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0318 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 318 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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portion of the mound contained the remains of an Elamite settlement which, by the evidence of inscribed bricks, belonged to the latter half of the second millennium B.C. The underlying portion of the mound yielded a quantity of relics dating from a chalcolithic settlement. They comprised coarse painted pottery, corresponding to the types known as Susa I and II, stone implements and some copper fragments.

M. Pézard's systematic excavations were carried by large trenches with a maximum depth of about 27 feet right down to the natural soil, and have been carefully recorded. The conclusions drawn from them can hence be safely accepted. Among them there is one which, in view of the observations made by me elsewhere along the coast of the Gulf visited, is of wider interest and calls for special notice here. I mean the definite evidence here afforded of chalcolithic occupation having existed in close vicinity of the sea-shore.5 The location here of a prehistoric settlement contrasts strangely with the fact that, in spite of careful search, I had not been able to trace chalcolithic or other prehistoric remains anywhere on the coast-line I had followed for close on 350 miles from Minâb upwards. On the other hand, definite indications of medieval occupation of sites adjacent to the sea-shore were found at a number of points from Old Hormuz onwards to beyond Daiyir.6

This absence of any prehistoric relics at places which in early medieval times, if not before, can be proved to have served as ports and by their geographical situation are specially destined to serve as such, led me at first to entertain doubts as to whether the Persian Gulf could have seen in prehistoric times any maritime development such as is abundantly attested for later periods by historical records and by archaeological relics. But several observations have since suggested to me another possible explanation for the negative fact above indicated.

In my account of Old Hormuz harbour I have already described how its remains are to be traced on ground which is liable to be flooded at high tide, and


à Bender Bouchir, Documents archéologiques et épigraphiques, Paris, 1914 ( Mission archéologique de Perse, vol. xv), pp. 1-38, Pls. IIX, including a useful sketch-map by Lieutenant G. Pézard.

For earlier finds cf. Captain A. W. Stiffe's paper, Geogr. Journal, 1897, March, pp. s1 is sqq. A series of bricks bearing cuneiform (Elamite) inscriptions had been recovered here by the late Professor Andreas about 1877.

b The mound excavated by M. Pézard and situated as the detailed map prepared by the Survey of India on the scale of 4 inches to 1 mile shows,

1,300 yards south-east of the Sabzâbâd Residency, rises within about if miles from the nearest point of the sea-shore. It is practically the highest point of the whole peninsula, rising to 132 feet above sea-level. It occupies a position approximately half-way between the shore and the edge of a wide belt of muddy ground to the east, which is liable to inundation from a creek to the south and is impassable after heavy rain. Immediately to the south of the mound lies the head of the deeply eroded nullah to which I shall have occasion to refer below.

6 See above, pp. 184 sq., 194, 199, 204 sqq., 233.