204 ALONG THE PERSIAN GULF COAST [Chap. VII
The area occupied by the ruins of the town, as seen in Plan 17, extends from a ravine descending to the shore near the Shaikh's fort approximately as far west as the dry bed of a torrent which carries the drainage of the high coastal range to the north of the Dôband valley, and thence in the narrow winding gorge of Kunârak breaks through the bare hill chain overlooking the rock-cut cemeteries of Shilau to be described farther on. An outlying limestone ridge below the Tang-i-Lir divides the small valley of Shilau from the town area proper. Where the foot of the ridge descends with an easy slope to the shore, and the presence of comparatively shallow wells permits of irrigation, the ground has been partially cleared of the debris of ruined houses and laid out into fields and scattered small date-palm plantations. At its western edge, near the mouth of the Kunârak gorge, this portion of the site attains its greatest width of approximately 600 yards. All over this area, as seen in Fig. 62, the material furnished by decayed walls, built throughout with unhewn stones and mortar of gypsum, has been utilized for roughly terracing the slopes wherever cultivation is made possible by well water. The deposits of ancient refuse contained in the soil help, no doubt, to make these patches of ground fertile.
The destruction of the buildings that once occupied the whole of the slopes right up to the crest of the ridge has been so complete that no structural features can be traced on the surface. Only remains of walls built to support terraces for houses can be made out here and there (Fig. 76) . These are best seen on the sides of small ravines descending from the ridge, where particularly solid construction was needed. The greater height of the debris heaps lining the southern edge of the ruined area immediately above the shore suggests that this sea front was occupied by large and particularly solid buildings.
But the only structural remains traceable here without excavation are those of what, I think, must have been a quay wall ( Fig. 69) . They extend for a length of fully 450 yards, as shown in the plan, and stand in places up to some 15 feet in height. The outer wall facing is constructed of unhewn stones set with mortar in regular courses. An interesting feature of this `sea wall' is the succession of projections, generally triangular but some also semicircular, which survive for
the greater part of its length. They are too near each other to have served any defensive purpose apart from strengthening the wall in the fashion of buttresses
against the buffeting of the waves. This explanation is supported by the fact
that when the tide is in, the water approaches to within a few yards of the foot of the wall, and also by the total absence of indications that the town was pro-
tected by defences anywhere on the land side. Similar triangular projections were noticed at a small outlying fort to be presently mentioned, and there, too, only where it faces the sea. Pottery debris of the same type as found all over the