[Chap. V, Sec. i
152 TO RUDB2~R AND JIRUFT ii]
Proceeding about 800 yards to the west from the fort there is reached a drainage bed winding from north to south. On the nearer side of it stretches of bare clay seemed at first to suggest the position of some enceinte for the town proper, with ditches marking the line where building materials had been removed in recent years. But drainage channels and cultivation would not allow of such indications being followed with any certainty.
On a conspicuous ridge rising above the southern end of the cultivated patches ( Fig. 47) I had a trial trench cut for a distance of about 80 feet. The excavation was carried to a depth of about 5 feet and was subsequently extended to the same depth by a shorter trench cut at right angles. It proved the top of the mound to consist of decomposed debris from walls built with mud bricks and resting on rough stone foundations. Mixed with the debris were found plentiful remains of pottery, comprising a great variety of relief-decorated and glazed ware. Fragments of glass vessels were also frequently met with. Of two large broken pots unearthed, one contained only earth, the other many pieces from unglazed water vessels bearing moulded decoration, such as were also abundantly represented among the potsherds strewing the surface over numerous patches of the ground.
The ceramic remains brought to light from the trenches are so uniform in their types with those collected from the surface that there is no need to distinguish between them in the following brief notes intended to supplement the abstract account contained in Mr. Hobson's Appendix A, with special reference to the specimens illustrated in Plates XXI—XXiII.4 These notes, as elsewhere, are based upon the succinct descriptive inventory of the collection brought back from the journey of 1931-2, prepared by Mr. F. H. Andrews.
Taking first pieces of unglazed ware with moulded decoration ( Pis. XXII, XXIII ) from vessels of a slightly porous light buff clay, similar in fabric to the pottery still widely used in Persia for holding water, we note throughout the richness of the low relief of arabesques which almost completely covers the surface. This is usually divided into geometrically figured panels by bands or straps interlacing in a more or less complicated fashion. The panels and bands are filled with rich scrollwork based mostly upon ingeniously stylized floral forms. Between the luxuriant foliage well-drawn birds and other animals are introduced (Daq. 64, 69, 73, 556, 588, 635) . The foliage scrolls of annular bands are interspersed with inscriptions in Kufic characters, which occur also on vertical bands of arabesques (34, 44, 52, 58, 587, 606, 612, 613, 623, 626, 637) . Radiating vertical fluting with petal-like flutes is frequent, especially
4 Objects collected on the surface bear the `site are marked Daq. 553-688; those purchased from marks' Daq. 1-552; those from the trial trenches villagers of Behkird, Daq. 0689-0697.