresponding to the kara-su of the oases of the Tarim basin, represents the whole of the water supply available for the central portion of the Bampûr basin down to where the river-bed terminates in the drainageless Hâmûn of Jâz Mûriân, some 110 miles farther. More water is carried by the river only during short intervals when, after heavy rain, floods descend from the mountains. The question as to whether any change since prehistoric times in the volume of this water supply might be deduced from archaeological evidence was bound to invest this far from attractive ground with special interest for me.
The track followed through luxuriant riverine jungle of kahûr (Prosopis spicigera) and tamarisk trees brought us after another 6 miles' march to where the stretch of scrubby grazing known as Khurâb begins. Judging from traces of an abandoned ganczt, cultivation appears to have been carried on at one time over some parts of the ground. Patches of scanty pottery debris, some of early type, some of later, marked approach to the place where, according to information received at Bampûr, ancient pottery vessels had been dug up in numbers