Sec. iii] THE BASIN OF JIRUFT 149
sented by Jiruft to the wastes of Rtldbâr and its scattered semi-nomadic settlements was very striking. After passing for 8 miles stretches of fair grazing land by the river's right bank, we reached a practically continuous string of small villages. Their well-tilled fields extend by the side of groves of fruit-trees and date-palms all along the foot of an outlier of the Khorgatu range. The combination of a distinctly hot climate—the thalweg of Jiruft lies at an elevation of only 1,700 to 2,000 feet above sea-level—with adequate water for irrigation permits of two harvests in the year, and the first was just then proceeding in the wheatfields.2
Evidence of early occupation was met first at the mound known as Tump-iHusainâbâd, reached after a march of about 14 miles near the village of Girkôh. The mound measures some 250 yards in diameter and rises to a height of about 20 feet. Being heavily encrusted with salt efflorescence, but little pottery could be seen on the surface. The few pieces of painted ware picked up were of the `late prehistoric' type. A smaller mound close to the north bears on its top a ruined enclosure built with rough stones and apparently of no great age.
Seen from the village of Âb-i-garm, where we halted for the night, a high mound near the hamlet of Kunâr-sandal to the north-west was a conspicuous feature in the landscape. Though the direct distance was less than 3 miles, it took us fully an hour and a half to reach it on the morning of April 12th, owing to constant detours caused by extensive stretches of cultivation and farther on by flood-beds and swampy depressions. The mound rises to 48 feet in the centre and measures 130 yards from north to south. But in continuation of it there stretches a low debris-strewn terrace to the south-east. The steep slopes of the mound and its much-fissured top are permeated with shôr, or salt efflorescence, but in the ravines where erosion is active, much pottery was found exposed. Most of it was plain ware, red, buff, or whitish in colour of body. But painted fragments with black geometrical designs on red or grey ground were also picked up on the surface. Prehistoric occupation was proved also by numerous pieces of worked flints and fragments of small alabaster vessels.
About a mile to the north-north-west there rises a second mound, close to the palm-leaf huts of Kunâr-sandal and a ziarat of the Twelve Imams. Its height is only about 30 feet, but in extent it is much larger than the first mound. All round the mound (Fig. 45) the much-decayed remains of a rampart could be traced, forming a continuous line of some 580 yards on the west, north, and east. On the south the circumvallation has disappeared for a distance of about 200 yards, probably owing to a marshy depression liable to floods passing close
2 The great heat of Jiruft is specially mentioned by Muqaddasi, and the fertility of its land also by Istakhri, cf. Schwarz, /oc. cit., p. 241.