SECTION iv—THE SITE OF CHAH HUSAINÎ
On March 15th our march down the Bampûr river was resumed with a view to examining such old sites as had been reported on the left bank below Bampûr. While passing through the narrow belt of jungle between the river-bed and the sandy waste to the south I noticed that many of the large kahûr and tamarisk trees stood on sand cones, 5-6 feet high, looking like the `tamarisk cones' so familiar to me from the scrubby desert along the edge of the Taklamakan. The growth of these cones clearly showed that cultivation along this part of the riverine belt must have ceased for a very considerable period. Dad Muhammad Khan, a fine old Balûch headman, and other local informants, told me of a tradition according to which much of the ground here along this southern bank of the river had once been irrigated by gancits taking off from the river. These subterraneous canals were believed to have dried up owing to the river having cut its bed deeper. Local opinion attributed to the same cause the necessity for constructing the high band or barrage below Iran-shahr, which holds up the flow of water in the bed and has deprived much of the lands below Bampûr of their former irrigation supply.
Opposite to Bampûr we passed again the long stretch of bare clayey ground, known as Seh-kandaki, previously visited from Bampûr, where plenty of late pottery attested occupation in Muhammadan times. No traces of ganâts were met with until after about 10 miles' march we reached the head of the canal which carried water to the pleasant little oasis of Saiyyidabad founded by Sirdar Saiyyid Khan, the present Geh Sirdar's father. Here a small, neatly worked bowl in a kind of black soapstone, Saiyyidàbad 01 (Pl. xxv), was brought to me. No definite information as to its provenance could be obtained. But its antiquity is not open to doubt.
Thence an almost continuous stretch of cultivation was followed for another 6 miles down to the cluster of mat-huts of Qasimabad. The `rump-iQàsimabàd' beyond it, where we camped, proved a low mound measuring about 140 yards from north to south and about half that across. Most of it is covered with graves. A trial trench cut next day across a slight depression at its northern end brought to light only coarse red pottery besides a few painted fragments, showing bold design with triangles and hachuring ( Qas. 23, 67; Pl. IX) . These, with two fragments of flint `blades' picked up on the surface, sufficed to prove prehistoric occupation. But some pieces of ribbed ware, Qas. 24-6, found on the surface showed that the site was probably tenanted also later. While encamped near the mound there was brought to me by the local headman