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0216 Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1
Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1 / Page 216 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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156   TO RUDBÂR AND JIRUFT   [Chap. V

region; and the province that we now enter is called Reobarles .'i0 What the subsequent narrative tells us of the products and fauna of the country is in keeping with what is now to be found in Jiruft and Rtldbâr.

Marco Polo supplies us with a definite record of the time when `the city of Jiruft' began to fall into ruin and with an approximate indication of the period from which the remains now to be seen there on the surface may be assumed to date. But there is still the question to be answered as to how far back the occupation of the site may be traced. Apart from the notices of the Arab geographers, which prove the city to have flourished already early in the ninth century, help is afforded in this direction by the evidence of casual finds by the local villagers, who are accustomed after rain to search the site for coins, seals, and other small objects of value.

Among such finds as I was able to acquire by purchase the most useful are forty-one copper and two silver coins. The examination kindly made by Mr. J. Allan has shown that no less than thirty-two of the copper and one of the silver coins are of the early Abbasids (circa A.D. 750-850) , among them one of AlWathik ( 842-7 ) ; three copper coins of the twelfth to thirteenth century; one silver Jalairid coin of the fourteenth century and one Timurid copper coin of about A.D. 1400, the remainder being unidentifiable. The marked prevalence of the early Abbasid coins is significant. Among a dozen of small stones cut as though for seals, two bear Arabic characters. Among the articles shown by the Governor of Jiruft, Sardtlyeh, and Isfandaqeh, then staying at Htlkird, there was a stone seal showing a composite winged monster, perhaps meant for Muhammad's Bur-kb and a bronze seal with the figure of a grazing cow. From the Behkird site there came also a small stone seal showing an Eros with bow, and another representing the figure of a man mounted on a monster. These IVlirzâ `Ali Muhammad, Revenue Officer of the district, very kindly presented to me on our passage through Sabzawârän. Both seals show very late Hellenistic style.

Without extensive excavations carried to a considerable depth below the

10 See Yule, The Book of Sir Marco Polo3, i. p. 97. For the route followed by Marco Polo from Kermân to `Camadi' cf. M. Cordier's note, ibid. i. p. 113, based on Major (now Sir) Percy Sykes's information, Three Thousand Miles in Persia, ch. xxiii. The identity of Camadi with the `town of Dagianûs' appears to have been first recognized by Major R. M. Smith, R.E.; cf. Yule, Marco Polo3, i. p. 113. See ibid. also for the derivation of the name Camadi from Qumâdin, the designation of a suburb, as proposed by Houtum-Schindler,

J.R.A.S., 1898, p. 43.

In Reobarles Sir Henry Yule, following Pauthier,

was prepared to recognize the name of Rûdbâr with the addition of Arabic lass, `robber'. The explanation is attractive, as Marco Polo in a subsequent passage (i. p. 107) makes `the plain' extend `in a southerly direction for five days' journey' towards Hormuz, thus clearly indicating in it portions like Bulûk and Gulashgird of the present Rûdbâr. The designation of `Rûdkhâna-iduzdi', `the River-bed of Theft', borne to this day by a valley passed below Gulâshgird on the route to Old Hormuz (Minâb), seems to support the interpretation; see below, pp. 176 sq.