158 TO RLJDBÂR AND JIRUFT [Chap. V
and is correctly mapped in the Survey of India Sheet No. 24. H. Hence no detailed account is needed of the three marches commenced on April 15th which carried us to Deh-bakri. The succession of passes crossed, varying from about 5,400 to 7,700 feet in height, assured welcome relief after the intense heat of Jiruft, but the painful blisters which exposure to the sun had caused to the lips would not heal for some time to come. The verdure of the young wheat-fields and of the orchards near the villages passed, together with the ample tree growth on the hill-sides, was most refreshing for the eyes. The only old remains seen on these marches were two ruined sarais at each foot of the Deh-bakri pass, said to date from Shah `Abbas's time and, no doubt, much appreciated by travellers when heavy snow in the winter renders the pass troublesome to cross.' Much decayed remains of a small fort, evidently of Muhammadan times, were to be seen on a steep knoll to the west of the pass.
From the pleasant village of Deh-bakri, ensconced among shady groves of walnut and other fruit-trees, one march across a bare stony glacis brought us down to the walled village of Darzin, and the next along the wide valley to Barn. The utter barrenness of the valley, broken only by kcirez-irrigated patches of cultivation at two villages, and the still more desolate appearance of the hill range overlooking it from the north, made me feel on this final march how near Bam lies to the great desert of the Dasht-i-Lût. At another season it would have been an attractive task to search along its edges and in the wide arid tract of Bam-Narmashir to the south-east for old sites abandoned to the desert. Both physical causes and destructive human factors are likely to have left on that ground interesting traces of the changes they have worked since prehistoric times. For, just like Sistan, its distant north-easterly neighbour, Barn and its Narmashir have always been exposed to inroads, productive of ruined sites, from Balûch and Afghans or their • ethnic precursors. But the places at which mounds and other remains were mentioned to me by local informants were too far away to be examined from Barn at this season.
So, during the three days' halt which arrangements for transport imposed and which camping in a local notable's fine garden rendered pleasant, I had to content myself with visits in the immediate neighbourhood. The ruins of Fahrabad, scattered about 3 miles to the south-east of the town over a waste of bare clay and gravel, proved to be the remains of large residences of late Muhammadan times. They were now being gradually pulled down for the sake of the manuring earth secured from their thick mud walls. The small fort of Chihil-
1 The ruined sarai to the south of the pass Sir Frederic Goldsmid's party in January 1872, `though nothing but a dark and miserable stable' when belated; see Eastern Persia, i. p. 239. afforded `a most welcome harbour of refuge' to