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0248 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 248 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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there extends a line of low sandy terraces for about 800 yards from north-west to south-east. The site is thickly covered with broken pieces of burned bricks and pottery debris, and is known as Qalat-sarâwân.

The types of decorated ceramic ware represented by plentiful fragments left no doubt about the locality having been occupied in early medieval times. Among the specimens reproduced in Pl. XXVI, those of glazed ware, showing incised floral designs under green, brown, or mottled yellow glaze ( Gur. 26, 32, 35-7), closely resemble the glazed pottery abundantly found at the kilns of Tiz.9 But particularly characteristic are the abundant fragments of a fine, rather porous fabric, neatly decorated with geometrical patterns which have been either im-

pressed by stamping ( Gur. 15, 17, 21, 39, 40, 55-7, 61) or else produced from moulds ( 24, 43 ) . One of the latter ( 25 ) retains traces of Kufic characters.

Fragments of moulds, such as 58, prove local production of this pottery, and certain spots, where potsherds lay thick in the sand overlying shelves of soft sandstone, had the appearance of having served for kilns. Several small pieces of porcelain obviously indicated Chinese import. There were also fragments of twisted glass bangles and a small piece of a relief-ornamented glass vessel.

From the little hamlet of Kumbil 2 miles farther south, where our camp was pitched, I was able to visit, under an intelligent villager's guidance, two ruined

sites undoubtedly marking localities which once had seen the shipping activities

of Old Hormuz. The first of them, known as Kalcztun, was reached after crossing for some 22 miles to the west a bare alluvial plain which is liable to be flooded

from the sea at exceptionally high tides. It is intersected by several shallow

channels ordinarily receiving tidal water. Arrived at Kalâtun, we found a considerable stretch of ground rising but slightly above the tidal flood-level covered

with fragments of burnt bricks and potsherds. For a distance of more than 800

yards from north-west to south-east, I was able to trace rectangular lines of rough stonework, marking the foundations of houses. The stones, often large,

seemed to have been brought from the Arabian hills across the strait, much of the

material appearing to be of volcanic origin. Many small pieces of good Chinese porcelain were to be picked up, also fragments of glazed and plain ware, the latter

much corroded by the effect of sea-water. Conclusive proof of maritime traffic

with the Far East in early medieval times was afforded by a Chinese copper coin dating from the period A.D. 1111-19 and a number of fragments, determined by

Mr. J. Allan as also belonging to the beginning of the Sung epoch. Ships of very light draught were declared to unload in a creek to the west of Kalâtun, and a Customs post controlling such traffic was within sight in the distance to the south-west.

9 See above, p. 92.