Sec. iii] CONCLUDING STAY AT BUSHIRE 241
with earth and loose stones fragments of pottery, both plain and glazed, turned up at depths of 1 to 3 feet from the top. Neither bones nor any objects definitely recognizable as funerary deposits were discovered. In view of this negative result no further infringement of the official order seemed advisable. But the probability of these little mounds being meant for burial cairns deserves to be kept in view.
The other observation relates to the abundant chips and flakes of reddish chalcedony which, as has been frequently noticed by others, are to be found on the surface of the ground in various localities about Reshire and Sabzabad and elsewhere also." That their plentiful occurrence indicated the existence of a long-standing local industry dealing with the cutting of such semi-precious stones has been recognized for years past; and beads as well as seals made from this material are said to be often collected about Bushire and offered for sale. Mr. Jackson, a local resident, had told me of the occurrence of unworked chalcedony in layers of clay, known as `Shiraz mud', to be found exposed in places on the sea-shore. It was of interest to me to find this statement confirmed by my being able to pick up an unworked lump of the stone embedded in an outcrop of such a stratum under the sandstone cliffs that rise to some 17 or 18 feet above the shore close to the west of the so-called Portuguese fort of Reshire ( Rishahr) .12 In view of the well-established local character of this industry and its obvious dependence on export, it would be of interest to secure archaeological evidence as to how far the distribution of its products by early trade can be traced.
By the middle of March it had become only too clear that the removal of the difficulties placed in the way of resumed field-work could not be hoped for through efforts made from Bushire. But before arranging to return to Kashmir, where the summer could be best utilized by me for writing work, it appeared advisable to pay a short visit to Shiraz and make a final effort to obtain permission to resume work by explaining my objective personally to the Governor-General of Fars Province. I accordingly left Bushire on March 21st for Shiraz, gratefully appreciating for the time the escape from the moist heat of the Gulf coast. The advent of Nauraz, the Persian New Year, religiously observed throughout the land as a prolonged official holiday, would not allow immediate personal conduct to be gained with that high functionary. But fortunately the
n Cf. Captain Stiffe's note on Rishahr, Geogr. Journal, 1897, March, p. s 1 s sq., with a reference to Sir William Ouseley's observation on the evidence of a local gem-cutting industry; also Pézard, loc. cit., p. 28.
12 The attribution to the Portuguese of this
large defensive work, a quadrilateral measuring about 500 by 400 yards with a wide rock-cut fosse is quite uncertain. Such potsherds as I could find within the circumvallation afforded no clear chrono-. logical indication.