Sec. iv] TO KERMAN AND ENGLAND 159
chiragh a couple of miles farther on was found to comprise a loop-holed enclosure with a decayed keep within. This ruin, too, is not likely to date back farther than the last two or three centuries. More interesting was a visit to the large arq of Barn ( Fig. 54 ) , once considered the strongest fortress of Persia. Since its abandonment in the last century it is slowly crumbling to ruin. The picture presented by the interior, closely packed with vaulted mud-brick houses in all stages of decay, was suggestive of the process through which many an ancient town of Îran is likely to have passed before finally being reduced to a mere mound.
On April 23rd the arrival of lorries dispatched by the British Consulate from Kerman allowed us to leave Barn after a hearty farewell to the Sultan Agha Husain Ansari, the ever-obliging and helpful commandant of our escort. He, too, felt gladdened by the prospect of reaching a cooler climate and enjoying a good rest at Khwash after the eleven desert marches which still lay before him and his hard-tried men. There was nothing of interest to detain us on the road, which, as far as Mahûn, passed almost wholly over wastes of gravel and stone. But as our lorries, owing to constant break-downs, did not manage to cover the 140 miles or so to Kerman before 6 a.m. on the day following our start, we had ample time to become familiar with certain aspects of modern travel on the high roads of Iran.
At Kerman we had a very hearty welcome from the late Mr. E. Richardson, the officiating British Consul, who, though seriously ill, had kindly arranged comfortable quarters near the Consulate for the accommodation of our party. This allowed us to make full use of our time for the careful repacking of our antiquities and for many other matters which needed attention before our start westwards. Visits to the Governor-General of the province and to the Commandant of the military forces were intended to assure needful facilities to Surveyor Muhammad Ayab Khan for his reconnaissance surveys during the summer. In addition to their intrinsic topographical value, these surveys were intended to furnish guidance for the archaeological work I wished to resume by October.
The pressure of work necessary for the completion of our arrangements left little time for a close examination of the ruined fort of Qal`a-i-dukhtar (Fig. 53 ), which rises on a steep rocky ridge above Kerman town and forms a very conspicuous feature in the landscape. The suggestion of an exact survey did not meet with encouragement on the part of the local authorities. But since Dr. Fâbri's and my own visit to the ruined stronghold did not disclose any definite evidence on the surface of pre-Muhammadan occupation this difficulty gave less cause for regret. Local tradition, reproduced in historical texts, attributes the construction of the castle to Ardashir Papakan, the founder of the Sasanian dynasty. The massive remains of structures crowning the hill are built with