178 FROM KERMAN TO BANDAR ABBAS [Chap. VI
to the modest hamlets collectively known as Bar-Rûdkhâneh-i-duzdi, did I learn of any old remains. But while encamped at one of them called Qal`a-saidi, from the crumbling stone walls of a small modern fort, I was told by the brother of the village headman who had met us in the spring while at the Tump-i-Kharg below Jiruft, of mounds to be seen at three places, Khazâna, Gilkand, and Qalâtu or Dô-châhi, in valleys eastwards. The chance of visiting them was not to be afforded to us. By the evening the officer in charge of the escort had our would-be guide arrested on some charge known only to himself. Thereupon all knowledge of such places was denied in the morning both by the unfortunate man himself and the rest of the villagers, who saw him marched off by the soldiers—to be released only two days later.
I had already decided to make my way to Minâb at the mouth of the Gulf in order to examine what remains might be traced there of Old Hormuz. There I hoped also to get into touch with the Consulate at Bandar Abbâs, and through it with the Persian authorities outside the Kermân province, who might be expected to ensure the facilities needed for my work. In order to reach Minâb the route through the Rûdân tract, though not the shortest, perhaps, or the easiest, recommended itself by the chance of looking for traces of early occupation in its central and more open portion, watered by the `Robbers' river-bed'. As the river passes lower down through a narrow gorge considered quite impassable for baggage animals, it was necessary on the march of November 26th to follow the track which is used also by those making for Nivargudâr and Shamil. This route took us first across the Rûdkhâneh-i-duzdi a short distance above its junction with the ßûd-i-Gulâshgird or Rûd-i-shirin, and then across a wide stony plateau to Râhdâr with some wells and date-palm groves. On the following day we continued our ascent over the much-broken plateau to the Chakchak pass ( 2,140 feet) . After crossing it, we made our way down through wildly fissured ravines ( Fig. 57) difficult for laden transport to the tiny oasis of Pariâb (1,050 feet) . It was a pleasant surprise to find there a well-laid-out orchard, watered by a gancit, with mango-trees, bananas, and other sub-tropical growth.
Next day a march of only 6 miles brought us over a broad gravel fan down to the edge of the wide valley plain which holds most of the cultivated area of
Rûdân. Fields and date-palm plantations stretch for some 5 miles along the left bank of the river and for about 7 on the other side beyond its wide rubble-filled
bed. Passing Deh-bâriz, the chief place of Rûdân, and another walled village, we
first visited Sang-i-Rustam, a palm-girt hamlet farther north, to which I was attracted by its name. But the `Stone of Rustam' proved only a great natural
boulder embedded in the alluvial soil, without any marks of the hand of man. A small mound subsequently visited in the centre of Deh-bâriz village, measuring