Sec. iii] THE BASIN OF JIRUFT 157
debris dating from medieval times, there is little chance of any reliable evidence being secured as to the earliest period from which the site was occupied. A small alabaster jar which was brought to Sir Percy Sykes as having been found higher up in the Halil-rûd valley has been attributed by a competent authority on the strength of its shape to Greek workmanship." But to base upon this the conclusion that the supposed oil flask was lost where Alexander's camp stood, and that the site of Jiruft was the scene of the famous meeting with Nearchos after the fleet had been safely brought to Harmozeia, or old Hormuz ( Minab) , is a conjecture too hazardous for critical consideration.12 All that can with reasonable assurance be assumed on topographical grounds is that Alexander's route to the capital of Karmania, whether it stood at the present Kerman, as is most likely, or farther to the south-west, must have lain up the Jiruft basin. For if it had led from Bampûr to Kerman via Barn it would have taken Alexander away from any place where Nearchos could possibly have joined him by five marches.
SECTION iv—TO KERMAN AND ENGLAND
The burning heat experienced during our work in the Jiruft basin had sufficed to convince me that the time for archaeological exploration on this and similarly low ground had now passed. A variety of personal considerations applying both to my zealous companion, Dr. Fâbri, and myself made it advisable for us to regain England for the summer months and to use them at the British Museum for the arrangement and examination of the materials recovered in the course of our explorations. The interval before the proposed resumption of work in the direction of the coast of the Persian Gulf was to be used by Surveyor Muhammad Ayûb Khan for topographical labours on higher ground. Kerman, owing to its elevation and the advantages offered by it as the administrative centre of the province, appeared the most convenient base for the Surveyor's operations in the hill tracts around, and the British Consulate at Kerman the best place of deposit for camp equipage and servants until my return from England.
With a view to reaching Kerman promptly, I chose the route leading over the Deh-bakri pass to Bam, where we could secure motor transport by the road connecting Kerman with Sistan. Thence our escort also could conveniently start for its return to the military head-quarters at Khwash. The caravan track across the Jabal Bariz range via Deh-bakri has often been followed by European travellers,
11 Cf. Sykes, J.R.G.S., 1902, pp. 942 sqq.; also Herzfeld, `Pasargadae', Klio, viii. p. 25.
12 Arrian's account, Indike, xxxiii. 7, definitely indicates that the king's camp was at a distance of five marches from the port reached by the fleet.
The distance from the site of Behkird to Minâb by the nearest route via Bulûk-Gulishgird-Riidân, followed by me in November 1932, is not less than 200 miles.